I often forget how good nature can be for the soul.
This weekend I was in Warrnambool and we went to the whale lookout. It was so windy and it was raining on and off but we also got some glimmers of sunshine. In between all of that, we saw two whales… it was epic. Nature at its absolute finest. To be out in the elements but also see these incredible creatures was surreal and grounding at the same time.
I get a similar feeling, however, when I walk my dog at along my favourite bush track.
It has been a hot minute since I’ve published a newsletter, but I read two on my commute to uni this morning and felt utterly inspired. They’re at the bottom of this post 🙂
I’m one week into my masters degree and so far it’s been a wild ride. I’m on the tail end of a cold that really knocked me around, and I have a lot of fun things coming up in the next few weeks. Mostly birthday related – mine and those of some of my best friends.
Content I’ve enjoyed
Speaking of Leo season…
Loved Tanika’s try on haul… add to cart!!
Obsessed with colour block scarves this winter, very Melbourne-core.
I’ve not spent a lot of time online consciously. More just mindlessly scrolling as a way to unwind.
Ok this palette, I think I need it.
Something I’d recommend
I get overwhelmed by all the content out there I could be consuming. Which is why I love newsletters. They stay in my inbox as a reminder to read them but also it’s from creators I know I’ll enjoy.
Let me know if you want me to forward the most current issue of them to you via email.
I am so excited to update this post! I am not an expert in the influencer space at all, but I want to open up the conversation. I wish I could impart more advice but there are so many aspects of this online world I have not yet experienced… so here is just a bit of advice for you to take with a grain of sale 😉
*I use the term influencer and content creator interchangeably, choose your fighter hehe*
Is being an influencer a ‘real job’?
Kicking things off with a BANG. Oh my, you lot did not hold back haha. Of course it is! However, is that why you want to do it? To pay the bills? Personally, I started blogging as a hobby. I have a lot of feelings about monetising your hobby. So it probably won’t be my full time gig anytime soon (never say never!). Social media can also complement your day job nicely. Teachers sharing their outfits and lunches are one of my fave kind of accounts to follow. At the end of the day we are just particles of matter floating around on a giant rock, so yes I think an influencer’s work is real 😉 The question is, is it real to YOU?
Do I need a media kit?
It certainly can’t hurt! I gave mine a refresh on Canva recently and it was free, easy to use and looks profesh. You can keep it short and sweet! I use my media kit to explain what ROLLY Mag is in terms of vibes. It often looks nicer on a graphic than in a paragraph slab on an email.
How do you disclose when a product is received for free?
The language I use is *PR with obligation to post* if I received the prodcut on the condition I posted content about it.
Or *PR with no obligation to post* to disclose that the product was free but this content I am making because I want to!
How do I negotiate with brands?
As an influencer, you are doing the work of the photographer, the copywriter, the assistant, the model etc so time is precious. My conditions are always that my post with be honest (so that I don’t get stuck posting about a product I didn’t like) and that there is no time frame to deliver the content.
Be clear and concise in what you want. Especially if you are pitching yourself to a brand, make it known from the get go what the terms of working with you will be. I am still learning this one to be honest.
What is a posting scheduleand should I have one?
A posting schedule is having a set routine for when you post your content. This could be everyday at 7am for example. Instagram’s algorithm is a tricky one (lol, that’s an understatement) and there is so much speculation about whether or not having a posting schedule works from a system POV. My suggestion would be to figure out what your audience likes. Play around with posting times and days and see when you get the most engagement. Consider that you might be located in a different timezone to where majority of your audience lives. I have two side notes here however: 1) it might be well and good for your audience to like a 7am post, but this may not be well suited to your own schedule outside of Instagram… and 2) there isn’t much method to the madness. There’s no trick to posting, sometimes you just get lucky with good engagement. Don’t be hard on yourself!
I am happy for my blogger friends but i’m also jealous they get so much PR! How do I fight the green monster?
Ah, sweet friend. I feel you!!! I feel like I experience jelaousy in this space in waves. Sometimes, I don’t post content for weeks/months and so I can’t expect to receive PR. Or, like right now tbh, I’m working my butt off to refresh ROLLY Mag with little pay off (ie. the brands I want to work with leave me on read) and others in the space are going to epic events. Here’s the secret… do not take it personally. A brand did not look at your profile and actively choose to not invite you/not send you PR. And if they did, their loss. There are so many people in this space and there is room for all of us. But not all of the time. Keep your eye on your ‘why’. My why, is because I am a beauty enthusiast and I want to have fun with beauty. You must check your privilege and realise the freebies are a just a bonus. (I know easier said than done, and I also know that I am not perfect… but it’s food for thought, yeah?)
How do I grow my audience?
I am leaving this one in the hands of @lucymneville – because she knows her shit! And I could not agree more! This also links back to your ‘why’… (In life in general I’m trying to do things for the fun of it, and so why shouldn’t that apply to the blog too ya know!)
How much do you charge for your sponsored content?
Ah, the million dollar question! I’ll answer in two parts:
I do not currently charge for content. Realistically, I should. Applying a price tag will continue to show brands that mirco-influencers like me should be taken seriously. However, I do not have the mental capacity for the logistics of it right now. Therefore…
This section of the answer will probably leave you with more questions, but given I have no direct experience I’m going to link this resource that might be helpful! Danni Duncan’s highlight, aptly titled ‘don’t work for free’. It’s such a tricky space and one that is not very openly talked about. I think a general rule of thumb is to charge more than you think you should, do not undersell yourself!
I would love to hear your thought in the comments below!
Start Blaming Single Men, Right Now – when I first read this, I thought it sounded a bit intense. But then I thought, it also sounds true. Intense maybe because it has totally flipped the narrative. I’m so intrigued, and I’m so here for it.
Something I’d recommend
Experiment with Reels on Instagram! I am so upset about the new IG app, but I’m trying to play ball and make more video content on IG because obviously that’s what it is preferenced over static posts (by the algorithm). I’m hoping to make a reels series of me applying spf in real (reel?!) time.
Editor’s note: This post was originally written in 2020. I found it in my drafts and have decided to share it, nearly two years later. The brand mentioned no longer sells makeup from their website, and free shipping on the site is for orders over $50. Also with this title, I actually never accept monetary payment for my work. I mostly work on a ‘product in exchange non-obliged content’ basis. However, it is something I am working towards for the future. The notion behind it however, is that brands need to take the role of influencers seriously, and this means respecting and appropriately paying for our time. Please remember to be kind.
It has been a minute since I’ve done a Blogging BTS post, but I’m so excited to be back. At first I thought I would speak about this on stories- as there are some things I feel like are better explained in spoken words- but I saw two complications to this which I will get to. So instead, I saw it as a good opportunity to reignite this series.
Let’s jump in.
I recently saw a creator I really love share that she was gifted some makeup products from the brand Flora Remedia, and shared her first impressions on her stories although there was no obligation to post.
You see, my issue with sharing this on stories would be the anonymity of this creator. I am not sharing her name purely because this is not about her. I love her work and admire her a lot, but don’t want her to be dragged into this. I imagine some of you may be able to guess who it is. I am happy for her to see this. But it isn’t about having an issue with her at all and so that is why I’m sharing on my blog where I have a significantly smaller audience. I hope those of you reading this respect my decision.
Anyways! I have purchased Flora Remedia essential oil products in the past but never their makeup. I didn’t even know they did makeup until I saw those posts. The creator really loved the products they tried, and so I thought I would reach out to Flora Remedia. I did my usual DM to brands that I would like to try more from: I introduce myself, tell them how I found out about them, and ask if they would like to see my media kit before discussing further.
I contacted them on the 6th of August, and they replied back a week later, on the 13th . They said they would love to work with me if I could ‘post’ in the same way as the creator I first saw receive their products.This is where the issues arise for me. I was being asked to produce content in exchange for free products, whereas this creator I’ve been telling you about, received them with no obligation.
The audience size between me and this creator is significant. I have a MUCH smaller account that she does. I understand that. However, I really felt like this brand was taking advantage of me by saying ‘sure, but…’
Especially because I know these were not the same grounds as the other creator. And the way they mentioned ‘post’ confused me… was it just a first impressions they wanted? Could this be done on the feed or as stories? It wasn’t clear. In my reply, I did ask for this to be clarified.
But before I had even thought of any of this, I honestly thought, ‘no I can’t do that… I’m not a professional like her.’
The creator is a makeup artist- that’s her job. I use makeup for fun and blog as a hobby. I didn’t feel right giving my audience a demonstration of products, when I was new to them myself. The whole situation really didn’t sit right with me.
I messaged back Flora Remedia and explained my feelings. I said my content is generally still images, with a review for my audience. I explained that I understand my content style may not align with them at the moment.
They’ve left me on read ever since.
That is just another story… they could’ve liked the message, at the very least, in acknowledgment?
Since then, I’ve created content that is a bit out of my comfort zone by sharing my Reel about Thin Lizzy. The irony here is that Thin Lizzy said they would consider me for PR if I could create content like other creators who have received their products and do a ‘full face of’ style video accompanied by a picture of their face on the feed. That just isn’t what I do. And yet, I purchased that Thin Lizzy item myself and made them free advertising for it, that was out of my comfort zone. Agh. But you know why? I do this because I love it. I genuinely love that Thin Lizzy product and wanted to show you guys how good it is.
I genuinely love the new Sand and Sky Tasmanian Spring Water range and wanted to show you guys how good it was and how I was using it (see this highlight for those stories.)
However, all of these situations have made me realise, oh dang, this is why creators don’t want to work for free. Getting product in exchange for content is not easy!!! It’s fun, yes, but it doesn’t pay the bills. Despite my not so positive interactions with Flora Remedia, I still really wanted to try their products. So, with a quick Google I was able to find quite a few discount codes for their website. There was variety of codes available, some from Mother’s Day it seems haven’t been turned off. So I used the code CLEAN30 which got me 30%.
Despite being an Australian brand, they don’t include tax in the price of the products so that additional cost was a surprise to me when I went to check out. They do offer free shipping above $30.
I purchased their highlight, bronze and blush cream sticks. They are all $30 each which is reasonably priced for that style of product at the moment. However, they bronzer and highlight come in a duo for $30 so that’s good bang or buck. It’s actually odd that they would do that combo for that price, and the fact that they don’t have a blush combo is odd to me. But anyways.
I also bought the BB cream. This comes is a despicable three shades, the fair I believe will be too dark for me anyways. I really like this style of product but I am honestly annoyed at myself at giving into temptation and supporting a brand that is so un-inclusive of skin tones.
On one hand, I feel like I don’t want to provide a review on these products that I’ve purchased because ultimately, they will still be getting free advertising out of me.
But on the other hand, I’m reminding myself WHY I do this. For the love of beauty products. That’s it, that’s why I am here. Occasional free stuff is a bonus.
Priceline *never* work with me despite the countless times I’ve supported them on IG and the thousands of dollars I’ve spent there- but does that stop me? No. (Editor’s note: two years since writing and I still have never worked with Priceline despite having made so much content about them… cries!)
I hope this all makes sense. It was a tricky one but I’m glad to have shared it because I want to help break down the stigma of talking about the ‘behind the scenes’ of the blogging world. It’s all so hush hush- but I don’t believe it has to be!
Hey friends! We are back on the Monday posting grind – woo! I published the newsletter mid week last week, because better late than never, right?
Not gonna lie, friends, I have a LOT on my plate right now. And a lot of decisions to make. I am overwhelmed. But I’m going to Cairns in late June and honestly if I can get there in one piece, I’ll know I survived this next period of CHAOS pretty well. Keen. Lots of to do lists and pros/cons lists to make in the meantime lol.
Content I enjoyed…
So Harry Styles released his album recently and I’m not one to listen to an album the whole way through. I used to be, back in my peak fangirl days, but I’m much more a fan of shuffle in recent times. And yet, Sir Styles had me listening tot he album from start to finish on the day it was released. I love it. That’s the start and end of it.
Minnie is such a kind soul, and her content truly reflects that. This was amazing to read, so refreshing!
As a recovering perfectionist, I love this kind of content!
Zara from the Shameless podcast recommended this read and it is so fabulous, such great perspective – the worst career advice.
Something I’d recommend…
Do something alone! During lockdown, I found an absolute LOVE for eating out alone. There’s a particular cafe near me that lends itself very nicely to a solo lunch date. I adore it. But last week, my friend could no longer come with me to the LANY concert and I really considered not going myself.
But I went, alone. Spoiler: the universe really looked after me.
I had covid recently, and on the tail end of my isolation I finally felt well enough to sit up in bed and read. And read I did. It’s one of those things I have wanted to do for so long but I’ve either started a book and given up because it was not of interest or my attention span didn’t allow me to persist (and I would pick up Tik Tok instead).
But with some free time on my hands (a rarity!) I finally persisted and got on a roll. If reading isn;t your thing (the irony ha!) you can watch me rapid fire review the books on my instagram here ❤
Side note: I have no idea how to give a star rating. Like what am I basing it on? Who knows lol!
Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason
Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
This book has high praise- and for good reason. However, the term ‘sorrow’ describes it perfectly. I cried a lot during this book. So just make sure you are ready to take that on if you start reading this. It was realistic and complicated which made it almost confronting. But it was so funny in parts also. My favourite line of the book comes from a side character who is a former drug addict, ‘everything is redeemable’. That hit home for me.
I Give My Marriage a Year by Holly Wainwright
Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
I read this after Sorrow and Bliss in need of a bit of lightness. It was light in places, but there was also some frustrating and heavy bits. It also was centred around a marriage (duh) which I did struggle to relate to. Although some topics discussed were just general life struggles, I can’t really connect to the stories of marriage and children and motherhood like this – but if you are in this stage of life I think it would be beautiful to read this. I really respect Holly as a journalist and also as an author, particularly after seeing the post below. I was definitely guilty of disliking Lou but then reading what Holly had to say about female characters made me rethink why I didn’t like her. I then actually came to really appreciate her POV.
The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazlewood
Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
Ok, these next two are truly light and fluffy. I devoured this book. It was truly everything. I adore it! It was a slow burn fake-dating story line that had me on the edge of my seat in anticipation for a good majority of the book. The part where Olive and Adam finally admit they like each other did NOT disappoint. Wowee. If you know, you know. And if you don’t know, you need to go to the author’s website and read the exclusive chapter 16 from Adam’s POV. Thank me later. I can’t wait for read more from this author, because all of her stories centre around women in STEM. Love that!
The Deal by Elle Kennedy
Rating: 4 out of 5.
The reason I give this one 4 stars, I can justify, is because it was written in 2015 and you can tell. Some things are a little bit outdated – ek! But on the whole, this is fabulous. Another fake dating scenario, adore. It gives Wattpad energy and I think that’s why I enjoyed it. I liked the banter between the characters too. It’s not going to stimulate your mind and cops some fair criticism but you might enjoy it if you need a light and juicy read.
Heart stopper by Alice Oseman
Rating: 5 out of 5.
I didn’t realise this book is actually a comic, so it only took me about 15 minutes to read. I don’t really recommend the book, because you could watch the Netflix series instead. And you should. It is so beautiful. Such a sweet story and executed brilliantly. I adored it. So much.
So, I took a break from the blog. Among other things, I got covid. It was a rough time.
But I am slowly on the mend.
Lots of chat to come about my 3 day trip to Sydney also, so let’s do it 😉
Content I enjoyed…
I want to do something MORE with ROLLY Mag but 1) I’m not sure what and 2) I’m scared. Mainly of what people will think of me… which is silly I know but, nonetheless… However, my girl crush right now Lucy shared this video of Queen ZFB giving some pretty powerful advice… It might just be the advice that changes everything!!!
I found all the MET coverage overwhelming to be honest, but these are my two fave pieces of content to come from it:
Plisse is everything right now and I am here! for! it!
Obsessed with this entirely drugstore look!
Something I’d recommend…
Going to Sydney! I loved playing tourist on a quick 3 day weekend trip. We jammed so much into our days, but there’s still things I would love to go back and do. I shared some vlogs of the trip on Instagram, but I’m always happy to answer questions or provide some more info if you need ❤
I was saying last week I was not looking forward to uni starting back on campus, but guess what lol… I kinda love it! I haven’t quite got into the swing of it yet as I am catching car rides rather than public transport but it’s FUN to wear real clothes and get takeaway food. And I have seen some awesome sunrises.
It’s not my fave thing ever but it’s truly not the worst… so that’s been a pleasant surprise to not hate it.
Content I enjoyed…
I have had both of these on my wish list for a while, so was very grateful to read this review!
I’ll just leave this here…
Something I’d recommend…
Over the weekend I started my training to become a Body Pump instructor. It was so fun but tiring. It was my first time EVER doing anything like that. And after my second presentation, I was feeling pretty defeated and disappointed in myself. despite being happy with my first presentation mind you.
But then I was reminded of two things (side note: I got external reminders… I really need to work on making this internal!!)
It is fun! Not just Body Pump, but life!!!
These skills (of learning choreo, teaching and presenting on stage etc) are entirely new to me. How can I expect myself to be an expert on the first day of learning something??? I am trying to be kind to myself as I encounter new things – and I encourage you to do the same.
So there was no newsletter last week… for the simple fact that I forgot to press publish… AGH! So a bumper-ish edition today. I feel like I’m just in survival mode right now- I’ve been house sitting which has put me way out of routine and I’m just sort of getting by without my home comforts. And all these public holidays have been a confusing my routine too. But as of tonight, I’m back in my own bed – yipee! About to start a new routine with uni starting on campus as of tomorrow. Trying to make the most of it but I am not excited for pre-6am starts and public transport…
Sephora has a sale, and whilst I didn’t check out… I had a mighty long wish list.
Is tumbled upon these two posts that really resonated with me…
Two books I’ll buy eventually when my current TBR gets a bit shorter…
Something I’d recommend…
This isn’t even a recommendation, this is an order… you need to watch Little Women on Netflix. It is just a masterpiece. So lovely to watch, visually, and such a great story. I read it as a child so didn’t have much memory about the sequence of events. It was just cosy. Adore.
I also watched a lot of Disney+. How I Met Your Father, Only Murderers In The Building, Encanto and Turning Red were all glorious. Highly recommend.