Blog queen warms to the north

Australia's social media queen Nicole Warne has returned to her home State to show off the best of WA to her millions of followers.

Born in South Korea, Warne was adopted by Australian parents and came to Perth when she was three months old and grew up in Willetton.

Her family moved to Sydney when she finished primary school and she has returned to Perth only once in 14 years.

So she naturally jumped at the chance to come back and tour some of WA's great destinations on a Tourism WA junket.

Tourism WA recruited Warne and other high-profile bloggers as a way to harness their social media reach. Since arriving back in WA last week, Warne has visited Berkeley River Lodge and the Bungle Bungles and attended high-profile events including the Kimberley Moon Experience on Saturday and the Cable Beach Polo in Broome yesterday.

It is estimated Warne has more than two million followers throughout her Gary Pepper travel, fashion and lifestyle blog's various channels, including more than 853,000 on Instagram alone.

To understand her reach, an Instagram photo Warne took of flying into the Kimberley for the first time has already accumulated almost 30,000 likes.

"Growing up here when I was younger, I only have a few memories of the holidays I took with my family when we went to places such as Monkey Mia and Busselton," Warne said.

"But I never had a chance to explore the Kimberley or anything in the North West area.

"It has been an amazing trip - I have worked with a number of tourism boards in Australia and overseas and this one has been very organised, the sights have exceeded our expectations."

Warne's blog evolved from an e-commerce business she started in 2009 through eBay selling vintage clothing.

The blog started out as a side project that began overshadowing and eventually overtaking the online shop, which she closed to concentrate on being a full-time blogger.

Asked how she can make a blog a full-time career that financially supports her, Warne says she refuses to use advertising or to be paid to post like celebrities such as Kim Kardashian but makes her income from being a brand ambassador and collaborator and from affiliate links.

"You can't pay me to wear a pair of shoes, you can't pay me to use a hairbrush. For me I think about longevity, and I don't think there is longevity with sponsored posts," she said.

"If I work with a brand they will hire me as a creative director or a style consultant.

"I make money through affiliate links. If I do a post on a dress and link to it, I make a 10 per cent commission on every dress sold. Or a 7-8 per cent commission on any sale that is made through that link.

"If my reader clicks on a link, it embeds a 30-day cookie and if they visit that link in the 30 days and buy something, then I make a commission on that."

The West Australian

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