My Ultimate Blogging Essentials

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about my Top 10 Helpful Websites for Bloggers, which turned out to be one of my most popular posts to date, and I got a lot of great feedback about it. So today, I thought I would write something else along the same lines – My Ultimate Blogging Essentials. I know some people aren’t too keen on hearing others ‘blogging tips’, but that’s not what this post is at all. I’m not telling anyone how they should blog, or anything like that, I’m simply letting you guys know what I use and what helps me to blog in the most efficient way I’ve found.

Blogging Essentials Wallpaper Backgrounds Tools Kit emilyloula Camera

Blogging Essentials Wallpaper Backgrounds Tools Kit emilyloula CameraCamera

One of the main things that draws me into reading a blog, is definitely the photos. Obviously they aren’t the be all and end all of a blog, but I honestly do believe they make a big difference, especially to how long your viewers stick around for. When I started my blog my photos were absolutely awful, it actually makes me cringe when I look back on older posts, but hopefully I’ve come a long way since then. I currently use my Dad’s camera which is a Fujifilm FinePix S6800, and it has been working really well for me, but I’m starting to get a lot more into photography, so ideally I’d like a camera of my own, and one with a better lense. I’d also love to get my hands on a smaller digital camera, which would make it a lot easier for me when attending events or days out where I’d like to take pictures for my blog. I’m definitely not suggesting that you need to invest in a big expensive camera in order to have good photos, as I’ve seen a lot of bloggers that purely use their phones, yet their photos are still incredible. Good, natural lighting and an interesting composition can make a huge difference in your photos even if you don’t have an expensive camera or are just using your phone.  If you enjoy blogging and spending time taking good quality photos, then a decent camera would be a good progression, but it’s definitely not a necessity.

Blogging Essentials Tools Kit emilyloula Mac iPhoneLaptop & iPhone

I’m sure that both my Laptop and iPhone are pretty obvious choices when talking about blogging essentials, but I didn’t feel I could leave them out of this post, since they are definitely essential to my day to day blogging tasks. When I’m blogging from home, I use my MacBook Air for pretty much everything, from typing up posts, to creating graphics and editing photos. I absolutely love it, it’s super fast and really light and convenient to use with a great battery life. I’ve written a whole post on my Top 10 Helpful Websites for Bloggers if you fancy reading more about what I use help me blog. When I’m on the go, or simply too lazy to get up and grab my Mac, my other blogging tool of choice is my iPhone. Like a lot of people, I’m seriously addicted to my iPhone but it’s such a great tool for blogging with so many apps that can be utilised to really assist with your day to day blogging tasks. I love it to do so many things, from scheduling tweets, to editing photos for Instagram or typing up posts on the go. If your interested about the specific apps I use, I’ve written a whole post on my Top 10 iPhone Apps for Bloggers

Blogging Essentials Wallpaper Backgrounds Tools Kit emilyloula

Wallpaper

I’ve been asked a few times what I use for backdrops in my photos, and the answer is pretty simple – wallpaper samples. I’ve probably got close to thirty different samples of wallpaper now, that I’ve acquired over time from various hardware stores (mainly B&Q). I’ve got quite a few shops near me that stock a huge range of different wallpapers, so there is hundreds and hundreds of backdrops for me to chose from, and what makes it even better, is that the samples are free to take. I’ve now got a big box I keep full of these samples, and each time I’m taking photo’s, I take great joy in picking out which backdrop I should use. If you’re struggling to find a nice background to use for your photo’s, I’d highly recommend popping into your local hardware store to see what wallpaper samples they offer. I would also recommend that you double check that you’re allowed to take the samples home, I don’t want to get any of you into trouble!!

Blogging Essentials Tools Kit emilyloula Blu Tack Stones

Blu Tack & Stones

To the untrained eye, I suppose that these seem weird things to mention in a blogging essentials post, but both of these everyday items are super helpful when taking blog photos. For the first 6 months of my blog, I spent forever trying to position lipsticks exactly so they wouldn’t roll over as soon as I let go of them to take the photo. Then I discovered the joy of Blu Tack and it’s safe to say my flat lays have become a lot easier to photograph now. I simply stick a tiny bit of Blu Tack to the back of the item I want to photograph, stick it to the wallpaper or backdrop, easy peasy – now it’s not going anywhere. I mainly use the stones to hold down the corners of my wallpaper when I’m taking photo’s outside, to stop everything from blowing away. They’re also really handy to use behind products to prop them up for photo’s or just to use as a prop for a beachy themed post!

Blogging Essentials Tools Kit emilyloula Trays Plates

Trays & Plates

When taking photo’s, I think it’s a great idea to switch it up a bit, and add extra items into the area, just to break up the background, or add an additional ‘layer’ to the photo. One of my favourite ways to do this, is to experiment with different trays or plates to showcase products on. If you’re a blogger I’m sure you’re aware of the classic cliche marble tray from H&M, and I picked up the black version, which is great for displaying some smaller items on. The gorgeous copper tray, and the glass plate are both from H&M as well, and the decorated plate is from Sainsbury’s. I love shopping in homeware sections or shops for blogging photo extra’s, and I’ve actually become slightly addicted to it recently. You can pick up some really great bits that can entirely change your photos for a couple of pounds in loads of places, you just need to open your mind to what you can use. Other great props I love using are fabrics, magazines, accessories and items from nature, such as stones, leaves or flowers. Experimenting with different items, props and backgrounds is the key, so I’d recommend just having a play around with bits you can find around the house, to see what works for you!

Blogging Essentials Tools Kit emilyloula Notebook Camera

Notebook & Calendar

I do actually keep an online copy of both my calendar and a notebook, but I always feel that it’s nice to have an actual piece of paper and a pen to scribble my thoughts down on. I use my notebook to jot down the hundreds of lists I keep for blogging – mainly post ideas and pictures to take – I try to keep it with me most of the time, as you never know when inspiration may strike! I got this particular notebook from Home Bargains for around £2 I think, it’s a great hardback quality book, with lovely lined pages and a gorgeous cover. I also keep a calendar, so I can note down when I plan my posts to go live, or if I have any blogging events coming up. This particular calendar is perfect for this, and I actually got it in My Little Energy Box I received earlier this year. Writing lists and keeping notes really helps me stay on top of my blogging, and makes the whole thing a lot more organised, and easier in the long run.

So there we have it for my ultimate blogging essentials. Is there anything else you’d recommend that could help me out? I hope this post was helpful for you, or it’s given you some inspiration for your blogging future! As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments, and thank you so much for reading! 

emily x

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*This post contains a sponsored link, however as always all opinions and thoughts remain my own – see my disclaimer for more information*

  • Thank you so much for sharing these!!

    Candice | Beauty Candy Loves

    • Very welcome Candice – thank you for reading! x

  • Rachael Broomfield

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who takes wallpaper samples! I get such strange looks from people in Homebase!

    Rachael at broomfie.blogspot.com

    • Hahaha i’m glad I’m not the only one too, people were definitely looking at me strangely last time I was in b&Q as well xxx

  • Loved this post!

    • Thanks Nikita! xxx

  • I’ve started a good collection of wallpaper samples too, So handy : )
    Good call on the stones too, very smart.
    Gillian? xx? EyelinerFlicks

    • Wallpaper samples are so handy aren’t they! Saves your clearing the way for a fresh background! Thanks for reading Gillian xx

  • Pam Scalfi

    B&Q here I come :p
    I have a pretty good camera too and I use sticky tape to stop the lippie from rolling. Works like a charm 😀

    Pam xo/ Pam Scalfi?

    • Hahah yes definitely take a trip to B&Q Pam!! xx

  • I have so many little pots, trays, flowers everything for a prop. Great post! x

    Emma | Emmys Beauty Cave

    • Me too Emma, i’m really starting to build a good collection of props now! xxx

  • Wallpaper samples!! That is something I have only briefly thought about, but haven’t actually put effort into attaining. I love blu-tack for product photography!! When I figured that out it was like a WHOLE NEW WORLD!!

    I think I’m going to stop by the local hardware store to ask about their wallpaper samples.

    Much Love,
    -Stephanie Eva
    http://www.stephanieheva.blogspot.com

    • Blu Tack for me was a whole new world too! I couldn’t believe I had never thought of it before! Would definitely recommend popping into your hardware store for samples, hopefully you find some you love! xxx

  • These are some great tips especially the wallpaper. I have bought lots of patterned paper from Paperchase but sometimes need something more neutral, this sounds like a great idea. xx

    franklyflawless.com

    • Thank you, I’m glad you found them useful! Ooo patterned paper is a good idea too actually, will have to check out Paperchase! Thanks for reading xxx

  • I loved reading this post beaut, I have to agree I’m the same I’m always drawn in by photos. I love your selection of wallpaper samples haha, I do the same with the wood samples from B&Q for backdrops or the marble adhesive from Wilko. I’m a big fan of trays and plates also, Sainsbury’s have the most gorgeous plates I popped in the other day and couldn’t believe their selection.

    Charlee XO | CharmedCharlee

    • Thanks Charlee! I’ve heard that Wilko have some great adhesives, so I’ll have to pop in and have a look next time I’m in town! I haven’t looked at Sainsbury’s homeware for a while actually, so will have to go int here too! Thanks for the suggestions lovely xxx

  • I really love this post, very helpful!!

    xxMel
    goldrusssh.blogspot.com

    • Thanks Mel! I’m really glad you found it helpful xxx

  • Wallpaper! So clever! And the bluetack is even smarter! I have a bunch lying around somewhere.

    This is great 🙂 Thanks!

    http://www.thethingislemons.wordpress.com

    • Thanks Elyse, really glad you found this post helpful! xx

  • MY CALENDAR IS BLOGGING LIFE! Seriously, it is like the most effective tool of blogging I have. It makes everything so easy and maintained (even if I’m waaaay behind)I really need to get some wallpaper samples! They are like the most effective ways on making photos look cooler!

    xx Bash | Hey Bash | bloglovin’

    Moved to: http://www.heybash.com/

    • Yess, I’ve only started using my calendar recently, but it’s sooo handy and definitely such an effective blogging tool! Definitely grab some wallpaper samples if you can, they make such great backgrounds! Thanks for reading Bash xx

  • Neesha

    Those wallpapers are such a good idea and the trays and dishes are gorgeous!!
    Neesha | Reinventing Neesha

    • Thanks Neesha! I need to get my hands on some more trays and plates I think! xx

  • I think everyone would agree that the wallpaper is the most genius idea, I bit of the unexpected that made me smile, its always great to learn something new from others. thanks for sharing with us. Hope you’re having a good week.

    http://artadorned.com/

    • Thank you! Yes, I totally agree, it is always great to learn new things from other people! Hope you have a great week too x

  • Chloe

    I really thoroughly enjoyed this post, and feel like it has helped me so much. So thank you 🙂
    I am surprised more people haven’t shared the idea of wallpaper, that is genius and works so well – congrats.

    Thanks for giving me your link in the #bblogger chat, i’ve found a new blog to stalk.
    Hope to hear from you – Chloe // chloexlogan.blogspot.co.uk x

    • Thanks Chloe! I’m so glad that you found this post helpful! Definitely feel free to stalk my blog haha, just had a look at yours and it’s lovely! xx

  • Chloe

    We have very similar blogging essentials. I love the idea of wallpaper samples – I definitely need to head out to get some samples! I also discovered Blue Tack the other day and I am forever grateful, haha. I can’t believe that I never thought of it before! Brilliant post by the way, thank you for sharing with us!

    Chloe
    http://www.chloepaigee.blogspot.co.uk

    • I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of blu tack before either, it literally makes my photography sooo much easier! Definitely see if you can pick up some wallpaper samples, they’re so great! Thanks Chloe xx

  • Sophie

    I never thought of using wall paper as a back ground, that’s such a good idea!! 🙂

    http://www.sophierosee.blogspot.com xx

    • Thanks Sophie! Definitely check out your local hardware store, there are so many great options to use as backdrops! xx

  • Using wallpaper samples as a background is a pretty good idea! I think a lot of bloggers use tile samples too! The blue tac idea is really helpful, I’ll definitely remember to do this in future! Great tips!

    Toni x
    http://www.clarkecouture.co.uk
    MAC LIPSTICK GIVEAWAY:
    http://www.clarkecouture.co.uk/2015/07/happy-1st-birthday-clarke-couture-my.html

    • Thanks Toni! I don’t know how I coped with Blu Tack now – definitely give it a go! xx

  • Great post, I love hearing new tips and tricks blogging wise, its really motivating!

    NJCDesigns

    • Thanks Natalie, I’m glad this was helpful to you! xx

  • I agree with using most of these! I really need to invest in some wallpaper samples and trays but haven’t found any of them! xx

    Jasmine || http://www.blogsallbeautyy.blogspot.co.uk

    • Definitely take a look at your local hardware store, mine has so many great wallpaper samples that make perfect backdrops – I need to make another trip actually! I’ve found that places like Sainsburys, H&M, Primark, and even Asda have some lovely plates and trays xx

  • Annemarie K.

    I really need to invest in some trays! I totally agree with the other essentials. Great post again! I really enjoy reading your blog. xx Annemarie

    http://anneslittlearea.blogspot.com/

    • You definitely do! They make such a difference in photos I think! Thank you so much Annemarie, that means a lot! xx

  • I totally agree about plates and trays! I have bought so many for blog photos and had to find a use for them later haha. Blu tac is a life saver too xx

    Jasmine Talks Beauty

    • plates and trays are so handy aren’t they! Yes definitely, blu tack has saved me many of times!! Thanks for reading xxx

  • Thanks Lauren! I’m so glad you found it helpful!! x

  • Samileen

    I totally swear by the wallpaper samples they are free and amazing backdrops without anyone knowing whether you really have a marble top table at your home or not lol. Great post.

    Sam || Beautydetour

    • Definitely agree with you there Sam! I need to make another drip to a hardware store actually and pick some new ones up – they’re so easy to use but look so effective!! xx

  • I really need to get my hands on some wall paper samples, they look so pretty! I’ve also taken over my dads camera! Plates and trays are a really good idea as well, I’ll have to see if I can find some cheap ones. Love this post 🙂 Gweni xxxx

    http://gbeautyblog.blogspot.co.uk/

  • I think I’ve read this post so much that I could recite it haha! Thank you so much for the help 🙂

  • Dyan

    Wallpaper samples is a fantastic idea!! Thank you SO much 🙂

    Dyan x

    http://the-little-blog-of-everything.blogspot.co.uk

  • I am absolutely obsessed with reading your blog! So glad that I found it. x

    katielou99.blogspot.co.uk

  • Charlotte

    This is brilliant I love the idea of the wallpaper!
    Charlotte // charlottespicks.blogspot.com

  • Love the tips!
    I must go find some cool wallpaper now ! =)

    Sophie.

  • Talisa Gill

    I love these tips. Using wallpaper is a fantastic idea and something I will be actioning right away haha! x

  • Def need to invest in a great camera!
    Jabeen x
    http://www.spilling-the-beans.co.uk/

  • Ilse Daniëlle

    This post is so helpful for a beginner blogger like me! I should definitely get myself some backgrounds as wallpaper and trays. And I’m happy to say that I’ll get a good camera for my birthday next month! 😀

    Xx Ilse
    http://Www.ilsedanielle.com

  • Saira Bashir

    I love you for this post !! I will be picking up some wallpaper samples .. Cannot believe I never thought of this sooner ! Thank you so much for the advice and tips xxx
    Saira
    Throughtheglitterglass.wordpress.com x

  • KatieWoo

    Great post! Really helpful for me. I’ve just started blogging and want to make it look as good as possible. I really think good photos make a blog more interesting to look at. Hoping to buy a camera for my birthday, but so far my iPhone has been… ok (ish). All about the natural lighting 😉

    http://www.katiewoosite.com

  • Blue Tack tip is amazing !
    That’s what I was missing 🙂