Skills I have learnt as a Blogger

 While I am not a full time blogger, I totally understand the amount of work that goes into the final product/published blog post. Blogging may seem like a playful/fun/entertaining hobby (which it should be) but it does not mean it doesn’t take up a lot of time. I am not by any means complaining at all in fact I absolutely love it.  Blogging is the only thing I can ever do into the wee hours of the night/morning because I enjoy it so much that I even forget time is ticking by. If I did not love blogging so much, I think I would have given up a long time ago because it is so challenging to be a regular blogger when you have a demanding full time job/studies or a combination of both. I thought it would be nice to breakdown some of the skills I have learned in the past two years as a result of blogging. The only task I don't do a lot of  is the financial aspect which I guess is more relevant for full time bloggers or people fully monetising their blogs. I hope this encourages any would-be bloggers to start a blog or current bloggers  Seriously, if you are thiking of starting a blog, just do it (like Nike). Right, let's get on with it....

Writing/Editing Skills: This is a no brainer because blogging is all about writing as you would expect. You don't necessarily have to be an author or writer but you need to love writing at least for you to effectively run your blog. Of course, you don’t have to write lengthy posts every time but you want your content to be informative and stand out so you can add value to your readers. You would also have the grand old job of editing what you have written to ensure there are no grammatical errors before publishing, Honestly, it is hard sometimes to see small errors especially when you have read it on preview a thousand times but you have to try. It is a skill I have improved on over the years and my full time job has benefitted from it and vice versa.

Researching Skills: Research is extremely important especially if you are reviewing products and I love to do it. I am always so pleased when readers and fellow bloggers leave positive feedback on my reviews; it honestly makes my day. My full time job involves endless research which is why I apply the same knowledge or expertise with my blog and vice versa. When I am reviewing a product, especially new/unknown ones, I like my readers to feel like they know so much about the product for them to make an informed decision on purchasing or not. I also like to feel that way when I read other bloggers' reviews. I personally don’t think it takes a long time to do research because it also involves your personal experience with the product. Most times, I just write how I feel about a product on my Notes on my iPhone or on Evernote and when it’s time to write my review I just add everything together so it provides the bigger picture.

Photography Skills: I cannot think of any blog without pictures because it would just be so drab. If you are a beauty/fashion/lifestyle/food blogger or any blogger that writes personal posts or does product reviews, you would need to take your own photos unless you are blessed to have someone who does that for you. Even if you have someone to help, you still need to know how to operate your camera and take your own photos in case there is no one to help. After taking pictures, you also have to edit them so they look nice and fit well with your blog and trust me, these two tasks can be very time consuming although they are enjoyable. If you live in the UK or any other country that has shorter days during A/W, then you would struggle with getting good daylight for photos so you need to plan your time and daylight effectively. You have to be super organised as well.

Social Media Strategist Skills: It is imperative to be active on social media if you want to promote your blog and get your voice out there. Many people underestimate the power of social media and the amount of time that can be spent on it promoting your blog. Interacting on social media is not just promoting your blog; it’s about networking, checking out other people’s blogs and brands. It is very rewarding and give syou a chance to meet many amazing people. I think I absolutely suck at this but I am trying to get better.

Graphics/HTML/Coding Skills: Even if you buy a pre-made template from a designer or you have a regular one from Blogger/WordPress, you still have to acquire a basic knowledge of HTML and simple codes to personalise your blog. Google is the answer and there are tons of tutorials out there which teach simple or not-so-simple tasks  like designing headers, adding widgets, banners, making social media buttons and tweaks to make your blog look better. Everything I learnt was via Google through trial and errors.

Blog Housekeeping Skills (Administration Skills): Back of house tasks are very important especially if you want your blog to remain fresh and relevant. Back of house tasks can be anything such as removing old links, replacing links, changing some pictures, editing any grammatical errors, updating your information (about me and FAQs pages), etc. You can change the look of your blog and get a new template, add new social media buttons, etc. The list is endless but it is really essential so your readers are confident they are getting the most up to date information from your blog. It may seem like a drab task to do sometimes but I have improved on my skills in this area and apply to my personal life. It is also strongly linked to being organised.

PR Skills: Public Relations is related to social media and promoting your blog but it also involves other areas such as working with brands and other bloggers. When brands approach you, you would need to know how to represent yourself professionally to deal with their requests. To be fair, it has never been an issue for me but it does need a good touch of professionalism. I get quite a few PR requests every now and then. I accept some and turn down many  because I don’t think it is a right fit for my blog or I don’t think it would be beneficial to me or my readers. I have learned to understand how to represent and negotiate with brands and having a good knowledge of my blog’s worth. This usually involves emails and sometimes, telephone calls. Whatever mode it is, it is a job that you have to do yourself unless of course you have an agency/network that sorts that out for you. The more you do it, the better you beccome and of course this skill can be applied in other areas of your life.

Finance/Accounting Skills: Aha, this is one area many people shy away from. The truth is you would spend some money on your blog no matter what. It could be a small sum or a large sum but you need to understand how you manage this spending. If you are reviewing products, buying equipment for blogging or tools (whether for personal use or not), it is a cost. If you buy a template, social media button, it’s a cost to your blog. Paying for a custom domain, renewing or hosting your blog is a cost as well which needs to be managed. There is also the flip side of getting some income on your blog. If you live in the UK, you may need to be registered as self employed if you are making a significant amount from your blog either via sponsored posts, affiliate links, adverts or paid placement. Some bloggers even have to pay an accountant to help with their Tax Returns which may mean that you have to pay attention to your expenses and file everything. I don't think everyone would learn finance/accounting skills from having a blog but if you are monetising your blog, it is a good skill you would pick up over time.

Overall Thoughts
Regardless of how many these tasks look like, blogging is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. The sense of pride I feel when I publish a post, take a nice photo, get a comment or positive feedback is so amazing and it keeps me going and loving this little space of mine even more. I cannot think of having it any other way and all my readers make it all so worth it and for that, I say a massive THANK YOU!!! Hope you all had a nice week. See you in my next post...xx

London Fashion Week Shows (Rohmir, Judy Wu and James Kelly)

I already wrote about my experience in London Fashion Week with Body Shop yesterday which you can check out here. If you love having a nosey at the backstage and all that happens in between shows, you would enjoy it. Today’s post will focus on the shows I attended back in September. I was lucky to be invited by Body Shop who were one of the official sponsors of Fashion Scout- London Fashion Week*. I had the most incredible time there because I was treated like a proper VIP and whisked to choice seats in the shows I wanted to watch. I did not have to queue and I felt really special and of course, it meant I could take amazing shots to share with you all. I was given the option to stay for the whole day and attend all the shows I wanted to but I had other commitments so I watched three shows. I chose to watch Rohmir, Judy Wu and James Kelly because I was keen to see what these amazing designers had in stock for us for SS16.

I loved everything about Freemason Hall which is the usual venue for Fashion Week (Fashion Scout). The building and interiors including the high ceilings provided the perfect backdrop for these catwalks. I and Charlotte(The London Blog) made our way to our seats ready to snap away when the shows started. It’s always lovely to meet other bloggers in these events because you have someone to have a nice chat with.

This was the first show I watched on the day and I have to say her designs were my favourite because they are pieces I could personally rock if I could afford them. They are all very wearable, elegant and chic and I am sure many people who watched the show would absolutely agree. Rohmir has made several appearances in various fashion shows. The label Rohmir was founded by Olga Roh who is of Russian nobility. I looked at her profile on Fashion Scout London’s website and I was really impressed that she is well learned with a PHD as one of her degrees. I love women who pursue their passion, intelligent and academic. Her SS16 Collection “Cherry Blossom Dreams” channelled the Japanese culture which is such a rich culture as you would imagine. The models even mimicked the Japanese sacred tradition of gift giving when they exchanged accessories during the catwalk. I loved it!! The fabrics used were a good mix of elegance and opulence and I just loved all the colours she used. Within her collection, you could find silk, lace, luxurious prints, tailored pieces, etc. I love the way she combined all the colours which ranged from monochrome, nudes and rich jewel tones. The collection had evening gowns, day to day wears, tailored jackets, lace skirts, kimon-esque, etc. It was an incredible show and you could tell her passionate she was about her designs by the look of excitement (amidst a resounding applause) when she came out to take a bow. I was equally excited and grinning from ear to ear after witnessing such a beautiful collection.

Judy Wu
The next show I saw was the Judy Wu Collection which I really enjoyed. Judy Wu (as you would have guessed) is the founder of Judy Wu designs and she was raised in Shanghai where she developed  a deep love for painting and all things artistic. This passion led her to pursue her dreams of becoming a fashion designer and you can see her artistic touch in her designs. Her collection for SS16 called Gaia, #FeminineStrengthJudyWu, embodied feminine strength which I love. Her signature style embraces bold prints, intricate modern embellishments and sharp tailoring which was well incorporated in her SS16 Collection. I love how fresh and aesthetically pleasing her designs were. In her collection, you could find chiffon, organza, silky and floaty materials which made the models look like Greek goddesses. I think her pieces are also wearable because they are feminine, sensual yet sophisticated. She used amazing colours which brought the fabrics to life especially the way she added beautiful water colour inspired shades to white fabrics. There were also other rich colours like Jade, Turquoise and Coral which just looked perfect for Spring/Summer. The floaty garments, pleats and frayed edges just made me want the warmer season to come right back. I look forward to seeing more designs from her collection because they were outstanding!!

James Kelly
This was my third and final show I saw and one I had heard so much about was the James Kelly show. James Kelly was the winner for the February 2015 Fashion Scout Merit Award and he was making another appearance in the September Fashion Week. James Kelly describes womenswear as a myriad of elements combined together to create something new. His signature style is drawn from strange, dreamy and ambiguous style inspirations. His SS16 Collection incorporated earthy, fresh looks with military and grunge undertones. I loved how he juxtaposed fresh white fabrics with khaki and muddy earth and moss greenery. It was quite extraordinary and the entire atmosphere created by his designs were a testament to his style. As you would expect, his show was full of drama down to the music used (a little eerie in my humble opinion) and the facial expressions of the models who walked the runway. I know some of the SS16 Collections designs may not be particularly everyday wear (well, I can only speak for myself) but I guess they were created to showcase his amazing talent. It’s very hard to deny how extraordinary his collection was and it was very different to all the shows I had seen. I quite enjoyed it as well!!

Overall Thoughts

I really had such a lovely time watching these shows and the designs of very talented designers. I left after the James Kelly Show which was in the afternoon. I heard the others shows were equally amazing. Thank you to Body Shop for inviting me to such epic shows and ensuring that I had an incredible time in the shows and in between shows. I hope you enjoyed the post and pictures and I will see you in my post. What show was your favourite?..…xxx
*I was kindly invited by Body Shop to attend this event but I was not obliged to write about it.

© FashStyleLiv All rights reserved . Design by Blog Milk Powered by Blogger