When I started this blog, back in 2016, I had no idea of what it would become, or where it would take us. I was looking for a little bit of ‘me time’ in amongst impending parenthood. My role at work had just changed to take on more marketing aspects and I felt out of my depth when it came to discussing social media. So, as maternity leave began, I decided to take the plunge. The blog was born.
Over those last two years, both the blog and I have come a long way. It’s taught me new skills, introduced me to some great friends and given us lots of opportunities along the way. Not only that but it’s progressed from a hobby to a business and something that I’m quietly proud of. Blogging isn’t new, but the rise of the influencer is a fairly recent development and when people hear that you blog (or vlog for that matter), there’s often a huge amount of interest; How does it work? What do you do? How do I start a blog and what do I need?!
The beauty of blogging is you really don’t need much to get you going, or even as you progress into a more professional capacity. Here are my blogging essentials to invest in if you’re looking to start…
1. A Laptop
Obviously you need a way of accessing the internet as easily as possible. Whilst I’ve been known to sit at the desktop computer or tap out a draft on my phone, I genuinely couldn’t blog without my laptop. I currently use a Macbook and love the portability of it, it means I can use it anywhere in the house or take it away with us should we go on holiday. Not only do I access the site through it, I also use it to store images, keep contacts on and create the numerous lists that help me plan content and organise my limited time!
2. A Camera/Camera Phone
Whilst I own a couple of cameras, I’m one of those people who’s yet to progress off of auto. It’s been on my list of things to conquer for a long time (I’ve even been on a course) but my best intentions are yet to be realised. Instead, I use my camera phone for the majority of images on this site. You don’t need good images (or even any!) to have a blog, but if you want to work with brands and on paid content then they’ll expect you to support your great writing with clear imagery. I find that my iPhone 7 Plus provides perfectly good imagery for the majority of my needs; whether that’s for photos on the site or shots for Instagram. It’s also fairly permanently attached to me, so it’s always on hand for capturing those little moments. Yes, I occasionally use my bigger camera but it’s not an essential for me… yet.
3. A Phone
Aside from using your phone as a camera, you’ll want a phone that gives you easy access to social medias such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Again, these aren’t essential to have a blog, but if you want to get your site out there then social media is the best way to reach potential readers and collaborators. Social media is a very fast moving arena so it’s important that you can react quickly and access your accounts easily. It’s also far easier than being tied to your laptop. I’d be completely lost without my phone; not only for images and using social media, but also for networking with other bloggers, jotting down ideas as I go or just checking site stats.
4. Portable Hard Drive
One of the big things about blogging is that you tend to take a mass of photos and these can quickly slow down your phone, camera and computer. Instead, invest in a portable hard drive to store them on. This becomes even more relevant if your images are high quality or shot in RAW mode on a camera. Try to store your photos with some element of order as well, often images can be reused for different posts or in different ways. It’s also worth backing up your blog onto a portable hard drive just in case there’s an issue with your site. Regardless of if it’s your profession or a hobby, it would be a shame to lose all that hard work that you’ve put in!
If you’re using your gadgets daily then it’s worth getting gadget insurance to cover them in case of an accident or loss. Your home insurance may offer some limited protection but often doesn’t cover specific items when out and about and any claims can increase your overall home insurance premium. Instead, look for coverage that will provide you with fast replacement products on items such as your laptop, camera and phone. It may seem like an additional cost, but it’s worth it should the worst happen.