carrie hope fletcher

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. 

 

Review: You’re The One That I Want by Giovanna Fletcher

“Don’t let two men fall in love with you, girls. It’s not the sort of thing that ends well.”
-Uncle Charles, Ally Carter, Uncommon Criminals 

I’m a big fan of the Fletcher family, I like McFly’s music, I like Carrie Hope Fletcher’s YouTube videos, and it seems that I also like Giovannas writing. This is the third book I have read by her if you count her short Christmas one, that I certainly had mixed feelings about, but I’ll save that for another review.
The journey starts at the back of a church with Maddy about to marry her long term boyfriend and best friend Robert, but she is having great difficulty looking straight ahead, with her other best friend Ben who is standing to the side. If your marrying the man of your dreams, why does she keep looking to the side?
There is a strong chance that if it wasn’t Robert standing at the altar waiting, it would be Ben. With a undying unconfused love for Maddy Ben has always had.
The structure of this book is really quite clever, with the story of the affectionately named ‘the tripod’ through snapshots into their lives as a group and how they got where they are. This is done through Roberts best man speech and how each little bit relates to a part of their lives.
After enjoying ‘Billy and Me’ last summer, I had high expectations for this book, despite falling down at points it was an overall good read. The character were developed, and the detailed descriptions really help to form and understanding of who they were and how they composed themselves, Ben has to be my favourite character as he is constantly friends-zoned which makes him a bit cuter at points.
What I think helped developed my love for this book, and certainly made me think about it from a more analytic perspective was an interview Giovanna did before the book came out. She stated that she wanted to toy with the idea that you can love more than one person at once as love comes in many forms, so I encourage anyone who is looking to embark on their own journey with the tripod to keep that in mind as I think it might shift your viewpoint just enough to see another angle of the book. so go pick up a copy of this lovely novel, I promise it won’t disappoint and if it does, please don’t tell Giovanna as she is one of the nicest authors out there and I wouldn’t want to be the cause of her being upset! I give this book a well deserved 4 out of 5 dragons.
4 Stars
As usual let me know what you think if you have read this book and what you thought, and if you want to see more reviews like this make sure to give this post a like so I know.
Happy Reading,
Ellie

YouTuber Tuesday Part 2

Remember a while back I did a Tizzy Tuesday special on books being released by famous YouTube sensations?
Well I’m back for part two!

On April 23rd 2015, I am happy to announce that Carrie Hope Fletcher, an idol to many young girls and boys up and down the nation as she makes videos covering many topics such as how to deal with bullies, to top ten books that you should read that you’ve probably never heard of (trust me it’s a good list, one of my favourite books was discovered from this video) I also mentioned her method on how to make Origami dragons that was the main cause of the appearance of the fleet! As I was saying her book “All I Know Now: Wonderings and Reflections on Growing Up Gracefully” will be released. Based on her blog, that stands alone from her YouTube channel “Itswaypastmybedtime” however is known to sometimes create overlaps by covering the same array of topics as her channel. The book will be urging young people to carry on, grow up in the most graceful of ways possible and offer advice as an honorary big sister on relationships, life in general, and most of all constantly remind young people that it will get better.

You can find her blog here for a slight insight to the sort of material that will be in the book, or her Tumblr blog that enables her to connect with her audience and following of just over half a million, by answering questions put to her on general topics and her role and journey to the West End, as on top of everything else she still manages to play Eponine in the West End production Les Miserables, Carrie we salute you! This is a expedition that she is extremely excited about and something she can’t stop telling us all about, true excitement that is, with the cover being released earlier this month that you can see below. Although i’m not usually found to be reading this type of book, I look forward to reading this one the minute it comes out, from a fellow book and Disney obsessed person to another, Carrie you have done well, and I can’t wait what this journey holds for you. Happy reading,
Ellie

Origami On A Saturday Afternoon

As I sit here surrounded by a fleet of dragon (origami ones that is) I have to ask myself, what have I done? In five and a half hours I have accidentally made 11 origami dragons, 2 cranes. An obsession may be an understatement; once I had made one successfully I couldn’t stop, with the amount of different types, shapes, and sizes of paper available (thanks Lynne) to me it was impossible to stop.  They were quite simple to make the first time round and once you know how the possibilities are endless, you can use all different patterns and paper, although I don’t recommend using a paper that has the same properties as baking or greaseproof paper as that is really difficult when it comes to all of the folding. I do recommend refining your skills before you show them to people or start teaching others, as I have ended up in some disasters!

Personally I prefer to use a video when learning new skills, I used the video uploaded by ‘itswaypastmybedtime’ aka west end star Carrie Hope Fletcher that you can view below, her easy explanations and great visuals make it easier to follow. See below for the great tutorial:

Once I had made a few I thought I would teach Lynne how to make them, her dragon can be seen in the picture below not bad for a first attempt, she should be proud.

IMG_6054 edit

After making an astounding amount that can be considered a fleet of dragons I decided to move onto cranes. Personally I find these more difficult to make than the dragons as they have a rather fiddly bit in which you create the main body. Although some of the skills can be transferred between the two winged creatures as, along with all other origami birds, they start off with a bird base the Carrie explains briefly in her video. From here you can make a range of birds. Here is the video that I used to learn how to make the cranes:

To finish off I thought I would share with you the pictures of the fleet. The flower in the background is also an origami piece that I will be putting the tutorial up next week for.

   Dragons Collage

Have a great weekend,
Ellie