A YEAR FREELANCING: THE UPS, DOWNS & WHAT I’VE LEARNT

A YEAR FREELANCING: THE UPS, DOWNS & WHAT I’VE LEARNT

I’VE ALWAYS DREAMT OF WORKING FOR MYSELF & PAINTING MYSELF INTO ‘THE PERFECT, WORKING FROM A COFFEE SHOP ON A RAINY DAY PICTURE.’

October this year marked a year of being a freelancing, full time blogger and creative. A year full of incredible highs, some lows and a lot of uncertainty. The other day I did a little jokey tweet all about the sometimes unpredictable income that comes with a freelance life. I love how so many people felt like they could relate when I further posted it on my insta stories, so with that, I decided to pop together a little something all about my first year as a freelancer and what I’ve learnt along the way. Whatever your job, whether your part time freelance or have a wide business, I’m really hoping these little words help you at some point!

I’ve always dreamt of working for myself and painting myself into the perfect, cliche scenario of working from my shiny laptop, surrounded by notebooks in a coffee shop on a romantically rainy day (this does happen btw 😉 ) However, there are also some aspects of being a freelancers that aren’t so romantic. (See my blog post all about the pro’s and con’s of being a blogger!) Here’s hoping this makes you laugh, smile, relate and feel inspired and hopefully perhaps learn form my mishaps along the way.

DON’T ALLOW ANYONE YOU DON’T TRUST TO PLAY A PART IN YOUR BUSINESS

This goes without saying really, but you’ll be surprised how easy it is to let others in that you wish you hadn’t. I won’t get into the nitty, gritty here – this one is for a wine fuelled evening with my gals over a chick flick (love a good, cliche scenario don’t I.) Your business – wether you’re a writer, a photographer, cake maker or dog walker – is your passion and livelihood and it’s a scary thought of it being out of your hands and into someone else. I’m a control freak and have grown my blog and career from a little corner in my bedroom and I’ll be damned it let anyone ruin that for me. Some experiences in life have to be endured in order to learn a lesson from them. Keep your cards close to your heart and don’t feel like you have to say yes to everything. Admittedly, I’ve had some crap experiences amongst the good, but I would never have known what I should and should not tolerate had I not gone through that. Take it from me, be cautious and trust your instincts, they’re pretty much always bang on.

KNOW YOUR WORTH AND LEARN TO BE SAVVY

I‘ll admit – I can be a total walkover and tend to shy away from speaking up when something bothers me. More often than not, I’d rather avoid difficult situations by staying quiet – however enough is enough sometimes, even for the calmest of people and sometime you just need to bite the bullet and speak up. Unfortunately I’ve learnt this through experience – you do not have to accept other peoples crap and if you think you’re being taken advantage of – speak up. If your gut tells yousomathing’s off, it’s probably because it is so follow through with your questions and make sure you feel 100% about something.

Chase up payments, do your research, learn the legalities of things and always read through contracts (a second eye also helps too!) Know your worth, don’t settle for anything less, except if you feel comfortable with it and don’t bend over backwards for those who don’t deserve it. Remember warning signs from bad experience and value those who are a dream to work with! Be Pro-active and get out there and make stuff happen! I’ve been more pro active towards the end of my first year working and I’m reaping the reward and it feels uh-mazing! 

MY FREELANCE LIFE HAS 2 VARIABLES: BEING ABLE TO AFFORD A CHANEL HANDBAG OR NOT BEING ABLE TO AFFORD A SANDWICH

Like I mentioned, this post was brought on by one of my recent tweets – see above! One day you’re hit with a life changing project and the next someone is trying to entice you into working for free with a pack of seasoned chicken fillets. (yes, this actually happened. I’m a vegetarian) Not everyone has the same budget and I’d never expect that – the problem though, lies within the torment of one day someone totally valuing your worth and the next completely taking advantage. It’s also a little painful to assume contributing chicken fillets might somehow pay rent or amount to a mortgage deposit.

Being a freelancer, for me, has meant my flow of work can be uncertain, sometimes I have no idea if I’ll be, paid for 2 weeks or 2 months. Financially it’s taught me to grow up, check my bank regularly (and begrudgingly) to calculate my cash flow and to grow a pair and chase people up. These people are probably guaranteed a pay cheque at the end of the month so why do I have to wait months for mine? One month you could be rolling in it and the next all the late payments have caught up with you – I’ve got to admit it definitely keeps me on my toes (and I’d secretly wouldn’t have it any other way)Be nice, work hard, know when to put your foot down and reach out to others and introduce yourself! 

 

SHOP THE LOOK

 

I hope you found this post interesting beauts – I’d love to know your thoughts or if you’re freelance, how you have found the experience! There are for sure pro’s and con’s, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

I’ve also got so much Style & travel goodness coming to my channel, so make sure you’re subscribed! 

As always you can tweet me @stylepetalblog, catch up on all my posts over on BLOGLOVIN or see my latest beauty and fashion buys and vlogs over on my YouTube channel!

Photography by Ben Kapur

LATEST WATCH

5 THINGS YOUR WINTER WARDROBE WILL LOVE YOU FOR

5 THINGS YOUR WINTER WARDROBE WILL LOVE YOU FOR

winter style blogger outfits fashion

COSY KNITS, BOOTS, SCARVES AND COATS MAKE ME HAPPY AND I LOOK FORWARD TO CRACKING OUT MY WINTER WARDROBE EVERY YEAR!

 

If I haven’t told you a million, trillion times before (see my post about how to boost your mood in the winter!) I LOVE winter! Everything about it, but also; the fash-unnn’. Cosy knits, boots, scarves and coats make me happy and I look forward to cracking my winter wardrobe out every year. I also love delving into Zara and Primark for the latest wintery, style offerings (spoiler – Primark are killing it once again – have a peek at my haul on my Youtube – which by the way WE HIT 1000 SUBS! NO BIGGY!) So with that, I thought I’d do a big round up of 5 things your winter wardrobe will love you for!

In celebration of my FAVE season being in full swing, I thought I’d do a little round up of my current fashion faves – from killer boots, statement jumpers and chic denim, I’ve linked the best of the best (and affordable) for you guys to indulge yourself with!

KNITWEAR WITH A TWIST

I genuinely miss knitwear in the summer months like a hole in the heart, so every time autumn/winter swings, by the prospect of buying new knitwear very much excites me! This season I’ve strayed away from the classic black and grey plain knits or high necks and gone for something with a pop of colour, a large sleeve, uneven hem or a bit of embellishment. Knitwear can totally be a feature piece and night time appropriate, so grab something a little bit more eye catching this season and make it the hard working piece of any outfit!

 

BOOTS FOR EVERY OCCASION (AND SEASON!)

Boots are probably, most definitely, going to be the hardest working shoe you own (espesh in the UK!) Summer festivals, forest walks, winter evenings and lazy days – they’re practical, chic and come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Particularly fab for colder days and layering cosy socks underneath! 

Classic, black and elegant, pointed toed Chelsea boots are my weapon of choice – they simply go with everything! However recently I’m partial to a pop of red or pink and embodied flower styles are everywhere! I love a chunky, small heel too to carry you from day to night !

A PLETHORA OF WINTER DRESSES

I‘m normally the type of gal that reserves dresses for a super, spesh occasion or for a beachy holiday but as of recent, I’ve been loving the idea of layering them up for winter! I think florals are fab for a winter floaty number, with a cosy coat or chunky knit chucked over the top for warmth!

I grabbed this amazing number from Next the other day and I cannot wait to layer it up for the next few months – I love the ruffles, frills and dark, floral print! Dresses are a great choice as they’re super comfy but don’t have to be reserved for summer – layer those babies up!

 

A CLASSIC COAT

 

Coats are my total fave and come winter I’m always left feeling like my outfit is missing a huge component! I love big, masculine structured coats, classic shapes but also love a good shearling or pink fluffy number! They have the absolutely to really complete any look!

My seasonal faves this year have been teddy bears, aviators and also really plain, blazer coats! Even a simple outfit of denim and a white tee is lifted with an embellished or coloured coat! I love to experiment with styles but they have to feel super cosy and soft – that’s without question!

COMFY, COSY AND UTTERLY CHIC DENIM

Denim will forever and always be my go to gal. I love skirts, dresses, leather leggings and trousers but no one does laid, back chic quite like the faithful denim jean. Loose, boyfriend, ripped, figure hugging or bleached – I’ve popped my faves below. I just love how you can be comfy, casual but instantly transform ready for any evenings event with the swipe of lippy and a touch of patent heels!

I really hope that you loved this one and that you found some new wardrobe inspo and pieces you want to grab this season – I’d LOVE to know what your winter, wardrobe must-haves are!

I also have so much style and travel goodness over on my Youtube Channel so make sure you’re subscribed! 

As always you can tweet me @stylepetalblog, catch up on all my posts over on BLOGLOVIN or see my latest beauty and fashion buys and vlogs over on my YouTube channel!

Photography by Ben Kapur

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MY ADVICE ON HOW TO START EARNING MONEY FROM BLOGGING

MY ADVICE ON HOW TO START EARNING MONEY FROM BLOGGING

THE THING IS, BLOGGING, YOUTUBE, CONTENT CREATION AND HAVING AN INFLUENCE OVER AN AUDIENCE IS A CAREER AND ONE I BLOODY LOVE AT THAT!

In October my first year of being a full time, freelance blogger passed and it got me thinking about a whole lot of stuff (more blog posts and freelance life highs and lows coming soon!) It’s still such a difficult concept to explain to people and if you’ve read my article that was in The Blogosphere magazine, all about the judgement surrounding a bloggers career you’ll know that a year on, I still struggle to explain how I make a living to some, without doing it any justice and leaving people thinking my job doesn’t require me lifting a finger. The thing is, blogging, content creation, youtube and having an influence over an audience is a career and one I bloody love at that! 

I was also thinking about how difficult it is starting out: no friends in the business, no idea what to do or how to progress and it’s not exactly easy discussing monetary matters with someone you’re not close to. I’ve always been more than happy to share my knowledge with anyone that asks; the way I see it, it’s not going to affect my income and success if I share what I know with others, because only I am me. I’ve always been a sharer, I love to help others and give advice if I can, so here I am sharing my experience and my own advice on how to start earning money from blogging!

MAKE YOURSELF ACCESSIBLE

 

Okay so before I dive into specifics, a bit of an obvious point here but important none-the-less. In order for people to contact you, you need to make yourself easily reachable. No one wants to hunt around your blog or insta trying to find the best possible way to reach you – make it super easy for people to contact you and shoot you any enquiries! I had a little play around with my blog the other day and set up a few new sections, to make it easier for any prospective brands that want to work with me to see my previous work and read up about how I work,etc.

In my eyes, I like to think this helps people out a lot and saves them a lot of time – so if there’s anything you can do to make a PR’s life easier – do it I’m sure they’ll thank you and if you’re a pleasure to work with, that will reward you in the long run. Making yourself some snazzy business cards also helps if you’re out and about or at events and someone asks for contact details or your social media! You want people to remember you so it starts with being impressionable (on and offline ) and being contactable! Set up a dedicated email address for all your blogging platforms and whack it everywhere!

RESEARCH AND SIGN UP TO AFFILIATE

PROGRAMMES

Affiliate programmes are the sales person side of blogging – if you recommend a product through an affiliate link and someone makes a purchase, you’ll earn a bit of commission from that sale. So you’re essentially being rewarded for making sales through your influence, which personally, I really think is well earned! If people love your style or trust your opinion enough to make a purchase from something you’ve recommended, that should definitely be recognised! The earning potential is huge for this and you don’t have to have a large audience to earn – you just need to experiment to see what works best for you. I personally use them for any products within a blog post, so whenever you like an outfit I wear I will always pop a little slider (like at the bottom of this page) so you can easily shop what I’m wearing! I also like to link any new items in my wardrobe and things I’m lusting after on my Shop my wardrobe page! I also always link items in my Youtube Videos in the description box with affiliates too (always make sure to disclose links).

The swipe up function on Instagram is also amazing – I don’t like to overuse it though as I tend to personally not watch insta stories that are super long and sales-y – but that’s just my personal preference! I save it for new videos on my channel and items lots of you have liked and asked where to purchase (such as these boots I’m wearing here – loads of you loved them!) There are loads of affiliate programmes to sign up to – some retailers have their own programmes, like Amazon or the most popular ways to use affiliate links (and personally the easies) are the larger programmes like Awin, Shopstyle and Reward Style (or LikeToKnow.It). I personally have switched to using Reward Style as I find it’s the easiest to use with the widest selection of items to link to! Affiliates are a great way to have an insight into what your audience enjoy and what’s popular amongst them, helping you create better, more tailored content!

BRAND OUTREACH

Outreaching is a super important factor if you’re actively wanting to make an income from blogging. Yes, it’s true that some work does come to you, which is always a total dream when it’s a brand you love that have a budget, but alas not everyone does and it isn’t all sitting back and waiting for it to happen. I actually now make a conscious effort to outreach to new brands I haven’t worked with before, one’s that I love and know that work with bloggers. Me and my blogging friends also are getting into the habit of passing on our fave contacts to each other, because it’s nice to help a gal out! If I know a brand would love one of my friends, why not introduce the two and do favours for each other! A quick google search will also bring up press and media emails or you can sign up to Diary Directory for a fee if you want access to basically alllll of the beauty contacts and PRS! 

Insta DM’s are also a total legit way to pop a brand a message to ask for their media contact/email – I’m always getting messages from brands so similarly if I can’t find a brands email I’ll simply pop them a message and ask – what’s the harm! I’ve had nothing but good responses from brands when I’ve emailed with a pitch and concept – it shows passion and organisation. Don’t expect every brand to have a budget – some will gift for posts and sometimes it takes building a good relationship for campaigns to come through. Just kindly ask for them to keep you in the loop about any campaigns they have up coming and if they suit you! Having a good relationship with PR’s and being a lovely person gets you in a good place.

 

GO FORTH AND CONQUER BLOGGING APPS

 

Within the last few years blogging apps have exploded onto the scene and mean that earning from your blog has become more accessible to everyone – which is amazing! I’ve found with personal experience that money and how to earn it is always a little hush, hush within the community – as if people aren’t willing to share their knowledge. I understand you wouldn’t want to give everything away but I don’t personally see my earnings depleting by helping someone out. Whenever anyone asks I’m more than happy to share and quickly recommend anyone starting up to some apps that I’ve used before, because it’s such a fab way to get out there, get proactive and get earning! After all, these are really where the money started for me!

Takumi was the first one I ever used, followed by Tribe. Both are similar with that you simply download and search through campaigns, where you can then choose ones suited to you! With Takumi, I find that less campaigns show up and you do have to be quick to sign up to one before they go, however once you’ve completed creating the images, posting, etc – payment is guaranteed. Whereas with Tribe, you create the image first, submit it and it can either get declined or accepted, which can be disheartening when you’ve spent ages and followed the brief only to have it declined, but everything happens for a reason huh! The Blogger Programme is also a fab way to submit yourself for gifting and paid opportunities! There are tonnes more programmes similar to these which can be found through a quick search – these are just a few I’ve had experiences with!

BE BALLSY, BUT ALSO, TOTALLY LOVELY

Being lovely, hard working, considerate and friendly can go a long way when it comes to getting more work. People aren’t going to want to work with someone again if they’re late at sending drafts and images across, hostile to talk to and don’t deliver well thought out content. Work super hard and over deliver, because in the long run – it will probably get you repeat work! However, also know your worth and if you believe people have a budget – don’t be afraid to ask! Be open to negotiate, not every brand has the same budget and be flexible to ideas! I’m usually a massive walkover and am afraid to ask for things, but when it’s your business, sometimes you need to ask and put yourself out there! I introduce myself to brands, email and ask if they’d like things featured if it fits in with a project I’m working on – I’m sure they’ll appreciate the favour! Always be polite and thankful and professional, people will remember you for that! If someone says a campaign is only gifting, there’s no harm in asking if they have a budget, even if it’s small – don’t ask, don’t get and I’ve learn this the hard way!

 

SHOP THE LOOK!

 

I really hope that you loved this one and that you found it helpful! If you have any questions at all please do get in touch – I’d also love to know your tips and how you’ve found blogging and your best ways to earn!

I also have so much style and travel goodness over on my Youtube Channel so make sure you’re subscribed! 

As always you can tweet me @stylepetalblog, catch up on all my posts over on BLOGLOVIN or see my latest beauty and fashion buys and vlogs over on my YouTube channel!

Photography by Ben Kapur

LATEST WATCH
THE PROS AND CONS OF BEING A BLOGGER

THE PROS AND CONS OF BEING A BLOGGER

“IT’S BEEN THE MOST INTERESTING, EXCITING AND ALSO PROBABLY ONE OF THE MOST STRESSFUL YEARS OF MY LIFE BEING A FULL TIME BLOGGER.”

Ahh the life of a blogger – something which has been firmly at the forefront of my mind recently, what with my first year of being a full time blogger surpassing recently. It’s been the most interesting, exciting and also probably the most stressful year of my life too. If you follow me over on my Youtube Channel or Insta, you’ll have seen that I’ve been working with my favourite people at Ice Watch for a while now and when they told me about their ideas for their halloween campaign I jumped right on board!

As part of their #NaughtybutnICE campaign (see what they did there 😉 ) they challenged me to style two looks based on these two watches – The white, ‘nice’ watch and the more vampy, dark, black and rose gold watch and talk about something contrasting.i Wth my career on my mind, I decided to talk about the two sides of blogging – the pros, the cons and my recent musings of Instagram VS real life and how different our expectations can really be of someone we learn to know through those little curated squares on our phones.

I’VE HAD OPPORTUNITIES & EXPERIENCES I HAD NEVER EVEN DREAMED OF

Truly, I never would have expected some of the opportunities that have been thrown my way somehow over the course of my blogging career. Never at the start of this year, had I thought I would have been on 5 trips, 3 of which were abroad – something I am ever lastingly grateful for! I’ve been whisked on luxury retreats, stayed in beautiful hotels, flown to new countries and experienced amazing cultures and food! I also had the pleasure of working with Bicester Village and getting my first Gucci and brands press days are continually getting better and better, lavishing us with champagne, fine dining and overwhelming gifts. Never did I think I’d be sat at the Lanesborough having dinner with the guys behind Manolo Blahnik and Farfetch or having breakfast with Lee Stafford. There are some huge pinch me moments ( and this is just the start!) but it’s not without it’s cons too (I know, it’s hard to believe after all of that but there really are two sides to this world)

THE PROS, PERKS & PROSECCO

I‘ve met some of my most cherished adult friends through blogging and I now know so many inspiring, motivated and creative people thanks to this blog! Whether friendships have blossomed through Twitter, Instagram or sparking conversation at events, it’s such a wonderful and supportive environment to have and even if we’re 1000 miles away I still have girls I can count on for advice, support or just to have a little moan with! I do also, get the privilege of working from where ever I choose and whenever I choose – my bed for Sunday morning editing, a coffee shop to really spark my motivation or from my cosy desk at home. This is something I definitely try and not take for granted, being someone who used to work 3 jobs at once and barely had a moment to go to the loo I understand how lucky this working lifestyle has become.

It’s a very lavish industry and almost alike celebrity culture – people want to leave a good, lasting impression of their company on you and therefore events can be extremely luxurious (and I can totally feel out of place!) Prosecco and canapés are pretty much the diet when it comes to meetings and events and having a car pick me up will never be something I become accustomed to. I also get to work with brands I’ve adore for years (ICE being an example, love the GLAM watch that inspired this pretty look!) The earning potential is also incredible and one days work could have almost equated to my old monthly salary. The most rewarding thing above anything materialistic, is the  feeling of connecting with people, helping others and inspiring them – whether that’s to buy a new pair of shoes they thought people would laugh at or making a lifestyle change. This is sometimes short-lived, as some freelancers would agree, which brings me onto the very different side of blogging.

SHOP THE LOOK

“I FEEL LIKE I’VE MASTERED THE SKILL OF MAKING

EVERYTHING APPEAR WONDERFUL WHEN IN FACT

I’VE BEEN UNHAPPY AND STRESSED FOR WEEKS”

For me, every job isn’t without it’s cons and it’s really difficult for me to express these to people outside of the industry or to those who haven’t experienced them for themselves. I have this wonderful job and my life appears seemingly wonderful on my instagram feed (I definitely compensate for this on my insta stories haha – gal’s gotta bring some unfiltered realness to the game!) I love to discuss my struggles, worries and moan about funny little things to you guys – it’s actually what gets the best response as I guess we can all feel connected and like we relate and aren’t alone in our troubles! I thought this vampy (slightly in fitting with Halloween, minus some cat ears 😉 )  look perfectly compliments the Black GLAM watch and leads me on to the not so sparkly side of things! I love my job but I do struggle sometimes, so I think it’s only honest of me to discuss the pitfalls. A few things that get me down about blogging (twitter witch hunts aside!) is the universal killer that is comparison. One moment you’re really proud of your work and the next moment you question the whole point of what you’re doing and where you’ll be in 5 years time. It’s also pretty hard to get over the fact most people assume your job is pointless, vain and a total breeze sometimes.

 Some days I get less work done than others and totally beat myself up for ‘achieving nothing’. Events, whilst super amazing can also be painfully lonely, isolating and leave me feeling left out, disregarding or just stupid. I’m a really lively, and probably at times, way too chatty person. Sometimes this goes down like a lead brick and leaves me feeling ashamed of who I am and constantly talking myself out of being so chatty. I forget peoples names and then feel like an awful human for it and financially, it can be a stark contrast of bloody wonderful and then not being able to afford any bills or grab a coffee. This has left me very unhappy and left with a feeling of not knowing what to do anymore, because when I’m waiting 2/3 months to get paid and there’s nothing I can do about that, I feel pretty useless, emabarrased and like a bit of a failure (oh, hey there pity party 😉 )

I FEEL LIKE I’VE MASTERED THE ART OF PRETENDING LIFE IS WONDERFUL WHEN REALLY, I’VE BEEN STRESSED AND UNHAPPY FOR WEEKS

Creating the illusion that life is wonderful and rainbows when I’m probably, quite unhappy inside is something I’ve unknowingly done my whole life. I don’t like to ask for help, I don’t like to cry, I don’t like to admit I’m struggling but over the last few months I’ve realised it’s okay not to be okay all of the time and it’s not a sign of weakness. The last year has really tested me but if anything it’s giving me valuable life skills and building me as a person, something which is super important growing up. Sometimes you have to go through stressful times to come out the other end better (silver linings and all that!) It’s been highs and lows I’d say, which can really confuse you as a person and leave you feeling a little numb. When things are great, I’m ecstatic and when they’re bad I’m unsure of how to pull through or what my next move should be, especially if situations are out of your hands. Being a blogger truly is the most wonderful thing but not without its pitfalls, like any other job – and I think it’s important to discuss these in order to re-evaluate how we approach things. Life and our careers aren’t always plain sailing, but if you have the passion and drive you can pull though! Appreciating the not so easy parts makes us stronger, more resilient and truly appreciate the wonderful things!

SHOP THE LOOK

I LOVED putting this post together and had so much fun styling up look around the gorgeous watches! I’d love to know what your fave outfit was, make sure you let me know in the comments below! I also hope you loved reading all about my time as a blogger and what I’ve found to be the most contrasting sides – I’d love to know your thoughts and experiences as always! I love this crazy thing I call a job but didn’t want to paint it rainbows 100% of the time, so I hope you appreciate the honesty.

I’ve also got so much style & travel goodness coming to my channel, so make sure you’re subscribed! 

As always you can tweet me @stylepetalblog, catch up on all my posts over on BLOGLOVIN or see my latest beauty and fashion buys and vlogs over on my YouTube channel!

Photography by Ben Kapur

This post was a sponsored collaboration with the lovelies from Ice Watch!

LATEST WATCH

THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING A TRUSTWORTHY BLOGGER

THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING A TRUSTWORTHY BLOGGER

ABOVE ALL, I VALUE PEOPLES HONESTY AND DISCLOSURE AND I THINK THAT’S WHAT REALLY SETS OTHERS APART

I love writing about the blogging industry, it’s still really in it’s infancy (in the grand scheme of things!) it’s exciting and ever changing. If you’ve read my post here all about the blogosphere and how others have commented on it being oversaturated, you’ll know that I whole heartedly disagree and celebrate the ever growing community. However it has got me thinking (As well as Lydia’s though provoking post here) about my morals and stance as a blogger. Everyone wants different things, everyone values different things and that’s what makes it so diverse. However there’s one thing that I can’t help think that we should all try and uphold and that’s building and maintaining a feeling of trust and transparency amongst ourselves, our readers and fellow bloggers.

Really, without trust, why would anyone listen to a word we say, consider buying a shoe we love or take interest in our musings? I read the blogs I read because I value their opinion, I trust their view and appreciate what they have to say, even if I didn’t agree myself. I value their honesty and disclosure and that, in my opinion, is what truly sets some apart from others. When I deliberate collaborations and sponsorships that come my way I massively consider my audience, even more so than myself. If my readers have no respect and see me plugging new brands and items every day then how will they know which opinion to trust and which product I truly love? With this said, I’m exploring the importance of being a trustworthy blogger.

“I’ve always been damn proud to stamp that #ad on a post because I still find it incredible that I’m able to get paid for what I love and something that I built from nothing. Why should you be ashamed of that? Be honest and respectful and be proud of your hard work!”

DISCLOSURE, DISCLOSURE, DISCLOSURE

Something we notoriously love to seek out – it is the law after all. It would be massively shamed upon for big companies to hide ads or lie so why should we be able to get away with it when we have such trusting and impressionable readers? Twitter witch hunts are forever picking reality stars in particular apart for their lack of disclosure. Heavily promoting brands from supplements and protein to clothes and shoes. Absolutely nothing wrong with that within itself, however it becomes a problem once one stops disclosing what is paid advertorials – making it difficult for audiences to determine what is sponsored and what isn’t.

I’ve always been damn proud to stamp that #ad on a post because I still find it incredible that I’m able to get paid for what I love and something that I built from nothing. Why should you be ashamed of that? I’m also proud because every brand I work with has had a crazy amount of consideration put into it – why on earth would I share something wth you guys that I don’t love/use myself? A collab should be natural and enjoyable to write about because you have such a passion and belief in that brand, and I don’t know about you – but when I get excited about things, I don’t stop talking! The fact is a lot of influencers money is made through sponsored work, so don’t hide that – embrace it and others will appreciate your honesty! (and you won’t be breaking the ASA guidelines 😉 )

YOU CAN NEVER BE TOO PICKY

You can never be too picky because your blog, your social channels and your YouTube represents YOU. If you promote something you hate, the only reputation that takes a hit is yours. Kinda scary when your whole, little, business is in your hands but honesty is always the best policy and can’t really do you much harm – lying on the other hand, or false advertisements can. I see you guys as my friends and there’s nothing I love more than finding an awesome product, sharing it with my friends and letting them have a try. Which is why anyone I work with has to be worthy of my reccomendation to you all! Be picky, be fussy, turn things down and jump with joy when you find the perfect collab for you!

At present, I turn down 8 out of 10 collabs (which is a pretty big deal for someone who hasn’t got a mass following of 100,000s and I actually feel really pleased that I’m staying true to myself) This is purely because I don’t feel comfortable promoting things I can’t use or won’t use – if I was promoting 5 skin care brands at the same time I can’t help but feel you’d lose slight trust in my opinion. (that said, I religiously use a hell of a lot of skin care brands and you’ll know that from my Insta Stories!) I just find it’s easier to pour yourself and your heart into few collabs at a time – don’t feel the need to accept every thing that comes your way. Don’t accept anything you don’t feel comfortable and always disclose, always be honest and true to yourself and your audience will be able to see that and appreciate you even more!

RESPECT YOUR AUDIENCE AND SPREAD LOVE!

I always appreciate it when people take a moment to interact with their audience, take in to consideration what they like and tailor that into their work. I always try and respond to you loves on Instagram, YouTube & Twitter and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it when you send me messages on Insta stories! I find it so interesting when I share a story and you guys can relate or send me advice – because it really makes me feel like I must be doing something kinda right! It makes me feel connected to you guys and with every message I get to know you a little better – who you are, what you’e been through and what you enjoy reading about and watching!

That said, you guys always seem to enjoy my more personal posts – life, advice, the blogging industry – which is why I’m really inspired to write about all of those things currently. (I cannot thank you enough by the way, for all of your support on my body confidence post too – you are all AMAZING!) Building that all important relationship between blogger and audience is all about mutual respect. I love you guys and truly value everyone that takes the time to read my blog and watch my videos and I try to make that known! Similarly it really makes me happy to hear your feedback – what you like and your favourite posts. I trust your opinions, so when I ask for suggestions on Insta stories I know you guys are being honest and it will help me continue to improve and create things you like!

SHOP THE LOOK

I really hope you loved this one beauts – I always find it super interesting to hear others thoughts on the subject of disclosure and trust within the blogging industry! Do get in touch my loves, always loving discussing these things with you!

I’ve also got so much Summer style & travel goodness coming to my channel, so make sure you’re subscribed! 

As always you can tweet me @stylepetalblog, catch up on all my posts over on BLOGLOVIN or see my latest beauty and fashion buys and vlogs over on my YouTube channel!

Photography by Ben Kapur

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APPRECIATING THE HATERS, THE NEGATIVE & DOUBTFUL

APPRECIATING THE HATERS, THE NEGATIVE & DOUBTFUL

“LIFE IS TOUGH, BUT DARLING, SO ARE YOU.”

What better way to kick start a rambling blog post than starting it off with a cracking, good cliche quote (hey, sometimes they’re cliche for a reason!) Whoever you are, whatever you do and where ever you came from, I’m sure most of us have endured occasions of unwanted negativity in our lives. Whether you were teased, victim to the bullies at school or made to feel isolated or judged at work or around friends and family – it happens to the best of us throughout our lives. It can hit you when life is seemingly perfect and bring you down like a tonne of bricks. As angering, upsetting and difficult it can be, especially on top of everything else going on in your life – life really is tough, but you are so much TOUGHER! 

I did a poll on my Twitter recently and asked what your fave posts were to read and general life and advice won by far – so here’s a new personal, life experience post coming at ya! This isn’t a rant at those who have wronged (although there is a story I’ve learnt from!), calling out everyone that’s made me feel crappy or having a self pity, party. It’s about learning, discussing, accepting and growing through these experiences we all undoubtably go through. It’s a reminder that it’s okay to be upset, you don’t have to be indestructible, but know that you’re capable of picking yourself up after a bad experience. You wouldn’t be the amazing person you are today without your experiences – good or bad. So here’s to you, tough ones and hoping this reminds you all that you are kick ass, always have been, always will be.

HAVE COMPASSION

 

I like to think I don’t dwell on negativity. (or at least not longer than it takes to have a little cathartic cry now and again!) Ironically, a self confessed, positivity lover and optimistic advocate is now writing a whole dedicated, blog post to the subject of negativity! You can’t see rainbows without a little rain and even stars need darkness to shine. I apologise now for the onslaught of quotes – my motivational quote folder on my Pinterest is bursting at the seems! I’m not saying we’re untouchable and no one can ever get to you – but you can pick yourself back up and learn from it. Why has this person said this? Why did they do that? Why are they trying to make me feel this way? Unless you’ve done something to noticeably upset someone or ruffle a few feathers – it’s often a problem with the other persons life that is causing your hurt, as they’re unsure of how to deal with it. I wrote here about why you should care less about what others think, something I’ve definitely learnt through realising it’s no-one else concern or reason to judge what makes me happy! 

“WHAT SUSIE SAYS OF SALLY, SAYS MORE OF SUSIE THAN SALLY”

Other peoples words and actions towards you often speak more loudly of them, than they do of you. Try and remind yourself of this’d you’ll see the person behind the words, the hate or the nastiness. There is someone there and something has happened to make them act this way towards you and to me, that’s really sad to think. No matter how hurt I am or how mean someone has been, I would never feel inclined to troll someone online or make them feel in any way worthless or beneath me. Hell, even the thought of giving someone a thumbs down on Youtube makes me sweat!

When someone has made you feel crappy, you will be annoyed and feel down – that’s normal, but time heals all and your feelings will fade. Try to imagine what’s happened to make them act or speak in such a way. It helps you learn to forgive and sympathise – there’s a person there that obviously has their own insecurities, has probably been victimised themselves and doesn’t know how to deal with it. Take a deep breath, hold your head high and continue being your amazing self!

BE THE KIND OF PERSON THAT MAKES PEOPLE FEEL GOOD AROUND YOU.

Something I experienced at school made me question how aware half of these people even are of the hurt they’re causing to you. A boy in the year above me used to make me feel like utter crap, I’d never done anything to him – I was obviously someone he just enjoyed picking on, perhaps to make himself feel more validated  who knows. He’d make a point of singling me out – in the queues for food, on the bus, across the road. I would try and laugh it off, ignore it or pretend it didn’t hurt in front of my friends, when I would actually come home teary eyed wondering what I’d done to deserve it.I bumped into him a couple of years ago, probably at some event around my home town. He was friendly, chatty, totally oblivious to the years of yelling at me and making fun of me or my name at the back of the bus. No embarrassment, no regrets, just total oblivion and smiles as if I was another friendly face from school, when all I saw was the times he made me feel like a piece of crap.

Maybe some people just don’t realise what they’re doing upsets us. It’s a joke, it’s funny, it’s a way to make your mates laugh. I learnt to let go after this and realise that for future incidences, maybe they just don’t realise it hits a bit harder than intended (after all if you’re like me and play totally blasé to everything, how are they supposed to know how upset you are!) People can be dicks, but sometimes they just don’t realise it, especially if no ones ever told them what they’re doing it out of order. Learn from them and be compassionate, kind to those you meet – make them feel happy after being around you.

GROW THROUGH WHAT YOU GO THROUGH

 

I’m a firm believer in that everything happens for a reason – the good, the bad and the crappy. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without my experiences and this is the reason I’ve learnt to appreciate the bad days, the bullies and odd rubbish comment about me, my skin, my life or anything else about me or my person. Without these experiences, I may not be as compassionate as I am, I might not be so considerate of others and what’s going on behind closed doors and I might have turned out more judgemental than I’d have liked. It’s thanks to those crappy days, feeling embarrassed, worthless or judged that I’ve picked myself up and decided who I want to be, how I want others to feel around me and realised everything that I dont want to be. Through the hard times we grow and become stronger and more incredible. If you’re going through a tough time, remember you’re amazing, strong and no one can dictate how you feel but yourself. You’re worth it, you’re beautiful, unique and you go live your life how you want!

SHOP THE OUTFIT

I hope you loved this one my beauts – I thought I’d take on board your thoughts on twitter and bring you some more life and advice posts, they’re definitely my fave to get writing! I’d love to know your stories and how you’ve learn from experiences, hate and negativity – as always please do pop a comment below and join the discussion! Always loving hearing your thoughts!

I’ve also got so much style & travel goodness coming to my channel, so make sure you’re subscribed! 

As always you can tweet me @stylepetalblog, catch up on all my posts over on BLOGLOVIN or see my latest beauty and fashion buys and vlogs over on my YouTube channel!

Photography by Ben Kapur

LATEST WATCH