Since I started market shoppers blog in August of 2015, I have been releasing a minimum of 2 blogs a month, covering various issues with markets. Some people have loved my blogs and some people have hated them but we can’t please everybody. Nonetheless I have kept the blogs going and here we are today with blog number 50, 10,000 views, and over 5,000 visitors, without implementing SEO.
A lot has changed for me since I started this venture, for example when I started I did not have a business now I am running Where’s My Market?, some markets have closed down but some new ones have opened, I have met many traders who have retired, and many who have just begun. Also, I have met many market operators and I would say this is the biggest thing that could have changed for me, as initially I thought it was the market operators’ fault that markets were declining, but now having been in this world for a fair amount of time, I have realised this is not always the problem, sometimes it is an issue which is out of their hands.
For this 50th blog we will give you a recap of the last 49 blogs.
Our first ever blog released was ‘where are the young market traders’, a very popular blog that had good feedback, discussing the issues of there being a lack of young market traders on our markets today. We then followed this blog by responding to one of our early followers’ concerns and discussing issues in a local market under the Walsall council banner Willenhall market, and traders closing early resulting in the market not being very successful. When looking into this further, we realised Willenhall market is a market of concern, which needs a lot of help. For example, a simple thing like toilets for traders could have helped combat the traders closing early and increasing footfall, as the elderly may feel more comfortable shopping where they have access to clean public toilets.
We discussed the misconception of the local market, where people conceive markets in a bad light, and asked questions into this, as well point out the hard work that goes into market trading. This was followed this by a blog where we discussed imagining a future without markets, which many of us admitted we did not want to do. Elsewhere, I may have gotten a little personal in discussing cowboy market traders, this being those traders who ruin the market with their faulty goods and give all market traders a bad name, which kind of ties in with the misconception of markets.
From patrolling the markets and conducting market research pre-Where’s My Market? I realised a big issue in markets were the rise in rent as this is an issue nearly all traders on the markets I visited mentioned as well as online, but because of this blog I felt I was touching on many negative issues as it seemed there were more bad than good to write about. This then lead me to think what was good about the markets and realised my local market (Bilston market), the market I have all my good memories from triggered positive aspects and keeping on this good note, I decided to put together a series of blogs as to why you should favour the market over the supermarket, touching on GMO, benefits of shopping local, and the atmosphere you experience at the market.
I then tried to conduct a different blog, as I was still trying to see which blogs perform the best and I admit this blog was not the best blog I could have done and was somewhat of a failure. This blog was cockney market trader terms vs black country, but we live and we learn, so to combat this I thought I would list my top 5 personal needs I think will improve markets in the west midlands in the next blog. Before we knew it we were in December where the idea of a SWOT analysis 4 part series of blogs was started, titled ‘would markets be used markets if they were actually open longer’, followed by a review of the market shoppers blog in 2015.
By February 2016 I had my Virgin Start Up application accepted which meant I could start Where’s My Market? and this was when I first let my followers know about Where’s My Market? and also being made a Virgin Start Up of the Week. However, the greatest thing about this month was the NMTF allowing us to perform a series of blogs based on them, as this is a company held in high respect for Market Shoppers Blog in the market community. Thriving off the buzz of a successful month, I decided to share with my followers why I thought a market stall was a great first business in a 2 part blog series, followed by a somewhat poetic/rhyming post covering issues in markets, almost a musical of a blog in markets! Who’s to blame?
Somewhat getting used to blogging now, I decided to share what goes on in my mind and what I feel markets need with market traders and networking event blogs, as well as crazy markets where I discuss crazy ideas markets could implement, and the revamp of Wolverhampton market. I was sent a press release to be posted on the blog involving the closing of Cradley Heath markets, which I gladly posted, followed by getting in a guest blogger who discussed what is a market to him, followed by publishing a blog for the national youth markets return hosted by the NMTF and NABMA.
At this point now we were in September and I had just gotten Where’s My Market? site and all the important details finished, which meant I could sign up traders meaning I would be visiting markets more, which then lead to my first market specific blog, being released on Coventry market, as well as discussing why markets are closing down. I then published blogs on Stafford’s market, and made a guide on how to choose a market if you are interested in market trading, as well as writing a positive review on markets due to being told again, I am too negative.
Still on my Where’s My Market? journeys I visited my favourite market yet, which by this point was Penkridge market, which I believe is an asset to the West Midlands. This was followed by a hopefully inspirational blog asking market traders to not give up, and then discussing the possibility of schools and markets combining. We also spoke about the next generation of market traders, and wrote a blog ‘don’t hold back your market’ aimed at the market shoppers.
Then we made it to 2017, where we changed things at Market Shoppers Blog a little and started releasing blogs at the end of each month, with the release of street markets and their issues, discussing whether we have missed our chance to capture the next generation and listing our top 10 basic market problems. We also published blogs on Cannock Chase markets, my top 2 markets in the West Midlands as well as our latest blog The British market a place of Culture I would like to say thank you for reading and I hope you have enjoyed our blogs so far. See you in the next blog!