The BritMums “Brilliance in Blogging” awards ceremony (2018) takes place live on the 12th October, with the aim of highlighting and showcasing the very best of British parenting lifestyle bloggers and influencers.
The annual ceremony is one of the UK’s most popular awards for British bloggers and influencers, which saw over 215,000 nominations and votes cast for 2017’s winning spots.
Nominations for the various categories within the awards were made during July and August, before eight finalists from each of eleven different categories were chosen to make it through to the final stages of judging and ultimately, distribution of the awards.
The BritMums judging system consists of a combination of public votes and consideration by a specially selected judging panel, in order to offer an opportunity for both established bloggers and newcomers who are just beginning to gain a foothold within their niche and build their personal brands to shine.
In this article I’ll tell you a little more about the Brilliance in Blogging Awards 2018, and provide an overview of the eleven award categories, some of the finalists to watch, and what readers can learn from the approaches taken by some of the most notable bloggers and influencers competing for a prize.
The Brilliance in Blogging Awards Categories
There is a total of eleven different categories covered within the Brilliance in Blogging Awards, each designed to recognise and reward different approaches and topic areas chosen by bloggers and influencers to reach out to and grow their audiences.
Here’s a short run-down of the categories being judged this year:
This category is dedicated to newcomers and upcoming movers and shakers in the world of online blogging, open to entrants with a blog that is less than eighteen months old or that has recently been relaunched in a new format.
The entrants within the Food blogging category engage their readers with recipes, images, cooking insights, and an infectious passion for food and all that it entails.
Inspire (Dedicated to Kate Sutton of Wit Wit Woo)
The “Inspire” category is designed to recognise the UK’s most inspirational bloggers and influencers who share their passion for a chosen cause or topic with their readers as thought leaders within their field.
The Social Media category takes into account bloggers’ wider internet presence and success at engaging followers across the internet-at-large, encompassing Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and anywhere else that influencers find and interact with their fans online.
Dual skills in photography and creativity are required to be in with a chance at taking home the prize in this fiercely contested category, which is designed for bloggers who specialise in imagery or use great photography to enhance and grow their own blogs.
The finalists within the Video category use video content either in whole or in part to engage and interact with their followers, by sharing viewpoints, tutorials, entertaining videos of family life, and other forms of popular video-based content.
This section encompasses hot picks from some of the best family travel bloggers in the UK, ranging from round-the-world adventures right through to simple, local family outings that guide and entertain followers interested in how the logistics of travelling with kids really works.
Beauty and Fashion
As BritMums says, a fashion blogger’s content should be both classy and fabulous, with an added parenting twist thrown into the mix to up the challenge!
Art, Craft and Design
Whether focusing on crafting, interior design, sculpture, painting, sewing or anything else, the finalists within this category all bring something new to the table, sharing tips and ideas with their families and followers.
Family and Lifestyle
Funny, heart-warming, inspirational and down-to-earth tales of the trials and tribulations of parenthood abound within the Family and Lifestyle category, which seeks to recognise bloggers who celebrate their lifestyles and day-to-day family lives and share their snapshots and insights with others.
This is the wildcard section, for blogs that don’t fit neatly within one of the other ten award categories but that still fall within the wider remit of BritMums’ scope.
This is the only category within the Brilliance in Blogging Awards from which the ultimate winner is chosen solely by the judging panel. The BritMums Choice Award is targeted towards blogs that again, don’t fit exactly within one of the other categories but that catch the eye and demonstrate that certain something that places a blog head and shoulders above the competition, embodying the very best of the ideals of the BritMums community.
Entrants to watch
There are eight finalists chosen for each of the above-mentioned categories to make it thorough to the final stage of judging and the awarding of prizes, all of which have distinguished themselves within their respective categories and successfully built an effective personal brand.
The tough task of choosing the ultimate winner from each category lies with the BritMums judges, who certainly have their work cut out for them! You can view a complete list of all of the finalists for each of the eleven award categories here.
I’ve checked out the finalists from the Social Media, Photo and Video categories and made my own predictions for the ultimate winners, along with some thoughts on what makes these bloggers so successful and how businesses can emulate their approaches to increase their own audiences and reach.
My Social Media category top pick
There’s a lot of diversity in terms of the platform of choice for this year’s Social Media category finalists, encompassing Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and blogs as the portal from which the competing entrants host their virtual visitors.
Virtually all of the Social Media finalists use a multi-channel approach to reaching out to their audiences, which is the first tip to take away from these blogging finalists at the top of their social media game. After all, 73% of consumers use multiple engagement channels with their retailers of choice, making this the most profitable and immersive approach for businesses to utilise to reach their followers.
My hot tip for 2018’s Social Media category winner is mum-of-one with twins on the way Alison Perry of I Am Alison Perry. Alison’s main platform of choice is Instagram, where she entertains over 25,000 followers who keep returning time and again to get their regular fix of pictures, podcasts, insights and news on topics ranging from pregnancy and childcare to family life, fun and travel.
Whilst some of the other finalists within the Social Media category have follower counts that break the 100,000 barrier, Alison’s content really stands out for me thanks to a combination of her presentation and image composition, varied and yet always on-topic written content, and her level of personal interaction with her followers.
Alison’s visuals are colourful, vibrant and engaging, but the main reason behind my choosing Alison as the blogger to watch is the skill that she exhibits in ensuring that her personality shines through in all of her images and other forms of content too. This creates a personal connection with readers and produces an impression of someone who is not only aspirational but also engaging, relatable, and someone that you could imagine yourself being friends with in real life.
Being able to create a personal connection with each reader or viewer of social media content is as valuable as it can be hard to achieve, which is why I think Alison is the finalist to watch within this category in 2018.
My Photo category pick
Visual content is a huge growth area amongst today’s tech-savvy internet users, which holds true across all of the main social media platforms and the wider internet at large. Facebook posts that incorporate pictures attract 2.3 times more engagement than text content alone, and that’s only the beginning; photo content can get you up to 35% more retweets than written tweets alone, for starters!
These are statistics that anyone seeking to upgrade their content to improve engagement and shares across any platform should take into account when scheduling future blog posts, social media posts, articles and more.
The Photo category of the awards is one of the strongest fields of finalists in 2018, and the ultimate winner will have to fight off a lot of stiff competition to take home the prize. There’s a lot of diversity within this category too in terms of the type of content posted within these photo-centric blogs, as well as the format and structure of the sites hosting them. The finalists’ content ranges from awesome photo blogs of exotic, aspirational world travel through to day-to-day lifestyle images that reliably offer something fresh, new and engaging to their viewers on a budget.
My selection for this year’s Photo category at the Brilliance in Blogging Awards is parenting and adventure blog “Make Do and Push,” written and photographed by mum and adventurer Hannah Harding. There are two reasons behind my selection; the first is of course thanks to the quality and selection of images used within Hannah’s blog, all of which have a warm, atmospheric feeling to them and that make great use of composition, lighting, and well-chosen props and backgrounds.
What sets this blog apart for me is the combination of both the photo content itself, and the blog’s layout and navigation. Finding your way around and picking out the subject areas of particular interest to any reader is easy and intuitive, incorporating a nice balance of introductory snapshots to catch the reader’s attention and encourage them to click through to see more, whilst retaining a pick-and-mix style layout that makes it easy to scan and browse the blog’s full selection of content.
The static header images within the top half of the page showcases some of the blog’s most popular sections and reflects the variety of content to be found within the blog, which includes a whole section on the outfits and styles Hannah’s kids try out, posts on pregnancy and the progression of Hannah’s own new arrival which is due in December, and the family’s adventures and explorations too.
Photo-centric blogs do of course rely upon great design and plenty of space for imagery, but a good structure, layout, navigation and of course, supporting text is what enhances the content and keeps fans and followers coming back for more, which is something that Make Do and Push has certainly achieved.
My Video category pick
Like photo-centric content, video is on the up and up and savvy marketing professionals and small business owners alike are integrating video into their blog posts, social media feeds and more in the continual drive to gain and retain followers. Businesses seeking to take the lead in their field are well advised to look to integrating more video content into their marketing collateral, particularly given that a third of all online activity today consists of watching videos, and 52% of marketing professionals state that video content produces the highest ROI of any individual media format.
The production values and quality of all of the Video finalists for 2018 are second to none, but the ultimate winner needs to bring something new to the table to set themselves apart from the competition. If put on the spot to pick just one of this year’s eight finalists, my winner is YouTuber Nilly Dahlia, a choice borne out by her subscriber count of over 18,000 followers.
Nilly Dalia is a British-Bengali Muslim Hijabi, whose videos feature an intriguing snapshot into the life of a young, busy Muslim mum in the UK and the trials, tribulations and rewards of parenthood, faith and culture that come as part of the full package.
I’m really pleased to see a young Muslim woman making her mark in the parenting niche in the UK and providing some representation for other mums and parents from within her community, but Nilly Dalia’s appeal is universal and her video content is highly accessible to parents from all walks of life, as is reflected by her huge selection of fans and followers.
When will the winners be announced?
The announcement of the eleven category winners in the Brilliance in Blogging Awards will be made live on Twitter at 1pm on the 12th October 2018, and you can watch the results by following the hashtag #BiBs2018 .
You can also use the hashtag to share your own views and opinions of the categories and to share your own predictions on this year’s potential winners.