bloggers

5 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Blogging

“What do you like to do in your spare time?”
“I run a lifestyle blogger, I write reviews, give fashion tips, and share my life.”
“Oh, so you’re like Tanya…Burr is it? Or Zoella? My Goddaughter loves her. Do you use a camera and video yourself?”
“I’m going to need a bigger glass of wine.”

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been in the situation above a lot recently. Whenever I happen to mention that I have a lifestyle blog people assume that I’m a vlogger like Zoe Sugg or another internet household name, or that I have had successful brand deals with the likes of Asos and Urban Decay. I’m not, and I haven’t. I’m just about on the scale and list of lifestyle bloggers, here’s five things I wish I knew before taking my place at the ‘lesser known end of the scale’.

Things I Wish I knew Before I Started

Goals are good, just be realistic.
We all dream of being big in the blogging world, some of us even dream of branching off into the freelance writing sector. But there is no point in having these dreams if you don’t set realistic goals to get there, I find that making small weekly goals for my blog are the best way of advancing. I ususally start with a research task at the start of the week, it gives me time to get any information I need for a blog post, check it hasn’t been done by other bloggers that often, that sort of thing. Once that’s done the rest of the goals are easier to break down. The point is that I break my blog posts down from the goal of “write a blog post” to four or five little goals, like “research topic”, “get outfit information such as brands and prices”, and “invent a catchy title” This way writing posts is easier and you feel like you’ve accomplished more at the end. Remember, the most you post the closer you could be to becoming the next Tanya Burr! 

Write everything down.
I can’t stress this one enough, the amount of great post ideas I’ve had late at night and have woken up not having a clue what they were is unreal! Write everything down, even if it is the smallest start of an idea, it could turn into a massive success. I prefer writing my ideas with a pen and paper opposed to typing them, it just feels a bit more creative and I can write quicker than I can type so my hands can keep up. But if you are more technological, then apps like Evernote or even the built in note app on your phone are excellent for writing those ideas on the go.

Go to brands, don’t wait for them to come to you.
The amount of bloggers out there at the moment is insane. So how do you get the brands to notice you, go to them! I have it on good authority that if you go to brands directly instead of waiting for them to notice you, you are in a better position for the prospect of working with them. Going to brands shows that you are willing to put yourself out there and are passionate about what you do. I must admit I haven’t tried this technique yet, but it’s on my list!

It’s okay to use stock photos. 
I’ve always been insistent on using my own photos on my blog, I used to hate stock photos, sometimes they can look cheap and lowers the value of your content. But then I was introduced to places like Unsplash and Gratisography.  The photos are  free from copyright restrictions or licensed under creative commons public domain dedication. This means you can copy, modify, distribute and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission. Which is a dream come true once you’ve seen the quality of the photos!

Stay on top of current affairs.
When I started blogging, I was determined that my blog would be a little corner of the internet untouched by the harsh realities of life. But I have since discovered that staying out to the ‘real world’ can make you seem ignorant and robotic, a lot of my audience come for a human being talking about their life. Not some automaton ignoring a highly significant event that has affected millions. Commenting on current affairs, both on a world wide scale and in your personal life is a great way to show people that you are aware of the world around you and keeps you relevant.

I hope this helps some of you out there, I know I would have loved this sort of advice when starting out. Update on ‘Hang On In There’: I’m easing myself back into blogging, a schedule is nearly sorted and content is being finalised. I’m hoping to do a bit more current affairs topical writing and I’m in love with the idea of “Get the Look” posts. If you’ve got any suggestions to what you would like to see let my know in the comments below! Thanks for hanging on. 

 

Hang On In There

Hang On In There

I made two realisations last night.

1. I’m frustrated at the lack of content on my blog. 2. I have the power to change the amount of content on my blog.

I’m still finding it hard to get back into writing, most sentences are difficult to form at the moment. My travel posts sound like wikipedia articles, and my reviews seem to skip the bad parts. All whilst I’m seeing people being honest with their audiences, and I can’t help but think that I’m too honest too often, you don’t come here to see me publish content moaning about my lack of content, or to be informed that I’m taking yet another break.

If you happen to be here for that reason I encourage you to quit the window, or close the tab that currently displays these words, because I’m not doing that anymore. No more rebranding, no more “I’ll do it tomorrow” or “I don’t need a schedule” Because I do. I want my posts to make impressions, create discussions and get people talking. But I can’t do that without an audience, and people aren’t going to read sporadic content that has been made with the least amount of effort possible, just so the creator gets to press the ‘publish’ button. I hope you’ll stay whilst I get some content sorted and establish a schedule.

Exciting times ahead, just hang on in there.

A special thank you to Matti, who helped me realise that I am actually capable of writing more than messages and emails. She’s pretty great. 

Diverse Bloggers | BEDA 3

Time to go back in time, when I set up this blog, I didnt’t really know where I wanted to take it, what my niche was. To tell you the truth, I still haven’t got a clue what my niche is. My absent specialty got me thinking, is it possible for a blogger to break the trend which has formed of only really covering one topic on there blogs? I knew that if I wanted to prove that you can have multiple niches I wouldn’t be able to do it alone, so I sent out a call to you guys, the blogging community, and by gosh was I shocked at the response I got. I asked you all if you ran a blog that you considered to be multiple niched (that what I’m calling you all now) I got reems of links sent to me. Unfortunately due to attention span of my audience I can’t feature you all, but here are some of my favourites…

The Multi-Nichers:
HELLOTASHA – Tasha seems to cover the main blogging niches in one, fashion, travel vlogs (well worth a view), beauty, and lifestyle. Her blog is chic and simple. I must confess that I followed her on bloglovin’ and was in awe of her posts, before she got in touch, so it’s pretty awesome that she wanted to be featured on Miss Backwards!

LiveLikeLynne – Remember Lynne? She did a wonderful guest post for me back in June, which you can find here. Lynne covers all things including fashion tips, gardening, personal experiences and just general lovely things. Lynne’s blog is unique and unlike any that I follow.

On The Edge – What mainly attracted me to this blog was how it dealt with music. I have seen many music blogs in the past year, but none have ever fitted my interests. With the tagline of ‘Not your average London blog’ this blog sets the bar high to have diverse content, and it delivers. This blog has the ability of making you feel as if anything is possible! I love it!

Take On The Road – Primarily a travel blog, this blog manages to effortlessly cover more than just this. Incorporating lifestyle posts as well as reviews for plenty of things. Take On The Road is contemporary blog with a sleek design and daring content, this blog is one of the main reasons I started in the first place!

Unfortunately I couldn’t talk about all of you, but I’ve decided to feature all of the blogs that I was contacted by down below. So be sure to take a look at all of them.

The Passport ChroniclesPlutonium Sox Damask Suitcase thirtysomethingbelle Team H-P LifeWhile I’m Young And SkinnyOrianna’s OracleFox On The HuntThe Dairy Of  A Jewellery Lover • Go Live ExploreJenny In NeverlandCheshire Wife Georgina DoesAdimayA Cornish MumDanielle AliniaThe Creative Fitness Channel Isles GilianAkamatraCottonclothecoHaynes, Her WayFor Vanity’s Sake OhHay A World To TravelSwords and SnoodlesMy Zest Best Lix Hewett • 

I hope you enjoyed that, and be sure to check out all of those that I have mentioned.
I’ll see you tomorrow,
Ellie

My Blogging Essentials | BEDA 2 

Day two of BEDA is well underway! Every blogger has a kit, their tools of creation. The things they use to bring you the content you read, so today I thought I would share with you my essentials.

My iPad: 

I don’t know what I’d do without my iPad (affectionately named Padlington) I only got it in January, but I can truly say it has changed the way I blog. It’s perfect for typing on the go, I’m currently in the car would you believe? Using the WordPress app and it’s great for quickly checking stats and just generally checking on Miss Backwards. It allows me to be portable and therefore Miss Backwards can go anywhere, quite literally.

My Notebook: 

Now one of these is a must for any blogger, I’m still on my first one but when I decided to really get serious with this blogging malarky I decided to get one that was me, I finally decided to get this one from Waldo Pancake. I love their stuff, it’s so original and it feels like the products all have their own little personalities. My notebook is the holder of my ideas, the entire of BEDA is planned and exists within the pages, it jumps from bag to desk, from desk to another bag, it’s great as it has lines on one side and then blank pages on the other, it’s great for a good doodle or quick idea scribble.

My Phone:

Before you say anything, I know the phone above is different to the one above that, i’ve changed phones since I took the feature image, sorry about that. It’s great for writing on the go, with the Google docs app, I can write posts whilst on the go and copy and paste them into wordpress when I get home. Most people use the wordpress app for writing, but I just don’t like it, no particular reason, it’s just not my cup of tea. My phone is never any from me, so it’s fab for taking all of my blog photos, my LG G4 boasts a 16 megapixel camera taking some of the best photos I’ve ever seen, so is ideal for that!

My iPod: 

I love to listen to music when I write, I find it so inspiring and in no way distracting… Sorry I was singing where did I get to? Oh yet, not distracting. I have a blogging playlist set up with all of my favourite songs on, also blogging can be quite lonely, but not if you have the likes of Ed Sheeran and Jack Savoretti in your ears it’s not!

So there are some of my blogging essentials, let me know some of your’s below.
I’ll see you tomorrow,
Ellie

Looking Back At A Changing Year

Hello,
Not a quickie to today so I suggest you make a cuppa and grab your favorite bickie, I’m partial to a Highland Shortbread myself and a milky coffee, two sugars, just if you offering. Oh you’re not, that’s a bit rude!  Moving on swiftly, I found these questions on Tumblr and thought that they would be a great way not only to share and insight with you but to reflect in detail on the past year. So to mark the week anniversary of my relationship with 2015, that so far has been stressful, thanks for asking, it’s not them it’s me. I welcome you to pull up a chair and enjoy

1: What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before?

I did more than one thing this year that I’m I have never done before, here is my list:

  • I achieved the grades I wanted a GCSE’s
  • I joined a sixth form and make some great friends.
  • I met the mayor of my local area representing my school alongside two amazing people.
  • I started this little corner in the internet that despite its small following I cherish.
  • I became more confident at social events.
  • I didn’t fall down any stairs, just up them. Don’t judge, it’s a personal achievement.

And lots more that I can’t think of.

2: Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I haven’t actually made any new year’s resolutions this year (gasp) I’d just like to carry on doing what I’m doing, oh, perhaps take more photos to share with you guys. That sounds good.  And email people that I don’t see that much more.

3: Did anyone close to you give birth?

Nope.

4: Did anyone close to you die?

Human, no. Animal, yes.

5: What countries did you visit?

None.

6: What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?

I dunno really, I would kinda like to have a coke bottle with my name on, I can never find one! I have specially made one, but it’s just not the same as getting excited in the shop and being two so you can drink one and save one!

7: What dates from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

June 28th, the date of my Prom.

I don’t really remember dates, I just remember moments.

8: What was your biggest achievement of the year?

GCSE’s, it was great to finally be finished, and revision was by far one of the best things ever, I created so many memories in that time its crazy!

9: What was your biggest failure?

Falling up the stairs, in public, with people, everywhere.

10: Did you suffer illness or injury?

I discovered I had a Vitamin D deficiency, but that’s about it.

11: What was the best thing you bought?

My laptop, although it has since been replaced by this beauty on which I type now.

12: Whose behaviour merited celebration?

Huh? That’s English I don’t understand.

13: Whose behaviour made you appalled?

Nothing springs to mind on this one.

14: Where did most of your money go?

Books and clothes.

15: What did you get really, really, really excited about?

My birthday, and my art coursework really, sad I know.

16: What song will always remind you of 2014?

Happy by Pharrell Williams

17: Compared to this time last year, are you: (a) happier or sadder? (b) thinner or fatter? (c) richer or poorer?

Happier, fatter probably, I actually think I’m richer.

18: What do you wish you’d done more of?

Laughing at the little things.

19: What do you wish you’d done less of?

Texting, I prefer to talk to people voice to voice or face to face. Expression is everything.

20: How did you spend Christmas?

With my family at home.

21: Did you fall in love in 2014?

Yes, with multiple famous people who have no idea I exist, success!

22: What was your favourite TV program?

Must you ask? Our Girl, by far.

23: Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

I don’t think so.

24: What was the best book you read?

Ah! That’s really difficult; I’m going to have to say… either The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern or Infinite Sky by C.J. Flood

25: What was your greatest musical discovery?

The indie/alternative genre.

26: What did you want and get?

I wanted time, and I got a three month holiday!

27: What did you want and not get?

I wanted Ben Aldridge for Christmas. I’m sad to say that I didn’t get a Ben Aldridge for Christmas.

28: What was your favourite film of this year?

Again, there is so many. To name a few, About Time, Divergent,

29: What one thing made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

New surroundings, that was even more inspiring.

30: How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014?

Jeans and converse. Although I feel like I matured last year with my style sense.

31: What kept you sane?

My family, Emma (who you can find here), and my old art teacher.

32: Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Ben Aldridge, Prince Harry, Ed Sheeran, Danny O’Donoghue, Dougie Poynter, and many other guys who I won’t bore you with.

33: What political issue stirred you the most?

I’m not really into politics, but probably Scottish independence.

34: Who did you miss?

My Aunties cat, some of the staff from my old school.

35: Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014.

Always write and talk, because there is always someone listening to what you have to say.

Thanks for bearing with me on that extremely wordy post, after all this is WordPress! Get it? Back to normal next week with the first installment of Book Banter! Excited? Oh don’t show too much enthusiasm will you? It’s like getting blood out of a stone. Let me know if you enjoyed that, and I invite you to perhaps answer these questions yourself, I think you’ll learn something. I certainly did.

Happy reading,
Ellie

What A Year It Has Been…

Tis’ the season and that can only mean that I have reflective ramble for you all…

The season has been and gone, the curtains on pantomimes finally drawn, turkeys cooked and eaten in household across the nation and gifts exchanged all across the globe. But as I sit here on my family sofa that is my bed for the night, I’m not thinking off all of the gifts that I have recieved today, although listening to ‘Now That’s What I Call Music 89’ which was opened this morning does grant a mention. I am thinking of all of the family and friends that have entered and left my on this chapter of my life.

No doubt about it 2014 have been a big year for me, but one that I think has fitted me well, I have worn it well and got a lot from it, especially when it comes the changes in my social circles. I have met a great amount of new people this year, and each and every person that has entered my life in the second part of this year, I like to hope that they can stick around for a few more chapters, as I have a strong feeling that they will make stories even better to tell in the future. As for the people that have left this chapter before it’s end, I thank you, each person didn’t left without celebration. Some left parting gifts, some simply said a goodbye, but each and every person I still think about now, they might reappear in the future but for now they have said their last goodbyes, and taken their part of my story with them.

As this is primarily a book related blog, I think that 2014 has definitely ticked the box for character development, I feel that I have matured a lot this year, I have tackled problems and aspects of my life that I wasn’t happy about head on and not backed down for a second. That’s something I am proud of. I have learned to live for the now, not worry about the future, and look at the little things, appreciate the things that go unnoticed sometimes. But most of all I have learn’t a lesson that I hope to take on with me at the forefront of my mind in 2015, that’s not to doubt myself and abilities, because I have proved this year that I can do anything I can put my mind to.

Here in this little, tiny, corner of the internet I call home a couple of times a week (if i’m lucky) has played a big part in the second half of the year. So thank you, yes you reading this, thanks. You no longer make me feel like I am rambling into the universe, people are actually listening, all 20 something of you, I am deeply grateful for all of your support.

Right, i’m going to spend some well earned time with my family and A-Level revision packs.
I wish you all a Merry Christmas, I hope you got everything you wanted, and a Happy New Year. Most of all thank you.
Happy reading,
Ellie

Coming Soon: A report of all of my festive gifts! Share some of yours if you want in the comments!

Tizzy Thursday

Hello!  I’m aware that it’s not Tuesday, but I have been super busy this past week with school stuff and didn’t have time to write one, but I finally got a moment tonight to do so. So without further ado I introduce a very temporary Tizzy Thursday!

‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’ by Mark Haddon

I have a confession to make, I have brought a book completely on a whim with no idea what it’s about and I hardly can tell anyone the title correctly, reckless I know.  But seriously I have no idea what this book is about and the only thing I actually know about it was that it has been made into a stage show and it concerns a dog at night. It’s due to arrive on my doorstep on Saturday (cheers Amazon Prime) and I have only really brought it due to a recommendation I got the other night when talking to a friend. The book that I’m rambling about is ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’ by Mark Haddon. From what I can gather from reading a basic description and looking at other reviews is that it is a brilliant book, that is a murder mystery that involves the main character Christopher John Francis Boone (that’s a mouthful) releasing his inner Sherlock Holmes to solve the murder of his neighbour’s dog, as it threatens the normality of his everyday life that he has become accustom to, due to his difficulties relating to the world he lives in.  I hope that this is as good as the last recommendation that I got from this friend as I will certainly enjoy it!

‘Not Another Happy Ending’ by David Solomons

After watching the film earlier this month and becoming infatuated with the hilarity of the entire film I was over the moon to find out that there had been a novelisation released of ‘Not Another Happy Ending’ written by the same person as the screenplay, BAFTA nominee David Solomons I can’t wait to order my copy. The story is same as the film, following Jane Lockhart trying to finish her second book from a publishing deal with her ever so French (and hot) Tom Duval. The only issue is that due to her first novel being a great success and advances in her personal life Jane finds herself happy, well very happy. The one mood that she can’t write in so her publisher sets out to make her life hell, with an extremely funny dog quip that I hope is included as it was one of my favourites from the film! I can’t wait to but this book and read it with my soundtrack on hand to listen whilst reading.

I know that both of those books have been released, but I’m finding it difficult to find books that I want to read that haven’t been released yet, next week I will be looking at some Christmas books that I expect to bring festive fun to us all.

As usual let me know in the comments your views on these books and any that you are particularly excited about being released!

Happy reading,
Ellie