, Blogger from Mummy and Boo, , Columnist Blogger at Hello! Magazine and , Co-founder of jelly juice brand,  who is also supporting the Parenting category at the UK Blog Awards 2017.
All of our judges are parents themselves which automatically has enabled them to relate to the Parenting content shortlisted, as well as understanding the corporate side of the industry. During this interview, we caught up with Joanne and Jessica to find out what helped them decided on the their winning content and why they believe in sharing your experiences as a parent and individual online is more important to help gain awareness and support.

What are your social media and digital predictions that you expect to see more of this year?

Joanne: We feel the ever increasing movement towards Fast Moving Content live and in the moment will continue to grow as the demand for stories and personalisation continues. i.e. Instagram and Facebook live.

Jessica: When I first started blogging nearly 9 years ago it was purely for passion, I’m predominately a writer so the gradual increase in visual imagery especially over the last 5 has been the most noticeable change for me. Blogging has become less of a side project and more of a full time role for many individuals. We have become our own PR, marketing, sales, editors and photographers. My role in the industry has changed because since becoming a mother and surviving cervical cancer I am committed to sharing important messages via my blog and social media.

How do you think the industry has changed and grown in the last five years and how has your role changed in the industry with it?

Joanne: Blogging has changed from being purely broadcast to a much more immersive and 2 way conversation medium, allowing readers or viewers to really understand the bloggers emotions and motives. The evolution from written to video content in the form of vlogging continues to grow and this is the biggest change that the industry has needed to adopt.

As brand owners just like bloggers we feel the need to constantly provide engaging content that captures the imagination of an attention deficit audience. Facebook for instance measure viewing figures based on if your content has been watched for 3 seconds or more only – 3 seconds wow! That’s the average turn off rate that you need to keep someone’s concentration and attention for in today’s cyber webby thingy magiggy.

Why did you accept the role of being a UK Blog Awards industry judge and how many times have you judged for your industry?

Joanne: As a mother and previously a fashion buyer I have always had a keen interest and appreciated a well thought out and engaging lifestyle and parenting blog full of advice and tips.  Now I am a brand owner I chose to be a judge at the UK blog awards so that in the future we could look to work with the best bloggers and vloggers that could help us on our mission to inspire parents to help their children have fun and live healthier.

Jessica: I accepted the role as a Parenting Judge for the UK Blog Awards because parenting blogging has been my passion for nearly three years and I’m excited to judge the blogs that made the short list that people have strongly engaged with and voted for. Although I’m biased I do feel the parenting community is one of the strongest and most encouraging online communities there is.

What will you be looking for when assessing the shortlist to crown award winning content?

Joanne: I looked for imagination, originality and bit of playfulness with content that is truly useful and engaging for the reader / viewer delivered in whichever medium with passion.

Jessica: When I assessed the Parenting Category shortlist, I looked for a blog that was engaging and provided interesting content. It’s essential that they interact with their social media community; a good blogger listens to not only their gut but to their readers and what they want. For me any blog that is also able to co-exist in the real world or encourages any community or engagement offline is wonderful. Being a parent, especially a new parent, can be isolating so any blog that works towards provide support and interaction is a wonderful thing. I feel a good parenting blog should be aspirational yet relatable. As a mum myself I want to come away feeling empowered and encouraged and have a real sense of the personality of the blog or individual.

Have you ever won an industry award? If so, how has this helped you and what impact do you feel the UK Blog Awards will have on the industry?

Joanne: Yes, recently Naturelly was awarded Gold for best toddler snack and silver for best child snack in this years Loved By Parent Awards. Winning an award like this has given us confidence and belief as well as credibility needed to be trusted by parents and retailers.

Finally, the theme for the 2017 UK Blog Awards is Heroes and Heroines. In your opinion what makes a true BlogHero?

Joanne: Simply by being different, authentic and useful. There are too many “me too” blogs out there, you have to stand out and get noticed. It’s the same challenge for us as brand owners. What you have or say might be good but is it super?

Jessica: For me, a true BlogHero is someone with a consistent message that encourages others and generally works for the greater good. It might be someone that expresses opinions that others might be frightened to or someone that spreads positivity but it’s definitely someone that cares about their community, engages them and always takes the time to respond.

We hope you enjoyed the read, don’t forget, Naturelly are co-hosting #BlogHour tonight at 9pm via Twitter. You can take a further look at the questions for debate on the .

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