Blogging Rant*: Four Things To Do Before Sponsoring A Blog

26 Aug 2015

Four Things To Do Before Sponsoring A Blog | Hola Darla
I've been sponsoring three blogs for the past couple of months. Purchasing an ad spot is new to me, even though I used to do ad swap back in the day of blogging glory 2010-2011. If done right, sponsoring other blogs can be very helpful in increasing your blog traffic and follower numbers. Alas, that's not the case for me. Out of the three ads I've purchased on three different blogs, there's only one success. But the experience has taught me these four things I should have done before sponsoring a blog.

Get to know the blogger first. The very first time I sponsored a blog was by googling for small-to-medium blogs that accept sponsorship. Then I bought their cheapest ad. It was a tacky move as if I was shooting in the dark. I didn't know the blogger and as it turned out, we literally had nothing in common. It was a waste of money and I wasn't satisfied with the result. After sponsoring that first blog, I decided to sponsor a blog that I had known for a while, Sincerely, Sara. It was the total opposite. I got my fair amount of traffic and followers while I also supported a blogger I genuinely like. It was a win-win situation and I'm really glad I did it.

Visit the blog's current and past sponsors. It's important to know that your blog and their blog's current and past sponsors at least have one thing in common. The first blog I sponsored was a beauty blog and their sponsors were also beauty and hair blogs with contents like makeup products reviews, beauty tips and how-to's, and things like that. I, on the other hand, rarely (if ever) write those kinds of post. Sara and I both love YA fictions, Marvel movies, and other geeky stuff, so our blogs are not very different (although her blog is more organised and focused than mine). Her sponsors were all also similar in taste. I didn't feel like an alien when my ad was placed among them. So, another point for Sara!

Study the available ad choices. Blogs that accept sponsorship usually have several choices of sponsorship you can choose from. The cheapest one usually only offers an ad space on the sidebar, perhaps with several additions like a shoutout on Twitter and a link back in a blog post. Other options may give you the opportunity to do a guest post or a giveaway. Study these sponsorship options carefully, so there won't be any misunderstanding in the future.

Choose the kind of ad/sponsorship that suits your blog. For example, if you are a crafty blogger with an Etsy shop for handmade accessories, you may want to choose the kind of sponsorship which gives exposure to both your blog and your shop, e.g. an ad space on the sidebar plus an opportunity to do a giveaway. Also, don't forget to choose the sponsorship in accordance to your budget.

Sponsoring other people's blogs is a valuable experience. It brings new friends and also helps you grow. I hope these tips from me are helpful for you who are new to this whole sponsorship thing ;)

*Blogging Rant is an irregular feature on Hola Darla, in which I talk about blogging and other things related to it.

Dara | Bloglovin' | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

Weekend Links

23 Aug 2015


Gah! Runny nose and an-hour-non-stop-sneezing are the worst, no? Both my husband and I are sick today, so we stay home all day and sleep in. I woke up at 5pm and it was the best day nap ever! But our internet connection is wonky tonight, so if this post doesn't show up right, I'm so sorry. But here are your links:
  • My team, Chelsea FC, just bought Pedro from Barcelona. The football player was heavily connected to Manchester United during the transfer session this summer, but then... Surprise! He's with Chelsea now!
  • As a non-native English speaker, often times I get held back from writing because of the grammar rules. Then I discovered that there are some rules in English grammar that we can actually break.
  • I've been sponsoring several blogs for the last couple months and Becky's post about what to look for when sponsoring other blogs is very helpful. (I'm sharing my thoughts about this same topic next week).
  • Once upon a time in my life (or really, it was about three years ago), I got super sick of my city and decided to move out right after uni. Well, it didn't happen but Sarah's post reminded me of those moments and what I could've done if only I really took that path.
  • I can't wait for the new season of Marvel's Agents of SHIELD and Agent Carter! But in the meantime, I'm squealing over the awesomeness that is SHIELD versus Carter DubSmash death match (for charity!)
Get well soon to us!



Dara | Bloglovin' | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

Change is Hard

21 Aug 2015

Learn to Dress More Modest (Syar'i) | Hola Darla
This Eid, I had this resolution of trying to learn to dress more modest. I've been wearing loose dresses with wider, chest-covering scarves. I must admit that this style is quite inconvenient; muslim women aren't supposed to show their skin except for their face and hands, so it is necessary to cover our arms, and eating with long sleeves is not the most pleasant thing in the world. That, or I just need more time to adapt.

Loose dresses and wider scarves are super comfortable, though. I feel like I'm free to move however I like without the fear of getting anything exposed (like when you wear jeans with small t-shirt and you sit down and half of your buttcrack is showing. Noooooooo!!!)

Change is hard. I still wear pants whenever I feel loose dresses wouldn't be comfortable to be worn to certain places, e.g. traditional markets. But I'm learning each day. And I hope I'm getting better at it.

Dara | Bloglovin' | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

Random Thoughts

19 Aug 2015

I'm back... again. In yet another attempt to be back to regular blogging. I have so many post ideas in mind but can't seem to put them into neat, readable formatted words for public consumption. Blogger's block has never been this strong. Ugh.

Anyway, allow me to share several thoughts I've been having lately. Perhaps some of you can relate to one or more of these?

Pink Dress | Hola Darla
I've been wearing a lot of pink lately. People has started speculating that I'm pregnant, specifically with a baby girl. I'm sorry to disappoint you, but I'm not pregnant. My cheeks look chubbier but my stomach is as flat as an ironing board (or maybe not really).

I love napping with Miss Jess and often get worried if I'd crush on her while napping and she'd die. Today I found out that that is something which will unlikely happen. I accidently kicked her head and she bit my foot. She always puts up a fight (and ends up winning).

After seeing the news about my country's economic situation, I realised how dynamic life is. And even though my little young family has to strive harder now, I see hope in everything. I feel so energised and full of life right now that I start to think I'm being silly and naive.

Book Haul | Hola Darla
I have a new found love for Eka Kurniawan. Earlier this month, I finally gave local novels a try after years of being disgusted at how silly their back cover synopsis are. I picked three books, one that of Eka Kurniawan, the other two are by Dwitasari "and friends". I stopped reading Dwitasari's Jatuh Cinta Diam-Diam halfway through, but I fell deeply in love with Eka Kurniawan's Perempuan Patah Hati yang Kembali Menemukan Cinta Melalui Mimpi. I love his writing style and his stories are very unique. Two of his novels are going to be published in English next month: Beauty is a Wound and Man Tiger (you can pre-order here and here).

Did you know that my husband is a blogger too? I hadn't read his blog for a while, but yesterday I went and saw this post about his first Ramadan with me. I might have cried a little. He is very amazing. I love him. And I'm glad I did well in our first Ramadan living together.

I miss reading your blogs. How are you? Tell me one of your random thoughts right now!

Dara | Bloglovin' | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

13 Months Planner from Etsy

6 Aug 2015

13 Months Planner from Etsy | Hola Darla
It wasn't until July when the long holiday was over and I got to get back to work that I realised I needed a planner. It was too late for me to buy one at the bookstore, because they only have the January to December ones. It would be just a waste of money, buying a whole year planner that can only be used for five months. So naturally, I looked up cute planners online. I fell in love with this Ban.do planner and this Erin Condren's LifePlanner, but when I checked out the shipping fee for both of the planners to my address... well, let's just say it made me want to pack up my bags and move to Canada. Because seriously, why is the shipping fee more expensive than the items I want to buy? It's so unfair *cry in the corner of my room*

And then, I browsed Etsy and found several fancy looking printable planners for less than $20! I found several designs that I liked, and based on several consideration, I chose 2015-2016 Daily Planner from The Nifty Studio ($14). I love the colourful design. It's also super simple and doesn't have too many pages. It really suits my needs.

For the cover, I wanted something personalised. I found several Etsy shops which offered personalised planner cover, but I chose this one from Clean Life and Home ($3,75). As you can see, the polka dot design looks quite similar with the Erin Condren's planner that I originally wanted, but not identical. So I guess it's a win-win for me. Yay!

I had it printed and bound in a local printing company, Angkasa Putra. It only costed about IDR200k (about $14,75). So the total cost is $32,5. It's way cheaper than buying from Ban.do or Erin Condren (plus the shipping fee. God!)

Here are some pages from my planner:
13 Months Planner from Etsy | Hola Darla
13 Months Planner from Etsy | Hola Darla
13 Months Planner from Etsy | Hola Darla
13 Months Planner from Etsy | Hola Darla
13 Months Planner from Etsy | Hola Darla
13 Months Planner from Etsy | Hola Darla
13 Months Planner from Etsy | Hola Darla
13 Months Planner from Etsy | Hola Darla
I really like how it turns out! It's very unique and very "me". I'm 99% sure there is nobody else with the exact same planner like this one. Haha ;)

Dara | Bloglovin' | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

Weekend Links

2 Aug 2015


Happy Sunday, friends! After weeks of drought, it finally rained last night. My plants are all happy and this morning the cold wind was blowing. While I know the dry season is still here until November (or so the weatherman said), the rain last night brought so much joy. It was much needed; a proof that small happiness matters.

Right. Now links!
Tomorrow is Monday again! I wish you a productive, yet fun, week ;)



Dara | Bloglovin' | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

Dinner in Donwoori

1 Aug 2015

Donwoori Jalan Lombok Bandung | Hola Darla
All things Korea have been popular quite a while now in my country. I remember all the hypes were started when I was in junior high. One of my best friends introduced us to Super Junior, a Korean boyband. Since then, everyone seems to be infected by this Korea fever, except me. I can even say that I hateeeeeeeee this trend. I can't stand K-Pop and K-dramas. To me, all those Korean celebrities look like the same person. I really can't wait for this trend to end already and being replaced by the comeback of Bollywood or telenovela trends (Thalia, anyone?)

Besides the rise of fame of K-Pop and K-dramas, K-food becomes popular too. Many Korean food restaurants start their business in the past years. And because of my hatred towards K-whatever, I'm not interested in trying any. However, I finally give Korean food a go when my girls met up for dinner in Donwoori last night.
Donwoori Jalan Lombok Bandung | Hola Darla
Donwoori is a suki and Korean food restaurant located in 53 Lombok St., Bandung. The menu consists of all the popular Korean food like (bear with me, I don't really know how to correctly spell them) Topokki, Bibimbap, Kimchi, Ramyun, and the likes. We ordered one plate of Topokki, which was enough for the four of us because the portion was quite large. Surprisingly (to me. Haha!), it tasted good! Not really unique because it tasted similar to a local dish called 'seblak', but still good. I may buy it again someday. May. Haha!
Donwoori Jalan Lombok Bandung | Hola Darla
Donwoori Jalan Lombok Bandung | Hola Darla
We also had Suki with Tom Yam and chicken broth sauce. The Tom Yam sauce was super yummy, while the chicken broth was so so. If you ever come to Donwoori, I suggest you try the Tom Yam sauce because it's the best Tom Yam sauce I've ever had so far. No kidding.

The place was quite packed as it was Friday night, but it was cosy. The waiters and waitresses were very nice and we didn't have to wait for too long for our order to come. The food and drinks were a bit pricy but still affordable. I'll definitely come back, specifically for the Tom Yam sauce! ;)
Donwoori Jalan Lombok Bandung | Hola Darla
Donwoori Jalan Lombok Bandung | Hola Darla

Dara | Bloglovin' | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook