Sarah Howells aka The Gluten-Free Blogger launched her blog back in 2002 and her work has gone from strength to strength, winning Best Free From Account in the Creative Impact Awards 2021.
I’m Sarah, otherwise known as The Gluten-Free Blogger. I was diagnosed with coeliac disease way back in 2002 and decided to launch a blog as a hobby when I was in uni to connect with other gluten-free people.
Little did I know this would turn into my full-time career!
Now it’s my mission to help people live a positive gluten-free life – I’m determined to show everyone that going gluten-free should be a foodie adventure rather than just missing out. I hope I can use my corner of the internet to put a smile on people’s faces with silly videos and by recreating my favourite recipes gluten-free style. It’s my aim to make people feel they’re not alone when they’re first diagnosed with coeliac disease.
When I am not baking I am out exploring the coastline on my stand-up paddleboard. I may be a bit wobbly still but it’s the most peaceful way to spend an afternoon!
Behind the content
I’ll be completely honest, I feel like I’ve been winging it this whole time! Sometimes I have to pinch myself that I managed to get this far with a complete lack of organisation. However, it does help me be super reactive. I like my social media to reflect what I’ve done, experienced or been inspired by that day.
Most of the inspiration for my comical Instagram reels or text posts.
Either come from over-caffeinating or during 2 am epiphanies when I have to get out of bed and write it down! My recipes are usually inspired by trips around the supermarkets spotting products I wish I could eat. I then decide to make my own version instead.
Making a bigger impact
I really hope that I can show people struggling with a gluten-free diet that it doesn’t have to be difficult through The Gluten-Free Blogger. I don’t want people thinking, “oh no, I have to give up so much” – because in reality a lot of it is easy to recreate.
And often the homemade versions are better. Any time I get a message from someone saying my posts have helped them it makes me feel like all the late nights and failed recipe attempts have been worth it. All I want to do is put a smile on people’s faces.
I think when I first started blogging I vastly under-estimated the potential reach I could have.
At the time, being an influencer or full-time blogger wasn’t even a thing. It took me a very long time to build up the confidence that I could actually do this and I like to think if I had been bolder I could have made it my career a lot sooner. That being said, I did end up having a brilliant eight-year stint as a local journalist. I learned a lot of the skills, writing experience and contacts that helped me to get my blog where it is today.
My biggest achievements
Aside from winning the Creative Impact award!?
The biggest achievement for me was the day I finally handed my notice in at my job to take my blog full-time (in 2019). I’d been battling with the decision for over a year and was going through a period in my life where my mental health had taken a massive dive.
I knew I had to make some major changes to improve my happiness even though the prospect of leaving secure employment was terrifying. However, I felt so free once I handed that notice in. It taught me to take risks and to listen to my gut. I should have left that job a long time before I did but my confidence and fear of failure held me back. Once I quit, I never looked back.
Community is everything
So many people have helped me along my journey and it would be unfair to single out one. My partner Steve has always been the one who pushed me and told me I could do it. I don’t think I’d have left my job without his support.
The free-from blogging community is filled with wonderful people and there have been some people who have become great friends; I think we have all supported each other along the way. It’s so important to work together. there’s no point competing when you’re all trying to achieve the same thing and help others. We have a much stronger voice together and I’m grateful the gluten-free blogging community is so friendly.
Creative Impact is a lovely community and a great way to connect with other bloggers and learn new skills. I’ve found it really helpful to just know that a support network is there.
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