Blogging BTS #10 with Emily Doherty

ROLLY Mag

If you haven’t heard of @emilydoherty_, let me introduce you to her… Emily is a pilates instructor, speech pathologist, spf enthusiast, gluten-free foodie, endo champion and golden retriever lover. As you can seee, she is such a boss lady, with many attributes to her name… I thought I would also let her IG bio introduce her to you all so you can follow along her adventures 😉

Speech Pathologist with a BBusMan
Founder @glutenfreebucketlist & @endogirlgang
@endometriosisaustralia Endo Champion
APPI Pilates @unitehealth

Emily has kindly answered some questions for today’s edition of Blogging BTS, but she’s also shared so much knowledge about her life as a speech pathologist, you can read that here.

Tell us how you started your Instagram page. You also run @glutenfreebucketlist and @endogirlgang – what inspired you to start these pages? I have Coeliac Disease and Endometriosis. I decided to start both of these pages to raise awareness for the conditions, share information and to also connect with others.

Did you actively try to grow your following or did it happen organically? My following has grown organically. Coeliac Disease and Endometriosis are very niche areas, so this has allowed my following to grow more quickly.

Have you ever reached out to a brand to work with you? Or do the brands contact you? Yes, I have reached out to a brand if I think that I would be a good fit. I have also had brands reach out to me too. 

What was the first item you were ever ‘hashtag gifted’? I competed in Miss Universe Australia a couple of years ago and we were gifted products as part of the program. The first item I was gifted was a dress from Esther & Co Boutique. 

Have you had a ‘pinch me’ Instagram/modelling moment? Absolutely! Last year I spent six months modelling in Milan, Athens and Istanbul. Who is your dream brand to collaborate with? I have too many to list! I have dream brands for me personally, but I also have dreams brands that I would like to work with for Gluten Free Bucket List and Endo Girl Gang.

Thank you SO much for your time Emily! Be sure to follow along on all of Emily’s adventures – links are at the top of this post x

Follow along on IG @rolly.mag>>> https://www.instagram.com/rolly.mag/

Love a bargain? Me too! Find a bargain in my Discount Directory >>> https://rollymag.home.blog/rolly-mags-discount-directory/

And say hello via email >>>

hellorollymag@gmail.com

Blogging BTS #9 by ROLLY Mag

ROLLY Mag

Hi everyone!

As part of my Q&A series, it was suggested that I answer the Qs from my Blogging BTS segment! Read the Blogging BTS series here and the Q&A series here.

If you have any other blogging or non blogging related Qs please leave them in the comments below! Enjoy xx

How long have you been blogging/had your IG?

I officially started ROLLY Mag on Decembers 28th 2018!

What was the first item you were ever ‘hashtag gifted’?

I’m pretty sure the first product I was offered for free was my Aria necklace from V&Me Custom Designs. That’s such a special piece to me because of that. However, between that initial offer and receiving the necklace, I was sent a PR package from Du’it and the Sweaty Betty PR team. That’s when I told my family about my blog, before then I had kept it a total secret. I knew they wouldn’t believe I had bought foot cream online for myself haha.

Do you reach out to brands to collaborate? Or do you wait for them to approach you?

This is kind of the whole reason I started my Blogging BTS series, because I wanted to hear more about this side of blogging that is often clouded in secrecy. Yes, I reach out to brands to collaborate. This is how majority of my collaborations come about. Occasionally, brand reach out to me. I wrote a post here about how to contact brands.

Have you ever been rejected by a brand for a collaboration?

Yes, plenty of times! Sometimes a brand with read but not reply to my message. Or they’ll decline me because of my following size. Whatever- their loss ha!

I recently was declined work with brand because of my ‘cluttered’ feed. The brand was very professional and provided constructive criticism but it definitely still knocked my confidence a bit as I had never seen this competitive side of the industry before. This event was quickly forgotten however because the next day I was accepted onto Bobbi Brown’s PR list soooooo… *happy dance*

Have you had a ‘pinch me’ blogging moment?

YES! So many! My top three are probably:

  • getting a Palmer’s PR package. It was enormous. It was the kind of package you see big name influencers receiving. I felt so lucky to get that- especially so early on in my blogging life too.
  • my invite to the BYS Halloween Party! SUCH a pinch me moment. I was there among some incredible bloggers and makeup influencers- I was so starstruck!
  • Meeting my blogger friends in real life, like Amy, Daisy, Shanice and Sonia …. it sounds weird to say but I can’t believe they exist behind a screen? Haha. They are honestly some of my best friends. That’s the best part about blogging/IG- the connections you make with others.

Can you think of a time when your following (as in, the number of followers you have) has ever disadvantaged or benefitted you?

I have had numerous brands encourage me to reach out again once my following grew to 5K+. But I don’t really see that as a ‘disadvantage’ per se, because on the other hand, I would assume that most of the brands I work with now have chosen me based off my 2K+ follower count. I know this is important to brands, but I honestly don’t pay any attention to my follower count. I only look at it if I’m updating my media kit haha.

Who is your dream brand to collaborate with?

Take a guess… PRICELINE! Of course! I feel like I make sooooo much Priceline related content and they don’t even like my posts lol. (Although my fave store always does hehe @pricelinepharmacy.bsm).

My content literally wouldn’t change if I did collaborate with them- because it would still be me updating you on sales and new items etc. It would just mean I could try more because I had more money to spend! So yeah, Priceline, holler at me. 😉

Is it your goal to make blogging a full time job?

Yes and no. On one hand, I would love to be able to work from home and be with my dog all the time. But the uncertainty of the industry puts me off. And there is also the fact that I’m a serial procrastinator. So if I ever had the pressure of using blogging to pay my bills, rather than just be a hobby, I’d probably freak out haha. @the.life.of.laura is one of my blogging inspirations, because she is a teacher by trade, but does that alongside blogging both part time. I think that’s a nice balance that I aspire to reach.

What’s one PR package you wish you received?

I used to think Innisfree, but I’m now on their PR list which is just actual goals. So now I’d say that Opallac do incredible PR packages, and of course, Mecca. I don’t often buy high end beauty so that would be an absolute treat! Or Colourpop. OMG!!!

If someone said ‘what do you do?’ would you say ‘I’m a blogger?’ Why/why not?

My friends don’t even know that I had this blog, so the answer is no! Haha. I’m never really in a situation where this question would arise either. If I’m amongst other influencers, then yes I say I’m a blogger, because you can be a Youtuber or Instagrammer or combination of things so it’s appropriate to specify.

Do you have an issue with the algorithm?

No, because like with my follower count, I don’t pay attention to likes or engagement. If I have followers who want to see my content, I know they’ll actively seek it out if it hasn’t come up in their feed. At least, that’s what I do with my fave bloggers! Because my IG account was disabled for a short while, I’ve really learnt to be waaaaay more chill about Instagram as a whole…. what will be will be!

What’s one condition you would never agree to with a gifted or sponsored post?

This has never happened to me before, but if a brand wanted me to give a positive/generic review regardless of my own opinion- I’d say no. Or if they needed my face to be in the content I produced. When I worked with Naked Bean, they needed a body part in the image but gave the choice of face/arm/leg etc.

What is one of your conditions that a brand must agree to in order to collaborate with you?

The opposite of the above, really! The review has to be completely my own, unbiased opinion and I won’t often show my face in photos!

Why don’t you show your face?

A couple of reasons; this blog is a secret from my real life friends haha so it would be kind awkward for them to accidentally scroll IG and discover my face haha and also, I work two jobs where I value my privacy. I would not want to be recognised at work from my blog. It’s just a safety precaution, I guess.

For the sake of this question, we are calling you an ‘influencer’ (or micro-influencer’):

Can you give us just a general overview of your opinion on the whole ‘influencer’ space? Do you trust ‘influencers’ opinions?

All the beauty bloggers I follow on Instagram I would call ‘influencers’- I know people don’t like that term but I personally don’t mind it. It’s just a term of classification, I don’t read into it. And so if I look at those ‘influencers’ yes, I trust them! That’s why my beauty collection is so extensive, because if Leigh or Cortney or Kim etc etc recommend something, chances are I’m ordering it asap!

But then you have another category of influencers, I guess. The LA-based Youtubers, ex reality TV personalities and such. And heck no- I don’t trust a word they say. I’m sorry. I can enjoy their content, but I would likely wait until a trusted blogger reviews their product, rather than take the influencers own word for it. A perfect example of this is Bangn Body or Tribe Skincare.

Amy, Morgan and Kelly all reviewed the famous yellow tube of goodness and sang its praises. So I bought it! A few days later, ex Bachie contestant Abbie Chatfield was modelling with the product and endorsing it. One of my followers said that a beauty product isn’t like a t-shirt that you wear it once and instantly like it. You need to test a beauty product for weeks, if not months, before forming a reliable review. It especially upsets me that there are so many authentic bloggers that review brands like this, and would make incredible brand representatives, yet the big names get chosen instead.

It’s the same with Tribe Skincare and Brittney Lee Saunders and Lauren Curtis. I guess they are big names in the Aussie beauty world, but I personally don’t have a rapport with either of those women to be influenced by them. At the same time, I’m a regular customer of Tribe thanks once again to Amy and Cortney!

Take us behind the camera, do you use natural or artificial light? Phone or DSLR? How do you edit pictures?

I use my iPhone 8 phone camera to take pictures using the ‘square’ setting. The back of my 2019 calendar is my white card backdrop, or occasionally the floor tiles in my house lol. I use natural light, and try to shoot when it’s sunny, and then I do a tiny bit of editing once I’ve added the picture to IG. I just up the brightness and play with the shadows! Simple but effective.

Are you fussy with your feed or do you just wing it? If you are particular and intentional, tell us about the planning process.

I’m not very intentionally with any post except my Week Latte post. Even then, that’s pretty easy to put together, just a grid of four photos in the Pic Collage app. I don’t edit those photos. Everything else I do is often spur of the moment. Sometimes I’ll be eating dinner and golden hour hits so I drop everything to get a quick shot haha.

Follow along on IG @rolly.mag>>> https://www.instagram.com/rolly.mag/

Love a bargain? Me too! Find a bargain in my Discount Directory >>> https://rollymag.home.blog/rolly-mags-discount-directory/

And say hello via email >>>

hellorollymag@gmail.com

Blogging BTS #8 by The Makeup Treasury – Blogmas Day 18

ROLLY Mag

I am so excited to feature Azra from @themakeuptreasury on my Blogging BTS Series today!

I adore her IG- she is always on the mark with new releases, both high end and drugstore. And her Colourpop collection is goalssssss!

Be sure to give her a follow here.

How long have you been blogging/had your IG?

I started my beauty IG page in November 2017. Prior to that I’d been posting daily on my book IG page known as @brokewithabagfullofbooks, which I started in March 2015. I haven’t had much time to review books over on my book page because of uni commitments, but I’m playing with makeup pretty much every day and have been obsessed with makeup since I was 13 so it only made sense that I started a beauty page as well!

What was the first item you were ever ‘hashtag gifted’?

The first ever product I received was a face palette from an Australian indie brand called Make Art Official.

Do you reach out to brands to collaborate? Or do you wait for them to approach you?

I haven’t really contacted a brand to collaborate with them. I’ve only been approached by a few brand during my entire time on IG.

If you don’t reach out to brands, why not?

I always feel a bit weird doing so. I suppose it has something to do with the fear of being rejected by a brand that I’d love to work with.

If so, have you ever been rejected by a brand for a collaboration?

Not really, because I avoid reaching out to brands unless I’m approached by one first.

Have you ever reached out to a brand and received no response?

Yes! Recently I’ve contacted a couple of brands and haven’t received a single response. It can be very disheartening.

Have you had a ‘pinch me’ blogging moment?

I was so shocked when I reached 10k followers! Especially because my account had been stuck at a certain following amount for over a year and a half. Another moment was when I somehow got over 11k likes on a photo (it was of the MAC Cosmetics x Pony Park Hocus Pocus eyeshadow palette than many were lusting over) and my third ‘pinch me’ moment was definitely when ColourPop Cosmetics reached out to me and asked if I wanted to collab with them. It’s a brand that I’ve been obsessed with for quite a few years now so I had to say yes!

Can you think of a time when your following (as in, the number of followers you have) has ever disadvantaged or benefitted you?

Not really. I don’t have much interest in the amount of followers or likes I get. Yes it’s definitely a bonus to see your account grow, but I created my page to share my love for makeup and absolutely love taking photos of my collection.

Who is your dream brand to collaborate with?

ColourPop Cosmetics was definitely one of them and I reached that goal. I feel like collabing with MAC Cosmetics or Tarte would be fun!

Is it your goal to make blogging a full time job?

Nope. I very much got into blogging as a hobby and it will most likely stay that way. I really love posting photos and interacting with others in the beauty community, but I can’t see myself turning it into a career. I’m lucky enough to be very passionate about my career as a psychologist and can’t see myself doing anything other than that.

What’s one PR package you wish you received?

I’d really love to receive PR from Mecca! I’ve been shopping there for 10 years now and that would be a dream come true.

If someone said ‘what do you do?’ would you say ‘I’m a blogger?’ Why/why not?

In this case my response would be ‘psychologist’ because it’s such a massive part of my identity. Blogging has always been a hobby to me and I’d probably only mention it if someone asked what I like to do other than being a psych.

Do you have an issue with the algorithm?

Not so much these days, but I had a massive issue with it for over a year and a half. My page just wasn’t going anywhere and it was so disheartening because I was putting a lot of effort into my posts. These days I find it a lot more enjoyable because I don’t pay much attention to the numbers. I love the fact that IG got rid of visible likes!

What’s one condition you would never agree to with a gifted or sponsored post?

I don’t like the idea of brands telling people to only share positive things about their products. It’s so unauthentic. As a consumer I want to know what people love and hate about a product and would only want to share my true opinion with others. It can really help consumers in deciding whether the product is right for them.

What is one of your conditions that a brand must agree to in order to collaborate with you?

I don’t have any conditions at the moment, probably because I haven’t worked with many brands.

Have you ever had a negative experience with a brand?

I personally haven’t had any negative experiences when interacting with brands but I’ve encountered negative things about certain brands on the internet that has entirely put me off the brand.

Share the story of how you gained a gifted item? From the initial contact, to the post of the item etc. Was it smooth sailing?

I basically just received a DM or email from the brand asking if I wanted to collab with them. Some brands have agreements and requirements, other brands might just require that you share a photo of the product that they send to you. It’s been pretty smooth for me so far.

Name three bloggers who admire and why.

@glossco on IG – her photos are so gorgeous and inspire me to take prettier photos for my feed.

@lipsticknlinguine on IG – she takes great photos and keeps things real which I appreciate from a blogger and youtuber.

@fingerweapons on IG – another fellow Aussie and uni friend who posts the most amazing nail pics and inspirational nail art.

Take us behind the camera, do you use natural or artificial light? Phone or DSLR? How do you edit pictures?

I use natural lighting, so sunny days are my best friend. I also use my iPhone camera to take photos and I edit everything in the PicsArt app.

Are you fussy with your feed or do you just wing it? If you are particular and intentional, tell us about the planning process.

I’m very easy-going with my feed. My photos don’t need to be perfect, as long as they’re relatively cohesive in theme. I like a crisp white background so the products really stand out.

Thanks again for this opportunity!

Azra (@themakeuptreasury)

Follow along on IG @rolly.mag>>> https://www.instagram.com/rolly.mag/

Love a bargain? Me too! Find a bargain in my Discount Directory >>> https://rollymag.home.blog/rolly-mags-discount-directory/

And say hello via email >>>

hellorollymag@gmail.com

Blogging BTS #7 by IC x Beauty – Blogmas Day 11

ROLLY Mag

I’m so excited to feature a BTS post in amongst Blogmas!

The lovely Irene from @icxbeauty has answered some really juicy questions… let’s do it!

Follow Irene here.

How long have you been blogging/had your IG?
I’ve been blogging for 2.5(?) years now I believe. I’ve had my IG for about 4 years or so, maybe even 5. I started it for fun and I was determined to keep at it – which I can say I successfully did. After some time I stopped posting (life got in the way) and in 2017 I revamped my IG, changed my username, flatlay style and the direction for my account and here we are in 2019.
What was the first item you were ever ‘hashtag gifted’?
I think it was either bio oil or some white glo products, those were some of the earliest products I got gifted from memory.
Do you reach out to brands to collaborate? Or do you wait for them to approach you?
In the past I would reach out to small, local (same city) brands but these days they tend to do the approaching.

If you don’t reach out to brands, why not?

I feel like my account is really small (1k followers) so the chances of them choosing me to give the brand/products exposure is quite minimal. However, if I fit their image, they probably would accept for offer. That being said, I generally don’t reach out just because I don’t *need* more products in my life. For the past few years I have been trying to keep things minimal – plus I have so much unopened skincare and makeup just waiting for me to use.
If so, have you ever been rejected by a brand for a collaboration?
Not really…there was this one time I reached out to a brand (like two years ago or so) and it was just starting out and we were located in the same city. I reached out to them for a collaboration, to which they agreed, and I sent them my details. They kept changing the launch date (understandable because hiccups happen) but by the time they were ready to send it to me, they had changed what content they wanted from me without really asking? I told them I was about to go overseas and if they could send the package when I got back. They said that was fine and when I contacted them letting them know so, they didn’t respond to my emails and blocked me on IG…left a bad first impression and I’m glad I never collaborated with them because if that’s how they run a business then I don’t wanna be associated 🤐
Have you had a ‘pinch me’ bloggingmoment?
Don’t think I have.
Can you think of a time when your following (as in, the number of followers you have) has ever disadvantaged or benefitted you?
Nope.
Who is your dream brand to collaborate with?
Probably Sephora or Mecca haha, don’t have any in mind.
Is it your goal to make blogging a full time job?
Definitely not, it wouldn’t be really sustainable IMO and it’s just something I do for fun on the side. If it became a job it might feel like a chore to me and then it wouldn’t bring as much joy, you know?
What’s one PR package you wish you received?
Don’t think I really have one that I can think of. I’m grateful to receive any really, and also grateful for not receiving any 😅
If someone said ‘what do you do?’ would you say ‘I’m a blogger?’ Why/why not?
If they meant it as an employment question, I would say I’m a full time student but I’m also a casual in retail.
If they were asking specifically about blogging then yes I would say I’m a blogger – because I am!
Do you have an issue with the algorithm?
No I’m actually loving it! Only critique is sometimes it’s hard to find the posts from people you want to see? I know sometimes I miss out on a few posts from some of the accounts I’ve been following for years, but besides that, not much of an issue.
What’s one condition you would never agree to with a gifted or sponsored post?
Probably posting my face/having my face or photos reused for advertising without my consent/compensation.
What is one of your conditions that a brand must agree to in order to collaborate with you?
Probably to give me some time to trial and post something. Some deadlines aren’t long enough to get a ‘feel’ of the product.
Have you ever had a negative experience with a brand?
A few yes.
For the sake of this question, we are calling you (and me!) an ‘influencer’ (or micro-influencer’):
Can you give us just a general overview of your opinion on the whole ‘influencer’ space? Do you trust ‘influencers’ opinions?
Ok so this is quite complicated because when you refer to influencers (the ones from YT etc) that have 100k+ followers, I am not a big fan, but on the other side of things, my future career might actually involve influencers AND, in the same way you’re referring to us as influencers, I am a ‘micro-influencer’.
I’ll try to keep this short but straight up, I am not a fan of MOST popular influencers out there. There is too much drama and I find they come across as not genuine and just…who they are and what they stand for doesn’t resonate with me. Some ‘influencers’ are just not nice people, (ok maybe I lied, this’ll be long because I have a lot of opinions on this) I dined at a restaurant a few weeks ago with my BF and on the table behind us there was a food(?) influencer – how do I know you ask? It was too easy to spot, they had all the food laid out, talked really loudly about their collabs and they spent like 15 minutes trying to get the perfect shot – you get the idea. As I was talking to the waiter (who happened to be the manager as well) the influencer burst out asking for something. I found it to be really rude because the manager was already with US, serving US as we are PAYING customers, and here she comes along just acting so rude and calling the manager for something when he’s clearly busy. Not to mention, they left a lotttt of food behind. I mean even if it was free, food doesn’t come cheap.
On the career side of things, I can see that they are a cheaper form of advertising but the whole ‘I have this amount of followers, I deserve free things’ can sometimes go overboard. If you’ve seen the posts about influencers asking for free hotel stays, free food, free paintings, then you’ll know what I’m talking about.
Lastly, us as influencers. I trust the opinions of most micro-influencers, mainly the ones I follow on IG. But this is a bit harder to explain and I’ve rewritten it like five times so I’ll just keep it at that.
Fun fact: I had an assignment a few weeks back where I got to analyse an influencer of my choosing. Interesting results.
If anyone wants to talk about influencers with me, shoot me a DM, I’m happy to learn more about what you think and we can share ideas.
Take us behind the camera, do you use natural or artificial light? Phone or DSLR? How do you edit pictures?
Natural, phone, camera filter.
How did you come up with name for your blog?
I am so glad this is a question because everyone gets my user wrong. My user is icxbeauty but it is read as IC x beauty. IC is my initials and x is just like…x? I don’t know how to explain it, it’s like citing a collaboration. And of course beauty just means I am posting about beauty related stuff.
This wasn’t my original user though!
Thanks again for including me in this, I had a lot of fun answering the questions! Sorry it’s so wordy ahah

Follow along on IG @rolly.mag>>> https://www.instagram.com/rolly.mag/

Love a bargain? Me too! Find a bargain in my Discount Directory >>> https://rollymag.home.blog/rolly-mags-discount-directory/

And say hello via email >>>

hellorollymag@gmail.com

Blogging BTS #7

ROLLY Mag

If you have come from my IG you might know about this story but I wanted to provide you with a full, juicy update!

So one day I received an Instagram message from Beauty Next Australia asking me if I would like to attend a VIP movie screening as a thank you for my support of their brand. I replied saying “yes of course I would thank you so much” and there was a little bit of correspondence back and forth between me and the brand. They got my name my email address but this correspondence was quite sporadic (which I learnt later on was because of they are a small business with few staff to manage their socials…) but basically the last correspondence I had with them was the day before the event.

I messaged and asked if they had an update on tickets. They said “send us your email and we will send you the tickets”. So I sent them my email address and on the day of the event I still hadn’t received an email. So I message them and asked “can you just send through the tickets please” and they still didn’t.

I attended the event without my tickets but knew that they had my name and my other details so I was assuming that my name was on the list. I took my mum as my plus one. I was thinking of inviting one of my Melbourne based beauty blogger friends but I always just had this reservation about it… which was later justified! Ha.

I took my mum, and we travelled an hour in to the city and I had left early from work that day so we made quite a few arrangements around this event so that we could attend. Then I go up to the person at the door and gave my name and said that was here for the Beauty next event.

My name wasn’t on the list so I went downstairs and spoke with the manager who also couldn’t find my name nor any knowledge about Beauty Next who were sponsoring the goody bags for the event. I then spoke with another manager who called people and looked on emails and all these files to try and find my information and they couldn’t.

They essentially said to me “we are so sorry but there is nothing we can do” which is so understandable. My mum and I had to travel an hour back home and we didn’t go and see the movie and we didn’t get our goody bags and it was such a disappointment.

I then shared this on Instagram and it was in the heat of the moment. I actually messaged a few of my beauty blogger friends and said “oh my goodness I do feel a little bit bad about about roasting the brand on Instagram in the height of my disappointment and frustration” but I thought “no I have been severely put out by this and like it’s inconvenienced me” so I think my vent was valid.

The next day Beauty Next saw my message and message me back saying “oh my goodness we are so sorry” and they provided me a phone number to call them on.

The event was a Wednesday night and I called them on Friday and I spoke with a lady from Beauty Next. (I won’t mention her name for her privacy but I very much valued her professionalism.)

She apologised profusely and had contacted the event organisers and they said my tickets had been used and allocated to someone… so they couldn’t figure out why my name wasn’t on the list.

Essentially someone else used my tickets… but it wasn’t me so there was a lot of confusion there. I am also confused about the fact that they sponsored the event yet the managers found no correspondence with the brand.

Nonetheless, Beauty Next were very apologetic and promised to send me and my plus one a goodie bag and let us choose a few things from the site which is very generous of them.

These were shipped the following Wednesday and arrived on Friday.

So we’re not actually sure what went wrong and I understand mistakes happen but this just happened to be really inconvenient and I’m glad that it was just my mum that I took because I would’ve felt terrible if I inconvenienced a friend.

So there is an update on that! I wanted to share this in a blog post rather than on Instagram because there is a lot to say but ultimately I’m happy with how it has been dealt with.

At least it made for an interesting post! 🙊

Follow along on IG @rolly.mag>>> https://www.instagram.com/rolly.mag/

Love a bargain? Me too! Find a bargain in my Discount Directory >>> https://rollymag.home.blog/rolly-mags-discount-directory/

And say hello via email >>>

hellorollymag@gmail.com

Blogging BTS #5 By Makeup With Cortney

ROLLY Mag

Hey hey everyone, welcome back to Blogging BTS.

Please welcome today’s guest blogger, my good friend Cortney from @makeupwithcortney.

Cortney was excited to come on board, but also apprehensive about how her answers would appear. I totally understand that- sharing this “bts” is scary because, in the Blogging world, it has an air of secrecy surrounding it.

I’m so happy Cortney has shared her answers, I certainly learnt a lot myself!

You can read Cortney’s blog here.

And follow her IG here.

You can read the rest of the Blogging BTS series here.

How long have you been blogging/had your IG?

I’ve been blogging for two years now, and just celebrated my blogs birthday back in June. It’s super crazy to think that I’ve been on these platforms for two years, I have no idea where that time has gone. 

What was the first item you were ever ‘hashtag gifted’?

It was actually a parcel from NYX Cosmetics! They reached out to me on Instagram when I had around 500 followers and I couldn’t believe it. I received a foundation, contour palette and some lipsticks, and I seriously couldn’t understand why they would send the products to me. It was a big moment for me, and I actually still have the pink parcel that it came in, haha. 

Do you reach out to brands to collaborate? Or do you wait for them to approach you?

I do a mixture. Sometimes I will have brands reach out to me to collaborate and sometimes I reach out to them. It just depends on the brand and whether they notice little ole me, or whether I need to showcase myself to them. Majority of the time I just wait to hear from them though. 

If so, have you ever been rejected by a brand for a collaboration?

Yes, quite a few times actually. It’s weird but I actually see it as a benefit to be rejected. It makes me want to work that much harder and make my content that much better. 

Have you ever reached out to a brand and received no response?

All the time! This is something I had to come to terms with when I first started reaching out to brands. It happened in the beginning and it still happens now. The thing is is that brands and PR companies get so many emails from bloggers and ‘influencers’ that they can’t possibly reply to all of them. Although, it might be gutting at first, I’ve come to realise that obviously we just aren’t meant to collaborate at this time. 

Have you had a ‘pinch me’ blogging moment?

Definitely being invited to the media preview event of Meccaland. I can’t even begin to describe the level of excitement that I experienced when I saw the invitation in my inbox. I remember bursting into tears and just pinching myself. Like how did I even get so lucky?! Seriously a massive moment that I’ll remember for a long time. 

Can you think of a time when your following (as in, the number of followers you have) has ever disadvantaged or benefitted you?

Hmmm this one has stumped me.. I don’t think that I’ve ever really had something like this happen that was to my knowledge. But I guess my following would either benefit or disadvantage me with attending events or being gifted products. 

Who is your dream brand to collaborate with?

Disney! I actually think that I would burst into tears if that happened. 

Is it your goal to make blogging a full time job?

I’m actually kind of awkward around answering this question. It’s something that I believe is seen as a controversial thing to say in the beauty community, so I’m nervous to admit how I actually feel. I would love to and at the same time wouldn’t love to make blogging a full time job. I’m studying journalism at University and as I’ve gone through my degree I’ve discovered that I no longer want to be a ‘traditional’ reporter. Instead, I want to do something where I can constantly create and talk about what I love. That’s why I’d kind of love to do blogging as a career. It would be incredible to be able to wake up and do something that I love each day. But at the same time the chances of this happening are like 1 in a million, so I’m not holding my breathe. At the moment my current career aspirations are to work in PR, so I guess i’ll be blogging in some respects. 

What’s one PR package you wish you received?

I don’t actually feel like there’s been a PR parcel that I wish I got. I’m incredibly grateful for everything that I do receive, so I try not to focus on what everyone else is getting. 

If someone said ‘what do you do?’ would you say ‘I’m a blogger?’ Why/why not?

Haha definitely not! My best friend doesn’t even know that I run a blog. Because of the prejudice that surrounds being a blogger or ‘influencer’ as some might say, I wouldn’t mention it at all. A lot of people just seem to look and think that we are just in it for the free products when it’s not the case at all. I’d prefer to just tell people I’m a journalist or photographer… still being able to tell people the gist of it, but without revealing it I guess. 

Do you have an issue with the algorithm?

For the sanity of myself I’ll keep this answer simple. I know there’s been a lot of outrage in regards to the algorithm, but for me I believe that you receive what you put in. Engaging with your audience and other people is so important with all of the changes going on, and something we always need to remember. Without our audience, we’d just be talking to ourselves. 

What’s one condition you would never agree to with a gifted or sponsored post?

A brand telling me how I need to talk about the product. I make it a big deal to be 100% honest and transparent with my audience, so if a brand told me I needed to talk about the product in a positive light, or post a pre-made caption I would decline very quickly. I want my blog to be completely authentic to myself, and I pride myself on being honest, so nothing could change this. 

What is one of your conditions that a brand must agree to in order to collaborate with you?

They need to be able to respect that I’m going to post my honest thoughts, whether it’s positive or negative. 

Have you ever had a negative experience with a brand?

No, I don’t think that I have. I actually had a brand contact me last year and thank me for being honest with my product review. It was a mix of both positive and negative thoughts and it was nice to see a brand recognise the feedback I had given. 

For the sake of this question, we are calling you (and me!) an ‘influencer’ (or micro-influencer’): Can you give us just a general overview of your opinion on the whole ‘influencer’ space? Do you trust ‘influencers’ opinions?

I feel like in the influencer space there’s a mixture of positives and negatives. These days it’s just so hard to navigate the authenticity of some bigger bloggers and trust their opinions. There’s some that I know and I trust, but there are also some that I wouldn’t trust. It just comes down to who they are, audience and how authentic they come across. 

But overall I do somewhat like the ‘influencer’ space. For me I always just refer to myself and my friends as bloggers, as I kind of don’t like the term ‘influencer’. It just seems so foreign and wrong to me. Yes, we might influence people to buy products, but its no different to me recommending one to a friend. It’s just something that I don’t like to label myself as. I’m just a normal 20 year old girl, sharing what she loves. 

Share the story of how you gained a gifted item? From the initial contact, to the post of the item etc. Was it smooth sailing?

I actually had to go through my Instagram feed to jog my memory and find an interesting story to tell you. Actually lets talk about the Lumi Minx that I received. I had the owner of the brand reach out to me on Instagram and express her interest in collaborating with me. I had a look at the product and saw that it was something that I would use so I agreed to the collaboration. The product was being sent to me for consideration and I obviously knew that I wouldn’t be able to judge the product until I got it in front of me. But I did have one of my friends receive the product before me and she loved it. So I knew that it was going to be likely I would love it. The shipping was quick and the entire process of testing the product and forming my opinion was easy. I instantly loved it and the entire concept, so was more than happy to post about it on my Instagram feed and stories. This was a super smooth sailing collaboration. Oh, also when I say collaboration I just mean receiving a gifted product… there was no money exchanged for this one. 

Name three bloggers who admire and why:

Oh snap, this one is going to be hard. I have so many bloggers that I admire for different reasons… oh man okay.. 

@Rolly.Mag – I love how honest and authentic you are to yourself. I love that you’re unapologetically you and that you are so transparent. Not to mention that I love your constant Instagram stories. You are someone I admire because you don’t give up, you keep going and I love that you’re putting your own stamp on the beauty community. 

@Carriejaboor – Carrie is one of the kindest, most down to earth humans I have met. We have had so many conversations about life and Disney and I value every single one of them. Not to mention that I love her positivity on her feed. She’s always going out of her way to make others feel better about themselves, and I love that. 

@Katrinaamybeauty – No matter what this girl is faced with, she constantly tries to remain positive. I admire her for her eyeshadow skills, because holy moly she’s talented. She actually inspires me to try and up my own eyeshadow game. 

I hope these are okay… I didn’t realise how difficult this would be… haha. I’m worried some of my answers didn’t come off how I wanted them to. 

Take us behind the camera, do you use natural or artificial light? Phone or DSLR? How do you edit pictures? 

I use completely natural light. I’m lucky enough to have a massive window in my bedroom, which means its always flooded with endless light. Whether I use my phone or DSLR camera depends on what I’m taking photos of. If it’s a detailed shot or it’s for the blog I’ll use my DSLR. But generally my Instagram photos I just use my phone. 

Oh man my editing process…. So first I run it through Photoshop Express and brighten, lighten and put my tag onto it. Then I put it through FaceTune just to add a little extra white to the background. Sometimes I’ll run it through Snapseed or Lightroom, but it just depends on the photo. 

Are you fussy with your feed or do you just wing it? If you are particular and intentional, tell us about the planning process. 

I used to be super fussy, but now I’m kind of in the middle. Somedays I’ll find myself wanting to plan it out completely, and other days I’ll just go with it. 

If I do have a planning process, I try to pair similar photos together, while also trying to add different angled photos to mix it up. So you may find I’ll upload two flatlays, a desk shot, maybe a more lifestyle bigger flatlay and then repeat. But I don’t really have a set pattern for it. 

Explain the purpose of a “test post”. 

Basically it’s where I’ll upload the photo I’m going to upload that night and see whether the colour tone and brightness matches my feed. It basically just allows me to check that I edited it consistently with my other photos. 

From Cortney 🙂 

Thank you so much Cortney!

And thank YOU for reading and supporting ROLLY Mag.

Follow along on IG @rolly.mag >>> https://www.instagram.com/rolly.mag/

And say hello via email >>>

hellorollymag@gmail.com

Blogging BTS #4 by Emmies Beauty Life

ROLLY Mag

Happy Wednesday and welcome back to another post in the Blogging BTS series.

I am sooooooo excited to kick off the “guest blogger” segment of this series with the wonderful Emily from Emmies Beauty Life.

Emily has some really interesting answers, so I hope you find this insightful. If you do have any more questions for Emily or I, as a part of the Blogging BTS series, please do leave them in the comments section.

Follow Emily on Instagram.

Read her blog, Emmies Beauty Life, here.

How long have you been blogging/had your IG?

I’ve been running Emmie’s Beauty Life since 2018, but I’ve been on and off IG since 2014

What was the first item you were ever ‘hashtag gifted’?

I had an Aussie subscription service reach out to me when my blog was still relatively new. That was pretty awesome.

Do you reach out to brands to collaborate? Or do you wait for them to approach you?

A combo of both.

If you don’t reach out to brands, why not? 

Because I’m always worried that when they figure out where I live, they’ll say ‘that’s too far away’.

If so, have you ever been rejected by a brand for a collaboration?

I’ve had a few brands give me the ‘you don’t have enough follower’s’ response. I won’t name names.

Have you ever reached out to a brand and received no response?

I can’t say that I have to be honest.

Have you had a ‘pinch me’ blogging moment?

When Jeffree Star reposted one of my photos! That was huge for me. Also when some of my pictures were used in an online article for Who Magazine (for the sake of clarity, I knew the author of the piece and she asked me specifically if she could).

Can you think of a time when your following (as in, the number of followers you have) has ever disadvantaged or benefited you?

Only ever disadvantaged. I know that living where I live, I’m never going to be in contact with the major brands or have the opportunity to speak face to face with the right people. Where I live doesn’t exactly have a huge beauty community.

Who is your dream brand to collaborate with?

Either Mecca or Priceline. That would be a dream come true.

Is it your goal to make blogging a full time job?

It would be awesome, but I know it isn’t realistic either.

What’s one PR package you wish you received?

Recently? Any of the Mecca PR boxes! Especially the Glow Recipe ones.

If someone said ‘what do you do?’ would you say ‘I’m a blogger?’ Why/why not?

If someone asked me what I did for a living, no. If someone asked me what I did as a hobby in my spare time, maybe.

Do you have an issue with the algorithm?

Doesn’t everyone? In all seriousness, I do feel it sometimes. I remember back in the good ole days, when the timeline was chronological and we all saw each other’s posts and nothing was buried under obnoxious ads.

What’s one condition you would never agree to with a gifted or sponsored post?

If I don’t like the product, I’m not lying about it.

What is one of your conditions that a brand must agree to in order to collaborate with you?

I would prefer to not have a set time that I need to get the post up. Only because things take a while to get to me and I do like to take my time when I’m testing a product out.

Have you ever had a negative experience with a brand?

I can honestly answer this with no.

For the sake of this question, we are calling you (and me!) an ‘influencer’ (or micro-influencer’): Can you give us just a general overview of your opinion on the whole ‘influencer’ space? Do you trust ‘influencers’ opinions?

I have a real love-hate relationship with that word. Even though I guess I am one these days. It does make me feel a little uncomfortable for reasons that I can’t really explain. In terms of trusting opinions, I already do research via other peoples blogs before spending my money on new products. I always take those opinions with a grain of salt because everyone is different and what might work for them, might not work for me. It’s all about managing expectations.

Share the story of how you gained a gifted item? From the initial contact, to the post of the item etc. Was it smooth sailing?

I had a PR company reach out to me and send me an application to try one of their brands products. I filled it out, forgot about it for a few weeks (being realistic here). Got the OK that I was being sent the product, got it sent to me a few weeks later and I’m currently testing it for review. Took a little while, but overall, not too bad!

Name three bloggers who admire and why.

Camille at On A Beauty Bender: Single handedly has gotten me to spend more money than any other blogger that I follow.

Ebony at The Black and White Guide: Have loved her blog for years and is probably my biggest inspiration to get into blogging. Also, has the coolest cat!

Lara at Rivetlicker: One of the first people I followed back when I first started IG and someone I consider a good friend. The work she has done for the cruelty free side of the beauty game is truly admirable.

Thank you so much Emily, for being a part of Blogging BTS- it was an absolute pleasure to work with you and I loved reading this myself!

Remember…

Follow Emily on Instagram.

Read her blog, Emmies Beauty Life, here.

Who else would you like to see featured in this series? Comment below!

Follow along on IG @rolly.mag >>> https://www.instagram.com/rolly.mag/

And say hello via email >>>

hellorollymag@gmail.com

Blogging BTS #3

ROLLY Mag

Do you ever notice that sometimes every second photo on your feed is of the same product?

It used to annoy me- honestly.

Because it felt fake… when sponsored posts appeared at the same time. Almost as though the products were too good to be true.

But, being on the other side of it- now as both a consumer AND creator- I understand how and why it happens.

I received an email from Sweaty Betty PR about receiving some Du’it products for review and that week, saw a few Du’it posts on my feed.

When I first saw the email, I thought ‘wow, this looks so professional for a scam’.

Because there was no way that Sweaty Betty PR would be contacting me.

But I checked the email in Google and it seemed legitimate, there were no typos or errors- so out of curiosity, I contacted Du’it on Instagram.

‘Hi Du’it team. I have recently received an email from Sweaty Betty PR about trying some of your products. I absolutely would, however I am just hoping this email is legitimate. And so, I’m just popping by here to ask if you are represented by Sweaty Betty and if I can trust this email? Many thanks.’

In the days following, before I got a reply from Du’it, I saw that K received a package of Du’it products from Sweaty Betty.

I messaged her straight away, shocked, and asked if she too had got an email from them.

She had, and commended their superfast reply. She replied one day, and received her package the following.

K said she replied accepting the offer, but assuring the brand that her review would be genuine and honest.

Around the same time, Du’it messaged me back and said they were represented by Sweaty Betty but to send a screenshot of the email for them to double check.

I now realised that actually, wow yes, Sweaty Betty had emailed me!

I learnt, from K via this experience, to always make sure the brand understands your terms of review. My review will be genuine- if a brand wants me to say something fabricated (I’ve not yet had this happen to me)- I don’t think I could work with them.

As you know, my Du’it products arrived and I used them (and continue to!). They are actually fab- especially the VE+ Face cream… I am so impressed.

I emailed Sweaty Betty back recently to say I had fulfilled the terms of exchange (review, stories and IG post) and thanked them for the experience.

They replied back with an opportunity to receive some White Glow tooth products- which I’ve accepted.

Whilst hand cream and toothpaste aren’t as exciting as new makeup, I’ve definitely learnt since receiving my Du’it products, that beauty is inclusive of your whole body. And it is more than looking good, but feeling good too.

So, I’m excited to try some new toothpaste… although I’m stumped on what I’ll do for an Insta pic haha.

And to be honest with you, hand cream isn’t something I would usually buy myself. And toothpaste is something of which I don’t really take much consideration in what I choose.

So if I can try these products for free- yeah, I will! I’m hustling, you know?

Of course, I still have my limits of products that I would not try because they do not align with me personally, or professionally, but I am yet to be presented with these.

Hope you’ve enjoyed me sharing this BTS series!

Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions in the comments below! xx

Follow along on IG @rolly.mag >>> https://www.instagram.com/rolly.mag/

And say hello via email >>>

hellorollymag@gmail.com

 

 

Blogging BTS #2

ROLLY Mag

When it comes to blogging, there are no rules!

You often hear bloggers say, “I turn down 99% of collaborations/gifts/etc that I’m offered” and it’s like, “cool, tell us who… tell us why!”

I understand not everyone wants to talk about it, but it’s almost taboo!!

So, I know I certainly would’ve liked a a blog post or two to read about the BTS so that I didn’t feel so clueless or alone in some situations.

Last week I shared the BTS of my gifted products from Subi.

This week I want to share with you about Maarks Lip.

You definitely know this brand. They are sooooooo “Instagrammable”!!

They are a Melbourne based company who create five shades of lip products designed to suit everyone and they offer monogramming on their products. Cute!!!

I really wanted to get my hands on a lippie, so I messaged Maarks on IG and asked if they had any discount codes. The intention was to get a discount code and share it with you, my lovely followers!

The Maarks team got back to me super fast and said they didn’t have a discount code but that they would offer me a free lipstick if I placed an order.

I was excited!

So I bought the shades “Blush” and “Bare”, and asked for “Rouge” to be gifted to me.

Th products arrived in the gorgeous, chic Maarks packaging and in perfect condition, except one.

The shade “Blush” wasn’t quite right, the actual bullet seemed to have been dislodged and so I couldn’t twist it up or down to be used.

I message Maarks about this, and sent them a video demonstrating the issue.

No questions asked, they promised to send me out a replacement.

And sure enough, a few days later it arrived!

Their customer service was incredible. And I was so grateful to them for both the gift and how they dealt with my complaint.

I felt bad having to tell them about the issue, but I was a paying customer and ultimately deserved a product that wasn’t faulty.

The Maarks team were absolutely incredible. I truly am so grateful to have experienced such a fantastic shopping experience with them.

I tell you this, not to boast, but to share my experience.

I refuse to put a disclaimer on these posts because it’s my experience, and I am writing honestly to share with you, and demystify the secrecy of blogging.

Please do share any questions in the comments below!

I am hoping to create a series out of this post- which blogger would you like to know about their blogging BTS?

Follow along on IG @rolly.mag >>> https://www.instagram.com/rolly.mag/

And say hello via email >>>

hellorollymag@gmail.com