Where can your blogging take you?

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Television appearances. Blogger talent agencies. And an entire industry built around writing about your life, passions or interests – online. It's a concept that barely existed a mere five years ago. Welcome to the wonderful world of blogging.

It's a world that can shoot people to stardom, provide a lucrative source of revenue and give some bloggers a sense of identity. If you're wondering where you fit in, let's take a short tour of the blogosphere.

The It Girls
The blogosphere has spawn a new breed of It Girls. Gone are the days when a hit movie and red carpet appearances turned you into a style icon. These days, this be achieved through regular Instagram pics and your blog. Consider 26-year-old Nicole Warne from the Central Coast of NSW, who mainly posts stunning pictures of herself dressed in designer or vintage clothes on her blog garypeppergirl.com. The images and the life she portrays are unashamedly aspirational.

GaryPepperGirl

She only became a full-time blogger in 2012 and has now graced the covers of magazines, was recently the face of Westfield's premium stories, has collaborated on campaigns with the likes of Louis Vuitton and Dolce & Gabbana, and is the first blogger to be represented by international talent management agency IMG.

candc

She follows in similar footsteps to US blogger and It Girl, Emily Schuman from the blog cupcakesandcashmere.com who began blogging about “things she loves” in 2008. She has since released a best-selling book Cupcakes and Cashmere: A guide for defining your style, reinventing your space and entertaining with ease.

The passion projects
However, it's not just fashionable young women who are making it in the blogosphere. Foodies also abound. When anyone can publish on the internet, you don't need to be a famous chef or culinary icon like Margaret Fulton to gain a loyal following. When you have a blog where you can showcase your expertise – and your creations or recipes – you have a channel where you can promote yourself. Gone are the days where you need a cooking segment on a top-rating show in order to make it as a food guru.

cook republic

Sydney-based Sneh Roy blogs at cookrepublic.com and won the Australian Writers' Centre's Best Australian Blogs Competition last year. Her book Tasty Express is being published by Random House in April 2014.

While you may not be interested in either fashion or food, the blogosphere proves that there is seemingly an audience for everything. One of last year's finalists, Neil Fahey, blogs about bushwalking. He is now co-authoring a book on bushwalking due for release December 2014.

RD

And Clint Greagen, who won the Personal and Parenting category of the Best Australian Blogs Competition last year for his humorous take on life as a stay-at-home dad at reservoirdad.com, has received so much positive feedback on his musings that Random House is publishing his book Reservoir Dad in August 2014.

The newbie blogger's dilemma
While blogging success stories abound, many new bloggers often wonder why anyone would be interested in what they have to say. Especially if you are the sort who normally shuns the limelight. However, national director of the Australian Writers' Centre Valerie Khoo says that these people miss the point. “Blogging isn't about trying to become famous,” she says. “Even though many bloggers have managed to gain high profiles, there are many others who blog for the sheer joy of it. They don't care about getting a book published, they don't want to go to Fashion Week. They blog because they simply love to write – and a blog is a place where you can make your own rules. You decide what you want to write about, you decide whether you want an audience of many – or none. Many emerging writers find their voice through blogging.”

Having said that, Valerie is keen to point out that not all blogs are created equal. “There are some blogs that merely feature someone's stream of consciousness. That's fine if you just want to pour out what's in your brain for your own purposes. But if you actually want to improve your writing then it's important to take care when you write. Craft your sentences, think about your reader, be proud of what you put out there.”
Enter now!
The Best Australian Blogs Competition for 2014 is in full swing again. The closing date is 3 April 2014 so if you've haven't entered, just go to bestaustralianblogs.com.au and complete the entry form. It only takes two minutes!
This year the prize pool is bigger and better than ever. We're thrilled to announce that the winner of the Best Australian Blogs Competition this year will receive a seven-day trip to Turkey with the global leader in guided holidays, Trafalgar.

You could win:

  • A seven-night guided holiday to Turkey comprising return economy flights, centrally-located accommodation, most meals, an array of exclusive Insider Experiences, in-destination transfers and ground transportation, services of a Trafalgar Travel Director and insider moments from Local Experts.
  • $1500 worth of writing courses at the Australian Writers’ Centre.
  • $1000 in cash from Random House.
  • A one-hour mentoring session with Brandon Van Over, managing editor at Random House, to discuss publishing a book based on their blog or any other writing projects the blogger wishes to discuss. Last year, two of the winning blogs went on to sign publishing deals with Random House Australia.
  • $500 worth of books from Random House.

Enter at bestaustralianblogs.com.au

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