Blogger Spotlight: Ana Silva O’Reilly From Mrs. O Around The World
Behind every great luxury blog, you will find a great story. Luxury bloggers are real people, not machines, and to successfully work with them, we recommend you get to know them a little better. Through our years at LuxeInACity, we have talked, collaborated and exchanged ideas with dozens of great bloggers from around the world.
Since bloggers rarely talk about themselves – they tend to talk about everyone else instead – we hope to showcase their skills, expertises and opinions in this blog series.
Get to know them, learn from them and hopefully you will find an innovative way to collaborate with them.
Today’s blogger is Ana Silva O’Reilly from Mrs. O Around the World, a luxury travel blogger who seems to be constantly traveling the world in search of the best experiences. Yes, you can be jealous, Ana Silva O’Reilly, is living the life. Since 2011, she has been inspiring travelers to follow her adventures and to share their personal experience with her on social media. Mrs. O Around the World currently reaches over 30 000 monthly fans and has a great following on social media, especially on Twitter where she has over 13,500 loyal fans.
Read below to get to know the woman behind Mrs. O Around the World.
Photo Credit: Flytographer
Every blogger has a different story on how they got started blogging. What is yours?
Mine was a complete accident! I have been travelling my whole life for both work and pleasure and in 2011, as I was finishing my MBA, I decided to explore social media further as a marketing professional. I actually went to New York and attended one of the first academically certified and recognised social media strategy courses at NYU and I had to create a twitter account – Mrs. O was born there and then. The blog came a few months later (in November 2011) because I was being constantly asked (and offering) for advice on where to go in specific places. Sharing a URL was easier than emailing people all the time. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Like most successful blogger, you probably received hundreds of emails per month from luxury brands who want you to share their story. What makes you decide to work with a brand over the other?
The love test. I am a consumer first and foremost (and the lifestyle I depict on the website and through my online persona is my real life) – so I know most brands ’from the other side’. I tend always to work with brands that I love – brands that I know well, as I have paid for their services over and over again.
Photo Credit: Flytographer
What is the best pitch you have received from a luxury brand? What is the worst?
This one from PRCo, a leading PR agency in the UK, on behalf of the Four Seasons – http://mrsoaroundtheworld.com/2013/08/14/my-hotel-four-seasons-hampshire-uk-fshampshire/
I had worked with PRCo and Four Seasons on many occasions, but I loved the tone and the pitch – it was just for me and absolutely spot on. So much so, I actually shared it with my readers. The worst? Where do I start? I get really bad ones on a weekly basis and it makes me sad. Usually they come from digital agencies on behalf of top clients, who have no idea what is being done on their behalf. I usually take the time and contact the client to let them know – there have been some surprises! I will always remember being invited to review camping equipment. I kid you not.
What is your take on press releases? Do you like receiving them or do you simply discard them?
I don’t write from press releases and I really don’t like receiving them – especially if they have been unsolicited. I love when (few) PR agencies actually bother to ask me. I really don’t like when they just add my email address, which happens too often. Social media allows you to be on top of news and developments on any industry and if it is something good, I will hear about it.
If a brand wants to reach you, what channel should they use? Do you prefer email, social media or another means of communication?
I love when some brands approach me via Twitter and build a rapport over time – I like to get a feel of who is behind the social activity, tone of voice etc. Those are the brands that I then tend to work with on projects. I don’t like ’cold’ projects, or purely transactional ones. And most brands I have worked with, have been repeat projects – true partnerships.
Which social media channels does your audience interact with the most?
Interestingly, the community I have built around Mrs O is somewhat fragmented – which makes things more interesting. My Twitter followers are not the same as the people who like my Facebook page. Instagram is a bit of a mix bag, but also have Instagram only followers. Those different audience groups are looking for a different experience, and I provide content according to the platform.
Do you sometime receive compensation from luxury brands, whether it’s in the form of cash or incentives, to blog about them?
I am very clear about any compensation I receive, if any. I also disclose any free services/product, which most people don’t, but I believe it is very important – needless to say, the whole point of writing a review is if one can be honest and add real value. Otherwise, what is the point? When something isn’t good, I have no issues with telling my readers – how disappointed would you be if I told you that hotel x had great rooms and you went there and found out it was not the case?
I can work on an editorial basis which is free of charge or I can work on a branding campaign basis with a sponsor. Both work very well and have different types of reach – it depends on what the brand is looking to achieve.
Apart from blogging, do you offer additional services to luxury brands who choose to work with you?
Yes, I have worked on numerous brand awareness programmes and social media campaigns, where I take the readers with me, live, on a particular trip. It is always clear where I am staying and what I am doing. I also offer consultancy services on the marketing and social media arenas.
If you had to mentor a new blogger, what is your go-to advice to become successful?
Think why you are doing this – if there is a genuine passion, and this is really your life, by all means, use these platforms to inspire others, if that is what you want to do. The goal is to find other people who think and act in a similar way that you do – and you will find a lot of common ground. If you are thinking about starting a blog to brag, or to get freebies that you would not otherwise be able to afford, I honestly don’t think it is going to work (and sadly too many people see that as a goal. I find it morally wrong). Having a story to tell is the only way that others can listen to you. It is a crowded space, with low barriers to entry, but like in any industry, not every one can get to the top (I am not saying I am or aspire to be). In my other career, it took me 15 years, a business studies degree and an MBA from top schools and a lot of hard work to get me to where I am – I would not expect 2 years in blogging to take me to the same place. I am very grateful for the opportunities I have been given as a blogger (because I found my space, my voice), but would never expect this to become my number one professional occupation.
Connect with Mrs. O on MrsOaroundTheWorld, on Twitter, Facebook, Google +, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube and Instagram. Yes, the woman is everywhere! If you are to shy to connect with her directly and want an introduction, reach out to us.
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Tags: Anna Silva O'Reilly, blogger outreach, blogger spotlight, MRS O AROUND THE WORLD