All the way back in summer, there was a very hectic Saturday morning where Vix and I sat on my sofa and went through the bulk of our entries. I remember how sunny it was – it was too hot for proper brunch and we just snacked on berries instead that Ryan brought home for us. Now, a couple of months later, we are at the end of The Blog Race!
I can’t believe it’s over already. For the final task, we asked our five finalists to tell us what they’d learned from taking part, and for this last challenge we thought we’d join in too. So, what did I learn?
They say your greatest asset is your own uniqueness. In blogging, it couldn’t be more true! We are all lumbered with the same formats, but it’s what you do within that format that makes you stand out. I can’t remember how many blogs Vix and I found that had a top navigation bar consisting of “fashion, beauty, lifestyle”. It’s a popular format for a reason, but what really made us excited was those blogs that promised to show us something else: new and fresh.
Through the challenges, I’ve been so impressed by how the racers have taken our fairly basic prompts and created really unique and individual work. I reckon the true mark of individuality is if you can successfully guess the author of a post based on the post content alone (i.e. if you can tell who the author is without checking). I was also reminded of the importance of originality across all platforms. I’m quite guilty of stumbling upon somebody’s blog and forgetting to check their Insta or Twitter whilst I’m there and missing out on amazing extra stuff. Plus, I’ve really tried to buck up my own insta game as a result of thinking more holistically!
I think we anticipated that one or two people might drop out over the course of 13 weeks, but the number of people who actually did was a lot higher than we thought. Whether it was underestimating the effort level, overestimating their own availability, or just life getting in the way – we had quite a few people who had to stop midway. We grew to really love seeing people’s efforts and styles, and also watching their creativity develop, so to then not have them around was always really sad. It made me realise that commitment really is a virtue; I think for a lot of us who blog as a hobby it’s easy to forget how hard it is to stick to any regularity. In the end, what you are capable of creating isn’t worth shit if you don’t actually get any of it done.
Going through the entrants was a LONG process but every now and then we struck absolute gold and it made it all worth it. It’s really easy to get stuck into your own little blogging circle; most of my favourite bloggers are also regular commenters on mine. I end up reading the same blogs for years without ever finding something new. It’s good to have old favourites but also that rush of stumbling upon a new amazing blog is great, isn’t it? You sometimes hear people complain that blogging is getting a bit tired, but actually, we found all sorts of really interesting and fascinating blogs out there if you just dig a little bit deeper.
Albertine was one of our early definites for the competition. I’m so glad she accepted our invite to rejoin (obviously we nicked the format of reviving a contestant from our favourite TV drag race!). What I love about Albertine’s blog is how she always gets you nodding along; her writing is perceptive and insightful and coupled with the most gorgeous, light photography. She’s got such a warm personality and I loved getting to know her better through the whole comp.
I remember clicking on Becky’s entry and immediately messaging Vix going “I’ve found a gem!!”. Neither of us had come across Becky’s blog before, which was unusual as I think between us we’ve come across a fair few blogs…! We have loved getting to know Becky, her gorgeous photography, her use of colour and her knack of composition. I don’t know whether it’s just me getting to know Becky better, but I feel like her entries became more personal and insightful as the weeks went by and it was such a joy to see her entries through the competition.
It was Vix who pulled me over and said “we’ve got to have her in”. We were just so impressed with Laura’s stunning photography! She is the queen of flatlays and gorgeous shots- she really has an eye for detail. Laura earned her place in the Top 3 with her beautiful entries, her warm and friendly personality and her level of consistency. Everything Laura did felt really on brand and part of a cohesive theme and it was lovely to watch what she did each week.
Tajinder’s blog was new to me when we began this competition and we were really impressed with her work from the start. Despite the name, Tajinder writes about far more than music alone; during the course of The Blog Race we’ve learned about her daily life, her inspirations, her family, and so much more. Tajinder uses really unique qualities in her work but combines it all together into something fresh. I really feel like Tajinder has used the prompts to slowly reveal different aspects of herself through the competition, and it’s been amazing to see the level of creativity in her work. She is completely unique, and thoroughly deserving of a place in the Top 3.
Our winner is Cherie! Cherie was one of the only entrants I’d come across before when we started the blog race. We thought she’d be an interesting addition to our competitors with her personal writing style and her longer-format blogs, almost like mini articles. Cherie really tells a story in her work (including literally in her Autumn entry!) and I feel like she manages to see magic in everything. Her writing is graceful and intimate, and she captures a similar elegance in her photography. Through the competition, Cherie consistently pushed the boundaries of all the platforms, whether it was videos in an insta diary or voiceovers in a Twitter thread. We were both unanimous in our decision and so happy for Cherie. Congratulations!
Well, that’s a wrap! A massive congrats to all the contestants; thank you so much for taking part! It was a challenge for us at times but overall I have so enjoyed getting to know everyone, discovering so many amazing creators, and being treated to so much amazing blogging. Time to sashay away! X