GET UR FREAK ON… AND MAKE A BLOG!

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Currently im cooking up some magical blog posts in my book of ideas and inspiration. So, in the meantime here’s a feature article I did as part of my portfolio for uni. It’s all about starting up a blog, and full of advice and tips for blogging newbies!

I interviewed the lovely Danielle Ran, a fashion and music blogger from the blog Lel’s World for the article so go and check out her blog its amazeeeee!

Where to start when starting a blog

“I kind of just thought, fuck it. If I want to blog, I’m going to blog. It takes a lot of courage initially but once it’s done its fine.” Danielle Ran, 18, fashion and music blogger.

Danielle’s mental attitude towards her first blog post basically hits the nail on the head in the approach you have to acknowledge, and take on board, when it comes to blogging. The ‘blogosphere’ is full of wonderful, creative individuals who all have a taste for writing and the hunger to build a career from blogging.

Only be prepared to start a blog if you’re passionate about life, things around you, people, and the world. If you imagine yourself sat at your keyboard losing the will to live because you can’t think of anything that’s inspired you to blog about, then this article is not for you my friend.

Danielle first started her blog, Lels World, in May 2014, with it originally being purely just a music blog. However, her love for fashion naturally tempted her into the sea of fashion blogging.

Danielle said: “I generally blog about both music and fashion, so I don’t really fall under any sort of blogging ‘label’ e.g. ‘Fblogger’ or ‘Bblogger.’ I also like to throw in a general or political rant every once in a while.”

Inspiration

A crucial step before getting your blog up and running is finding inspiration to help you bounce ideas around for your own posts on your blog. Hopefully, you will already follow other peoples blogs, that may blog about similar areas you’re interested in writing about.

Go ahead and interact with them, leave feedback on their posts and engage with their content. You never know, in the future they may repay the favour, and lead their following to your site.

Danielle told us: “After years of following various fashion and music blogs, I finally plucked up the courage to start my own blog. I loved seeing these bloggers radiate from their success and feedback, so one day I thought, hey, I want to do that too. So I did.

” I’m constantly reading online magazines like Vice, DIY, and Cosmopolitan, as well as individual blogs like Lulutrixabelle and altmusicbox to gain inspiration. Seeing others’ creativity and inventiveness often sparks a surge of creativity within me.”

What site is right for you?

Inspiration gained? And brainwaves flowing? You are now ready to select a blogging site that caters to your needs. There are plenty out there, floating around on the internet, waiting for you to pick them to be your new best friend. For example, WordPress. com (I’ve made ‘com’ bold as that’s the free version,) Blogger.com, and of course Tumblr.com.

Danielle said: “Personally, I use Blogger as I find that the format suits my posts more than any other platform. Also, many other bloggers use Blogger, so it increases the likelihood of hits and follows from other users on the site.”

The biggen

Trying to nail your first blog post is not going to be easy. It won’t be perfect, and you will probably cringe at it when you’re scrolling down your feed in a couple of months time, but everybody has to do one. So, roll up them sleeves, grit your teeth, and get down to business. Here are a few ideas if you’re feeling completely stuck, but something original would be best; an introduction to yourself, why you have started a blog, or a review on something.

Danielle told us her take on writing her first post: ” I thought of my first post as kind of like an audition. Your first post is likely to only be seen by friends, family, and acquaintances, but it is still incredibly important as it not only introduces yourself and blogging style to potential readers, but also sets the tone for your blog.

“Your first post should be intriguing to keep readers engaged, but refrain from being too controversial to avoid offending readers before you know what your following base is like.”

Pics and vids and the pretty stuff

I bet the thought of including multimedia in your first post didn’t even cross your mind did it? But, don’t stress, you already had enough to think about. When maintaining a blog multimedia is nearly as important as the actual writing in a post. It helps break up the text and keeps your readers engaged.

Everyone seems to own Smartphone’s now and I bet you’re no exception. These gadgets have pretty snazzy cameras that take good, quality pictures, so now you have no excuse to not add images into your posts. Vine is also a great app for creating short, snappy videos and the app Audio Boom is perfect for sounds clips.

Danielle explained here approach to multimedia: “For photos, I generally just upload photos from my phone or camera onto my laptop, edit as needed (befunky.com generally does the trick), and add them into my blog post.

” YouTube and Sound cloud widgets are generally a bit more tricky to embed into my blog as you have to use HTML coding, but I managed to teach myself how to do so.”

Putting your stamp on the world-wide web

So, now that your blog is filled with amazing content and brimming with multimedia, it’s time to start getting your pride and joy noticed on the big, wide web. The proper term for this is search engine optimisation, or SEO for the pro bloggers out there.

Little adjustments in your posts can help your blog become higher ranked in Google searches, such as; key words, names and locations, featured in your title or introduction. Another way is by using indented quotes and bullet points.

Don’t be shocked or upset if your blog doesn’t become an overnight sensation, it takes time, effort and commitment to make a blog a success.

Danielle said: “Since I’ve been blogging, I’ve had support from various brands, e.g. La Moda, Elsie &

Fred, and Dirty Disco because I’ve supported their brand. I’ve also found that blogging can act as somewhat of a career platform, as I’ve now had success in being the new blogger for Motel Rocks due to me submitting my blog to them. “

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What is Victoria’s ‘Secret’?

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The Angels

The first words that come to mind when I think of Victoria’s Secret are; sexy, feminine, beautiful and extravagant.

The brand itself evokes a sense of girl power and allures you in with its thrills, lace, and not to forget to mention, the drop dead, gorgeous ladies who model the products. The Victoria’s Secret angel posse, includes models such as Adriana Lima, Candice Swanepoel, and in previous years Britain’s very own Cara Delevingne. So it’s no surprise that girls all over the world have been captivated by their never-ending legs and perfect curly blowdrys.

 

Buy the product to be that girl?

The amount of teenage girls I see whilst working in the Trafford Centre, walking past with the signature Victoria’s Secret bag is actually crazy, considering the products aren’t exactly priced to suit pocket-money. The less expensive of the Bras are priced around the £28 mark. So what is it that’s so special about the Victoria’s secret products?

“Buy the product to get to be like the girl so you get your man” (Wykes, Gunter, 2004;41)

👭#vsfashionshow @victoriasecret @doutzen @jeromeduran

A post shared by Candice Swanepoel (@angelcandices) on

There is no denying that girls are bombarded with messages and images through the media that attempt to dictate basically what’s hot, and what’s not. Not so much in primary school, but most definitely when you hit high school there is this overwhelming pressure to of had/have a boyfriend. And to of most definitely kissed a boy. You are surrounded by girl magazines offering kissing tips and dating advice. This was a whole new world for me when I was growing up, I was scared of my mum even knowing I was friends with boys never mind bringing a boyfriend home! Since I’ve got older though I’ve noticed that this pressure has built up even more so for young girls. Teenage girls now desperately want to look and act older than their years, it’s actually quite upsetting to think that in today’s society childhood is over so quickly. I scroll through Instagram and Facebook and see young girls with way too much make up on, sporting a crop top. It’s as though it has just become accepted as a norm in today’s  oversexualized culture. It seems that young girls are now more concerned about how many Instagram followers they have rather than becoming educated, independent, women.

Consumer Culture

Buying something from Victoria’s Secret is like buying into the angel lifestyle. The consumer culture that thrives in today’s post-modern society contributes to the idea of identity no longer being fixed. We adapt who we are by buying into different lifestyles, through clothes, music, hobbies etc. Constructing our very own perfect identity.  Which is why I think this is one of the reasons why the world is in love with Victoria’s Secret. We are in love with the thought of being as sexy and as confident as the Victoria’s Secret models. So, therefore by buying lingerie from the brand it makes us feel as though we are that bit closer to having them never-ending legs and that perfect curly blowdry.

Bibliography

Wykes, M. Gunter, B. (2004) The Media and Body Image. London: Sage

 

Life without a phone

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BFF?

It’s hard to walk down the high-street, sit on a bus or go to a bar without spotting someone with their phone glued to their hand. The familiar glow from the screen shadowing their faces and the occasional smirk at a text. Lets face it, phones have become our BFF’s. They have wormed their way into our hearts and have settled into our coat pockets as part of our everyday lives. A smartphone gives you access to quite literally anything you could possibly want at the tip of your fingers.

The loss of a phone

The loss of a phone is pretty heartbreaking. Waking up after a night out and doing the usual clutch bag check to discover the absence of your phone is probably the most effective and quickest way to sober up. The best way however? Nope, most definitely not. Spending the morning trying to ring the club you was at the night before to see if your beloved phone is there, isn’t fun. Spending the morning constantly refreshing the Find My IPhone app, isn’t fun. But a wake up call? Definitely. I can assure you ever since that night I have been very careful about what, and how much I drink.

The death of a phone

After experiencing the loss of my phone myself I could sympathise with Daragh this morning when she announced her phone had decided to just turn itself off… completely… forever.

Utter devastation summed up in that one tweet. Daragh Mather told me

“I feel lost and stranded. I feel cut off from the outside world.”

You might view this as a bit dramatic, but I challenge you to go a day without your phone. I bet you wont even want to attempt it because they are so woven into our daily routines now.  The quick scroll through social media like it’s the morning newspaper as soon as you wake up. Sound familiar? If you do go phoneless for a day though let me know in the comments. It would be interesting to see if it made you feel out the loop too.

 

 

 

What’s the difference between blogging and journalism?

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Some may argue that blogging itself is a form of journalism, a way of discussing ideas, events and issues. But in a more, relaxed, kind of way. Bloggers don’t have the restrictions of editors and proprietors navigating what they can write about… and what is definitely a no go. Bloggers have the freedom to  selectively dip in and out of a range of topics that interest them, whereas journalists are directed to particular stories to report on that are particularly relevant at the time.

The freedom that comes with blogging, may be a reason why journalists turn to blogging platforms, as a way to escape the restrictions they may feel in their work environment. Allowing them to approach their own interests and air their own opinions on topics. Blogging has room for bias. Unlike journalism, that regards objectivity as a necessity.

Blogging should be recognised as a platform for aspiring journalists to publish their work and get instant responses on improvements and suggestions for next posts. It’s a way for them to develop, improve and learn from their mistakes. It can even be seen as mini portfolio, a taster of their style and tone. It’s also a brilliant way to build contacts. For example, in the particular area of journalism I’m interested in, fashion. Lots of fashion bloggers have amazing relationships with online brands such as Miss Guided, La Moda and Pretty Little Thing. They’re featured on the brands Instagram pages, invited to exclusive previews and sent freebies to feature in their blog posts. It’s the perfect way of promoting each other! And can lead to exciting opportunities.

My MMU – Campus Style!

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Since I started at MMU in September I’ve noticed the vast array of individual styles and trends sported by students on the campus. Many of times I’ve found myself  thinking  ‘Omg I love her outfit!’ when I’ve crossed paths with someone in the Atrium Cafe or in the corridor. As well as having serious shoe envy on multiple occasions and having to stop myself from asking them where are they from and why don’t I have them on my feet? (can you tell shoes are my weakness.) I feel as though fashion is one way of expressing who you are as a person, which can be hard to do when starting the daunting journey into the unknown of uni life. You begin to question every possibility you could possibly question. So, when given the task to write a blog on ‘My MMU’ I thought it was the perfect way to showcase a small pick of campus style I’ve particularly took a liking to today!

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Style ProfileLatoya Mesquitta
Criminology and Sociology student at MMU

I love Latoya’s laid back approach to her outfit today! Which is reflected in the way she summed up her overall look ‘casual!’
Her cool,vintage bomber jacket (which previously belonged to her dad) adds an edge to this minimalistic outfit and totally scores points in the varsity/back to school look!

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Style ProfileLisa Murgatroyd
Fashion student at MMU

Lisa’s amazing statement coat caught my eye immediately! Not only does the floor skimming length fit right in with the bang on trend of duster coats, that have made an appearance for AW. But the sand tone of the coat goes hand in hand with the camel colour palette of the season. After chatting with Lisa I was surprised to find the coat was a bargain buy of just £10 from a charity shop! (jealous!) Her school girl, vintage look shoes complement this outfit perfectly. But it is obvious the coat does all the talking!

P.S – Anyone else dying to go charity shopping with Lisa or just me?

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Style ProfileAlicia Hattersley & Laura Jones
Both Multimedia Journalism students at MMU

I loved both Alicia’s and Laura’s overall looks today! I feel like they’ve struck the perfect balance between Autumn and Winter in their outfits – in this awkward ‘in between seasons’ period we are in. Both girls have mixed up cute, girly lace and frills, then adding a winter necessity on top, a stylish coat/jacket. Not only was this a no brainer due to Manchester having particularly dreadful weather today it also adds a variety of textures to their outfits.

How I use social media

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I constantly have my phone in my hand refreshing various social media feeds to get a quick fix of the latest celebrity gossip or news. I find that Instagram and twitter both cater to what I want to get out of social media. Both sites give me an instant insight into what is happening throughout the day whether it be updates on a major news story on twitter, or a glimpse into a models shoot via Instagram.

Instagram for me is great as im interested in fashion, it allows me to follow a variety of fashion bloggers and get inspiration from their outfit posts. As well as this through following other people who are interested in fashion I have discovered new fashion brands to follow who aren’t as well -known as the big companies such as Topshop.

On twitter im guilty of loving a peak into celebrities lifestyles. Twitter is a powerful tool in finding out where celebrities are and what they are up to – I did in fact previously spend my days standing outside various hotels and radio stations waiting to catch a glimpse of One Direction. Slightly stalkerish looking back at it now! Now I use Twitter more for socialising with my friends and keeping up with what they are up too.