Tag Archives: bloggers

OMG I’ve been Shortlisted in the We Are 30 Plus Awards – Please Vote For Me!

Posted on July 7, 2016

thirty-plus-awards-graphic

Hi Guys!

I was absolutely over the moon last night to find out that I’ve been shortlisted for some of the We Are Thirty Plus Blog Awards! I’ve never been nominated for an award before, let alone won anything so this really is just amazing and pretty much the most exciting thing ever!

Firstly I wanted to say a massive thank you to those of you that nominated me, I wouldn’t have even got this far if it wasn’t for you guys! 🙂

I still can’t quite believe that my little blog has been nominated for four out of the seven awards –

  • The Next Big Thing
  • Most Innovative Content
  • Photography Star
  • Blogger of the Year

Public voting is open NOW – and this is where it really counts – please do take a moment to vote for me if you enjoy reading TSNC!

Please vote for me HERE 🙂

Thank you so much xxx

Discussing Blogger Blackmail, and Mutually Beneficial Working Relationships

Posted on August 17, 2015

Hi Guys!

I’ve just been sitting here with my morning tea, catching up with a few emails and scrolling my Twitter feed for the latest news and gossip, when I came across a fair few people (well three that I saw) sharing this post.

Screen Shot 2015-08-17 at 08.57.59

I’ve gone over this post a couple if times now, and just wanted to share a few thoughts with you.

Firstly, let’s look at this fact – the blogger is said to have ’emailed a few times asking for free macaron and marshmallow samples in return for posting a positive review’.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with approaching companies you’d like to work with, but if she’s 1. pestering them, and 2. guaranteeing them a positive review from the offset, before trying the products, this instantly reeks of ‘blagging’ for free products, and greatly affects her credibility.

Then when this happens… ‘she asks for 3 large boxes of Muffles, Marshmallows and Macarons, plus two drinks. That’s almost £100 worth of stuff!’

It is never acceptable for a blogger (or anyone for that matter) to demand things like this, it’s unprofessional, gives the blogging community a bad name, and frankly it’s just plain rude.

And not forgetting this – ‘…insinuating that if we didn’t hand over all that stuff she’d be giving us bad reviews’

Just wow. I literally have no words for this.

I’ve taken a look at the bloggers social sites and her tweets and instagram posts about this appear to have been removed. Take from this what you will.

So we’ve established that the blogger has really been pretty out of order in this instance (assuming this is all true – we don’t know the bloggers version of events at this point) That aside though, I think the issue here is the expectations from both sides, and an apparent lack of communication.

We don’t know the email exchange between the company and the blogger – and I’m giving the blogger the benefit of the doubt here, but maybe she was expecting to be gifted some boxes of products? Maybe she was told she could have what she liked from the shop? We don’t know.

The overall lesson to be learned here is that when bloggers and brands work together, the relationship should be mutually beneficial, otherwise one side will end up unhappy or feeling either out of pocket, or like the other is using them.

Brands and companies need to recognise that bloggers spend a lot of time, effort and money building up and working on their blog, and for many, offering a small item of low monetary value in return for a full review that takes a lot of time and effort, just isn’t worth it.

That said, if the agreement in this instance was that the blogger would received a goody bag, and she agreed to it, then that’s her prerogative, and she should have honoured that. At the end of the day it’s your blog, and you can do exactly as you please.

Obviously nobody knows the full story in this case as we haven’t heard things from the bloggers perspective, but it appears that the blogger expected to be receiving quite a lot of product for her review, and when that didn’t happen, she had a diva strop. The problem is a simple lack of communication that has gone very wrong.

It’s never acceptable for a blogger to demand anything, wether it’s in a shop or via an email. This is NOT COOL and gives bloggers such a bad name. 99% of bloggers would never dream of acting in this way, and it’s such a shame that some do this, as it negatively impacts the rest of the community, and makes building relationships with companies and brands that much harder.

Brands and companies should be also clear about what they’re offering, and expecting from a blogger in their initial communication – I often find myself that it can take a fair few emails back and forth before I find out exactly what the situation is. It would be fantastic and easier for everyone if companies we’re more upfront from the beginning of a conversation.

Anyway, you can see I’ve been playing devils advocate a bit here. Hopefully the blogger will write up about her experience soon too so we can hear her version of events.

I’d love to hear what you think about this situation?

*Update – the blogger has now written her side of the story, you can read it here. As I suspected, this whole mess has happened due to a breakdown in communication. Let me know what you think xx

How Much Do REAL Bloggers Earn? My Survey Results

Posted on May 12, 2015

how much do real bloggers earn

Hi Guys!

Today I want to talk about sponsored posts. In case you weren’t sure, this is where a blogger is paid to post about a product or brand. Some bloggers are lucky enough to be offered sponsored posts – but how do we know if we’re getting ripped off?

I hate to see bloggers selling themselves short when it comes to sponsored posts, but how does anyone know what to charge? Blogging doesn’t fall into a standard job category; everyone has different follower numbers and varying amounts of views, and don’t forget social media interaction and PA and DA scores! So how do we know we’re not under charging, or even over charging for that matter when it comes to sponsored posts?

Well there is no way to know. We don’t talk about money, so there’s no way to compare ourselves against each other if this is something that’s not openly discussed. So I decided to start a survey where self hosted bloggers could leave their viewing figures, follower numbers and how much their charging – completely anonymously, so I could find out what bloggers are ACTUALLY charging, and take a look at how rates vs stats compare.

I was overwhelmed to receive 89 responses in all – I had to disqualify some for not completing all the questions but I still ended up with 79 bloggers figures, covering the most popular blogging genres such as fashion, beauty, lifestyle, food and parenting.

I asked the following questions –

  1. What category / categories does your blog fall under?
  2. How old is your blog?
  3. What is your PA score?
  4. What is your DA score?
  5. How many Bloglovin followers do you have?
  6. How many Twitter followers do you have?
  7. How many Facebook followers do you have?
  8. How many Instagram followers do you have?
  9. How many monthly unique views do you have?
  10. How much do you charge for a sponsored post? Please leave as much info as you can.

I then separated the responses into three groups – Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle bloggers (FBL), Family & Parenting blogers, and Food bloggers. Some blogs crossed different categories so FBL ended up with 48 responses, Family – 31 and Food – 6.

In reply to the last question, I understand some people would have a set sponsored post rate, and some would have varying rates depending on the situation. So for those that didn’t give a specific rate, I took an average of what they said. For example if they said £50 – £100, for the purpose of analysing the results I noted this down as £75.

So what did the results look like?

Well hardly surprisingly, the figures were all over the place. In an ideal world you’d expect the sponsored post rate would increase with higher followers and views, but that wasn’t necessarily the case…

Out of all the FBL bloggers the sponsored post rates ranged from £0 (free) up to £150, with the average rate coming out at £73.60. In at the top end, the blogger with the most unique views (280k) is charging £100 on average per sponsored post, but there’s also a blogger up there with only 3k views charging £110. Personally I think these are both quite extreme. Maybe the blogger with the lower views is charging a bit high? Or maybe the blogger with the higher views is charging way too little??

For FBL bloggers at the lower end of the views spectrum (up to 5k unique views) people will charge anything from £10 up to £110 for a sponsored post. Interestingly, the person that charges £10 has more unique views and higher social media stats that the one charging £110! I should also point out that the one charging £110 says this is what they charge but they often accept less.

Bloggers with 10k – 20k views are charging anywhere from £50 – £130 for s sponsored post, and from 25k – 50k views they’re charging £75 – £125. The blogger with the highest views (280k) and highest DA & PA for that matter, is only charging on average £100 for a sponsored post. Considering there’s someone with 12k views that’s charging £150, I think the ‘bigger’ blogger is missing a trick there.

The highest anyone is charging at a minimum is £260, this falls under the family / lifestyle category, this person has one of the highest PA and DA scores and has 95k views. There’s also someone with over 4x this many views (400k), a slightly lower PA and DA score, and similar social media stats, but they’re only charging £80…

Overall it would appear that Food bloggers are charging the highest, with an average of £81.66 for a sponsored post. Family bloggers are second and FBL bloggers are charging the lowest rates.

Under the parenting section, the blogger with the highest views (400k) is only charging £80 for a sponsored post, and yet someone else under the same category is charging £100 and they only have 1.5k views. It would definitely appear that the bloggers with the highest stats should be charging more than they currently are.

At the other end of the spectrum, there are nine FBL bloggers charging £30 or less for a sponsored post, with one of them having pretty decent stats including a DA of 27 and 19k views. There’s no question that this blogger is definitely selling themselves short, just to prove this, there’s another FBL blogger with only 16k views charging £75 per post.

You can see that these figures really are all over the place, and of course what we charge may be one thing, but what we are actually offered or receive my be completely different. I really want to see an end to smaller / newer bloggers being used and taken for a ride for $10 a post. I’m hoping that by discussing these figures and putting together a rough guide at the end of this post, it will help everyone as a point of reference, so you can see what would roughly be a reasonable amount to charge considering your views and social media followings.

Conclusion:

It looks like the bloggers with the highest views and stats should really be charging more. Some of them are charging very similar if not the same amounts as bloggers with a fraction of their views. For example someone with 10k views is charging £130, and someone with 258k views is charging €150. To me this seems crazy! I think across the board, bloggers are undervaluing themselves and how much they should be charging. I personally don’t think that anyone should accept less than £30 for a sponsored post.

Of course there are SO many variables, such as how active are you on social media? How often do you publish and promote your posts? Do said sponsored posts contain links? And are they follow or no follow? Maybe your stats aren’t that high but you might have 500k followers on Pinterest? There are loads of things to take into consideration when deciding how much to charge, and how much to accept for a sponsored post.

Taking everyones responses into consideration, I’ve made my own rough guide to sponsored posts rates tables. This was actually more of a challenge than I first anticipated as I wanted to consider the main variables –

  • DA Score
  • Follower Numbers
  • Monthly Unique Views

So I ended up creating two tables, the first one compares your combined follow number to your DA score, to give you a Low, Medium or High score. I was going to refer to this as an influence score but it’s not exactly, nor is it popularity as such but more of a combination of the two.

You then jump to the second table where you start with your unique view number, and whether you scored a Low, Medium or High score earlier, it’ll tell you a rough price for how much you should be charging. I hope that makes sense!

Here’s a quick example. Say I have 20k unique views, 8k followers and a DA score of 27. I should roughly be charging £120 for a sponsored post.

followers da scores table

sponsored post rates table

Please remember this is completely subjective, and this is just my opinion based on the results of the survey. I really hope it will be useful for everyone though.

So what do you think? Were you surprised by the results of my survey? I’d also be really interested to hear your thoughts on my rates tables?

I hope you found this post useful xxx

Fashion Resolutions & My Favourite Style Bloggers

Posted on February 16, 2015

Hi Guys!

The lovely guys at New Look recently got in touch asking me if I’d like to collaborate and put a post together about my fashion resolutions – which sounded like and excellent idea and also reminded me that I totally forgot to finish off my New Year’s Resolutions post – oops!

Anyway, this is now the perfect opportunity to tell you about one of my top resolutions, which is to be more AWESOME when it comes to the clothes I wear, and just how I look in general. I often have high hopes and good intentions when it comes to expanding my fashion horizons, but usually take the lazy girls option and end up in a cardigan and leggings.

I want to be more experimental in my makeup as well as outfits, being louder, brighter and definitely more fun! At the moment I just feel like I’m so busy with my multiple jobs, little boy, family life and looking after the house (or trying to) and everything else that comes along day to day that I just don’t have the time to experiment with looks. My intention is to definitely make time now though.

Ok so these are the things I really want to incorperate into my look this year –

  • Bright and vibrant colours – well more of them, more patterns and more FUN.
  • Sequins. You can never have enough sequins.
  • Fun and interesting textures.
  • Holographic and metallic finishes. Again more of them, I only have holo on shoes and bags at the moment but I need it on clothes too!

isolatedheroes

I’m currently most experimental when it comes to accessories, but that’s where it stops for me. Being plus size too, I often find it quite hard to find clothing that’s a bit different and crazy. I have though, recently discovered an AMAZING site – Isolated Heroes who create fantabulous clothing in sizes up to a UK 24 – how awesome is that! Their clothing is not cheap by anyones means, but everything is hand made with love at their studio in Scotland, so I think the prices are pretty reasonable really. I have just ordered myself a little something so I’ll be telling you all about it when it arrives! (The amazing ‘Believe’ sequin jacket is featured in the image above – this is so on my wish list!)

At this point I also wanted to include mention of some of my absolute favourite fashion and style bloggers. These are ladies I really look up to when it comes to style and creativity –

thatssoyesterdaynew

First is Laura from thatssoyestreday. Laura is absolutely lovely, and rocks the most fantastic outfits and rainbow coloured hair – I need her lips dress!

fashonicidenew

Next is Lima from fashionicide. Lima is my holo buddy, whenever anything shiny catches my eye I let her know! I love Lima’s experimental makeup skills and amazing sense of style 🙂

fashionhayleynew

And lastly Hayley from fashionhayley. I haven’t actually spoke to Hayley before, but I often read her blog and I’m constantly in awe of her amazingly colourful and out there looks, and I love that she isn’t afraid to push boundaries when it comes to style.

I’ve definitely started on the road to being more adventurous, apart from my Isolated Heroes order I’ve also just purchases an amazing colourful new wig – which will be on the blog shortly. Hopefully this is the start of something new for me, so watch this space to see my new looks coming up soon!

I hope you enjoyed my post! I’d love to hear if you have any fashion resolutions? xxx

Paperchase Sale Haul!

Posted on January 9, 2015

paperchase-stationery

Hi Guys!

Ok so I must admit, I did get a little bit spend-happy in the post Christmas sales (which actually started before Christmas, but you know what I mean) There were just so many bargains to be had in literally every corner of the internet, and I was pretty much powerless to resist…

I’m going to put together a sale haul post when my final sale order eventually arrives, but in the mean time I thought I’d just show you my sexy new stationery from Paperchase. I’m a real stationery fiend, so much so that I actually used to have my very own made up amazing stationery shop that I visited in my dreams as a child (it’s true!) I would get on my bike and ride up the hill on the road where my parents live, then when I reached the top I’d turn left and go into a field which led to a new town and my beloved stationery shop was right there! It literally had floor to ceiling Crayola pens, gel pens, novelty erasers, sticky notes and anything else I could imagine!

Even though I’ve had a slight stationery obsession for a long time, I hadnt actually bought anything new for a while, and I’ve never actually shopped at Paperchase before either. I happened to notice on Twitter that they had a big sale on, so I thought I should check it out – and I’m really glad I did! This is what I ended up with…

paperchase-pens

Ok so this is what I bought – the ‘Vista’ ring binder (not shown) A4 and A5 notebooks, and super giant pencil case. ‘Spora’ sticky notebook and mechanical pen, the ‘Snackpackers’ ball pen, and another plain black pen. Everything was half price except one of the pens and my order still came to under £20!

paperchase-sticky-notes

The Vista collection has a brown matte finish with a watercolour style abstract pattern, and I have to say the notepads are perfect! The come with a strap closure and tabs to separate sections so they’re easily accessible. The Spora sticky notes book is right up my street too, it includes eight different types of post it notes, in varying sizes with different patterns, it’s so cute!

paperchase-notepad

paperchase-pencil-case

It turns out that the pencil case is actually massive. I’m pretty sure I could fit my whole life in there!

bugs-mug

And lastly I also just wanted to show you my awesome Kew Bug Study Mug* from Creative-Tops, as I’ve had this for quite a while now and keep forgetting to show you guys! You might be surprised to hear that I do in fact love bugs more than I love stationery and here’s a fun fact – I held giant hissing cockroaches and giant centipedes for photos on my wedding day 😀 – as you do!

FYI – the Paperchase sale is still on, so if you’re looking for new pads and pens, you really should check it out.

I’d love to hear if you’re a stationery fanatic like me? I hope you enjoyed my post! xxx

PR Samples – Keep Them, Sell Them, or Give Them Away?

Posted on September 23, 2014

Hi Guys!

Today I want to talk about a topic that comes up time and time again – PR samples. Firstly for those not in the know, some bloggers are lucky enough to receive PR samples (also called gifted products) to review on their blog in return for getting to keep the product. The question often comes up regarding what to do with these samples in the long run, as it did yesterday on Twitter where somebody was asking what people think about bloggers selling on their PR samples. I thought this was a great topic for discussion which affects most bloggers, and it’s definitely a subject that everyone has an opinion on. So here goes…

As a blogger that’s lucky enough and extremely grateful to receive PR samples, I think I fall in the minority when I say I believe it’s ok to sell them on – but hear me out, I think it’s ok in certain circumstances only. Firstly here’s an example where I believe samples shouldn’t be sold on… It was only the other day that I saw a blogger selling an item that was a brand new release, I checked her blog and read about how much she ‘really loved’ said product, but there it was, sitting in her blog sale only a few days after the post went live. Now in my opinion this isn’t right. So you really loved that item so much that you’re instantly selling it?? Hmm. Doing this completely invalidates her review of the product and also her credibility as a blogger. Personally I think this is a pretty bad move. So this, I disagree with.

On the other hand though – I haven’t sold any PR samples – yet – but should I want to sell something in future if it ends up laying around with my heaps of other makeup and skincare bits, surely I should I have the right to sell it? I do own it after all? Is it not mine to do as I please with? I own lots of makeup and skincare, and when I say lots I mean seriously LOTS. I have a slight addiction, combine this with hoarding issues and you might get an idea! So because I buy so many products, a fair few products that I genuinely love don’t actually get used up, and they end up in my ever growing stash. Should I keep them all until my house is held up solely by cosmetics? Should I give them away coz I’m such a nice person – or even bin them (what a waste!) Or should I sell them??

So what about in a situation like mine, where a blogger owns (for example) 15 foundations and say three of them have been PR samples over the last few months. She loves them all and has written positive reviews but some of them have to go as she’s running out of space. Is there anything worng with her selling the PR samples that she genuinely loved, along with her own products that she also loved? Well personally I say no, there is nothing wrong with this. The only thing I will say though, that regardless of the fact that her PR sample product reviews were genuine at the time of writing, if others see she is now selling those samples on, this may cast her in a bad light.

Personally though, I’ve always bought and sold things as required to meet my current needs. So, if I need cash I sell my assets. Simple as that. Wether this be my beloved Limecrime lipstick collection (sob sob), a designer bag (goodbye Miu Miu) or whatever. I sell things I own to generate cash when I really need it. I have responsibilities – a mortgage and a family to feed so I sometimes I have to sell things I love to bring in some dosh, is this so wrong? I would like to point out that I haven’t actually sold any PR samples as yet as I haven’t had the need to. But if the need really did arise then I would sell my entire makeup collection and the clothes off my own back (regardless of where they came from) along with anything else I own, if I really did need the money.

Also, I think it’s also important to remember, that when I say ‘PR samples’ this goes for everything – all types of bloggers. Not just beauty. Should popular fashion bloggers with ever bulging wardrobes have to give away their gifted clothes simply because they don’t have enough storage space? Or do you think they should have the right to sell them on without being judged? Why shouldn’t they make some money??

What about parent bloggers – when their little ones grow older should they give their gifted toys away? Or should they have the right to sell them on so they can buy their child some new toys with the money?

I don’t think I’ve ever written so many questions in a blog post! At the end of the day of course it’s down to personal preference. I’m sure some people will see where I’m coming from, and others will disagree and say that selling any PR samples under any circumstances is wrong. That’s cool, we’re all entitled to our opinions. I know this is a bit of a controversial topic, and my aim is not to upset anyone or ruffle any feathers! I personally believe people can do as they please and that we are all entitled to our own opinions. But saying that please be aware – if you do decide to sell samples on straight after reviewing them, this will most definitely be frowned upon by the blogging community – as well as PR’s, so do it at your own risk…

I’d love to hear what you think? Let me know xxx