7.12.15

Behind The Screen: My Blogging Tool Kit & November 2015 Report

After almost 3.5 years of blogging, a lot has changed! I take my blog quite seriously as to me, it's an extension of profession, career and passion. It's my online CV, my online fitness diary and my creative outlet where I'm able to share what, how and when I like! ...who wouldn't want to make the most of such an opportunity?!


Recently, some of the blogs I follow have decided to take a break and many others are considering the same. My advice? Do whatever works for you! Blogging has luckily never been a burden for me; I recently reduced my posting schedule to 3x per week to allow me more time to work on my imagery and quality of content.  So I thought I'd take this opportunity to take you Behind The Screen to see what tools I use to create my content.

MacBook Air
Number one on my list has to be my laptop. I never owned an Apple computer before this, and quite frankly I don't know how I lived without one! The capabilities on this allow me to do so much that I was unable to do on a PC.
- editing videos on iMovie allow me to edit videos to share on Instagram, YouTube and the blog
- I am able to create PDF documents with a couple of clicks making invoicing look more professional
- sharing images between my iPhone, iPad, camera and laptop

image credit: http://www.olympus-europa.com/s/PENgeneration/photo-shoots-pen-stories/my-shoulder-bag-design-story/

Olympus PEN E-PL7 Camera {link}
This one has been the talk of the blogging town over the past few months. I took the plunge in August of 2015 and haven't looked back. By no means am I saying this is the camera for everyone, but right now, it's the one for me. I love the ability to take images in different image aspects including 1:1 ready for Instagram; being able to transfer directly to my phone making high quality in the moment Instagram imagery and the fact that it just looks so damn good! I also invested in a 45mm lens which takes stunning shots especially of stills. I also use it for filming workouts and the Vlog I recorded a couple months back!

I've considered writing a review of the camera, and I may well do; just not right now! But, if you have any questions about it, just leave me a comment here or Tweet / FB ? Instagram me!

Velbron EF-51 Tripod {link} 
After reading a lot of reviews about tripods (I know, not the most riveting subject), I opted for this one and picked it up in-store while I was out shopping. I thought it was really good value for money and it seemed sturdy. It moves in pretty much every direction I need it to when filming; so far, I'm pretty happy with my choice.

When talking about the PEN camera though, a lot of people are quick to point out that when on the tripod you can't use the flip down screen. Yes. That is true. But, honestly people, we're just getting greedy now, huh?! You are able to see yourself through the app on your phone, and maybe its because I'm not a pro youtube-r but I don't really care for watching myself, talk to myself on camera?!

Rolson Tools LED Camping Light
I try to take most of my pictures during daylight but if I do need a little extra brightness I use one of these camping lights which cost me about a fiver. I even used it, once, to go camping at Bestival!

Habitat Cato White Desk {link} 


Starting a new business and taking my writing a little more seriously was the greatest excuse to create a little work space at home. I bought this desk mainly due to the size (just 45cm wide) and that it's white and will look amazing in photos (just like the inspirational workspaces seen on Pinterest!).

All I need to get to make this the perfect workspace is an iMac Desktop (for a bigger screen, faster processing and more storage) and this sheepskin rug from John Lewis.

WISHLIST: flat lay backgrounds & wooden chopping boards 
I plan on popping down to my local DIY store this week to check out what wallpapers etc they have which I can buy cheaply and use for flat lay backgrounds (even I am getting a little bored of my flooring in pictures!). Oh, and one of those wooden chopping boards which look amazing in food photos!

...Now, to quickly cover some of my stats from November before I leave you to your day... 

Statistics; November 2015 

Google Analytics


October vs November

Users 1,866 vs 1,539  (-327) 
Page Views 3,865 vs 3,216  (-649) 

After two consecutive months of decreasing numbers I had hoped for no change or an increase, but at the end of the day, the numbers mean less and less as for me, it's more about engagement and enjoyment personally with what I am writing about... I have focused more on social media in the last month (Instagram specifically) as I've been enjoying working on my photography and I'm happy with the results...

FB page likes - 691 vs 706 (+15) 
IG followers - 1163 vs 1282  (+119) 
Pinterest followers - 563 vs 592 (+29) 
Twitter followers - 2605 vs 2712 (+107) 
BlogLovin' followers - 243 vs 251 (+8) 

Affiliates Programmes & Other Advertising
- 1st November - 31st November 
- £5.80 total 



I've been working hard to build relationships with the brands I am signed up to on Affiliate Window (AW); I reached out to Abel & Cole who told me they "had no budget left" ... but the idea I pitched to them was "...lovely...". Well, no content, no affiliate sales in my eyes; something a little extra beyond the fact that I get an A&C box delivered weekly would be far more interesting! 

I collaborated with OS Maps to create some advent content earlier this month through a a facility on AW where you add an opportunity for brands and then they reach out to you if they are interested. I'm still in conversation with some other brands to create advent content but we're kinda running out of time, eh?! 

If you're interested in joining an affiliate scheme it costs about £5 to join AW but you can make that back really quickly (if you try!).

Collaborative & Sponsored Posts
- £100

A few months ago I made the decision to increase and standardise my fee for such posts. I haven't accepted any sponsored posts in November and posted one collaborative post which involved recipe creation (so therefore my time, expenses were covered). 

Other work and consulting
- £80 

I did some writing for the GROKKER blog this month. The plan is to be a regular contributor to their blog which is what I am looking for; to build and maintain relationships rather than just throw my name around the internet! 

Costs / Outgoings
- iCloud storage upgrade - £0.79
- Business cards - approx £50 (includes BM/B

So... anything I've missed that you'd be interested to know?! 

Do you have blog goals that you are working towards?! Have you blogged about blogging?! Share your posts with me too! 


Elle :) 


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9 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for this. Its nice to see other people's numbers. I appreciate your honesty and openness. Numbers aren't everything (even though some people/bsinesses think they are everything).

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    1. You're welcome Glenneth! Thanks for stopping by :)

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  2. oh I COVET THAT DESK!!!!!!
    Im in a blogging shift time---or else Id be clicking that link right now :-)

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    1. I was so lucky to get it at 25% off too! Pays to shop around!! Hope all is well :)

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  3. I need to get me one of those camping lights! Such a good idea :)

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    1. It's the simple things sometimes! I'm off to Homebase tomorrow to check out what I can get for backgrounds on the cheap :)

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  4. Hi Elle, I've been coveting that Habitat desk for weeks now! It's gorgeous but I take it from the dimensions that it is quite compact. Now that you've had it for a little while, do you find it spacious enough despite its petite size?

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    1. Hey Mayda :) yup, it is very compact!! I have an iMac on it (21inch screen I think) which fits perfectly, along with a lamp, a wooden ornament, another wooden block, keyboard and mouse! The space underneath of it is handy; I keep lots of bits and bobs (business cards, hard drives, stationary etc) under there. Wouldn't change it for the world - being so small ensures I don't keep junk on there or buy things I don't need! It also doesn't take over my bedroom (as thats where it is) ...its just in the corner and one day should I decide (in the future) it'll make a lovely dressing table too :)

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  5. Hi Elle, thanks for your reply. I've bought it online and I'm eagerly expecting my delivery!

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