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I was scrolling through my Twitter timeline recently and saw a conversation between two bloggers about what a blog post should consist of. The general gist was that unless a post contains multiple Vogue worthy images and a piece of writing to rival Shakespeare then it wasn’t a legit post. I might be slightly exaggerating here but needless to say the tone of the tweets got my back up a little.

First and foremost, a post is whatever you want it to be. If you want to write the next War and Peace accompanied with a grainy image then that’s fine. If you want to share 5 glossy images of your latest purchase with no words at all then that’s fine too. Literally whatever you feel like expresses your creativity best is what you should do! And don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. There is no magic formula to creating a good post which is the beauty of blogging.

I hear some of you sceptics say “Well that’s fine but you won’t be very successful unless you appeal to brands”. And here’s what I’d say to them; if you want to blog because it’s your passion then making money is secondary or irrelevant. As long as your stay true to yourself, it will be fulfilling. If you want to blog to make money then exploit your unique take on a post to your advantage. How many times have we heard that this industry is saturated and there’s no more space for new bloggers. I think there is space as long as there is a point of difference. There’s no point in copying someones style or conforming to a standard way of blogging because it’s the done thing. That won’t get you noticed. If you’re doing something that is attracting an audience success will follow. It’s like the old saying, first they laugh then they copy. I’ve seen this and experienced this so many times in the blogging world. If you feel like you’re doing something unconventional then do more of it! Taking risks pays off.

So there really is not ‘correct’ way to blog. The more unusual and unique the better! Let’s use our platforms to force diversity in the industries we play in, challenge the status quo and pave the way for future creators.

 

These items were kindly sent to me.

boohoo sunglassesLipsy grey giletHow to juggle a blog and a jobSo you have an awesome day job, you’re not ready to quit it yet or you simply want to keep blogging as a hobby. We all have different reasons for not going full time with our blogs but there’s no denying blogging takes an awful lot of time.

This post is not about how to make your blog as fabulous as possible while keeping your day job ticking along. This post aims to help you strike the right balance between blogging and holding a successful career.

transitional wardrobearmani exchange bag

Know Your Niche

How many times have you heard this phrase in the blogging world. Probably too many. Well I’m going to say it again but this time it has a real meaning. If you work in finance from 9-5 but you have a passion for art then blog about your favourite artists or even your own pieces of art. If you’re a teacher by day but an avid gamer in the evenings then start a gaming channel on YouTube. The key to this phase is “your” niche. That thing that really gets your blood pumping, that’s the seed of your blog and it’s up to you to grow it in the direction you want. It might be a passion which you’re not able to follow in your day job, it could be completely unrelated. But that’s the beauty of blogging, it can be anything you want it to be.

What I love about blogging is how it lets me explore a side of me that I am not able to in my job. I’ve always had an interest in fashion and blogging is a way for me to unleash my creativity, unhindered by the restrictions of working for someone else. My day job is a world away from the bells and whistles of bloggersphere but it is also something that I am passionate about. The way I see it, it’s like having the best of both worlds.

Lipsy Gilet grey giletfur gilet outfit

Create A Schedule And Stick To It

You guys know by now that I’m a stickler for organisation and this time it is a must to keep a balance in your life. It is near impossible to blog on an ad hoc basis and stay consistent. So getting in to a routine can really help. For example, I try to post on a Monday and a Thursday but all images for the posts must be ready the Sunday before. Images usually take me the longest which is why I like to get them out of the way as early as I can. The writing mostly comes the day before the post is live. So the majority of my blogging is done on the weekend and the odd post is written in the evenings during the week. It’s a good balance for me because blogging doesn’t interfere with my day job or vice versa.

autumn outfitcollage_fotor river island jeans

Don’t Feel Guilty

As you grow your readership and establish a brand in the blogging world you might be invited to blogger events. More often than not these events are during the day or on a school night and it’s not always possible to make them but don’t feel bad about it. I’ll let you in to a little secret, most events aren’t really all that! That’s not to sound rude or ungrateful, typically brands are extremely generous and welcoming but if you can’t make it then don’t stress. It’s a lot of effort and time to travel to the location to spend a couple of hours at an event and travel back. Most of the time you won’t be getting paid and you’ll either have to take annual leave for the day or miss out on a days wages. When you weigh it up like that sometimes it doesn’t make sense going even though it sucks turning down invitations.

blog tips zara heels

Don’t Forget What Pays The Bills

At the end of the day we all need money. Those bills won’t pay themselves. So don’t forget to focus on what contributed to your bank account. For me, that’s my day job and it takes priority every time. It doesn’t hurt that it’s also something I really enjoy. But I know the temptation when my blog is picking up momentum to quit everything and go full time with it. You know those weeks when engagement is up and opportunities are rife, it’s a struggle to bring my head back down to earth and realise that blogging can be unpredictable and right now that doesn’t suit my lifestyle. There’s so much pressure to say that bloggging is a lifelong passion and I would do it full time to prove my commitment. But it’s important to be honest with yourself (and other bloggers) when it comes to doing it full time. It’s ok if it stays a hobby.

 

 

These items were kindly sent to me. 

 

Dorothy PerkinsNavy BlazerStipe Top OutfitDorothy PerkinsOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALong HairOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANavy and White OutfitBaylayageOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The best part of creating your own personal style is finding pieces you love from your favourite brands and putting them together. But imagine if you could create a complete look from one shop. This summer Dorothy Perkins has you covered! Their collections are so well coordinated you won’t even have to think! Head over to the Magazine section on their website for the easiest, stress free shopping experience.

 

These items were kindly sent to me. 

Brand AtticWhite Ripped JeansBrand Attic OutfitTrench Coat OutfitLamoda HeelsBlack Trench Coat
Spring Outfit

This season has been full of surprises for me so far, including a couple of new fashion finds which has got me excited to start transitioning my wardrobe for the warmer weather. My first gem is this fine knit sweater from Holly & Whyte. I’ve been looking for a nautical style jumper for a little while and I found this one by accident while browsing the stores on the Westfield Stratford website. I came across a shop I had never heard of or visited before called Lindex. It has quite a small range but the clothes are really well made and affordable. It’s almost like a smaller H&M. Some of you are probably really familiar with this store but I’ve been completely oblivious! Anyway, I’ve nearly worn this jumper out already which is quite an achievement because me and white clothes don’t mix well! I’m itching to order more clothes from Lindex this summer.

As spring hasn’t quite bloomed yet it’s making it difficult to plan outfits from one day to the next. So recently I’ve been reaching for this trench coat from Brand Attic to pull on over my outfit which leads me to my next find. Brand Attic is a fairly new online store that has so many brands to choose from and a really eclectic style. I’ve taken to browsing their site to look for inspiration but every time I do I find at least five more items I want to add to my cart! Their Spring Is Here edit has really good transitional pieces so it’a well worth a look if you’re like me and struggle to decide what to wear at this time of year.

 

Vila Rant Trench Coat

Liquor n Poker Ripped Jeans

Holly & Whyte Sweater

Lamoda Heels

Boohoo Aviator Sunglasses

 

This post is in collaboration with Brand Attic but all views are my own.

Spring outfitCarbon and CoalBoohoo aviatorsJewellery collage smart casualcartier style necklace
Grey DusterworkwearPretty Little Thing Trousers

My favourite type of jewellery is silver or white gold, simple and classic. I like to change between a few pieces every once in a while but still keep it chic and matching. At the moment I love the Ariel Necklace from Carbon and Coal which has a bit of a Cartier Love Necklace feel to it but it is a fraction of the price!

I’m also a bit of a sucker for pretty rings and Carbon and Coal have so many beautiful styles that won’t break the bank. I already wear their Cinderella Ring regularly which I have been really happy with. It hasn’t tarnished and it works with whatever other jewellery or outfit I wear. I’ve found the same with the Monroe ring. Initially I thought it might be a bit bling for every day, but it’s size makes it really wearable and adds a bit of sparkle.

You can get 30% off anything from Carbon and Coal using code ANIKADIAMOND.

 

Carbon and Coal Ariel Necklace

Carbon and Coal Monroe Ring

Wear All Belted Jacket

Dorothy Perkins Blouse

Pretty Little Thing Joggers

Pretty Little Thing Lace Up Heels

Boohoo Sunglasses

 

These items were kindly sent to me. 

blazer outfitmonochrome outfitLamoda sunglassesspring outfit inspirationchoker outfit inspirationboohoo blazer outfitLamoda chokerLambda accessoriesripped jeans

Chokers have been creeping their way back in to fashion recently. It’s taken me a while, but I’ve decided that this is a trend I can definitely get involved with. I love how simple they are. This one I’m wearing from Lamoda has to be my favourite. Lamoda has become my go-to place for accessories, my shoes and sunglasses are from them too.  You can get 20% off everything on Lamoda.co.uk using code BALLIN20 valid from 31.03.2016 – 04.04.2016.

 

Lamoda Choker

Lamoda Sunglasses

Lamoda Shoes

Boohoo Blazer

Fearless Jeans (similar)

Asos Vest Top

 

These items were kindly sent to me.