We look back over the last 5 years of blogging, films, music, events and celebrities that have all helped Blazing Minds become North Wales Number One Blog.
It’s hard to think that on the 4th September 2008, Blazing Minds started out as another one of those blogs that was a collection of short, meaningless, posts about the weather or a video I had seen on YouTube, even silly photos I’d seen.
Who would have thought that in the 5 years of starting I would have met and worked with some amazing people, started covering local and national events and become a film and theatre reviewer.
Mighty oaks from little acorns grow
When I first started Blazing Minds, I wasn’t really sure where it was going and what I really wanted to do with the blog, I had seen others start blogs and thought it would be a lot of fun, writing about my daily goings on.
But after a short while, I started running out of those types of things to say, there is only so much you can do during a day and if you have a routine, things do start to get a little repetitive, I mean how many times can you say in a post that you’ve been to town!
So as I progressed through the months, I started changing what I was writing about, posts were starting to become articles and were getting longer, I was posting about the car shows that I was visiting and informative posts about upgrades to some of my tech.
In turn I started to develop my blogging and people were picking up on this and by 2009 I was bringing in music reviews of albums I had bought and of friends that I knew through my own musical endeavours from the music I was releasing myself.
What followed was the word getting out that I was reviewing music, CDs and downloads were starting to become available to me and the blog slowly starting moving in to its first part of its makeover in to the world of entertainment.
Finding a Niche in the World of Blogging
The word “Niche” wasn’t really something that I thought about during the early years of starting Blazing Minds, but then after reading several websites, such as Famous Bloggers, Basic Blog Tips and several more I started to think that maybe I would fit in a niche sooner or later, but I always classed the website as a “Mixed Bag” blog.
In 2009 I decided to join a new website called “BlogEngage” and for me that was the turning point of the popularity of my website, meeting other bloggers through the website and getting hints and tips from them via personal messaging and through their articles, made me think even more of the niche that I should be in and it had to be Entertainment.
As I had done music reviews and delved in to the side of films with some DVD reviews and the odd cinema visit from time to time, it only cemented in to my mind that Blazing Minds should become something that people could visit, read and trust the articles that were on the blog. But all this would take time and effort to gain the readers trust.
Film Reviews and the Generosity of my Local Cinema
2010 was another year of developing my writing, moving along with articles about things I was learning such as pushing the limits of my personal Twitter account and increasing the follower count from the hundreds to the thousands, as people started noticing more and more of the articles I was publishing.
Utilising Twitter and Facebook as well as the sharing and feedback from BlogEngage, the blog was certainly building up momentum as it was becoming well-known among those that notice something that is slowly moving up the ranks in the entertainment world.
In 2011 I did my first “official” movie review, a nice little feature called, Captain America: The First Avenger, at this point I was moving along in to something that would be a staple diet for me and my website, movies had always been something I loved and this would be the start of something very special.
As the reviews were becoming more popular and I was seeing more and more of the new releases, I was being noticed, not just me, but the reviews, they were becoming a weekly part of Blazing Minds and after a short while I was asked to become a reviewer.
This is Where it all Started!
After being asked to do the reviews on a permanent basis, everything started falling in to place, a new logo was designed for the website and it was all started to look a lot more professional, I was invited to the relaunch of the cinema, given the chance to preview a movie before it’s release, titled, Real Steel!
Through 2011 and in to 2012 I was still reviewing the movies (I still am today), then something else happened that was down to the cinema, I ran a contest for a newly printed logo on a T-Shirt, the winner, a local gal who I am now proud to say I am friends with, loved her prize and we met each other to hand over the prize.
Now her partner was a photographer (see where this is going), his name, Lee Howard. Lee, Gemma and I sat down and talked about movies and events etc. Shortly after this, more things started to fall in to place.
Sometime later Lee and I started covering events, I wrote the articles and Lee supplied the fantastic photographs, we covered some small shows and then one event, launched us even further in to the celebrity limelight.
American Pie Anyone!
In September 2012, we were in Wrexham for the Wales Comic Con, not for the day event though, we were going to be at the after show party where local lads, Straight Jacket Legends would be performing alongside American Actor, Thomas Nicholas!
Suffice to say I was excited, we had AAA access during the show, meeting Thom and the guys from Straight Jacket Legends, it was an awesome night and one which was pivotal moment for myself, Lee and the website.
We talked to Thom as if we’d known each other for years and at the end of the evening he asked me if I would grant him access to my Twitter account for a Twitter Takeover, how could I say no, suffice to say the takeover was complete success.
The film reviews continued and more work was coming our way, I think the word was getting around locally what we were doing and how we were pushing the social networking website that we belonged to with the articles, photos and so much more getting the word out on the awesome events that were going down.
Charity events were covered for the local theatre, the Rhyl Pavilion and we were loving every moment of the events and the work.
Bigger, Better and Busier
The movie and music reviews were still coming through thick and fast, then I started doing reviews outside of the cinema, my reviews had been seen by a company and they asked if I would like to do film reviews with them of “screeners”, these are movies that aren’t released and are given to a collection of reviewers on DVD to review the film before their release, so I jumped at the chance.
Time moved along and through 2012 I was keeping all the entertainment reviews coming along nicely then we got to the first quarter of this year, 2013!
March was the month that was one of the best events that I have covered, 3-4 days of sheer geeking out, as we spent the weekend in Pwllheli at the Sci-Fi Weekender, what an amazing event. We got to meet and work with some amazing people such as Viginia Hey, Frazer Hines, Brian Blessed, Glenn Fabry and Peter Davidson.
Not only that, we had so much material that when I returned home after the weekend, my Sci Fi Weekender article had to be spread out over five days, including exclusive photos and so much more and yes we will be returning back to Pwllheli for Sci Fi Weekender 5 in 2014!
A return to Wrexham for another Wales Comic Con and more exclusive photos and the chance to meet the awesome Warwick Davis and many more in the world of Sci Fi, plus a catch up with Frazer Hines and chance to finally meet local author Sam Stone.
5 Years and We Keep Moving
So now it’s been five years of blogging and it’s been worth every moment, yes there have been those moments of thinking “Why am I still doing this” and the issues that the blog has had where I thought I would lose everything!
But in all honesty, starting Blazing Minds was one of the best things that I ever did, I met some amazing celebrities and become friends with some of them, made more friends than I can possibly imagine and got the chance to enjoy life with something that I thought would be a waste of time in the first year of the site!
The big question is where do I go from here! Well I’m keeping what I’m doing, Lee and I will be covering more events such as Hammerfest and of course next years Sci Fi Weekender, I’m also at the point where I now have the chance to review theatre as well.
I’m lined up for The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy and The Mousetrap for the next theatre events and let’s not forget that in a couple of weeks I’ll be with the amazing Wheatus as they tour the UK, life is just one party these days and I love it!!!
And on those words….
So now it’s just time to say a big MASSIVE thank you to everyone that has supported myself and Blazing Minds over the last five years, with you all reading my articles, sharing them on Twitter, Facebook and other networks, then the word wouldn’t have got out about the website.
Thanks to everyone at Vue in Rhyl for supporting my film addiction, Claire at Chic for giving me the chance to show off my willingness to kick back with some Sci Fi foolery, Thomas Nicholas for letting me work with him at two gigs and keeping in touch, Straight Jacket Legends for being great supporters of my articles.
Also let’s not forget the Rhyl Pavilion and all the staff that allow Lee and myself to get in there and run around like headless chickens getting photos and more for the articles.
Jaimie at Wales Comic Con for the access to some amazing writers, actors, artists and more.
Brian at BlogEngage for all the help and encouragement to keep me going for 5 years and to those that I’ve met through BlogEngage that have also been there when I have needed some blogging help.
Finally to you, yes you, for reading this article that is just short of 2,000 words, thanks for sticking through to the end of it and for showing your support for the hard work that has been put in to the website over the last 5 years.
Thank you everyone and here’s to another 5 years of entertainment blogging from Blazing Minds.
If you would like to get involved with the Twitter celebrations then tweet @BlazingMinds with the hash tag #HappyBirthdayBlazingMinds and add your message