Small Business Spotlight – Maddie Green Designs

This is one of my favorite small businesses that I found out about last year. Maddie is such a sweetie and her products are so cute. The clothing items in particular can be styled in so many ways.

Some of my favorite products by Maddie Green Designs are –

  1. Pine Tree Sweatshirt – I wear this sweatshirt pretty much every day. Yet, because it is made by Comfort Colors it really holds up and is so comfortable. I usually style it with leggings, a t shirt underneath that pops out a bit for some added color and some jewelry.
  2. Pink Rainbow Sticker – This sticker is so cute! I put some of these in the Christmas cards I sent out this past holiday season to my girlfriends. I also put one on my laptop and have one or two in my drawer just to have because of how cute they are.
  3. Pine Tree Sticker – I put this sticker on my Swell bottle and it looks amazing! Her stickers are really good quality and look great on everything from laptops and water bottles to cars.
  4. Pine Tree T Shirt – So as you can see I really like the pine tree design. I am from North Carolina which has tons of pine trees so this design is very special to me. I style the t shirt in a way that is similar to how I style the sweatshirt. If I were to wear it in the summer I would wear denim shorts with sandals, the shirt, and a statement necklace.

How I started Freelance Writing

So, this is a bit different from what I usually post. My typical posts are usually about lifestyle content and things I am interested in like television shows, makeup, online shopping, and such. I have however gotten a lot of requests from people in Facebook groups I am in and from people in my personal life to do a post like this. I am also going to do a YouTube video in addition to it to go more in depth on my advice on how to start writing. So, here is my story of how I started freelance writing and how you can too.

So, I was not planning on building a portfolio or make money when I started doing this. I honestly just wanted to try and write about some topics I am interested in. I had been reading publications like Bustle and Hello Giggles for a while. I loved being able to read about different perspectives on topics I am interested in like feminism, anti-racism, and aspects of television and media that are fun to dissect.

The first time I pitched to a publication it was Bustle. I honestly did not think I would hear back, but I did and then I was so excited to write about my idea. The editor I worked with was super nice and really helped me create a good article. Plus getting paid was really nice too. This experience made me want to continue and send even more ideas out to some publications whose content I enjoyed.

Now onto my tips on how to get started. –

  • Pitching – Pitching is obviously the first place you need to start. You can’t just send your ideas to one or two publications. I would aim for emailing 5-10 publications whenever you have ideas on a specific topic or issue. For example, I have written many articles on representation of marginalized groups in media. If I watch a tv show that has a black lead in it and I want to write an article on whether or not that character is well written I will send an email to a favorite site of mine like Black Youth Project but I would also find at least 5 other sites like it so not to put all of my eggs in one basket.

When emailing try to get straight to the point in your message. Basically say why you want to write for that particular publication and then list your ideas and contact information. You should also put in a little bit of information about yourself so they can know if you will be a good fit for their site.

Example –

Dear Bustle, I am writing to you because of my interest in writing for you all. I am a freelance writer and blogger who has written about a wide variety of subjects ranging from feminism to mental health issues. My pitches and contact information are listed below. If any of these ideas are of interest to you please let me know.

Pitches –

  1. 5 Ways to be more Confident in 2021
  2. 7 Face Masks that are great for some Sunday Self Care
  3. 5 Fall Outfits that are great for Instagram

Contact

  • Email – liviburke1@gmail.com
  • Coming up with ideas – Something I have found is that if you pick a topic that you are truly passionate about then you won’t have a hard time coming up with article ideas. I tried so hard to write about things that were trendy and cool for a long time just so I could make more money and build my portfolio but what is the point of building a portfolio for potential editors and employers to see if those articles are not about anything you are passionate about? Self care and wellness articles do really well but they just aren’t my thing. Yet, when I think about social issues, anime, and media representation it is like the ideas just keep flooding into my brain.

I recommend keeping a list of some sort on hand. I like to write them down in a physical notebook but I also use the notes app on my phone when I think of one when I am out and about. Whatever works for you.

  • Building a portfolio – In terms of the actual portfolio, you can use a platform like SquareSpace or Winx to make a really nice looking website to store all of your articles and the links to them. You can make it look really polished and put together. You could also just use WordPress, use a premade theme, and put your article links in a nice list. That is how I did mine. You can refer back to it if you want something to go off of. The link is here.
  • Getting Paid – Now, for what many of you have been waiting for. Most big and small publications will have a set rate that they pay writers based on the type of article you write. The typical types of articles are personal essays, news articles, listicles, and analyses. Also the longer the article the more you get paid. This isn’t true across the board though. Some sites will just pay the same amount regardless. For example, I wrote an article for a smaller publication called Femsplain that had a set rate of 50 dollars.

The more you build up your portfolio the more you can afford to try and discuss your payment with publications and editors. In the beginning I would not but as you gain experience and credibility then you can ask for more.

That is all. Also, this is just based off of my experience. I am not perfect at writing but these tips have been helpful to me. If you have questions about anything I wrote or anything I did not mention leave them below.

My goals for 2021

So, I honestly was not sure where to start with this sort of post but then I remembered that one of the things I wanted to do was be more chill and real not just online but in life so I was able to then come up with some goals that are realistic but also able to benefit me in many ways.

Stay more consistent with my social media schedule. – I am going to be honest and say that this is one I have tried to stick to in previous years. I have either had something happen in my life that took my focus away, I got lazy, or I procrastinated too much with content. This time I made a pretty good schedule for when I will make content for not just this blog but also my YouTube channel, TikTok, and Instagram. I wrote down a lot of ideas that I am very excited to work on.

I might not stick to my schedule perfectly or upload content every single week like I would like because life happens and I am human but I do think this new plan of mine will help me put out more content than I have in previous years and on a more consistent basis.

Do grounding exercises more consistently. – This is something in relation to my mental health. Grounding is an exercise I do to bring myself back to a good mental state when I feel anxious. At times it has been difficult for me to implement this practice when I feel so anxious that I get overwhelmed and don’t aim to bring myself back to a better mental state. I hope to get better at implementing this practice though.

Exercise consistently and focus more so on speed and endurance than weight loss. – In the past I have focused too much on using exercise on maintaining a certain look or weight instead of just enjoying it. I have finally found some forms of exercise that I like and have made some playlists on Spotify that I really enjoy working out to. So, I am really looking forward to just getting into a good head space and enjoying things like running and walking on a more consistent basis.

Remember to relax and enjoy things just because they are fun and regardless of whether or not others around me like them. – Finally, I want to have a better mindset towards life in terms of just enjoying activities like blogging and photography just because I like it and enjoy it, not because of how it might benefit me monetarily, career wise, or if I can turn it into a side hustle. I kind of want to start playing around with procreate and maybe design some stickers. Could I make money from selling them? Sure. Could I also just enjoy making them? Yeah, because honestly that is all that matters.

I am honestly very glad I only put down a few goals. I think with a handful they will be easier to focus on.

Small Business Spotlight – Pheebs Makes Things

So, one thing I really want to do in the new year is highlight some of my favorite small businesses. Many have suffered because of Corona so maybe telling you all about them and their products will help them out a bit.

This week’s is the Etsy shop called Pheebs Makes Things. The owner is so sweet! She did send me these products for free but these opinions are totally honest and completely my own.

Products –

  1. Scannable Spotify Glass – This is something that honestly looks very Tumblr but I really like it. I actually liked the one in the photo so much that I bought a second one. You can customize it based on any song you like. It’s a very unique piece that you can use to decorate your room.
  2. Customizable Wine Glass – This wine glass is really cute and very durable. I love my state so being able to put it on the glass was very cool. You can put any state or zodiac sign on it.
  3. Stickers – These stickers are great quality and very cute. If my laptop was not already covered in stickers I would definitely add these.

My favorite small businesses to shop from this holiday season

So, I was thinking about how I was going to do my sales roundup post for this Black Friday season. I was going to include stories like Abercrombie and American Eagle but they are getting a bunch of business( while I must admit their sales are amazing and I definitely spent way too much money on those sites). Instead I am going to dedicate this post to my favorite small businesses that you should definitely support this holiday season.

  1. Maddie Green Designs

Maddie is the sweetest girl ever and she sells such a wide variety of products on her website. I have bought quite a few and am obsessed. My personal favorites are the comfort colors t shirts with her own personal designs on them.

The shirt in the photo above features her Holiday Cheer print. It is so cute and so comfortable !

Stickers – 40 percent off

Totes – 30 percent off

T Shirts and Sweatshirts – 25 percent off

Notebooks – 20 percent off

Mugs – 15 percent off

Ornaments – 10 percent off

2. Kate Hickman Art

Kate is such a sweetheart and an incredibly talented artist. I first found out about her because one of her videos came up on my TikTok for you page and I was in awe of how she could take scenes from shows like Avatar the Last Airbender

Monday – 20 percent off of all prints

– National Parks prints and the Avatar the Last Airbender prints

3. Shop Amber Richele

Amber Richele is an incredible black woman who makes tye dye everything. From biker shorts to hoodies she does it all.

– 25 percent off of select items

4. Cussing Candles

The women who run this candle shop are so nice and the candles smell as good as the ones that burn in stores like Anthropologie but are a fraction of the cost.

– 25 percent off of all candles

– 30 percent off of shimmer candles

Let’s try this again.

Details –

Hi, so I have not posted on here in a while and I am feeling a bit unsure about how to go about writing this post. This is actually the second time I have written it because I was an idiot who didn’t save it last night and fell asleep.

Basically I stopped blogging for a while for a variety of reasons, some of which I may discuss at a later time on this platform. The other reason I stepped away was because I felt like I could not fit in in the blogging or YouTube world anymore. It’s like I had no niche and could not be in a box like many bloggers I follow. You are either a fashion blogger, a makeup blogger, a vlogger but not all of the above. Yet, the thing is I am not just one thing I am interested in many things. I love anime, monograms, leggings, flannels, liquid lipsticks, and cosplay. So, I am not going to just be a fashion blogger or just one anything. I am going to be me.

So, like this photo above that is of me in a hoodie I am going to be fully and authentically myself. I will dress preppy but I will also dress casual and edgy sometimes. I’ll talk about veganism but also anime and makeup. I am very excited about it and hope you all will enjoy the upcoming content!

The top 4 shows you should watch during quarantine

Hi, so before I start I know that I have not posted in a while. Things have been kinda crazy for me during the quarantine like they have been for a lot of people. Without going too much into detail this whole thing has just really shaken up my world.

One of the things that has been helping me pass the time during this whole thing is honestly a lot of shows on streaming services. I have always loved television but it has become a real escape for me at this time. So, I thought I would share with you all some of my favorites. Here are my top 5 shows to stream during this quarantine. Also this just includes things that were either released during the quarantine or added to a streaming service during the quarantine.

1.Avatar: The Last Airbender

Ok, so this is a classic that I literally grew up on. I remember watching the finale and watching in awe as Aang defeated the fire lord. Also, can we all agree that Zuko has the best character development of all time?

If you have not seen this I highly recommend it. It is on Netflix.

2. Little Fires Everywhere

This is one of the most unique stories I have ever seen. It starts out as a simple story about a girl and her mom who move to a new town but is so much more than that. It is kind of hard for me to describe it any more than I already have without spoiling it so if you have Hulu I definitely think you should watch it.

3. Outer Banks

This show was very popular for about a month on Netflix. I will be honest and say that it’s not exactly an Emmy award-winning show but the plot is interesting and the guys are super hot!

4. Working Moms

This show is really funny and has very interesting storylines for all of the main characters. It’s basically about Kate, a working mom and her friends who try to navigate life as well…working moms.

Let me know what shows you all like. Also if you watch Outer Banks are you a John B-girl or a JJ girl?

What’s in my HerConference Goodie Bag

At HerConference I received a bag of goodies. These were from the brands that sponsored the conference.

I got…

These makeup products from MaryKay which are the Lash Love Mascara, Perfect Palette, and Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover.

The palette got personalized at the conference with my name on it in fancy cursive.

I got some nail polish by the brand, XOXO, as well as some bracelets by Aid Through Trade, and a hairband by Beyond Broadway.

These vitamins by Queen V are great for urinary tract support and health maintenance.

This lip crayon by Honest Beauty is a beautiful color!

I love these water bottles by Bumble and Deutsch Bank!

I am not a huge gum person but I am interested in trying these out, as well as this new lash curler. I have needed a new lash curler for a long time!

I love this fanny pack and portable charger!

My favorite products have to be the water bottles and fanny pack by Seamless! I know I will get a ton of use out of them!

HerConference 2019

On June 22nd, I went to HerConference in New York City! The experience was incredible! I have wanted to go to this conference since high school and it did not disappoint!

IMG-5439.JPG

This is a picture from the Working in Politics panel. We heard from a variety of great speakers, including one who used to work for President Obama!

IMG-5445.JPG

I got a photo with one of the founders of HerCampus, Annie Wang.

IMG-5463.JPG

I even met some of my blogger friends in person and got to hang out with them at a post-HerConference Party!

I had such a great experience at this conference and left feeling so empowered! I hope to be able to go again next year!

 

 

The Summer 2019 InfluenceHer Kit

Y’all! The new InfluenceHer Essentials Kit is here and the products are incredible!

The kit includes –

This adorable cup by hcxo.shop! 

These Carefree pads!

This volumizing mascara and eyeliner by Kat Von D!

Books published by Kensington Publishing!

Cleansing Cloths by Summers Eve!

and a case by OtterBox!

Some of my favorite products are –

  • The hcxo cup

– Reusable cups are a great way to help reduce waste and help the environment. This adorable cup is great for when you are on the go and trying to reduce your carbon footprint!

  • Kat Von D Mascara

– This mascara is both volumizing and cruelty-free! I saw a huge difference when using it!

  • OtterBox Case

– I had been needing a new case for a while and this case from OtterBox’s Symmetry collection is perfect! It is slim while also protecting my phone.