Happy New Year! I hope you had a great evening last night whatever you got up to. This is the second post in the space of a week which hasn’t been a product review or sponsored content in some way or another. I quite like it though…they say change is a good thing most of the time anyway right?! Well what with it being New Years Day and all, I thought it would be a good opportunity to look back on the blog over the past year, and see how 2016 fared for Ellemma…
February – the blog Ellemma was created
I find it hard to believe that the blog is still less than a year old. It feels like I’ve been blogging for so much longer than that, and I guess I have given the fact that I had been mummy and lifestyle blogging the year before I decided to create Ellemma. I decided to stop blogging about personal and family life though because of privacy issues (or lack of) when it came to my kids and the sort of information I was putting out there on the internet, but I knew that I wanted to carry on a blog of some sort as I enjoyed it so much.
So beauty and lifestyle seemed like a good idea at the time, and I haven’t really looked back since. I defy any blogger to read their first ever post and not cringe at it, (I know I do at mine), but if you fancy a read of my first blog post for Ellemma then you can check it out here.
February (again) – the blog gave me the chance to work with L’Oreal!
This feels very surreal, but it did indeed happen. I basically won a competition in February which was in collaboration with Garnier, and was all about ‘revealing the inner beauty blogger’ in you. I was invited to Hammersmith, London where L’Oreal’s HQ is, and spent the day there having a photoshoot with four other beauty bloggers. We were each given a different haircare range to promote, (not to mention a very generous goody bag to take home with us), and our photos eventually ended up appearing in all 800 Superdrug stores across the country! Such an amazing experience and opportunity which I’m still so grateful for. You can read about my day at L’Oreal here if you like.
May – I became a Coconut Queen!
I’d heard of Coconut Lane through social media, and in May I was given the opportunity to become a ‘brand ambassador’ (or Coconut Queen), as they like to word it! They’re an online store which sell the most amazing (and very Instagrammable) products including stationery, jewellery, wall art, phone/laptop cases, and have recently branched into clothing too. Check out my post about them in a bit more detail here, and you can get 20% off any order you place when you enter ‘ellemma20‘ at checkout on their website.
June – A brand collaboration…
There seems to be a bit of an on-going and controversial debate concerning bloggers, brands and collaborations, or ‘sponsored posts’. It’s a very murky world and to be honest, I still don’t know all the ins and outs about it all. I do think that I’ll write a full and proper post on it soon though, as I’ve got a lot to say on the subject (even if it’s not what other bloggers want to hear!). In a nutshell though, bloggers can and do get sent products for review from brands.
Of course the brand will ultimately hope that the more followers a blogger has across their social media, the wider reach and therefore better exposure the product under review will receive. That’s what we all know and understand. What isn’t so well explained though, is when bloggers don’t state, or ‘disclose’ that their post is a sponsored one, or one which has been written with the intention of subliminally trying to market something to their readers.
I’m not going to lie, I really like receiving products from brands. It makes me feel as though the blog must be doing something right. I do pride myself on being totally transparent when it comes to disclosure though, and I’ll only accept a product for review if it’s something which I am genuinely interested in. A good example would be a gorgeous little rose gold bracelet that I was kindly sent from a company called Chlo-Bo. It’s something which I wear on a daily basis, and I was more than happy to write a post about it as I loved it so much, (and still do now).
I’ll pop a link here to the original post if you’d like to see more photos and read about the brand and bracelet.
July – Bloggers Ball!
July is always going to be a favourite time of the year for me, as it’s my birthday month and my daughter’s too. What made July 2016 even better though, was going to the first ever Bloggers Ball in London with my old uni friend Marisa, who also happens to be a fab fashion blogger (find her over at marisathorne.com). It was such a good day, and I had a great time at the ball.
It was held at a funky little club in London, and there was a ton of bloggers and brands in attendance all looking to network and socialise with each other. It was hosted by Scarlett Dixon who runs Scarlett London Events, which is my new favourite blogger events company. You can read all about the day here.
September – Bloggers Festival and another photoshoot!
Scarlett hosted another event in September; the Bloggers Festival. This one was at a lovely London hotel this time, and I went along with my blog-buddy Marisa again which was great fun. The festival was slightly more low-key and chilled than the Bloggers Ball, but it was still the same sort of concept; bloggers and brands getting together to find out more about each other and network.
A little extra at the festival was a pop-up photo shoot with The Jewellery Box who are a great brand when it comes to product selection and affordable prices. They have such a friendly team as well, and I loved being able to participate in a joint photoshoot with Marisa to showcase some of the brands new pieces. For more on the shoot and the day itself, check out the full post here.
December – Ellemma was nominated for a blog award!
I still pinch myself at this one, but receiving a nomination in the fashion and beauty category for the UK Blog Awards 2017 was without doubt the highlight of the year for me. There’s been a lot of times when I’ve thought about stopping the blog because I get paranoid that nobody really likes it, or even worse, that nobody even reads it! So when I found out that Ellemma had been nominated for an award, it made me feel like maybe… it is worthwhile after all.
I enjoy writing so much, and no matter what the outcome of the nominations are (the shortlist will actually be announced tomorrow – eeek), I’ve been given such a boost and feel more inspired than ever to keep at it with the blog and continue to create new content.
I guess this leads me to where we now are; on 1st January 2017 and a brand new year ahead of us. I have the blog to thank for so many amazing opportunities and experiences which happened in 2016, and I can’t wait to see what this year will bring me and Ellemma.
Thank you so, so much for reading what I write. It means the world to me, and I hope that you continue to join me on my blogging journey. The photo below is pretty ironic, as I’d like to think that I’m definitely more of an optimist than a pessimist. Yes there are days when it’s difficult to be positive and ‘always look on the bright side’, but it must beat being in the dark.
Take care guys, and I’ll be back with a new post soon. Wishing you all a very Happy New Year!!