Bloggers Buying ‘Likes’ And Followers: Marvellous Marketing, Or Marvellously Misleading? ♥

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We’ve all been there.

Scrolling through social media, it’s easy to stagger across a blogger’s Twitter or Instagram account and murmur “oh. My. GOD, Becky, LOOK at her following. It is so big. I mean, her follower count… is just so big. I can’t believe she’s so… popular, it’s like, OUT THERE.”

Sorry! Sir Mix-A-Lot’s Baby Got Back just shuffled its way onto my iTunes, but in all seriousness… you’ve seen it, haven’t you? The bloggers with billions of backers. And while there’s prominent profiles that you’d never second-guess (“his photography is unreal; that’s why even Taylor Swift is following him!”), equally often you’ll spot successful pages reminiscent of this scene from The Simpsons and think “wait, what GIVES?!”

“Two hundred channels, and nothing but cats.” (So how come their ‘fan’ count rivals Beyoncé’s?!) 

It’s an issue more contentious than the WordPress vs. Blogger debate in the blogging community at the moment, and it’s while it’s not exactly a new practice, it certainly appears to be gaining traction: bloggers buying ‘likes’ and ‘followers’. The question is: is it an example of marvellous marketing, or is it marvellously misleading?

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Maybe she’s born with it worked for it… or maybe she’s paid the way!

Blogging is BOOMING. As Laura shared in The Bloggers Brunch Club group last week, “from August to September ‘14 the number of blog posts posted in one month globally jumped an INSANE 20,000,000. From 43,622,011 to 61,839,539.” Those are huge figures, and with sums continuing to soar, is it any wonder that bloggers are utilising methods to stand-out from the crowd?

Marvellous Marketing?

Brands are noticing numbers.

Catching a glimpse of the guest list at an event that she was attending, Megan of Thread NZ couldn’t help but observe that beside each invitee’s name was their Instagram follower count. One fashion blogger is reportedly commanding $5000 per Instagram post of a company’s products. Organisations WANT to work with the cream of the digital crop, so you can begin to understand the lure of purchasing advocates, can’t you? It can practically kickstart your career!

Interestingly, having a large entourage – paid or otherwise – more often than not generates genuine followers, too. “Why does this person have more subscribers than I’ve had hot dinners?!” You ponder, puzzled. Better click ‘follow’ and attempt to find out!”

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Marvellously Misleading?

While sponsoring supporters can appear seductive, it’s worth considering this: what’s impressive at a glance won’t necessarily transfer to your real-life statistics. What happens if a PR firm compensates you for supposedly having an online mob to match Lady Gaga’s, yet request to see your Google analytics and discover that only your Aunt Betsy and boyfriend have read your post on their latest lip gloss? Sky-rocketing statistics don’t always reflect a person’s influence.

Store-bought digits can be a sore point with your readers, as well. It’s one thing to promote an article on Facebook, but if your Twitter and Instagram base seems artificial, it might be asked “hmmm… what ELSE is artificial?”

It can evolve into a debate about ethics, too. If someone’s spruiking an e-course about how to become a “super blogger” – yet are reputed for boosting their world wide web weight with their credit card – how morally sound are they? And what about our blogger friends? If we’re portraying deceptive denominations, are we helping them to feel inferior about their potentially modest quantity? Are we projecting a false image to aspiring bloggers? There’s plenty of food for thought!

When does obtaining an audience become putting your best foot forward… or faking it?

xoxo

Thank Frock It’s Friday! ♥

If you’re clicking here for the first time, WELCOME! Every Friday we celebrate the fact that – ding, ding! – it’s Friday, and our favourite things (late-night noodle markets? Napkins?! Okay, it’s probably not the latter…) from the week that was. Here’s what I’m currently loving!

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x Brian ‘Head’ Welch’s Autobiography, Save Me From Myself - It’s a HECK of a story, so I’ll probably gab about it in further detail with you later, but in the meantime, picture this: you’re obscenely wealthy. There’s millions of dollars in your bank account, you have a six-figure swimming pool and you’re travelling all over the globe (India, Germany, Canada… if it’s on the map, you’re headed there!)… but despite all of this, you still can’t prevent the love of your life from leaving you.

“How could she walk away?” You think indignantly. “I’m a CELE-BRITY!” You are, but you don’t have long to dwell on your situation, because not only has your beloved – who has become a full-time drug addict in your touring absence – left you, but she’s also abandoned your daughter, and you’re now a single parent… while still a musician for one of the most famous groups in the world. Mind-boggling? This is only the beginning, and nothing compared to what happens next in your journey!

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Save Me From Myself  - Brian Welch’s best-selling book documenting his metamorphosis from a raging, strung-out rockstar to a sober solo father – is a GRIPPING read!

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x Bargain Burger Lunch Dates – “Meet me in the city for a sister lunch date!” My sister Caroline messaged me. (Is that not one of the greatest ways to start the day?!) “OKAY!” I enthusiastically replied, and before you know it, we were chowing down on bargain burgers and howling more than the hyenas from The Lion King in the way that you only can with a sibling!

x Infinite Possibilities - Do you remember that episode of Sex & The City where Carrie declares “the most amazing thing about living in a city like New York is that any night of the week, you can go to Paris”, as she skips into a French theatre? Alright, so nobody’s going to be confusing Auckland with New York anytime soon, but how outstanding is it that on any evening, you could visit a rowdy comedy club, sing at a Japanese karaoke bar, prance at a concert or gobble cuisine from any country that you desire? A prospect-filled urban lifestyle isn’t just what I crave, it’s what I need!

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x Other Little Things - Attending Auckland’s Diwali festival; homemade nachos (who said that budget dinners had to equate to boring?! Someone who’d forgotten the glory of nachos, that’s who!); reading Charlie bed-time stories; Buzzfeed’s article ‘59 Reasons Living In Sydney Ruins You For Life(it’s true!); opening my first it’s-just-me power bill and owing a total of $52 (C&C Music Factory’s Everybody Dance Now may or may not have been playing in my head as I read it!); kind, willing-to-help bus drivers; wacky dreams; and progress. If my Eftpos card could cry, it would have as I swiped it at the dentist’s on Wednesday, but on the bright side… I should be equipped with braces by Christmas! Short-term pain, long-term gain. Straightening my teeth is one of those things that I’ve been dreaming of but pussyfooting over FOREVER, but then it clicked to me: how could I teach Charlotte to pursue her goals if I wasn’t fulfilling them myself? What sort of mother would I be if I was encouraging her to love herself from the get-go, but not leading by example? The appointment needed to be made!

What have you seen? What have you done? How are you spending your second-to-last weekend of October 2014?

xoxo

Don’t Live The Same Year 75 Times And Call It A Life ♥

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If you thought accidentally plunging a knife into the toaster was shocking (oh, English muffins. When will we learn?!), try realising that there’s only seventy-six days left until the end of the year. Sitting there with your mouth hanging open? Me too! I’m also ruminating over Robin Sharma’s wisdom of:

“Don’t live the same year 75 times and call it a life.”

We all have commitments, so the LAST thing I’d ever do is hop up on my high horse and suggest that anyone is as dull as beige wallpaper for consistently turning up to their jobs (can you imagine it?! “Why weren’t you at work yesterday?” “Because some wang on the internet named Corrine told me to spend the day blowing bubbles at the beach!”), studies or waking up to feed your dog, but what could you do to distinguish tomorrow from today? How could this December be drastically different from your last December? What would you like to remember taking place at this age, or your next birthday?

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How about vowing to cavort with a new recipe once a week? Quitting an addiction? Facing a fear? (Did you know that Tuesday was International ‘Face Your Fears’ Day? Now’s as good a time as any!) Running a marathon? Inviting someone to lunch that you’d like to get to know better? Anything but living the same year over and over again and calling it a life!

xoxo

Thank Frock It’s Friday! ♥

If you’re clicking here for the first time, WELCOME! Every Friday we celebrate the fact that – ding, ding! – it’s Friday, and our favourite things (online shopping? Slugs?! Okay, it’s probably not the latter…) from the week that was. Here’s what I’m currently loving!

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x Getting Acquainted With Auckland - Firstly, ooh it’s been a while since we’ve played the ‘Thank Frock It’s Friday‘ game, hasn’t it?! (Over a year, to be precise!) But now that I have a baby who sleeps for more than an hour (happy days!), an internet connection (always helpful!) and a heart that’s not being yanked out of my chest repeatedly (I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the past twelve months were BRUTAL), it’s time to resume the match!

I adore Auckland. Sure, nothing is ever perfect in life (nothing!), but some days I waltz around with Charlotte honestly feeling as though we’ve won the lottery. You mean… we get to live here? We can be tourists EVERY DAY, because after living in Australia, everything is completely foreign to us? Whoa. How lucky are we?!

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Thinking “alright, I’m going to take this street, because I have NO idea where it leads to!” has directed us to some pretty special places. Isn’t Albert Park divine?!

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Exploring Britomart Train Station (it is SO fancy; it reminded me of the Tube in London!) to meet one of my favourite people, Natasha.

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 Hi!

Be Someone Who Makes You Happy

x Self Sufficiency – I think I’ve admitted this to you before (what haven’t I told you?!), but until fairly recently, I’d never been single. My first relationship lasted for almost a decade, so I was terrified curious to see how I’d fare living not only in a new city, but on my own. “How does one go about setting up their electricity?!” I’d panic… until I had to do it!

x Other Little Things - Barilla dumplings (is it weird that I’ve been fantasising about them ever since I had them? Probably!); constantly meeting so many lovely, friendly, caring folk; my Auckland Aunts, Uncle and sister; Love And Death on repeat (if rock music floats your boat, I promise that you won’t find a finer recent musical offering than this band!); phoning noise control (I know… WHAT?! Grandma Corrine in the hooouse!) and wondering “hang on, since when did I become the caller, rather than the subject of the call?!”; booking a consultation for… braces! (Argh! It’s next Wednesday); peppermint hot chocolates; and finally, my angel Charlotte. (Nauseating, yes, but who could resist this tiny face?!)

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Happy, happy Friday to you! How was your week?

xoxo

E.L.F. (Eyes, Lips & Face? More Like Excellent, Low-Cost & FANTASTIC!) Cosmetics ♥

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Lipsticks for less than a latte? Top-tier foundations that you can purchase with a ten dollar note and – shock! – actually receive change from? Given that it wasn’t April Fool’s Day, I thought I was in the midst of a beauty mirage when I stumbled across e.l.f. (it’s an acronym for eyes, lips and face, but what it SHOULD stand for is excellent, low-cost and FANTASTIC!) Cosmetics, but no! These beauties are the real make-up deal, and unlike season four of Revenge (goodness grief, are you watching it? WHAT IS GOING ON?!), impeccable!

Since becoming a parent, I’ve become acutely aware of two things: a) that my laundry basket will never be empty again; and b) that it’s all on me to provide an incredible life for Charlie. I blabbed about it briefly on Instagram, but every day is a conscious decision: do I want to spend $30 a week on pizza (yes)… or put $30 a week away so that I could, say, take Charlie to Italy, and scoff pizza with her there? Do I want a glass of wine each day (again, YES!)… or to save as much as I can, so that eventually (eventually) I can buy a wee apartment for us to live in? Choices… so it’s out with the expensive (it’s been nice to know you, M.A.C), and in with the substitutes (hi, e.l.f… and water)!elfcosmeticsflawlessfinishfoundation
But here’s the clincher: you would never – and I say this as a lass who is VERY fussy about her make-up, because, you know, nobody likes being asked if they’re an extra from The Walking Dead – know that you were dabbling with a cheap” brand. I purchased the Studio Flawless Finish Foundation ($3!), liquid eyeliner ($1.99, what is this sorcery?!), brow kit ($3) and High Definition Powder ($6) and legitimately wondered why I hadn’t seen billboards all over the city proclaiming their perfection: they’re that good! (And have I mentioned that they’re cruelty free?) 

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After

Have you tested any of the e.l.f. Cosmetics range? If you haven’t, I’m sorry, because yes I have just sent you into an online shopping vortex, but at those price points, it doesn’t make cents (snap!) NOT to share the love!

xoxo

Life In Auckland As A Single Mother ♥

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For many moons, I’ve been one sad panda. I haven’t meant to be (who on earth wants to be upset?!), and truth be told (I feel like such a smug, privileged turd for admitting this, and if that’s how I sound, I’m sorry!), I never really have been.

Loneliness? What was that?! Depression? Well, I’d heard of it, but I didn’t have a clue what it was. For the most part, I’d had a GREAT life, a very happy existence (and if we’ve met before, or you’ve been reading here for a while, you’d know that!), and I liked to believe that I was largely responsible for it: I mean, I was a “good”, kind person… so why wouldn’t my life be the same?

As a child. I was NEVER serious, even way back when!
Always laughing, NEVER serious: even way back when!

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And then everything came undone. My beloved grandfather passed away. My relationship – that I’d moved from Australia to a small town in New Zealand for – ended. BADLY. I learned I was three months pregnant (my worst nightmare!). Unsure of how I could provide for the tiny being in my belly if I moved back to Sydney (finding a job is difficult as it is; could you imagine trying to do so with-child?! I can just imagine all of the “sorry, we’ve chosen a candidate that’s more… suitable (read: NOT KNOCKED UP) for the role” rejection e-mails I would’ve received!), I remained in Blenheim, where I barely knew anyone, but at least had paid employment. I bawled my eyes out every night. Sorrow and I? We’d become best friends! And it just didn’t seem to let up… until my Aunt and her husband suggested that I move to Auckland, New Zealand’s biggest city (and where a bunch of my family reside), extremely generously inviting me to live with them.

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Nearly four months on from that moment (and almost a year after my break-up), and the world’s FINALLY starting to appear beautiful once again. Charlotte and I moved into an apartment in Auckland’s CBD (we’re practically neighbours with the Sky Tower!). I’m beginning to meet new people (and, funnily enough, my closest friend from Blenheim has actually just moved here!). The goofy, genuine grin is returning… and I can see Auckland becoming our home.

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xoxo

What The Frock?! : The August Blogger’s Brunch, Auckland ♥

What’s ‘What The Frock’? Upon compiling feedback for Frock & Roll, the undisputed winner of the ‘What Would You Like To See More Of?’ competition was “style” photographs of what I was wearing. (Gosh, who would’ve thought?!) I find this both utterly astonishing and magnificently terrifying, particularly as I believe that I have roughly the same amount of fashion credibility as say, a dish cloth. BUT! You ask, and I deliver!

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FACT: You’re unlikely to meet new, interesting individuals and have new, interesting experiences by sitting at home. No, if there’s one thing that hopping from a variety of different locations (can you believe it?! In the past two years, I’ve jumped from Sydney to London to Ireland to Scotland to Nepal and then Blenheim and now Auckland, New Zealand!) has taught me, it’s this: no matter WHERE you are in the world, try your bestPut yourself out there. Be open to opportunities. After all, how can you determine how you feel about somewhere (or anything, really?!) until you’ve actively sought to enjoy it? I could stand still and think “oh, I miss Australia and my gems of friends there, wah, WAH!” (and trust me, sometimes I do!), or I could focus on creating marvellous memories here. I’ve chosen the latter, so when an invitation popped up to attend the August Auckland Bloggers Brunch, I immediately RSVP’ed!

Okra Espresso Lounge ♥

The idea? That every month, a group of bloggers get together to have a chat and a delectable meal. As Laura and Maddy explained, “… we originally started this because we were friends who blogged and loved to eat. And now it’s grown into this!” Brilliant, huh?! We met at Kingsland’s Okra Espresso Lounge, and I couldn’t recommend a more fabulous, informal venue: the food, drinks and service were all SUBLIME.

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Isn’t it impressive when an establishment goes that “extra mile”? The staff at Okra didn’t HAVE to provide us with complimentary cocktails… but they did!

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I am always that lame-arse who whips out their camera at events. Meet the ultra-sweet Alisha, Stacey, Laura and Maddy

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Lisa of All In A Daze was LOVELY.

What I’m Wearing:

x Red aztec print crochet maxi dress, New Look
x Black leather-look ‘Waterfall’ jacket, New Look
x ‘CORRINE’ nameplate necklace
x Black ballet flats

What The Frock?! : The August Blogger's Brunch, Auckland ♥

My only regret (it was a large table!) is that I didn’t get to natter to everyone; Meagan, Doug, and Rebecca were just a few people who seemed wonderful that I would’ve liked to speak with more, but hey… NEXT TIME! If you’re an Auckland-based blogger, come! (You can join the Bloggers Brunch Club Facebook group to find out when the next shindig is!) If you’re a Wellington-based blogger, go! (The girls are travelling to Wellington this weekend to hold a little soirée!) And if you’re neither… why not form your own regular-meeting club of some sort in your town?

xoxo