Eleanor Crossland, Food and Drink UKBA15 Judge is the Social Media Manager at Square Meal Publications. This is Eleanor's second year as a UKBAJudge and we are delighted that SquareMeal are sponsoring the Food and Drink category this year.
Square Meal are extremely passionate about bloggers, especially the foodie types! Each week Square Meal choose a 'Blogger of week', have you been lucky enough yet to be chosen? During this post, Eleanor provides her insight and opinion around what she will be looking out for when judging the shortlisted Blogs and also what draws her to Blogs across the Bloggersphere on a personal basis. As well as managing a whole range of social accounts for Square Meal Restaurants and Bars, Square Meal Venues & Events, Imbibe UK and the Sommelier Wine Awards, Eleanor covers the blogger outreach and writes regular blogger newsletters.
Below Eleanor shares her thoughts on why the UK Blog Awards is great for the Food and Drink industry:
“Blogging is a great way for individuals to express their opinions about food and restaurants and be heard by the industry. Bloggers are fantastic at championing smaller restaurants, pop-ups and food producers and helping other people find out about them. The Awards demonstrate how influential blogs are now and reward the dedication of the bloggers.”
1. What does it take for you to bookmark a Blog? Is there anything that a Blog must have/be to grab your attention?
I like blogs that are clearly laid out and well written, with lots of white space and great, eye-catching photos. My personal choice is to read blogs about baking, cakes and craft. Combine those subjects with a well thought-out copy and I’m a reader.
2. What would stand a Blog out from the crowd? Top three things.
Quirky point of difference
Interesting headings to draw me in
3. How seriously do big companies take Blogs and the Blogging culture on a commercial level?
More and more seriously. They’re now seeing bloggers as excellent brand ambassadors who are passionate about sharing their interests and products that they rate highly. Bloggers have so much influence in the social-sphere, and engaging with bloggers is a great way to listen to brands’ audiences.
4. Do you think there is any brand loyalty when it comes to Blogs that report on news?
For mainstream TV news and broadsheets, everyone has their preferred read. I think the same applies to blogs.
5. Do you think that in time Blogs will take over from the traditional media forms such as, daily newspapers for the latest news?
More and more, readers are turning to independent sources for news, opinions and personal reports. I think that this will increase as bloggers become more known and recognised for their work. Perhaps the traditional media forms will start turning to bloggers to provide articles and live reporting.
6. What Blogs do you read and why?
I read a few industry blogs to stay in touch with what’s going on in the restaurant/food and events and venues world. I read friends’ and family members’ blogs (http://randomlincs.com/ ) and also I’m a fan of Your Sunny Side Up http://www.yoursunnysideup.com/ . I started to read her blog because of the 2014 Blog Awards. I also like Live Life Love Cake (it’s about cake): http://livelifelovecake.com/. I like to read Innocent Smoothies as it makes me laugh.