Thursday

How To Get Free Hotel Stays As A Blogger...

Hey! Last blog post, I shared some blogging tips and included the fact that I have had two all-expenses paid hotel stays. A lovely blogger friend of mine commented asking if I could talk more about that and how I reached out to the hotels, so I thought today I would share all that info in a separate post. So, if you're wondering How To Get Free Hotel Stays As A Blogger, then this post is for you and contains my 7 top tips.How to get free hotel stays as a blogger.

1. KNOW. YOUR. WORTH.


This ultimately is the most important one, as it's how you sell yourself to the brand. Figure out what your blog's USP is, and how it is relevant to the hotel. For example, I am a child blogger whose audience is primarily fellow kids, and parents. So for a hotel that is really focussed on being family-friendly, a blogger who can offer a different perspective to their usual reviewer (an adult), is really valuable. As one of few kid bloggers (I was 11/12 at the time of the stays), I knew that I was worth a lot to these hotels. Ensure you make your USP really clear in the pitch.

2. Research the hotel and their ethos.


This leads on from the first one a bit. There's no good pitching yourself to a hotel as 'the top vegan blogger' (for example), if they pride themselves on their steak restaurant. To find the hotels I wanted to pitch to, I Googled the 'the best UK family-friendly hotels' to ensure they were the right type of hotel.



3. Send emails to lots of the hotels you'd like to stay at.


This is important.... most brands will reject your pitch. So it's no good finding your one dream hotel and sending them an email, because they will most likely reject you. I have probably sent emails to over 20 hotels and have 'only' stayed in 2 of those. As a percentage it's pretty low, but it's still amazing that I got to stay in 2 with my family. That being said, keep each email unique and personal. People can tell if you've just copied and pasted an email and sent it to 100 people. Comment on little things you genuinely like about the hotel, so they know you actually care and have done your research.

4. Your blog alone is not necessarily that valuable.


At the time of these stays, I was writing for Tots100 each month (a huge parenting network) and HIYA Bucks (a county magazine that distributed thousands of copies each month). I made sure to include these in my pitch, and they will have definitely helped me. Unless you are a top blogger with tens of thousands of views per month, your blog may not be as valuable. However, I understand that for most of you reading, it won't be that easy to just get a place writing for a magazine. So, submit one-off articles to publications, and then include that in your pitch. That way you can say something along the lines of.. 'I have journalism experience at X publication, so I would submit my review of your hotel to them, to try and reach a larger audience.'


5. Find the right person to email.


Emailing the general enquiries section of a company is less likely to reach the correct person. Therefore spend a few minutes trying to find whoever handles the PR requests. If you go on to most hotel websites, you will find a section called 'Media', which should list the right email address.

6. Include links to other relevant posts


The hotel will want to see examples of your blog posts or other forms of journalism that will be similar to what you would do for them. I included previous travel posts and examples of my work in other publications. If you have done any similar review posts before, make sure to include it (if you are confident it's a good example of your work).

7. CHECK THE PITCH


Before you send it, check it! Any major hotel or company will be put off if you have basic grammar or spelling errors in your email, so make sure you check. If you're a younger child, like I was, maybe just ask a parent or older sibling to help you check.

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To summarise, identify the right person to email, identify your blog's USP and send them a clear email saying you would love to review their hotel.

SO, there you have it... my top tips on pitching to hotels for review stays. Of course, the most important thing is having an interesting blog that you are committed to! If you have any more questions regarding this post and would like more help with the emails, feel free to drop me an email at whatlexieloves@gmail.com or leave a comment down below.

Remember to check out my social medias:

Instagram: instagram.com/whatlexieloves
Twitter: twitter.com/whatlexieloves

If you liked this post, you might find these helpful.

5 Tips on How to Grow a Successful Blog: https://whatlexieloves.blogspot.com/2019/10/blogging-tips-for-newbies.html

Let's Talk Passion - An Interview With Teen Girlboss Blogger: https://whatlexieloves.blogspot.com/2019/09/girlboss-appreciation-lets-talk-passion.html

The Power Of Being INFLUENCED: https://whatlexieloves.blogspot.com/2019/04/the-power-of-being-influenced.html

Tuesday

Blogging Tips: A Guide On Making Your Blog Successful - Celebrating 6 Years of What Lexie Loves

Hey hey hey! Yesterday was a very special day for What Lexie Loves, because it was my blog's 6th birthday. This is absolutely craaaazy for me, and I cannot believe how long it's been since I started What Lexie Loves. So to celebrate the blogiversary, I wanted to make a little list of blogging tips that I have learnt. Now, I'm not some blogging expert, but I like to think that I have learnt a thing or two over the last 6 years.



1. Having friends within the blogging community is so valuable.

You have to be so careful when making friends online, particularly if you're a child. However, if you go about it carefully, do not underestimate how valuable having blogger friends is. Firstly, it genuinely makes it more enjoyable. I have made some amazing friends, and although most have now quit blogging, they are people I truly treasure. Huge shoutout to Noor who was a close friend of mine for the longest time, and who I really do miss on this platform. Also, having your own personal cheerleader to read all your posts, share them and give you advice is really beneficial. Finally, guest posting on someone else's blog is a great way to gain genuine new readers.

2. Writing 'tongue-in-cheek' is a good thing, not a bad thing.

A lot of bloggers write really formally, as if it's an essay for school. Now if this is your writing style, go for it, but don't be afraid to make your blog more chatty and informal. Some of my favourite blogs are the ones where the writing feels more natural, so in my opinion, writing tongue-in-cheek is a positive thing.

3. Grammar is important.

That being said, I think grammar is important - particularly if you want to monetize your blog one day. We all make the odd spelling error on our blogs, and there's nothing wrong with that. However, in my experience, any blog that has consistent spelling errors, and is missing punctuation, is a blog I don't want to read. Of course everyone's different and it's your blog, so write it how you want, but my advice is please do check your posts and remember the importance of good grammar.


4. Hustle. Hustle. Hustle.

A lot of bloggers will talk about companies emailing them and sending them free stuff out of the blue. Now as your blog grows, this will happen, but don't be afraid to hustle yourself. My best opportunities have come out of emailing companies myself, instead of waiting for them to approach me. I'm not going to list every blogging opportunity I have had, but I will be blunt with you all and say that I have had two all-expenses paid stays at luxury hotels, and I emailed them. There is nothing wrong with recognizing your worth as a blogger, and writing a pitch to a business - 9 times out of 10 you'll get shot down, but it's all worth it in the end.

5. Social media takes time but can be your best friend if used well.

Having social media accounts for your blog can be so beneficial to growing your following. I have an Instagram which I love to work on, and most other bloggers I know also run Instagram accounts. These do help grow a following, but they take a lot of time for it to be worthwhile. From my experience I actually believe Twitter is the most beneficial social media. I rarely use Twitter these days, but when I do, I often find that lots of people will click through to my blog. Take part in Twitter chats that accounts such as @BloggerLS run weekly - these are fab ways to find new bloggers. Twitter is also great for finding brands to work with. Go on Twitter and scroll through the hashtags #prrequest #bloggerrequest and #bloggersrequired - you'll find loads of businesses who are looking for bloggers who can promote their products.



Those are my 5 top tips for bloggers. Once again, I'm not trying to say I am the queen of blogging or anything, I just wanted to share a few things that I've learnt. If you are a new blogger and want any more advice, feel free to drop me an email at whatlexieloves@gmail.com, or leave a comment below! Cannot believe I've been committed to What Lexie Loves for 6 years - thank you to all of you for supporting WLL, this blog truly has changed my life and I couldn't be more grateful.


RECENT POSTS:

Celebrating Girlbosses - An Interview With Nabila: https://whatlexieloves.blogspot.com/2019/09/girlboss-appreciation-lets-talk-passion.html

Remembrance - A Photo Diary from Belgium: https://whatlexieloves.blogspot.com/2019/07/remembrance-belgium-battlefields-photo.html

Dear 10 Year Old Me...: https://whatlexieloves.blogspot.com/2019/05/dear-10-year-old-me.html

SOCIAL MEDIA:
Instagram: instagram.com/whatlexieloves
Twitter: twitter.com/whatlexieloves

Saturday

Girlboss Appreciation - Let's Talk PASSION ft. Nabila Eve

Hey! I have taken the longest hiatus from my blog without realising, and it makes me feel so upset and even a bit guilty. I've still been super active on my Instagram though, so if you want more insight into my life and how my summer has been, go check me out there: instagram.com/whatlexieloves. Anyway, lately I've been really thinking about the word PASSION. What am I passionate about? What are my life goals? What do I want to be known for? Having passions is what keeps me motivated, and I think it's so important to care about something. So, I have started a new chatty interview series where I talk to some other girlbosses about them and their passions + goals. Hopefully, this will empower teen girls all around the world and get you thinking - what's your passion? This first instalment is with a great blogger friend of mine - Nabila from Nabila Eve.

Hey Nabila! Could you introduce yourself and your platform briefly?
 

Hi! My name is Nabila and you can find me by searching nabilaeve on Instagram, Youtube and my blog! I am a teen girl who just recently started high school and I post mostly lifestyle content about productivity, fashion and travel.:)

What are your passions? What are your driving forces and motivations?

I love photography, writing and producing new content! My motivation is absolutely my lovely followers. Whenever I get an email or DM saying that I inspired them to start a to-do list or their own blog, my heart feels so so happy.

Do you have any big goals? What are you doing to try and achieve them?

Regarding everything online, one of my biggest goals is to grow on YouTube and actually establish a community. With school starting, it's been a little bit hard to find time to work on YouTube but by writing everything down and planning out my day, I'm slowly but surely growing!

What worries you?

On a day to day basis I worry about normal things like people not liking me. Because I just recently started high school and I consistently post on my YouTube channel, I'm kind of scared that someone from school is going to find my channel and make fun of me for it. My biggest fear though is definitely everyone in my life forgetting about me, but me still being there. I know that could never happen but I rely so heavily on my friends and family that there is no way I could come back from something like that.

 
 
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Since I'm 14 now, in ten years I'll be 24! At that time I would have probably just recently graduated college/be in some sort of grad school. I definitely want to have either a job or internship (if that's a thing you do at 24?!) in some sort of marketing/digital field.

What's the most interesting fact, statistic or story you have ever heard?

Probably that the average 4 year old asks over 400 questions a day. As we grow up we stop asking as many questions. This is a combination of us starting to be the elders in the room and also just knowing more about life. I think we should learn from the 4 year olds though and not be afraid to ask questions because that's how we continually grow and learn. Especially in school, it's very important to ask questions when you don't understand something as it helps you not get behind and shows the teacher that you're actually paying attention.


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So those are all the questions I had for the fabulous Nabila! She is a great content creator and motivator - go check her out on Instagram, Youtube and her blog. I thought what she said about asking questions was so interesting. Particularly as teenagers, I find that it's not as socially acceptable for us to ask questions and wonder about why certain things work certain ways... we are made to just accept everything with no second thought, when sometimes things and ways of life need to be challenged and questioned.

If you are a teen girlboss with a passion and would like to be interviewed or do a collab with me for this series, DM me on Insta or drop me an email: whatlexieloves@gmail.com.


Lexie x

 


Monday

Remembrance / Belgium Battlefields Photo Diary

On a recent school trip to the battlefields in Belgium, I got a lot of time to truly think about the soldiers of the First World War, and I got to really reflect on what they did. It's been so hard to actually comprehend and put into words but I tried.... Here's what I'd say to the soldiers if I could speak to them, plus here are some pictures from the trip...

 
 



Dear Soldiers Of The Great War,


I have tried so many times to imagine what life would have been like fighting in World War I* and I just can't picture it. I have heard so many stories about it, visited trenches and your graves and felt such strong sadness over the war. However, I still really struggle to actually imagine it.

Your dedication and bravery is something I will always admire. I absolutely could NOT have coped with warfare, even for a couple of days, and the fact that this was reality for FOUR years is crazy. I also feel a deep sadness for all the German soldiers. You may have been 'the' enemies but you're certainly not my enemies. Many of us forget to honour your legacy too, but I will never forget or stop admiring you - at the end of the day you were mainly innocent men who had been made to fight, just the same as the British.


I am in awe of what you all went through and I want you all to know that we remember you. So many of you have not had your bodies identified, and therefore have a nameless gravestone. And many of you never even had your bodies discovered, and are still lying underground unfound. Whilst we may not know your names individually, we appreciate you and value you tremendously.

Thank you for everything.

Lexie


*and WW2 and all other wars, but because we visited World War 1 battlefields, this letter is mainly based off that.