Like I mentioned in yesterday's post, from now on this little series is going to be dedicated to blogs and bloggers alone and less focused on random articles I read online.
I toyed with the idea of not posting a July update because lol it's August now but there were so many things I read this month, so many blogs I enjoyed that I thought it'd be a shame not to share them. Obvs my guest bloggers were the best posts of July naturally but save for sharing them all again, here's what else made it to my most liked and saved sections on Bloglovin.
1. 11 Ways Blogging Makes Me A Better Person.
Can I just start by saying it's a crime Rebecca doesn't post like every day because her posts have me howling every time. I need more in my life. This list on why blogging makes you a better person is SO relatable to me and it's not your average 'it gives me the excuse to buy homeware as bog props' (which FYI is 100% one of the perks of being a blogger). She starts by saying how blogging has made her appreciate the beauty in the little things in life and I cannot agree more as it's one of the things I love most about blogging. I won't spoil the whole list as you should definitely go read it yourself (and then follow Rebecca on every social media going) but it's well worth your time and a save to your fav blogs reel. Oh and when I was scrolling through this blog I also noticed my own pin on her side bar of most recently pinned so that was a bit of a bonus too.
2. 73 Blog Photography Prop Ideas (You'll Already Own!)
This. This post you need to have saved so you can just refer back to it in a glance for some inspiration when you're ahem, lacking in some. Forge going out and spending a small fortune on blog props, Caitlin's list is basically stuff you're likely to already have lying around the house that you can use to make your photography squeaky clean and beautiful. She splits the list up into Beauty, Home, Stationery, Tech and Fashion and you're guaranteed to have at least half just in your room - I know I do. There's your standard cacti and nail varnish and notebooks but there's also loads I hadn't considered so it's definitely worth coming back to (or pinning) anddddd no surprise her photography in this post is THE DREAM. Nailed it.
3. 10 Tips For Graduation.
So basically I wish I had read this last summer rather than nearly a year after I graduated but hey, I'm sharing it in the hope one of you reads it before you're due to walk across that stage. If you aren't graduating this year, make sure you save it and remind yourself of it when your time comes - she really hits the nail on the head. There is a lotttt about graduating I wish I had known before I did it last October (yes, you read correctly, I graduated in basically November) and most of them appear on this list. The one I did know that someone had thankfully passed on was to take hair grips, safety pins and brooches. THEY ARE LIFESAVERS. Again, I won't spoil the post but I 100% agree with everything Steph says, everything she says to do (or not do) and every piece of advice she gives for the day and I'm sure you'll thank yourself for reading it when you're all hot and sweaty in your gowns waiting to shake the hand of the VC.
4. My Top 11 Tips To Save Money.
Lord I'm all about the tips lists this month aren't I? (Spoiler, there's another one coming up too). Long a favourite blog of mine, Effi's tips for saving money are right on par with mine. I have done nearly all of them (some successfully, some.....less so) and they really are easy changes to make in your life to keep the pennies and the pounds on your side. Effi set up her own business with zero funding like I did and this list compromises things you can do no matter what stage of life you're at or what your spending habits are like. My favourite tip? Pick Your Priorities. I have verrrrrry little disposable income running my own business and running a car and I will ALWAYS pick my priorities when it comes to what I spend and what I save for. Nights out drinking or clubbing which I don't even enjoy will always go second to investing 50 quid into a night back at uni with some of my best friends.
5. Why We Should Support The #BloggersBlogAwards.
Like Jemma, I saw a bit of shade being thrown about on Twitter over the #BloggersBlogAwards and about Hayley from Tea Party Beauty that organises it and like Jemma, I thought it was a bit fucking rude. If you haven't heard of the awards it's basically what it says on the tin - it's an award ceremony for bloggers, celebrated by and nominated and voted for by other bloggers. It's an annual event an Hayley organises it all on her own managing venues, catering, prizes, voting, judging, sponsors, photography, social media, promotion.....she pays for A LOT of it out of her pocket and quite frankly I think the girl is a miracle worker. What pissed me off was not so much the people bitching about the lack of representation in some categories but more the bitching over 'bloggers like me will never win'. I know the bloggersphere can be a bit cliquey sometimes, I know certain levels of bloggers don't speak to or engage with lower level bloggers or people that don't match their success. You'd be a fool to admit that doesn't happen but the self pity I cannot handle. The beauty of the nominations of the #BloggersBlogAward is that the people aren't already chosen for you to vote for. You can nominate ANYONE you want to at any level of blogging and your vote is registered and counted for. Who says 'someone like me' can't win if your fellow blogging friends deem you fabulous enough to nominate? I nominated 1 'big' blogger and the rest were all people with the same kind of following as me who I genuinely deemed worthy of winning, and I know loads of people who did too. If you're bitching about the set up of the awards you need to look into it more, appreciate the work Hayley does on it, revaluate whether your negative nancy behaviour online has ultimately led to people NOT nominating you and then go read Jemma's post on why you SHOULD be supporting the awards.
6. 6 Lessons I Learnt During Ramadan.
Have I mentioned before how much I adore Sarirah from PrettyNotIncluded? She is an absolute babe on Twitter and is always sharing and shouting about blogs she loves - she's basically someone you want to get involved with. Moving on from fangirling, this was my favourite post of her's this month, a little shift away from beauty. I didn't reeeeally know anything about Ramadan apart from you fast from dawn to sunset and so I was full of intrigue to learn a bit more when I clicked on this one. What I enjoyed reading about and what surprised me most was not about the mindful eating and the spiritual connection Sarirah talks about in this post, those things I almost expected but it was the time management that got me. I never really thought past fasting from dawn to sunset before and never really thought about what that meant for what you COULD eat. Sarirah said there was about 5 hours of eating and drinking time every day from 9.30pm-2.30am and I never even considered how carefully you'd have to plan a meal during those times. I won't go into too much detail about it because obvs I can't do it justice but definitely go and read the post, I learnt a lot about a culture I previously didn't have much knowledge on and it really made me think about what I put in my body every day and just how much time is taken up thinking or preparing or eating food in my household.
7. I Just Want To Write.
I feel like every blogger has been through this thought process at one time or another, I know I was thinking it just a few weeks ago and that's why I loved it so much. As an English graduate it's no surprise Erin talks about her passion for writing and her need to put pen to paper at all times since she was little. It might not come as a surprise then that this post talks about the blogging industry and how it's NOT just about the content any more. There ARE preconceived rules about how your photos need to look and how your blog needs to be laid out and how you need to be an absolute wizard at promotion for your blog to get anywhere, for it to be read. Personally, at the moment I am back in the game, I am loving social media, I am loving promoting my work and connecting with new people and I am loving improving my photography but I can't deny that a few weeks ago when I was too busy to keep scheduling tweets and going on a one woman promo mission that I wasn't slightly annoyed that my blog was dropping it's stats like nobodies business. Like if your content is good then where are the regular readers, why aren't people finding your blog if you aren't shouting about it? It's true that all the self love and shouting from the rooftops about what you've written and the snappy white flatlays need to happen if you want your work to be seen. I follow a shed load of blogs that don't conform to these 'rules' and whilst I love them, I can see they aren't getting the following they deserve and the recognition they should have for being so damn good, just because their Pinterest game is lacking or their pictures are a bit dark? And I can't keep track of times lately I've clicked on a blog that's got a huuuuuuge following only to think 'actually the writing in this in kinda shit?'. Writing well is a talent and it's a shame we have to jump through all the other hoops to get noticed is all.
Hope my writing this a few days late was actually worth it and you enjoy the posts I loved this month and find some exciting new blogs to follow too.
I'll be back at the end of August with another load!