people

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. 

 

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!

People

“Rooms are a fixed size, which can’t be altered without pulling down walls and building new ones. They should be unchanging in shape and proportions. But sometimes they do change depending on who’s in them.” – Aidan Chambers, Dying to Know You

Some people enter your life and they change you forever, they make you sit and think about them long after you have gone your separate ways. Some leave you parting gifts that are extremely special and whenever you look at it you are suddenly assaulted by a montage of all of the good and bad times that you had with them.  These are the moments that I truly cherish, as they show you the reason that you don’t forget them, they show you in a mini sequence why they were so important to you in the first place. As there may come a day when I can’t remember how wonderful they were, how their voice sounded, or what made me so inspired by them in the first place. That’s a prospect that truly scares me to my very core.  Another question I ask myself about the people that have come and gone throughout my life is, are they still the same person that I knew them as? For all I know they could have witnessed something that has changed them forever, or perhaps they have met someone that has changed them forever.

I sit and wonder about all of these people who have inspired me, taught me, and sculpted me into the person that I am today, and the most common conclusion that I come to is, where are they now? Now many of you may think I mean that in a way in which I ask myself what they may have achieved since they became absent from my life, but I actually mean it in a geographical sense. Is my old art teacher sitting in her 50’s inspired living room on her laptop with her cat beside her? Or perhaps my old English teacher is marking his new classes’ books at his kitchen table?  How about that boy who asked me for directions the other week is he at home with his mum telling her all about his day?

“People come into your life everyday, you say good morning, you say good evening, some stay for a few minutes, some stay for a few months, some a year, others a whole lifetime. No matter who it is, you meet and then you part.” –  Cecelia Ahern, If You Could See Me Now

People share stories with you that do change you, even if it’s the little things like being more cautious when crossing the road because of an event that they experience in the past that they recalled to you in such detail and emotion that you wouldn’t wish that upon anyone. I have met people so passionate about certain things that eventually, without realising they have made you as passionate as them.  When I think of these people and how some of them have left my life it makes me quite sad, but I know that one day I might meet someone that needs inspiring just like they did me and that makes me thankful for their company throughout the years, as they have taught me lessons that I will never forget.


That was a quick ramble about people, and how they have changed me as a person I had to get it out there to make people appreciate what they have and the people around them, because you really don’t know what you have until it’s gone.

 

The First Tizzy Tuesday

Happy Tizzy Tuesday!
Yeah that’s right, I’m actually posting at a regular rate. I’m proud of myself. Yay me! Anyway let’s get this show on the road, I present to you the first Tizzy Tuesday *round of applause from you*

Solitaire by Alice Oseman:

I thought I would start off by mentioning a book that I can’t wait to read, released just over 2 months ago this book seems to be everywhere at the minute. Firstly I want to talk about the cover it’s so pretty I am in love with the design and wish I had a notebook like it, I like how the black background compliments they love heart made of all different shapes. To me the heart is showing us that love can come if different forms and it doesn’t have a descriptor or manual that we identify it by, this leads me to the subtitle “This is not a love story…” for once I actually believe this statement. From the first few pages I have read it certainly doesn’t sound like a love story. Tori Spring is the main character of the novel from what I have read; she is a sixth former (much like me) and is angry and pessimistic about the world. All I can say about this book from what I have read is that it looks like a promising read with a few twist and turns chucked in for good measure, also the great reviews already give it a high spot on my to-read list. I’ll guess I’ll have to wait until December 25th to find out what really happens to Tori Spring.

From Notting Hill with Four Weddings… Actually by Ali McNamara:

I have confession to make, I may be in love with this series an unhealthy amount, so much so that once I have read this book you lucky people will be getting a series review, yep the entire series (so far, I hope it never ends) in one review. ‘From Notting Hill with Four Weddings… Actually’ is the third instalment in the ‘From Notting Hill with…’ series by the great writer that is Ali McNamara, that is set for release on 23rd October this year, that just happens to be the date of my Ali McNarama party, what a concindence… without ruining too much of the rest of the books for you I will try to briefly explain the overview of the series, the main character is the movie-obsessed, Hugh Grant loving, Scarlett O’Brien. Yep that’s about all I can tell you without ruining the books for you, sorry! Although I can say that I’m super excited for this to be released, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it.

P.S If you haven’t read any of Ali McNamara’s books I recommend starting with ‘Step Back In Time’ which you shall be receiving a review on once I have my own copy, it’s a fab read that had me laughing throughout, it was truly wonderful!

I hope you enjoyed the first instalment of the series, let me know in the comments your views!

Happy reading,
Ellie

Tizzy Tuesday’s

As of Tuesday 21st October I shall be starting a new series called ‘Tizzy Tuesdays’ where I will covering perhaps one or two books a week that I can’t wait to either be released or that I can’t wait to read. Tuesday used to be my favourite day of the week, but when my GSCE’s hit they slowly became the worst day of the week as double Geography last thing for two years can put a damper on anyone’s day! But now that I have started my A-Levels Tuesdays are slowly regaining their lost titles with it being the one day where I get to come home early (hooray for free periods) So in a quest to make all of your Tuesdays a bit more fun and tizzy, excuse the bad pun and self promotion, I want to keep you up to date with all of the books that are coming to a shop near you!

So if you have heard about any great releases or ones that you simply cannot wait to read let me know by using the ‘recommend a book for me’ page…together we can make Tuesdays great again!

Happy reading,

Ellie

Stand Tall And Shout Loud

Ideas. We all have them, some of us act on them, yet some of us let them expand in our heads pondering over where they could take us, what roads they could lead to. But I believe that there is a rare few people out there who sit with a pen and paper, or at a keyboard and have no idea how to fathom their ideas into words. I am one of those people. I have so many ideas for blogging and writing in general, but I can’t seem to write them down anymore, and I think I now know why.

We all look up to great bloggers and YouTuber’s as if they possess some kind of heroic powers for creativity, like they are all in a secret club that we can’t be part of because we don’t have the flashy equipment or great adventures to tell. Even when they constantly tell us that they are one of us, a normal person without internet fame; our heads still put them on an imaginary pedestal.

This isn’t a post that is here to have a go at famous YouTuber’s and bloggers, it’s to show you out there, yes you the one reading this post, no not the person on the bus opposite you. The ordinary person; that in your opinion hasn’t got a shot at being half as great as those that you idolise.  That you have a talent, whether it is balancing that spoon on your nose, making your cat meowing something that sounds like humans, or even being to complete a Rubik’s cube. I salute you. You have a talent, you have something that may have required hard work and attention, but you accomplished it and for that you deserve credit. Do me a favour and tell the world about it, go show them what they’re missing, tell them your views, don’t be scared, because I’ll let you into a secret all adults and famous people are is like you, they are built the same as you, they feel what you feel, they see what you see, and they all were created the same as you.

So stop procrastinating and make that YouTube channel, write that blog post, do the thing you have always wanted to do, no one is perfect first time, and we all muck up sometimes. But one thing that everyone on this Earth I believe has in common is that we all inspire someone to do something, even if it is something small like holding open a door for someone because some held one open for you earlier in that day, or something huge like standing up for who you are and what you believe in. So my one simple, scary, sparkling request is 5 little words, that’s all, not that difficult. Because you are special, you are talented, and you all make up one hell of a species on this tiny planet. Don’t let it go to waste. My request: Stand Tall And Shout Loud.

That is all.