More for less: Blog blags
Alice White runs the Edinburgh-based style and travel blog Bon-Voy-Go-There! She runs down her best freebie handbags and holidays, and suggests how to get started blagging on your own blog
Blogging is the most arrogant, self-indulgent thing I’ve ever done, but it’s not been without its rewards – material as much as personal. With some effort, and a lot of imposing on other people, I’ve managed to turn my site into a shopping list for a lifestyle that would otherwise be beyond my reach.
Sending out a constant stream of emails to PRs was a pushy thing to do at the start, but it seemed to get the ball rolling. Having the brass neck to ask for free hotel rooms made me feel a little bit like a cyber tramp, but it did get easier.
I have to be careful about coming across as greedy. I once posted about a designer, Linda Farrow, and her sunglasses range that was way out of my price range. Amazingly they arrived like magic with the postman. Though I expect writing, ‘I really wish that I could afford that Aston Martin’ would only yield disappointment, so maybe honesty is the best policy.
So far I’ve received suitcases, inexplicable vibrating bunnies, invitations to hot countries, cold countries, flights, crap flight accessories, gift vouchers, hats and scarves, umbrellas, thousands of passport holders and occasional bouts of funny hate mail. Invitations to hotel openings are a personal favourite as multiple-Michelin star dinners taste that little bit better when you’ve got a patronising Vogue or Elle journalist sat next to you to chide. Let people be as condescending as they like – free food, and especially free booze, are, in my opinion, the holy grail of amateur writing
Setting up a blog is painfully easy with things like Wordpress or Blogger (which I use because it’s free and I’m a cheapskate). There are also hundreds of HTML geeks who have set up free help-each-other sites to help yours look better. Even for self-proclaimed technophobes it’s only a slight learning curve and obviously, because it’s personal to you, there’s an unlimited of things you can write about. Hurrah for freedom of speech.