Our BBE Winners

So, now you’ve met all 16 of our fantastic winners. We thought we would put them all in one post together (in case you’ve missed reading one or two of the interviews). They are all busy preparing for their trip – so in case you haven’t checked out their blogs yet, you can do so below!

Remember, you will be able to keep up with all of the following bloggers posts (in one place) on our main site (bigblogexchange.org). We will be displaying each bloggers RSS feed on the ‘wall’ section – so make sure you take a look. Remember – they will be blogging over on their exchange partners site!

Chee (from Malaysia) – visit her blog here.

chee

 

Jeremy Fowler (from Canada) – visit his blog here.

Jeremy Fowler

Rosario (from Argentina) – visit her blog here.

blue • heaven

Katherine (from New Zealand) – visit her blog here.

Kapcha The World, International Travel, Photography, Culture and Food Blog

Natalia (from Brazil) – visit her blog here.

360meridianos - Destinos exóticos, mochileiros, viagem de volta ao mundo, intercâmbio.

Audur (from Iceland) – blogs here.

I heart Reykjavík - your first stop on your journey to Reykjavík - I heart Reykjavík

Ali (from Israel) – visit her blog here.

TheSweepingSwallow

Didi (from South Africa) – visit her blog here.

My Adventures & Learnings in Sweden (and beyond). The diary of a South African YIPPIE! - Take a journey of planting, cultivating and harvesting life's treasures with me…

Liesbet (from Belgium) – visit her blog here.

Liesbet à Paris

Claire (from France) – visit her blog here.

The Green Geekette - Blog Montréal - Beauté, Bio, Voyages, Geek

Sara (from Spain) – visit her blog here.

MindfulTravel bySara

Tina (from Germany) – visit her blog here.

Lunch For One - Essen, Backen und around the world

Andy (from USA) – visit his blog here.

Home - Backpacking Diplomacy

Kisty (from Singapore) – visit her blog here.

The Style Mermaid

Camie (from Philippines) – visit her blog here.

{ Wild - Spirit }

 

Sophie (from UK) – visit her blog here.

Challenge Sophie

 

What Destination Are You Looking Forward To?

Once the exchange begins, you will be able to follow the journeys of our 16 bloggers on this blog, their blogs and on social media (#bigblogX). You will be able to see first-hand (well, almost) what the country they are visiting is like – and experience their trip with them.

So, we wanted to ask you – which destination/blogger are you looking forward to following? Are there any destinations in the list below you’ve always wanted to visit and can’t wait to see being written about?

Argentina

argentina

France

paris_pic

Brazil

brazil

Belgium

Belgium-Wallpaper

South Africa

Cape-Town-South-Africa-21

Spain

Spain-July 2007 Valencia Region Costa Blanca Coast Peñiscola City

USA 

new-york-city-s-getting-a-tech-upgrade-66f014f1fe

Philippines 

phillipines

Singapore

Singapore_Marina_Bay_sands

Malaysia 

malaysia

Germany

Germany_1008

Canada

canada

United Kingdom

united kingdom

Iceland

Northern-Lights-Iceland

Israel

beautiful-israel

New Zealand

largepictures_nature_large_34102

* please note, these photographs do not belong to us and we do not take credit for them. They are used purely for reference purposes only.

What Do You Look For In A Blog?

As you can imagine, it’s been so hard both for the jury and for us to pick just 16 winners, especially as there are SO many fantastic bloggers taking part in the exchange. It is a really difficult decision, and there has been plenty of long discussions about the winners.

The winners will be announced on the 29th, and posted on the BBE website at 7AM GMT, however until then – we wanted to ask you, if you were the jury – what aspects would you be looking for in a blog?

We’d love to hear your thoughts! 

* Remember – even if you don’t make it as a winner, you will still be a part of the BBE community all the way through, helping us to improve the project (for next year) and to share ideas about what our 16 winners could get up to.

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words!

Bloggers usually use a mix of pictures and words to communicate what they get up to or what they are interested in, both of which are effective. You don’t necessarily have to have a professional camera to blog with pictures, but sometimes the saying ‘a picture is worth a  thousand words’ comes into play, as just one clear photograph of an event or a trip abroad can depict more than words can ever describe!

a-picture-is-worth-a-thousand-words-3

What do you think? Do you prefer blogs that use a mix of words and pictures, or do you prefer one or the other? Have you ever seen a blog that has communicated to their readers only in pictures? What about video blogging – do you prefer watching a video rather than reading a long post full of writing? 

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ

Who can enter?

Anyone can enter The Big Blog Exchange, the only thing you need is your own blog. All genres of bloggers are welcome, in any language, in any country.

Do I have to create a blog within bigblogexchange.org website?

No, you just need to add a link to your blog URL.

Is the competition free to enter?

Yes, the competition is completely free to enter. You have nothing to lose!

Can I submit more than one entry?

One entry, per blog, per person is accepted. Multiple entries will not be counted.

Which languages are accepted?

All languages are accepted. Whatever language you blog in, you are welcome to enter. Our site can be translated (using the Google translate tool provided) into your own language if you do not blog in English.

What is the difference between Nationality and Country of Residence in the registration form?

Nationality corresponds to the country you “represent” in the competition. This is the country your exchange blogger will travel to and the country that will be shown in the list of participants.

How will my entry be judged?

The majority of the competition relies on readers votes, so make sure once your profile is set up – you encourage your family, friends and readers to vote for you by writing on your blog or your social media networks. On the 15th April, the 100 top voted bloggers from around the globe will be judged by an international jury. However, two bloggers will be chosen to take part based on their content, regardless of votes. These will be the ‘wildcard’ choices.

I don’t have my own blog, can I still take part?

If you are interested in the project, but don’t yet have your own blog, you are welcome to create a brand new blog exclusively for use of the project, as we welcome small blogs, big blogs, with any sized readership. Or, you may get involved with the project as a reader – voting for and promoting your favourite bloggers, before then watching the project unfold!

I am under 18, can I still take part?

If you are under eighteen, you are welcome to still be involved with the project as a reader, voting, encouraging and promoting your favourite bloggers, however for legal reasons, we are unable to let you travel on the exchange this time around.

What does the prize include?

The final sixteen lucky selected bloggers will be exchanging places with another blogger from across the world. HI (and the rest of the world) will be following each of the bloggers journeys, as they explore their exchange destination, immersing themselves in local culture. Flights, accommodation and a daily allowance will be provided for the duration of your stay.

If I am selected, what will I be doing during the ten day exchange?

Once we have the final 16, and have announced where you will be jetting off to, we will be able to start planning an itinerary and activities for you, based on each specific blogger undergoing the exchange. We have National Associations in over 90 countries, so we will have international representatives in your exchange destinations who will act as a guide or a mentor throughout your stay. We will try and tailor each itinerary to the blogger, so if you are a fashion blogger, with a keen eye for design – we will try to make sure you have the chance to see and experience what fashion means to the people in your exchange destination.

Can the deadline be extended?

No, entries and voting will close after the 15th April. So make sure you get your entries and votes in plenty of time.

What if I am selected but unable to take part in the exchange?

By entering the competition and accepting the terms and conditions, you confirm that you are available from the 7th June 2013 – 17th June 2013 to take part in the exchange. If a last minute emergency prevents you from undergoing the project, a replacement will be found. Unfortunately, due to the nature of this project, we cannot change or alter the dates to meet specific bloggers requirements.

Am I literally swapping ‘lives’ with another blogger? Will my family have to host the blogger that I exchange with?

You will be swapping countries with the blogger you are paired with, but you won’t literally be swapping ‘lives’, so no homes, cars or families will need to be exchanged. You will only be swapping destinations with the blogger, and will travel around the exchange country, staying in our accommodation, with a planned itinerary and where necessary, a HI representative.

So, I’ve entered, how do I get people to vote for me?

Once you have entered your blog in the competition, we are sure you are going to want to start getting as many people to vote for you as possible. Some ideas you could do to promote your blog and start getting your votes up is to write a blog post to your readers, letting them know about the project, your inspiration and why you want them to vote for you. Readers will be able to vote for you on this site, so make sure they know where to go to vote. You could also spread the word about your profile on Twitter, Facebook, Google + or other social networking sites. Similarly, you could always write to your local paper, magazine or other blogs, promoting your part in the competition.

What is a “wildcard”?

The two wildcard choices will be chosen to undertake the project based purely on their written content/video content, rather than on votes. This ensures that the project is accessible to all and does not rely purely on popularity.

What is the “Top 100”?

The “Top 100” represents the top 25 bloggers from each of the four regions.

If I am one of the winners, what is required by me?

If you are lucky enough to win one of the 16 places on the exchange, you will be expected to have a passport valid for at least eight months, and if required by your exchange destination – you may need to organise any vaccinations or visas.

The 16 selected bloggers will be flown to different countries? What countries are they?

This depends completely on which bloggers we have who enter and who makes the final 16. As we are a global network with contacts in 90 countries, we are hoping to attract bloggers from all over the world, so although a specific destination isn’t guaranteed, you can be sure it will be somewhere exciting. If you have a favourite blogger you would like to nominate, please feel free to email us and let us know.

If you have any further questions, please email TBBE@hihostels.com with your query.

BBE-logo-blacktext

What Made You Start Blogging?

Did you know that there are over 170 million blogs on the internet at the moment? 

Did you know that over 55% of all internet users read blogs as their main or primary source of information, inspiration and reviews?

We believe in the power of blogs, hence why we set up the Big Blog Exchange and we’ve been amazed at some of your inspirational motivations and fantastic blogs so far. We have checked out the vast majority of blogs from all those who have entered and we think they are great!

Blogs are set up for a number of different reasons, maybe you wanted a place to voice your opinions, maybe you wanted to share your interests with friends and family or maybe, you wanted a place to talk about your favourite hobby?

So…

The question of the day is – why did you start blogging? What made you set up your blog?

We’d love to hear from you, you can take part in the conversation by tweeting your answer (and using the hashtag #bigblogX) or by leaving a comment in the box below.

You’re All Busy Blogging!

We are so impressed by so many of your blogs, and have really enjoyed seeing the Big Blog Exchange featured on so many of your sites, so hopefully you won’t mind us sharing a couple with you here.

Plus Size Kitten Beauty Blogger- The Big Blog ExchangeSophie Rose Heartsgood girls guideThe Big Blog Exchange - hannahackroyd! A Growing Teenager Diary !- The Big Blog Exchange Malaysia Participant 2013

** If you have featured or written about the Big Blog Exchange on your blog or website, please get in touch with us (tbbe@hihostels.com) and we will feature you in our next round up post!

Happy blogging!

Motivations We Love #5

Here are our daily favourite motivations:

Mélissa N. Woo, from Frolic Hunter (Canada) says: 

I am the one to jump into projects wholeheartedly, the first to laugh at a silly joke and the last to judge the oddities that life provides. I may not have a vast readership, but I love what I do and that’s what keeps me going. I hope to inspire where ever I go and I am eager to learn. I want to know how other people get involved in their community, how they interact with art and how they take care of the space around them. I am constantly looking to soak up the experiences Earth can provide and I feel like this blog exchange is a perfect opportunity to inspire and be inspired by something totally different than what I’ve seen so far.

Tinkerbella, from Tinkerbella’s Blog (Germany) says: 

I was lost, when I started my blog. I needed a platform to share what I feel. And through this process I changed. And then I was lost again, in a positive way. I lost my little problems and started to see the world through a computer screen and I began to see the world in real life. Now I am ready to be a part of something bigger. I love to explore and talk and tell stories and see the beauty in everything. Maybe I can get the opportunity to see the beauty of different cultures and languages and experiences like nobody else.

Sarah Hoyes, from Sad Excuse Of A Girl (UK) says: 

I have a love for all things quirky and am always looking for an opportunity to learn; whether it be through experience, story telling or otherwise. An important factor within my life is that I am kept busy, entertained and enthused; travelling to a different country and experiencing their culture would definitely solve this issue. Continuously I am shocked, surprised and intrigued by stories I see or read within the news regarding the lives of others around the world. The idea of being able to combine my love of writing and that of learning is what has really pushed my want to do well in this campaign! To be able to broaden my thoughts, develop skills, and take part in activities bespoke to a certain country or culture, as well as being able to document it all in its entirety using my blog is fantastic! All that’s left to say is that being one of the lucky people to ‘win’ this once in a lifetime prize, would probably change my life, and me as a person. I can only see this being a good thing, so please vote for me 🙂 big love, stay cool. Sarah xx

Niels Lentink, from Ginger Life (Netherlands) says: 

I’m a broke 20 year old ginger who wants to see reactions from people all over the world who’ve never seen a ginger before.

Daphne Groeneveld, from Marlow Travels (Netherlands) says: 

My motivation for being part of the Big Blog Exchange? Well, to be honest traveling is one of my major passions and so is writing. For my studies I had to decide either between Travel Management or Journalism. I chose the first one, but now that I am near to graduating, I would love to combine the two and document my travels by writing and photographing. Marlow Travels, my blog, has been a fun start at it, but being able to go on an exchange for it would make a tremendous difference! I am so excited for the opportunity!

 

Hannah, from Beginners Beauty (UK) says: 

Writing my blog has made me feel so much more confident than I used to. After suffering from anxiety attacks for nearly 2 years, starting my blog early last year has allowed me to talk to so many different people that share the same interests as me. I have been given great opportunities and I would love to have this opportunity to share my blog with more people and discover even more amazing people!

Motivations We Love #2

Again, we are really enjoying reading your great motivations. Here are just a small preview of blogger motivations:

Jonny Blair, from Don’t Stop Living – A Lifestyle of Travel says:

I am a one man, walking, talking and writing guide to all seven continents. I have spent the last 10 years travelling the world, meeting new people, working in different jobs and experiencing anything and everything that comes my way. I am a passionate travelling Northern Irishman with an unstoppable quest to visit every country. I live a lifestyle of travel, because I created this way of living for myself. Vote for me and you’ll be reading my stories and gaining travel inspiration forever. Don’t be stuck in a dull, busy office or supermarket – get out and see the world! Don’t Stop Living, Jonny

Steve, from Social Matador says: 

Every so often in a person’s lifetime comes the opportunity to grow beyond your ability and to give back to the world more than you could ever have imagined. This is that day for 16 lucky people and I hope I am lucky too.

Adel, from Cape Town Collectables says: 

My blog focuses on the niche and interesting coffee shops, galleries, breakfast spots and moments caught on camera that make Cape Town the unique city it is in my eyes. These places and pictures you won’t find in travel brochures and I like adding a personal touch to my bloggings about life in my favourite city. But even though I’m a self-proclaimed Table Mountain nerd, I also love experiencing new and exciting places, hence the ‘Away seeing the world’ section on my blog. When I’m away, I like to discover local pastry shops, capture a different view of the over-photographed monuments and document the local experiences I have in a foreign place. I love travelling on my own and I would love it even more to apply my personal approach to blogging to someone else’s world.

Heidi, from Bits Of Sunshine says: 

The Blogging community is such a tight knit community, and I have so many friends all over the world that I may never meet, who I would love to meet! Baking and cooking is so ingrained in our cultures, how wonderful it would be to learn about a new culture!

Julie Chiou, from Table For Two says: 

I would absolutely love this opportunity to take part in this because one of my favorite things about food blogging is the ability to share my food and cooking with others all around the world. I think one of the most rewarding things about blogging is the friendships you make and what you learn through everyone’s lives and their cultures. I want to participate because I want to immerse myself in another’s culture and take in all that there is to take in. My readers would LOVE to read about the food, the culture, the experience, and especially the photographs I’d take along with this!