I can’t believe it.
I’ve won awards for my blog in the past (and they meant so much to me), but the Headline Money Awards are the ‘Oscars’ (or World Cup?! I don’t know football) of the financial journalism and nabbing the top prize was probably one of the best moments in my life.
I know it’s a bit lame to say that and I should probably stay cool about it, but it was an award I’ve always wanted, but one I never thought I would actually get.
Here’s the truth. As much as I can objectively note my experience, skillset, feedback from others – I often feel like a fraud.
I’m always a bit embarrassed about being nominated for things, and I struggle when people come up to me and say nice things about my work. I don’t think I deserve them.
It’s a bit silly really I suppose because my full-time job is Senior editor at a gigantic and well-respected money website (I don’t talk about where openly as I like to keep my work separate, but it’s out there if you take two seconds to look), I have had years of experience at some of the biggest and best money websites and newspapers, I work SO hard and put a lot of love and research into everything I write. Yet some days I’m full of confidence – I think I’m the bee’s knees, then other days I don’t think I deserve any of it.
But yeah, I get ‘it’s me’ and my issues rather reality, but as much as it’s amazing that my family and friends are super proud of me (and omg, they so were – it actually makes me tear up), and my readers say lovely things – winning the biggest award out there, where I was chosen by peers, is a clear indication I’m not wasting my time and doing a decent job!
The Headline Money Awards
I never think I’m going to win. In fact, I’ve been nominated three times before, and lost out to the brilliant Skint Dad and Be Clever With Your Cash.
The Headline Money awards aren’t a blogger awards, they are the awards the Telegraph, Mail, Moneywise, Which? MoneySavingExpert etc want to win. It’s a massive deal.
The financial blog category is relatively new, but it started out that newspaper sections typically picked up the prize, which a lot of us money bloggers would get grumpy about – because we thought we should have a bit of recognition. Money bloggers are becoming more well known, are breaking news stories as well as working with big publications these days. The tide is turning.
How it works, is that financial journalists and PRs need to vote for you to be shortlisted, and then a judging panel goes through the blogs and pick the winner. Just to be in the top five is an incredible achievement.
So here’s what the judges had to say about me (I still have no clue who they were – but thank you if you are reading this!).
‘This is exactly what a blog should be – a warm, personal, engaging and profound experience supported by authoritative and informed analysis,’
‘I’m really impressed with the honesty and personality in this blog. It’s a genuinely interesting read and I imagine readers would find the blog posts both useful and relatable; Lotty definitely knows her audience,’
‘Lotty’s journey’s been an interesting one. I like the fact her suggestions are woven into her personal experiences,’
The night itself
I was sitting on Aviva’s table which was brilliant, as my friend Sarah invited me and I got to sit next to her. I had only got back from my holiday the day before, so had nothing to wear, my make-up no longer matched my skin because I was tanned and was a little bit jetlagged still.
That said, managed to get it together and was looking forward to my first glass of fizz. What was awesome was Danny Wallace was the host of the evening, and I’m actually a big fan – have all of his books!
When I first started going to the Headline Money awards, it used to be a really scary experience. I didn’t know anyone (maybe one or two people), and I was surrounded by people I recognised from the papers and TV. I used to just walk around in circles, hoping I knew someone enough to talk to them and then go hang out in the toilets for a bit before going home. It was exciting, but not fun.
These days, I’ve been around the block long enough, I know plenty of people and it’s amazing to get to catch up with friends, people I used to work with and people I chat to on social media.
Oh, we were served pork belly, which I stuck my fork in and it FLEW across the room. Like, why can’t I ever have a classy and normal night?! haha.
Then my name was called. Everything slowed down and I had to walk across the room and across the stage. It’s weird, it’s like I was floating outside of my body, but I just concentrated on not falling over, because of course, if that were to happen to anyone, it would be me!
I then spent the rest of the night messaging everyone I know and being congratulated in the room. Going to be honest, it felt SO GOOD.
Sure, I work hard on LottyEarns, but I couldn’t do it without my family and boyfriend’s support. He literally paid for everything for a year (and we’re far from rich!), when I was made redundant and I tried to make the blog work as a full-time job. He had complete faith in me that I could make it work.
I want to thank those who nominated me, and those judges who liked my work. It really does mean a lot.
I also want to thank you. Yep, you. You come back and read my posts, and say nice things on social and you’re all so lovely to me.
So yeah – that’s it really. I feel like I can ‘rest’ now I’ve won this. I really doubt I’ll ever get it again, but I’m very proud of myself (I’m still smiling like a goon!), and if you can’t have a little brag and then on your blog – what’s the point of having one eh?! ha.