Summer Goals 2017

Featured image taken by me: beach huts in Lyme Regis

I think making goals for the season ahead can be a really nice way to put your priorities into perspective and help you stay organised and on track with what you want to achieve throughout that season.  Most of my goals for previous seasons always seem to be more academic, hence why I always feel overwhelmed by them and never end up fully doing a good job at it; they’re too broad and for a procrastinating soul like myself, they’re often not achievable! I’ve decided that for the summer season (even though I’d technically say we’re still in Spring, until Saturday I think, but I’m looking forward to summer in a big way!) I’m going to take my goals and really pinpoint what I want to get out of the season through them – and try not to focus them around school too much!

1. Visit more places

I’m going to do a summer bucket list soon, as I have lots of places I want to go and things I want to do this summer, but one of my largest goals is to visit lots of lovely places in the UK.  This is my first proper summer living down south, and not only do I want to make the most of the good weather (all my friends say it’s not really that hot, but having come from the 15 degrees maximum north of the UK to the sometimes 26 degrees south of the UK, I assure you the heat difference is immense and also very lovely) but I want to make the most of this nice weather in lovely places.  We’ve recently had some amazing spring weather and last weekend I went to two lovely beaches with my family: Chesil Beach and Lyme Regis, both of which were lovely.  I fell asleep on Chesil Beach, which was a huge pebbly beach but the pebbles weren’t hard and nasty, they moulded into really nice beds, hence my sleeping.  Lyme Regis was very English seaside, which I love and the beach huts were really pretty.  My main goal really, is to enjoy what the UK has to offer over Summer and visit lots of pretty beaches and take lots of lovely pictures, especially when my best friend comes down from Yorkshire to see me!

2. Stay on top of my homework/coursework:

I know, I said I’d refrain from the academic goals but this is one I want to achieve and strive towards.  Homework piles up really quickly, especially now I’m doing my GCSEs and I really do try to tackle it in an efficient way but it still seems to be drowning me!  Do any of you also get this problem?  I’ve decided to try get loads of homework done during the evening as soon as I get back from school, and not to do it the night before it’s due.  I have serious respect for those of you who can just do your homework and coursework the day you get it, no distractions or procrastination involved  because I always procrastinate on my phone!

3. Make my life more organised

My life is a mess sometimes, I’m never organised and even the simplest things like not packing my bag for school the night before really make me go into unorganised meltdown!  I’m planning on (not that we can promise this will happen!) making my life a little more organised; keeping my room clean and tidy, keeping track of my blog posts and always having something up to schedule, getting myself ready for school the night before, waking up early and other small bits and bobs to keep me organised on a daily basis!

4. Watch everything on my Netflix watch list

Am I the only person who gets irrationally annoyed when my watch list on Netflix is a mess?  I have so many things listed on there for me to watch and so little time; having already watched Gossip Girl and Skins, I’ve decided to rewatch both (and not for the first time either!) but this leaves me in a predicament.  I have basically no time to watch any of the others I want to watch like Riverdale and Stranger Things.  I cannot wait for the Easter holidays, because lazy old me will be going on a massive binging session, especially when the new season of PLL comes out!

So, those were my goals for the spring/summer months.  I hope you enjoyed them – what are your goals?  Have you got any netflix recommendations for me, even though my watch list is too long to function! Have a lovely week!

Soph xx

My Top Tips For New Bloggers

I’ve been a blogger for two years plus now, and my blog is definitely not the greatest, although I feel like I’ve learned some tips and tricks along the way to make blogging easier, some which I really wish I’d known earlier.  I also have some general advice that probably stands for every single blogger.  So here it all is, compiled into one, huge messy post which may or may not help you.

my-top-tips-for-new-bloggers

1. Always Check Your Posts

Before you post something, make sure to read it over, even if only skimming.  It’s important to know what you’ve written, and try read it from a viewers perspective.  Is it engaging and down to earth, do you think the reader will enjoy reading it?  Of course, only ever post what you want to post and post which reflect you, but make sure they’re interesting and you’re passionate about whatever you’re talking about; from a book, to a lipstick to poetry or even current news in the world, always be passionate.  Also, spellcheck before you post!  Spellings are really important, as not only do they infuriate the common grammar police when they’re reading, but they make your blog seem unprofessional.  We’re all humans and we all make mistakes but they can be rectified due to the lovely internet, it’s red squiggly lines and your best friend the spellcheck button.

2. Be Active With Other Bloggers

You can’t expect to grow your blog and have people who want to visit it unless you interact with other bloggers.  I always check out lots of blogs in the comments of other peoples posts, like and comment on some posts and if I like what I see, I follow them.  You can do this on wordpress pretty easily, and platforms such as Bloglovin’ (which you really should get right now) allow you to easily interact with blogs from blogspot or ones which have their own domains.  Some of these people are going to come back to your blog and check it out, maybe even give you a follow.  You shouldn’t beg for them to come follow you in comments, as this genuinely can be annoying, however a ‘I really enjoyed this post & would love for you to check out my blog!’ isn’t going to be too annoying – I know I don’t find these sorts of comments annoying as I like to help blogs grow, but it varies from blogger to blogger.

3. Social Media Is Your Friend

really wish I had known this sooner, because it was only at the one year mark when I got twitter, and even more recently Instagram.  Personally, I prefer twitter for promoting my blog and interacting with other bloggers but Instagram is great for discovering other blogs.  Twitter is my main social media, and I love it because you really can get good engagement from there.  Promotion accounts are great and I’d really encourage that you used them (I love @thebloggershub_) and hashtags such as #bblogger, #lblogger or #fblogger, can be really useful for finding blogs and having people discover yours.  The hashtag #PRrequest is also great for finding brands to work with, which will make your blog seem a lot more professional, and lets be honest, it’s just too exciting when you get free stuff!  I’m going to plug myself now, because how can I not, so follow me on twitter here and Instagram here.

4. Don’t Compare Your Blog To Anyone Else’s

This literally can be so damaging.  I used to compare myself to people with 100 followers, back when I only had about ten.  I try not to compare myself to anyone now, because someone is always going to be more successful than you and you can’t change that, but you can grow your blog and improve it.  If you love the way someone takes pictures, learn from it and try improve yours! Find somewhere which has good lighting, search for good editing software and apps, and get inspiration from places like Pinterest!  You can always improve, learning from other people’s blogs instead of comparing yourself to them is so much more constructive.

5. Photography Is Key

Having nice looking pictures on your blog is something that I think really matters.  As people, we like to look at things and make split second decisions as to whether we’re going to take the time to look at something, and I think this choice is greatly influenced by pictures; if they look nice and Instagram worthy, if they’re eye catching and show something we want to see – all this tells us if we’re going to click something.  Therefore, you should make your images as good as possible in order for people to want to click something.  If your pictures are dark and hazy and grainy, nobody will want to look at it but if it’s bright and airy with a flawless white background, or bold and exciting, chances are people will want to see what you’ve got to say.  It doesn’t take much to make a nice photo, and don’t put me up there as the queen of photography because as we all know, I’m pretty shit, but all you need is a decent camera on your phone.  You don’t need to have a really huge canon DSLR camera and studio lights, your phone camera will do fine.  Some great editing apps are VSCO, or the editing features within Instagram.  I usually use my IPhone 6 to take pictures, or a larger canon camera which I have.  You need some basic props which you more than likely have or can get really cheaply, and this post outlines some of my favourites, all the while giving some great advice on photography.

I hope these tips were useful to you, what tricks and tips do you know of which I haven’t included?

Soph xx