Saturday, 20 January 2018

The Blogger Panel: 2017 Highlights

Welcome to The Blogger Panel!

The Blogger Panel is a brand new monthly series on this blog, where I'll be asking a question to a group of bloggers. Each month the bloggers will be different (although repeat panel members are definitely welcome!) and will be from across the blogging board. There's no point reading the same answers over and over again, so each month I'll be aiming to get a whole variety of different bloggers in terms of blog content, age, opinions and whatever else to provide their answers on the topic provided.

As we're in January, this month the theme was obvious - I asked the panel to tell me all about their previous year, and let me know what the highlights of 2017 were for them in terms of both blogging and their personal life. So have a read below and meet Cat, Matt and Kelly, and if you like what you're reading do take a look at their blogs or follow them on social media!

Would you like to be included in a future edition of the blogger panel? Then tweet me or send me a direct message on twitter (@pinkconfettiuk) or send me an email at

And of course, do feel free to leave a comment with your own answers to these questions!

Meet Cat! Cat is a 20 something lifestyle blogger and freelancer who blogs over at My favourite posts from her recently include her post on how to be a better blogger in 2018, the three best things you can do for your mental health in 2018, and the 18th instalment of what she's been watching lately! As well as her blog, you can find her on instagram, twitter, facebook and youtube. The above photos were taken from Cat's instagram!

What were your favourite three things about blogging in 2017?
1.I was nominated and then shortlisted for a which was amazing! Although I didn’t win, it felt amazing to be recognised for my blogging tips posts as they are one of my favourite types to write! I am hoping to write more of these in 2018 2.I started to get to grips with improving my photography – there’s still a long way to go but I’m pleased I can see progress! I have also tried to share more photos of me over on my blog as I think it makes it easier to connect to me and my personality. Again, still a lot of work to be done on improving these snaps though! 3.I’m pleased to see the community come together and support each other, and to help prop up smaller creators to give them more exposure…more of this in 2018 please! I’ll be trying to do my bit even if my reach isn’t as vast as many others! How about the favourite three things that happened for you personally? 1.I started private counselling to keep my mental health in check and it’s been incredibly helpful in helping me to better deal with my emotions. 2017, and early 2018 have been particularly difficult but I have realised now I am stronger for it. 2.I started working for myself as a freelance copywriter and social media manager. Whilst I still work part time on a remote basis for the charity I used to work for , it has allowed me some stability until I am able to go full and proper freelance which I’m hoping will happen this year! 3.2017 was the year I started feeling comfortable with driving, something that caused me a significant amount of anxiety when I was learning and when I first passed. I can now tackle motorways (only because I had to go on a journey that I didn’t realise was going to basically be entirely on a motorway!), and I no longer dread journeys I haven’t done before.

Meet Kelly! Kelly is a lifestyle blogger ever at My favourite posts from Kelly recently include her 2018 travel plans, her post on the importance of cervical screening, and her morning routine. As well as her blog, you can find Kelly on twitter and on instagram. The above pictures were taken from Kelly's instagram.

What were your favourite three things about blogging in 2017?
1. I wrote a couple of blog posts related to Dignity in Dying; a charity which I support and a cause which I feel passionate about following the suffering of my own Dad before he died from cancer aged 59. These posts have been shared by Dignity in Dying on Twitter, and also by many other fellow supporters. My Dad's wife features in their latest campaign and research, sharing my Dad's story, and we've both been invited to a meeting in Parliament to further the cause. It feels good to be doing something positive, and using the sad and difficult experiences of our family to hopefully make a change for people in the future. 2. I started my "Friday Feeling" series in response to all the horrible, miserable and downright upsetting things happening in the world. I wanted to prove to myself and my readers that there are still good things happening in the world, and that even a small happy news story can lift your spirits. 3. I'm happy with my blog content - it feels like a true representation of who I am and the things that I'm passionate writing about. A lot of opinion pieces, social commentary, travel and bargain clothes and shoes purchases. Sure there'll be the odd piece outside of those subjects, but I’m happy with where things are.

How about the favourite three things that happened for you personally?
1. The biggest thing that happened last year was moving house. Not just the moving, but the whole process - selling our flat (and the ups and downs that came with it) and saying goodbye after 11 happy years, negotiating a fair and reasonable price for our new place and turning it from a 2 bedroom apartment into a traditional 3 bedroom house (double garage conversion, building an extension, remodelling the front of our house - currently in the 3rd month of building work and it's been stressful!) It is, and will continue to be worth it; as we now have more space, a beautiful private garden, and the location we never thought we'd be able to get. 2. I travelled "East", which has long been on my agenda, although to a country that wasn't even on my radar! We bagged an amazing deal to Malaysia and saw two sides of the country - chilled out island and beach life on Penang, and city life in the bustling capital of Kuala Lumpur. From beautiful temples to towering skyscrapers, with a cuisine taking influences from Malay, Indian and, Chinese, it was an amazing trip. 3. I turned 40! Far from being the rotten decline into old age that I feared I might build it up into, it actually has honestly had no effect at all. I tried to normalise it in the couple of months leading up to it, talking about my impending 40th and making it part of my vocabulary. I think it helped that I was in Rome on my birthday so I was having such a fabulous time that I didn't dwell on my age at all. And I don't feel any different, look any different, act any different or dress any different. Plus it's better to be 40 than dead!
Meet Matt, of MJW.Wales! Mike is a 30-something freelance writer who writes on a whole variety of topics including some poetry and interviews. Personal favourites recently include The Ballad of Brexit, and a look at next level gaming. As well as on his blog, you can find Matt on twitter! The above image was taken directly from Matt's blog.

What were your favourite three things about blogging in 2017?

1. 5 Minutes With… I launched an interview section called 5 Minutes With, the idea was to have a short, snappy interview with interesting people – ideal for readers with a low attention span! I put out a request on Twitter and I was blown away by the response – I ended up interviewing a Masterchef finalist, two CEOs, some brilliant bloggers and even a Wrestler! I’m planning to do more in 2018.

2. Comedy writing – I did a little bit of stupid comedy writing on my blog, and had some good feedback about it – it’s given me some confidence to do more in 2018!

3. Poetry – I have always liked reading poetry but hadn’t written much in the past, and certainly hadn’t put any ‘out there’ in public. In 2017 I published some poetry on my blog and had great feedback! Similar to my last two points, this has given me confidence to do more in 2018.

How about the favourite three things that happened for you personally?

1. A new job / challenge – I was quite unhappy in the ‘day job’ that I was doing, and sometimes such things can make you feel as if there is no obvious way out. It would lead to my unhappiness overspilling into my personal life, and that’s never good for anyone. I made a change, which was quite a brave move as it was a reduction in take-home pay/walking away from some favourable terms, but it was absolutely the right move. I’m now in an industry that I am passionate about, in a job that I enjoy. It’s made such a difference and I wrote a blog post about Change management and being brave, and prioritising your happiness (it’s on my website).

2. Holidays – I did a bit of travelling with the family last year and enjoyed going to a couple of different places in Spain at different times in the year (enjoying the sun!), France and also some UK places for short breaks. It was lovely to spend the time with my family and friends, exploring new places, eating and drinking too much, and switching off from the normal world.

3. A new car – Yes it’s materialistic, but I bought a new car in 2017 and it was a brand that I had wanted for quite a while. I’m really happy with the car and model that I bought and it makes any commuting a very comfortable journey! I even drove it to (and around) France on one of our breaks.
All in all, 2017 was a pretty good year (which got better as the year went on!). I now feel in a good place for some blog / writing goals that I have, and I’m confident that 2018 will be an even better one.

And how about for me?! Above photos from my instagram!

What were your favourite three things about blogging in 2017? 
1. I feel like 2017 is the year that I finally got blog photography down! I've always enjoyed regular photography but struggled with getting the beautiful product imagery down. I feel like in 2017 I finally accomplished that - and now just need to learn how to master the flatlay!

2. It sounds like an odd thing to celebrate, but I finally learned that a routine in blogging just isn't something that works for me. Now that I've stopped forcing myself to write content when I don't necessarily want to, I feel a lot happier with what I'm putting out.

3. I got to know a bigger variety of bloggers. I love having a bigger variety of content on my twitter and my bloglovin feed!

How about the favourite three things that happened for you personally?
1. I started a new job. It's not perfect, but leaving the police was a very good move for me, and it's nice to have some free time and a social life again. I'm still working shifts, but on a significantly better pattern than before which makes an enormous difference.

2. As I've alluded to a few times, the last few months had a pretty significant event occur that I hope to be able to discuss with you all soon. There is absolutely nothing good about that event - but it did show me that I do have some really great friends.

3. Friendships in general! I've made some great friends in 2017 and I hope those friendships continue to develop and strengthen in 2018.

How would you answer the above questions?


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