Saturday, 27 January 2018

Skills I've learnt since blogging

Bloggers. The word seems to fill minds with thoughts of 'the free stuff' and more recently, asking for said free stuff. However, unless you work with creatives such as bloggers, you will not understand just how hard they do work. I've done this thing for a while now, and have somehow picked up a few skills in the process. Here they are in a list type formation:

I took photography A Level and my work was utter garbage for the entire two years. I bought my first expensive camera out of the wages I was getting from my weekend job, and had absolutely no idea what to do. I somehow passed and it was only through other blog posts and Youtube videos that I learnt how to take photos. Since starting my blog,  I've become obsessed with how my photos come out, as they are apart of my brand. I bought the Olympus Pen EPL 8, Kit Lens and the 45mm lens to go with it. I know my aperture to f stop and depth of field, things I should have been taught at A Level, but only learnt through taking my own blog photos. Bloggers use a range of editing software, and I've now invested in Lightroom and Photoshop for my images, to up my editing further. We photograph each other, some being able to use photography as an extra income too. There's not a prouder day than when a brand chooses to use one of your images to promote a product. 

One of my photos of my pal Maria (J Blogs) who collaborated with New Look, who reposted this photo on their Instagram.

To start a blog, you don't need to be business minded. Only after a year or so, when writing and photographing is all you can think of, can taking the blog as a business become an idea. Businesses have departments that deal with a number of things. A blogger has themself. I'm my own PR person. I email and DM and tweet hundreds of brands and readers on a daily basis. Like a brand, you can't have an off day and be rude to someone asking a question. If you're not happy to answer, you've lost a reader. With blogs and grams come affiliate links. How can I make a (tiny, literally pennies if so) amount of money once I've bought that dress? How can I style it so others will love it as much as I do? I love all the business and admin, which is why I chose to drop out of my law degree, and take up the business and marketing one instead.

Businesses make money. Blogs don't make thousands at the beginning, yet the second you earn a penny, the tax man comes knocking. Knowing how to complete a tax return, understand what on earth they're on about, and your rights including what counts as an expense, is a skill you learn from early on. We have to keep accounts and chase up invoices of the brands that are taking a little too long to pop the money in the account. 

Basic coding
I can't hack into anything worthwhile, nor can I magic up a website with just a keyboard, but I can make little changes in the coding of my blog by going into the long confusing letter mess that is it's html. 

People and confidence
I'm a huge anxiety worrier. I'd rather sit in a room in silence for an hour then try to force myself to speak to people when I'm not 100% confident. I can know you since birth, but unless I trust you in my mind, I just can't speak. Like physically it won't come out. Blogging has allowed me to make some of the best pals I'll ever had, all from the interweb. My group spans from both sides of London and up to Cambridge. Not only do I have my regular group of girls that I go everywhere with, some events have to be done without plus ones. Loners (like moi) will take to twitter and guaranteed someone else going, is following you on twitter (or insta stories). The 'oh you're going, can I meet you before' conversation will happen, you don't have to attend on your lonesome and you may meet another blogger friend for life. When I know you're interested in what I'm interested, my confidence level hits a high and I'm often the first to go up to the PR person and have a chat about how we can work together. I also nod a lot, its a thing.

Time management
I work until 3.30 most days, and the summer saw the most amount of events in a two week span then I had ever had put together. I finished work, ran to the event, pretended I was the put together fashion blogger I pretended to be, and then head home to do a few hours of my uni work too. Instagram posting takes time. Editing images in general takes time. And if they don't look similar, I start again. Back and forth from Mac to phone to use the different editing apps. Writing takes time. If I'm not in the blogging mood (mood= average 4 posts an evening, photographing and editing) it's hard to think of anything mildly entertaining. Time management is a big part of being able to juggle everything, and I seem to be doing it pretty well. 


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