a small plantI heard a question recently on social media regarding content–specifically sponsored content. The question posed was “How is this content adding to someone else’s life?” Isn’t that a great question? It doesn’t only apply to sponsored content, but to everything you put out there for others to read/view/absorb.



How is this content adding to someone else’s life?



Of course, sponsored posts on Instagram or YouTube are common amongst influencers. A company will look at a person’s followers and decide they are reaching an audience that might potentially become customers, so they offer free merchandise in exchange for a review.  That person might even receive a discount code to pass along to his/her followers as incentive to grab a few of those customers who might have been on the fence otherwise. Sounds like a simple exchange, right?  Wrong.



More and more influencers are receiving a lot of negativity from their followers (which might result in people unfollowing) when they use sponsored posts. It feels cheap, like the influencer is getting free things for doing nothing more than taking a photo. It’s kind of like movie stars who get free clothes from designers–the publicity is priceless, but the star could afford it anyway. Maybe influencers don’t have that kind of cash behind them, but to their followers, the posts feel fake and out of place alongside the other content being posted. And no one wants to follow someone they feel is being fake.



It doesn’t matter if the sponsored items relate directly to a person’s regular content—a woman blogging about her children who receives handmade toys, for example—people are starting to loathe these types of posts. So, the question is, can regular content be considered in the same way? The answer, sadly, is yes.



If what you post is only about you, if it only says something to an audience of one, why are you posting it? Good content will appeal to a broad range of followers, and might even gain you new ones. That same mommy blogger might post a recipe her family loves, along with yummy, well-shot photos of the food. This is good content, aimed clearly at her audience (who we’ll presume are also mommies), and with the only intention being that she hopes someone else might find a meal to make that is different, or family-friendly. That sort of content is beneficial.



If you’re a writer, how can you post content that will benefit others? Maybe you have tips for people just beginning their writing journey, or maybe you want to share a short story you think others will enjoy. All of that is good content. It benefits anyone coming to your social media because it’s honest, and it is you. If a writer is gifted a new computer and then posts about all the great features of that device, is that still relevant, good content? Possibly. But the review must be honest. And it must include something for the follower other than envy. Start up a conversation about computers. Contribute to it. Ask people why they love their device over another. Debates are good. Engage. That’s what social media is all about.



heidi sinnett




Posted in Social media | Tagged , Comment

The timing of this sucks. But I’m going ahead with my skincare review of The Ordinary anyway, because the brand is amazing. (This weekend, Brandon Truaxe, the very troubled founder of Deciem, …the company that created The Ordinary…passed away. After a difficult, very public year in 2018, he was ousted from the company with hopes he would get the help he needed.) Let’s all be more aware of mental health issues.

heidi sinnett
Posted in My Life, Uncategorized | Tagged , Comment

Recently, I heard a popular YouTuber say that she was out with friends when someone recognized her from her YouTube channel. She feigned ignorance and laughed it off, but secretly started sweating it out. Her friends new nothing about her channel–or the fact that she had 50,000 subscribers. The thing was, she wanted to keep it that way, because she wasn’t ready for that conversation.



Okay, so now I’m sure you’re curious about what this girl’s channel is all about. Does it matter? What if she paints pictures live, like a 21st century Bob Ross? Or what if she does makeup tutorials, or fashion haul try-ons? These are all innocent things, and so is the content of her channel. But it’s also something a lot of people don’t know about…or understand. So, she chooses to keep it from her friends because it’s just easier.



Why do we pick the “easier” way so often? I get it. There are only a handful of people in my close circle who know that I write. I choose not to tell people because I’m not ready for the conversation…or conversations. (When is your book coming out? What’s it about? You wrote more than one? Why don’t you try writing “real” books?) I could go on.



I choose the easier option because if (when) I do have something to tell the world, I want it to be on my terms. People can judge me all they want then because I’ll have succeeded in the way that matters most to me. I don’t need a million dollar contract. I don’t have to be on the best seller list. I don’t even have to sell more than one copy. Whatever people think of me at that point will be irrelevant to me.



But not right now. Right now, I choose to work in the ether. I make my strides at my own speed. I can stop whenever I want and get out completely. I do this for me.



Maybe that’s really the only reason to do anything at all. I do this for me.



heidi sinnett






P.S…..the YouTuber I was talking about? She makes relaxation videos….kind of like those mesmerizing clips you see on Instagram of people making slime, or pouring liquid icing on cakes. What’s wrong with that? Nothing. She does it for herself…and 50,000 other people.

Posted in Writing | Tagged , Comment



I don’t do holidays very well. I like holidays…no, wait….I LOVE holidays, but I don’t do down time very well. I always feel like I need to be doing something.



So this year, my intention is to take holidays on a regular basis…one a month, or something like that, so that I don’t feel overwhelmed with days off, and my expectations don’t get too high.



Is it that easy, though?



How do you do down time? Do you plan long stretches of nothingness? Or do you block out a list of things you want to accomplish before the days are up? I need hints!!



heidi sinnett
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged Comment

Observe what's around you.



It all started with a joke.



What does a dolphin put on its peanut butter sandwich? Jellyfish!


If you followed my instagram post from earlier today, you’ll know that one of the kids during my library class visit read me this joke from a National Geographic book about dolphins. It had lots of information, graphics, and a few jokes, like this one. Fun, right?



Then, later that day, my boss came back from a library conference and told me she’d been to Ripley’s Aquarium while she was in Toronto, which I love visiting when I’m there. And what was her favourite thing about it? The jellyfish.



I didn’t really think much about it at the time.



But later that evening, my dad visited us, and I was showing him what fun our Amazon Echo could do. I asked Alexa to tell me a joke.  What did she come out with?  You guessed it….the same joke about the dolphin and the jellyfish.



It rattled me.  I live in Canada, it’s winter…jellyfish aren’t typical conversation around here. And what are the chances that I’d hear the same silly joke twice in one day….from VERY different sources?? Yeah….it must be up there in the realm of possibility about as likely as I’d win the lottery.



But it got me thinking. Is the universe trying to tell me something?



If you’ve ever done Julia Cameron’s THE ARTIST’S WAY, you’ll know she talks a lot about observing things around you. It’s what gets our creative juices flowing, but it might also lead us in a direction we’ve just been ignoring. Her explanation is much more in depth (and if you’ve gone through the twelve weeks of her course, you’ll know….it’s about digging really deep), but the sudden occurrence in one day of this very random thing must mean something.



Am I supposed to do something with jellyfish? Unlikely. Should I be taking a trip to someplace warm to swim in the ocean? Again, very unlikely, and unlike me. So what does it mean?



Maybe it’s as simple as….are you paying attention? I’ve been in a sort of limbo this past year, with lots of heavy personal things going on. Yesterday was the first day in a long, long time that I felt really happy. Like, really happy. Maybe the constant mention of jellyfish was simply a startling reminder that there are great things out there, that I should be paying attention, and that the world is a fun and beautiful place. Maybe I needed that reminder.



So, I’m not going to start a great novel about jellyfish, or begin a wall-sized painting of the creature, but I might just keep my eyes open a little more, and enjoy the nice things–the unexpected things–that happen on a daily basis. That’s easy enough, and it’s something I can do each day.



What do you think about coincidences? Is it the Universe guiding you? Or is it just a glitch in the Matrix?



heidi sinnett

Posted in My Life | Tagged Comment