5 Gadgets Every Blogger Needs

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Blogging is one of the cheapest businesses to set off. You don’t need much really; a domain and a minimal theme and you are good to go. But there are some gadgets you would be needing if you plan on taking your blog to another level. You won’t need to spend a lot of money because you may already a few of these gadgets already.

Here are the top 5 gadgets every blogger may need:

Laptop/iPad

Having a laptop and iPad is essential to blogging for me. I do most of my blogging work on my laptop, but I use my iPad a lot when I am on the move or when I am too lazy to go on my laptop. Because I take my Laptop and iPad everywhere I go, so I can work, I like to have it protected. I use a cool custom-made skin made by the lovely people at CaseApp, and I will be telling you guys all about the fab skin in the next few days. I will also be giving away a discount code, so lookout for that post.

Back to the gadgets, I have always had a laptop and iPad so I didn’t buy them specially for blogging, but now that I blog and work from home fulltime, they have become even more useful. I would be lost without them and it would be very hard to blog without having at least 1 of them.

 

Camera

I had a point and shoot Fujifilm camera before I started blogging. So it automatically became my first blogging camera. I used it for a few months before upgrading to another Fujifilm point and shoot camera, which was a better model. I finally got a Canon DSLR about a year ago, and it is the best. I would strongly advise any blogger especially Fashion and Beauty Bloggers, to go for a DSLR straight away. The difference in the quality of pictures is gobsmaking, trust me.

 

Memory Card

If you take a lot of photos like I do, then you will be needing a memory card with a huge storage. It is better to have just 1 big memory card, than to have 3/4 memory cards with tiny storage.

 

iPhone

I finally joined the iPhone family this year, since I decided I have had enough of having a Blackberry and that was a fab decision for my blogging career. Having an iPhone means I can update my Instagram a lot quicker and it means I can take better photos on my phone. The quality of the camera on my iPhone 6s is unreal. I think it is the best mobile phone camera I have ever had. I know it sounds vain but I can take more discreet photos of my meals or anything I choose to photograph, when I am out and about.

 

Tripod, Selfie Stick & Photo Props

I blogged successfully for over 3 years without a Tripod but having one has made my life a lot easier. It is so easy to take a photo when I am alone now.

I have just bought myself a Selfie Stick and I think it is definitely another gadget worth having as a blogger.

Photo props are essentials for me because I like to make my photos pretty as much as I can. I got a mini white fluffy carpet from IKEA some months ago and I have found it very useful so far. I also have a few wall papers and tiles I use as photo props. I got them free as samples at Wilkinson and B&Q, so it is worth checking your local home stores to see what you can get.

 

What gadgets can you not live without as a blogger?

How to Blog on a Tight Budget

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A lot of time, energy and resources go into blogging. You have to run, nurture and grow your blog like you would do a baby. Depending on the vision and the goals you set for your blog, you have to make sure you invest in it.
You can run a blog with no financial investment at all but your progress will be slow and the results will likely be few and far between. If you are thinking of blogging professionally, you will need to take things further to up your game. I’m aware that some bloggers run on a tight budget and do not have enough money to spend on expensive equipment, ads, or software. Don’t get discouraged. You can still make great progress and record awesome results even on a shoe-string budget. Here are some tips for you –
What is your long-term plan?
Surely, you will not run your blog on a budget forever. But if you want to make sure that every penny you spend on your blog gives you a nice return on investment, you need to have a plan laid out. Consider exactly how much you can spend on your blog. Write down the figure on a piece of paper. Next write a list of what you would like to achieve with your blog on a monthly basis, the reason you want to achieve it and an estimate of how much you would need to make each of those items come true.
Here comes the tough part: go through your list and tick only the essentials. When you’re running on a tight budget, you need to make smart use of the money you have to spend. So you need to stick to the essentials as much as possible. For example, if you run a food blog and on your list you have “buy a new camera to take crisp photos of the food I make” or “buy audio equipment for a food podcast,” then the most important item would be a new camera. This is because your readers will need to see the food you are making.

A camera is an essential for any type of blogger. A decent point and shoot camera may be a good place to start if you are running on a very tight budget. Most iPhones also take excellent photos so you may just start with that if you have one, and see how it goes. I shared some photography tips in my book – How to Cash In as a Blogger, so go have a read.

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Improvise as much as you can
There’s always an alternative for everything. Check your list again and ask yourself: Is there a cheaper, yet efficient alternative to the items on this list? For example, you could use your phone to record the videos you’ll use for your blog. You could download video editing software with a 30-day trial period then save up to buy that software next month.
Be creative. Necessity is the mother of inventions. The beauty blogger, Anna Gardner, started by balancing her camera on top of cereal boxes to record her videos instead of getting a tripod to do the job. Think outside the box, and make sure of what you do have.
Learn a new skill
Professional bloggers with a high budget usually have a team behind their blog. They have their own photographer, graphic designer, copywriter, publicist and virtual assistant. If you’re running on a tight budget, you may not be able to afford hiring people to make up your team. Why not learn a skill? For example, you can teach yourself how to create your own graphics, or you can simply use sites like Canva or PicMonkey to get the work done for you. Or get a friend or family member to do the job for you.

Do you have any tips for blogging on a budget?

The Thin Line Between Self-Promoting & Spamming

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As a blogger or freelancer, it’s important to create awareness about your blog/freelance business. I spend a lot of time on the internet trying to publicize Fashion and Style Police, and get my content in front of my potential readers and clients. Although it’s necessary to put your work and business out there, you need to do it with caution so you don’t become a nuisance.
There is a thin line between promoting yourself, your blog or your business and outright spamming. Some people don’t know the difference and because of this they unknowingly spam on the internet everyday. More often than not, such people get bashed doing it but some never know how annoying their continuous noise promotion really is.
If you promote yourself tactfully, you’ll find yourself building a loyal following, making great connections, building relationships and grabbing many clients. To guide your activities, here’s a test you can use to determine whether you’re spamming or self-promoting. Whenever you want to write a post or create any sort of content on social media, stop and ask yourself; “Will this post or piece of content make my business grow in the long run, nurture my audience and still tell people know about me?” If it won’t, then you’re most likely spamming. If it will, then you’re self-promoting.
Just to keep you in the clear, here are 3 characteristics that will help you know the difference between self-promotion and spamming.
1.    Frequency of posting
One of the first things you notice about self-promotional content and spam is the difference in the frequency at which the post is made. A piece of content becomes spammy when you post the same kind of content several times a day using the same medium. For example, you post the same link to your blog 5 times in the same Facebook group. That can be annoying, especially to someone who has already seen the same link several times before.
When you are self-promoting you talk about yourself or your business frequently but not so frequently. So you can share an Instagram story highlighting what you have been up to that day, tweeting links to different blog post once in 2 hours, chit-chat with your followers, and go live on your Facebook page. This way you are promoting your business, but in different ways.
2.    Value of the content
Most times, as you promote you give value to your audience especially when you share tips or tricks as a means to show your expertise. The goal is to inform as well as create awareness.
When it comes to spamming, spammers share little or no value with their audience. You gain nothing of benefit. Spammers just drop links and don’t share actionable steps. Their primary aim is to get you to click, buy or download. There is usually no value added for spammers, but professional promoters know there should always be something in it for the readers.
3.    Build relationships
Spamming creates no reason for making connections or building relationships with people. Spammers do not care about whom they should share their content with. They can post to anyone and to anywhere. Oftentimes they pick random social media accounts or emails and send their content without caring whether their content will be useful to those people or not.
Those who self-promote take time to identify their audience and build relationships with them through helping out or sharing useful information. They do not post just anywhere. They carefully select where they post because they believe that it is more effective to show their expertise to those who will really need it. Those who self-promote build real relationships and grow their network. They also share other useful content from fellow bloggers/freelancers on their social media platforms.

 

What do you think of self-promotion and spamming? Do you have any tip to share?