There’s been a bit of talk around the blogosphere this year about how more bloggers have started blogging for bloggers (prepare to hear the word “bloggers” a lot in this post…) instead of just writing about what we love; be that books, films, make up, fashion – whatever. Blogging for bloggers means (at least this is what I’ve been led to believe it means) creating content specifically designed for bloggers – as opposed to non-bloggers, people who just like reading blogs or someone who’s just scouring the internet for a make-up tutorial or a book review. Remember, not everyone that reads a blog is a blogger themselves.
I absolutely love working with brands on my blog; it’s something that I never thought I’d see happen for me but alas, after years of hard work, it did and now it’s one of my favourite aspects of blogging! Of course it doesn’t come without it’s stresses, like invoices not being paid on time, rude PR people and products which don’t quite live up to expectations but on the whole, I’ve had a hugely positive experience working with brands on product reviews and sponsored content over the last year or so.
Working from home can be great sometimes. You don’t have to deal with rush hour or commute in the middle of Summer. There are always snacks available and every day is bring your dog to work day. But it also requires an awful lot of self-discipline, motivation and will-power. When there are distractions so readily available to you – like Netflix and your bed – working from home can be harder than what you think it is, especially if you’ve never done it before or it’s new to you. I’ve been self-employed and working from home for a few years now and although I’ve not quite perfected my routine, I do know what works for me. Here are some of my absolute must-have essentials for anyone working from home.
If you’re a new blogger, you’re likely coming into this industry (ugh, I hate that word) to an array of “how to be a fantastic blogger” posts all telling you to do X, Y and Z in order to succeed in this pool of bloggers all trying to do the same thing. I write what I hope are “helpful” posts for new bloggers (and not so new – you’re never too old to want to improve!) but I always state that the advice I’m giving is what has worked for me or is currently working for me and you’re under absolutely no obligation to take any notice of it. But some of these “helpful” posts certainly have a different approach; less ‘here’s a suggestion, why don’t you give that a go?’ and more ‘if you want to be successful you have to do this because if you don’t you suck and you’ll fail miserably’. Jog on.
Working with brands is one of my favourite things about blogging and I’ll always be grateful that brands want to work with me, pay me or send me stuff. I don’t think I’ll ever, ever, ever take that for granted because in all honesty, I’m still gobsmacked that I’m even in the position for this to happen. I’ll always be enthusiastic about working with brands and this post is in no way a dig at any brand in particular. It’s just a little… word vomit… about something which I’ve noticed happen recently. Both to me and other bloggers.
Now, I don’t pretend to know everything about blogging. In fact, the complete opposite is true and I have no problem at all putting my hands up and admitting that actually, I don’t know a damn thing about certain aspects of this big ol’ blogosphere. I’ve been blogging for 5 years give or take and I’m always learning and having been around that long (God that makes me sound ancient), you do pick quite a bit up as you go along. Blogging is a process and there’s always something new to learn and I think that’s what makes it so exciting sometimes.
At the beginning of this year, I jumped on the ol’ ‘bullet journal’ band-wagon. Although my “bullet journal” is something to be desired because I’m not creative, I can’t draw and I got bored very easily. So you won’t find any themed pages or pretty designs. It’s basically a glorified notebook. But nevertheless, it’s a glorified notebook that has served me well this year so far when it comes to blogging, planning and keeping track of things. And that’s the aim of a bullet journal, right? I wanted to be much more on track with my blog, now I’m taking it oh-so-seriously. I’ve drawn up each month and colour-coded different types of posts (purple for book reviews, green for blogging advice – that sorta thing) and I’ve created a graph where I keep track of my following and my growth of my blog and different social media platforms.
I get a lot of comments about how organised I am with my blog, wondering how I’ve scheduled content 2 months in advance and how I juggle so much at the same time. I get these comments because I regularly mention these things on Twitter; I’m proud of what I do and I like to share those moments with my Twitter followers and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. I love my blog (not every day – mind you!), I love writing and producing content, replying to comments, reading other people’s blogs, brainstorming blog post ideas and powering through my to do list each day. I have no problem doing these things over and over again because I’m motivated to do them. And to be frank, I’m more motivated now than I’ve probably ever been before.
Almost every day, we’re faced with photos, tweets, Facebook ‘check-in’s’ of people jetting off across the other side of the world to go travelling. People who have spent the day in a waterfall, exploring another culture, sky-diving, snorkeling – you name it and you’ve probably seen someone you know on social media doing it. Whether you follow any travel bloggers or not, there’s always posts cropping up about why you should travel, how travel makes you a better person, how to find yourself by travelling and so on. I’m not making fun of people who travel; I think if it’s what you want to do and you have the means to do it then that’s amazing and you should totally go for it. But I am saying that not all of us can, should or want to travel. And that’s okay too.
I’ve had this post in the notes on my phone for a while now, adding things to it as soon as I experience something new that makes me happy that I’d like to add in the post. I keep all my blog post ideas in the notes on my phone, so it’s an easy way to just delete them once they’ve been written. I also categorize them into months but that’s for another post altogether (categorizing… that’s one thing that clearly makes me happy!) Then I saw in March, one of my favourite bloggers Hello Bexa actually did a post more or less the same. Great minds think alike, I say. She’s cool with me doing a similar type of post so here we are, my usually miserable self about to share 50 little things that make me happy!