This is an exciting blog post to be writing, a decade in the making and a special milestone to be reaching. I started my original blog, Brandslut, on my birthday 10 years ago. Back then she lived on Blogspot; I took awful photographs on my BlackBerry and most of my posts were advertising-oriented and probably didn’t appeal to too many people. But my friends and a family humoured me and slowly she evolved, she got older, and so did I. We grew up and have learnt a fortune over the past 10 years together. I didn’t realise it at the time, but this blog and the periphery social media channels that comprise my ‘brand’ have become a huge part of my life and my identity. It’s a major source of inspiration and motivation for me and never in a million years could I have imagined that it could potentially be my primary source of income one day.
How do you create a successful blog? Identify your passion. Get started. Just keep going. Starting a blog/vlog/channel/profile won’t work if you’re doing it for money or fame. If passion is rooted at the core of your endeavour and you have a dogged determination to create quality content that inspires you and other people, you will succeed eventually. It’s taken me 10 years and a lot of hard work to get here, but I’m finally in a place where I feel I’ve found my groove and I’m creating content that I love and am proud of. I don’t want to be all things to all people, but I want to be something to a few and I feel I’ve finally found my tribe; a group of incredible women who engage, inspire, share and trust. I don’t have hundreds of thousands of followers nor a blue-tick beside my name, but I do know that I have a powerful audience that is highly engaged and it is my duty to ensure that the content and messaging I put out there is in line with our values as a collective; honesty and authenticity above all.
So you might be wondering why I decided to change my blog’s name and move to my own instead?
Here goes. I studied integrated marketing communications because I had a passion for branding and marketing. The word ‘brandsluttery’ was bandied about in many lectures and conversations and I decided I wanted to own it from a different perspective. I wanted to use it to instead share my passion, enthusiasm and support of the brands I discovered and truly loved, both big and small. It’s still my greatest joy to discover new brands/creatives/makers/services/places and to help share them with my tribe and the world. It was never, and has never been, about unconscious consumerism.
But as my blog and personal brand has grown and evolved, so has the very real realisation that unfortunately too many brands and clients can’t collaborate with me due to corporate guidelines and that one word that stands between us. And I get it. As a corporate marketer and strategist I totally get it and understand why that barrier exists, but I can’t allow it to stifle my growth and prevent me from being able to partner with exciting brands and people. So here we are. It’s a decision to close a chapter of my life that I’ve loved and have learnt so much through, and the opening of a new one that better aligns with my life now as a mom, a business owner, a blogger and creative. It’s a shiny new space to better connect with my tribe of readers, followers and brands. And I’m excited about it.
The new blog is a place to keep writing (something that I love) and housing long-form content, especially the kind that adds value and utility to people’s lives through interesting discoveries, places and articles, but it’s also a place that will hopefully inspire and encourage more brands and potential partners to want to collaborate. Here I’ll be able to share those collaborations and sometimes discounts and deals that help make people’s Rands go a little further. I’ve added a Deals section where my discount codes and affiliate links will live, and I’ve also created a Work with Me and Contact page that will help guide your thinking if you’re considering a partnership. I’ve slowly grown my organic audience to 50 000 strong across my digital platforms and this is an audience I care deeply for and whom I aim to deliver high-quality content to. I will never partner with brands with whom my values don’t align. I work hard to offer real strategic input and ideas to the clients I partner with and I put immense effort into creating content I believe resonates with people. This year has been an amazing one for me from a blog and content creation perspective because I feel the campaigns I’ve worked and delivered on have seen real traction and success. This is the pudding in which the proof lies and why I’ve decided to take a far more structured and professional approach to my partnerships.
So that’s it in a nutshell. I want to say thank you to each and every person and partner who’s supported me on this journey, some of whom have been here reading and engaging for a decade now. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you to my husband and family and friends who’ve always been so incredibly supportive of my crazy little endeavour and humouring me as I’ve taken photographs wherever we are. Thank you to Digital Butter who helped me bring my new blog and website to life in such an easy, insightful and dedicated way; you guys deserve all the success in the world and I have no doubt you’re going to digitally enable so many amazing South African businesses and brands. And last, but certainly not least, a giant smooch and thank-you to my darling friend Renée who helped me create my new logo and CI in her usual effortless, over-achievery way. A simple script logo might look like a straight-forward thing, but it aint. We poured over 100s of fonts to settle on this one eventually and I’m in love with it.
Please take a minute to leave me a comment below, it would really mean the world to me. Say hi, reach out, subscribe, and keep watching.
All my love,