In It To Win It.

In the past week my timeline on Twitter has been full of bloggers  tweeting about how they’ve been shortlisted in their category of the UK Blog Awards, which of course is great news for them. They’ve put themselves forward to enter a competition to win the prize of a stamp of approval on their blog, and if they want that verification then all well and good, it certainly doesn’t mean that any blog without it isn’t worth reading. I for one read blogs that interest me, keep me entertained, and have something I can relate to, and I usually like a person’s writing style. But some people don’t care if you’ve won any awards or not, some people want something for nothing which means asking some bloggers to write for them for free.

I’d not been blogging for long before someone in the dating industry got in touch and asked would I write a piece for their newsletter seeing as how I’m in a bit of a niche as an older dater, (free of course.) Yeah no problem, did an article for this woman but then I noticed that whenever she tweeted it she always “forgot” to tag me in it so I never got much credit for that, it was just free content for a newsletter that she didn’t have the basic manners to acknowledge me for. Lesson learned.

More recently a woman based in Manchester asked me if I would be willing to contribute blogs for her start-up business which was to cover all aspects of dating. Again, she wanted this for free but then went one step further by saying I could be an ambassador but there was absolutely nothing in it for me. She said anyone visiting the website would be sent links to my blog but I was sceptical about this arrangement. I said I’d think about it and after a couple of days I saw that she had obviously paid a company to look after the social media side of her business, well if you can pay them, you can pay me. After taking some advice from someone who is at the top of her game in the dating industry, I was advised not to do it for free, but to charge. So I did. I wrote one blog for her and that was it, after that her website was “having some changes” and I believe her business has folded now so god knows what she’s doing these days.

Most bloggers write for themselves but obviously we all like to think that someone is actually reading it. I know that some people read mine, they might not always comment on it or “like” it when posted on Twitter but I know that one particular person read the most popular post of all (interview for Playboy) as she went in fancy dress as a bunny one night, wearing something that she could only have known if she’d read the post, but at least people read it. But fake people pretending that they’re doing you a favour in order to promote their business is something else, I now say I don’t do anything for free unless it’s by choice if they want to pay fine, if not, fine. In the meantime I’ll just carry on as normal, but I won’t be entering any competitions for bloggers.

But to all the bloggers going to the final of the UK Blog Awards. Good luck.

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Sorry Not Sorry

Now and again I ask Twitter to stop recommending that I follow other dating bloggers, as I have now reached my absolute limit of following so many women in their 20s/30s who all have a tale to tell but which inevitably becomes the same one.

I’ve been where you are, dated the same guys with the same bad result. The narcissist, the commitment phobe, the guys who have already got a girlfriend, the ones who are on a rebound, the ones who want you back when they hear you’ve found someone new. The insecure ones who are controlling, abusive but it’s all because they love you so much. The ridiculously good looking ones that rely totally on their looks and have the personality of a cobweb. The charming ones who always have a really good story as to why they let you down big time by not turning up for your sister’s wedding/nephew’s christening or Christmas day at your parents. The cheats, the liars, the ones who say you’ve got issues when you try to confront them with the latest Facebook message from some girl you don’t know telling you bad things about your guy and what he’s been up to. I’ve dated them all at some time or other and as you get older you’ll realise that there are certain things you won’t put up with anymore.

As an older dater you probably think we don’t have much in common but believe it or not, some guys don’t learn lessons. I’ve been breadcrumbed, ghosted, catfished and been let down at literally the last minute on the way to meet up. It would seem some things don’t change and as we all know the problem with dating apps/sites is that guys are not willing to commit in case there’s a shinier prettier, funnier younger version of you just around the corner.

I totally understand why some women a lot younger wouldn’t feel as though they could relate to an older dating blogger, how could we possibly be on the same page? I’ve had my family so the pressure is off for me in hoping to meet someone to start a new life with, so there is that difference. But no one gets married to get divorced, you just never know where life’s going to take you so all of us on the dating scene is actually meeting the same guys, they’re just called different names but at my age mine are certainly not known as “the boy”.

So here’s the thing. As much as I’d love to read each and every blog it does become a bit like groundhog day where I feel as though I’m reading the same story all the time, and sometimes it’s a bit like all the teenage angst we all went through. Does he like me? Should I have said that? He’s seen my message on Whats App 5 hours ago and not replied? What if he thinks this that and the other?  Was going to tell him I love him but not heard from him for 2 weeks? The ones I end up visiting on a frequent basis are the ones that tell me about other stuff that’s going on in their lives as well as all the dating drama. Sorry ladies but there it is.

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Watching From The Sidelines.

Well what a week it’s been on Twitter with all the drama about the blogging community, how other bloggers are to each other, he said she said, and after reading a couple of interesting posts about it, here’s what I’ve noticed on good old Twitter.

You won’t know me. I don’t go to any bloggers conventions, or promote any brands. I’m not a beauty blogger, mummy blogger or travel blogger.  I don’t go out in restaurants and write a review about the food, or get invited to openings of the latest place to be seen in, or any event for that matter. I don’t have thousands of followers on my social platforms so no brand  would be interested in collaborating with me to promote anything. I started as a dating blogger and my blog has evolved into writing about my life really, (as well as dates) but as I’m an older blogger I probably don’t “do as well” as all the other younger bloggers, and that’s fine by me.

My blog got me a job writing for Metro for a year, an appearance on Channel 4 First Dates and a double page spread in an issue of Woman magazine earlier this year, featured on Rip Off Britain, a regular spot on a local TV station ( where I talk about stuff I don’t know much about) and hopefully a repeat performance on BBC Radio Manchester. As well as dating I’ll blog about what I’ve done in my life, emigrating to Australia, living in Gibraltar in my early twenties, and about working for Playboy. All boring stuff for younger bloggers to read, but again that’s fine by me as I like to people watch and Twitter is great for that. Which is why I can see exactly what’s been going on.

I myself am following a couple of bloggers who’ve started climbing higher with lots more followers and if I interact at all with them now, I’ll get a “like” instead of a reply. It must be hard trying to reply to lots of people who make a comment on something you’ve tweeted, but a lot of the time that isn’t the case, there might be myself and one or two others. I’ve followed  a few girls who promote a certain brand of clothing I like but have unfollowed when there has been zero response from them. I’ve had to unfollow a couple of girls who’ve had a TV appearance and not even had the decency to “like” a comment I’ve tweeted to them where at one time we were always chatting in DMs. It would seem that there’s nothing like having a load of followers to turn a girl’s head. I can’t speak about what goes on at events as I don’t go, but I would imagine it’s very competitive between everyone, hoping that certain brands will choose a particular blogger to work with.  But I will say this.

To all the dating bloggers in their 20’s/30’s there is only one Carrie Bradshaw and Bridget Jones. Don’t try to emulate them, be yourself.

To all the mummy bloggers out there, how the hell do you find the time to blog about what Archie/Felicity had for tea? Or which nappies to use/ clothes to buy/wipes to use. Maybe if Twitter had been around when my kids were small I wouldn’t have been giving them burnt Findus crispy pancakes with spaghetti hoops. Maybe.

To all  the food/drink reviewers, do you find that you have to starve yourselves all day? I’ll be honest, I’d get fed up with having to go out nine nights a week but I suppose it saves on food bills.

To all the bloggers in their thirties who write about embracing your age and you can’t wait until you’re in your 50’s as it’s going to be great, SHUT UP. You don’t have a clue what it’s like and yes, even you will be invisible.

To all the bloggers who have set themselves up as a self proclaimed inspiration for other women and say you can have it all. Having a part time job, 2.4 children, a husband and a home to look after does not make you a role model.

To all the beauty bloggers, I actually like you. I might not be up for trying out a lot of the products but now and again something will catch my eye that I think I must have. If Nivea are up for collaborating with a woman who has used their product for years I’m your woman.

I have found that there are cliques anywhere that there is a group of people, and Twitter is no exception but as someone who is watching from the sidelines whenever I see someone is getting too big for their boots I will give them a couple of chances then it’s delete and move on,  no exceptions, there is no excuse for bad manners. Funnily enough it seems to be when they hit the 6000 followers mark, when the diva behaviour seems to start. We all have egos as we’re bloggers, but let’s just remember ladies this is supposed to be fun.

Now someone pass me the wine.

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