My 8 Best Investments I’ve Made As A Blogger

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I have written the introduction to this post four times. Tbf the Wasabi sweet chilli chicken and noodles in my belly is probably desperately trying to send me into a cosy train nap rather than y’know, let me be a creative goddess.

The pest.

The gist of what I’ve been trying to type, whilst also sounding hip and cool and funny, is that blogging doesn’t have to cost you anything.

I mean, it has to cost you something to type on and it has to cost you a phone with the camera equivalent of an iPhone 6, but until you actually start making money from the ol’ internet, there’s no need to invest in anything that costs the same as a decent second-hand car. No matter what the little blogger envy demon lurking deep in your soul might tell you.

I mean sure, a glossy well-designed blog and a camera and lens duo that’ll make your heart weep with THAT BLUR BACKGROUND are great for creating something that looks sleek and professional, but that’s not what’s going to keep your readers coming back. Unless you have or want to start a photography blog and then LOL haha soz.

All I used for my most popular posts of all time are images taken from either my Facebook or from Google Images (soz for stealing them…), and they were all typed up on either my iPad (sweet hell on Earth) or on Chris’s old laptop.

What I’m saying is, don’t freak out and convince yourself you can only become the next big HAVE YOU SEEN THIS BLOG gal if you have a Pinterest-worthy office and some giant Canon camera that weighs more than your Dad, it ain’t bloody true.

So this list has a few sparkly investments, but it also has a £7 pack of pens that have TRANSFORMED my life. Just sayin’.

 

1. OLYMPUS PEN PLUS 45MM LENS (shop here)

I never wrote a full review post of this camera, probably because I felt like I couldn’t add anything new to the debate. If you’re really into photography and cameras you’ll probably hate it, but if like me, you just want something that can triple up as a vlogging camera, sit-down filming camera, outfit shot camera and product shot camera, this is the chappy for you.

Pros: The 45mm lens makes all blog photography look like you paid a snazzy wedding photographer to do it, and means anyone, including a small child, could probs take your outfit snaps for you. The wifi function also means you can move the images straight across to your phone ready for Insta.

Cons: The video lighting is SHIT in low lighting.

This camera no doubt changed the way advertisers saw my blog because it suddenly became a bit glossier, but it also gave me so much more confidence in my standing as a blogger and a vlogger.

 

2. BULLET JOURNAL (shop here)

I’m a stationery whore AND PROUD. I have entire shelves lined with notebooks, but nothing has made me feel more like I’ve got my shit together than this little fella. (Full post here).

For the first time in my entire blogging history I feel in control and on top of things and that makes for a super happy and motivated and lalalala isn’t the world so pretty and pink and lovely Hannah.

It also allows me to manage my goals properly and see my month on month progress and also lets me see how many campaigns I have on at a given time so I know a) if I can take anymore on and b) if they clash with holidays etc and whether I’ll need to start working on them a little while in advance.

 

3. FULL LENGTH MIRROR

Especially handy if you don’t blog full-time and FFS why don’t I have a personal photographer just following me around 24 hours a day capturing photos of me looking cute buying flowers from a market.

I’ve mentioned before that mirror selfies of my outfits tend to get more likes and engagement on Instagram and they’re a great way of doing fashion on your blog/social channels without feeling awkward posing against some rails in West London.

I tend to snap away in the mirror when I haven’t really left the house in a few days – make sure yours is in a well-lit area with an uncluttered background.

My new one is from IKEA. BYE.

 

4. TRIPOD

I snapped up this flimsy piece of equipment about 18 months ago, and despite the fact it only extends to about a metre high, it’s still transformed my blogging life.

I think it cost about a tenner from eBay, and I’m on the hunt for something a bit sturdier and a bit taller. And when I say I’m on the hunt, I mean I’d like one, but screw spending TWENTY WHOLE POUNDS on one when there’s ASOS spring dresses to be bought.

I find it most useful for YouTube more than anything, especially when I’m filming a time-lapse (woah, look at me, I’m basically an Oscar-nominated producer), but I used to use it (balanced on my chest of drawers) for outfit shots on self-timer mode.

 

5. STAEDTLER TRIPLUS PENS (shop here)

I basically had a small breakdown in Wilkinson’s when I bought these because WHO PAYS SEVEN POUNDS FOR PENS. I don’t question a pot of glitter for a tenner in Topshop but SEVEN POUNDS FOR PENS.

Can’t lie to you, these have been used so many times they’re close to running out. And yes, I’m still mourning the pen that I lost on the plane to Italy last month. Hope you have a nice life, little boo.

I use them a lot for adult colouring in (because that offline downtime is so damn important) but also for motivating me to keep that bullet journal in check and to brainstorm ideas.

The idea of them not being in my life is more painful than the idea of losing every red lipstick I own.

 

6. CAFETIERE

This is the most old man who reads the Daily Mail and keeps an extensive white wine collection thing of me to say but cor I love our cafetiere. I think it was like a fiver from Sainsbury’s but I’ve started making myself a pot of coffee in the mornings in this champ and taking it up to bed with a mug and little jug of milk and maybe it’s all in my head, but it just makes me feel so much more inspired and ready to take on the world. EVEN on a Monday morning.

 

7. WHITE BACKGROUNDS

I have two white backgrounds, one side of A1 card I picked up at The Range and then, well, my bed sheets. We have two sets, one from John Lewis and one from BHS. Bit glam.

But they basically work as super easy photo backgrounds for everything from beauty products to flat lays of what you’re packing for your summer holiday.

I rely on them as backgrounds for pretty much EVERY blog post, they take the stress out of OMG WHY DON’T MY PHOTOS LOOK LIKE EVERYONE ELSE’S and keep the focus on y’know, whatever you’re photographing.

 

8. MACBOOK AIR

I haven’t really been shouting about it, but last month I finally played the fuck it who needs money for food game and bought a MacBook Air.

Admittedly it has played a huge part in my ability to post as frequently as I have been recently because it means even on days when I’m not at home I can produce content. (Also on days when I can’t bring myself to pull my shit together and adult properly at my desk).

I love my iMac and it’s brilliant and super speedy at everything, but I really needed something portable if I wanted to keep up with my new reactive content ethos thingy ma-bob. The only issue I’ve found so far with the Air is that it can’t handle exporting videos from iMovie or uploading to YouTube (it takes about five times as long), which was something I did consider when weighing up the Pro and Air. But I liked how light the Air was, so yeah, swings and roundabouts.

I also have an external hard drive now so it’s mega easy to move video files between my two computers. So yeah, that.

 

Go on then, what products have helped you feel motivated and excited about blogging? What’s helped you make your content better? WHAT SHOULD I ADD TO MY LIST FOR THE NON-FORESEEABLE FUTURE WHEN I HAVE MONEY AGAIN?

 

 

  • han

    Interesting post – full length mirrors are beaut!

    http://www.ohjanuary.co.uk

  • You know, mine was really my iPad! I had to SIT DOWN AND TRAIN myself to type on it, but I got there in the end I love that it’s a machine that I can take a photo, write, edit and upload a post from, all in one. I’ve also used it for YouTube as an all in one, and I was pretty impressed!

    • I HATED trying to write blog posts on mine so good on you for training yourself to properly utilise it! x

  • “Posing against rails in West London” lol, I know what you mean haha! I’d say one of my best investments for getting outfit photos is a remote for my camera, means I don’t have to quickly run and figure out a good enough pose before the timer runs out! x

    http://www.wonkylauren.com

    • The Olympus Pen has a remote on the app which means your phone is the remote, but I haven’t used it yet! Mostly because there’s no good outfit spots where people won’t laugh at me, haha xxx

  • Cat

    My Macbook Air was an absolute game changer for me. I adore it. It’s super portable and I basically store my life on it. I think the other bits I couldn’t do without are my roll of white wallpaper for my photo background and the softboxes I got for about £50-£60 on Amazon for adding light into my pit of a room.

    • I’m despo for some lighting for YouTube videos – I can imagine the soft boxes are especially dreamy in the winter when it’s dark for about 23 hours of the day! x

  • Lucy

    I love this, will have to look into those pens 😉 I really want to get into getting a 45mm lens for my camera but it’s such a big investment!
    love this post 🙂
    Lucy xoxo
    lucyanblog.blogspot.com

  • A tripod massively upped my blogging game! I broke the first one, but this one seems to be working for now haha x

    http://www.everythingbutthekitchen.co.uk

  • My tripod is defs my best investment. Like holla ain’t got no friends so where my tripod at. It is my number one piece of kit for maintaining my independent lady vibe. I DON’T NEED NO ONE ELSE TO BLOG. You know the vibe xxx
    http://www.fashionnomads.com

  • For about the first year and a half I was definitely a iPhone blog photo gal. But then I bought a camera which greatly helped, although I then had tro transfer the images to my phone to edit because I had no editing software on my laptop. Recently I’ve also upgraded to an Macbook Air and it’s made me more motivated to blog, but I also spend a lot more time browsing the internet becuase of the speed on the thing! xx

    http://www.girlglobalising.com

  • I have to say the best investment I made for my blog was my own domain, sorting all that out was a huge learning curve but now I find the rest of the codey stuff easy in comparison, sound small, but makes a huge difference!

    Shiana xo
    http://www.thebeautyscanner.com

  • Looove my backgrounds. I have loads of different wallpaper samples which I use behind my recipe shots. I would also recommend a backdrop holder thing so you can pin up your backgrounds too. So useful! MacBook Air was a great investment for me too – though I think I should have bought more memory! xx

  • I totally agree about that 45 mm lens – game changer! Someone even asked me if I bought a new camera … I was like, nope, same one, new lens! I use the other one still for landscapes, etc. but I love the 45 mm lens for product shoots, etc. It’s amazing.

    And – I love your mirror selfies!

  • I am glad I am not the only person who has a *slight* obsession with these pens, I bloody love mine and end up writing notes in lots of multicolours! x

  • I’m really tempted to get that Olympus Pen camera. It looks so much easier to carry around than the big DSLR!

  • Dee

    ALL OF THESE!!! They are so vital, especially the bullet journal and the camera! haha! I’m trying to save up now for a Macbook Air because my laptop is on its last legs and it’s about time I moved over to more Apple products! haha! 😉 xx

  • I recently purchased some white card and dusted off my tripod which has created results I’m super happy with and feel foolish not to have done it earlier! My tripod was a free gift when I bought my camera in Hong Kong a couple of years ago now so wa-hey on that front! I’m too much of a stationery addict that £7 for a pack of pens is something I would pay for without a second thought – is that terrible?! Otherwise, great post – love the honesty of it!

    Diana xx | http://www.londongirldiana.com

  • I love your blog!! There are so many tips in this post, I cant wait to read more of your blog

    CharlotteSamantha // http://www.charlottesamantha.co.uk

  • Great post! Some awesome points and tips. 🙂
    And have to agree with purchasing a few of these myself and that they are definitely worth it.

    Caroline.x
    http://www.notesfromcaroline.com

  • I just found your blog and you’re hilarious, so now I need to read everything. Your personality comes across SO well in your writing. Great round up of tools, too!

  • Love this post! I really do think that blogging envy could send you into debt! Since I scaled back the way I blog – i.e started using my phone photos rather than waiting until I can be bothered to drag my DSLR out, I’ve found that I’m excited to blog again! I’m so glad that successful bloggers, like yourself, are highlighting that you don’t need to have £££’s worth of equipment to get a good blog going.

    Martha | Martha Dahhling

  • As a new blogger myself, I loved reading this blog post!
    I totally agree when it comes to the Mac Book I have been putting it of for the longest time now,
    but I think it is about time I invest in one!
    Thanks for sharing hun

    Lorraine
    Lorrainewhitney.com
    xx

  • awesome post!! I definitely need a tripod haha (:

    Life in Pastel

  • I finally got a new tripod and it’s opened up so much for me – no longer awkwardly balancing and crowded in-shot, I can film much better! Also my Macbook and a 60G flash SD card are amazing because I can film larger files in HD

    Lauren x
    Britton Loves | Lifestyle Beauty Wellbeing

  • Great post!

  • I know that I need to get a MacBook. But all my money goes towards travelling! AHHHHH THE DILEMA!

    Sophie xx
    http://www.sophieblunt.com

  • I loved this post! Definitely feeling inspired! I need to save up some cash and get myself a camera and macbook! But for now, I’ll start with a £2 bit o’ card from Hobby Craft!

    eb x

    http://www.eboniivory.blogspot.co.uk

  • I’ve recently been trying to build an instagram account (although not a blog they could be used for a blog!) and these are the 3 things that have really helped me:

    1. Foldio 2- portable LED studio
    2. Moment iphone camera lens
    3. Joby tripod stand for the iphone

    Hope this helps some bloggers 🙂


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