In November, Jovy from Forever Yung nominated me for a Blogger Recognition Award, which was a lovely surprise! One of the main parts of the award is to pass on the good blogging vibes to other awesome content creators, so I put together a list of 15 fabulous bloggers that you should start following this year. You should check them all out as they are some of my faves! The award also involved a couple of other aspects, such as some tips for new bloggers, so here is more about the award, what to do if I nominated you plus some tips for new bloggers.
Blogger Recognition Award
In order for me to officially accept my nomination, there are several rules that I must follow and these rules are also applicable to other nominees who wish to accept this award.
Write a post about the award
Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog
Write a brief story about how your blog began
Provide two pieces of advice to newbie bloggers
Select 15 blogs to nominate
Comment on the blog of each nominee and provide a link to this post
Behind Minka Guides
Funnily enough, I never set out to actually be a travel blogger. I wanted to be a map maker! Yes, I used to spend loads of time curating content on Google Maps, researching cities, finding awesome places I wanted to visit and collecting friends recommendations. Then I’d travel to the destination, try all the places I’d found and edit my map so it was filled with awesome recommendations. After a couple of years, I noticed that these maps were getting thousands of hits and even the occasional supportive comment. I figured I should create my own website to house all my city guides and Minka Guides was born. Of course, I quickly realised that a website full of Google Maps isn’t that interesting, so I added a blog to give it some colour. Exactly 3 years later, I’ve left my career in the film industry behind and become a professional travel content creator for a major travel brand; blogging, videoing and Instagramming my way through every day. So that’s why, when you click on my city guides you’ll always discover a map – filled with all my own recommendations plus ideas for my next visit.
Advice for new bloggers
1. Blogging is itself a journey, so it’s ok to be a bit crap at the start.
If you spend all your time trying to make everything super duper perfect, you’ll probably never show it to the world. I really had to get over this in the beginning. I was nervous to make anything public that I knew didn’t meet my very high standards. I’m not a natural designer and I don’t have an amazing camera (yet!) so I knew that the content I was creating wasn’t that brilliant. Also, I can write but while I’m excellent at proofing other people’s work, my eyes glaze over when I look at my own. So what could I do? I figured I should just do an ok job and try to improve my content slightly every time I did something new. I made my first video review a year ago and it was terrible (shaky, poorly edited and with my weird voiceover) but I’ve made at least 6 more in the last 12 months and finally, I’m starting to get the hang of it (see for yourself with my latest video below). So, just start and along the way you’ll find the tools to help you grow better (in my case that was Canva for design, Grammarly for proofing my own work and VivaVideo for basic editing on your phone). If there are tools you’ve found really helpful as a beginner, comment below and share your tips 👇
2. Work out what you’re all about
There are a million bloggers, vloggers, influencers and photographers out there, so why should anyone (apart from your mum) want to follow you? This is probably one of the hardest things to work out in such a saturated marketplace but it also shouldn’t discourage you. It took me AGES to define exactly what my blog was about. I just figured I’m (duh!) fabulous and that’s why everyone would want to follow me – but I soon learnt that’s not always the easiest thing to convey online. I discovered I really had to shout about it: I’m a travel blogger…. who’s also a drag queen…. who’s married to another drag queen…. so I’m definitely not going to be like one of those blonde skinny white girls doing yoga on a beach and being #thankful (yawn)… I’m naturally doing something a bit different (and more fabulous). Hilariously, I realised yesterday I rank first on Google if you search ‘drag queen travel blogger’ because no one else is doing exactly that (yet), so there you go. Of course, this all seems really obvious now but it took me about 2 years to work out that this was my unique perspective on everywhere I visit and the content I create. It also wasn’t until I’d written the above list that I saw that all these bloggers also have their own unique perspective too, which is what makes them fabulous! So take your time, work out what you’re going to bring to the big wide world of travel content and remember: the mould is there to be broken.
➡️ What are some tips you would give new bloggers? Comment below and share your own tips.