If there's one thing I hear more than others when it comes to blogger complaints and mini moans, it's that unless you're in London based it's incredibly hard to become a successful blogger and focus on building those all-important brand relationships. It seems to be a sore point with many that the majority of launches, events and networking opportunities are in the capital city; although a huge number of bloggers are based there, a huge proportion live much father afield and simply can't get into London on a weekly basis. I lived in London for over six years and moved out to Buckinghamshire in 2013, back to be closer to friends and family while living in an apartment that was big enough for all my junk and didn't smell like damp. (That's incredibly hard to find in London.) Despite my blog's name, I'm no longer actually based in London and I don't feel I'm at a disadvantage for not being able to hop on a tube at ten minutes notice. Although the shiny lights and daily socialisation of the big city can be appealing, when it comes to the crunch you really don't need to be within walking distance of Oxford Street to be successful.

London Is Where The PRs Are Based
If you've ever wondered why everything happens in London, then there's an incredibly simple explanation - that's where the majority of PRs are based. Why are the PRs based there? Because London is where all the magazines and journalists are based. It makes economic and logistical sense to be close to where the action is, so don't begrudge the location of your favourite makeup brand because they're not close to your little village in the Midlands. It simply wouldn't make business sense for most PRs to be out of the city, as proximity and flexibility makes their day-to-day job easier. However, with the growth of online things are most definitely changing and I've noticed a fair number of PR companies popping up all over the UK and representing some great brands. Many companies are also making a concerted effort to establish events in big cities such as Manchester, Birmingham, Belfast and Glasgow, so change is definitely in the air. However, it takes time for organisations to react and implement change - so we just have to be patient.

Use Twitter As Your Post-Work Drink 
Although it may be frustrating that you can't attend every event, launch or meet-up, the great thing about social media (and specifically Twitter) is that you can have a glass of wine and a chat with a mate from the comfort of your own sofa. The possibilities are endless when it comes to our ever-evolving digital world, so you can always speak to other bloggers, brands and PRs and the click of a keypad. Some of my most entertaining evenings are spent chatting to fellow bloggers and watching The Apprentice or Made In Chelsea, cup of tea in one hand and my smartphone in the other. There are 100s of people that I've met via Twitter that I feel like I know, but I've never so much as clamped eyes on them during a fleeting moment in Selfridges. The same goes for brands - make the most of what you've got and build a virtual relationship, even if you can't meet physically.

London Is Only A Train Journey Away
Although sometimes it's costly, for most of us London is still only a train journey away. It may be an hour-long excuse to catch up with a magazine or a snore-worthy four hours that provides an opportunity for a nap, but it's always possible to get to the city if you really want to. Booking tickets in advance can really slash the prices and ensure it doesn't cost you an arm and a leg, plus some brands may even contribute towards your travel expenses if you ask. It's more than possible to get into the city and make the most of opportunities, even if it's once a month and in the early stages when you want to grow your presence and build relationships. See it as an investment that will pay off in the long-term, albeit a non-essential one, and make the concerted effort if you'll feel you'll really benefit from it.

Organise Meetings & One-To-One Sessions
Because I'm no longer based in London and only travel in 2-3 days a week, I often don't have the opportunity or time in my diary to swing by events or launches. However, I really don't feel I miss out on anything as I always request to be sent information and samples after the launch if I genuinely think it could be interesting. Furthermore, organising one-to-one meetings and sessions with specific brands will be a much more efficient and beneficial use of your time if you're only traveling down every month or two. PRs are generally really understanding and accommodating, plus keen to have face-to-face meetings as they know it gives them an opportunity to talk you through products, so why not have the conversation and schedule something with your favourite brands every quarter?

Events Aren't Everything 
I can remember being invited to my first blogger event and feeling like I'd finally made it. A year later and I was zipping around London trying to fit in three or four launches in the space of a few hours after work. A few years after that and I try to limit events and launches as much as possible because they're (mostly) not an efficient use of my time. Although I love catching up with PRs and other bloggers, I can do that over coffee between four other meetings I've arranged that day when I have less work on and fewer grey hairs appearing from stress. I much prefer to sift through product launches in my office and get the opportunity to pick out what I find interesting, has an angle or simply could be integrated into a post I'm working on. There are so many events and launches now that for many they're becoming more of a chore than something that's fun, so don't feel like you have to keep up appearances and bankrupt yourself on train fares every week.

Just Look At Zoella
If you really think about it, some of the most successful bloggers and YouTube stars aren't based in London either. There's a huge corner of Scotland oozing with beauty bloggers, Brighton seems to be the new place to re-locate to, the Midlands is seeing more and more networking and events launching (hello Blognix) and there are lots of little pockets beside all over the UK. You're never at a disadvantage not being in London, as you simply work with what you've got; some of my favourite blogs are written by bloggers further afield because they have to think outside the box and write some genuinely engaging content - rather than relying on event after event to fill their pages. If you don't live in London, why not write about the fab little boutique shops in your local village or handmade cosmetics you can pick up from the farm shop? Why not talk about the amazing charity shop finds you stumble across, or the great things there are to do by the sea. The world is your oyster - it doesn't stop at Zone 6 of the Central Line.

What do you think? Do you have to be London based to be a successful blogger?


  1. This is such a fab post, I'm not based in London either and sometimes it does feel like that's a disadvantage! But you've made some great points, London isn't the be all and end all for blogging and anything else for that matter~

    LIVE . IN . LOVE ✞


  2. I really love you blog, so it is great to hear that you honestly don't think people need to be in London! I guess making the effort is much appreciated, than attending every event. Great to hear :)

  3. I think that brands and prs are trying really hard to make sure to include everyone these days and not juat focus on London events. Over the past year or two loads have been coming to Glasgow which is fantastic.
    We live in a digital age so its so easy to keep in touch via social media or be sent press releases via emails so I don't think location matters much at all now.
    For smaller events or launches most prs I deal with do a little tour around the major cities. For bigger press shows its not possible for them to lug loads of products around so a four hour train isn't too much to ask.

  4. This is a really interesting post. I totally agree with you, I don’t think you need to be London based to be a successful blogger etc.


  5. I'm based 2 hours outside of London and one of the things I was worried about when I started blogging was if I'd be ignored because I'm a country bumpkin! But then I remembered that some of the most famous bloggers (like Zoella) weren't based in London and still aren't yet look how successful they are!

  6. Here in The Netherlands bloggers are located all over the country. Most blogger events are in Amsterdam but Holland's so small that they travel there by train and it takes up to 2 / 3 hours (max). In England things are different. I don't think you have to be London based to be a successful blogger, I just think that if you live in London (or in another big city) things can evolve a bit quicker.


    WOMANOUK (beauty and portrait drawings)

  7. Oh and I want to add to that... it also has to do with luck!

  8. Thank you for this. I find it funny how a digitally based community can appear to have an epicentre in the capital yet a lot of great, successful bloggers aren't necessarily there!

    Ting | www.thetingthing.com

  9. I'm really lucky - I live in one of the most beautiful parts of the North, and I plan to do a LOT of blogging about it. At the moment the events I get invited to are few and far between so I don't mind travelling, but I've driven 3.5 hours to Derbyshire for Weleda events a few times, and it's only a two hour direct train if I want to go to London!

    www.gleepface.com | Halloween Tutorial!

  10. I literally tweeted yesterday to see if there were any northern bloggers.. none that I could find! only one person who was considering starting a blog! such a shame that the majority are in London and that you rarely see a successful blogger who lives elsewhere.

  11. I think almost any job can be done by not living in London as long as you're willing to be flexible with travel and live somewhere with good transport links. Although I'm not a full-time blogger I've encountered this issue in my working life a lot x

    Jasmine // Magpie Jasmine // Blog Sale

  12. Anonymous30.10.14

    Living in Buckinghamshire or Brighton isn't really the same as living in the same places as the people who are frustrated by the London-centric events. I live in Kent, so it takes me longer to get into London than my friends in Bucks, and it still wouldn't occur to me to claim that I'm not effectively London-based for business and networking events.

    It's obvious why the epicentre would be London and not some village, but there's no reason why there can't be associated events elsewhere sometimes- it's not like Manchester or Liverpool are minor places without a buzzing youth fashion and beauty market.

    1. Everywhere is connected via a train line, no matter how long it takes. I don't think it matters where you live, because we live in a digital world. Brands are becoming more savvy, but I also think bloggers need to understand the logistical issues and the costs associated with trecking half way around the country for every product launch.

  13. I wish I lived in London because of this tbh :(
    Marissa Jamie : Faithfully, Marissa ♡

  14. This is a really well thought out & well written post. I have been to a few events held on London. A large number had travelled in from elsewhere. I really enjoy the twitter chats & have made more connections with bloggers than at events. As far as brands go, I have networked with more brands through events than blogger chats - but I think that's more that I'm a new blogger & event's often have a number of brands who send 'follow-up' emails, which I think is really nice! I'll definitely be taking your advice about contacting brands when I'm going to be in London as this is something I'd not thought of doing & would probably have assumed brands would find it tiresome. It's good to know it's not! Thank you for some great ideas for networking, particularly with brands. Xx

    Tania | whentaniatalks.blogspot.co.uk

  15. I just loved reading this ! :) Even if I am a french blogger ... :)
    It really reassures me ! I dont live in Paris, where all the events and stuff are , but in the complete South East of the country ! So events, meetings, all that jazz, is definitely not possible for me. Plus I am a student, and I cannot afford to take the plane/train when I want to.
    But I really try to make my own space and place where I live, it's not easy but it's coming, little by little.
    Thanks for this really interesting post ! :)

    Love from France, Victoria

  16. Anonymous31.10.14

    What absolute crap. Of course not. A lot of successful bloggers are based elsewhere. Catchy topic but just crap!

  17. This is so true! Although my blog isn't very big at the moment, I would never even think about blaming that on where I live. And at the end of the day, blogging is online so no one should feel out of reach when they are just a click away. The Twitter hashtag chats are such a great idea to connect too!


  18. Location isn't everything!

  19. It depends on what you define as being successful.. if it posting about events and being here, there and everywhere then London is the place to be. But if success is more about people enjoying what you write then you could be anywhere in the world :)

    Dannie x

  20. I live in the Cotswold's - which seems a world away from the hustle and bustle of London, but I still have a voice, an opinion, and eyes ...meaning that I read magazines, websites, look around department stores etc. I love Blogging no matter where I am :)

  21. One of the things I love about blogging is that people are from all over! Especially when it comes to lifestyle blogs and posts. It's definitely more interesting to have a good varied mix of people that are blogging about something a bit different :)

  22. This was such an interesting post. I live in Durham in the north east but I've spent the last 7 out of 8 weekends away from home all over the country. I couldn't live in London. It's far to busy for me. A few days every couple of months is enough. Katie x


  23. I'm closer to Birmimgham than London, so I would love to see more events and launches there. Having said that, I'm happy to travel to London two or three times a year, which is very doable from the Midlands.

  24. It's utterly ridiculous to think that you have to be in London to be a "successful" blogger. Firstly, what does success even mean? It varies from person to person; not everyone's idea of "success" is the same. Are we basing this on how many freebies we can get? How often we're seen at events? Or how active and engaged a blog's readership is? Or how useful our content is? What's more important?

    Secondly, the cost of living in London for the sake of being a "successful blogger" just doesn't make sense. I live in Birmingham and I live WELL. If I lived in the same sized flat I do now but in London, I wouldn't be able to go on holiday or do all the things I do. My living costs would be double maybe even triple what they are now. And for what? It doesn't make any sense to me why people feel this way about London and the "blogging scene."

  25. I live in Belgium and I do think being in the UK will get you more opportunities. Especially if you are a beauty blogger. We don't have a lot of makeup brands in drugstores and it is very expensive. There are very very few beauty PR bureaus and most big brands don't even have Belgian social media accounts where we can reach them at. On top of that, we speak 3 different languages and none of them are English. Belgium is so close to the UK but is overlooked a lot. There is a bigger blogging scene in the UK. Am I singling out London? No, not at all.

    However, I did not start blogging to become successful in an instant. I love what I do and have been fortunate enough to 'meet' many other bloggers online. I do not get to go to a lot of events but I am happy that so many bloggers are there to support me whenever and wherever.

    Lovely article!


  26. Very interesting blog post, you manage to discuss this rather complex subject in a very informative and broad approach

  27. This is really true, as someone who lives smack bang in the middle of London, I have to say, it does not give you the upper hand at all, its the content you have on your blogs that gets your places! ^^

    minae | minaekei.blogspot.co.uk


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