21 May 2018

Red & Yellow's Digital Content and Copywriting Course: Part 2

Back in February, I had the opportunity to enroll for the 10-week Digital Content and Copywriting online course from the Red and Yellow Creative School of Business. See Part 1 here. I’m now giving you feedback on my learning experience. I wanted to do this course for a really long time so I was obviously really excited. 

However, I had a few concerns.

  • Data usage since this is an online course. 
  • The difficulty of assignments and quizzes: would I be able to grasp and understand the learning material?
  • Also, I felt nervous about when I would get time to study since I’m a stay-at-home mom of a 2 year old.

Turns out I was worrying over nothing. The first week started with orientation, getting familiar with the topics and different rollout times of modules. Modules are mailed around 12 am on Monday and hereafter you have time to study and complete the week’s assignment by the next Monday at 10 am. 

Modules were in PDF format, which I downloaded on my IPad and that really made things easy for me. I would page and study the material the whole week, every time I had a free moment I would go through the notes. 

The real studying and completion of assignments happened in the wee hours of the morning when my little girl was fast asleep, then again that’s what devoted students do, they study late at night. That also settled my data concern as my mobile network offers a full gig of airtime for only R10.00 from 12am till 6am and that helped a lot. 

Also, you’re not online all the time, like mentioned before you get assignments on a Monday where you download the notes in PDF format. The new week’s assignment answering sheet is in a Word document that also needs to be downloaded, thereafter I would copy the assignment’s questions for that week in another Word document. Although it was sometimes easier for me to just copy and save it in an email draft. Don’t get confused, it’s really not that difficult.

Then there’s a Thursday 30 minutes chatroom, a forum where you’d discuss topics around the course along with asking burning questions on the new week’s assignment. That and the submission of completed assignments on or before the Monday morning at 10.

Additional stuff that I liked about the course was the module notes that was so interactive on the Red and Yellow Student login site. There were little quizzes on the course notes as you went along, engaging videos and links that gave more information on the various subjects and all of that really helped and made the learning process so much fun. 

With my Red & Yellow certificate!

It felt really great being a student again, I always gave my best but whenever I submitted my weekly assignment I would feel a little nervous pang. That again was all for nothing as I did really well throughout the whole course, like my marks were always really high. Another thing I also loved was the detailed feedback on assignments like I knew exactly where I went wrong and I know what areas I now need to give more attention and work on. 

The whole online process was amazing, and I really mean this. Looking back I can’t believe it’s all over, I cannot believe everything went so well. Don’t get me wrong, the whole course was challenging and pushed me to think creatively all the time. There were times when I wasn’t sure I was giving the correct answers, in retrospect I think I was underestimating myself a lot… then again maybe it was just nerves. Which is what I miss now that everything is over, that nervous anticipation of not knowing how high you’ll get scored.

As a blogger, the course formalised all the knowledge I’ve already known and have also informed me with all the information I should know. I now feel equipped and confident and ready to further build on my “little” blog empire. As a digital copywriter, the course has just put me on another level. Being a Red and Yellow graduate just gives me goosebumps, knowing that I’ve been able to study with the best, that’s a fabulous feeling!

I can’t wait to apply all the knowledge I’ve learned, I can’t wait to see how my blog and career will evolve and I’m really so, so glad that I grabbed this opportunity with both hands. 

I’ll now be able to:

  1. Write keyword researched and engaging blogposts along with great call-to-actions.
  2. Write better posts for social media platforms that include all the relevant and popular hashtags.
  3.  I’ll be able to run successful blog and social media campaigns.
  4. Do proper crisis management, if there should ever be the need.
  5. Build and market my brand using analytics and the right influencers without spending a fortune.

On a final note, I want to thank everyone involved, especially the friendly Course Co-ordinators. Thank you for the great feedback and the helpful and kind comments throughout the course. I want to commend them on their professionalism and apt responses. What a great team, well done – and I’m now a Red and Yellow certified (see badge below) Digital Content and Copywriter, yay!

Need more information? Visit Red & Yellow’s website, there’s a variety of other online courses on there. 

Images -  My Own (excluding badge)

16 May 2018

Win Revlon Beauty Products Worth Over R1700 CLOSED

Time for another giveaway my friends and this time it’s from Revlon South Africa! That’s right, you can win the latest beauty products from Revlon worth over R1700. That’s 11 high-quality products, enough to fill up a whole new makeup bag, don’t you think? 

This giveaway is in celebration of my blog that’s been running for over 6 years, that's a long time I know. When I started blogging it was really just a creative outlet for me, at the time my boyfriend (now husband) and I just moved to a mining town called Kathu. I'd spend my time rambling over on my first blog Adventures of Victoriafolksy (I'm not good at naming blogs) and that's how it all started. And what an amazing adventure it has been. 

So, I want to take this opportunity to thank all of my blog supporters, everyone that read and leave a comment and all of you that engage with me over on my social media platforms. I really, really appreciate your ongoing blog support. Now, back to the good stuff, the giveaway!

What’s included?
  • Revlon Colorstay Crème Eyeshadow in Vanilla 
  • Revlon Colorstay Crème Eyeshadow in Crème Brulee 
  • Revlon Colorstay Crème Eyeshadow in Espresso 
  • Revlon Colorstay Crème Eyeshadow in Pistachio 
  • Revlon Ultra HD Gel Lipcolor in HD Coral 
  • Revlon Ultra HD Gel Lipcolor in HD Blossom
  • Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lipcolor in HD Crush Beguin 
  • Revlon Colorstay Brow Kit in Soft Brown 
  • Revlon Colorstay Exactify Liquid Liner in Mulberry Mure 
  • Revlon Colorstay Brow Mousse in Soft Black 
  • Revlon Colorstay Brow Crayon in Soft Brown

To enter the competition:
  1. You need to like and follow my Facebook page. 
  2. Like and follow my Twitter page.
  3. Like and follow me over on Instagram too.
  4. You also need to give Revlon the same love on their Facebook, Twitter and Insta.
  5. Competition only for South Africans.
  6. The competition will run until the 31st of May 2018.
  7. Winners will be announced over on my Twitter and Facebook page.
  8. Please don’t enter if you don’t plan to stick around to support my blog in future. 
I will also appreciate all the shares and retweets I can get over on Facebook and Twitter to raise awareness. So, thank you for that in advance. Good luck to everybody!

This giveaway was sponsored by Revlon. Thank you so much for the blog support.

Congratulations to Mbally Nzimande, you're the winner!

Images - My Own

14 May 2018

Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lipcolour Temptation

The Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lipcolour in Temptation is a lightweight, high definition velvety matte colour that I've been wearing nonstop. It has a smooth, moisturising feel and the gel formula is 100% wax-free. I love how it brightens my complexion and how it lasts on my lips throughout eating and drinking. 

I like the easy to close 5.9 ml tube that fits perfectly into my makeup bag along with the rest of my beauty products. The formulation is really not drying at all, before applying I just go through the normal routine of scrubbing my lips a bit and that's it! 

Here I've applied the Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lipcolour on my lips. It is so pretty and I will definitely try out the rest of the colours in this beautiful range because it's so amazing. See more shades here. I honestly never thought that I'd become a fan of matt lipsticks as they are almost always drying and causing flakes on the lips, but not this one. 

There's currently a 20% sale over at Clicks where you can buy this lipcolour for only R148. 00 - at selected stores valid until the 22 of May 2018.

This product was sponsored by Revlon. Thank you so much for the blog support.

Images - My Own

23 April 2018

BYS Eyeshadow in Mod Brights

Hello friends, hope you’re well. Guess what, recently I’ve stumbled upon a lovely makeup brand that I absolutely adore. BYS Cosmetics! This fun and fashionable brand is designed and developed in Melbourne, Australia and have been available in South Africa for quite some time. I love the sophisticated black styling, it is affordable and their products are not tested on animals.

I live in a remote little area as most of you know, so imagine when I found a pamphlet advertising BYS Cosmetics at my local  Springbok Spar Pharmacy? Inside the store, I was further surprised by a wonderful range of beautiful lipsticks, nail polishes and eyeshadows.

There was a bright little tube of fuschia lipgloss called Lip Tar, a striking formulation with the cutest little lip brush. According to the description on there, a little goes a long way so it should be used sparingly, depending on the look you're after.

I also saw beautiful highlighter, bronzing and blush kits. There’s also a variety of makeup brushes that you can purchase along with a makeup brush, storage bag that’s sold separately from the brushes. You know those foldable ones that professional makeup artists use, yes that one!

BYS Eyeshadow in Mod Brights

There are 5 bright and beautiful shades of eyeshadow in this palette. All of them are equally pretty but thus far I’ve played around with the pink and apricot hue the most, mostly because I’ve wanted to experiment with rosy looks for so long. I also love the way the teal/green hue makes my eyes pop! I paid R65.00 for this palette.

I wear contact lenses and haven’t experienced any irritation, this product last throughout the day and most importantly the pigments are really amazing. So no ashy and fade away payoff here. See the 3 looks I've created with this palette.

Look 1: Peach/Apricot

Look 2: Teal/Green

Look 3: Pink

Do you like bright makeup, have you tried BYS Cosmetics before? Tell me about it in the comment section. 

Images - My Own

20 April 2018

Are You Blogging or Blegging

I’m sure that by now all everyone, bloggers included are familiar with the derogatory term called blegging. It’s a word that refers to a blogger that continuously ask for free products from brands and PR companies. Someone that’s not blogging but blegging, somebody that’s behaving like a beggar. In recent times I’ve seen this expression all over Twitter timelines, therefore I had to ask myself if I’m also what they’d call a blegger in the blog business. Why would I even begin to ask myself such a question? Well, I’m a firm believer in acknowledging a problem before you can try and solve it. 

I’m a South African Blogger from Namaqualand in the Northern Cape of South Africa, a region known for its rustic and dry landscapes, also known for its beautiful flowers during springtime. I don’t know any other bloggers close by in fact, I don’t know any social media influencers from my part of the world at all.

So it is exactly for these reasons that I decided to take a different approach, I started to introduce myself to brands. Did I ask for free products? No. Did I introduce myself and ask for blog collaborations? Yes. I felt invisible and after several years in the blog industry, I felt the need to go to the next level, which is making money from my blog. So how should you go about it then without causing damage to the Blog Empire you’re trying to build. Here’s what I think.

1. Do an audit.

First of all, not everyone wants to make money from their blog and that is their personal choice. However, if you do want to monetize and have been blogging for some time with no opportunities knocking at your door you should closely look into your efforts. 

Besides follower count, brands want to see high-quality images, good copy and consistency. It is also important to have a niche, this is just so that you don’t fall all over the place. Choose 3 overall themes and keep at it. Constantly look for gaps that need improvement, some of us are better at marketing then photography but that doesn’t mean you can’t work on it.

2. Stay transparent.

There’ll always be new upcoming bloggers that’ll get it right from the start and find great brands to work within less than a year. Nowadays startup bloggers have a thought-out strategy in place before they even publish their first blogpost. There’s also those bloggers who've been at it for years that’s only now finding their flow. 

However the case, it is crucial to stay transparent about your blog statistics. I’ve heard so many ugly stories about bloggers that buy followers or that Photoshop their Google Analytic profiles. Such practices give the blog industry such a bad reputation. No wonder terms such as bleggers evolved.

3. Engage with your blog tribe and followers.

If you see a fellow blogger featured in a magazine, congratulate them. If someone takes the time
to comment on your blog or social media timelines, take the time to thank them. Return the favor.
Don’t just sit on the receiving end expecting blog comments, new followers and likes without visiting other blogs or social media platforms. 

Build on what you have and thereafter work on the rest. Brands have realized the importance of micro-influencers. In this case, bloggers that have the number of followers that they can manage and actually engage with and thereby truly influence. 

4. Take it easy.

Building a brand takes time, so you’ll have to be really passionate about the industry. Sometimes brands will continuously work with the same influencers on great campaigns that you’d wish to be part of. Sometimes you’ll feel invisible and ready to give up, but if you hang in there know that your time will come. 

Resist the urge to ask for free products on your social media timelines. The blog community will see this and they will judge you and even speak about you over DM’s, donuts and coffee. I’d say after an introduction or pitch via email you should wait about two weeks. Thereafter you can send a follow-up mail. Stay diplomatic and professional and if there’s no feedback or positive results you should leave it at that. 

A lot of people are slowly starting to understand that blogging is hard work, you can make a great career out of it but you have to stay resilient and consistent. Yes, follower count is a huge factor, but in the age of micro-influencers that ultimately comes down to curating creative, fresh copy and original images all the time. That should always be your aim, to deliver great content. If you’re up for that, then keep going.

Image - My Own
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