10 Best UK Blogs
How to Turn Your Blog into a Success(ful Business) - Tips and Quotes from the Top Blogs Owners in the UK13. May 2016
Welcome to Market Inspector Blog Awards!
Market Inspector has awarded the 10 best blogs in the UK. Not only, we have also interviewed their forward-thinking owners. We found out how they have turned their blogs into a real success and, most of all, how they manage to gather such a high traffic of internauts. See how ePOS systems can streamline your business.
We have divided our winners into 10 categories, according to the topic they passionately treat in their blog.
Some bloggers are familiar with business, some of them started blogging as a marketing experiment and some others just want to send a message to their readers. In any case, all of our rewarded bloggers succeeded in reaching and surpassing their goals.
Whether the blog is a source of revenue or a means to raise people's awareness, they all agreed that writing for something that fosters is the key to cleverly blogging. But also, it takes time to bring in the audience, to get credit and to increase visibility.
But now it’s time to present our awards! Let’s defer to the experts and their valuable tips.
Kate on Conservation - Animals & Environment
Some More Tips..?
- Write about a topic you believe in or have knowledge of. It takes a lot of dedication and commitment to keep a blog and, sometimes unwittingly, you may find yourself becoming a trusted source of information to others. You and your blog can lose a lot of credibility if you write things that turn out to be inaccurate or insincere.
- Network! Whether that’s entering into awards, going to blogging meet-ups, or finding the right people in your field to interview for blog posts. Collaborating with or linking to other bloggers increases your audience numbers, but is also invaluable for gathering inspiration and taking away the loneliness of sitting behind a keyboard! It’s also a good chance to find out how audiences see your blog.
- Short sentences and lots of pictures – we read online information differently from newspapers and magazines. Be as concise as possible and use paragraph spacing and images appropriately to give readers’ eyes a break!
How Did Kate on Conservation Turn into a Successful Blog?
I began blogging as part of a university course, which required that I create four different types of post during the semester. I was asked, when I pitched my topic to the class, whether there would be enough to write about on the topic of conservation to fill the semester.
Five years later, I continue to post regular updates on the site, have met some of my biggest idols and inspirations to discuss world-changing issues, and have done my best to spread the word on compassionate conservation; that is, to use cases and examples of individuals to promote a bigger conservation message.
It’s entirely not for profit, no sponsors or advertising revenue, with the sole purpose of bringing important conservation and wildlife issues to light.
This truly is a one-woman site, with posts being constructed in my spare time around busy working hours. It was born out of a desire to document my gap year experience volunteering with Born Free Foundation in South Africa and has evolved into a source of information, discussion and education in its own right.
I try to explore the biggest conservation issues we’re faced with today through the latest discussions, documentaries, campaigns, demonstrations and celebrity support. I want my blog to become a source material for documenting all the positive ways we are making change, and to become a diary of the turning points in conservation during my lifetime.
I started this blog five years ago, never imagining it would get any more than an audience of a handful, but somehow my hits have grown and grown!
Ape on the Moon - Art & Illustration
How Did Ape on the Moon Turn into a Successful Blog?
Ape on the Moon is a contemporary illustration site founded by London based illustrators Philip Dennis and I. The blog documents all that is new and exciting about new illustration and the people that create it.
Since the day we started Ape on the Moon seven years ago, I have put out at least three posts per week, while several other illustration and art blogs have quit.
We believe in the value of quality, leading edge illustration, and in supporting and promoting those people that create it. Through Ape on the Moon we aim to put people at the frontier of where new art is going.
Pixiwoo - Beauty Care
Some More Tips..?
- Write about something you are passionate in, you will quickly get bored if you are writing about a subject just simply because you think others will like it.
- Be honest but never rude.
- Be aware of writing in a way that would never alienate or discriminate.
- Sometimes you have to adapt the language you would use to describe something to ensure it translates to all countries.
- Be patient, it takes years of constant writing before you will begin to get followers and get noticed.
- Network-Follow people (their blogs, not stalking them!) you aspire to and make sure you are always working a little bit harder than they are!
- Attend events and get your face out there, don’t be shy about your blog even though it may be small, if the content is interesting then people will like it.
- Make sure your blog is linked to all the other social media so when you upload a blog it immediately gets posted on twitter, Bloglovin, Instagram and any other relevant platforms.
- It’s nice to have an aesthetically pleasing blog but it doesn’t mean it will be any more popular than a plain looking blog. It’s the content that counts so focus on that.
How Did Pixiwoo Turn into a Successful Blog?
We are two sisters who are working makeup artists. We have worked in the makeup industry for over 15 years on. We have worked in retail on makeup counters, freelance for shoots, editorial work and also bridal.
Our YouTube channel begun after a client wanted to know how to recreate a smoky eye. Rather than explaining the steps in an email Sam we decided to create a tutorial for her. It got a nice response and requests begun to come in. We never really thought it would take off and only ever continued with it as a hobby.
The Pixiwoo blog happened as an off-shoot to our YouTube tutorials. We have been writing it for 7 years so it was a pretty new platform back then, at least it was for us anyway.
Generally the videos need to be kept pretty short and with so many amazing products on the market we wanted to be able to feature them without having to cover it all in a tutorial. We begun to write the blog featuring both purchased and received products. We wanted the blog to always be honest and for it to be a great reference tool for makeup artists or makeup fanatics.
As the blog has grown we receive a lot of products for free from brands however we only review the products we like or believe in. If we don’t like a product we simply don’t review it. We don’t ever bad mouth or criticise a product simply because we don’t like it as it may still work for someone else and be the best product for them.
Don't Worry, I'm an Economist - Economics
Some More Tips..?
- Make sure your content is worthwhile for readers to come back to you after they discover you. The best way to do so is to keep producing the type of content they find interesting.
- See which types of your texts got the most readers. In my example, this is the story of the Eurozone crisis (which encouraged me to cover this topic even deeper), but also the explanation of short-selling using the 1980s comedy Trading Places starring Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd. Sometimes it can be the strangest things that stick. And when they do, make sure you follow the signals.
- It helped me personally to mingle with a lot of my initial readers on events in London, who then continued to read my articles and spread the word. I also get some unexpected readers every now and then who decide to stick with the blog. None of this would be possible if the texts are boring and meaningless. Here you have to rely on quality.
How Did Don’t Worry, I’m an Economist Turn into a Successful Blog?
Four and a half years ago, in a computer room at LSE, I kick-started my "Don't worry, I'm an economist!" blog. What started off as an idea to educate readers on some basic economic concepts (the opening topics were mainly concerned with definitions of things like quantitative easing, taxation, banking reforms, regulation, and the Eurozone crisis), ended up as a platform in which I contemplate on any interesting idea or fact I come across.
I am happy to see how the blog evolved through time, and how it changed the focus on its topics as some became more salient, but also as I matured and developed deeper interests.
Looking back on the writing style I have to admit it has improved significantly, and that the blogs now tend to be much more interesting, although they are still rather long (I won't give that up - it's here that I have the freedom not to cut my sentences, something that I always have to do when writing newspaper articles).
I can happily say that I have reached a steady group of readers, having more than 300 unique visitors per day on average (roughly 10,000 visitors per month). This is still way below the numbers of the most popular economics blogs out there, but it keeps the blog in circulation and its topics current.
The road to success was challenging at first. Getting attention in an ocean of interesting texts being pushed out every single day is immensely difficult.
Based on reading many other blogs, op-eds, and columns, I knew that the only way for my blog to get any attention is to maintain quality. It was always going to be a serious blog discussing contemporary topics from a wide variety of fields, all related to economics. I rested upon my education and training as an economist to guarantee the level of quality.
I had help initially as I published some of my first texts on the Adam Smith Institute blog, a think tank I was working for at the time. Since their blog attracts significant attention I used the links of blogs I published on their website to link to my own blog. This increased traffic and gave me the attention I needed.
Another strategy that I found successful was to leave comments on other popular economics blogs and newspapers (such as the Economist or the FT) with links to my texts. This only worked if they were covering a topic I also happened to write about, so an educated comment under their text did bring some of the attention my way.
Also, never underestimate the power of social networks - Facebook and Twitter are very important for reaching my established readers immediately.
Blazing Minds - Films & Entertainment
Some More Tips..?
The advice I would have to give, and this is purely from my experience, is to blog in an area that you have an interest in, enjoy what you are doing, keep trying to push the limits and take a step forward everyday with your promotion, be it via social media or advertising on and off site.
How Did Blazing Minds Turn into a Successful Blog?
First of all, the blog is called Blazing Minds because it was the first thing off the top of my head really and it’s easy for people to remember. I started the Blazing Minds blog as a form of getting information out for North Wales and further afield. Seriously though, blogging has always been a passion ever since getting the first taste of it some years back in 2008 and finding that it is just so damn addictive.
Since starting Blazing Minds I have blogged about a wide range of topics from everyday observations to blogging and twitter tips. I’ve also had a collection of my articles printed in the Daily Post Newspaper, these include reviews of Now You See Me, Iron Man 3, Star Trek into Darkness, The Wolverine, R.I.P.D and most recently The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy Radio Show Live.
It’s a road to success, the site has built up a big reputation over the last 8 years and it’s just getting better.
Pound Sterling Forecast - Finance & Money
How Did Pound Sterling Forecast Turn into a Successful Blog?
Basically I started working for currencies.co.uk just over 8 years ago - We help clients send money overseas at much better rates of exchange than the banks. I saw a few blogs out there about currency but nothing that informed the general public in simple terms what was happening with exchange rates.
I created Pound Sterling Forecast and for almost a year it beared very little fruit but I continued to keep on posting knowing that one day I would start to get leads from it and after a lot of hard graft this started to happen.
The site now has over 100,000 visitors a month and generates roughly 500 new enquiries through to Currencies.co.uk each month. In total it has made the company I work for over £2,000,000 in revenue and has worked out extremely well.
Slummy Single Mummy - Lifestyle
How Did Slummy Single Mummy Turn into a Successful Blog?
I started by blog, Slummy single mummy, back in 2009, when my children were 7 and 14. I had recently left a full time job to work for myself as a freelance journalist, and my blog was really just meant to be a bit of a marketing tool - somewhere to point editors to show that I could string a sentence together, even though I didn't have any journalistic experience!
The parenting focus felt like a natural one for me at the time as I was a single mum and struggling with the demands of two children, especially with such an awkward age gap. But in the last few years I've naturally broadened the scope of my blog to include travel, lifestyle, food, finance - all sorts really, but always from the same family-centric perspective.
For the first couple of years the readership grew steadily, but it was nothing more than that, and everything I wrote was very personal. Gradually, I began to get approaches from brands, and my blog evolved from there into what it is now - my main source of income. Not bad for a snap decision one night after a glass of wine!
Blogging for me certainly wasn't a way to make a quick buck, and it took years before I made significant money from it. If I were starting now, I'm guessing there would be pros and cons - brands are much more switched on to working with bloggers, and so there are a lot more opportunities out there, but it's always a much more crowded marketplace, and so harder to stand out from the crowd.
Backpacker Banter - Low-cost Travels
Some More Tips..?
- Have passion for your writing! You’re in this for the long haul so if you don’t REALLY enjoy blogging or what you’re blogging about you’re doomed from the start, also if you find the whole thing fun, your audience is bound to as well!
- Pick a niche. If you can narrow it right down that’s even better! It’s much better to build a super focused audience and quickly become an expert in that field than it is to be a jack of all trades…and a focused, engaged audience makes it a lot easier to make money from it down the line too! Think “budget travel” rather than just “travel” or even better “budget travel in Asia”.
- That being said have a plan! Make a list of companies you want to work with, ideas on how you can generate money down the line and research tactics like affiliate schemes, Google ads and what not.
- Engage with your audience. Whether that’s one ransomer at the beginning or thousands of readers in a few years, keep the conversation going two ways and develop a strong relationship with your readers.
- Network with other bloggers too - both within your niche and others too. Swop ideas, share contacts and build your own community of blogger buddies to brainstorm with and as questions…and don’t forget to give back too, both to your buddies and newbie bloggers!
These are a few key tips every blogger - no matter what they write about - will find helpful!
How Did Backpacker Banter Turn into a Successful Blog?
I’m a surfer, photographer, ocean lover and travel blogger originally from Devon in the UK. My adventure started back in 2009, when I spent a year in Australia living in a van. Since then, I’ve been traveling all over the world exploring amazing places and meeting incredible people along the way.
I’ve been blogging since 2009 and now run award winning travel blog Backpacker Banter alongside a few other sites including EpicGapYear.com and OzBackpacker.com - it’s a busy life but it’s one that allows me to work from anywhere in the world!
It is all travel related, with reviews, advice and stories from my time on the road. I’ve been keeping notes of where I’ve been, how far I’ve travelled, my key stops and a breakdown of the costs per country – so it’s easy to catch up! Also, I’ve included an yearly summary to report all my spending for the entire year.
The main goal of the site is to inspire people to go check out more of the world. Therefore, I provide the information needed to make it easier – from budgets and kit lists to things to do and places to stay!
Mrs O Around the World - Luxury Holidays
How Did Mrs O Around the World Turn into a Successful Blog?
I started my blog in November 2011 as a marketing experiment - I have been a marketing professional (with an MBA) for over 15 years and as social media was becoming a serious marketing discipline, I had to test its impact and got a little bit caught in it, as it snowballed into a place where I never thought it would get to.
I started a blog about luxury travel because that is the way that I travel. I have a very successful career and so does my husband, which allows us to do so - so I know what I am talking about. Also, if the blog ends tomorrow (which it won’t!), not much would change in my life. I keep my travel days exactly the same now as I did pre-blog.
The blog brings in now a healthy revenue - but still only accounts for 30% of my income. The cake gets bigger each year, so to speak, and so does the nominal value - and I have no problems with that. But I never set up a blog or social media presence with the intention of turning into a business, and it saddens me to see how many others wanting to do this - to get ‘stuff, or get ‘paid’.
It took me 4 years to get to where I am (in the blogosphere), and it took me 15 years to get to where I am in my professional career. Changing careers is now easier than decades ago, as many skills are transferable, but if you are an architect today, you cannot expect to become a doctor the following year - and some are really trying to break into this business demanding instant results.
As a result, many ‘lost their voice’ or actually have no voice at all. Or will write about anything that they can get for free - they go to the opening of an envelope and write 3 posts about it. What value does it bring to the readers?
I think about my readers first and foremost - I am so grateful that they found me, like to travel the way that I travel and the advice goes both ways. Because I am a real person - I am not a PR machine, I am a paying consumer first and foremost.
As a result, yes I will work with brands - but probably only 5% of those who approach me. Why? Because I tend to work with those that I have trusted my money with before. And liked it. Again and again.
Make Wealth History - Sustainability
Some More Tips..?
There are all sorts of tips for integrating social media, making your blog easy to find on search engines, and all kinds of stats on the best times to post. Gaining an audience is slow, but that's a good thing. It takes a while to find your style, your voice as a writer.
How Did Make Wealth History Turn into a Successful Blog?
I grew up in Madagascar, one of the world's most beautiful countries, and one of the poorest too. I could see the tension between development and the environment playing out around us all the time, and it's something I always wanted to write about.
I discovered blogging at university, saw how easy it was to write and publish and start a conversation, and I was hooked! I've now been blogging for about 16 years, 8 of those with Make Wealth History.
I haven't turned my blog into a business though! I don't have advertising or paid content, and generally turn down offers along those lines. What I've done instead is use the blog to raise profile, and then pursued opportunities elsewhere.
For me, the audience began to arrive as I began to find momentum, and that means that nobody read my early and more embarrassing posts - no bad thing! I've never had a strategy or done any marketing for the blog, it's purely about consistent and engaging stories. And the more stories you post, the more there is for people to find. The audience will arrive eventually.
See You Next Year
Thanks to all the blogs, websites and online magazines that took part in the awards project. See you the upcoming year!
Icons designed by Freepik