Laois Bloggers Encouraged to Enter 2013 Blog Awards

Do you blog? Bloggers in Laois with the digital gift of the gab are being encouraged to nominate their blog for a national award.

Blog Awards Ireland 2013 celebrates the best in Irish blogging recognising bloggers in 32 different categories. Nominations for the awards opened on 14th June, and there has already been 2,000 nominations with the most popular categories so far Best Newcomer, Personal Blog, Fashion & Beauty, Best Lifestyle Blog and Best Blog of the Diaspora sponsored by TG4.

With2013 being the year of The Gathering, Irish bloggers living abroad are invited to enter the awards. The Best Blog of the Diaspora is open to all bloggers with Irish roots with blogs of any theme. Bloggers can enter from wherever they are in the world and are invited to attend the awards ceremony in the Osprey Hotel, Naas, Ireland on October 12th 2013.

Amanda Webb, founder of and co-founder of The Blog Awards Ireland, says digital storytelling is an extension of an already Irish craft that has been serving business people well for decades.

“A Farmer, A Foodie, An Apprentice & A Sage, A Social Media Junkie – The Blog Awards Ireland 2013 Launched” Organisers of the 2013 Blog Awards Ireland Amanda Webb,; Beatrice Whealan, Sage and Lorna Sixsmith, Farmerette Blog pictured with Mona Wise, and winner of Best Blog, Best Blogger and Best Food Blog at the 2013 Awards along with former Apprentice Finalist and Media Box owner Joanne Sweeney-Burke. Nominations are now open in 32 categories until 31st July. Nominate your blog at

“Storytelling, the Irish way, is a marketing strategy that companies have been using for years. However, the gift of the gab has now gone digital and SMEs, large corporates, non-profits and individuals are blogging their way to marketing, branding and personal success.

“Two million blog posts are published online each day. Blogging simply brings storytelling and digital media together and offers individuals and organisations an opportunity to speak to niche markets worldwide. Writing can be a very solitary profession so even being nominated can be a huge compliment. I’d encourage people to enter their blog even if they are new to blogging as it can be a great way to show your blog to a larger audience and become part of the larger blogging community in Ireland and worldwide” says Amanda.

The Blog Awards Ireland champions Irish bloggers who have built successful businesses on the back of their digital activities. The awards, now in their second year also offer businesses an opportunity to increase their visibility and prominence in social media circles. With more people being guided in their buying decisions by bloggers rather than friends opinions, blogging is a considerably influential tool in word of mouth marketing.

“Decreased budgets, a harsher economic environment and a more conscientious consumer lends itself to marketers, owner managers and individuals building their brands online while at the same time engaging niche markets. We’ve seen some very successful case studies whereby bloggers have turned their businesses around by virtue of their blog,” added Amanda.

Winner of three categories (Best Food Blog, Best Blog of a Journalist and Best Overall Blog) in last year’s awards, Galway-based blogger Mona Wise, has enjoyed great success with

I started blogging in 2007 and while it took a number of years for the blog to get real traffic it has opened up several doors for me. I now have a loyal following online who have also supported me offline by purchasing my first book.  I have also developed a strong network of people who share their time and expertise for free and whom I continue to learn from. Business can be a very lonely place but with blogging you immediately build up a network of mentors and champions. I’ve raised the profile of the family business, which includes my husband Ron, a consultant in the restaurant and baking industry.

“Winning the blog awards gave me a much-needed boost in confidence – which as a writer and as a business owner, which I really needed,” says Mona.

2011 Apprentice finalist Joanne Sweeney-Burke of Media Box is sponsoring best blog of a journalist and her blog is aptly called ‘Running in Heels.’

The closing date for entries in the Blog Awards is the 31st July 2013 so bloggers are encouraged to nominate their blog at

All categories are free to enter and bloggers are welcome to nominate their own blogs.  With the exception of one, all categories will be judged by a panel of independent judges. The Best Blog post will be judged by public vote and then the top ten will be judged by independent judges.

Anyone can apply to be a judge at

The Blog Awards take place on 12th October in the Osprey Hotel in Naas, Co. Kildare. Entries for the 2013 Blog Awards Ireland close on 31st July.

For more details log onto


About the Awards

Blog Awards Ireland will bring together the Irish online community collaborating in a single event on 12th October 2013to celebrate blogging in Ireland.

The Blog Awards Ireland celebrates the best in Irish blogging by creating 32 categories, which offer plenty of scope for bloggers.

The awards will take place in the Osprey Hotel in Naas, Co. Kildare on Saturday 12th October 2013.  There will be a dinner and entertainment.

The first 100 tickets will be available at the reduced price of €30, then they revert to the full cost of €50.


There are 32 categories in the awards as follows:

1. Best Great Outdoors – Sponsored by Agriland

2. Best Music Blog – Available to sponsor

3. Best Popculture Blog – Available to sponsor

4. Best Food / Drink Blog – sponsored by Glenisk

5. Best Health and Wellbeing Blog – Available to sponsor

6. Best Technology Blog – Available to sponsor

7. Best Photography Blog – sponsored by Damien Carroll Photography

8. Best Eco/Green Blog – Available to sponsor

9. Best Sport/Recreation Blog – Available to sponsor

10. Best Blog of a SME – sponsored by Sage

11. Best Arts and Culture Blog – Available to sponsor

12. Best Designed Blog – sponsored by A2D Design

13. Best Mobile Compatible Blog – Available to sponsor

14. Best Blog of a Journalist – Sponsored by Media Box

15. Best Podcast Blog – Available to sponsor

16. Best News/Current Affairs – Available to sponsor

17. Best Corporate Blog – Sponsored by the Ahain Group

18. Best Video Blog – Sponsored by Red Oak Tax Refunds

19. Best Political Blog – Available to sponsor

20. Best Blog in the Irish Language – Available to sponsor

21. Best Newcomer (started after 1st June 2012) – Available to sponsor

22. Best Youth Blog – Available to sponsor

23. Best Personal Blog – Available to sponsor

24. Best Science/Education Blog – Available to sponsor

25. Best Humour Blog – Available to sponsor

26. Best Beauty/Fashion Blog – Sponsored by

27. Best Lifestyle Blog – Sponsored by Stenaline

28. Best Craft Blog – Available to sponsor

29. Best Group Blog – Available to sponsor

30. Best Blog of the Diaspora – Sponsored by TG4

31. Best Overall Blog – Available to sponsor

32. Best Blog Post – Available to sponsor


About The Organisers

Amanda Webb is the founder of working with SME’s to help them develop social media strategies, offering them training and support. She learnt her skills whilst promoting her first business, Feelgood Organic Hampers. Prior to this she worked as an Assistant Director in the Irish Film Business working on productions such as Adam & Paul, Angela’s Ashes and various commercials for brands such as Heineken, River rock & Guinness.

In 2010 she co-founded the KLCK bloggers Network in order to encourage and support both business and personal bloggers as they learnt how to use both blogging and social media tools. In 2011 she took this one step further with Bloggers International co-managing their inaugural event.

In 2012 she founded Blog Awards Ireland along with her KLCK colleagues and heads up the online marketing and project management of the event.

He blog reached the final of Social Media Examiners International top 10 Social Media Blogs of 2011 and 2012, The Social Media Awards 2012 and her Video Blog reached the finals of the Irish Web Awards 2010.

Beatrice Whelan is an award winning digital communications, online PR and content marketing professional with a strong background in B2B marketing, search engine optimisation and social media. With 10+ years experience in multimedia development and digital marketing; she started blogging in 2004 and has been designing and optimising websites and blogs since 2006.
Beatrice works at Sage Ireland as Social Media & Content Specialist where she manages the online reputation of this FTSE 100 company in Ireland. She is also editor of and contributor to the Sage Ireland blog and has guest blogged for the Huffington Post, Tweak Your Biz and the Digital Marketing Institute as well as contributing to Business Plus Magazine and other prominent publications.

Lorna Sixsmith achieved finalist status for her own business blog Garrendenny Lane in the Irish Blog Awards and Social Media Awards (2011) in addition to achieving nominations in numerous business and marketing awards. Following the success with her business blog and usage of various social media tools, Lorna set up Write on Track in 2011, offering social media consultancy and training to SMEs who wish to develop and implement a successful social media strategy for their businesses.

Lorna offers training in various social media platforms and can show business owners how they can drive more traffic to their website, increase brand awareness and most importantly, increase sales.

Running her own online retail store means that Lorna is very knowledgeable regarding the challenges of achieving high rankings with organic searches within the search engines. She is able to analyse the effectiveness of a website and/or blog and show a business owner what needs to be altered in order to improve its rankings. Lorna works with County Enterprise Boards, Partnerships, SMEs and those at the planning stage of a business.


Her blog at Write on Track (in collaboration with business partner Marie Ennis O’Connor) reached finalist stage in the ‘Best Blog of a Business’ category in the Social Media Awards 2012.  Together with Amanda Webb of Spiderworking, they have set up We Teach Social, whereby they teach various social media courses online to participants all over the world.


Lorna also blogs at Irish Farmerette and is currently writing a book entitled ‘Would You Marry A Farmer? Confessions of an Irish Farmerette which explores the role of women in agriculture with gritty realism and humour.



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