Welcoming our latest worth casing blogger Di from Max The Unicorn to AMC. Di is an Adelaide-based Beauty & Lifestyle blogger, who loves playing with makeup, trying new restaurants and watching movies with her family.
Di is on a mission to find her Holy Grail multi-tasking eye cream and loves anything that sparkles. A Judge Judy fan girl, Di has a penchant for late-night Candy Crush sessions, celebrity autobiographies, unicorns and cute notebooks. Years ago when Di was telemarketing, she accidentally said “OK. Bye. Love you!” to a complete stranger on the phone.
Today we catch up with Di to talk about the business of blogging and Max The Unicorn.
Di from Max The Unicorn
How long have you been blogging and why did you start?
I’ve been blogging since 2011, but only started getting serious about it in the last year. I really started because I’m passionate about beauty products and wanted to share my love of lipstick and glitter nail polish with the world (hubby usually tuned out after “but the pigmentation!”). I wanted to sprinkle my ‘beauty-full’ posts and weird humour across the universe as liberally as a drag queen applies eyeshadow!
Can you tell us about your blog and what we can expect to see in the next 12 months?
There will probably be one more YouTube video, because the inexplicable urge to create terrible film seems to hit me yearly.
Max The Unicorn is a Beauty & Lifestyle blog, heavy on the beauty. I review makeup and skincare, feature brands, write about my favourites and empties (products I’ve finished, for the uninitiated), hauls (stuff I’ve bought with hubby’s money) and lots of manicures.
On the Lifestyle side, I love reviewing movies I’ve seen with my 8 year old son, poking fun at celebrity fashion and posting food photos. I’ve just started a new Lunch Series where I share my experiences at various eateries. One time I’d organised a lunch date with hubby at Two Bit Villains, not knowing it was a vegetarian restaurant (we’re both meat eaters). I’d somehow missed that all the meat on the menu was ‘in quotes’!
Do you have a favourite place or dedicated space for blogging?
There are two places I like to blog, either at my desk, or at a quiet city cafe. I’m actually glad you asked because it forced me to clean up my horribly disorganised desk for this photo. I like to keep it real, but if you’d seen the before shot, you’d think I was a candidate for ‘Hoarders’.
When I blog from home, I usually type straight into Google Blogger and save my work as a draft. Seventeen times in a row, because you can never be too careful. However, I especially enjoy blogging from various city cafes because a) coffee and b) I love the old skool art of writing into cute notebooks! There’s just something magical and beautiful about putting pen to paper and filling my notebook with words whilst life bustles away around me. Also, did I mention coffee?
What are your must-have tools and resources when it comes to blogging?
My absolute essentials are my PC and iPhone. I’m sure most bloggers do this, but if I’m writing a product review, I’ll research the product via a Google search, re-read the press release and visit the brand website for background information. Then I’ll use my iPhone to photograph the product, and as I trial it, I type my thoughts into my iPhone’s Notes section.
I also use notebooks for handwriting reviews, listing blog ideas and planning my monthly posts. I can’t use laptops (I need to hold a proper mouse!) and wouldn’t have the first clue how to blog from my iPad!
Other must-have resources are a good cup of coffee to get me in the mood and my brain, for thinkin’! I cross my fingers that it’s playing ball and can craft all my thoughts into coherent and hopefully entertaining and informative sentences.
To advertise my posts I’ll use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, blogger link-ups, Facebook groups and I’ve just started using Buffer to automatically post my links to Twitter, although I only do it haphazardly as I’m worried I’ll alienate my followers!
Have you ever experienced blogger’s block and what are your top tips for when it strikes?
Not really? I’m like a conduit for ideas (they aren’t all good), but my problem is I never have enough time to blog everything. I can easily sit down and jot down 15 blog posts I want to write, but actually getting around to them is another matter entirely.
As for my tips, it depends on what type of blog you have, but if you’re inspiration has gone AWOL you could review a movie you’ve seen; post a family favourite recipe; write about an aspect of blogging; blog your monthly goals; set yourself a challenge and blog about it; do a Wordless Wednesday post filled with gorgeous photos from your Instagram; review a product; blog about something you collect or your latest shopping expedition; or if all else fails, Google ideas for blog posts. I’ve read so many blog posts listing 50 things to blog about when you have blogger’s block!
What have been your blogging highlights and biggest challenges?
My biggest challenges include working out how to do anything technical on my blog (am I right, people!?), procrastination (I still haven’t written my Media Kit!), advertising my posts without feeling like I’m being annoying, transitioning to sponsored posts and doing anything blog-related from my phone. I don’t even use Facebook on my iPhone, that’s how much of a technophobe I am! Hell, I even tried to do Instagram exclusively from my desktop PC when I first started!
My blogging highlights have me pleased as punch, though! I’m quite the shy introvert, but this year I threw caution to the wind and attended my first ever beauty blogger meet-up, followed by the Bloggers United Adelaide Event! I had to force myself, because meeting a bunch of new people, and arriving not knowing a soul is way out of my comfort zone. It was so worth it though, for my blog and for me personally.
I’ve also started getting my photos regrammed on Instagram, which is new and exciting, and been contacted by a few large companies, like Rimmel UK, asking permission to use my photos on their website. Seeing an increase in blog traffic and comments on my blog is definitely a highlight, as I aim to be engaged with my readers, and feel like part of a community. I think my skills regarding communicating with brands and PR have improved, and these days I’m mindful of investing time into the ‘admin’ side of blogging.
Who inspires you and what’s on your Worth Casing list when it comes to other bloggers?
Smart, successful, ambitious women inspire me. If they also happen to be funny, self-assured and down-to-earth, I’ve hit the inspiration jackpot. Judge Judy is a big inspiration for me! People laugh when I say that, but that little lady has her shizz together. She’s the full package.
Blog-wise I’m inspired by the aforementioned attributes and by strong women who are go-getters. They ‘make it happen’. If your posts are entertaining, informative and helpful, you take beautiful photos and you’re good at stringing sentences together, you’ve probably inspired me at some point.
My Worth Casing list; Ingrid from Fabulous And Fun Life, Jasmine from Sweetaholic Beauty, Kat from Kitsch Snitch, Beth from Almost Post, Tine from Beautyholics Anonymous, Sarah from More Than Adored, Grace from With Some Grace and of course, Raychael from Agent Mystery Case!
What advice would you give to anyone that is thinking about starting a blog of their own?
My advice would be to go for it! Be in it for the right reasons though; don’t start blogging just because you want freebies. Have something to say, be passionate and spread your fervour far and wide.Be open to the opportunities blogging brings and grab those chances with both hands!
Read other blogger’s posts about every aspect of blogging. Learn, grow and improve your skills. Make friends with fellow bloggers, discuss ideas with them, help each other, be part of a community. Leap outside of your comfort zone, don’t worry what anyone thinks and most of all, have fun!
What’s your all-time favourite blog post?
I love ‘My Top 7 Beauty Purchase Regrets‘, because I’ve been told it’s hilarious and it was a blast making fun of myself. It perfectly showcases my self-deprecating humour whilst simultaneously highlighting my God-awful taste in makeup. We’re talking blue lipstick, yellow nail polish, metallic lip foils and neon eyeshadow that will have your eyeballs screaming for mercy. I’ve included a photo for your enjoyment.
If you weren’t in the business of blogging what would you be doing?
Oh I’d be sipping cocktails whilst sailing through the South of France on Leo DiCaprio’s private luxury yacht, totally fitting in with his consort of leggy Supermodels (baha!) and possibly ‘polishing his Oscar’. Either that or laying on the couch knee-deep in an Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Netflix marathon. Or doing housework, although this option is highly improbable.
In all honesty, I’d probably be comping my butt off like I used to do prior to my illustrious blogging career. I don’t get time to enter many giveaways anymore, and I really miss the free movie passes and exciting adventures my wins accommodated! I still enter competitions when I can, but the volume of entries and thus wins has greatly decreased. On the plus side, it’s extra exciting when I win something now!
MORE WAYS TO CASE
Message from Mystery… I just adore Max the Unicorn and Di’s blogging style. I know you will too! Di will be pleased to know I’m upping my comping game this month with the Aussie Giveaway Linkup with a Blogging Christmas in July giveaway kicking off here July 1st!
Ok, Bye. Love YOU!
I’m with you on the Kimmy Shmidt mararthon! It was great to learn a more about Di – those beauty purchase regrets are hilarious!
Totally hilarious. I’m pretty sure I could match them.
These are some of fav posts where I get to read more about bloggers I follow. I am not a beauty blogger but love to know what is happening and how I can look younger (and skinnier) all the time.
I’m all for looking younger as well.
That’s exciting about the regramming!
I had Dannii Minogue regram something of mine once, I think my girls were more excited than I was.
Great to learn more about, Di! I have to say that is an absolutely perfect application of red lippy. I can never get it quite right. I’ve been guilty in the past of signing off work emails ‘Love Renee’. Oops. Looking forward to seeing some of your talents on Youtube.
I can’t do red lippy either. It always ends up looking like a crime scene.
Di’s blog is definitely on my Worth Casing List too! I love her sense of humour, and being a fellow beauty blogger I’m obviously passionate about her blogging topic. Di’s manicures are always amazing!
I tried beauty blogging once, I just didn’t have the nails for it. Mind you I probably have enough product, with three teens in the house.
I loved your worst beauty purchases post! It was very funny. Lovely to learn more about you Di.
I loved that post too. So funny.
Yay! I’m so honoured to be featured on Agent Mystery Case, this is definitely a blogging highlight! Thanks everyone for the lovely comments and thanks so much Raychael for putting the spotlight on me!
OK, bye, love you right back! xx
Di from Max The Unicorn
So honoured to have you here.
Awesome post! Thanks Di for the shout out – loved reading all about you on Mystery Case today. Can confirm Max The Unicorn is most definitely worth casing!
Definitely worth casing.
Great interview! I am convinced I now need a unicorn for my study!!
I wouldn’t mind one too and a delivery of churros.
Nice to hear more about Di. I l enjoy her round up of beauty products.
Thanks Jess. I’ve been nervous all day after dropping the comment on your blog this morning about my youngest not having broken a bone. It’s almost like jinxing it. She arrived home to tell me she has signed up for the mud run obstacle course. I’m guessing I should tick the ‘need insurance’ box.
Oh I love the photos on this post esp the painted faces one, and the beauty purchase regrets.. fantastic. With blogs there has to be the combo of engaging words and good pix and it takes time and effort to get that right… we all learn so much from each other!
How cool is the face painting.
Awesome to learn more about Di. As someone who has no idea when it comes to beauty products, I love her tips 😉 xx
I love her tips too.
Lovely to get to know Di better. Oops about her “okay bye love you” phone call! I have a bad habit of calling everybody “darl” or similar – makes me sound 100 years old – but I can’t seem to stop!
I have a PR guy that signs off his emails with ‘Chill’. I didn’t know this was his thing and over thought the first reply email I received from him telling him I wouldn’t cut my fees. I almost told him what to chill.
Thanks for sharing Raych and Di. And I laughed out loud a few times there! I love the breadth of Di’s blog as well!