Bloggers Supporting Bloggers: Into The West And Back Again

Written In Slumber by Matryosha

Last July, I decided to take a leap into the world of blogging. My goals were to improve my writing and put my thoughts into words that could be enjoyed or at least briefly read, by random people on the internet.

With a boring Saturday night, a bottle of Pinot Grigio and 30 dollars for a Go Daddy purchase, Sometimes Write was born.  My idea turned blog had become a reality.

Now came the hard part… actually doing it.

What lay ahead and how would I deal with it if everything didn’t run perfectly?

Thankfully, so far it has worked out pretty well.

6 months after starting, I’ve written 27 blog posts, just had a redesign done and have made a bunch of blogger friends across the internet as a result of innovative and entrepreneurial mentalities and initiatives.

One of my main sources of new supportive blogger friends is itwbn.

For those who don’t know it, the Into The West Blogger Network is a community that was started by Saibh Egan and Sinead Carroll in Galway in 2014. They have clearly considered all angles as they’ve created a hub for Irish bloggers online with resources such as their Facebook Group and hashtag #itwbn (to be used across Instagram and Twitter), while offline, their events are taking Ireland by storm.

On Sunday, February 8th 2015, I had the pleasure of attending a blogger extravaganza run by itwbn in the Radisson in Galway. With a room full of sparkle, a bundle of enthusiasm and sheer ambition building the atmosphere of my dreams, a day that was spoken about for weeks could undeniably be deemed a huge success.

That evening, 65 bloggers left the event feeling more confident, savy and pampered. This was as a result of the amazing speakers, supportive peers and generous sponsors.

Macaroons and Balloons at the itwbn event in Galway.

I’ve since spoken to friends turned bloggers and wannabe bloggers about the network and have encouraged them to get involved.

Upon reflection, for me, there are obvious and not so obvious reasons for joining and engaging with itwbn. 

*You’re supported.

Whether you’re new to the world of blogging or have been around for a while, there’s bound to be something you’re unsure about. You’re guaranteed to get an answer to a query or a solution to a problem if you pose it to the blogger crew.

*Your blog immediately gains more traction.

Since becoming involved with itwbn, the views on my blog have increased immensely. I have more eyes on my posts and as a result, I know my work is spreading beyond my little circles in Dublin and Kerry.

*You start to feel accountable.

When you believe people are likely to be interested in your next post, you feel more motivated to pull your finger out and get it done. I look forward to sharing my posts with the network as much as I do to writing them.

*You have the opportunity to grow.

At the event last weekend, there were some fantastic speakers who offered valuable tips as regards marketing, how to approach PR companies and manage Twitter effectively. Having the opportunity to gain such valuable knowledge from so many experts is something that leads to our growth as bloggers and, as aspiring writers and entrepreneurs.

* You’re constantly inspired.

They say you end up being like the 5 people you spend the most time with. Being surrounded by such positive people both on and offline is a fantastic gift.

 As my blog develops over the coming months, I look forward to being further involved in itwbn. If you haven’t connected with them, be sure to check them out and they’ll welcome you with open arms.