What does it take to be an award winning blogger ? Read on to find out about some incredible blogs to read which could improve literally any aspect of your financial life.
I recently attended the UK Money Bloggers Annual Awards, otherwise known as the SHOMOS (Show Me the Money – geddit?) for the third time. It is an awesome event for bloggers in the money world, from frugal and money saving blogs such as Shoestring Cottage to incredible blogs written by financial experts, journalists and consumer champions.
Where was it and when?
The 2019 SHOMOS Awards was held in central London on Saturday, 14th September. It is tremendously well organised by award winning blogger (Be Clever with your Cash), journalist and, more recently, TV presenter Andy Webb. You might have spotted Andy on Shop Smart Save Money, where he is the resident money expert.
He is ably assisted in the organisation of this brilliant event by his wife Becky (who does a lot of the behind the scenes work but keeps out of the limelight) and Karyn Fleeting, aka Miss Thrifty.
Karyn presented the awards, along with Jordon Cox, who you may know from my review of his book, The Coupon Kid. They were better than Ant and Dec, treating us to a song and dance routine to kick us off!
What to wear?
I thought it only appropriate, it being #SecondHandSeptember, to wear a pre-loved red linen dress (bought for £3 in the summer sale at a charity shop) and my comfy Clarks pumps (purchased on eBay for £15). I needed to wear something cool and comfy on a hot day in London!
This is a campaign that has been well-supported by the UK Money Blogger community. In fact, about half of us wore second hand outfits – I hope to be able to show you some group photos soon!
What was on?
This is the third year that I have been to the SHOMOS. When I first attended three years ago, I was intimidated to be surrounded by so many award winning blogger types, but they are all so nice and willing to share their experience and knowledge.
I always learn so much, both from other bloggers and from the workshops and panel sessions that go on throughout the day. In fact, I really feel that I am among friends as everyone is so supportive.
I attended workshops on sponsored posts with Faith Archer (Much More With Less), creating a social media community with one of the sponsors, Yolt, and a MediaVine Q&A, which was very helpful (I run advertisements with MediaVine that help support Shoestring Cottage and give me a little bit of income now that I am self-employed).
Interestingly, I found out that my contact Nicole from MediaVine not only works full time, she writes a fabulous food blog (OrWhateverYouDo.com) and has – wait for it – seven kids!!!! I am in awe of her drive and energy.
Another highlight was Lynn James from Mrs Mummy Penny telling us how she had not only turned her blog into her full time income, she now made the same as she did from her high flying career in the city!
Mortgage or pension?
There was also a very interesting panel discussion with PensionBee, Ken from the Humble Penny and Habito on whether it was better to pay off your mortgage over investing in a pension.
The consensus seemed to be that you could and should do both if you possibly can. Ken, who is an independent blogger, leaned towards paying off the mortgage first to protect the interests of his family, which he and his wife actually managed to do aged just 35!! Amazing.
Here’s what makes an award winning money blogger
And the winners were…
So here are all of the categories and the award winning blogger for each. I urge you to check out some of these great bloggers!
Reader’s Choice Award
For the third year running Skint Dad (a blog actually written by a dad AND a mum, Naomi and Ricky Willis) took the Reader’s Choice award.
They have a massive following because they are down to earth, trustworthy and have actually been in the situation of being totally skint!
I was delighted to be shortlisted for this one, but didn’t expect to win against such a popular blog.
Best Personal Finance Blog
The worthy winner was Andy from Be Clever with your Cash who, I hasten to add, isn’t one of the judges! Last year he was compere and a judge so couldn’t put his blog forward, but this time he took a step back. The runner up was my charity shop buddy Faith from Much More With Less.
Best Money Making Blog
They both have so many brilliant ideas if you need to earn some extra money or launch a side hustle. Emma has an excellent You Tube channel too.
Best Money Saving Blog
At this point it was looking to be a landslide! Skint Dad won the Best Money Saving Blog category and Be Clever With Your Cash was runner up.
Best New Money Blog
It’s always great to see some new blogs coming through and making an impact. The winner of this category was Bronni, who I hadn’t come across before. Her blog is so interesting and full of useful posts.
The runner up was Laura from Thrifty Londoner. If you live in our capital city you will know how hideously expensive everything can be. Laura is a frugal ninja!
Best Family and Money Blog
This one is always hotly contested, as there are so many great family bloggers out there who focus on money as well as other aspects of family life.
Hollie coordinated the UK Money Blogger efforts for #SecondHandSeptember, and urged us all to start writing about it!
Best Investing Blog
This was an interesting one for me, as I have just started investing. Emma from the Money Whisperer got this one too, with Money to the Masses as the runner up.
Best Frugal and Thrift Blog
This was one I made the shortlist for, which I was really pleased about. However, the gong went to Fiona from the excellent Savvy in Somerset, with the runners up award going to the Wallet Moth. This has got to be the most brilliant name for a blog about frugality!
Best Frugal Food Blog
Best Specialist Money Blog
This category had the most diverse collection of nominees I think. The very deserving winner was Sara from Debt Camel, which is a brilliant blog if you need advice on your finances, benefits, debt and more.
The runner up was a new one to me, which I have recommended to my three daughters, Beauty Mark Down. Saving money on cosmetics is a popular subject in our family!
Best Money Podcast
If you like your finance inspiration on screen for a change, check them out.
Best Money Influencer
This category was looking mainly at social media. The winner was Francesca for her fabulous From Pennies to Pounds Instagram account and Lotty Burns for her highly entertaining Twitter feed. Go follow them both!
Best Money Micro-Influencer
This category was similar to the above, but for those with a following of less than 10 thousand. Jennifer from Mama Furfur took the award as Best Micro-Influencer. She produces excellent content on her You Tube channel.
Runner up was Luci from the Frugal Fox. Check out her lovely photography on Instagram.
Best Charity, Money or Brand Money Blog
The winner was another site I hadn’t come across before. If you have kids at university, as I do, point them in the direction of Save the Student. It’s a great blog!
The runner up was the Money Advice Service. I have recommended this site many times. It is authoritative, reliable and pretty much brilliant for every aspect of your financial life.
Blog Post of the Year
This was a varied and interesting category but the gong was taken by Lotty Burns from LottyEarns for her expose of a pay day loan company using underhand marketing techniques on Facebook. Give her post a read and don’t get stung!
The runner up was Andy at Be Clever with Your Cash for his thought provoking post Cheap Chicken isn’t Something to Shout About. He argues that cheap chicken can only mean lower welfare standards.
SHOMOS Success of the Year
Sara from Debt Camel was the 2019 SHOMOS Success of the Year for: “Playing a role in the demise of the payday lender Wonga, and continuing to guide and support her loyal readers through the process of claiming compensation for their mis-sold loans“. A great achievement.
Runner up Andy added to his considerable tally of awards for his work on Shop Smart Save Money, mentioned previously.
SHOMOS Legend Award
This was a new award and a massive surprise for the winner. The first SHOMOS Legendary Money Blogger Award went to Cass Bailey from Diary of a Frugal Family. Very well deserved too as she actually is a legend! I love her blog and take part in a weekly link up organised by Cass, Becky and Emma – my latest post is here.
So, although I didn’t win, I was massively proud to be shortlisted in the company of the amazing people in the award winning blogger community that is the UK Money Bloggers group. You can see all of the blogs shortlisted and the sponsors of each award here.
I am looking forward to seeing everyone again next year!