Female Creative Series: Q&A with Beauty Blogger Chichi

Female Creative Series: Q&A with Beauty Blogger Chichi

I started a female Creative Series to celebrate the women around us who work hard and hustle in the creative jobs. This week I spoke to Chichi, a beauty blogger who lives in Cambridge.

Tell us a little bit about yourself!

My name is Chichi and I’m a beauty blogger. I’m from London and I currently live in Cambridge. In my spare time I like to read books, watch YouTube videos, visit museums and blog!

What do you do for a living?

I work in digital media and marketing. I specialise in content writing and copywriting, but I’ve also worked in content marketing, blogger & influencer outreach and social media management.

What made you decide to do what you do for a living?

I kind of fell into the digital media world. My original plan was to become a journalist and work in traditional media – I wanted to work as a beauty and fashion journalist for magazines. But after discovering the digital media world and realising that I could write for online media, I chose to do that instead.

What would be your advice for someone looking to go into your profession?

If you want to enter the industry then definitely try to get some experience and build up your network. Your network is your net worth! Consider taking professional qualifications – this is something I am working on right now. Also, create a website or portfolio to showcase your best work.

What are some of your hobbies or skills that you’d like to improve this year? 

I’m currently teaching myself to play the keyboard after briefly learning as a child. The thing is that learning to play an instrument requires so much practice and consistency so I need to keep it up and keep it going.

What’s a quote that makes you feel empowered/motivated?

“Your value does not decrease based upon someone’s inability to see your worth.”

Can you tell us some of your favourite female creatives you love to support? Feel free to link to their socials or blogs!

I am always reading blogs and these are some of my favourites:

Sophie Milner (formerly Fashion Slave)

Gemma Louise

A Woman’s Confidence

Kate La Vie

Albertine Sarah

Demi Colleen

Cruelty-Free Kitty

Can you recommend your top 5 books for creatives? 

The Joy Of No

Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff by Richard Carlson

What A Time To Be Alone by Chidera Eggerue

The Courage To Be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga

Get Your Sh*t Together by Sarah Knight

You can find Chichi on her socials:

Blog: https://www.chichiwritesbeauty.co.uk/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/chichiogwe
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/chichiogwe/

 

Reasons Your Website Isn’t Getting Views

Reasons Your Website Isn’t Getting Views

Have you been struggling with gaining new followers and visitors to your site? Down below I list the reasons why your website isn’t getting views and what you can do to improve the situation.

You Aren’t Marketing Yourself

As a blogger, it can be difficult to know how to market yourself to stand out from the rest. You have to have a certain level of confidence in your work in order to believe in it, and therefore, to market it.

If you’re writing blog posts you aren’t passionate about, you won’t be passionate about marketing it. The first step to gaining views is to decide how you want to be perceived, and this starts with your brand.

You Don’t Have A Brand

Maybe the reason you aren’t getting views on your website is because you simply do not have a consistent brand. For my website I have a logo and I’ve named all my social media accounts the same thing. I have a consistent logo on all social media channels so when someone mentions me or my blog, they will have the image of my logo in their head.

Reasons Your Website Isn't Getting Views

You can hire a graphic designer to create a look for your website or to create a custom logo. My wonderful friend Chelsea created one for me which I adore! It describes me perfectly and I wouldn’t change it! To market your brand, you have to have a consistent theme or be known for your niche.

You Don’t Have A Posting Schedule

Another reason your website isn’t getting views could be that you don’t post at a time when your followers are online. I asked my followers on Instagram a series of questions recently about the times they’re online, what content they want to see and what days they’re most active. I learnt that my followers tend to be online at night time on weekdays and they prefer my original content instead of graphics.

Not only is it important to post your blog on WordPress or your website at the right time, it’s also important when you post to your social channels. These handy graphs from Sprout are a great way to see what traffic you could be getting by posting at the correct times. Please bare in mind these are from last year.

A way you can see what time your followers are online is to do the same thing I did. Or you can do your research on what country gives you the most views and aim to publish a blog post or Instagram post at a time that suits them. It’s all about analyzing your audience.

You Aren’t Targeting Your Audience

Another reason your website isn’t getting views could be that you aren’t targeting the right audience. The internet has so many blogs and websites for people to read. You need to make sure you stand out and your audience – your followers – are the key. Take a look at what they blog about or like to read – host polls on social media asking what your followers prefer to see from you and when.

If you’re looking to change your niche, I recommend going through all your social media channels and following people who also blog or have a website similar to yours. The odds are they will be interested in the same content that they write about – I know I am.

Start following these people, interacting with their posts and networking. This is how you can get organic views to your website and target the right audience too!

You Don’t Have The Right Tools

It’s obvious that if you see an appealing looking blog with a great aesthetic, you’re going to click on it. After all, that’s why we scroll through Pinterest for hours on end, right?!

There are so many free apps you can get to improve the visuals for your website. I currently use Canva which I use for my clients as well. It’s easy to use and you can use so many graphics and illustrations for free. You can also upgrade your plan so you get even more options.

Changing it up so you have eye-catching visuals will make a huge difference for your website.

You Don’t Have The Right Social Media Channels

You might not be getting the views you want because you haven’t downloaded apps and promoted your articles or website on the right platforms. I predominately get my views from Twitter and WordPress followers. So my goal is to gain followers on here.

I know a lot of bloggers who gain hundreds of views through Pinterest and if you have the swipe up function, on Instagram. I do gain a few followers and views through Instagram but it’s very rare.

You have to do your homework, see what works for you. I used to get so many views via Facebook groups and promoting on my Facebook Page. Nowadays, I get less than half my views from there. But that’s where it all started for me, so you have to know your audience, have a brand and know exactly when to post in order to get the views. I hope this was helpful in some way, and by all means, if you have any tips feel free to share them in the comments section of my blog.

If you want more advice on how to promote your website, check out my recent blog post.

If you’re still confused and need help growing your audience and gaining views to your website, contact me via email at greenv745@gmail.com and I can help you create content and market your brand. I am a social media manager myself and have several clients I work with on social media and generating new, organic followers.

Review: Clean by Juno Dawson

Review: Clean by Juno Dawson

Hi guys! So last week I posted a review of Melvin Burgess’ Junk. I read that before Clean because Juno referred to that as her inspiration.

About Clean

Clean is centred around Lexi Volkov, the daughter of a wealthy hotel owner who so happens to be spoilt and can get whatever she wants, when she wants. Which essentially means she can also do drugs with her boyfriend Kurt whenever she wants.

However, Nikolai, Lexi’s brother kidnaps her and takes her to a special clinic on an island where she can do the ten step progam to get clean.

She meets a lot of different people (with money) who are there for other addictions such as anorexia and OCD. Lexi needs to decide whether she wants to recover or waste her life away. Her new found friends may just be the answer she needs…

Review

I’ve been to a few events where Lexi has been said to be very confident and commanding. I thought she would be a total bitch – and she is at the start – but really she has a soft centre to her.

She seems to want to hide all her secrets and blames everyone for her mistakes. She doesn’t realise she has a problem until it’s nearly too late.

What I love about this book is the character development of all the addicts. Juno really can get into the mind of an addict and it’s amazing. At times we just want to tell Lexi to put the coke down and step away. But we see her go through the ups and downs all the way to the end.

I warmed to all the addicts at the centre, even Sasha. Everyone has issues but it’s how you deal with them that counts.

I loved the writing and the characters. And obviously the fact it’s set in London. What more could you want?

Have you read Clean? What did you think?

Book Review: Junk by Melvin Burgess

Book Review: Junk by Melvin Burgess

Hey guys!

I read Melvin Burgess’ book, Junk ages ago and wanted to share my thoughts about the book.

About Junk

Junk is a book about a group of teens who get caught up in all sorts of dodgy dealings, from drugs, to stealing to even prostitution. Two teens run away, Gemma who is loud and confident, and Tar, shy and quiet. They fall in and out of love and we see their lives unravel through the years.

Review

I thought Junk was incredibly clever and well written. It is written in first person and has lots of the characters’ opinions and view points in. It was a book that needed to be written. We see how easy it is to get into drugs, smoking, alcohol and more when Gemma and Tar start to live with two other teens in a squat.

We see Gemma become reckless and full of herself after she leaves her parents. Whereas Tar, beaten up by his dad and abused by his mother, starts to make friends and a life for himself. But that all seems to change when Gemma meets Lily, a quirky girl in her own world. They become instant friends and Gemma decides to live with Lily and her boyfriend Rob. Tar, being the hopeless romantic he is, chases after Gemma and decides to live in the squat with them.

Everything is fine at first. Until they start smoking hash and then get on to Heroin. Their personalities change over the years. They become less caring, depressed and even more irresponsible.

I think it was important for Burgess to put this book out there to one, explain to people what addiction is and how hard it is to come off, and two, how anyone, literally anyone, can get into the same situation Tar and Gemma found themselves in. Like Melvin said, he didn’t want to write the book at all, but he knew he had to.

I thought that the character development in this was phenomenal, even if it wasn’t a good character development. It showed us how peoples personalities can change when on drugs. After all, these kids were impressionable, they were both only 14 when they left their parents.

It’s no wonder Tar got addicted to drugs so easily coming from the family he had. But he should have recieved help before it got to that point. But at the time, he didn’t think he needed help, he just made out as though they were having a bit of fun and could easily come off the drugs if they wanted.

But unfortunately it’s not that easy. Things don’t always go to plan. And that’s what I love about this book; the way Burgess is so honest with the readers. He doesn’t shy away from the topic of drugs, sex or anything. He openly discusses it and I found the book to be an eye opener.

I look forward to reading Melvin’s other books!

Until next time, love, Vee x

Christmas Markets – Frankfurt

Christmas Markets – Frankfurt

Last weekend we visited Frankfurt and its Christmas markets. We packed jumpers, coats, hats and scarves but the weather was just the same as the UK.

My aim was to have a Baileys hot chocolate, come back with a mug and have a pretzel the size of my face – which I did.

We arrived really late on Friday night and stayed at the Bristol Hotel next to the train station. After someone (Oliver’s dad) forgot the directions, we eventually made it to the hotel after 45 minutes but it should have taken 5 😂

We woke up, had breakfast and walked to where the Christmas markets are. We stopped in a store that reminded me of Flying Tiger before heading into the markets to grab hot chocolate with amaretto.

We stayed out for a few hours to take pictures, buy drinks and get some food. There were so many stalls, from food, drinks to hardware and Christmas ornaments. I’ve never seen a market so big. We also walked over a bridge the other side of the river where there were a few flea markets and we also went into a large church with a choir performing.

We went back to the room for a while and caught up on I’m a Celeb before going out again at 7pm to see the markets in the dark.

We ended up having a Maccy D’s. We always like to see the difference in food choices when we go away. You can make your own mcflurrys and get different types of burgers. In France you can even get seafood.

On Sunday we got up, had breakfast at the Bristol Hotel and headed off to the markets again. This is when I bought my pretzel (it only cost €3.50). I also managed to get myself a Baileys hot chocolate! First time I’ve ever tried Baileys and I definitely approve.

Overall, I’ve really enjoyed attending my first European Christmas Market. It was so festive and I can’t wait to go to a new Christmas Market again.

A few tips for anyone thinking of going to a Christmas market:

  • If you buy a mulled wine or hot chocolate, you’ll pay more for the mug and get a token. If you take the mug back, you’ll get some money back. If you decide to keep it, just swap it for a clean mug.
  • Bring warm clothes such as a coat and hat but don’t worry about bringing gloves and scarves as it’s currently the same temperature as it is in the UK.
  • Check times of when markets open and close before you go and see if you can find any secret markets or indoor stalls.

Boycotting Black Friday

Boycotting Black Friday

If you’re anything like me you’ll love a bargain. Black Friday is the ideal time to get that new dress or make up palatte or console you’ve had your eye on. But when we take a look at the facts, will we really want to be spending our hard earned money on unsustainable items?

So, before we take a look at how unsustainable Black Friday actually is, let’s take a look at how it effects you as a customer and as an employee.

Over a 100 injuries occur on Black Friday and 12 people have actually died since 2006 while shopping. Can you imagine being so desperate for a sale that your life actually depends on it? Not only is this horrific for the customer but imagine what the staff have to go through; late nights, early mornings and dealing with bloody rude customers.

Now that we’ve had a look at the cons for customers and staff, let’s take a look at the unsustainable side. It’s averaged that the UK will spend around £5.6 billion on Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year. Think of the amount of Fast Fashion retailers taking part in this. The amount of clothes that will be bought and thrown to the back of the wardrobe without another thought; or tossed into landfill after one use. Think of how much time has gone into making these clothes from workers who aren’t even paid a minimum wage. As a country we have bought into this mindset of how we need the latest staple piece from Topshop or we need these amazing shoes from Missguided. The amount of clothes bought in the UK alone is astonishing.

However, there are some fashion retailers who are abandoning the tradition of Black Friday such as Monki. On their website they have written a statement about how they will not have any deals and they’ve called it “Black Fri-nay” which is kinda cliche but catchy if you ask me. To me, even though Monki is only rated as “It’s a start” on Good On You, I would much rather buy from a brand such as this than I would Pretty Little Thing, one of the worst fast fashion companies there is.

Did you know more than 83% of Black Friday shoppers say they would buy their items and gifts via mobile? It may be great for people who work or don’t want to be trampled by crowds, but in reality, it’s scary to think that a new pair of boots or a new tee is only a click away. Fast fashion retailers have so much power over their customers. There’s always a sale section, but Black Friday is their day to shine.

But why are we conditioned to want the latest item of clothing or the newest accessory? I read an interesting article recently about the Diderot Effect. “The Diderot Effect states that obtaining a new possession often creates a spiral of consumption which leads you to acquire more new things. As a result, we end up buying things that our previous selves never needed to feel happy or fulfilled.” It makes sense that we buy items we don’t need, we just think we need to have them. This, to me, is how fast fashion retailers get us.

So, what can we do to boycott Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year?

For a start, do not give in to the deals you see pop up on your Facebook feed or click on a link to Boohoo deals that your best friend sent you. As hard as it can be if you’re new to the sustainable approach, you have to have some willpower.

Unsubscribe to retailers emails that will undoubtedly be sent to you today and Monday.

I recently noticed I still follow some fast fashion retailers on Facebook and finally got around to unliking the pages so there’s no temptation to look or support them in any way.

You can also create your own blog posts or share your thoughts on your social media channels.

There’s even events going on you can take part in. My sustainable friend Becky is speaking at an event this weekend. You can find the events here.

You can also support small businesses hosting black Friday deals such as etsy businesses or buy on depop or ebay. There’s still ways to get the deals you want, you just have to be more eco conscious!

What are you doing to boycott Black Friday?

Sources:

https://www.finder.com/uk/black-friday-statistics

https://www.nbcnews.com/better/lifestyle/what-buy-what-skip-black-friday-ncna1091706

https://jamesclear.com/diderot-effect

Book Review: Margot and Me

Book Review: Margot and Me

I read Margot and Me by Juno Dawson earlier in the year and fell in love with Margot and Fliss.

About

Margot and Me is about how Fliss moves up to Wales to be with Fliss’ grandmother while her mum is in remission from cancer. Fliss has to leave all her friends behind, including a potential love interest. She can’t stand the thought of moving away from London to a tiny town in Wales.

But fortunately for Fliss, she finds her grandmother, Margot’s, diary from the time of the war. She unveils secrets she never knew and discovers it’s not that easy to move away from home. But it does have its perks.

From YA prom where I met Juno!

Review

From the start of the book, I didn’t know what it was going to be about at all or who it was aimed at.

I was excited that Fliss and her mum were moving to Wales because I love it there.

The characters were so likeable, especially Margot (not at the start). I loved Fliss’ mum and Fliss’ gay friend Danny who lives at the Chinese his mum and dad run. Her other friend, Bronwyn is also quite sweet, although a tad odd! Dewi was a personal favourite, a big softie. I wish he would have got more time in the book! (Juno, please write a book for Dewi!)

I felt like I could relate to Fliss, apart from her confidence and sassiness. She worries a lot but is also a kind soul. She has her opinion and sticks by it, regardless of what others think. But ultimately, I loved Margot the most. You could see her character develop from the person in the diaries to who she is now, and it’s not surprising she’s so cold hearted when you look at what she’s gone through.

There was so much crammed into this book that I didn’t know which direction it was going to go in.

The writing was beautiful, especially the parts where we’re reading Margot’s diary. It felt so accurate and made the story come alive. It was like reading a story within a story.

I felt like I was actually in Margot’s farm, watching Fliss resist the urge to eat bacon and seeing her sneak into her bedroom to read more of Margot’s diary.

This book is such a heartfelt read but also a heartbreaking one. Be prepared to cry, laugh (a lot, Fliss is such a diva) and smile. If you want a family oriented read full of laughter, ballet, piglets and more, then read this now!

V-Eco Food Wrap Review

V-Eco Food Wrap Review

I was kindly gifted some amazing eco friendly and vegan wraps which can be used for packed lunches as an alternative to cling film and plastic bags.

I was so excited to receive these since I want to try and be more sustainable and watch how much plastic I use.

I was gifted some Butty Wraps, food wraps and a soapsaver which are super handy for work or travelling. These all come in different designs but I was gifted the food wraps in the butterfly print, the butty wrap in the unicorn print (which is the best, don’t argue with me) and the soap saver in cherry blossom print.

These can all be reused by just washing them under cold water with a little bit of soap after use. Don’t put anything hot in or near these as they are made from tree resin and will therefore melt because they are a type of wax!

The soapsaver will come in really handy when I go on holiday to put my soaps and toiletries in instead of buying those plastic freezer bags that I chuck away after use.

I am really looking forward to making wraps and sandwiches in these so I don’t have to buy those meal deals and chuck all the plastic and clingfilm away afterwards.

If you are interested in trying to become more sustainable and want to use these vegan alternatives for your every day use then check out V-Eco’s website!

What are you doing/buying to be more eco friendly and sustainable? Have you got any suggestions for me? Let me know in the comments!

How To Write A Blog Post When You Have No Motivation

How To Write A Blog Post When You Have No Motivation

We’ve all been there when it feels like we’ll never write another blog post again and we’ll go down as the worst blogger in the history of bloggers. Blogger’s get writer’s block too, not just authors! So here are my top tips on how to write a blog post when you have zero motivation to do so!

Take Your Time

Don’t rush because if you do, it means compromising your content. If you don’t feel like you can produce good content at the moment, take a step back, take a break and come back to it in a few hours. Stepping away from whatever project you’re working on may help you see it clearer than you would if you were sat right in front of it.

Find Your Inspiration

There are so many blog posts providing lists on what to write for your blog. You can find loads of these lists on Pinterest and by just googling. For instance, if you write fashion related content, google lists of what to write for that topic.

Another way of finding inspiration is from photos. I always find that a photo can make me think of something else and then the ball starts rolling into an idea for a blog post. Instagram can be a good way of finding that inspiration you desperately need.

Ask For Help

Ask your followers or friends what they’d love to see on your blog. Getting an outsider’s opinion might help you write a blog when you have no motivation to.  You may find that the topic they suggest could lead to other potential posts.

Brainstorm

If you don’t feel like you’re in the head space to write a full blown blog post, brainstorm all your ideas. It can be just words, phrases, quotes or even photos. Think of it like a mood board for your blog and creativity.

Keep A Journal

You might find that writing daily just about what you’ve been up to and how you’re feeling will give you ideas for blog posts. You’ll find your writer’s block slowly starts going away the more you write. Whether you bullet journal or write in your diary, whatever creative passion you have, pour your heart into it. No one has to read it if you don’t want them to – just get the ball rolling!

I hope this guide helped you with your lack of motivation!

Why Your Job Will Never Make You Happy

Why Your Job Will Never Make You Happy

Did I get you with the clickbaity headline? Good, now I have your attention, let’s dive in.

Now, I’m not saying you’ll never be happy with the career you’ve chosen, the people you work with or some of the tasks you do. But, in my experience, no matter what job you’re in, there’s always bad parts that come with it.

I have waitressed, worked in retail, in marketing, admin, social media and volunteered. When I was in retail, I hated it, I wanted to move and become a waitress. But then the hours were shit so I moved back home and became an apprentice on little to no money. Again, I moved, worked in marketing and had to work with women who didn’t like me. While I was working this marketing job I was looking into becoming self employed because I had wanted to make the leap and become my own boss for a while.

I knew that because of my mental illness and the negative experiences I’ve encountered over the years, that I didn’t want to ever experience it again. So I delved into freelance work and left my job.

Now, freelance is great. You get to work from home, choose your own hours, answer phone calls in your PJs. But the harsh reality is that you may still have to work with people you don’t like. Or you’ll have to attend meetings with pretentious people or work on weekends. Unfortunately, no matter whether you’re self employed or work full time in an office, as a waitress, in retail ect, you’re always going to encounter issues.

I was naive when it came to becoming freelance. I didn’t realise how lonely it would be, the amount of motivation you have to have and the amount I’d have to deal with.

I just want to tell you not to have high expectations for every job because there will always be something to make you upset. It’s unfair, but I’m learning that that’s the way life is. There are hard parts, but the hard parts are outweighed by the good.

The advantages for me are that I get to spend time in the place I feel most comfortable in; I don’t have to ask if I can eat or use the bathroom and I don’t feel like I’m doing something wrong if I finish work early. I get to spend more time with my partner, have more holiday and control my future. And that makes me happy. What makes you happy in your job?