Things You Think You Need (But Dont) To Be A Blogger...


When I first started blogging, there wasn't as many beauty (and other) bloggers as there are now. Blogging has evolved a lot in the past few years and no doubt will continue to do so. Although I'd read blogs previously to starting my own, I didn't really have any preconceptions, I just sort of jumped in and went with the flow. If I started blogging today, then it would probably be a different story. I'd be likely to be overwhelmed and not have a clue about what I was doing. Beauty blogging and blogs in general are big business these days, however having blogged now for over two years and knowing what I do now, I still say that a blog is a blog and you shouldn't sell yourself short. I think theres a few things that people assume you need in order to blog but I can assure you that you really don't.

1. A DSLR
At the risk of sounding like a hypocrite as I do own a dslr camera (canon 1100d), I will say that having an expensive camera isn't a must for blogging. It sounds like a cliche, but it really is about how you take photos rather than the equipment used. A lot of compact cameras now do a great job at taking photographs and for the purposes of taking product photos or outfit photos etc, a cheaper camera or even the camera on your phone will do the job. My own camera was a birthday gift before I started blogging so it wasn't purchased for the sole purpose of this blog. Knowing what I know now, I wouldn't have invested in a dslr if I didn't own one previously - if you look at some of the photos on here from when I started you'll see that the quality is terrible on some of them. I'd say, get to know your camera, try and take photos in natural light (if possible) and have a few trial and error sessions to see how you can make best use of your space and camera.

2. Lighting
Lighting, such as softboxes and rings can cost a hell of a lot of money. Depending on where you live, then you might be lucky enough to get a lot of natural light. Obviously in winter, its difficult to take photos especially if you're busy during the day. Lights do help with this problem but for the purpose of blogging I'm not sure spending hundreds on lights is necessary. There are a few DIY light box tutorials out there - I like this one here. and also this DIY reflector over on makeup savvy. Also a cheap lamp from Ikea would work well with a daylight bulb.

3. Photoshop
I've only ever used a free trial of photoshop but I didnt think it was worth buying for the purpose of blogging. Whilst photoshop is great in terms of design, for photo editing, there are some great free programs out there. 
I have a post here comparing the best free photo editing sites - I personally use either pic monkey or ipiccy, though pixlr is great for collages and design.

4. Spending £££'s on a blog design
Now, this is obviously a personal decision but if you're not looking to spend a lot of money then you really dont need to. I've spent ages changing up my design and I have a few html tips here. If I can learn it then anyone can and its free to learn as there are all kinds of html information on the net. There's also lots of free templates too - I have one here. If you want something more unique, I highly recommend etsy as there are some beautiful designs for under £20 and also designers offering one of a kind templates.

5. A luxurious background for your photos
You dont need to splash out on things like candles etc if its not something you're going to use anyway. Likewise, you dont need to purchase specific things for backgrounds. I use things like bedding, throws, clothes, trays and even chopping boards. You can find free wallpapers samples in DIY stores and some shops may offer free fabric/paper samples.

6. Masses of products/clothes etc
As a blog grows, theres the potential for free samples/collaborations with companies. However, you dont need tonnes of samples to blog effectively. I have a post here on blogging on a budget. You can get a few free samples from makeup counters, certain sites online and magazines. I always think its good to think outside the box too when it comes to blog posts - just because your blog is aimed at beauty/fashion etc doesnt mean you have to post about those things. Remember its your blog and you can write about whatever you want.

7. Goals
Personally, I've never had any set goals when it comes to blogging. Sure, I'd like to improve my photography, writing skills etc but I've never set myself any targets and its completely ok not to. Likewise, if your using your blog to help with your career aspirations then thats ok too. Your blog is your online space, whether its your hobby or something more. Goals are great but sometimes I think they can add extra pressure. Its perfectly ok not to post everyday or to have x number of subscribers or x number of views. Whats they saying? Dont compare someone elses middle to your beginning.

I'm no blogging pro but I've seen a few bloggers recently say that they dont feel great about their blog. There are so many blogs out there, it can often feel overwhelming - I try to remember why I started my blog and the passion I have for it. You dont need tonnes of cash no matter how it may seem. Anyone can start a blog, which is the great thing about it!



64 comments

  1. Fabulous post! It's so easy to feel pressured into spending loads of money to make photos look more put together. I love your suggestion of using a cutting board or things around the house! Xx

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  2. I love this! I agree with all of these!

    blousesandblush.com

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  3. I agree with everything you say :) x

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  4. Great post and the html links are helpful too I have saved this onto my computers favourites!

    Emma Louise xx

    theemmalouise.blogspot.co.uk

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  5. I agree with everything, great post :) x

    https://books-and-memories.blogspot.com/

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  6. Loved this post, I completely agree with everything you've said! :)

    glossglitzandglamour.blogspot.co.uk

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  7. love your post! so many great tips for someone starting their first blog!

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  8. These are some really great tips, and are completely true :)

    xx
    ladyporter.blogspot.com

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  9. So much of this is true. While I use an SLR too (had it for years, like you), I've seen some lovely photos on blogs taken by camera phones!

    Katie x and-katie.com

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  10. So helpful since i started my blog just last week and feel like i need to spend money to get it better for sure taking your advice <3
    http://thebeautebook.blogspot.co.uk/

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  11. Ha, this is too true, you hear these sorts of things all the time on Twitter and yet it's more than possible to get by without.
    Lighting will always be a pain though!
    Mel x

    melswallofmirrors.blogspot.co.uk

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    Replies
    1. lighting is such a pain :)

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  12. I love posts like this and thank you so much for sharing, it's really helped. I still use my iPhone for photos and always feel pressured to get a better camera x

    splasheswithfabulosity.blogspot.com.au

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  13. The camera is a big thing for me. I know one blogger who takes lovely photos with a bridge camera and every time it's discussed people continue to assume you need a DSLR to take good pictures. A rubbish photo will be rubbish regardless of the camera used. My DSLR was a present but I would never buy one specifically for blogging, the point and shoot I had was perfectly fine for blogging and it was were I started.

    I'm not a beauty/fashion blog so lots of makeup/clothes doesn't really apply to me.

    Really, it would be nice if people would just stop taking themselves so seriously and just enjoy themselves a little bit more.

    ~ K
    bluehairinbelgium.blogspot.be

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  14. Very helpful, thank you. I am brand spanking new to blogging, and a bit still clueless but I am still learning. This was great! xo michellezulick.blogspot.com

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  15. These are such good tips to give to people! Even an iPhone camera, something that you probably have access too, can be of a really high quality with the right lighting and a little brightening in an editing program.

    nueyork.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. thankyou :) I know a few people use their iphone for blogging

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  16. Amen to this! I used to spend a fortune on things for my blog, now I've realised that it is just a hobby and if other people don't like the content/quality then that's okay :) x

    lamourjosie.com

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  17. I 100% agree! It's so easy to feel like you have to buy something just to get better photos - I don't have any lighting or anything, I just use natural light and the camera I have - for me the review is much better! xxx

    Blog This With Hannah

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  18. Photoshop is, without a doubt, important for editing; all the free software you get does not compare AT ALL. The problem is when a lot of bloggers use a trial version they don't think it's worth the money because they have no idea how to use it. Editing is incredibly important and a lot of bloggers fall down when it comes to their photographs.

    I totally agree with not "needing" a DSLR, especially if you don't have 'the eye' for taking photographs. Having a good camera won't make you a good photographer.

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    1. maybe I didnt put my point across correctly - I agree photoshop is far superior to free software but for the purpose of everyday blogging, I dont think its needed. If you can take decent quality photographs, you can get away with basic editing as written content is king in my honest opinion :)

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    2. I see what you're saying.. and I think in a roundabout way we're agreeing :)) I think people do need to spend more time/money on learning how to edit their photographs. Personally, as well written as a blog post might be, I am incredibly put off by poor photography and editing skills.. But that might be because I come from working in branding, marketing, and have an interest in design and aesthetics.

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  19. I agree with everything.. It's surprising how much you think you need but don't!

    xxx | daisydaisyxxo

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  20. This was really useful, thank you :)

    alice-isabelle.blogspot.co.uk

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  21. Great post! I really appreciate you sharing! Xo.

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  22. couldn't agree more to these lists ! :) thanks for sharing your awesome thoughts. :)

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  23. Great post and tips :) Thanks for sharing!

    Aissa // Layer It Up

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  24. Thank you for posting this! I love that phrase "don't compare someone else's middle to your beginning" A friend and I just started our blog and it's hard to look at other blogs and seeing how popular theirs is compared to ours. It's really nice to have that reminder :)

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  25. Brilliant post! So many excellent points you've brought up!
    Btw I've just sent you an email, thank you so much if you take the time to reply to it!
    Love your blog :D

    Jade
    jadethejourno.blogspot.co.uk

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  26. You are right. Most bloggers waste time and money in unnecessary thing more then in writing informative and useful posts.

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  27. What an inspirational post! Thanks for the tips! Love your blog :) xx

    http://marybloomy.blogspot.pt/

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  28. Great post & I'm trying to get into the thick of blogging now and I do feel overwhelmed, so your advice was a breath of fresh air

    BLEURGH - http://www.bleurghnow.com

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  29. I generally agree with you. But I'm looking forward to owning a DSLR because my current one sadly doesn't do the job. It's not a must have but it'd be great to have one :P

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  30. I totally agree with everything. I would probably even argue you don't need to buy your domain name either but it does look better if you do.

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  31. Thank you for this post. I started blogging this year and have already caught myself buying the "blogger buys" (ex: Diptyque candle..$35!?!?) Gotta stay true to self :) Thanks girl!

    Dannon @ Like The Yogurt Fashion. DIY. Beauty

    Follow me on
    bloglovin
    and
    instagram!

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  32. I completely agree with all these points! Even though I do own Photoshop I always use picmonkey.com anyway. A lot of people get lost in all the blogging "musts" when really if you write good content that makes up for the rest.

    Colourful Stuff | Beauty, Fashion, Life ♥

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  33. Really helpful tips xx

    http://dainty-confessions.blogspot.com.es/

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  34. This is such a reassuring post! A lot of things mentioned in this post was things I was worried about with my own blog. It's nice to know I can make my blog work without any of these things!

    Natalie xo

    Petal Poppet Blogs ♥

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  35. This is such a lovely post and so reassuring for a new blogger! Thank you :) I completely agree with you about using natural lighting, my camera is absolutely awful in anywhere that's slightly dark but it doesn't look too bad in natural lighting!
    Also, your HTML posts have been helping me so much!
    Becki xxx

    www.beautyandthebrunette.co.uk

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  36. Love this! its very helpful. I don't have a DSLR or even a digital camera. I used my Samsung Galaxy S4 to take pictures and blog. It is pretty frustrating to see how other bloggers have better quality pictures and I felt like I need to step up my game and buy some tools to improve my blogs. However, I realized that even a Samsung S4 can take great pictures, it is all about the content and how much effort you put in making a good post..

    xoxo
    www.colorsinmybubble.blogspot.com

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  37. I love this post, it's really helpful. It's easy to see other people that seem to "have it all", and feel like to even capture a spot of readership, all of that is necessary. I like that you don't have a specific goal blogging either- it takes some of the adventure out of blogging!
    www.natillie.com

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  38. Love these tips! I'm just getting started, and one of the things that I'm struggling with is finding enough daylight time to do photographs. I've been trying to find alternatives, but I'd prefer to not purchase expensive equipment - especially as it's not feasible with the amount of travel I do! I'll check out the light box tips you recommend. Thank you!

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  39. I've definitely fallen prey to a lot of these things. I've spent SO much money since I started blogging and it's something I can't necessarily sustain so I like these tips alot!

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Thank you so much for reading!I read every comment and try to respond.If you have a question you can also email me or tweet me @sweetelectric xoxo