Editor’s Note: The following article is written by European Beer Bloggers Conference alumnus Max Brearley, blogger at The Pub Diaries, who has leveraged his blogging to create his own beer-related business.
A couple of years ago I set out from London to Leeds. I was headed to the 2012 European Beer Bloggers Conference. It was the first step in getting more serious about blogging and writing outside of pubdiaries.com. I came away from that weekend with a real sense that I could take things further. I just didn’t realize how far.
Advice from the sessions and also informally over a beer was some of the most valuable I’ve received. Peers at the same step in the journey or many years on, professional journalists amongst them, were open and honest about how to get on. Once back home I put that advice into play and saw results. My pitching of articles improved. My persistence in winning commissions was hardened. I was taking it more seriously.
Over the past few years I’ve seen a complete shift in my career and my life, part of which I’d attribute to signing up to the EBBC. In September 2012 I left a corporate job in the City of London. I’d weathered the financial crisis in an industry that had been badly battered by the storm. A move that shocked colleagues and friends alike saw not just a career change but a move to a different continent.
Now I’m living in Western Australia, writing for a living on beer, food and travel. Through my new company Offshoot Creative, I’m able to write and create content for businesses and organizations – a far cry from when I boarded the train to Leeds. I recently had one of those moments where you take a moment and think how far you’ve come and how different things are now. Filming a short film for Tourism Western Australia at the home of Aussie beer icon Little Creatures (see film below), I was struck by the thought that if I were still in my old job, I’d be sitting at my desk, staring most likely at a spreadsheet, and thinking of my next blog post about beer.
Now, I’m putting Go Pros in Hop Barrels and thinking about the next commission.