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Tuesday, 21 March 2017

How To Make Money From Blogging - Zeena Xena

How To Make Money From Blogging - Zeena Xena
Tuesday, 21 March 2017
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I don't know why but this seems like one of those "taboo" topics in the bloggersphere. It's like we all want to see each other win (well at least I do), yet we don't share the knowledge on how to do so. I've been wanting to write this post for a LONG time now but was waiting for the right time, I feel like that time is now.

It wasn't until mid last year that I actually started taking my blog seriously and earning some dolla from my influence, not Blogging Gals, my personal influence (just an FYI both brands are separate entities). So as I'm growing personally in my blogging journey, I thought a post on how to make money from blogging would be a good shout for all of my readers.When it comes to posts like these, I find it hard to come across outlets that I can personally relate to, so hopefully this post speaks to loads of you out there. Let's get cracking baby...

Influencer Apps/Websites 
So a great way to get into being paid for posts first and foremost is by signing up to influencer apps/sites that pay you to post to your social networks. Now, I haven't tried them all but I know there are many out there who will pay you to post on different channels, Instagram being the post popular. To name a few; Takumi, Tribe, Brand New are the ones I've come across and use Takumi every so often. To find the best app/site that works for you, I'd recommend doing a simple google search and asking other influencers for their opinions on the apps and agencies they've signed up to. Guys, share with one another. What's the point in having "blogging besties" if you don't lift one another up?

Please remember that these agencies do have custom requirements whether that may be; having over a certain amount of followers, photographer like photography, specific sort of content etc. Don't let these agencies get you down if you happen to apply and they decline... You keep going boo!

I've found an article on some apps/sites which can be viewed here
(I'll add more websites/apps in as I've tested them).



Affiliate Programmes 
Something that is a bit more accessible to all of us are Affiliate Programmes. I think I started monetizing my blog through Google Ads a few months after launching it back in 2012. It wasn't my aim and I didn't earn a lot (literally pennies) but it was a great way to help keep me motivated through my journey. Some years later, I decided to look into affiliate programmes such as Affiliate WindowSkim Links, and many others properly. In the shortest of terms affiliate programmes allow you to be rewarded for advertising specific products/services on your website when you make a sale/lead. Again, I've used affiliate programmes before but haven't dedicated enough time to be able to say "wow I've made it" one day though haha. I've heard of people making a couple of hundred pounds each month though with dedication.

Affiliate programmes work in various ways, so be sure to do your research again to find one or several that suit you best!

Pitching
I hear you sighing already. I always get bloggers saying "Isn't it a bit weird to approach brands and ask for money?" and I guess the answer is it depends how you look at it. If you know a) you're a bomb ass babe b) you work hard on your content c) you possibly generate brands sales/followers then d) why not? If you want this to become your full-time job you'll have to put in full-time work!

Let's say you're working on a makeup feature for your "every day face". To start off with you could reach out to brands you've featured before/ones you swear by, pitching the idea of them being included in your latest feature. Link them to old posts to provide examples of what you have already done in the past. Make sure you sell yourself and remember, you are your own spokesperson so will literally have to hype yourself up. Discover your niche and ask yourself "What makes me different?". Have you studied beauty/have some sort of qualification or other relevant experience? Do you have darker skin and a relatively large audience in which you could recommend products to? Chuck any information in that you feel will bag you the deal!

The layout for my emails are usually; who I am, what I want and what I can offer. Now, go get it gurlllll!


Create & Maintain Relationships
In the world of blogging this is key. Working hand in hand with PRs/PR professionals is so important as they'll pitch you to brands and contact you with opportunities be it paid or unpaid. The best way to start out doing this is by forming relationships with PRs who have clients that you are genuinely interested in. My faves are BPR, Lucy Dartford, Popcorn PR, Kapranos PR  and The Digital Fairy who all have a number of clients across lifestyle, beauty, fashion and food! My relationships with PRs are pretty much very organic, however from time to time I may be contacted with an opportunity or may pitch an idea if I feel they have a client who fits what I'm working on.

A lot of the time you may not receive the answer you want to hear but you tried right? You've got to keep trying and going on to be able to get to where you want to be.

Sell Unwanted Things 
Depop has become my best-friend OMG. Over the weekend you may have seen me tweet about me de-cluttering sesh that turned into a full weekend of getting rid of clothes, electrical-s and random bits and bobs. I aim to do this every month or so.

Us bloggers are granted with so many goodies ranging from clothes to beauty, devices etc - and believe it or not we aren't paid ALL the time to promote these products. I for one will promote things I like, find interesting and believe in ONLY. Having said that, there are so many things I'll wear for a post I want to create and never wear again because my life isn't as glamorous as my instgram account seems. 🤣 More to the point, although you may not be receiving payment directly from a brand, selling your items on can kind of fill this gap.


Showcase Your Talents
There's more to blogging than just getting sponsored posts/paid ads believe it or not. If you have a talent; photography, hosting events, marketing knowledge, creating (art, products, services etc) promote these to your audience. Blogger Stephi from stephilareine.com suggests communicating outside of the online realm and putting your talents to good use. Are you funny/confident? Why not opt for stand-up comedy? Are you like me and love providing feedback on products/services? You could think about joining focus groups local to you. Honestly the opportunities are endless, you just have to think outside of the box....

Outfit details...

Coat - Pretty Little Thing
Dress - Whistle Candy
Shoes - Simmi Shoes 
Sunglasses - H&M
Bag - Jasper Conran @ Debenhams
Ring - Gemporia
Hair - Beauty Locks

* This is not a sponsored post, I just genuinely wanted to share ways in which we can all be making money from our influence! Have any other money-making tips for my wonderful readers? Leave them below...



Thursday, 2 March 2017

Opportunities, Travelling and Freelancing - Zeena Xena

Opportunities, Travelling and Freelancing - Zeena Xena
Thursday, 2 March 2017
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What an amazing year it's been so far. I mean hell yeah we go through our struggles but boy am I grateful for all the opportunities that have come my way. Last month you may have seen me feature in L'oreals #MatteAddiction campaign which for me personally, is one of the most amazing opportunities I've had thus far. Thanks to all of you that have supported me on my journey, really means the world to me. 


Dress by Jarlo London here

I've had a lot of questions of how I got the opportunity and all I can say to answer that is just by being myself and working hard on my personal brand. I was quite surprised that I got the opportunity to be fair, as I'm not as beauty orientated as the others. This is the direction I'd like to move in eventually however and have been saying for some time now, that I would like to start doing short instagram videos. Really hoping that I find the confidence to go through with this - I need your help guys haha!



In terms of other opportunities, I feel I've been really fortunate this year. Scrap that. I've worked my bloody ass off for years but have always made Blogging Gals more of a priority, as you can imagine it takes a lot to run that community. Mid-last year, I decided that well actually, I'm a beautiful person, I'm relatable and full of wisdom so why not focus on talking about experiences/offering tips to readers? This outlook has definitely helped me stand out from the rest I feel, and has made me more "appealing" to brands. There are so many opportunities out there for us all to grab. It's definitely about finding what feels most authentic/enjoyable to you and making it your empire! 


Dress by PrettyLittleThing here
Belt - Primark


Travelling

During Feb you would have seen me travel to beautiful Marrakesh with some friends planned by yours truly. We stayed in to beautiful riads (on a collaboration basis) and had the most wonderful time. I have a few trips planned this year and can't wait to take you guys on the journey's with me!

I really feel like my life's complete when travelling and that's why I plan on doing so much of it this year. I also find that when travelling, I'm able to create the best content as the scenery is simply beautiful and the lighting is POPPPPPIN'.  You can tell by the photos in this post right?

Read about my trip to Morocco here


Top by Quiz London here
Skirt by Pretty Little Thing here 

Freelancing

Let me just tell you, the life of freelancer is SO hard. I mean I'm happy doing what I do but through my career choice, I never thought I'd have to face as many struggles as I have done in the past and even now. We all know that being a freelancer especially in the creative industries is difficult, particularly as there's so many talented creatives out there. It's crazy because if you have a child, you'd never expect to find a childminder on the internet for free or if you require a beauty service, you'd pay for it. So I feel I do have to battle with people understanding my worth. With us creatives our work sometimes isn't recognised as of high importance so yes it can be difficult to find clients and keep them rolling for a long time. I really do commend those in the creative fields who are not only getting by but excelling or striving to. 

Fortunately for me, I've learnt how to be a bit more proactive these days not limiting myself to one thing. I have my blog, Blogging Gals, clients, hope to freelance in skincare treatments and blogger consultations soon which is really exciting. 


Swimsuit by Rare London
Sunglasses by LAMODA here


Dress by Quiz London here

Really, this was just a life update post. I didn't just want to show you photos of my holiday with no purpose but wanted to shed some light briefly on where I am at now in life. Again, a big thanks to those of you that support me. 

///

Do you love reading my blog and other blogs? Want to start your own? Or are you stuck at the minute and need some advice? Get in touch with me zeenaxenablog@gmail.com I'm offering one to one skype sessions at a reasonable rate. 

To brands, I also offer blogging consultation services in London to include; blogging as a company, involving bloggers in your marketing campaigns, social media strategies and much more. You can also reach me on the email above. 

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Pamper Yourself ft Shumailas Beauty Salon

Pamper Yourself ft Shumailas Beauty Salon
Wednesday, 8 February 2017
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Shumailas Beauty Salon Review...




It's been ages since I done a review hasn't it? As I sit here typing this, I realise how much I actually enjoy reviewing places so let me know if this is something you'd like to see more of this on the blog!

Recently, I was invited down to Shumailas Beauty Salon in London to have some treatments done in time for Valentine's Day. To be fair, it couldn't have come at a better time because a) I've been really stressed & b) I was due to fly out of the country 2 days later (Spending Valentine's in Morocco woohoo). I've been so swept off my feet with really long days out and even longer nights up completing work and other tasks, so again this couldn't have come at a better time!  



Let's talk about first impressions. So when I walked into Shumailas Beauty, I was pleasantly surprised by the decor and the ambience. The cloudy blue and white touches made the salon feel really light, fresh and almost heavenly-like while the music did the same. The salon have relaxing meditation type music playing in the background making you want to drift away. 

Staff at the salon are beyond welcoming. As soon as I arrived I was offered a variety of beverages and the option to hang up my coat. I was assigned to Jaz (who by the way is the most lovely person I have ever met - if you visit ask for her), one of the beauticians in the salon, who spoke me through the treatments I would be getting done. Jaz made me feel comfortable throughout my treatments and made me feel like a friend - N'aww!


Cuticle work & cleaning of the nails 

Whenever I go on holiday, I always get white shellac done opposed to just polish or false nails. I find this lasts longer and causes less damage, also if you're trying to travel light and not take any polishes etc then shellac is a good idea. What I like about this salon, is that they do not cut any corners when doing their work. Included in the price you pay to get your nails done, staff at Shumailas Beauty will do your cuticle work at no extra cost. Now, if like me you've been to salons in central London, you'd know they usually charge extra for this.

Instantly my nails look longer after the cuticle work had been done and feel much stronger!



Finished result using CND gel polish


My next treatment was a full set of lashes where I had a mini consultation before-hand. I was asked things such as; Have I had a full set of lashes before? Have I had any allergic reactions because of the glue used in the past? and what lengths I wanted to go for to achieve the desired look. 


Once we got the consultation out of the way, I was taken into a private beauty room where I had the chance to lay down on one of the massage tables and was even covered with a fleecy blanket. Heaven! I didn't feel any discomfort whilst getting my lashes done, however my eyes did water a bit at the beginning. I have very sensitive eyes, but they get used to someone else being around them within a few minutes. 

I opted for short and medium lengths, and this was the result... 


I love how wispy my lashes look - p.s. don't mind my no makeup face haha! 

Finally, the last treatment I opted for was a bikini wax. Mind you this wasn't part of the package but I wanted to try one as I was heading away of course. I say try because this was my first wax ever! I've never been comfortable with getting one done before, however Jaz made me feel so relaxed that I thought why not? Being my first time, it was a little painful however Jaz would stop and hold for a few seconds making the wax as painless as possible. 

I really enjoyed my two hours here, staff at Shumailas Beauty are so friendly and accommodating so would highly recommend this place for your beauty treatments - especially with Valentine's day coming up! 

Prices are so affordable with brow threading costing £3, waxing starting at £2 and the cluster lashes pictured above only £20. This salon is literally a one stop shop with so many other services available, check them out here!

There are also 5 other branches in total to visit... 

How do you get #ValentinesReady or #HolidayReady comment in the section below! 









Friday, 27 January 2017

How To Do Fitness Fashion on A Budget - Zeena Xena

How To Do Fitness Fashion on A Budget - Zeena Xena
Friday, 27 January 2017
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How To Do Fitness Fashion on A Budget ft New Look...


Blogger Zeena Xena Shares Her Best Practices For Keeping Active On a Budget


Now, if you follow me on twitter, you'd know that I recently done a poll on the kind of content you guys would like to see on my blog. It was between; more beauty, lifestyle, or my tips focused posts. Naturally, you guys went with the tips focused posts which makes me happy as this is my favourite kind of content to write. Regardless of the answer, I'll always aim to bring a fresh take to this blog so will not focus on one thing i.e. social media marketing, but will allow you guys to get to know me a bit better too.

 As of lately, I've become hella obsessed with taking good care of myself - something that was on my "do more of" list for 2017. Because I've been working out more regular now (refer to my posts here and here) I wanted to bring you a post on how to do fitness fashion on a budget. Now even if you don't plan on working out, let's face it, fitness style has become really popular over the last few years with people taking a liking to the style on a daily basis. Take the Kardashians for example, always getting papped on the go in-between shoots in really fashionable fitness gear.


Now I'm no Kardashian, but love keeping fit and a finding a good bargain, where New Look have easily become one of my favourite high-street retailers for fitness on a budget. Allow me to go through some of things I look for when selecting my gear...

Style
So in terms of style I'm pretty at every end of the spectrum. Let's start off with colour, I love my neutrals (beiges, pinks etc), darks (blacks), & neons (electric pink, luminous yellow etc) when it comes to selecting gym clothing. I especially love neons in the summer because I feel like they generally make you happier resulting in a better workout.


Fit 
In terms of fit when I'm working out I like anything fitted and my top half rule = "less is more" lol. Why? To be frank, when working out I like to be able to see those abs crunch together and it just makes me feel more motivated to continue to work harder. Also, I can get really hot and sweaty during the workout so need to be really comfortable.

Durability 
Before investing in a product you'll want to know how long it lasts right? Of course. So I prefer to go for leggings/pants made out of polyester opposed to cotton and with high elasticity, this is because I feel more comfortable in the material as it's thin and stretchy - cotton more dense and has little stretch. These leggings are made up of 89% polyester & 11% elastane which is spot on for those of you with a smaller waists and bigger hips for a better fit. You can purchase these here...


On to my next point, I find that opposed to cotton leggings these polyester ones are great overall. They don't stretch out, shrink or fade in colour very easily so in terms of durability are the ones I'll always go for. I do like to however throw in some cotton workout pants for the winter, just for that added thickness and outdoor workouts. My jumper is also from New Look and can be found here. In this case, I prefer cotton as it keeps me so much warmer for outdoor workouts.

View New Look's full fitness range here...

Okay so now you have my fitness fashion on a budget tips, here are a few to keep you Active;

* Walk as much as you can - Not only does this save money but girl (or guy) you're getting that heart rate pumping and losing a few extra calories...

* Create a banging playlist - This helps with every aspect of life varying from concentration to keeping fit! I love to listen to bit of Sean Paul or Rihanna to get me in that dancing mood. TBF anything with a good beat!

* Do activities with your friends - Doing things with your friends is always so much fun opposed to just doing them alone right? Join fun active classes together such as; spin, yoga, swimming etc to see a difference in not only your physical appearance but the way you feel also!

* Workout at home - Especially around this time of year as well. If you freelance like me, you'll want to take regular breaks away from your laptop or any tasks you may be engrossed in and even involve a cheeky workout. This one by Fitness Blender is my fav to do on my "days off", it's only five minutes long but so effective and better than nothing right?

So those are my tips! What do you look for when on the hunt for sports gear? I'd love to hear your thoughts.


As always, thanks so much for reading. Don't forget to hit me up on social media to let me know what you think of this post :)
Lots of love xx






[Photo credit: Brasilnality] 

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Date Night with Your Bestie ft PrettyLittleThing - Zeena Xena

Date Night with Your Bestie ft PrettyLittleThing - Zeena Xena
Saturday, 21 January 2017
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Why You Should Be Celebrating Galentine's Day...



You're probably sitting there thinking "what the hell is Galentine's day" and rightly so, until about a year ago I had no idea what it was either so allow me to explain; 

Galentine's day takes place a day prior to Valentine's day (February 13th), and is all about you and your girls celebrating and embracing one another. If you've followed my channels for some time, you'll know this is so me! Only last week I tweeted I wanted to get together with my girls for this special occasion, so when PrettyLittleThing reached out to me to create this post for my female readers, I was like HELL yeah! 

Personally I feel that sometimes us women are underappreciated, whether it be from our colleagues, family, partners etc we can sometimes go unnoticed. A day like this is great for us women to just celebrate each other regardless of our relationship status. I'm single (get the violin out) and can often feel lonely especially around the most "romantic" time of the year. With great company and activities, we don't have to feel like this however (no seriously). 

Below I've compiled a list of things for all my gals to try this Galentine's Day, from nights out to nights in... Hopefully one of the below will inspire you. 


// To Party or Dine?

Well I guess this is the most obvious point right? But where? That's always the question. You've done it ALL before but have you done it for Galentine's Day? Probably not! When planning group outings I love to create whatsapp groups and ask for suggestions first. I then take it to OpenTable or Design My Night for the best outings in London. Always works a treat and you end up getting props for being hella organised!

Tip: Roses are red, violets are blue... It's Galentine's Day and I've got a treat for you! If you're heading out to dinner and there's an even group, why not do a Galentine's Day dip? Something similar to a secret santa. Roses, perfume, makeup, clothes... All gifts are welcomed haha.

Need an outfit? Shop PrettyLittleThing's Valentine's Day selections here...

My Top picks...



// Netflix & Pamper

My friends will probably read this like "ok so this point is so you!" haha. It is indeed. I'm obsessed with skincare at the minute so would jump at this option in a heartbeat. Put that Netflix subscription to good use and put your favourite face mask on. I'm all about natural ingredients so would personally whip up a banana, oats and honey mask to put some moisture back into my skin. It's cold out in these streets!


Shop PrettyLittleThing's nightwear collection here... 



// Play Dress Up & Have A Karaoke Sesh...

Okay so another one of my favs! Who doesn't love to play dress up and sing there heart out to their fav Mariah Carey/Destiny's Child tunes? I actually did this last weekend with my mum haha. Honestly, I went to bed feeling so happy and content with life. Invest in a microphone, invite the girls over, dress up, sing your hearts out and live in the moment. Times like these make the best unforgettable memories. 

Remember, you don't have to be single to celebrate Galentine's Day but, February 13th is all about the girls! Talk about your plans and goals for the year, listen to one another and congratulate each other's successes. Like they say, us girls have to stick together!

Click below pics to be directed to my outfit... 


Will you be celebrating Galentine's Day this year? Let me know in the comments below! :) 

Lots of love! xx





[Photo credit: Brasilnality] 



Thursday, 22 December 2016

Things You Should Do Before The Year Is Out... - Zeena Xena

Things You Should Do Before The Year Is Out... - Zeena Xena
Thursday, 22 December 2016
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From taking breaks to eating whatever TF you want throughout the holidays, ya gurl has compiled a list of things you should do before the year is out. This is a collaboration post with New Look, and sadly the last post for 2016. But don't worry, I'll be back with even more insightful posts in the New Year, my first being an improved version of me. I hope you enjoy this one guys, and Merry Christmas to you all! 

[Outfit details can be found below]...

A Collaboration With New Look Focusing On Things You Should Be Doing Before The Year Is Out


1.// Have a Digital Detox 
This is the point I NEED to take into consideration. Whether you work using smart devices, use it for personal reasons or both it's always a good shout spending time away from the digital world. I spend about 12 hours total on my devices a day so you can imagine my eyes and head are in constant pain. Once Christmas is outta the way, I'm definitely going to use the last few days of 2016 to rejuvenate, if you're anything like me you should consider doing the same!

2.// Eat What You Want 
New year new you right? So the saying goes anyway haha. I mean let's face it, the festive season is all about stuffing your face relentlessly and feeling guilty some days after. But why should we have to feel guilty? If you've been on a healthy trip this year, I'd definitely say allow your mind, body and soul to be free. Of course don't over do it and eat in moderation, but allow yourself to be happy this festive season. Personally, food is my happiness so I'll be going in and exercising at the same damn time haha!


3.// Be Thankful 
It's so important to be thankful for life and all the ups and downs 2016 has brought into your life. Yes even the negatives. Think about the outcomes of negative situations... This could be, not getting a job you really wanted or letting go of toxic people. I've had both of these situations arise in 2015/2016. For the first part, the positive outcome was me chasing my dreams and working for myself. Something I always dreamed of as a young child . The latter, well let's just say I no longer have to deal with sheep in wolves clothing. I'm SO thankful!


4.// Spend Time With Loved Ones
As much as I love being alone and my own company, there's nothing like a good ol' catch up with family and friends. Before the year is out, make the effort to see those you haven't seen in a while, if this is not possible just a call or catch up message session is also good. Just show those who have played a positive role in your life, how much you care before the year ends... They deserve it!




5.// Leave The Past In The Past
I always start a new year fresh and leave all the negativity behind, because what's the point of starting the new year on a bad note? Write things that have hurt you this year on bits of paper, open them up and say what those things are, and chuck them away in the bin! Learn how to let go, move on and start the year feeling positive. Of course these negative things will always be memories, but for me I feel like this activity is a great way for me to end chapters and never re-visit them again. I've spoken about things that have hurt me in 2016 to the death of me, all my emotions are out. I feel no need to continue to do this in the new year.


Puffa Jacket - New Look [here]
Jumpsuit - New Look [here]
Shoes - New Look [here]
Choker - LaModa [use code 'ZEENAXENA' for £ off all orders here
Bag - Asos [here]

How cute is my alternative party look? It's just getting too cold these days so I've opted for an outfit that'll keep you warm during your commute to and from the club! Next day delivery is available on New Look in time for Christmas or New Year's.

As always, your comments are much welcomed and appreciated!

Lots of love! xx



Photo Credit: Nikita Nevasion

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