Mummy Beauty Fashion Blogger

I get asked all the time to sum up my blog into one category. Am I a beauty blogger, a fashion blogger or a mummy blogger? To be honest I kind of resent the fact that I have to “fit in” anywhere. I’m confident enough to believe that I’m unique and coined the term “Vanity Blogger”. As a vanity blogger you just write about you, what you’re interests are, what your passionate about with the freedom to delve into any category you like. It’s like a lifestyle blogger who’s very self indulgent, shares the everyday mundane, the deep inner thoughts and the beautiful things that surround or adorns her.

The more events I’m invited to attend, the more I realise that since the Australian blogosphere has exploded in the last 24 months, I’m loosing my freedom to write with free reign if I want to continue doing sponsored work. Specific “niche” blogs are popping up all over the place. For a brand or advertiser, a blog targeting a specific audience that matches their demographic is more appealing to invest in, no matter how varied your range of skills. The engagement rate over all your social media platforms or the longevity of your site.

Not all brands are like that though, many are still dipping their toes into social media, trying to wrap their heads around the concept. Developing strategies and figuring out where bloggers fit into it all. Their risk management flags are waving about like crazy. They want to give generously but also be mindful of their margins. They want to be casual and approachable yet still professional.

As social media (and it’s captive audience) grows, brands are becoming more and more transparent. We’re pushing aside the logos and the brands and peeking inside, seeing and meeting the people who make it all happen. They’re no longer safe guarded by PRs or big shiny buildings. Facebook, instagram and especially twitter expose them to the world and as with most things in life it’s a two sided coin. Some brands show their personality well, they think before they tweet, they’re involved and engaged. Others are unresponsive, blank of emotion and stuck in the old proven ways of traditional media.

Australian bloggers are a new breed. We’ve learnt from some of the mistakes made in the US when it comes to fair pricing for time, talent and readership and we’ve also learnt about the legalities involved and responsibility having a voice grants us. Brands are the same, they’ve learnt the same lessons from watching their overseas partners rise and fall and rise again. Bloggers and brands are becoming braver and I don’t know about you but it excites me.

There is an opportunity to experiment, to say no, to say yes. To be approached with wads of money or a fancy invitation to a swanky event and be able to say no if it doesn’t fit you, who you are, what you believe in and what you share online… knowing full well that another similar opportunity could be just around the corner. The brands bloggers could target for sponsorship 18 months ago were few and far between, you celebrated being sent a box of cereal. Now bloggers inboxes are being bombarded and sometimes trying to find what fits us best can be overwhelming.

*bling* an email arrives in my inbox and it’s from Brand Meets Blog for a LOreal event at the Hyatt. These are a few of the things that run through my mind before I accept…

  • What day/time is it? Would Steve be able to care for Aidan? How will I be getting there?
  • What would I get out of attending? Would I be meeting the PR agent or the marketing manager of OLreal? How many people are going? Would I even get one on one time with the LOreal team?
  • What would my readers get out of my attendance? Will there be freebies on offer that I could giveaway after the event? Will I be educated on their products so I can relay news from the horses mouth to my readers? Will my readers enjoy reading about the event or seeing photos of me with my friends?
  • What would LOreal get out of me attending? Do they expect me to take photos with my big camera? Would they still want to work with me even if I didn’t Instagram during/about the event? Do they want my “voice” or just my network? Will there be a press photographer and photos of the event made available?
  • What will I wear? Should I wear something sponsored? I’ve never been to the Hyatt, should I dress up or will it be laid back? If I’m taking photos should I wear more comfortable shoes?

In case you’re interested I wore the Melon Sherbet Cocktail Dress from 17 Sundays with black patent peeptoe heels from Payless. The girls and I bonded over in NYC as they were a part of the Indie Runway Show at FFFWeek. I hadn’t worn any of their pieces before as they seemed more urban/grunge that I would normally go for but after seeing them on the runway in person I was keen to experiment. This little number is really comfortable and I loved the squares of black glomesh adorning the bust, so me! The skirt wrinkles a bit but as you can tell some the photos you can hardly see it. I think it will be great to wear during summer too as it’s so light.

 The team presenting at the LOreal event were really receptive. The bloggers who attended are pretty seasoned when it comes to press events and product launches so I think they gained a lot of insights into how to engage with blogs in the future. My hat goes off to LOreal and Lousia from Brand Meets Blog for a glittering event full of information, the chance to meet the people steering the brand and for keeping the group of attendees intimate and relevant… oh and the macaroons and eclairs, they were pretty delightful too!

I think relevance is key when it comes to brand associations, no matter what category you (or others) place yourself in. I get invited to luxury product events but have held off because in reality I could never justify spending $500 on a handbag or $300 on a jar of face cream… if I ever do, slap me, for my own sake. Like my friends, my readers and I share common interests, ideals and sense of style, it’s these things that connect us even though we may have never met in person. If I start sharing experiences or products outside of my own realistic realm, my truth, my voice would be tainted… unless someone shouts me a first class flight, that would be like winning the lottery!

After the event most of us chilled out in the bar and talked candidly about things you can only talk about with other bloggers in dimly lit rooms. You can tell from the expressions that we all had something to share, something to vent and hard hitting questions to ask.

Our laptops and computers can be isolating places to work and create, getting together at events like this isn’t just about the brands, networking or the opportunities. It’s about wine, relaxing, talking shop and laughing til your belly hurts and your eyes water. The bloggers I know haven’t sold their souls or waned to the advertising dollar forsaking their readers for the odd giveaway or box of cereal. These women (some aren’t even pictured in this post) are smart, engaging, business savvy and forever open to feedback and personal development.

What do you love reading about on my blog? Do you like that I have varied and surprising content or do you think I should just stick to talking about one subject in particular?

Comments

  1. 1

    says

    I LOVE this post Dani – I love the way you think and thoughtfully reflect back. I loved your dress and your photos always leave me in total awe of your talent and ability.

    I love the diversity of your blog – it’s an amazing gift to be able to write about so many different things but to make them all seem and feel relevant or relatable.

    I wish we could have had more time to chat last week about life, blogging and NYC! Next time. x

    • 2

      says

      Wow, thank you so much Louisa. Happy to chat about life, blogs and how much we miss NYC anytime! Keep doing what you’re doing, you’ve found your stride x

  2. 3

    Hope Simon says

    Honestly, I love that you have varied contact, it’s like a ‘one stop shop’. I read your blog and I’m inspired to try new Clothes/Accessories, I find ideas that I can pass on to my sister to help with my nephew (who’s Aidan’s age), The ‘fly on the wall’ look at the events you attend, your blogging/instagram/photo tips, your travel ‘diaries’, from the past posts your family/health stories. This blog has everything a woman could want/need to read, to be honest I find it even more interesting than most Magazines I read, I think that’s because it’s easy to relate to you and your writing style sets the mood and brings me a long to your adventures :).

    • 4

      Hope Simon says

      Obviously I’m in la la land today and by contact I meant content. 5pm can not come fast enough today :P

  3. 5

    says

    Varied please! I love seeing into your life, I love that you are real and honest. I love that you share “raw” photos of yourself; the beautiful shots of Aidan. Your writing is real – you write all proper and professional-like, but yet I can tell you mean it. Stay you – that’s what keeps me reading.

  4. 6

    says

    I have trouble with the niche thing too, I just can’t seem to stick to food, and go into fashion a tad, but not enough to be a fashion blogger..

    Oh well

  5. 7

    says

    Boy oh boy to you capture stuff well – through images and through words – sitting down with that group of bloggers after the event was one of the best things I’ve ever done. Should be more of it!

  6. 8

    says

    What I love reading about on your blog is YOU. So if that means being allowed to feel as though I am right beside you at a blog conference or about to jump out of my skin because something awesome has happened at home, such as Aidan learning a new skill or touched by your intense emotion at very personal times,even discovering new products . I am with you ” life’s full of surprizes” thank you for sharing yours.
    love always…….

  7. 9

    says

    Bravo, what a fabulous, insightful post. Beautiful photography, as always (though I had to laugh at my rather ‘intense’ face having drinks). You totally rocked that frock, too. X

  8. 10

    says

    DONT CHANGE!
    I love that as bloggers we CAN write about whatever we want, no matter how varied that may be.
    I love the term ‘vanity blogger’ i intend to refer to myself in that way from this point forward!
    :)
    xx

  9. 11

    Michelle says

    You have to write about whatever you want to write about, it is your blog. Whether you have 1 reader or 1 000 000 readers your “voice” must be yours.

    Just as an observation – I love a freebie but I am constantly amazed at how much money is spent on goodie bags, PR events etc! I just see it as a waste of money.

  10. 12

    says

    I like the variety Dani and I think there is a fit between things you write about – it’s not like you’re writing about inconsistent topics!

    Deb

  11. 13

    says

    I also love the term vanity blogger – it seems to be the best term I’ve seen to describe bloggers that don’t specifically fit perfectly into a niche….although I think most bloggers are vanity bloggers – as we all “speak” about ourselves and what we like…

    Great insight into how you choose which PR events you choose to go to…..the consideration of who you are and also what your readers come to your site for. Although – I also wouldn’t knock back a first class plane ticket on offer…

  12. 14

    says

    Def keep the content varied. It’s nice to log on and pop by and read about different things every time. I don’t think you need to have a ‘niche’ or particular focus as I think that it’s your voice that brings it all together and gives everything you write about that perfect touch. Don’t stop or change what you’re doing for anyone!

  13. 15

    says

    Maybe you could donate some of the freebies to refugee women who come here with nothing except their voices (often unheard). Just an idea..

  14. 16

    says

    i LOVE this post, Dani – great insight for ANY type of blogger in ANY part of the world! I’ve been trying to figure out what my “niche” is and vanity seems just about right lol and your bullet points for deciding whether or not to go to an event are just what I needed to hear. Great great post

  15. 18

    says

    Hey Dani,

    I really enjoyed this post – I often wonder if I’m crazy to do all the things I do… artist/ writer / sexpert and keep battling fitting in one niche or the other – I have an art and variety blog and a sex/romance and variety blog for the two sides of me (even though they often intersect!).
    I think it’s the reality of being human – we are the sum of the many parts of us – and aren’t defined by one particular thing – just like your blog!

  16. 19

    says

    I love that your blog is varied (i really don’t have an obsessive enough interest in anything to read niche blogs) and that you’re kind of vulnerable and accessible…… girl next door… but…. girl next door doing well!!

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