Temporary:Secretary UK Fashion Blog | Style Blogger

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Blogging Advice: 5 Tips On How To Start A Blog

Have you been toying with the idea of starting a blog but you're not quite sure where to begin? I know that it's overwhelming process and even with a sea of bloggers out there, it still feels lonely and scary to put yourself out there! There are so many aspects to think about but here are some tips to help and inspire you!

five tips on how to start a blog

Where to start? 
Buy a notebook and jot down some ideas on what you would like to blog about. It can be absolutely anything you like as long as you have a genuine interest for the subject. It doesn't have to be one particular subject if you don't want it to be - but I have found that it's better for the reader to visit your blog knowing what to expect. The beginning stage of starting a blog is where you can be creative and experimental until you find your feet. I've got a huge list of blogs that I read which includes film, food, travel, lifestyle, tech, photography and of course, fashion and beauty. It's fine to take inspiration from your favourite bloggers but don't worry about following the crowd. Go with what you're most comfortable with and passionate about, and this is where you will shine!

There is also the task of coming up with a name for your blog. This is the part I dislike the most because there is such pressure to get it "right". You might want to purchase a domain for it or make business cards, so think of a name you want to stick with for a while. I came up with a hundreds of names but I got bored with them all within a day. It would be awesome to have it mean something to you - but having said that - my blog name isn't personal to me, it's the name of a Paul McCartney song (a very annoying one, but it's punchy and it just stuck in my head!). As a starting point, imagine the header on your site, say the name out loud, ask people for feedback and have other people say it out loud. If it makes you cringe, move on to the next name you've got in mind. You'll KNOW when you've got it right!

advice on how to start a blog, blog business card

Which platform to use?
The word on the street is that Wordpress is miles better than Blogger, and I'm sure it is. So why am I still on Blogger? Why haven't I moved over to Wordpress? Partly because I'm scared of change, but for the most part, I find Blogger a lot easier to use. I may the only one on this opinion but I like the comment system on it too. I've got an account with Wordpress and I've tested it out but it didn't feel right for me at the time. Maybe I need to give it another chance! Both platforms are the major ones that everyone has heard of, and both has it's pros and cons, but my advice is to sign up to them and get a feel of what YOU prefer. You can always switch from one to another if, a few years down the line, you've changed your mind!

How to create content for your blog?
That notebook I told you to jot down initial ideas in? Keep it purely for blogging and add blog-related notes as you go along, and make lists to help you stay organised (blogging requires good organisation skills!). You might want to make use of your phone or tablet for note making but I definitely prefer the old pen and paper! With a book full of ideas, you can refer back to them at any time and turn them into an article on your blog. It's also advisable to write down technical tips too like html or photography advice but these things will come naturally to you once you've done it for quite some time, don't worry.

It's important to keep the format of your blogposts the same so ensure your photos line up, use the same font type and colour throughout the blog. This makes it easier for you each time you draft a blogpost, you'll know where you want everything to be. 

tips and advice on how to start a blog, staring a blog

How to gain readers?
There's no quick hit for this and I think you'll know that it won't happen overnight but familiarity and regular content is a good start. You don't have to blog every single day but try to keep up with a regular schedule. Go at your own pace to begin with and then if momentum picks up, then it's a bonus! If you only want to write two blog posts a week, pick two days and stick to it. This will let your readers know when to come back to your blog too! 

Once they're on your blog, give them something to stick around for. Customise your blog layout to how you want it to look but like I said in the previous advice, keep the aesthetics of your actual posts consistent so that it's user-friendly - so again, large photos that line up and text that is easy to read. Stay away from fancy, bright coloured fonts.

Promoting your blog is something I will write about soon, as it's a whole subject that I can go on and on about, so stay tuned for that!

But...What If?:
Is it the 'what if' questions that's stopping you from starting a blog? There is literally no limit to blogging, and blogging isn't restricted to a certain personality, age, look, race, size, interest. And don't let anyone tell you otherwise! As long as you have computer/laptop and a head full of ideas, anyone can start blogging at given anytime!

You might be a worrier like I am but remember that sometimes it is really rewarding to take a leap of faith. I could definitely use some of my own advice here, but thoughts that might run through your mind could be "What if you receive a negative comments", "What if they don't like me?" or "What if this happens, what if that happens, what if people shout at me for a spelling mistake, what if something goes wrong, what if I'm not good enough, what if I'm not pretty enough, what if I'm not clever enough, what if, what if, what if". Those were my exact same thoughts (sometimes, it still is) and for the first three years of my blog, no one knew what I looked like and I was adamant that I would never ever show my face on here. I was scared and I didn't feel confident enough. Even now, before I hit the 'publish' button on each and every outfit post, I still feel a teeny bit nervous. I think I'm still getting used the idea myself, but the process of creating content is something I really enjoy. It's supposed to be fun.

I am such a 'cup half empty' person (oh, I am a bundle of joy, I am!!) but it's the blog that actually helps in keeping me positive and that's a really good reason to start a blog! Now lets turn those negative 'what if's' into really positive ones! ...What if something really good comes out of blogging? What if it leads you to do amazing things? What if you meet some awesome people? What if you actually learn lots of new skills? What if it becomes one of the best decisions you've ever made? What if it helps you overcome certain things in your life? ...

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Designer VS High Street: Quirky, Novelty Bags

moschino fast food, quirky bags, novelty bags, quirky accessories

Here's what's hot right now! Quirky statement bags! Now, novelty bags has been around for years, it's not a new thing at all but because it has been all over the catwalk this year, everyone's going mad for them! Some may think it's tacky... and truth be told, I think that's the whole point, but I'd prefer to use the word 'kitsch' rather than tacky. But potato, potahto! Certainly, in a society where fashion takes itself far too seriously, it's these quirky accessories designs that takes the edge off a bit. I interned at an accessory company who created and sold designs like this and it was honestly the best place to work in the entire world! So I can only imagine how fun it must be to design these bags! I saw the Moschino fast food accessories in Selfridges a couple of weeks ago and obviously, it's something I can only admire through the glass display but this particular collection stuck out like a sore thumb...in a good way! I spotted it while I was on the escalators and thought "ooh, I MUST check that out!"

Having spent an hour doing a bit of virtual window shopping, I found a bunch of high street version of fun, novelty bags. After having a crappy, miserable day, finding these quirky accessories on the shopping sites picked up my mood (I am a simple being!) so I thought I'd gather my favourite ones and put them in to a blogpost for you! Here are some budget-friendly options!

quirky bags, novelty bags, quirky accessories

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Alternative To Apple iPad Mini? Gigaset Tablet QV830 Review (+ Giveaway!)

An Alternative To Apple iPad Mini

Tablets are one of those products that we don't really need but once you get one, it's surprising how attached you become to it. It is no wonder we're so hooked when it has the abilities to entertain, educate, socialise and work from it. Mine goes everywhere with me!

I'm one of those (annoying) people who's super loyal to Apple products, and I have to admit that when I have my heart set on an Apple device, I won't even look at alternative products. Call me simple but I love how easy Apple products are to use and they do last a long time until they eventually die on you! (All good things must come to an end! *Sob*)

However, in the last couple of years though, I have had a gripe at their increasing prices (haven't we all!) and this naturally enabled me to look elsewhere for an alternative. There are so many different options now, all the brands are doing a brilliant job catching up with Apple. I've actually found myself avoided going in to the Apple shop for a while... I still love them but I'll part ways for now until y'know, I win the lottery or something! Ignorance is bliss! 

This past fortnight, I have been cheating on Apple with Gigaset QV830 tablet*, and here's the lowdown!

gigaset qv830 tablet review

To start off with, it only comes in black and 8GB storage space. This will save you time in pondering about which colour to buy and which spec to go for!

Size wise, the Gigaset Tablet has an 8" screen and is really similar to the iPad Mini which measures in at 7.87". I like the size of these types of tablet which fits in to your bag and is lightweight to hold and carry around with you wherever you go. It was really easy to set up too - that's the bit I dread the most so I was happy to get this part out of the way, but it wasn't as painful as I thought it would be! Upon switching the Gigaset QC830 Tablet on for the first time, it guides you through a step-by-step on how to connect with Wi-Fi. It also connects a lot of things to your Google account, so make sure you've already signed up - it will make things a lot easier, but not to worry if you haven't got an account! You can set one up there and then!

gigaset qv830 tablet,

I'm really not familiar with Android and it took me days to get used to it which, of course, was slightly frustrated. Once I got to grips with the navigation, the Tablet became more personal to me as I added my favourite apps via Google Play Store. I had exactly the same as the ones I've got on my iPad: Chrome, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Tumblr, 4oD, TV Catch Up, YouTube, and all the other apps that keeps me entertained! I could do the exact same things from my usual @tempsec accounts but one thing I didn't do was install the apps I've already paid for on App Store such as like AfterLight and A Beautiful Mess because I would have been required to pay for them again via Google Play, so I just left those for now.

tablet for blogging, blogging tablet

If you're a blogger, you might be interested in the Blogger app. Personally, I don't write my blogposts from smartphone or tablet devices, I find it incredibly limiting and difficult to keep everything aligned and uniformed - but the choice to use the app is there is you need it! It might come in handy to draft rough ideas when inspiration hits you while you're on the go. 

From the Chrome browser, I could continue to read blogs and articles, and leave comments or join in with discussions.

The screen resolution is decent at 1024 x 768, and 160pixels per inch. It is touch screen with all the intuitive and responsive tap, swipe and pinch controls. There is a front and back camera too. The back camera is 5 megapixels and the webcam is 1.2 mega pixels - both which matches the same camera spec as my iPad Mini. 

The battery life is supposed to last eight hours but on a full charge, I found that it lasted around 4-5 hours. Perhaps I didn't do the things that you have to do in order to prolong battery life like quitting apps and turning down the brightness of the screen, but I struggle to make it last the eight hours that it claims. Still, 4-5 hours is still a pretty long time, so I'm happy with that!

There are a lot of specs and features that are either similar or exactly the same as the iPad Mini and you might think the Gigaset will come at an equally expensive price tag. Surprisingly, the Gigaset Tablet retails at £99.99 and in fact, it's currently on offer at Curry's right now for £69.99 at the moment! I think it's a great price for a device that does so much, and you don't have to feel guilty for buying it or putting it on your Christmas wishlist! I sure felt the buyer's remorse when I got my iPad because it initially felt like an expensive toy as I already have an iPhone and a laptop. Although I do use it a lot for work, and it goes everywhere with me on meetings and long journeys (laptop is too heavy to carry!) I have eventually got my money's worth! I just wish I had shopped around for an iPad alternative because if I had opened my eyes, I would have noticed that there are some great products out there for a cheaper price. I shall not be an Apple snob no more! 

Now, here comes the best bit! I have one to GIVE AWAY! 

All you have to is submit your entries via Rafflecopter below!

Please remember to adhere to the entry terms as they will be moderated. The prize will be a brand new Gigaset QV830 Tablet in black and this giveaway is open to UK residents only. You can enter as many times as you want, the options will show up on Rafflecopter. The more entries you submit, the more chances to win. 

Competition is for the product shown above and detailed above in this blogpost (one Gigaset QV830 tablet in black). Entries must be made via Rafflecopter widget. Entries are moderated so please ensure that adhere to the giveaway entry terms. We reserve the rights to amend or withdraw offers at any time. No cash alternatives are available. Free prize draw, no purchase necessary. Giveaway will end on the date stated on the Rafflecopter widget. One winner will be selected from Rafflecopter after the closing date to receiving one box of this prize set. I will contact the winner via email after closing date, the details of which will only be used to post your prize to you. Please allow up to 14 days for delivery. A new winner will be selected if we do not receive an email respond within 3 working days. This giveaway is open to UK residents only.

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Autumn | Photo Diary

autumn, conkers, autumnal photograph
Autumn in england,

I took an break from my laptop and computer for the whole weekend which was very unusual, but I sure could get used to it! I still needed my Instagram and Pinterest fix from my phone (those platforms don't require much brain power - so they don't count!) but I didn't read any emails, tweets, blogposts, or articles for two whole days and it was nice to switch off from it... even if I did get a bit twitchy from time to time thinking that I *needed* to do something work-related!

Instead, I caught up with friends, went out for a long walk, took loads of photos and ended the weekend with cosy snuggles from Oscar and Bonnie!

What have you guys been up to lately? x

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Friday, October 17, 2014

Yankee Candle Halloween | Ghostly Treats

yankee candle ghostly treats, yankee candle ghost tea light holder
yankee candle ghost tea light holder
yankee candle ghostly treats review
yankee candle ghostly treats review

And the award for the CUTEST Halloween product goes to.... Yankee Candle! I know that 'cute' and 'adorable' are not words that you would associate with Halloween but if it's ever a toss up between a cute ghost and a gory zombie head, I know which one I'm going to pick!

You guys know how cray cray I am about candles! Does a girl really need that many candles? But of course! ...Ok, I don't *need* that many candles but I now have such a big collection that at any given time, with candles, I can transform my apartment into any season, any mood, any occasion and evoke (almost) every memory you can possibly think of! If you want Christmas to come early, an Indian Summer perhaps, the smell of Spring and freshly cut grass, or even the memories of sipping a fruity cocktail on a beach holiday, I can create it through the medium of candles! 

I couldn't really tell you what Halloween smells like but according to Yankee Candles, the main smells are sweet, spicy and toasty! Toffee Apple always reminds me of this time of year but I suppose that's more speficially Bonfire Night than Halloween! 

Yankee Candle sent me their Ghostly Treat candle from their Halloween collection and it is really really lovely (again, 'lovely' is not a word to describe Halloween... but let's say that the candle is spookily lovely!) It is supposed to remind you of sharing spooky tales around a crackling campfire, whilst toasting gooey marshmallows. I really love the packaging design of the housewarmer jar which has an element of spooky and fun. Ghostly Treats is a new addition to the Yankee Candle range and it has a toasted marshmallow fragrance and it is a sugary sweet scent, but it's not as sickly as you would imagine. If a candle is too sweet, it makes me feel a bit nauseas but Ghostly Treats is pleasant and just the right amount of sweetness. It is inspired by grouping around the campfire and sharing scary tales. The other Halloween candles are Witches Brew which is a sweet patchouli scent and Candy Corn which is of course, candy corn fragrance! Candy corn isn't popular in the UK and I'm not sure where they sells it, so I don't know what it smells like but I'm sure it's a tasty one! All of them come in tea light box (£6.99), wax melts (£1.49) votives (£1.89) and the medium jars (£16.99). The jars are the ones with the stronger scent pay off, although if you don't fancy anything as strong and lingering, the tea lights and votives are a nice, affordable option.

Along with the candle, I also received the most adorable tea light holder. It's not your average tea light holder, it's an ornament in itself and I love it! It's so cute and cheerful! I'm going to put this out on my window sill instead of a pumpkin this year. There are three different ghost faces to pick from and I believe the one I've got is the 'Ghost Wink' which is currently sold out on the Yankee Candle website, but the Happy Ghost is the only one still available and it's priced at £14.99! They're also stocked in Clintons and Amazon too. Other candle accessories for Halloween include a Spooky Lantern, Black Cat Jar Holder, Spider Web Votive holder and lots more!

Yankee Candles are available to buy on their website or you can use their store locater to find your nearest stockist. 

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