Why I Could Never Be A Full Time Blogger

I want to start by saying that I haven’t been given the opportunity to be a full time blogger. I have only been regularly updating my blog for the past few weeks, I like to think I can do anything I put my mind to but there are a few things stopping me from trying to make blogging my full time gig. Don’t get me wrong I love working on my blog and would absolutely love it to grow because I do put a lot of time and effort into it but I think it’s okay to not want to make a hobby (however much you may love it), a full time job.

It is also very important to mention that I think those who are full time bloggers are incredible. I love keeping up with my favourite bloggers and I am envious of their careers sometimes but I also do know how much hard work and dedication it takes.

I studied Journalism at uni and it was always suggested to me and my peers to create our own blog. My blog began with just being odd music reviews and interviews then I started branching out on subjects at the beginning of this year. In the past few weeks I have taken my blog a lot more seriously and I am dedicated to making it the best it can be.

So why wouldn’t I want to be a full time blogger? First of all, I don’t like to overshare.

I highly praise those bloggers who have that ‘nothing is off limits’ and ‘no topic too big’ view when it comes to blogging, but I’m just not like that. I’ve always been someone who only shares a lot with the people I’m closest with and it would make me uncomfortable to go into too much detail about topics in my life and share my opinion on risky subjects. However I personally love reading those blog posts that do do it, that content tends to be the ones I find most interesting, however much I love a simple beauty review.

I don’t want to share too much on my blog and social media, even if it is things that aren’t very deep. Don’t get me wrong I know some full time bloggers keep a good chunk of their personal life out of their blogging life but it does seem that those who do share a lot, tend to be the most successful. I actually have quite an ‘old-fashioned’ group of friends when it comes to social media. Not all of them have Instagram, none of them have twitter and not all of them have iPhones. I’m going to come out and say it, I sometimes feel silly taking pictures of my food in a restaurant, sometimes things are nice to enjoy without sharing it with social media and if I was a full time blogger I would be obliged to share everywhere I went and everyone I was with.

However, I am happy to do it on behalf of a company, I am pursuing a career in digital marketing and I love creating blog/social media content whether that’s writing or photography and I believe I have good knowledge of marketing and digital trends. It’s like I love doing it but not when it’s completely revolving around me.

I’m not the most confident person in front of a camera. Okay so again I know there are exceptions to this point (like all the points I’m making) some bloggers rarely show their face but with the large majority of bloggers, it is all about them. ‘Bloggers’ or ‘Influencers’ whatever you prefer to call them usually have a task to do, this is to influence their audience to buy something, that’s how they make a living. To do this these bloggers have to be influential in some way, a lot of this is done by posting picture after picture of themselves in beautiful outfits and sceneries. The common thing with most bloggers is that them, they are the brand, they are literally branding themselves so you can imagine you’re going to see their face a lot.

I like stability, in a lot of ways I am spontaneous but when it comes to my job I need to feel secure. I like to know how much money I will have at the end of the month and I’m not happy with that amount fluctuating often.

Social media can get a bit much sometimes, being a full time blogger, I can assume it is hard to switch off from social media, it is your platform for making your income. I know I just mentioned that I want to work in the digital world but I can switch off from it when I get home, because I only have to switch it back on when I want to.

I’d like to be able to switch off from work too, again doing it full time means you can never properly hang up your coat after a long hard day. You don’t have specific hours and if you want to grow, the more time you spend working the more likely you are to grow.

BUT, saying all of this, I don’t in any way want it to take away from my blog because I genuinely love doing it. I love photography and the whole creative process that comes with creating a photo for my blog or Instagram. I love writing and I love social media, (most of the time) it is a great way to get inspiration, share your creativity and to catch up with the latest news. I love the blogging community, one thing I’ve noticed is how supportive the community is, it is lovely to see so many people supporting each other.

A Day at Champney’s Tring

 

 

9am – Breakfast

A couple of weeks ago, (as a graduation gift from my sister) I encountered my very first spa day. We arrived in the morning for our complimentary breakfast at around 9am, the buffet was full of pretty plates and even prettier prepared food. The dishes ranged from figs and cream cheese to bitesized granola and yogurt parfaits.

10am – Zumba

In regards to the fitness classes, they ranged from aqua aerobics to legs, bums and tums classes. The majority of the classes were free with the exception of a few. It was my first time doing a Zumba class and while it was far more intense than I had anticipated, it was also far more fun too. We were laughing almost the entire duration of the class, (60 mins).

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11:30am – Tea

After the Zumba session, we needed to refuel with tea and cake. We sat in the sun in our white robes and slippers munching on delicious snacks, (I would highly recommend the carrot cake and the banana cake.) We then had a little stroll around the grounds and laid on the sun loungers.

12:00 – Relax

It was then time to take full advantage of the spa facilities. We took a dip in the pool and jacuzzi before dozing off on the water beds.

13:30 – Lunch

Champney’s is a health spa, so the buffet was clearly very healthy. There were lots of options for food (especially if you’re vegan or veggie). The buffet was full of lots of healthy carb varieties, veggies with some lean fish, chicken breast, tofu and more. Pudding was a choice of fruit, healthy crumble or yogurt (or both, you could get as much as you liked.)

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15:00 – Jumpa

A little while after lunch, we decided to participate in another exercise class. Jumpa consisted of HIIT (high intensity interval training) circuits involving mini trampolines, the class lasted 1 hour.

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17:00 – Facials

Facials are not included in the price of the day and you do need to pay extra for them, our facials were around £45 each. This involved a small face, neck, hand and arm massage for circulation followed by the therapist using a range of 5 – 10 Champneys products on your skin. This included a toner, moisturiser and exfoliator. At the end of the facial the therapist also gives you a skin consultation.

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Overall I left the spa (at 18:00) feeling refreshed and revitalised, as expected. What was different was the amount the spa offered as part of the day package and the variety of activities and facilities available. I would highly recommend Champney’s Tring.

 

Review: ‘Oils of Life’ by The Body Shop

I recently decided to switch up my skincare routine. I didn’t have a problem with my previous regime, I just felt like my skin could be better. My face felt a bit dull and dry so I decided to start searching for a different moisturiser, (along with replacing my cleanser and toner.) I was originally using Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream, a cult classic in the beauty world. It was working fine for me but I wanted to something richer in consistency and cheaper in price.

I opted for the Oils of Life Intensely Revitalising Cream by The Body Shop. What drew me to this product was the ‘oils of life’ title. I was considering investing in a facial oil or serum as well as a moisturiser for added hydration, but this product seemed to be the best of both worlds. This moisturiser infuses, “3 oils from around the world, known for their revitalising and repairing properties on skin – Black Cumin seed oil from Egypt, Camellia seed oil from China and Rosehip seed oil from Chile.” (thebodyshop.com)

Here is the low-down:

Packaging: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

I love the luxury feel of the packaging, there is something about glass that makes something feel classy. This product would definitely look great on your dressing table. Unfortunately it misses out on a final star for not being very travel-friendly.

Price: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

For 50ml you’re looking at paying £26.00, so no, not cheap but I believe the price is somewhat justified. I personally judge value by quality and quantity, this best seller is made from plenty of rich ingredients. It’s thick, creamy consistency also means you only need a small amount, it has lasted me for a couple of months and I use it twice a day.

Performance: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

In regards to the claims made by The Body Shop…

  • Leaves skin feeling silky-soft – agree
  • Ensures almost affinity to skin – agree
  • Comfortable but light and non-greasy – agree
  • Revitalises skin – agree
  • Reduces appearance of ageing – this brings me on to my next point…

Who is it for?

This product is for anyone and everyone, it is anti-aging but also works great on my 21 year old face. I have combination skin which means i have dry areas and oily areas, it nourishes my dry patches and doesn’t add to any oily areas.

Is it ethical?

The Body Shop does not test on animals.

 

Have you tried this product or any other product in the Oil of Life range? If so let me know what you think below!

The Life of a Wedding Planner – Stylish Events

On Saturday the 12th of May I attended the ‘Introduction to Wedding Planning’ course hosted by Dominique Douglas (Stylish Events: Wedding & Events Management).

Established in 2002, Stylish Events is one of London’s longest running, independent, luxury wedding planning and event management companies. (stylishevents.com)

If you are looking for a Wedding Planner course, I would highly recommend Stylish Events. Dominique was attentive and eager to teach us everything we needed to know about the life of a wedding planner, I was shocked by the amount of detail and information she was able to share with us in just one day.

The course included:

  • The Journey of a Wedding Client
  • What do we do for our clients?
  • Wedding Services and Fees
  • Proposal
  • Event Budget
  • Venue Hunting
  • CV & Covering Email

While there was an abundance of information to take in, Dominique ensured we fully understood each element, especially the more complex content like the legal requirements of marriage and the fees & budgets.

We were also shown some beautiful examples of the creativity that goes into weddings. At Stylish Events, Dominique and her team are very hands on and even create many items that are used by their clients on their big day. We were also shown unique, bespoke pieces such as invitations, place cards and table settings that I had never seen before.

Most of all I learnt that there is far more to being a Wedding Planner than I had first anticipated. While it does involve cake tasting and attending posh lunches, it is very hard work. It is filled with organising seating plans, on-the-day schedules, negotiating with suppliers, taking care of clients budgets and some weddings/events call for 20+ hour days.

Overall the course taught me everything I needed to know as a beginner in the industry and made me even more excited and interested about being a potential wedding planner.

Why Writing Skills Are Vital To A PR Role

Due to my recent change in my career aspirations, I have spoken to various PR professionals about the difficulty of a transition from Journalism to Public Relations, (read my blog post about it here.) Every single one of them mentioned the transition being simple due to one vital skill both industries have in common: writing. Why is this?

1. Press Releases

The staple task of most PR professionals,  they are short, factual news stories written in the third person and given to the media to encourage editors/journalists/broadcasters to feature the story in their publications and programmes. A press release is not very forgiving when it comes to grammar/spelling errors and it must be clear and concise. If you can’t write clearly, put the story into context and write a newsworthy headline, your press release will get little to no attention.

2. Communication

PR is all. About. Communication. As well as verbal, written communication is vital. Whether it’s in an email to a client or a blog post, you must communicate your message clearly. You can’t expect something to gain publicity if your audience is unsure about what you’re trying to tell them.

3. Social Media

Social Media is a vital platform to many industries today, and PR is no different. With social media, when writing you should be asking questions, maybe use extra punctuation, avoid abstract titles and tell people what to expect.

4. Writing Styles

You should know how to adapt your writing style for different platforms. Brands can be a large part of PR, let’s say the brand you’re representing has a very specific personality, it is important to adapt your writing style to fit theirs. The way you email should be different to how you do a press release and so on.

Also, if like me, you have got into the habit of writing academic essays, practise writing in a more concise style, make your writing sound as if you’re talking to someone. Practise this by writing blog posts for example.

Writing styles also come in styles that can vary on different platforms: expository, descriptive, narrative and persuasive.

5. Persuasion

Many will argue, the most important writing style in PR is persuasion. Often your role will be to persuade: persuade journalists to write an article about your artist or product, persuade a radio to give your band some air time, persuade clients you are the right person to work with. Most of this is achieved through effective writing techniques.

 

 

 

 

A Change of Heart : From Journalism to Public Relations

I am final year Music Journalism student studying at Southampton Solent University, soon to be graduating in July. I decided on my degree not long before applying for university. At that point all I knew was that I loved writing and I loved music. I applied for my current course and some other Journalism courses in 2013 whilst still in college.

In my first year of university I thoroughly enjoyed myself, going to gigs, listening to tons of music, designing my own online music magazine, and of course lots and lots of writing, which all sat very well with me. Writing is one thing I have never lost interest in, ever since school I have always been a keen writer. So when I found myself becoming less interested in Journalism I was confused.

It was only after deciding to do a little research of my own that I discovered it wasn’t the writing I was getting bored of, it was the style and content of the writing. I began looking into other communications careers, but I wanted to make sure that my Journalism degree would still be useful and relevant. I started looking into PR,  it appealed to me for a number of reasons: the marketing (something that really stood out to me through my final year group collaborative project) branding, strategising, campaigning and writing. These roles sounded more appealing to me then Journalism.

Saying this, I don’t regret choosing my course, it has taught me so much. It has given me so much varied experience that I know I would not have received on any other course. It has given me so much more confidence as a person too, this came from the abundance of networking which is a key aspect of the PR industry.

I attended the PR SSU ‘Meet the Professionals’ event on the 7th of February; I chose to attend (as the only Journalism student) simply because i was interested in learning more and speaking to professionals about my career change. I was happily surprised to meet multiple former Journalists who had gone into Public Relations, (Simon Carr, James Morton: HantsFire PR). The professionals encouraged me to go beyond my degree and assured me that it was perfectly okay to change my mind. Head of Earned Media at Koozai PR Vicky Taylor also shared with me that she had studied film, then worked in recruitment and then ended up in PR, advising me that change is fine. What was also repeated to me was that in a degree like Journalism, you gain a lot of transferable skills that can be used in a range of fields, particularly within communication jobs. (advertising, public relations, marketing, etc.)

I felt very confused and worried about changing my career aspirations at first but after an abundance of research and lots of helpful advice, I am excited to begin a career in the PR industry.

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Meet The Professionals Event @ Solent University (The Spark)

 

Stayed tuned for my next blog posts similar to this one:

‘Top Tops For Picking A University Degree’

‘Top Tips & Advice: Changing Your Mind Mid-Degree’

A Dozen Favourite Albums (part 1)

When concocting up a list of my favourite albums I began to notice that the majority of them don’t have my favourite musicians as their creators, I found this bizarre! (this isn’t relevant for the first three.) This list could go on and on so I will doing more parts to this piece, but for now, here are a dozen of my favourite albums of all time.

I won’t go into why I love every individual one, I just wanted to share my favourites.

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Fleetwood MacRumours (1977) / Best Song : “Dreams”

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Fleetwood Mac – Tango In The Night (1987) Best Song : “Little Lies”

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Fleetwood Mac – Mirage (1982) Best Song : “Gypsy”

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Tears For Fears – Songs From The Big Chair (1985) Best Song : “Everybody Wants To Rule The World”

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Tennis – Ritual In Repeat (2014) Best Song : “I’m Callin”

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Paolo Nutini These Streets (2006) Best Song : “Last Request”

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The Beach Boys – Pet Sounds (1966) Best Song : “God Only Knows”

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Maroon 5 Songs About Jane (2002) Best Song : “Sunday Morning”

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Amy Winehouse – Back To Black (2006) Best Song : “Love Is A Losing Game”

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Van Morrison – Magic Time (2005) Best Song : “Stranded”

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The Kooks – Inside In The Inside Out (2006) Best Song : “Naive”

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Kanye West – Graduation (2007) Best Song : “Good Life”