Many of you who do follow myself and Blazing Minds will know about the National UK Blog Awards and that in April I was awarded an award in the events category.

So I thought I would bring you an insight in to life behind the blog and what it has meant to not only myself, but also the difference it has made to the blog as well.

If you have read the About Me page here on Blazing Minds you will have seen the little bit of history behind the website and myself, but let’s take it a little more further and go behind the scenes of the world of blogging and more.

The First Steps Of Blogging

In 2008 the decision was made to start Blazing Minds, being out of work at the time was a great opportunity to have the time to see what all the fuss was about with the blogging phenomenon that was grabbing people’s attention, many blogs were finding their feet and it was hard for those new blogs to get on in there on that first rung of the ladder.

But, I went for it, starting as most do with the everyday blogging of what’s on, the tasty meals and other stuff that really was that interesting to read, like many bloggers I did go through those moments of think, “Nah, this isn’t working”, so I set went self-employed and popped on to the blog from time to time.

As I went through the blog-o-sphere, joining in groups and particular the website Blog Engage (which I still am a member), which has been a staple place for not only getting advice, it has also led to making some amazing blogger friends who are still blogging today, which only goes to show that having support gives you a mass incentive to keep going.

On the other aspect of blogging for so long though, I have seen many bloggers just give up after a few months or a little longer, such a shame as many of them had so much potential to get out there.

The Right Place at the Right Time

After all my excitement was on the build again, it took being in the right place at the right time to get that gentle push that Blazing Minds and I needed to move out from the everyday things being done blog, to a more entertainment based site, a simple moment of reviewing a movie at the local cinema started Blazing Minds on the right path.

The odd occasional visit to the cinema became a regular thing, not only that, the previews and VIP evenings were more of a frequent thing, specially with the grand opening of a re-vamped Apollo Cinema (now Vue) in Rhyl. This in turn led to other venues asking for reviews, which was fantastic, Blazing Minds had finally found its niche in the blogging world.

Gigs, Backstage Passes and More

As time went by and I was doing so much more, I got to meet a rather talented photographer called Lee Howard (Many of you know him now as the Director of the upcoming movie Womble), we clicked when it came to the entertainment world, with Lee’s knowledge of the industry and the following that Blazing Minds had now built up, it was the perfect team up.

We started covering the events together and it was always known that Lee did the photographs and I did the words, what a brilliant way of describing the work we were doing.

Covering theatre gigs, weekend events and more, working with the likes of Wheatus, Thomas Nicholas, Crissy Rock and many more, we built the profiles for both of us to bring our audience what they not only wanted, but what they deserved in the high quality.

Brendan - Wheatus in Holyhead

Now Lee is the Director and Writer of the Womble Movie that is being filmed here in North Wales starring Johnny Vegas and Jimmy Cricket and stacks of other extremely talented cast and crew.

Thanks to me watching Lee like a hawk, I now do the words and the photos for the events I cover, let’s face it folks, without Lee I’d be lost on what I do now.

Building on a Reputation

With a big following and a website that had gone from strength to strength, it was clear by many that Blazing Minds was a blog to be reckoned with, thousands of views on the site a day, over 22,000 followers on Twitter and emails coming in from movie companies and disturbers for reviews, plus those bands that had picked up on the event coverage and wanted their new albums reviewed.

This still happens today, although my time is more limited these days due to more work and even more great opportunities that back in 2008, when I started Blazing Minds, I wouldn’t have dreamed of ever happening.

 

An Award Winning Blogger Accolade (Hard Work Pays)

When I started the website back in 2008, I had no thoughts of keeping going for so long, working with amazing people, visiting events and making friends with so many people who love and support one another, it never crossed my mind at all that I would have an award sitting next to my computer to show that all the hard work and effort put in to Blazing Minds over the last 7 years, but I have.

Last year, I had an email saying that Blazing Minds had been nominated for a UK Blog Award, great but I had seen blog awards before and didn’t think much to it, until I checked out the organisers and found how prestigious they were, then the news that Blazing Minds had become a finalist!

This was all thanks to everyone voting for me and the site, it was then on to the judges to have their say, “that’s as far as I get“, I thought, how wrong was I.

Months went by and the National UK Blog Awards ceremony was getting closer, sadly I couldn’t make it to London for the event, but that moment when you see on Twitter that your name has been announced to a venue full of fellow bloggers is an amazing feeling.

Winning the National UK Blog Award in the individual events is an amazing feeling and to have the award in your hand is even better, I can now say two things. “Official Award Winning Blogger” and “Official Award Winning Blog“.

What a difference it has made winning the award, more work is coming in to Blazing Minds as a result of being a winner, not only that many PR companies have been in touch to work alongside them on several project, the VIP invites are also flooding in for venues across the country, I thought I worked hard before.

So remember folks, all the hard work and passion you put in to something will pay off in the end, enjoy what you do, yes there will be those that try to bring you down, such as the Twitter Trolls and other haters, but remember these accolades are given for a reason and it’s your hard work that has brought you to this moment.

Let’s also not forget all those that have been there for me over the seven years that I’ve run¬†Blazing Minds, I wish I could name them all here, but there are so many that have been there for me through the happy, sad, mad and crazy time.

So …. Deep breath … Thanks Mum, Lee, Gemma, Alex, Sam, David, Claire, Neil, Fleur, Jenny, Mandy, Chris, Lynn, Debs, Will, Wayne, Leslie, Sian, Mark, Thomas, SJL, Brendan, Lars and everyone else including those distant and lost family members (you know who you are). Thank you everyone, your support has been my rock.

 

Karen Woodham
Karen Woodham is the founder and owner of the Blazing Minds, an avid blogger and bona fide journalist. She is also a Cinema Film Reviewer, based at the Scala in Prestatyn and at many Cineworld screens, where she reviews the latest movies, she has also had several articles published in various publications. She became an Award Winning Blogger in 2015 and also has her website listed as one of the UKs Top 10 Film Blogs.
Karen Woodham

@KarenNWoodham

2015 @UKBlogAwards winner. Journalist, photographer and founder of @blazingminds. Mentioned on @BBCFilm2017. Reviewer at @VenueCymru @cineworld
Karen Woodham
Karen Woodham