Let’s face it, it’s difficult to ignore the blogging phenomenon. We’re pretty sure you must have read one in your lifetime, even if unintentionally. With thousands of blogs covering hundreds of topics in the UK alone, what’s all the fuss about?
Well, after hours of blog reading (and learning loads of stuff about people!), we got in contact with four of our favourite UK lifestyle bloggers to find out about the blogging experience. It certainly seems like an exciting thing to do; we’ve included the highlights from our chats with Ellie Burns, Jordan Bunker, Gillian McDonald and Laura Brown below.
Ellie Burns – elliesfavouritethings.com
Hi Ellie! We love the friendly feel of your blog. What’s your favourite thing about having it?
I honestly think my blog has helped me with everything, from getting my first job, university place and now my first internship. As well as being a sort of diary to look back on, which is really nice, I also view my blog as a kind of portfolio – I suppose it’s sort of a summary of me too. I’ve met so many lovely people through blogging too, been able to go to some wicked events and work with some of my favourite brands!
Moving from Nottingham to London must have been an exciting experience. Do you have any tips for someone toying with the idea of studying or working in London?
It was the best thing I’ve ever done! London is wicked and I kind of view it as a bigger Nottingham but where shops are open later. Definitely go for it, I feel like I’m on holiday all the time!
Well done on securing a press internship – do you have any advice for students on why internships are important or helpful?
I suppose although having a degree is important, doing work experience is handy because you can really find out what you love/absolutely hate doing within the industry to narrow down possible careers!
What are your favourite things to do in your free time, if you ever have any?
If I ever have a couple of days off I always like to go home to Nottingham. If not, I meet up with friends and we pick an area of London to completely explore. I went to Broadway Market in London Fields a couple of weeks ago and absolutely loved it. Also, nothing beats going to a good museum or exhibition!
Your blog has some stunning fashion features on it, from magazines and your own purchases. Do you have a favourite trend for Summer 2015?
Most definitely the whole 1970’s thing going on. I love all the fringing, leather, denim and crochet. I’m also dreaming of one day buying a suede skirt.
Do you have a helpful motto or phrase that you live your life by?
I’m not sure I have any wise ones. I suppose I really believe in working hard, being nice everyone and being generally positive!
Ellie’s blog is dedicated to fashion, uni and London life. We highly recommend having a read if you want to keep up to date with all things fashion, especially the alternative scene. You can also follow her on Twitter: @ElliesFT.
Jordan Bunker – jordanbunker.uk
Hey Jordan – we love your men’s fashion blog. What made you start blogging?
I’ve always been interested in men’s fashion, but when I first thought of the idea to make a blog I was only sixteen, so I waited and started writing for a couple other men’s fashion publications; created my own clothing brand and then I thought I had learnt enough to take the plunge.
What’s your favourite thing about having a fashion blog?
In the short time I have been blogging I’ve had some great opportunities – I enjoy collaborating with other brands. Blogging has helped me connect with other like-minded people and has helped me get used to writing on a consistent basis. As a blogger you’re always thinking about what you want to write about next.
Your internship at GQ magazine must be an interesting experience! Do you have any tips for students wanting to pursue journalism?
Make sure you’re always working towards what you want to do – get in touch with publications and see if you can start contributing. Start applying for internships and work experience and most importantly always read what’s going on in the news. I’ve always believed strongly in that what you do outside of university is equally, if not more, important as the degree itself.
What would you say to people thinking about finding an internship in or moving to London?
Try looking at Airbnb for a place to stay, that’s the website I used and I managed to find a great place on Old Street. If you are nervous at the thought of the tube, there’s a free app simply called ‘Tube Map’ where you can put in where you need to go and it’ll work out your quickest route.
You must be in the know about menswear trends for this Summer – do you have a favourite?
At GQ we’ve talked about slides as a big trend, as for clothes, in the summer I like wearing loose fitting short sleeve shirts in the (hopefully) hot weather!
What would you like to leave our readers with today?
If you want something badly enough, go get it and you’ll motivate yourself to do so. Nobody is going to do it for you!
At jordanbunker.uk you can find out loads about London life and upcoming trends for menswear – he’s always got something exciting going on. Jordan is also on Twitter @JSBunker and Instagram @JordanBunker.
Gillian McDonald – elevatormusik.com
Hello Gillian! Your blog is basically about everything ‘life’ and living in Edinburgh – what’s your favourite thing about being a blogger?
I love the sense of community that comes with blogging. I’ve met lots of great people through my blog who are now friends “in real life” too. I even met my current flatmate through blogging!
Are there any events in Scotland you are looking forward to this year?
I can’t wait for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this summer. There’s always a great atmosphere in the city during the festival and there are loads of different comedy, music and theatre events to go to.
You graduated from a master’s degree almost two years ago – do you have any advice for someone deciding whether to go to university or not?
Go for it! I had the best time at university and would love to go back and do it all again if I could. Moving away from home can seem scary, but I’d definitely recommend living in halls during first year if you can. You’ll meet new friends, have a great social life, have plenty of time to explore your new city (and do a little bit of studying too, of course!).
Your photos on your blog are stunning – is photography a hobby of yours?
Thank you! Photography is something I’ve become interested in because of my blog. Over the years I’ve bought new equipment and taught myself some photography skills. Having a hobby like this is definitely a great way to take your mind off studying or work, plus you can teach yourself a new skill at the same time.
What is your favourite thing to do in Edinburgh?
My favourite thing to do is to go out for dinner and drinks with my friends. There are so many great restaurants and bars in the city; I love Passorn for delicious Thai food and The Dragonfly for the best cocktails in town.
Is there a phrase or philosophy that you like to remember to help you enjoy life?
I love the old quote “what’s for you won’t go by you”. Some things are just meant to be, so don’t worry too much, enjoy life and things will work out in the end!
If you live in Edinburgh, Gillian’s blog is a must – restaurant and bar reviews a-plenty to help you decide where to go this weekend, as well as regular updates about events in the city. You can also follow her on Twitter @ElevatorMusik.
Laura Brown – laretour.co.uk
Hi Laura, when we found your blog about Scotland life we couldn’t stop reading! What made you start it?
Originally I created my blog to share stories from my travels in France, the idea being to debunk myths about the ‘perfect’ year abroad. As time progressed, I began writing about Scotland (because I just love this wee country!) and it’s gone from there, really!
What is your favourite thing about blogging?
The potential to be creative, to design your own space on the internet for the things you love talking about… and in time, you can build a community of readers that share ideas and their favourite places to visit too, which is really cool. I use WordPress.com which is a free blogging platform; I’d recommend it.
We love that you travel a lot around Scotland — where is your favourite place you have visited and why?
My family have gone to a little village on the west coast — Arisaig — pretty much since I was born. So it will always be special to me. Actually, the area around Arisaig is stunning anyway: the Harry Potter viaduct, beautiful beaches and the craggy coastline… it’s spectacular.
What is so good about travelling around the country?
The variety of landscapes that you can see in such a short distance. I mean, you can literally take the train half an hour out of Glasgow and you’re in the middle of rolling hills and glassy lochs. We live in such an amazing country!
Do you have any favourite things to do or hobbies that help you deal with stress?
Apart from blogging (of course!) my favourite hobbies are reading, cycling, meeting up with friends… the usual stuff really! But I definitely think that getting out of the library or the house helps deal with stress. Fresh air always clears your mind; you might get new ideas by wandering the city streets or you might find a fresh perspective on a problem that’s been troubling you. It sounds really hippy but nature is awesome.
Studying abroad in Normandy must have been an exciting experience. Do you have any tips for students toying with the idea of studying a semester abroad?
Studying abroad can be exciting… but it can also be very lonely. What I would say is don’t have high expectations. I went to France thinking I could cycle to work, go to Paris every weekend, eat endless baguettes… that it would be cinematic, essentially! But the reality is much harder. Having a close-knit group of family and friends works wonders, especially if your year abroad isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I’ve written more about my time in France on my blog.
Do you have a helpful motto or phrase that you live your life by?
I was actually asked this very question in a job interview last week! And I replied by saying, ‘Honestly, I hate mottos…’ I’m a bit of a cynic, so all of this ‘live, love, laugh’ stuff doesn’t really do it for me. I just try to live my life by being as kind as possible, and hoping that karma will pay me back kindly one day!
Thanks for chatting to us Laura. Is there anything else you’d like to add for our readers?
Feel free to have a look at my blog for Scottish travel ideas, advice about the year abroad experience and book recommendations (I have lots!) And you can tweet me @laretour. Thanks for reading!