I never in a million years would have thought that my blogging achievements in twenty eighteen could ever amount to half of the accomplishments I had with Enhance What’s Yours in 2017. In fact, I spent the early days of twenty eighteen (excuse the overuse of this millenial slang), crippled with the anxiety that I may had set the bar too high for myself in the previous year.
I mean, when an open letter that took less than fifteen minutes to write makes international headlines, how could I possibly envision myself topping that? Hell if I know how, but I did! And when I reflect upon the year I had with my blog and the opportunities that I’ve been afforded through a brand for which I have taken many sacrifices, I can’t help but look back with a greater sense of gratitude.
The gratitude I feel towards the brand I’ve created far exceed any sentiments I felt towards my blog accomplishments in previous times. That’s not to disqualify any of my past achievements or to say that they are less significant. But it is mainly because I feel that the knowledge that I accrued in my second year of freelancing has helped me recognise that luck can only get you so far.
You also have to be willing to do what others won’t.
So without further ado, here are some of the main reasons why I received Google alerts for my name in 2018 🙂
1. My TV debut for ground-breaking Channel 4 series
As many of you know from the series of blogs I’ve published around this topic, I was part of the diverse cast for a two-part Channel 4 documentary called Genderquake. Filming for this ground-breaking series took in the beautiful city of Brighton in October 2017 and the show finally aired in May of 2018.
Genderquake explored gender and sexuality in today’s world by having ten strangers from all parts of the gender spectrum cohabitate for a full week and have spirited discussions about sexual identity, gender and everything in between!
Shortly after hitting the screens, Genderquake was nominated in the MIPCOM Diversify TV Excellence Awards for Representation of LGBTQ, Non-Scripted which is more than any of us could have asked for or anticipated!
Knowing that my voice was part of a show that incited so much public interest both online and in real life is a great source of pride for me, particularly because I was so apprehensive about taking part in the first place.
Looking back now, I am so proud of my contribution on the show – taking the edits out of the equation of course! I met some truly wonderful souls and beautiful people who challenged my ideologies in ways that continue to intrigue me till today.
Twitter was also pretty gentle with me which was more reassuring than I care to admit. I had people from all backgrounds jump to my defense and the reaction was overwhelmingly positive 🙂
If you haven’t seen Genderquake yet, be sure to catch up on Channel 4 here.
2. Live TV appearance on Genderquake: The Debate
Following the release of the two-part documentary, Channel 4 aired a live debate in which myself and a few of the other cast members were invited to attend. The debate was hosted by news presenter Cathy Newman and saw a number of famous faces on the panel such as Caitlyn Jenner, Munroe Bergdorf, Germaine Greer, Ayo Caeser and Sarah Ditum.
While I had already been on television at this point, it was all still very new to me. To say I was hyperventilating at the thought of being on live TV would be be a complete understatement. Thankfully, I managed to answer Cathy Newman’s questions about my experience of being on the show with as much grace and elegance as the merlot I consumed allowed for.
Once again, a very proud moment for my inner nerdy introvert. You can see my response in this Twitter thread here.
3. Brand Ambassador role for Huawei Mobile Ireland
While I did not receive a Google alert for this, I do think it is worth mentioning. I was given a brand ambassador role for Huawei Mobile Ireland which resulted in me creating exciting content and taking part in a sponsored campaign – not to mention getting a deadly new phone! 🙂
While I have done content placement and other sponsored content in the past, I had never been asked to work on a continuous campaign such as the one I did with Huawei Ireland. To put the cherry on top, the tweet I shared about the Story Sign app created by Huawei, performed incredibly well with an engagement rate of 3.9% and a reach of nearly 10k.
The media views I received in that one tweet even outperformed some of the ads shared by other influencers with twice or trice my Twitter following. I think all too often brands get fooled by influencers who appear to have a large following so knowing this gave me a completely new perspective on how to negotiate future collaborations with brands and it helped me see the value of my brand and what I have to offer.
4. Publication of first byline for thejournal.ie
This might not seem like such a big deal to some people. But for me it is everything.
Throughout my many years of navigating my way within the Irish blogging scene, I have always identified more as a writer than blogger: it’s the one thing I was always sure of. In my eyes, writing for an Irish news site is about more than just massaging my ego. In a weird sense, it validated my work as a writer.
I had never pitched an article before. But after my success, I hope to share more of my thoughts on dating, relationships and female sexuality to a wider audience in the future. Seeing my byline on thejournal.ie really gave me a high. Almost like runners high, but for writers – yes, I’m making it a thing!
If you have yet to read my article about making consent sexy – for the sake of both men and women, be sure to read it here.
5. Featured in iNews for viral open letter
Last but not least, I was recently featured in inews.co.uk where I was given the opportunity to share an honest account of how online trolling can affect a person’s well being. While I did write a blog post on how to deal with bad publicity, I had never really delved into the darker side of how I felt after the events that transpired online.
I finally mustered the courage to do exactly that in an interview with former HuffPost UK Editor, Poorna Bell for a feature in iNews. Much like many of my other endeavours and interviews, I was on the fence about this.But the award-winning journalist dealt with my story with great delicacy and care. Poorna was aware of the sensitivity of the topic during the whole interview process – even when she was trying to get to the core of what really happened.
I have so much respect for authentic journalists who strive to uncover accurate accounts of real life stories and I genuinely cannot thank Poorna enough for sharing mine in such a raw way.
To read my feature about the very real impact online trolling can have on a person’s well-being, click here.
A massive thank you to everyone who has been supporting me from day one! I wish each and every single one of you a sparkling New Year! I look forward to re-shaping my brand and blog for 2019 🙂
- 10000https://youtu.be/DWV0bak54RU There was a time in my life where I believed all publicity was good publicity. But after having been at the receiving end of non-stop hatemail and reading barbaric headlines about myself that just aren’t true. I have to say, I feel very differently about that now. The last…