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