Dulcie and I at a Harvey Nichols beauty event
For this episode of my 'Blogger's Guide' series, I want to talk about a side of blogging that I touched on in this post; making friends and meeting people through blogging. Blogging can be quite a lonely pastime; I started blogging in 2009 and could never imagine I would end up having a sort of friendship network stemming from the posts I'd publish every day.
I never really started meeting other bloggers until I moved to Bristol; there wasn't much of a blogging scene in North Devon and in any case, I had all my friends there, so there was no real need for me to want to make any more! When Adrian and I moved to Bristol, however, and I left all my female friends behind, I did miss having that friendship group, and so when I received an email inviting me to Bristol Fashion Week back in 2012, I decided it would be nice to attend. I was so nervous! I wasn't sure what to expect, and I was certain that everyone else would be so much cooler than me and also slightly scary, but I couldn't have been more wrong (about the scary bit; of course everyone was super cool!)
I met some wonderful girls at that event and off the back of that I started to find out about events more proactively and make an effort to attend. It's hard when you work full time but as I built up a network of contacts and found out what was going on in Bristol, it became easier to go to different meetups or events because I would usually see a familiar face there. I've never been very good at doing things like that on my own; but with my camera and notebook to hide behind I got a little braver and really started to enjoy myself. I have interviewed Lydia Bright from TOWIE and Jamie Laing from Made in Chelsea,
met stalked Helen Adams from Big Brother at a beauty event (and spoken to her!) taken countless photographs, had beauty treatments, sat on the front row at fashion shows, had my portrait illustrated, listened to guest speakers and had a couple of cracking goodie bags! Of course these are perks that blogging has allowed me and I never thought I'd ever be able to attend events like this, let alone write about them on the blog!
Without sounding too saccharine, forgoing all of the celebs and goodie bags, the networking and making contacts, the best part of all of this has been making friends. Meeting gals of a similar age to me with similar interests, sharing blogging tips, attending Christmas parties and having fun. I came to a new city with no friends at all, and although I have made some amazing ones through work and via mutual friends, it was in those first few months of moving up, settling in and trying to be brave enough to want to mix with other bloggers that I really felt that my blog had achieved something; that despite just writing about what I was wearing or the shoes I wanted to buy, I had met new and lovely people and they were interested in what I had to say! It was a lovely feeling.
If you are new to blogging, I really recommend that you do a little research and try and find out if there are any other bloggers in your area. Perhaps more established ones, who might know about events you can attend or any planned meetups. You can use all the social media tools at your disposal; Twitter is fab for joining in blogger chats and Facebook has a plethora of blogger groups that you can join to find out more about things going on in your local area. You can make contacts, network, and, perhaps most importantly of all, maybe even find some new friends.