Blogger Recognition Award! + My Nominees, My Blogging Story, & My Advice to New Bloggers

{ pictured w Skylar Allen mentioned below ! }

Happy Wednesday!!

& do I have a special post for you today.

Well, a few weeks ago, I was nominated for the Blogger Recognition Award by cutie Erin Ross of the blog Dave & Erin & completely humbled!

I’ve said it once & I’ll say it again, the best part about blogging is connecting and sharing stories from all over the globe. Sometimes it’s behind a computer, sometimes it’s behind a screen in the palm of my hand. That is seriously so cool.

Technology & the internet are very rad things and connects us all as human beings all over the globe to share our stories & experiences.

A huge thank you to Erin, again, for nominating me – surprises like that is really what keeps me motivated!

Now, before I accept the award & nominate some other blogger babes, let’s check out the rules, shall we?

The rules that I do have to mention prior to accepting the award.

– I have to thank the blogger who nominated me and provide a link to their blog. {check!}

– I have to write a post to show the award. {checkity check!}

– I have to write the story of how my blog started.

– I have to give at least two pieces of advice to new bloggers.

– I have to select 15 other bloggers that I want to pass this award onto.

– I also have to comment on each of the 15 blogs to let them know that I have nominated them and provide them the link to this post.

:: How Champagne at Shannon’s Got Started ::

So, this is always a weird question for me to answer. I touched on it here briefly but let’s get personal.

Throughout the years, I was asked on things I was eating, drinking, beauty products I was using, workouts I was doing, etc, etc but I never once considered blogging. However, I’d use social media, mostly Facebook & Twitter, to document what I was making & where I was going… kind of like a mini blog without even realizing it?

Around late 2012, I got really, really, really into Pinterest. It was so much fun and I could find posts on topics I sought out in one space. Around then was also when I started Instagram where I found the first blogger I’ve ever followed {who would later inspire me in a major way}, Lauryn Evarts of The Skinny Confidential. More about her here.

I was also unemployed & completely uninspired. I got my first job out of the hospitality industry in 2012 and it was a major flop to say the least, ha – soooo I had a lot of time on my hands. While I was trying to figure out what was next, I’d kill time going down a Pinterest rabbit hole & trying recipes / tricks.

I eventually moved to California the following year and I started keeping a folder {both physical & virtual} of articles I loved, things that inspired me, & even wrote blog-like posts, kind of like a diary of some sort?

Well, in 2014, my boyfriend was in London for work & I went to visit him. Literally right before I boarded my flight, I had the revelation that I needed to start a blog. I haven’t seen Erik for weeks at this point, and we met for dinner & I told him everything, talking 3894293 words a minute, about the blog. He was super supportive but I think he was just so excited to finally see me so excited.

I bought a notebook in London and continued to write in it like a diary {some of the posts you have seen here}! I also created a, then private, Pinterest “mood board” of all things that inspired me as I honed in my aesthetic. You can check it out here.

I didn’t know exactly what it was that I wanted from a blog… but I knew I wanted to reconnect with my love for food & wine but more importantly, connect with people around the globe… & here we are!

I launched in 2015 & now at almost 2 years old, I learn something new about the blogosphere every day! I’m obsessed with blogging and absolutely am in it for the long run. I love having a place to talk all things food, beverage, mary jane, music, style, wellness… you name it. But even more, I love the people & especially fellow bloggers I met along the way. I’ve met some of my close friends through this blog. I also am more inspired than ever.

It’s something I wish I did earlier, specifically when I first moved in 2013, but it is something I look forward to continue doing in the future in the years to come!

More about my journey here, here, here, here, & of course, here.

Pieces of Advice for New Bloggers:

{ ONE }: Your blog is exactly that: YOUR blog.

Before it is a blog, it is YOURS. It’s a place that you have and manage on the internet. You are the creative director of your blog so stay so fiercely true to yourself. Do not change who / what you are for brands & don’t blog for the sole purpose of working with brands. It’s YOUR blog so provide value and do NOT work for free for someone else or a brand. Brand relations are to intertwine your style/aesthetic with what they offer, not the other way around {or else, they’d hire a model & do a shoot on their terms}. Your blog is absolutely not a place for you of all people to be taken advantage of.. it’s yours. Oh & don’t you worry, I’m about to do a full blown, juicy, feather-ruffling post on this because it’s something that needs to continue to be said.

{ TWO }: JUST DO IT.

If you have a post idea, DO IT. If you want to start a blog, DO IT. The most important thing you can do with your blog is to just show up & do it. The #1 question I get asked is how to start a blog & out of all those people, only about 3 have followed through so by starting one & showing up, you are already so ahead. If you don’t do it, it’s something you will regret for the rest of your life. I know that sounds extreme, but if you want to do something and you don’t, you get forever plagued by the “what if’s”. Once you do it, do it with blinders on and never compare your beginning to someone else’s middle!

{ THREE }: Consistency is Key

I need to take my own advice lately – ha! But be consistent. Be consistent on when you post – even if it’s only once a week {QUALITY over quantity, always – don’t post just to post}! It allows your readers to know when to expect new content. Be consistent with your voice, your aesthetic, and your branding. By being consistent, you are setting yourself up for success!

{ FOUR }: Be yourself & BE IT FIERCELY

This ties back to point one. It’s your blog so be so fiercely you! I always say joke to write drunk and edit sober. Let your voice shine. Let your readers feel like they are actually conversing with you through the screen. Talk how you talk in real deal everyday life. Don’t try to copy the way someone writes as it isn’t you therefore it is inauthentic. Be yourself because everyone else is taken & you are so fabulous! 😉

:: Now the fun part! My Nominees – listed in no particular order ::

{ 1 }: Chelsea Miller of Buffalo By Bay

{ 2 }: Sherita McAdams of Vodka & Cupcakes

{ 3 }: Caitlin Pickett of Caitlin Pickett

{ 4 }: Antonia Strakosh of The Dressed Fork

{ 5 }: Skylar Allen of Styled by Skylar – pictured above!

{ 6 }: Kate Bitner of Nomad in Nihon

{ 7 }: Chuky Reyna of Mi Camisa Blanca

{ 8 }: Franceska McCaughan Ostermann of Franzie’s

{ 9 }: Nic Mora of Give Me Mora

{ 10 }: Cherie Renee of Cherie Renee

{ 11 }: Annie Spano of Annie Spano & The Style Collective

{ 12 }: Courtney Bentley of Courtney Bentley

{ 13 }: Krista Williams of Hundred Blog LA

{ 14 }: Shruthi Parker of The Honest Shruth

{ 15 }: Morgan Casey Jorgenson of  Prosecco & Projects

Now this was a real fun post to write. Erin, thank you again for thinking of me and this blog of mine. If you like Champagne at Shannon’s, I’d be honored if you followed on Instagram & BlogLovin!

If there is ever anything you want me to talk about on here, let me know & your wish is my command!

So sorry for missing Monday too! I will be back on track next week, I promise – I have some fun stuff coming for you guys and really excited to get some more recipes up in here up in here.

See ya on Friday for the edit 😉 xx Shannon

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