2017 was a weird for me blogwise. There were times were I enjoyed it more than anything and felt really driven to keep creating great content. Then there were time where I didn’t even want to think about blogging. Then there were the worst times of all, where I didn’t feel well enough to blog. Something that was new too me this year and not easy to deal with.

I think this last year I’ve produced some of my best content. There are so many outfit posts that I’m super proud of, and I really enjoyed doing my Week in Pictures posts in the summer. As for Blogmas, I just wasn’t feeling it this year. I needed up just enjoying the festive season without documenting it all and thats fine. I also have a whole month of Christmas posts planned which I can just use next year. I’m even thinking of writing and scheduling it super early this year so that I’m over prepared next December!

In March the blog will turn 6. Thats a long time to keep going with something and there have certainly been times this year when I’ve wondered about when to stop. Luckily I’m anywhere near that stage yet and I know I have a lot more blog posts left in me! I think it’s great to go into the new year with some goals and here are a few of mine.

ONE: I’d like to get back to taking regular outfit photos and sharing them both on here and on Instagram. It’s something I’ve always been pretty consistent at and I’ve fallen behind recently. I love getting creative with my clothes and having recently reorganised my wardrobe I have lots of ideas. I’m not a big fan of winter outfits, so I always fine it a bit harder at this time of year but there’s nothing wrong with a challenge!

TWO: I’d also really like to do more Week in Pictures posts. They’re the ones I love going back and reading. They’re easier to do in the school holidays, as I do m ore when the kids are off. I find it quite hard on normal weeks, because most of what I do is just work and cleaning! I do always try to do a couple of fun things though and I’m sure I can find a way to make it work. It might even encourage me to fit in more interesting stuff!

THREE: An important goal for me right now is to pace myself and one important goal for next year is to just stop when I need to. I can be quite hard on myself when I need a break, but its something I’m working on. First and foremost the blog is something I enjoy doing, so it should never become a burden.

FOUR: One of the most common bits of blogging advise I see is to write for yourself. This year I’d like to write more about everything. Yes I love fashion and baking, but also walking, music, doing stuff with the kids. The blog has always been a bit of a mash up of topics, and I’m hoping it will be even more so this year!

FIVE: Another goal I’d like to think about is looking back at old posts on the blog and some of the things I used to do, but don’t anymore. I know you used to love my charity shop hauls and I hardly do them now. In fact I’d like more vintage themed content in general as there’s not been nearly enough of that recently. Sometimes it’s great to go back to basics.

SIX: My last goal isn’t really a blog goal, but I thought I’d include it anyway. I’d like to start working harder on my Etsy again. I love selling pretty vintage things, I’ve been doing it far longer than I’ve been blogging and it’s something I enjoy massively. It also give me a good excuse to go out hunting for pretty vintage things, which I don’t do nearly enough anymore! So watch this space, the shop is going to get a lot better over the  next few months.

What are your goals for the next year. I have lots of personal ones that I might do a post on, if I get time. If you’re a long term reader or just a new arrival, I’d love to know what you’d like to see on the blog. What are your favourite types of posts and is there anything new you’d like me to try?

Ways to follow Vintage Frills

Instagram – Twitter – Facebook – Pinterest – Youtube – Bloglovin’

One of my favourite things about blogging, is the ability to create something beautiful. Although I love writing, photography will always be my favourite part of the process. As I’ve recently started a little series of blogging tips posts, I thought it was high time I talked a bit about taking blog photographs. When Panasonic asked me to create a post about blog photography I jumped at the chance. Their Panasonic Compact System Camera is ideal for bloggers, looking for an all round camera.

How to take blog photographsIn recent years blog photography has really stepped up a gear, especially with the rise of Instagram. Everything is very visual these days. This blog has three main types of photographs; they are photographs of items and products, outfit photos and photos of places. I wanted to focus on the first type of blog photographs in this post.

Backgrounds: Having lovely back drops for your photos is a great place to start. For my photos I use anything from furniture in my house to nice floors and often pretty pieces of wallpaper work well. Many bloggers opt for a simple white background. If have a nice supply of papers and locations I use and always have something to hand for when I need to get a job done in a hurry.

How to take blog photographsLighting: Good lighting will always be your friend when taking good blog photos. Natural light without too many shadows will always work best. If theres a bright but overcast day, the diffused light is perfect for getting those snaps. I also use a soft box light when I absolutely need to. Its also nice to add a little depth to pictures using light boxes, candles of fairy lights.

How to take blog photographsProps: As my blog has a vintage theme, I usually find nice things to include in my photos at car boot sales and charity shops. I love using vintage books, kitchen bits, china and jewellery to make my pictures interesting. I also love using fresh flowers. You can choose nice things that go well with the look and feel of your blog.

How to take blog photographsFind your own style: At the moment flat lays are everywhere. They look great, work across all social platforms and are a great way top show off products, bakes or whatever it is you want to show. As well as flat lays I like to take photographs from lots of different angles. It’s all about finding your own style and what works well for you and your blog. For each post I usually take about 50 pictures and choose 3 or 4 perfect ones for the finished piece. The more you work at it, the more you’ll find your own style.

How to take blog photographsTake inspiration from others: One of the best ways to find inspiration is to read lots of other blogs, look at Pinterest and look at pictures in magazines. Obviously do this without directly copying someone else ideas. I often get ideas for composition and layout from elsewhere and then do my own thing from there. Blogging is all about learning as you go.

How to take blog photographsEquipment: Depending on what you can afford, a good camera does make a big difference. I started off using my phone to take my pictures, as time has gone on I’ve upgraded my camera several times. I still take outdoor shots on my phone sometimes. For my flat lays and food shots or anything taken indoors I use my SLR camera with a macro lens.

How to take blog photographsEditing: This is a really important part of the photography process for me. Once I’ve taken and chosen my blog photographs I like to crop, edit and watermark them before adding them to the blog. I used to use photoshop for this. I now use Pic Monkey as its very quick, straightforward and easy to use. There is lots of free editing software online as well as more advances options that you pay to use. It’s worth shopping around and trying different things to see what works best for you. As I’ve got better at taking pictures, I’ve needed to edit less, but it can be a great way to improve pictures when the light wasn’t perfect or the colours aren’t quite right.

I hope these tips have been helpful when taking your own blog photographs. If you have any questions or have any blog tips you’d like me to include in a later post, please let me know and I’ll get to work on that for you. Be sure to check out my Blogging Tips section for more blogging advice.

* Thank you to Panasonic for working with me on this post. All opinions and images are my own. 

Ways to follow Vintage Frills

Instagram – Twitter – Facebook – Pinterest – Youtube – Bloglovin’

It’s time for the next instalment of my Blogging Tips series. This time I’m talking about blogging equipment and the tools I use to do my job.

Really all you need when you start out blogging is something to write your posts on and something to take pictures on. When I started out out I had an old laptop and a camera phone. As time went on I have definitely gained a fair amount more blogging equipment. This post is all about the things I use, you by no means need all of it, these are just a few things that help me create my content.

Blogging Tips - Useful Blogging EquipmentLaptop – I use a MacBook Pro to write on, I love how portable it is and lots of my work happens while I’m on the go. I am one of those people who can be spotted in a coffee shop typing away! A lap top really is the most essential bit of blogging equipment.

Camera – My main camera for blogging is a Nikon 5200, this fab SLR is perfect for blog photography. I have a selection of difference lenses that I use for different types of photos.

Camera Remote – A really useful tool, if you’re going to be taking pictures of yourself. A self timer remote, takes the stress out of taking your own pictures.

Blogging Tips - Useful Blogging EquipmentPhone – I have an iPhone 7. Since getting this phone, I’ve taken a lot more blog photos on it as the camera is amazing. Most of my Week in Pictures posts are now taken using my iPhone rather than my big camera. I’m loving the extra space in my bag!

Notebooks – I am forever buying pretty new notebooks and filling them with to do lists and ideas. Blogging may be an online things, but good stationary is a big part of what we do.

Chargers – When you’re constantly taking pictures or checking social media, a portable charger is essential. I  never go anywhere without one. Check out the Tylt charger for an easy solution.

A big bag – I’d love to travel around with a tiny bag, but as I always have notebooks, cameras and chargers in tow, a big bag is a blogging essential.

Lighting – Good lighting is so important for taking good blog photos, I try to use natural daylight, but I also have a pair or soft box lights to help.

Blogging Tips - Useful Blogging EquipmentProps – I’m always on the lookout for new probs for my photographs. I pick up little treasures at charity shops and car boots to include in my photos. I also have a big selections of backgrounds. My favourite photo prop is definitely a bunch of fresh flowers though.

This post has kindly been sponsored by Tylt. They have a fantastic range of charging solutions, perfect for bloggers and those who work on the go. Their range includes power cases, portable chargers and wireless chargers.

Ways to follow Vintage Frills

Instagram – Twitter – Facebook – Pinterest – Youtube – Bloglovin’

Blogging is a such a wonderful thing, people gets all sorts of different things out of it. Whether it’s a hobby or a job its a great creative outlet and a really good way to share your passions and things you enjoy. Blogs come in many different formats, subjects and types, but the best thing about them, is the freedom to make them whatever you want them to be. But before we begin it’s always worth picking up a few blogging tips and tricks of the trade.

Blogging tips for starting a successful blogI get asked about blogging a lot. I’ve been writing this blog for over 5 and a half years and when I started out I had so many questions, most of which were answered by my bestie Fay, who’s been blogging since before blogging was even a thing! Now I wanted to share some of the things I’ve learnt along the way with you. Just a few simple blogging tips.

Blogging tips for starting a successful blogTodays post is all about the very first steps, the things that you need to do before you even start writing your first post. In some ways these are the boring bits, but getting it right on the first day will pay dividends as you start to grow your blog. There are lots of posts with blogging tips online, so this is just my personal advice.

  1. Think of a name: Have a think about a short snappy name for your blog. Something that reflects the content, or even your own name or nickname can work well. Try to make it memorable, but also something you really like, because you’ll be seeing it a lot.
  2. Check that the name isn’t taken: Google the name of your new blog and check that it’s not in use. Check social media to make sure that no one else has a page with the same name as your new blog. If they do its time to go back to the drawing board and think of something new.
  3. Set up an email address: It really helps to have any email address exclusively for your blog. This makes it easy to remember and keeps your blog related emails separate from your other ones. I actually spend more time on emails as a full-time blogger than I do on any other aspect of blogging.
  4. Find a site to host your blog: The most popular options are WordPress and Blogger. I personally started with WordPress.com and moved on to a self hosted site further down the line. Read up on the pros and cons of each before you decide.
  5. Set up social media: Set up social accounts with your blog name, even ones you don’t initially want to use. Try to have the same name across all of them. For example I use @vintage_frills for both Twitter and Instagram. It’s also a good idea to follow other people who inspire and interest you.
  6. Write your About Me page: One of the most looked at parts of your blog will be your About section. Write a brief summary about yourself and your blog and add a nice picture or two. Here’s my About Me page, its changed lots of times along the way, as the blog has evolved.
  7. Add your contact details: If you want people to be able to contact you, make sure your email address is visible on the blog.
  8. Add your social channels to your blog: Add your social links to your blog. You can just add logos or even widgets that display your social feeds. The best place for these is in your sidebar.
  9. Start Planning: Decide what topics you’d like to write about on your blog. Think about how often you want to post and whether you’d like to focus on writing, photographs or both. I like to write a list of all the posts I’d like to write and then work my way through them. I’ll explain more b about my planning process in my next blogging post.
  10. Publish your first post: After all the hard work setting up your blog, it feel great to finally get that first post written. Make sure you share it on all your social channels.

I hope these tips have been helpful. These are the absolute basics and I’d love to go into a bit more depth about the ins and outs of blogging. If there any particular topics you’d like to see covered, please comment or drop me a message and I’ll see what I can do. Look out for my next blogging tips post in the next few weeks.

Ways to follow Vintage Frills

Instagram – Twitter – Facebook – Pinterest – Youtube – Bloglovin’