Welcome to the first of our Featured Blogger series. This will be a space that showcases all of you awesome bloggers in Manchester and the North-West.
Interested in being featured? Get in touch!
FEATURED BLOGGER OF THE WEEK - SpamellaB
Name: Pamela Higgins
Blog URL: www.spamellab.com
Twitter followers: 8,892
Instagram followers: 10.3K
Other social stat: Facebook page - 1,176
How long have you been blogging?
I started my blog in April 2013, so almost 4 years!
Why did you decide to start your blog?
My husband is a web developer and encouraged me to set one up when I first moved to Manchester and was looking for a job in social media marketing. He suggested it would be good to host a portfolio of my past work (I have a background in doing social media at festivals, music/gig review writing and working at a cooking TV company) to help me stand out.
Once I found a job, it then evolved into a place for me to share my other passion: health and food. I’ve always loved experimenting with recipes and trying to create healthy versions of things (especially sweet treats, hence my hashtag #IndulgingInnocently) so this became an outlet for that. I must say though that the photos in my earlier recipes are pretty shocking (bad light, crap quality of a phone camera) but everyone has to start somewhere!
My blog has built up some great relationships with brands in the health food industry over the years to the point that in September 2015, I quit my job in social media marketing to go freelance thanks to solid paid opportunities that had come through these links. Although I still post lots of recipes on my blog, I produce 2-3 recipes for about 12 different brands per month (alongside some social media and content writing work too) so I spend a LOT of time in the kitchen and researching new ideas!
What do you hope to achieve for your blog in 2017?
I am considering taking my blog into a slightly new direction in 2017, a new vein on the subject of health, fitness and lifestyle...But I’m keeping that under wraps for now 😉 I guess I just hope to keep inspiring people and showing that you can still enjoy tasty food but with ingredients that are good for you. One of the best things is when someone tags me in an image on social media saying they made a recipe from my blog and how much they enjoyed it!
What is your favourite social media channel & why?
It’s such a close call between Twitter and Instagram, I’d have to say both! Twitter has always been the one which has opened up so many doors and opportunities through connections with brands (most of these have come from a tweet or DM which has then led to an email, then work); while on Instagram I love the visual aspect, many brands I tag like to repost an image which then reaches a whole new follower base, plus I have had quite a few DMs come through on this channel too which has resulted in some cool projects.
Who is your blogging inspiration?
This is a tough question! I mainly see my blog as a recipe site so I like to spend a lot of time looking at similar sites… But I’d have to say Zanna Van Dijk. I’ve followed her on social media for years and it’s just incredible how far she has come in her career. I applaud her down-to-earth attitude (especially in her YouTube videos, which I also love watching) and her posts are always honest, open, no bullsh*t and promote a sensible, balanced way of leading a healthy lifestyle. She also focuses a lot on the mind as well as the body, plus I love reading her travel-related posts when it comes to where to find healthy food in a certain city or country.
What is the one piece of advice you’d give other bloggers & aspiring bloggers?
Don’t compare yourself and what you post on your blog to what others are doing. It’s important to have your own sense of identity without feeling like you have to replicate someone else, plus if you try and cover everything under the sun your blog may get a bit lost. By putting your own stamp on your site, people will become familiar with your association to whatever you choose to feature and write about. I sometimes feel a bit down if I think other people have a recipe blog that’s ‘better’ than mine - but I stop and think how far I’ve come, what I’ve learnt and that it’s MY baby, no one else’s.
Fun/Random fact about you:
I grew up in Yorkshire and met my husband (who’s from Manchester) through Twitter and our shared love for music. That’s why I’ll always love social media!!
AND TO LEARN EXACTLY HOW SPAM GOT HER 10.3K FOLLOWERS, MAKE SURE YOU COME TO OUR NEXT WORKSHOP AS SHE'LL BE TALKING & ANSWERING YOUR QS!
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