How to blog – The ultimate guide to making it

how to blog

I think there’s some confusion in the Blogosphere as of late, as judging by the amount of “How to blog” posts I’ve seen going around it appears no one knows how to blog. That must be the case, as why else would we need all these blog posts about it?
So since I’m like really good at blogging I thought I’d share my knowledge in one definitive post. The how to of all how tos. The One Ring of how to posts, if you like.

Look at what everyone else is doing, and do the exact same thing.
You don’t want to stand out like a sore unmanicured thumb, do you? That means if everyone is buying the Zovea brushes, you need to be blogging about them too. I mean, how are people going to cope if there aren’t hundreds of reviews of the same brush?

Two words – Flat Lay
You simply can’t capture the details of your new makeup palette unless you lay it flat on the ground and scatter a few rose petals around it. This must be on a white marble background so everyone knows you’re rich. If you are one of the few people that doesn’t have marble flooring in your home, you can buy a slab from B&Q. Probably.

Live in London
If your post code is anywhere outside of the capital but I’m sorry, you’re not going to make it big. How else are you going to go to all these last minute press events? Living outside of the big smoke means you might have to *gasp* miss LFW. Unspeakable.
What do you mean you’re perfectly happy living in Manchester? That’s not the attitude of of a top blogger.

Take all your outfit photos in front of those white houses in Kensington.
It doesn’t matter that people live there, this is the era of the online creator and it’s your godforsaken right. They should be thankful you’ve given them some #exposure and probably driven their house value up.

Date a photographer.
Some people will tell you that you can create quality content with your iPhone. Those people are wrong. If you truly want to make it as a blogger you need a woo a hottie with a BA in photography and have them document your every move with a DLSR that costs more than a few months rent. Pigeon-toed in the latest ASOS A/W collection? Click. Biting into a Macaron? Click. In Tesco picking up some Andrex? Click. So candid.

Share all the infographics.
If you’re anyone in the blogging community, your inbox will be flooded with all the latest infographics. Infographics are a great form of unique content and your readers are going to LOVE reading about how chopping boards harbor foodborne illnesses in the sleek and sexy form of visual data.

Host a giveaway.
Pick up some cheap crap from Superdrug to flog on Rafflecopter for views and followers. The most important part is to comment on other blog posts with “Look at my giveaway!!!” Don’t worry about actually reading their blog or posting anything carefully constructed, other bloggers just love when you use their comments section to advertise yourself.

Write a “how to blog” post
This is the only content people want to read right now so get on it. Creative heartfelt content is so 2014.  This year it’s all about how to grow followers and make money.

 

So there you have it, follow these handy tips and watch your blog grow; and if not well you can always buy followers instead! What are your favourite blogging tips? Let me know in the comments!

 

Lush Mouthwash Tabs

Lush Solid Mouthwash

As some of you may know, I’m leaving to go travelling around Europe next month. Not only will I be swapping the comforts of my double bed and bubble baths for hostel rooms and communal showers, but I’ve decided to ditch the suitcase altogether and go hand luggage only.
Whilst travelling without checked luggage has it’s perks, like not sat by a baggage carousel for 30 minutes praying that your suitcase actually made it to the same country as you; it does mean you are restricted to a small amount of liquids, all under 100ml. That’s bye-bye six step cleansing routine, and hello baby wipes!

So when I heard whispers that Lush may be releasing a solid mouthwash, I was all over that like a suspicious rash after a weekend in Magaluf. I tuned in to their live Facebook feed at 8am for their big announcement, which low and behold was a mouthwash launch.

In the blood bath that is Lush Kitchen, I managed to nab two of the three flavours they launched. I would have picked up “Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster” a mouthwash described as having a lemony taste, if it weren’t for the fact that the site kept crashing and ain’t nobody got time for that, so I checked out with what I had in my basket. Ugai, a Japanese inspired green tea flavour and Crème De Menthe, a peppermint flavour.

Lush Mouthwash Tabs

First impressions – Can we take a moment to discuss how these look like little glittery viagra pills. Like, someone actually designed these and thought “Yes, this is the colour and shape I want.”
Moving on swiftly to the packaging, it’s common knowledge that Lush love their naked packaging so something paper based wouldn’t have surprised me in the slightest, however these Mouthwash Tabs come in a sturdy plastic bottle with a lid that can screw on nice and tight. This pleased me as the last thing I want is broken packaging leaving a little minty trail around Bavarian train stations like Hansel and Gretel with a dentistry twist.

Using the mouthwash tabs is simple enough, you just pop one in your mouth, take a sip of water, and chew it up a bit whilst letting it fizz away like a mini bath bomb in your gob.
As I mentioned before, Crème De Menthe has a lovely peppermint flavour, reminiscent of literally every other mouthwash to have ever existed. It gives that tingly fresh feeling that you want and expect from a mouthwash, which works just fine for me. If it ain’t broke, why fix it?

Ugai on the other hand tastes like, now how do it put this? Shit. Describing things isn’t my best skill so bare with me whilst I get creative. Ugai contains green tea, sea salt, and tea tree oil which overall creates a concoction that has the sapidity of head lice shampoo mixed with seawater. It’s nasty.

 

Lush Creme De Menthe

Taste aside, these things work a treat and give your mouth a squeaky clean feel whilst freshening your breath enough to confidently share a bed with someone after spending the entire evening eating garlic bread.

Whilst I probably won’t be replacing my traditional mouthwash any time soon, I know these solid mouthwash tabs are going to be a lifesaver whilst I’m jetting around Europe. Small and sturdy enough to lazily throw into my backpack, and designed so that I won’t have airport security rummaging around my dirty undies looking for oversized liquids.

Lush Mouthwash Tabs are currently available in Lush Kitchen for a short time only, and then exclusively at their flagship store on Oxford Street. So if like me you’re a gazillion miles away from London, make sure you grab them whilst you can!

 

Where I’ve been.

I dont know

I haven’t published my thoughts in just under a year.

There was a time when I would cherish the times spent pressing the buttons of my laptop, each tap, tap, tap of the keyboard, a cathartic release of the mind.

I told myself I was good at it, too.  That people wanted to hear what I had to say. I thought that maybe I had found a career path for me, something I enjoyed that I could also make money from. So I enrolled into a journalism course. It all felt right.

and then it felt wrong.

For my first assignment I wrote about the safety of the LGBT community in Sunderland. I tackled my anxieties and I spoke to strangers. I stayed up till the early hours of the morning perfecting my final draft, with a black coffee to keep me company. I’ve never been good with deadlines. Yet I had a piece of work I was proud to submit, so I printed it out and gave it to my tutor.
But it was wrong.
This isn’t relevant, they said. No one knows what LGBT means, they said. Why would you include quotes from people who want to remain anonymous, they said.

It hurt that the topics I felt so strongly about were irrelevant in the media world. As naive as it may sound, realising that the things I’m passionate about isn’t what I should write about if I want a career in media, or at least a degree anyway, was hard to swallow.
So I did what all good students would have done, and I started writing about the things that better fitted the university news site. Local nightclub events, the best outside activities, a report on Liam Neeson, that sort of thing. Despite choosing sleep over thrilling lectures on how the 1712 Stamp Act affected early newspaper publications, I started getting 2:2s and 2:1s.

Then one day I sat in a lecture hall. I sat and listened to a lecture all about the Madeleine McCann case, and about how it made for great news coverage because she was white and her parents were middle class, and because she was pretty because she had big blue eyes. People don’t want to read about things happening in other countries either, they said. Ebola isn’t important when it’s killing people in third world countries, they said. It only becomes a newsworthy epidemic as soon as it becomes something that british people need to worry about.
I looked around the lecture hall, at all the other people in the room sat on uncomfortable green chairs furiously scribbling down notes on books resting on their knees. It all felt so wrong.

I started sleeping in a lot more after that. Until eventually I stopped going to university altogether, and that was that.

I left education with nothing more than a piece of paper to say I failed, a lifelong looming debt, and a disdain for writing.

I started working full time waitressing in my local airport, and when I say full time I mean over 70 hours a week. During that time a lot of people told me it must be so interesting to work in an airport, everyone must be so happy and cheerful, an innocent assumption. But let me tell you I have never in my life been spoken to the way I was spoken to by people who simply didn’t enjoy their overpriced burger whilst they waited for their flight to Tenerife.

I think I lost a part of myself during my time at the airport. I certainly lost a lot of sleep. Sometimes my shifts would start at 3am, no public transport ran at that time and taxis cost an upwards of £30, so I’d get the last metro in and attempt to sleep in the departure lounge, kept awake by the security announcements that sounded over the tannoy every five minutes. I can still recite them.
I know it’s bad form to slate a former employer, and I don’t have any resentment towards the people who employed me, but the shifts I worked didn’t only break laws, they broke me. I remember an 18 hour shift, I started at 3am and worked until 11pm. Including the travel time and the precious hours spent sleeping on a Starbucks armchair, I was away from home for over 24 hours.

I cried a lot during my time there. I cried behind my till, I cried whilst clearing dishes, I cried whilst picking up the possessions a customer had dropped as he screamed in my face, I cried because I was tired, I cried because my feet were bleeding, I cried because I had walked so far my toenails had fallen off, I cried because I didn’t have the mental capacity to do anything else, I cried whilst laying on the floor of the bar and got sent home so I cried some more.

Then I had enough of crying so I handed in my notice.

I told myself this was a clean break, I would have time for hobbies I once loved and maybe even learn to enjoy writing again.  But I didn’t, because I didn’t really know who I was anymore. I didn’t have anything to write about. I was just a tired girl who cried a lot.

It didn’t take me long to find a new job, a really nice job. Serving lovely food, to lovely customers and working lovely hours with lovely people. It took a long time, and I’m still a little bit lost in life, but I’m much happier now, and I think it’s time I write again.

I’m not sure what fueled this long and quite frankly dramatic post, but it was therapeutic. I want to feel good about something again, for myself. Not for the grades, or the comments in Disqus. I’m happy to shout the euphoric release of words into the empty void of the internet, just for me.