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Monday, 23 June 2014

Polka Dot Top & Neon Pink Heels | £50 Zalando Voucher Giveaway

Black & white polka dots with chinos
Not only is this the outfit I wore to the South West Blog Social in Exeter a couple of Saturdays ago, but I'm also offering a £50 gift voucher in a Zalando UK giveaway! The polka dot sweatshirt (I've wanted one of these for so long), silk scarf and amazing cork-effect and neon pink heels are all from Zalando, which has become one of my favourite online retailers. The range they stock is vast, they do free delivery, plus the prices range from the very, very affordable to designer prices - something for all tastes and budgets. (Scroll down for the Rafflecopter widget to enter the giveaway.) I also wore my fabulous kuka-me silver earrings and ring - which received a lot of compliments on the day - and my trusty Maxwell Scott Birkin-style Barella bag once again... it just goes with everything.

The SW Blog Social was a great medium-sized blogger event, with guest speakers, workshops and pop-up shops - and held in Exeter which is just down the road from me. (It's not often that an event is held near me down here in the South West.) It was really well organised and a lot of fun - I met some great girls and made some good contacts. For me the most valuable information was a talk on how to get your work as a writer published - as a new freelance writer I need all the advice I can get, and I learnt a lot from writer/guest speaker Maria McCarthy (thank you Maria)! Blogger meet ups and events are always, always a fabulous way to connect with the blogging community - if you haven't been to one, then just take a deep breath and go :)

So back to the giveaway: if you're a UK resident then you could win £50 to spend with Zalando - it's an online voucher so you can put it towards something if you see something over that amount. I've selected a few pieces below that are all £50 or less for you to see what you could get with your money... good luck!

Polka dots and patterned scarf
Sweatshirt: c/o Zalando, Scarf: c/o Zalando, Chinos: La Redoute, Heels: c/o Zalando, Bag: c/o Maxwell Scott, Earrings & Ring: c/o kuka-me, Nails: Nails Inc Bluebell (Models Own Cornflower is similar)



Zalando statement heels
Maxwell Scott Barella (Birkin style) bag

Just some of the lovely things you could buy with your £50 voucher:












All entries must be made via the widget below. As it's in association with Zalando UK it's open to UK residents only - but my British traffic has increased quite a lot recently so it's a way to say thank you to you lovely Brits. One of the mandatory entries is to leave a comment on this post with your best blogging tip - this was one of the things we were asked to Tweet about at the blogger meet - so get thinking, Brit Bloggers!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck!
Catherine x
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Terms & Conditions:
  • Entries for the giveaway can only be made via the widget above.
  • It is open to UK residents only (the voucher is only valid for the Zalando UK site which only delivers to the UK).
  • The giveaway ends on 7 July 2014 at midnight BST - the winner will be chosen at random via the Rafflecopter widget, contacted by email and announced on the widget and via Twitter.
  • The winner must reply to my email within 48 hours to claim the prize, otherwise another winner will be chosen.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Want to Connect With More Brands? 12 Blogger Outreach Programmes to Sign Up to

12 Blogger Outreach Programmes To Sign Up To
I've had quite a few people asking me lately via email and Twitter how to connect with more brands, so as a follow-on from last Saturday's post about How to Make Your Blog a Success, I thought I'd share the list of blogger outreach programmes I've been compiling for the last year or so.

I've found the easiest way to connect with brands and getting your name out there is to sign up to platforms that specifically connect bloggers with brands; it's known as blogger engagement or blogger outreach. Best British Bloggers describe it as
"the management of a brand’s reputation across blogs. It is the practice of building and maintaining relationships with bloggers who have a particular field of interest, in order for them to write about, discuss and share brand messages with their readership"
- which is great for bloggers, because it saves the hard work of approaching brands and wondering what to say to them. Brands can see which bloggers they think would be a suitable fit for them and then get in touch with offers of collaborations (of varying quality, I must point out); sometimes it's the outreach programmes themselves that contact you. So for your reference - and in no particular order - here are the ones I've signed up to:

1. http://fohrcard.com/about (essential, see below)
2. http://thebloggerprogramme.co.uk
3. http://bloggers-lounge.co.uk
4. http://bestbritishbloggers.co.uk
5. http://bloggersrequired.com
6. http://etailpr.com/bloggernetwork
7. http://generationblog.co.uk
8. http://brandbacker.com
9. http://linklift.co.uk
10. http://bloggersreprise.com
11. http://bloggforward.com
12. http://talentedtalkers.com

Additions:

http://joeblogsnetwork.com
http://uk.nuffnang.com

The one I would highly recommend as a must for every blogger is Fohr Card - as well as connecting brands and bloggers they create a profile page for you with automatically updated stats (traffic, social media followers, profile, links to features, etc.). The brilliant thing about this is that you've got a ready-made media kit right there - you can email the link for your profile page to brands if they ever ask for updated stats. To see an example, click here to see mine - hopefully it'll give you an idea of just how detailed it is.

Hopefully these will give you a head-start in working with brands - do be prepared to receive a lot of emails, however. I find that I respond positively to about 15-20% of the offers I'm sent, and even then some of those never get back to me (which I don't understand as they approached me first). Be patient, as it may take a few months for brands to find you - it won't happen overnight.

One last thing: Don't let the thought that your readership isn't big enough prevent you from signing up to these programmes. I have read on many occasions that brands don't just look for blogs with the biggest number of followers or page views: it's all about fit. If they think your blog and your readership (no matter how small) is the right fit for their brand, they will approach you.

Good luck - and do let me know how you get on and if this helps at all! If anyone has any more outreach programmes that I haven't included, I will add them on as amendments - give me their URLs in the comments :)
Catherine x
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P.S. If anyone is reading this from a blogger outreach point of view, i.e. you work for a brand that reaches out to bloggers, please take a moment to read this excellent post entitled "The 10 Most Common Mistakes of Blogger Outreach" - it'll explain why I hit "delete" so often after reading only a couple of sentences of the email...!

Linking up to: Funday Monday, All Things Thursday, Friday's Fab Favourites


Thursday, 19 June 2014

3 Ways to Wear White Jeans in the Summer

3 Ways to Wear White Jeans
I haven't worn my white jeans since last summer, and when I got them out of storage a few weeks ago I was trying to remember how I styled them last year. I seem to recall wearing them to death, and I wasn't wrong when I checked back over my Outfits page to see just how many times they appeared on the blog...!

Here's three ways to wear white jeans in the summer - they can be worn all year round but I always feel they work best when the sun's out and the layers are lighter. 

Are you wearing white jeans this summer - and if so how are you styling them? Do you favour skinnies still or are you rocking another style... let us know in the comments!

White skinny jeans, grey marl tee & tan heels
1. With other neutrals to create a monochrome look

I love white jeans with a white top to create a head-to-toe white look, but if you're hesitant about looking too white then try a whole bunch of neutrals instead. I teamed my white skinnies with tan, marl grey and silver (jewellery) to keep it looking soft and light.


Pink neon stripes, white skinnies
2. With brights and a hint of black

White is, of course, the perfect neutral - so what's better than adding a load of brights? Here I added my striped neon pink blazer with a bright blue scarf and aviators, and topped it off with a sunshine yellow tote. The touch of black in the heels and tank was the perfect way to make the colours (and the white) "zing" even more.


Denim jacket, plaid & tie-dye scarf
3. With more denim in a different colour - and coloured brogues

There's no reason you can't do double denim when wearing white jeans - and you're more than likely to have denim jackets or shirts in various shades of blue to add. Extra shades of blue from scarves or a top and the brightest brogues or flats will tie everything in to create a cohesive and fresh look.

Catherine x
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Here's the best white jeans I could find on the interwebs (the ones I'm wearing in the pictures above are the Asos Ridley white skinnies)




Linking up to: Visible Monday, Monday Mingle, Funday MondayStyle SessionsTrend Spin Link-UpWhat I Wore Wednesday, Three-Fer Thursday, Passion for Fashion FridayFriday's Fab FavouritesShare in StyleSunday Style Link-Up

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