Here we have Best of Vintage Manchester Award winner Carol from Dormouse & The Teapot– she won best vintage blog and here she tells her vintage blogging journey…
“I first began blogging in 2007 I thought it would be a good way to promote the vintage china products I sell and to create a community around my business. When I started out I didn’t really have a lot of knowledge about blogging, I had read a few blogs, mainly American ones such as The Pioneer Woman, I didn’t know what it would involve and I had no idea how much it would become part of my life. Very quickly blogging became much more than a means of selling and took on a life of it’s own.
I became addicted to writing my blog it was a real outlet for me to express myself and my thoughts. I had always had a love of writing and was actually writing for a living at that point but working in local government communications didn’t really give me any opportunity to write creatively or about the things I was personally interested in.
I have always had a love of vintage from being a very young child with an addiction to charity shops, to a teenager buying and selling vintage clothes on markets, to an adult setting up what was then a part time, now a full time vintage china business. Being able to write about the subjects I loved and which I knew a lot about whilst having an audience that was interested in the same things was very fulfilling.
I write mainly about tea, afternoon tea, china and vintage.I have been fortunate to meet some amazingly creative and dedicated people working in these areas. Vintage is always a passion and it is an honour really to share people’s stories and achievements. I have seen businesses grow and develop,for example Angel Adoree’s Vintage Patisserie, becoming a household name. When I started writing, vintage was very niche but now it has become much more mainstream I am gaining much wider audience, people are interested in all sorts of subjects and it is fascinating to see which articles gain comments or are most popular. Most of my readers are in the UK, but I have regular readers in India and Africa too!
Blogging has given me opportunities I would never have expected. In 2011 Southport Flower Show had a vintage theme so I was invited to go along and write about it. I have been asked to develop vintage and afternoon tea recipes for two large food companies using their products. I am frequently invited to review afternoon tea at beautiful hotels across the country and I am often sent books for review. I have also been sponsored to attend events and blogging conferences. However the best part of blogging for me is when someone takes the opportunity to comment on what I have written, they perhaps try a recipe I have blogged about or have enjoyed something i have posted about, that really makes my day.
I have made a lot of friends through blogging too not only in the vintage world but also in the blogging world which is incredibly supportive. There are lots of networks to help if you are just starting out or if you should have a problem with your blogging platform. If you have writers block there is always someone to suggest a way out of it or offer advice if you receive negative comments or spam, so you never feel alone in writing.
In 2011 my blog was noticed by a large women’s online magazine and for eight months and I was invited on board as an editor also wrote for them on a variety of subjects with articles reaching half a million people a month. Sadly the magazine closed in early 2012 but would have never had this opportunity if it hadn’t been for blogging and it spurred me on to extend my business to offer PR and marketing support to vintage businesses.
In terms of taking things further I am hoping to develop my blog further by dipping a toe into video blogging, I am also intending to produce some vintage tutorials and create some how to guides for people to download. I’d also like to offer some guest blog opportunities for new bloggers as I like to support people just starting out in blogging and I think that opening up a blog to new voices keeps it lively and fresh. Since winning my award, I have been listed as number three in Top 25 European Blogging Moms for my other blog Life on Pig Row (yes I have two, it’s an addiction) which has been another lovely boost. I would also like to to work on a vintage collaborative blog which may be on the cards in 2013.”