Interview with Lizna Grobler,

This month we meet Lizna Grobler, a 30+ Beauty, Food, Lifestyle & Travel blogger since 2014 who calls Wilderness in the Garden Route, home. Being a proud dog mama and a big animal lover, supporting and using cruelty free brands is important to her. When not blogging or playing with her dogs she loves creating blogs and websites for others and trying her hand at photography. Describe yourself in 3 words Funny, Sensitive, Intelligent What made you decide to start a blog? At the time I was writing reviews for an online beauty community and had previously tried to start a food blog, but I didn’t really know how and what and where. So I eventually started by publishing these reviews on a free blogger blog and it just grew and evolved from there. How is different from other lifestyle blogs? I try to include a bit of my sense of humour into my content, because somehow things always tend to go awry! I also think my outlook on life is different than a lot of other people I know. I also grow and “morph” my blog as time passes and my interests change so my blog grows as I do. How would you describe your content strategy? Honestly, I don’t really have one. I create content that inspires me at the time. I love what I do because… It’s a creative outlet and gives me the opportunity to say out loud what I say to myself and I enjoy sharing a bit of my life and loves with the world. What makes a good blog? Well written, ever-green content. You need to create content that will always be relevant, if you are a blogger that likes to review new items and products that come into the market I also suggest that you alternate with ever-green content. Using striking images (even if they are stock) just really pulls a blog together for me. Don’t forget to be authentic and add your own voice and personality into each piece of content you create. How has the Covid-19 crisis affected you as an online publisher, and what are you doing to adapt to the ‘new normal’? I am actually one of the people that is refusing to accept a “new” normal and I only see it as a temporary lifestyle change, by doing this I am keeping hope alive that one day (hopefully not too far into the future) we will once again be able to enjoy travel, visiting friends and go shopping without masks. With the crisis at hand I am not able to create local travel and restaurant content as I did before so I’ve been updating some of my older popular content. 3 things I’m doing to keep myself sane during lockdown I chat a lot to one of my friends, we made a deal to message each other every day during lockdown, and we’re still going strong! I’ve also been baking a lot more and obviously binge watching some older shows like 24 and Law & Order:SVU. I cannot stand… Bleggers! Those are people who start blogs purely to receive “freebies” and out right begs for them. This is not a good reason to start a blog. Getting noticed and eventually getting PR takes a lot of work, effort and patience and if it’s your only goal with your blog, please, rather don’t start one. My favourite place to eat in Wilderness is… This is actually a harder question than what it sounds, since the start of lockdown we’ve lost a lot of good eateries due to the restrictions. This is really sad for our area which thrives off of tourism, I really hope with the new level 2 restrictions the area can move forward. I would love to give a shoutout though to two restaurants that’s been fighting hard for the area during lockdown. Salina’s Beach Restaurant and The Girls. My favourite place in the Garden Route is… The entire area is gorgeous so I can’t really just choose one spot! Each nook and cranny has something making it special, which is why I’m in the process of launching a second blog dedicated to the area. We have amazing scenery, friendly people, loads of walking trials, gorgeous beaches, the list just goes on.

April profile: Jeff Siepman, Blogger & Author of

Meet Jeff Siepman, ‘a Benoni-based, coffee-fueled creative, foodie, occasional cyclist and blogger/content creator @ManvsMind, as he describes himself. As the author of Jeff spends the majority of his time testing the latest tech gadgets, writing restaurant reviews, test driving cars and watching Netflix Marvel Universe – a life most bloggers (and males) only dream of. Or is it? Branch Out finds out more.   When I was a kid I wanted to be a….. As a kid I loved designing and building houses with Lego so I guess I’d say I really wanted to be an architect.   What made you decide to start a blog? I started my ‘blog’ years ago with the intention of having a place I could share all the interesting things I found, but this never really worked out and it transformed into what it is today when I got the opportunity to do a  car review for Peugeot in 2017.   Tell us more about the name: ‘Man vs Mind’. I wish it had a hidden meaning or was more philosophical, but is actually pretty simple. Man is me and vs Mind is the decision of what content to post and what not to post.   Describe the ideal Man vs Mind target audience. Everyone! (Cliché much?). I try keep my content simple so that it appeals to more people.   What marketing channels do you use to attract visitors to your blog? Currently I rely on a few channels to attract visitors to my blog. These are word of mouth, an email newsletter, my social media channels (Twitter, Facebook and to a lesser extent Instagram and Pinterest) as well as a few 3rd party websites like Bloglovin’ and Zomato.   What you do would be considered the ‘dream job’ by many people. Is it as much fun as it seems? Yes and no. While I get to experience new things before some people and I get the odd freebie, it isn’t as glamourous as it seems. Blogging is time consuming and if you’re not on the right PR lists you have to pay your own way.   What advice do you have for aspiring bloggers? Just get started and keep in mind that successful blogging requires a lot of time. Blogging also requires a lot more than just content creation like SEO, social media, networking etc so if you’re not fully committed it will be your downfall.   When I’m not working I’m… So many things, but watching more YouTube tutorials/reviews than I’d like to admit to and spending time with my family are the main two.   If I could dine with a celebrity I would choose… I’d have to go with Peter McKinnon. Besides the fact that he seems like a pretty rad person, he has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to photography.