09 August 2014

My blogging and brand journey.


Yesterday I chatted to Kate Larsen - director of Writers Victoria and a researcher from Melbourne university about blogging and advocacy and the importance of storytelling for people with disabilities. I was asked what have been the challenges of blogging. One thing I mentioned was the lack of brand engagement with my blog.

While I've always maintained I don't want to innundate my blog with sponsored posts, and I make some money away from my blog writing and speaking, I am overlooked by brand campaigns and blogging talent agencies or declined when I do pitch to relevant brands. It's not sour grapes or discrimination, but I feel it is exclusionary. It seems a disability blog is not sexy, no matter the high level of page views or social media engagement I have.

I'm attending Problogger in three weeks and all attendees were invited to pitch for a brand workshop. I expressed concern that the brands might not want to work for me because of my content (appearance activism, disability advocacy). But I was encouraged and guided by the PB staff to pitch anyway, taking into account my community and the direction of my life - hello wedding day! I did lots of work in analysing my audience and writing about how the brand and I would be a good fit.

I'm so pleased that my pitch was successful. And I will be spending time with a brand that I never imagined - all because I enjoy wearing lipstick now and have had a few manicures and want to find some beauty inspiration for my wedding day.

I love that blogging can take the journey of our life and we're free to try new things. We're not bound to write about what we did on day one, because we grow and become interested in new things and build amazing communities. Our blog and its content can develop as we do. And aside from working with the brand there, I'm even more excited that I was asked to speak about activism through blogging. Well balanced, I think.

Adam's response: "first you won the mummy blogger category at the awards last year and now you're a makeup blogger?! Who are you?!"

Hugely thankful to the Problogger team for believing in me.



  1. I guess you could also view it as being a lack of relevancy between your blog, your audience and particular brands - which you touched on. I don't come here to see what you wear (though you always look great!!) or for style advice and wouldn't really feel that your alliance with a beauty brand or fashion label necessarily made sense. As a frequent consumer of your your writing, I don't think a recc from this blog would compel me to seek out a particular fashion label or beauty product. There are so many different types of blogs with various different POV's and focus and not all should follow the same recipe for 'success'.

    I guess I also view sponsorship through slightly suspicious eyes. I totally get that it is a necessity to make the huge commitment to your blogging viable and applaud your openness to discuss your intentions but I don't think it is you being overlooked but more it not making sense for the types of brands that tend to publicize through this medium.

    Just my 2 cents!


  2. Blogs are powerful marketing tools.
    For instance I have just sprung for a GHD b/c of Styling you.
    Go for it grrrl.

  3. Congratulations Carly.

    Personally I think its about time brands looked beyond the obvious and engaged other sections of their market. Yes, a make up brand might have a primary market of '20-something women with high disposable income' for example, but what about the 30-somethings, 40-somethings.... even 70-somethings!

    It's also about respecting the intelligence of the consumer. Consumers are smart, and any brand that insists on sticking with a homogonised view of the world is going to come unstuck.

    Looking forward to hearing about the ProBlogger event and how you get on,

  4. That's such fantastic news Carly! I can't wait to meet you at ProBlogger!

  5. Brands would be crazy to pass you up, you have great trust built with your audience which is crucial!

  6. Hahaha - that quote at the end cracks me up! What an interesting post for a newbie blogger. Thanks! Can't wait to hear what you'll have to tell us from the PB event. ps how cute is that photo/hat/broach!


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