image of a man blogging

The evolution of blogging

What started for many as a creative outlet has now become a full-time career, as our Influencer Survey 2020 showed there is a record number of bloggers who are professional, with their work providing their main source of income.

At Vuelio, one of the things we’re famous for is our weekly blog rankings, celebrating the top 10 blogs across a huge variety of categories, including mainstream topics such as fashion and parenting to more niche interests like craft and beer. Many of these bloggers have told us they started out wanting a place to share their thoughts on topics and issues close to their heart. With the explosion of influencer marketing over recent years, blogging for a lot of those in our rankings has gone from being a hobby to a full-time job, with blogging now an established career path.

Not only has blogging become a profession, but blogs have become credible sources of information, with people following their favourites for recipe inspiration, beauty tips or fitness workouts – all of which have been particularly useful in lockdown! This has allowed creators and their audiences to share experiences and led to the creation of new communities.

A perfect example of community is with mental health bloggers. Last month we sponsored the Mental Health Blog Awards, which brought together and celebrated the work of those blogging, podcasting and vlogging about mental health.

And in a few months, we’ll be celebrating our own community of bloggers, vloggers, podcasters and influencers at the annual Online Influence Awards. For the first time, nominations are open for a chance to be shortlisted, before our independent judging panel selects winners. There are 14 categories from fashion, food and fitness to disruptor and newcomer – and entry is free.

The phrase ‘write what you know’ has never been more true when it comes to blogging, so whether you’re passionate about pets or bonkers for baking why not get creative and share your love through the power of words with your very own blog – and if it’s before 9 October, you could be our next Best Newcomer.

Top 5 tips for starting a blog

1. Find your passion and stick to it – a single topic or niche can help you grow a loyal and engaged audience

2. Don’t waste time trying to be everywhere at once – work out what channels work, and don’t work, for you

3. Post consistently – if it’s once a week or once a day, a consistent schedule keeps your audience engaged

4. Read other blogs and comment – blogging is a community, you don’t have to be part of it but if you’re looking to reach more people then the community can help you grow

5. Make sure you’re listed in Vuelio – only blogs listed in the Vuelio Media Database can be ranked in our top 10s

UK Influencer Survey 2020

5 tips to improve your influencer marketing

Are you working with influencers? The UK Influencer Survey 2020 reveals that one in five influencers say it’s now their main source of income and one in twenty charge more than £1,000 per collaboration.

Here are five lessons from the Influencer Survey to improve your PR strategy.

1. Get your budgeting right
Influencers set their own prices and there are no industry standards. The Survey reveals that different activities demand different amounts of compensation, so consider what you’re trying to achieve and how much you have to spend. If you have more budget and long-term awareness goals, then brand ambassador programmes are for you, but if you want a one-off hit across a number of influencers for less spend, consider sponsored blog or social posts.

UK Influencer Survey 2020

2. Target the right influencers
Three quarters of influencers reject pitches because they’re not relevant to their audience and 35% reject on the grounds that they are not personalised. Spray and pray is the tool of the unprepared – PR is about building and maintaining relationships with the right people who have been identified ahead of time and then nurtured. A little research can go a long way to help secure coverage.

UK Influencer Survey 2020

3. Respect full timers
There are more influencers who say it is now their main source of income, a proportion that’s more than doubled in the last four years. There’s a corresponding rise in the number of influencers spending over 30 hours a week on their channels, so we can see a clear pattern of more professionals working in the industry. And with any small business owner, focusing on the output is only part of their workday, they also have a heap of admin, finance, marketing and sales to do, so bear that in mind when you’re negotiating deliverables.

UK Influencer Survey 2020

4. It’s not just about the supersectors
The Survey once again highlights the dominance of five supersectors: Fashion & Beauty, Lifestyle, Parenting, Food and Travel, which account for 57% of all influencers. If you’re not operating in one of those, it doesn’t mean influencer marketing isn’t for you. Categories rise and fall; the proportion of influencers in the supersectors is now in decline. Respondents had the option to choose a huge variety of categories, and nothing was left unchecked from gaming and gardening to politics and religion. Every sector can benefit from influencer marketing.

UK Influencer Survey 2020

5. Focus on quality of engagement rather than follower numbers
This was the most (89%) agreed-with statement about working with PRs. And it makes sense, follower numbers can be bought, traded or built up through a series of laborious processes, but could ultimately mean nothing. The best collaborations lead to high engagement from audiences, so that’s what you should be looking for before you start. Followers are vanity, engagement is sanity.

UK Influencer Survey 2020

If you need help with your influencer outreach, find out more about the Vuelio Influencer Database and how we can help

How to find award winning influencers

How to find award-winning influencers

Following the success of the Online Influence Awards, a number of PR contacts have asked how they can source the very best influencers for their organisation and clients. With Vuelio, you can identify the most influential people talking about the subjects that matter to you and your campaigns.

Vuelio Influence Score
Using over 40 different factors such as audience reach, circulation, followers and domain authority, the Vuelio Influence Score ranks media and influencers on a scale of 1-100 to help you see who is most influential on any given topic.

Increasing your influencer network
Every day we add and update the market-leading influencer and journalist database, which includes profiles for the top podcasts, vlogs, Instagrammers and Facebook groups helping you reach your audience and those who influence them.

Insight from Vuelio’s community of influencers
As well as great data, profiles and scores, we also work with our influencer community to give you insights into best practice with top tips on how to collaborate on campaigns in our interviews and spotlights.

Influencer Search
Finding the influencers, journalists and broadcasters who matter to your audience is simple with Vuelio Influencer Search.

  1. Enter a keyword in the search box:
  2. The search will return the top influencers listed in the Media Database that are talking about your topic. Results are ordered by Vuelio Influence Score.
  3. Select the relevant contacts to add them to your lists and groups. From there you can send releases and track your activities.

Find out how the influencer database can provide you with all the information you need to better understand and connect with the people that matter to your story, topic or campaign.

Online Influence Awards 2019

4 tips for connecting with this year’s Online Influence Awards winners

If last Friday’s Online Influence Awards have got you itching to get in touch with the winners for future campaigns and collaborations, look no further. Here are four quick tips for working with the champs:

1. Best UK Dad Blog – Dad Blog UK
‘I am always happy to hear from PR representatives and brands. If you are inviting me to an event, I need as much notice as possible (us mummy and daddy bloggers often have to arrange childcare).’

Read more from our Blogger Spotlight with Dad Blog UK’s John Adams.

2. Best UK Health & Fitness Blog – The Runner Beans
‘Don’t send blanket emails – engage with the blogger and target them with the right product for them. Understand how they work and it will create a more symbiotic relationship for everyone.’

To understand how Charlie Watson works, check out the full interview.

3. Best UK Interior Design Blog – Sophie Robinson
‘Be really clear on your campaign objectives and pick a blogger who is in line with those brand ideals. I’ll never forget a PR asking if I’d like to be the face of a new trendy kitchen range they were launching. I said, ‘Sure, send me over the images of the kitchen’. Well, it was grey. I thought… don’t you know who I am?!’

Get to know Sophie Robinson better here.

4. Best UK LGBT+ Blog – LesBeMums
‘Don’t just include or invite us because you feel you have to; include us because you want to. We get a lot of emails – especially during Pride season – asking us to promote XYZ or be a part of a Pride-related promotion, but we are quick to realise when we’re being used as their token diverse family, because we’re quite often the only diverse family invited or there’s radio silence from that PR the rest of the year!

I’d love to one day be part of a team or ambassadorship where families like mine or those of different colour are the MAJORITY!’

Find out more about Kate Everall and her wife Sharon’s work in our interview.

See the rest of the winners from this year’s Online Influence Awards here and learn more about them (and how they like to work with PRs) with the Vuelio Media Database.

IMS header

Agenda announced for the Influencer Marketing Show

The Influencer Marketing Show is back at Old Billingsgate, London on 22 and 23 October 2019. Vuelio is delighted be the official media partner for this two-day event, which includes up to 40 exhibitors, engaging seminars and insightful workshops.

The show will give delegates everything they need to learn how to create profitable campaigns across social media, discover new partnerships and learn about the growing world of influencer marketing.

The agenda has been announced and alongside the big issues facing the industry, such as measurement, ethics and best practice, the Influencer Marketing Show also looks to the future of influencer marketing and what it holds for the industry.

Designed to help delegates build relationships and share ideas with those in the industry, the event has great opportunities to network outside of the sessions, including a prosecco lounge and networking drinks at the end of day one.

Whether you’re attending to learn more about the world of influencer marketing or you’re on the lookout for the latest tech to boost your strategy, make sure you drop in and say hi to Vuelio who will be at the show on both days.

Tickets are on sale for the Influencer Marketing Show and readers of the Vuelio Blog can get £50 off the ticket price using code VUELIO50.

people having a conversation

Top 3 conversation starters for networking

Summer is coming to an end which means only one thing, event season is about to begin again. As networking drinks, conferences and roundtables start filling up your calendar, make sure you’ve got these three fool-proof conversation starters in your back pocket.

These openers can be used at any networking event, from busy conferences with hundreds of delegates to industry drinks after work. You might find that some conversation starters work better than others in certain situations but the best way to find out is to put them into action.

1.  Have you been to this event before?

Whether you’ve attended the event in the past or it’s your first time, this question opens up conversation whatever their answer is.

If the answer to this question is ‘yes’ this creates the perfect opportunity for you to make the other person feel special and naturally leads the conversation into a discussion about what the event was like last year (or last month if it’s a regular networking event), what they liked and what they’re hoping to get out of the event this year.

Don’t panic if they say ‘no’, you can use this as an opportunity to bond with them about being first-timers to the event, or if you have been before you can suggest sessions to attend or share your positive experience of the previous event.

2. Are you here on your own or with your colleagues?

Obviously, you only want to use this question when approaching someone on their own but it works as a soft conversation starter, especially if that person looks a little nervous.

If the answer is that they’re at the event with colleagues this allows you to ask what their co-workers do, giving you an opening for an introduction and an opportunity to catch up with them as a group later on.

If you’re both flying solo at the event this gives you the chance to bond and share which sessions you’re interested in attending or head to the bar together – make sure you don’t stick to them the whole event, you can always arrange to meet up later. And if you have gone with a group of your colleagues, introduce them to each other, your networking can help their networking too!

3. Do you mind if I join you?

This can work for groups or someone stood on their own and whilst it doesn’t instantly lead to a question, as long as it’s followed up by ‘Hello, I’m… from…’ you can use this as a gateway to the first two questions.

Remember, the majority of people are polite and unlikely to say you can’t join their conversation so bite the bullet and start a conversation, you never know where it might lead.

Advice from the experts

Clarissa Bloom, relationship expert for DrinksPal uses honesty as her tried and tested opener: ‘I often come over and admit I don’t know anyone there, that I feel awkward and ask if it is ok to talk to them. At this point you have admitted your awkwardness, which instantly makes them want to build a conversation and involve you within their group and whatever they are doing. This is a great way to quickly build a rapport, to skip a lot of the ‘starter convo’ and skips you on to the interesting talks.’

Fleur Stamford, comms assistant at TopLine Comms has this top tip: ‘When attending trade shows or exhibitions on behalf of a client, I always make sure to research key attendees beforehand. This doesn’t have to be too time consuming but reading recent articles they’ve written and exploring their social media accounts is a start. It means that I feel more confident in approaching them and introducing myself. From here, the conversation naturally leads into “I’ve noticed you’ve been writing a lot about *topic* recently…” and you discuss both theirs and your opinion on the topic.’

What do you think? Have you got any stellar conversation starters? Or perhaps you’ve had someone introduce themselves with a joke? (Though this is perhaps a risky strategy)

Vuelio attend events throughout the year, you can find out where to find us on the events section of our website here.

awards evening

How to write an award-winning nomination

We’re fast approaching industry awards season and for the first time the Online Influence Awards are taking nominations for best campaigns and agency. All you need to do is complete a nomination form.


Will your entry stand out? And what do you need to consider to be worthy of an award win? Whether you’re going for Best B2C Influence Campaign or Best Content Agency, here are our top tips for writing an award entry that will be sure to catch the judging panel’s eye.

1.  Stick to the point

It’s easy to get carried away when you’re passionate about your subject but make sure you’re still answering the question on the form. Use the word count to keep you on track – don’t forget, our judges will read lots of entries, so you don’t want to lose them in the first paragraph.

2. A picture is worth a thousand words

You’ve spent time and effort creating amazing visuals for a campaign, so show them off! An image or a video can bring your entry to life and catch the judge’s eye. Plus, it won’t affect your word count so you can include them to share your award-winning results and those all-important stats.

3. Proofread you’re award entry

Did you spot it? Proof, proof and proof again. Get your colleagues to read your entry, they’ll spot typos you might have overlooked. Better yet, ask someone who wasn’t involved in the campaign because they’ll be able to sense check what you’ve written and ensure your entry makes sense.

4. Show your personality

Every organisation and every campaign is different, so make sure your award entry is different to everyone else’s. Show off the people who brought the campaign to life, taking the idea from a brief to delivering great results. Remember, the judging panel are people, so if you can make them relate to your entry, you’ve got their attention.

5. Timing is everything

Allow yourself plenty of time to write your entry because every word counts and you might need to write a couple of drafts before sending over the finished article. Remember, judges like to see results, so it’s best to pick a campaign that’s complete and you have the data to back up your success.

Entries are now open for The Online Influence Awards for the following categories:

Best B2B Influence Campaign
Best B2C Influence Campaign
Best Cause-Led Influence Campaign
Best Content Agency

For all the information about how to enter please read our nomination pack.

Good luck and remember – the deadline for entries is Friday 4 October 2019 and there’s no charge to enter.

Have you got a question about the Online Influence Awards? No problem, email Rebecca Potts and she’ll be able to help with your query!

OI Awards FAQ header

Everything you need to know about The Online Influence Awards 2019

The Vuelio Blog Awards are changing, welcome to The Online Influence Awards.

We’ve unveiled our new look event to recognise the transformed role that influencers from bloggers, vloggers to podcasters and instagrammers have in the public debate. Our awards night will be the only UK event to celebrate the very best in online influence, insight and intelligence.

On Friday 22 November, join us at The Bloomsbury Ballroom for an exclusive awards evening of glitz and glamour.

Why have you changed the name?

We created the Vuelio Blog Awards back in 2015 to celebrate the best in the blogosphere but, we recognised that we needed to evolve as the world of online influence has transformed. This year, we’re unveiling a new look event and awards programme designed to become the UK’s first awards celebrating the very best in online influence from across bloggers, vloggers, instagrammers, podcasters together with campaigners from agencies and in-house teams.

How do I enter the awards?

The Online Influence Awards includes 25 categories that are divided between subject (such as Current Affairs, Fashion or Education) and ‘Best of the Best’ (such as Best Newcomer, Best Campaign). The category awards are shortlisted based on the Vuelio industry ranking methodology with winners selected by our Judging Panel (to be announced). They cannot be entered and this handy blog post gives more detail on how our methodology works. We do though encourage you to enter the ‘Best of the Best’ categories which will be open from August 2019. A shortlist will be produced from nominations then winner chosen by our Judging Panel.

Who will be on the judging panel?

Our Judging Panel will be made up of leading influencers, industry experts and agency leaders. The judging day will take place in October 2019 to identify our winners by each category.

When will the finalists be announced?

The shortlisted finalists will be announced from mid-September and shared on our website, social channels. We will also contact each person shortlisted. To make sure you are in the know, sign up to our newsletters here or follow @Vuelio on Twitter and Instagram.

How do I buy tickets to the Online Influence Awards?

Tickets for The Online Influence Awards are currently on sale at our Super Early Bird Price. We recommend booking your tickets soon. Prices will increase after 1 September 2019.

I run a blog/vlog/Instagram/podcast but it’s not covered by any of the categories?

We’ve designed the Online Influence Awards to cover the most popular subjects covered by bloggers, vloggers, Instagrammers and podcasters but unfortunately, we can’t have a category for them all. If your subject isn’t covered by one of our awards, we recommend you enter for one of our ‘Best of the Best’ categories. We also review the award categories each year and if you’d like to suggest a category for next year, we’d love to hear from you.

Still got a question about The Online Influence Awards? No problem, email Rebecca Potts and she’ll be able to help with your query!

Online Influence Awards

Presenting The Online Influence Awards 2019

The Vuelio Blog Awards are changing, welcome to The Online Influence Awards.

Back in 2015 we launched The Vuelio Blog Awards, which grew to be the most respected accolades for bloggers across the UK.

Bu the world of influence has changed, so this year we’re delighted to unveil our new look event, The Online Influence Awards, to celebrate the very best in influence, insight and intelligence from across the world of vloggers, bloggers, Instagrammers and podcasters.

Alongside subject categories including lifestyle, fashion, politics and news, in 2019 we will also reward the best B2B, B2C and Cause-Led Influencer Campaigns.

Taking place on 22 November at The Bloomsbury Ballroom, we will be transporting our guests back to the glamour and glitz of the 1920s with a Gatsby-inspired evening of indulgence and celebration.

Greeted with a jazz-era cocktail reception, guests will enjoy a fully-immersive evening including a three-course fine dining experience, culminating in the crowning of the top UK influencers.

Categories are now open for sponsorship; from individual awards to drinks reception and the legendary after party, there’s a package to suit every budget and goal. Sponsors get their brand in front of the leading names in the industry and we’ll even make sure they’re sat on your table.

You’re also invited to take advantage of our super early bird ticket price, which is available until 2 September.

We’ll be announcing the full categories, finalists, hosts and much more over the coming weeks so make sure you’re following Vuelio on Twitter, Instagram and you’re signed up to our newsletters.

Front cover for web

Understanding influence in an Instagram blackout

Instagram is currently experimenting with hiding engagement statistics including follower numbers and likes on individual posts. Its aim is to improve the mental health and wellbeing of users by removing competition and the negativity that surrounds people comparing ‘success’ in terms of reach.

These changes will also have a significant impact on the influencer marketing sector by fundamentally changing how influence is measured online.

To understand the implications, Vuelio has published its latest white paper: Instagram Blackout – How invisible stats will change the world of influencer marketing.

This opens with an introduction from the influencer marketing expert, Scott Guthrie who explains exactly what Instagram is changing and outlines what else could happen in future. We then hear from leading bloggers, vloggers and influencers from across our network to understand what they think the impact will be.

Giving the content creators’ view are Victoria Magrath of Inthefrow, Jo Middleton of Slummy Single Mummy, Jade Joselyn, Hand Luggage Only’s Lloyd and Yaya, and Craig Landale of Menswear Style.

The paper also includes PR thought leaders who represent a wide range of brands. They include Jo Bromilow, digitial and social media strategist at Publicasity; Sarah Evans, senior digital strategist at Bottle; William Soulier, CEO and co-founder of Talent Village; and Dan Stobbs, head of social media at BlueSky PR.

What’s clear is that both content creators and PRs see positives in the steps taken by Instagram above all in that it will keep focus on the need for strong relationships and creativity rather than vanity metrics to successfully build influence online. However, there are also concerns, particularly around the blackout’s broader effect on Instagram’s transparency.

Ultimately, there is agreement it heralds a new era in how Instagram will be used that could prompt other social media platforms to review their user guidelines and take similar action. We watch this space with interest on what happens next.

The Instagram Blackout white paper can be downloaded here.

And if you need help understanding influence and how to build relationships with bloggers, vloggers, journalists, editors and broadcasters or MPs, council staff and politicos – find out how Vuelio can help.

Connects Agency

Connects agency launches #VerifiedViews video and podcast series

London influencer marketing agency Connects is providing an unadulterated look into the stories of top influencers in its new video and podcast series #VerifiedViews.

Aiming to provide a unique view of what it’s like to be an influencer, through honest and open interviews, #VerifiedViews follows the mantra of ‘No scripts, no agenda, no #Spon’.

Content is available as a shorter form 10 minute IGTV video series, alongside longer-form full podcasts of around 30 minutes.

The first episode features The Mac Twins opening up about life on Love Island, being female DJs in a male-dominated industry and how they are seeking to improve the nation’s gut health. Viewers can expect open, honest, unfiltered views from Lisa and Alana as they discuss how they feel the responsibility to use their influence to drive positive change.

Watch here: #VerifiedViews Ep #1 The Mac Twins on IGTV

Listen here: #VerifiedViews Ep #1 The Mac Twins podcast

The second instalment includes Edd Kimber (The Boy Who Bakes) discussing his experiences of being trolled online, coming out as gay, and what life has been like since winning The Great British Bake Off. Edd ends by offering positive and helpful tips on how to remain true to yourself and build a lasting career in social media.

Watch here: #VerifiedViews Ep #2 Edd Kimber IGTV

Listen here: #VerifiedViews Ed #2 Edd Kimber podcast

Commenting on the launch of #VerifiedViews, Connects founder and managing director Sedge Beswick said: ‘At Connects we’re constantly looking to push the boundaries of influencer marketing, blur the lines between content and real life. Working with some of our friends from our network of social media influencers, we’re excited to bring to light these influencers’ lives with behind-the-scenes access to find out what it’s like to be an influencer and what makes their views verified. We’re hopeful #VerifiedViews will be a platform for sharing these positive and impactful stories for all to hear.’

James Preece blog

Dating Blogger Spotlight: James Preece

James Preece is a leading dating expert and dating coach, and his blog is featured in our Top 10 UK Relationship and Dating Blogs. James has been working in the industry for over a decade and is involved in a wide variety of different areas, such as personal dating coaching, online dating, singles events and consulting for many dating companies. He is a very experienced relationship expert and has helped tens of thousands of men and women find love, build confidence and improve their relationships. We asked James for his dating tips, the recipe to a perfect date and how brands can get involved with the site.

What’s in store for the blog in 2019?
I’ve been working on some big plans for this year.  I’m creating some online courses and have written some new books, so these will be featured on my blog. I’m going to be teaming up with some other leading world-renowned dating coaches to bring joint content. Dating is always evolving so I like to stay on top. This also means much more video content!

What’s the secret to a great date?
Focus on making the other person feel special. That way you won’t have time to worry about what they think of you. People like people who like them, so pay them some compliments and find out what they are passionate about. Oh and don’t be too picky if there’s any chance things might work. Chemistry is often something that develops between dates rather than during them. It’s when you are thinking about what they are up to and looking forward to seeing them again.  You know you’ve had a good date when you are still smiling a few days later.  

What are your dating no-nos?
The language you use gives away so much information. If you use negative language and talk about negative topics (Brexit, your horrible job, bad dating history etc) then you’ll be associated with these things. Instead, focus on only saying positive things. This could be future dreams, ambitions, holidays planned or life achievements. That way you’ll be viewed as a happy, positive person worth getting to know.  

How does Valentine’s Day affect your content?
Valentine’s Day is always a key time for me as a dating expert. Every brand wants to push a Valentine’s story and I’ve been getting feature requests since November! This year I focused on promoting some great singles events by an upcoming brand called My Friend Charlie. I thought they were of great interest to all my single readers. 

What’s your idea of the perfect date?
The perfect date is around 90 minutes long – at least for the first one. That’s long enough to find out if you like each other but also short enough to leave something for next time. Drinks are your best bet rather than dinner as it’s more relaxed. Avoid going to the cinema or theatre for your first meeting. Do you really want to get stuck in the dark with 400 other strangers? End with a peck on the lips as that signals you are into them.  

How has the rise of dating apps changed the dating scene?
They definitely have – and that’s not always a good thing. While dating apps can allow people to get matches very quickly, it’s also made it so much harder to make a real connection. We’ve become fussier than ever and we are making judgements based purely on one photo. My dating coaching clients are coming to me more and more because they are frustrated. I teach people to try a bit of everything – online dating, singles events, approaching people they like. If you focus on what you’d like and take action you’ll soon get it. 

How do you work with brands for the blog?
I often get approached to feature brands on my blog, but I have to be very selective about what will appear.  If it’s not a good fit then I have to say no. For those that would be interesting to my audience, then I work out a detailed promotional plan. I like to give them a good return for their investment.

What’s the best collaboration you’ve worked on?
I worked with a Universal Pictures a little while ago to promote a film they were featuring. I got to advertise a competition on my blog which had a prize of a celebrity dating seminar I was running. I had so much interest and the event was amazing. 

What other blogs do you read?
I absolutely love reading anything from Naomi Narrative and Hey Saturday. Both are very experienced in this industry and are constantly thinking up new ideas and content. They’ve kept going while many other dating bloggers have long gone. 


Rachel Miller

Blogger Spotlight: Rachel Miller, All Things IC

Rachel Miller is the creator of the award-winning All Things IC blog, specialising in advice for anyone working in internal comms. All Things IC was recently ranked in the Top 10 UK PR Blogs, so we caught up with Rachel to discuss changes to the industry, the importance of research when pitching to bloggers, and why the Greggs vegan sausage roll campaign worked so well. 

What’s in store for the blog in 2019?
My All Things IC blog turns 10-years-old in March 2019. To mark the occasion, I’ll be highlighting some of the forgotten gems that I published years ago, dusting them off and seeing what’s changed since they first appeared. I’ve published 1,250 articles, so there’s a lot to choose from! I’m also working on online masterclasses to bring my blog content and consultancy work to life through a new medium for internal communicators.

How has PR changed since you first got into the industry?
I started my career as a Journalist in 1999 and moved into Internal Communication in 2003. PR and comms has changed a lot in that time. The fundamental principles of good, effective communication haven’t, but the methods and media have. For example, there was only one computer with internet access in the newsroom when I was a journalist and it was incredibly slow. I started my blog in 2009 to help me research how social media could be used for internal communication. There were only two case studies globally I could refer to in my post-graduate diploma in Internal Communication Management dissertation back then. Ten years on, I’d be spoilt for choice!

How much is Brexit affecting comms in the UK?
Many of my clients are spending a lot of time trying to provide clarity and create clear instructions for their employees around Brexit. Looking for certainties when everything seems uncertain and unclear is frustrating. A lot of time, money and effort is being spent trying to plan for every eventuality.   

What’s the biggest issue facing the industry (outside of Brexit)?
The biggest issue facing the industry is keeping up with the pace of change. Although the fundamentals of comms haven’t changed, the pace of technology and speed of communication has. This has resulted in an ‘always-on’ mentality which is having a detrimental effect on the mental health and wellbeing of many comms professionals.  

Are traditional media outlets losing their importance to the industry?
No, I think there will always be a place for traditional media outlets. Importance is relative to status, as long as people value something they will continue to choose it. We have such a rich variety of media to choose from, I think it’s healthy to have a mix of traditional and modern.  

What’s the best campaign of 2019 so far?
The Greggs vegan sausage roll launch. I thought the white boxes sent to Journalists, Apple style, and hype around it was fascinating to observe. I read yesterday that their sales climbed 10% in seven weeks, so they’re clearly on the right tracks.  

What advice would you give students looking to join the PR industry?
Go for it! Build your network and work on being known and communicating your personal brand (who you are and what you’re known for/want to be known for). Start writing using your own blog, create articles on LinkedIn and offer to guest blog on established blogs to build your presence.  

What’s your best pitch tips for PRs?
Make sure you’ve read/heard/watched whatever you are pitching to. It stands out a mile if you haven’t done your homework. Tailor each pitch and demonstrate why you’re a good fit. 

Do you receive pitches from other PRs looking to work with you in your capacity as a blogger?
Yes, daily. The best ones have done some research, they’ve looked at the content I’ve published, spotted a gap and sent me a relevant message. I have guest article guidelines and it’s obvious when they haven’t read them. I prioritise publishing internal communicators sharing their stories, I’ve published around 300 of these articles and that’s what my readers are interested in. I say no to pitches 90% of the time because they are from agencies wanting to use my blog for their own gains, rather than thinking about how they could add value to my readers.  

What other blogs do you read?
So many! I enjoy the weekly round-up from PR Place, edited by Richard Bailey, as it helps me uncover new voices in the PR world. I like to support those who are just starting out by reading and sharing their posts to encourage them.

Luke Walkey Movie Marker

Film blogger spotlight: Movie Marker

Luke Walkley created Movie Marker as a place to share film reviews and provide in-depth insights into the meanings behind the movies. Recently ranked in our Top 10 UK Film Blogs and with a team of  30 reviewers, including a larger number of female contributors to male, Movie Marker is going some way to addressing the imbalance in the film journalism world.

We caught up with Luke to find out how awards season affects his content, his Oscars predictions and his favourite campaigns he’s collaborated on.

What’s in store for the blog in 2019?
Movie Marker is looking to be more representative of film criticism, the wider film community and society as a whole. By offering as many opportunities as we can to under-represented voices in the film world we hope to at least make a small contribution towards improving the situation, making film-criticism far more inclusive and fair.

Which film are you most excited about this year?
There’s so many great films heading our way in 2019. Avengers: Endgame is probably the biggest blockbuster we’re excited about. Along with Toy Story 4 and Star Wars: Episode IX. The one film I’m most excited about however, is Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman

How are the likes of Netflix changing the industry?
I’d argue that Netflix is changing cinema for the better, though many disagree. They’re funding films that otherwise wouldn’t have been made and making these wonderful films, such as Roma, accessible to a wider audience.

Which films/stars will win the big five categories at the Oscars?
Bradley Cooper & Lady Gaga’s A Star Is Born looked set to take home some of the big prizes, however in recent weeks the likes of Green Book and Bohemian Rhapsody have grown in momentum and could spring a few surprises!

How does awards season affect your content and planning?
It’s a huge part of our year in terms of content and traffic, the films and awards ceremonies come thick and fast and if the content is of a high quality it means we bring back regular readers each time to our coverage! In fact, our awards coverage has become such a pivotal part of our content that we have a dedicated awards editor!


What advice would you give PRs/brands who want to work with you?
Be open with what they expect and be realistic in what they’re expecting – we’re lucky enough to have built great relationships with PR teams so we have very open and honest discussions around how we can work with them.

What do PRs do that’s wrong?
Expect something for nothing. We get a lot of requests for coverage and a lot of the time we’re expected to post articles/footage/ticket information, which all takes time, yet very rarely rewarded for doing so. I’m not necessarily even talking about payment, but a kind-of ‘you scratch our back, we’ll scratch yours’ way of helping each other helps both of us achieve our goals!

How do you work with different channels for the blog?
The vast majority of our traffic is driven via social channels – we’re lucky enough to have over 30,000 followers across the big social media platforms and as we don’t pay for advertising we rely heavily on them to share our content. We’ve recently taken the step into producing more video content for platforms such as YouTube, as there’s a huge audience on there that we perhaps haven’t utilised as well as we could have.

What are the best campaigns you’ve collaborated on?
We’ve been lucky enough to work on some amazing campaigns with cinema chains, on-demand platforms and film festivals. The best campaigns are always those where you actively enjoy the content you’re able to create. Of course it ties into the PR relationships too – working with a great PR team makes the whole experience easy and most of all, fun!

What other blogs do you read?
I read a lot of independent film blogs, usually by those written by just one person as there’s so much talent out there, luckily we have some of those brilliant writers on our team! Of course seeing what similar outlets are doing is helpful – but there’s no real element of competition from our end as such, just inspiration to improve Movie Marker as much as possible.

Sean Evans Back to the Movies

Film blog spotlight: Back to the Movies

Sean Evans created Back to the Movies as a way to talk about movies in the way you would talk to your friends about them. We spoke to Sean after he was named in the Top 10 Films blogs to find out about the power of Netflix, why brand partnerships are all about creativity, and his predictions for the Oscars.

What’s in store for the blog in 2019?
My aim with Back to the Movies in 2019 is to explore outside the realm of just film reviews and news pieces. I’m working closely with brands to expand awareness of their latest movie-related products and as part of my on-going partnership with The Prop Store of London. I’ll be diving into the world of movie prop collecting in more detail this year. I will be recording videos and producing content talking about the hobby and how people can own their very own slices of movie history.

Aside from that I’ll be attending events, premieres and hosting more competitions than ever as the blog keeps growing each and every month.

Which film are you most excited about this year?
In all honesty there isn’t one film this year that I’m really looking forward to. I was speaking to someone from a studio the other day and 2019 does have titles that I of course want to see such as IT: Chapter 2, Avengers: End Game and Zombieland 2 but I can’t say I’m overly excited about any of them. Roll on 2020 so I can see Bad Boys 3!

How are the likes of Netflix changing the industry?
The whole concept of having a digital media library at your fingertips still amazes me to this day. Having exclusive TV shows and original feature films on the platform is causing a stir and giving conventional studios a run for their money. Netflix are changing the way we interact with content and with further implementations could also replace a trip to the cinema. No one will choose rustling crisps, mobile phone screens, talking and distractions when they can sit at home in the comfort of their own environment with family to watch the latest films on offer.

Which films/stars will win the big five categories at the Oscars?
Best Picture – I’d love A Star is Born or Vice to Win but I think Bohemian Rhapsody will take this one

Best Director – Hoping  Alfonso Cuaron swoops this one for Vice

Best Actor - Rami Malek 

Best Actress – Glenn Close

Best Screenplay – Green Book

How does awards season affect your content and planning?
Back to the Movies is structured much differently than most film websites. I choose content I’d like to cover and products I’d like to review. A full spectrum is never covered as the people who read my content are reading my personal opinions. I’m not a huge fan of ceremonies so I just tend to focus on the individual titles and drop in a casual nomination comment here and there. When the awards have finished I’ll post a list of winners and congratulations but that’s about it. I only go into detail with the BAFTAs as I’ve attended them myself hence why I feel I should be documenting my experience/the night as a whole.

What advice would you give PRs/brands who want to work with you?
Bring me some fun things to do! Lots of creativity within campaigns and interaction with new products and features would be superb. Many PR companies used to send out goodie boxes for each film with limited edition merchandise and throughout the whole of 2018 I received nothing from PR companies in that regards only studios directly. It would be so great to have more hands-on product reviews and events to attend. It keeps me busy and saves me staring at a computer screen all day!

What do PRs do that’s wrong?
PRs tend to message and ask to post for free, link to clients for free, post more of this for free. It gets real old real fast. I feel bloggers have to put a lot of work into their content and for established sites I feel PR companies could be more open to compensation. That does not necessarily mean financial compensation but even free promotional products or experiences. Just something to say thank you for the work we do for promoting your products. It’s very one-sided and PRs can be very demanding when asking bloggers to work for nothing in return. I’d absolutely love just to be appreciated for the work we do and if the PR task is fun and mutually beneficial, it’ll be much better received.

How do you work with different channels for the blog?
It’s difficult to juggle different channels as your focus is always split. I tend to spend a month focusing on one particular channel (e.g. YouTube) and then the next month focus on Instagram and try to spread the load evenly so I have everything covered. Twitter ticks along just nicely and Facebook is just there working away in the background. I feel as though I give more attention to creating good quality content and SEO targeting as those are the channels I need. I need Google to look at my content and go “Yup, he vaguely knows what he’s talking about” and as a result ranks me higher than I was at say this point in time last year.

What are the best campaigns you’ve collaborated on?
I created a TV commercial for Acer quite a while ago that was a lot of fun to make and last year I had the privilege of being paid to go to London to work with Sennheiser as we reviewed a binaural audio short horror film they made. This year has already started with a bang as I’ve been working with LEGO on reviewing some of the new range of LEGO Movie 2 products. As a 27 year old male I never thought I’d have so much fun playing with a LEGO boxset!

In addition to the above I’ve had the privilege of walking red carpets, meeting huge stars, going backstage at big comic-cons up and down the country so it’s certainly hard to just pinpoint one cool thing I’ve had fun working on!

What other blogs do you read?
I read Karen Woodham’s awesome film blog Blazing Minds quite regularly and a few luxury blogs who review hotels, restaurants and more which persuaded me to set up my own luxury blog called after I was featured in the Amazon bestseller ‘A Million Dollar Blog’ which is a book celebrating financially successful blogs. That was quite a special moment in my blogging career and getting invited to fancy hotels or checking out brand new cars and experiences is pretty cool.

Who knows, maybe my luxury blog may even get on a top 10 list in the years to come!


Pay to Play

Is your influencer marketing a hit? Or are fake followers plaguing your results?

Whether you want to be brilliant with bloggers or great on the gram, finding real influencers who can help you produce real results, is a real issue. With influencer fraud on the rise, and some bloggers charging thousands for a single post, it’s never been so important to prove the ROI of your campaign.

Our webinar focuses on the ethics of influencer marketing and we are joined by digital strategist and former Ketchum digital director, Scott Guthrie. Scott knows why it’s not all about the numbers and will explain how you can collaborate with the right influencers in the right ways.

Pay to Play webinar header

UK Bloggers Survey 2017 – The Results

The results are in.

87% of parenting bloggers have good PR relations. With politics, that falls to just 17%. How are these PRs getting it so wrong? Or are some sectors just better at collaboration?

As more and more influencers see blogging as a valid career path, PRs have no choice but to have a clear strategy for handling blogger relations. Who better to comment on the Vuelio Bloggers Survey 2017 results, and discuss the current state of blogging, than Jo Middleton – author of the award-winning parenting blog, Slummy Single Mummy.




Beyond the Headlines

Brexit. Trump. Corbyn. Why did no one see them coming?

Thing is, people did.

Call it alt-media, post-truth, fake news – there is a growing body of information available online that’s setting agendas that challenge the mainstream media. It’s increasingly influential too: the most-shared story of this year’s General Election wasn’t from the BBC, the Sun or the Daily Mail, but from a one-man blog written out of a Yorkshire bedroom.

Monitoring the media in the post-truth world has never been more important – Vuelio webinar ‘Beyond the Headlines’ explains how you can keep track of all the latest developments in news and politics, and find the right content across millions of sources while being able to analyse the results in real-time.

Beyond the headlines banner


Brand Awareness, what it is and how to get it right!

We may already be halfway through the year, but it’s not too late to create brand awareness. In order to stand out from the crowd, you need a strong brand. If you want to make sales and drive equity, customers need to be aware of what your brand is and what you’re offering.

When it comes to brand awareness, the thing you should ask yourself is to what degree do your customers associate your brand with a specific product? Here at Vuelio, we have become synonymous with our work with influencers as we have over 11,000 bloggers on our media database, we run weekly top ten blog rankings and a yearly award show.

With ever increasing competition and oversaturation in the marketplace, you cannot assume that your customers will automatically find you, and this is why it’s important that you develop strategies to actively reach out to potential and existing customers.

For many PRs, social media is now the most powerful tool when it comes to brand management. The popularity of social media has gradually shifted the focus from the product, onto the customer. Through direct engagement with potential customers, you can enhance your brand awareness.

With unprecedented access to your audience, you can create a tailored brand experience. Through strong communications, you can become participants in your ‘brand narrative’, which will help you to create a level of trust and authenticity that traditional marketing often misses. By choosing content carefully and what channels you use to disseminate it, you can reach your audience more effectively.

Content is king! You need to think beyond marketing and PR. Invest time in creating original content as it will help to drive SEO and encourage social media engagement. If people are engaged with your content, if you are creating conversations relevant to your audience, and people are having positive conversations about you, you can establish your brand as a leader in your industry.

Here at Vuelio, we recently have started doing guest blog posts with reputable thought leaders like John Brown from Hotwire PR and prominent PR bloggers like Michael White, which is another great form of brand awareness. If you partner with industry recognised figures who have large followings and are respected within the industry this can give you exposure, authority and potentially attract new customers.

When it comes to bloggers, influencer marketing is big business. When it comes to marketing, influencers are now one of the most powerful tools of PR. Statistics now show that bloggers now have the power to influence people’s buying decisions more than traditional forms of media. Collaborating with the right influencer can substantially boost your trustworthiness and can lead to potential sales leads.

And lastly why not try sponsorship? Securing the right sponsorships can give you access to your key demographic, helping you to extend your reach and improve your brand reputation.

The Dos and Don’ts of Blogger Outreach

Struggling with your blogger outreach? Can’t reach the right contacts or unsure how to pitch? Or maybe you just don’t know where to start?

Here’s your chance to learn how to get it right. 

Join our best practice webinar for PRs The Dos and Don’ts of Blogger Outreach: How to do it right and get the results you want.

We will talk you through the process from start to finish – how to start building authentic relationships with influencers, how to pitch them in a way they are most likely to respond and how using a blogger database can help you get results fast. 

Filled with top tips straight from the horse’s mouth – the bloggers themselves – this webinar is your step by step guide on brushing up your blogger outreach strategy.

Dos and dont's of blogger outreach