If you're looking for a way to improve your blog posts or simply want to know what tasks I execute when writing, this post will be beneficial for you. This is quite a flexible routine that I have adapted to my routine, so you can definitely follow it or make changes to suit you. I actually wrote a similar post to this a while ago, but my blogging routine has since changed, with a lot of elaborate and more detailed steps added, so I thought it would be helpful to share the new and updated version.

1. GAINING INSPIRATION AND IDEAS

The first, and arguably most important, stage of my blog routine is coming up with ideas that I want to write about. Sometimes this is easy, especially for routinely posts such as my monthly favourites, but with others it can be a lot harder to think of ideas that I find interesting and think my audience will enjoy reading. If I'm stuck or need some inspiration, I will often take a look at Pinterest and Bloglovin to see what type of posts are popular at the moment and gain some ideas. My Ultimate Guide To Blogging post has some great resources and prompts for writing blog posts, which I'd urge you to take a look at if you're struggling to think of topics to write about. I also look at the ideas section of my editorial calendar to see if there are any possible posts waiting to be written.

2. MY IMMEDIATE THOUGHTS

When I find an idea that I want to write about, I will create a new post in Blogger and start to write down all of my ideas. This will usually be a list containing a series of points that I want to mention, links I want to include or products that I want to mention, depending on what type of post it is. I then go on to split these ideas into smaller, more manageable sections, with each one having a different primary focus. That way, I can see which parts of the posts have a lot of ideas contributing towards them and which sections are lacking in content. Each of these sections will later form a paragraph of my finished blog post, so I ensure that I'm including vital content about them right from the start of my blogging routine.

3. RESEARCHING THE TOPIC

To fill in the gaps in my knowledge and thoughts, I will start to research the topic that I'm writing about and gain extra views and opinions that might support or contradict my knowledge. If I'm writing a product review, I will find out things such as the price, where it is available and details about the ingredients, whereas if I'm writing a more detailed, comprehensive post like my Guide to Making A Successful Media Kit, I will analyse other examples and do more extensive research so my post can be filled with helpful information. It's often helpful to get other people's views on a particular subject, and I'll often share a link to their work if I've found it to be extremely helpful.

4. CRAFTING THE BLOG POST

Once I've got all of the content and ideas for my blog posts, I then start to craft it. I will focus on one of the smaller sections at a time, making sure I include all of the points I aim to write about without overloading the paragraphs with too much information. I like to keep open a dictionary and thesaurus to consult while I'm writing, as well as having a makeup item or book with me that I might need to reference. This part of writing blog posts is probably the easiest, as it merely consists of rewriting your initial thoughts and providing evidence to back them up. I find that approaching it this way is a lot less daunting than trying to write a post from scratch and also helps to ensure that you're hitting all of the right points.

5. PHOTOGRAPHY AND CREATING GRAPHICS

Aesthetics are a huge part of blogging and are increasing in importance, so making graphics and taking photographs that are of a good quality is something that you shouldn't rush. I like to wait until the weather is good to take blog photos, as the natural lighting makes them look clearer and means you won't have to do as much editing later. I gather everything I want to be in my photo and arrange it all accurately, adjusting everything slightly in between shots. I then flick through the countless, virtually identical images to find one I like, which I then edit on my phone and modify using Photoshop.

As for creating graphics, such as the one you can see above, I start by finding a stock image that I like and is free to use. There are many great websites for finding these, but my favourite is probably Pexels. New images are added to the website regularly and they are free for commercial use, so you won't get into any legal trouble. I usually take these into Photoshop and add the title of my post before uploading them into Blogger.

6. QUALITY CHECKS AND EDITING

Once my post is all written and my images have been created and placed in the post, I like to check over everything and ensure that it is the best possible. Although some spelling mistakes slip past, I strive for perfection in my post and work my hardest to ensure that the finished product is something that I'd want to read. I will remove the placeholder title that I created and come up with something more inventive and creative, whilst including any important keywords that help my search engine optimisation. I will also scan through the text on the hunt for any spelling mistakes and grammatical errors with the help of Grammarly and I will use a thesaurus to improve the quality of my writing. I have a tendency to repeat words such as 'really' and 'good', so this is the time where I'll remove them and opt for more advanced vocabulary.

8. FINAL CHECK AND UPLOAD

Before releasing my post so that it's on the Internet forever, I like to do a last quick check over it to make sure everything is how I want it. I then click the publish button, and my post will either be uploaded right then or scheduled for when I want it to be uploaded, meaning it's out of my hands. I then do a bit of promotion, such as uploading my posts to Pinterest and Google Plus, before sitting back and hoping that my readers like what I have produced.

That is my blog post routine, covering everything from getting inspiration to publishing a finished post. If there's anything that you'd like to know more about or if you want to hear more detail about some of the specific processes, just let me know and I'll be sure to assist you. Thanks for reading and let me know about your blog post routine down in the comments.

Love from Daisy x

I mentioned this book a while back in my Books I Want To Read post, but I only got around to trying it this summer whilst I was on holiday. I noticed it on the shelves of my local library and knew I had to pick it up, despite hearing mixed reviews about it. My aim was to broaden my horizons and read a book that wasn't fantasy, dystopian or science fiction, which are my most-read sub-genres in young adult fiction. This, however, didn't go to plan as this novel ended up being set in a dystopian world, but I enjoyed reading it nonetheless.

"For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon. But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks. Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself—and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined."

This book follows the idea of a country called Illea, which was formed from America, being split into eight different sections known as castes. America, who is in the fifth caste, is given the chance to join the selection, where she could become the wife of Prince Maxon and automatically be promoted to the first caste. However, America doesn't want to be involved in this and is secretly in love with Aspen, who is of the sixth caste. After America is chosen to be involved in the selection, she must battle it out to become the future Queen of Illea, when she's not even sure if that's what she wants herself.

The characters in this novel were incredibly fleshed out, especially America, Maxon, Aspen and the Singer family. Although I really dislike the name choice for the main protagonist, America started out as a really interesting and persistent character. Although she broke a few rules, she stood up for what she believed in and was really independent. However, throughout the story I found that she became really ungrateful and miserable, which sometimes happens in books as the author tries too hard to make the main character appear strong-willed.

My only concern with the characters in this book was that there were so many new people being introduced. From the thirty-five girls in the selection to the maids and the guards, there were a lot of names to keep track of and therefore people that I got confused between. All of these extra, less important characters were quite vague and often only appeared for a few pages, leaving me wondering what happened to them. I would've preferred it if there were fewer characters in the book, with all of which being more developed, as this would've allowed us to connect more with them.

The setting of this book definitely had a lot of potential and could've been developed a lot further than Kiera Cass did. There was a bit of a Hunger Games and Divergent vibe to it, with all of society having different ranks, much like the districts and factions mentioned in the other novels. Although the book didn't have to share much about the setting, since the narrator didn't know much about it, I felt like there were lots of gaps that could've been explained by this, such as the reason why they get attacked by rebel groups or even simple things such as the appearance of the world. We aren't told anything about the religion, culture or social life that would've definitely added to the story.

There were some aspects of this book that I really enjoyed, with the wonderful concept being one of them. I'm pretty sure that most girls had the childhood dream of becoming a princess, so this novel is almost like a window to that world and a glance at that possible future. Although it was different to what I usually choose to read, I found it to be a great read and especially liked the fact that it wasn't cliche or your average girl-meets-prince story. I also loved hearing about the selection process so I was naturally quite disappointed towards the end when Maxon revealed that he would let all but six girls go home, as I would've liked it to go on longer.

On the other hand, I found that this book could be quite predictable at times, for example, I knew for a fact once I picked up this book that America would make it into the selection, and I could predict that she would be one of Maxon's favourites. Also, I would've preferred this novel to be longer and cover the entire selection process, rather than just a small section of it, as I felt like I was mistaken for thinking that I would find out who Maxon would choose by the end.

Overall, I thought that this was a really good book that I wasn't able to put down while I was reading it, which is why I finished it in only a few hours. Although it was a quick read, I felt like I was left with a strong desire to know what happens next and was really drawn in by the concept of the novel. However, I feel like if the first book of this series was dedicated to building up the history of Illea, introducing the characters and developing the relationships and castes further, with the second novel having a more detailed and thorough focus on the selection, I would've enjoyed it a lot more.

Thanks for reading this post and I hope you liked it. I really enjoy writing book reviews, so I can definitely upload more in the future. Have a nice day and I'll see you on Wednesday with my new post.

Love from Daisy x

Although it's not something I usually share on my blog, I have a passion for writing stories and creating interesting plotlines and characters. These play an integral part in any novel and they are often the difference between a boring, uneventful story and a relatable and exciting one. However, characters that are realistic yet still special enough to be featured are often hard to create, and finding the perfect balance of their qualities can be difficult to come across. If you don't know where to start with creating ideal characters or are unsure what to do to improve them, I've compiled this list of tips and ideas to help you.

1. START WITH THE BASICS
When creating your characters, you need to know all of the basic but vital information about them, such as their name and age, where they live, their family members and anything else that you class as important. This will help you get a general feel for who they are before you develop them further, and your answers to these questions could affect their personality, features and appearance, so choose carefully at this point.

2. TAKE PERSONALITY QUIZZES AND FILL OUT ONLINE PROFILES
A great way to determine what your characters will be like is to take personality quizzes online, but answering them as your character. This will help you to think about things that you wouldn't have considered beforehand and can give you a much broader view of your character. I also recommend creating profiles on online websites such as Facebook and Google Plus for your characters, as they ask you a variety of questions about your life and interests when you sign up. This is really helpful for thinking about further possibilities for your characters and you can always take a look at their profile when you need inspiration. Better still, you could use this to get into character, writing statuses and comments as if you were them, as this will help you to understand and get to know your characters more.

3. ANALYSE OTHER PEOPLE
One of the most important and probably the hardest thing to achieve with characters is to make them seem realistic and human-like (unless your character isn't human, in which case you can skip this step). The best way to achieve this is to analyse people to see what common traits and habits they have. Sometimes it's these insignificant details that can make your character be less stiff and lifeless. These details are really easy to implement into your story, but will make a huge difference in the long-run.

4. PUT IN A LOT OF RESEARCH
Everytime you determine a new trait, characteristic or factor about your character, make sure you research it in depth so that you have a thorough understanding of it, especially if it's important and may affect the plot. For example, if you're character plays a sport, research possible teams in the location of the novel that they could play for, find out positions that they could play and think of a realistic training schedule for their practices. If your character has a fear or a phobia, find out what usually causes it, how extreme it can be and if it can be triggered. No matter how small or unimportant the trait is, make sure you research it fully, as it's better to have knowledge that you don't need than an inaccurate story due to lack of research.

5. STICK WITH WHAT YOU KNOW
It's a lot easier to write about events that you've experienced and topics that you are passionate about, so make sure you include these in some way. Your personal knowledge and anecdotes will make the character and story more detailed and provide depth. Think about any events or details about your life that might be worth mentioning and adapt them to fit your story, as long as you don't exaggerate them too much. This is also a lot more reliable than creating events from scratch, as they will seem much more realistic and likely to happen.

6. NARROW DOWN THE POSSIBILITIES
Once you've decided on some characteristics that you will definitely include, you can start to narrow down the possibilities. For example, if you decide that your character is a child, all of the possibilities for personality points and features that are related to adults become unnecessary, and, therefore possible plot lines will become impossible. You will start to see your character forming in front of you and it will become a lot easier to see what they're like. Keep narrowing down the possibilities until your left with the ideal character, which is easy and a much quicker way of creating them.

7. CREATING THE PERFECT MIX OF CHARACTERISTICS
Everyone has flaws, but too many flaws can seem unrealistic and forced. You want your main character, assuming that they aren't an antagonist, to be about 70% good and 30% bad. This is the perfect mix of both positive and negative characteristics to make your character seem the most believable. If you're not sure whether you have too many of one of these, sort them all into a table of good and bad and see if they are close to the numbers I listed above. To get rid of some if you have too many, think about lending them to another character, such as the main antagonist or a side character that might need more development.

8. THINK ABOUT THE PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE
To fully understand your character and who they are now, you will need to think about both the past and the future. There might be some important past events that have shaped your character and made them become who they are in the present. Likewise, they may act differently or make certain choices based on what they want in the future and their aspirations. Thinking about these possibilities will help you gain a better understanding of your character and see how these extra details could link to their personality, appearance and other characteristics.

9. BE CONSISTENT
The most important part about creating characters is to be consistent and stick with them throughout the story. Although they can grow and develop just like people, they shouldn't drastically change throughout the events of the novel and become a person that almost isn't recognisable anymore. Also, don't add too many characteristics to your characters, as overloading them with unnecessary features will make them appear to be more forced and unrealistic.

10. ALL CHARACTERS MATTER
Your main character should be the most developed in your story, but that doesn't mean you should forget about the others. Every time a new character is introduced, the same level of depth and detail should go into creating them. Writing a good story isn't about having one character that is incredibly fleshed out and realistic with the rest being vague, but having all of your characters up to the same standard. Try to make all of your characters unique and distinguishable, as a book full of people with the exact same traits would be boring and make the reader confused.

Whether you're starting out blogging or just looking for ways to improve, I've got you covered. I've often found that blogging tips and pieces of advice are all over the place on the Internet and it can be hard to find a collection of all of these resources. I decided to create this post to share all of these blog posts, so you will always be able to consult this guide to assist your blog. I hope you like it and keep reading for lots of blog help and resources.

TIPS FOR BEGINNER BLOGGERS

When I started blogging, there weren't many resources to help or posts to guide me. A lot of what I did was independent and I had no idea about the bigger world of blogging out there. From starting up my blog to creating posts and graphics, I tried my hardest but struggled quite often and didn't have any advice from other people. Since then, I've found these blog posts which are incredibly helpful for someone starting a blog and will guide you through the entire process, until you are left with a unique and professional-looking page.

CREATING YOUR BLOG
CHOOSING A NAME FOR YOUR BLOG - Elle and Company
FINDING YOUR BLOGGING NICHE - Elle and Company
CHOOSING THE BEST BLOGGING PLATFORM - Blogging Basics 101

HELPFUL TIPS FOR STARTING A BLOG
TIPS FOR NEW BLOGGERS - Kaleidoscope

ORGANISATION AND PRODUCTIVITY

One of the most important parts of blogging is staying organised and on top of your work, but this is actually quite underrated. I would find it impossible to blog and maintain a professional standard without this level of organisation and preparation, as it makes my blog much more efficient and the behind-the-scenes section of my blog easy to manage. When I started blogging, I wasn't very organised, but I slowly acquired tips and ideas through various blog posts, which I have linked down below.

ORGANISING YOUR BLOG
ORGANISING YOUR BLOG - You Baby Me Mummy

EDITORIAL CALENDARS

MEDIA KITS

BLOG DESIGN AND AESTHETICS

The first thing someone notices when they visit your blog is the appearance, and they instantly make an assumption based on how it looks. You can clearly tell when a blog has had a lot of time invested into it, especially based on its appearance, but there are also ways to fake it. Simple things such as uploading a new template, designing a header and choosing a colour scheme can make a drastic difference, so below I've shared the best ways to go about this and make your blog look its best possible.

DESIGN AND BRANDING
UPLOADING TEMPLATES AND PREMADE THEMES

GROWING YOUR AUDIENCE AND BLOG TRAFFIC

I am fully aware that, for some people, blogging is simply a hobby and they don't care where it goes. However, the vast majority of bloggers pay close attention to their traffic, hoping that it will increase. There are a lot of different tools for measuring these analytics and tracking your statistics, as well as important figures that are more important than you might think. Below, I have linked my favourite posts about blog traffic and growing your audience, all of which are helpful, informative and will allow you to clearly see whether your blog is improving or not.

EVERYTHING TO KNOW ABOUT BLOG TRAFFIC

GROWING YOUR AUDIENCE AND FINDING LOYAL READERS
GROWING YOUR BLOG READERSHIP - Elle and Company

SOCIAL MEDIA AND PROMOTION

The popularity of social media is rapidly growing, with lots of new platforms and ways of sharing content being created. Since a lot of people use these websites, it's a great way to get your blog out there and find a suitable audience that will appreciate your content. It also allows for other people to share your work and you can interact with other bloggers, making social media a vital tool. I have included some of my favourite posts about social media, mentioning some of the most popular and successful platforms.

GENERAL SOCIAL MEDIA

TWITTER

FACEBOOK
NINE FACEBOOK GROUPS FOR BLOGGERS - The Nectar Collective

PINTEREST


GOOGLE PLUS


INSTAGRAM
HOW BLOGGERS CAN LEVERAGE INSTAGRAM - The Social Media Hat

EMAILS AND BLOG NEWSLETTERS

BLOG PHOTOGRAPHY AND GRAPHICS

As I said earlier, a lot of people will visit your blog and primarily notice its appearance. Photos and graphics go hand in hand with this, as they are an extension of blog design that will persuade people to read your posts and even share them on social media. To achieve this, you need to ensure that your images look professional and clean. I have shared my top tips for creating images and graphics that will fit these criteria and be instantly appealing to they eye.

TAKING BLOG-WORTHY PHOTOGRAPHS
DIY STYLED PHOTOS - Once Upon Her Dream
TIPS FOR TAKING PHOTOS FOR YOUR BLOG - Sunny With A Chance Of Sprinkles

CREATING GRAPHICS AND IMAGES

CREATING WORTHWHILE CONTENT

I've left the most important thing until last, as great content is necessary and will be the thing that keeps people returning to your blog. It can be easy to write down your thoughts, but crafting a post that will keep readers hooked and not bored is a more difficult task. It can also be hard to think of topics to write about and come up with original post ideas, but luckily I've included some posts below on all of these things to help you out.

BLOG POST IDEAS
OVER 300 WRITING PROMPTS - The Sits Girls
50 BLOG POST IDEAS - A Girl, Obsessed
100 BEAUTY BLOGGING PROMPTS - The Sunday Girl

OTHER USEFUL TOOLS

I hope you liked this post and that it has been helpful for you. This can definitely be used as a reference for you to look at in the future, and I will continue to update this with more posts. Thank you for reading this post and I'll see you on Wednesday.

Love from Daisy x

If you want your makeup to look good, using the right products is only part of it. The rest is down to what tools you use and how you apply your makeup, as this can transform what would be an average makeup look into something more professional and clean. Today, I thought I'd talk you through the tools that I find to be an integral part of my makeup routine and feel as though I couldn't last without.

The first makeup tools that I couldn't live without are brushes. I use these on a daily basis and find that they're what makes my makeup look better than average, especially when it comes to buffing in concealer and blending out eyeshadow. I particularly love the Real Techniques brushes, as they are all incredibly soft and function really well. They are dense, synthetic brushes that are incredibly soft and pick up a generous amount of product. I would recommend that you invest in some brushes like these, as they will last a lot longer and be of a better quality than cheaper brushes. If you'd like to know more about them, I have reviewed the Core Collection and the Eyes Starter Set.

A beauty blender is a makeup tool that is particularly new to me, but I've really enjoyed using it and found it to be an important part of my makeup routine. You can use this teardrop shaped sponge in quite a few different ways, but I enjoy using it on areas that have a lot of built-up product, buffing it into the skin to remove any excess makeup. You could also use it to blend out foundation and concealer if you want a lighter, more natural finish.

I never used to use eyelash curlers and thought that my makeup would look fine with only mascara being applied, but after using them a lot I've realised that they make a huge difference. My eyelashes are naturally quite straight, so this quick step makes them look a lot longer and curled throughout the day. It also helps to make your eyes look open, making you appear to be alert and awake.

A pencil sharpener is a necessary tool for doing your makeup and is useful for eyeliners and eyebrow pencils. It's a lot easier to be accurate and apply product neatly when you're pencil is sharper, so I use this quite often to keep them intact.

Makeup remover isn't just for taking your makeup off at night, it's also really helpful to have at hand when applying your makeup. I quite often end up smudging my mascara or apply eyeshadow that needs neatening up, which I can easily do by applying some micellar water to a piece of cotton wool. You could also use it to remove any excess makeup or take off your lipstick if you want to wear a different colour.

The final makeup tool that I find to be essential is a mirror so that I can check my makeup once I've applied it. It's not uncommon for my makeup to look fine and neat when I'm applying it, but I take a glance at myself later in the day and realise that it's quickly become a mess. Having a handy compact mirror allows you to check the progress of your makeup and get a close-up view of what it looks like, so you can correct any mistakes before it's too late.

These are all my essential makeup tools, but I understand that there are many more that other people might use and couldn't live without. I'd love to hear what tools you use to apply your makeup, so make sure you let me know down in the comments.

Love from Daisy x

Today I'm going to be sharing my knowledge on the topic of media kits and how to create one that is both successful and effective. They are a valued feature that will definitely be crucial when collaborating with brands, but they need to be done correctly in order to be valued and impactful. I'll be sharing all of my handy tips with you, including the basics of a media kit, what you'll need to include and how to create one, step-by-step.

WHAT IS A MEDIA KIT AND DO I REALLY NEED ONE?

A media kit, in its simplest form, is a collection of information and data, usually displayed as a document, which gives brands and companies all the information they might want about you and your blog. Your media kit may be requested by someone wanting to work with you, or you can send it out to different companies in hope that they'll be interested. By having one, you will clearly stand out to a variety of people wanting to collaborate with you, showing that you are organised and committed to blogging. It also gives you an edge over other candidates with a similar niche and audience. Although you might find yourself never even using your media kit, it's useful to have and is worth investing a few hours into creating.

WHAT GOES IN MY MEDIA KIT?

You may be mistaken that a media kit simply consists of boring, analytical data such as your blog's pageviews and how many followers you have, but it is so much more than that. You can include many different things that help the reader get to know you, learn more about your blog and be persuaded to collaborate. Gathering all of the necessary things is probably the most laborious step of making a media kit, but it's really important to get everything together and in one place. I'd recommend making a folder on your computer called Media Kit Resources for you to keep all of this in, as this will prevent you from losing or forgetting about everything you have gathered. For your media kit, you will need:

Images:
Statistics:
Text:
Your blog logo
Pageviews per month
Paragraphs about you and your blog
A screenshot of your blog homepage
Blog visitors per month   
Your sponsorship policies and what you offer
A photo of you
Social media followers
Testimonials
The best images from your blog
Any other noteworthy statistics
Email address and web address

HOW TO CREATE A MEDIA KIT STEP-BY-STEP

1. INSERT YOUR BLOG LOGO AT THE TOP OF THE DOCUMENT, KEEPING IT FAIRLY LARGE AND CENTRED

Your blog logo will play an important part in your media kit, as it instantly gives the reader a glimpse of your brand and will be their primary way of identifying you. A professional looking logo shows that you're willing to dedicate time and effort into the aesthetic side of your blog and makes you look experienced, even if this isn't the case. If you don't have a usable logo, your header will do fine for now, but I recommend either making one yourself or paying a designer to create something, as it will make your media kit and blog, in general, appear to be much more professional.

2. INTRODUCE YOURSELF TO THE READER IN THE OPENING PARAGRAPH

The best way to get brands to want to engage with you is by writing a personal paragraph about yourself, keeping it relaxed and true. This will be the first thing that people will read in your media kit and could be the reason they stop looking through, so make it count. You don't need to mention the blogging side of your life, as this can be covered in the next paragraph, so instead give the reader a taste of your true self by mentioning your life, hobbies, goals and anything else that defines you. If you're not sure what to write, why not use the 'About Me' page of your blog as a guideline and build on it. I'd also recommend including a photo of yourself here, as the people reading your media kit will want to see the person behind the blog and it's a great way to show that you're a friendly face willing to collaborate.

3. TALK ABOUT YOUR BLOG, ITS NICHE AND REGULAR FEATURES

If brands are looking to work with your blog, they will need to know a bit about it and what it involves. Keeping the same relaxed tone as in the previous paragraph, talk about how your blog started, mentioning things like what inspired you to start and how it has developed since then. Mention your niche and subject areas that you often write about, as well as regular features that appear on your blog. If you've had the chance to work with any other brands or bloggers in the past, now is your time to mention them. However, keep this minimal, only choosing one or two of your favourite anecdotes to persuade the potential client, as too many can be boring and make you sound like you're bragging. Also include a screenshot of your blog in this section, so they can see what it looks like and get a feel for your site without needing to visit it.

4. MAKE YOUR SPONSORSHIP POLICIES CLEAR AND EVIDENT ON THE PAGE, ALONG WITH WHAT YOU OFFER

This is probably one of the most important parts of your media kit, as it shows what you're willing to do or put on your blog in collaboration with the brand. It's good to mention things like adverts on your blog, sponsored posts and samples, but if you have any other ideas or ways of collaborating then make sure you include them. Give as much detail about the possibilities, or alternatively say that they can find out more upon request. For example, if you're offering adverts on your blog, they will need to know where the adverts will be, what size they will be, how long they will be visible for and the cost. If you want to be paid, make sure you have fixed rates for everything you're offering and a set time-frame that payment has to be received by.

5. SHARE YOUR BLOGGING STATISTICS TO SHOW THE READER YOUR SUCCESS AND IMPROVEMENTS

Possible clients and people interested in your blog may want to know how successful your blog is and how many views it is getting. This will help them make an informed decision about whether to collaborate or not, but let me just say that there's no point in lying about these. The statistics that you need to include are your pageviews per month and unique visitors per month, but I would include others as well, so the brand has an accurate view and knows what to expect. If there are other statistics that you think are particularly good then make sure you include them, as this will create a better image. Below all of your statistics, make sure you say how current they are, as your blog can drastically change in a few months and old statistics may not have any relevance now.

6. TALK ABOUT YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS AND HOW INFLUENTIAL THEY ARE

Social media is definitely growing and is a tool that bloggers and brands alike can take advantage of. You might find it convenient for sharing your posts and gaining an audience, but companies can use it to promote products and new launches. By sharing with the reader what social media accounts you have and how influential they are, you will find yourself becoming a likely candidate. Brands will love to hear if you have lots of followers, so make sure to give that a mention, but if you're a smaller blogger then say how much your audience has grown by. Potential sponsors will jump at the chance to have added promotion on the internet and might even interact with you on social media, sharing your posts and images with a wider audience.

7. SHOW YOUR EXPERIENCE AND LIKEABILITY THROUGH TESTIMONIALS

As humans, we often put our trust in peoples' opinions and love hearing what other people think, so including testimonials in your media kit will work in your favour. Brands who might be considering you but aren't sure could be certain after reading what other people have said about your blog, so you definitely need to get your hands on some. For your media kit, you only need a few, depending on the length of them, but it's always better to have a wide selection to choose from. If you've worked with any brands or bloggers in the past then make sure to politely ask them for a testimonial, but if not then there may be some readers of your blog who are willing to write one. It might be hard to ask them, but building up a bit of courage to send a short email will be worth it when you have lots of brands wanting to work with you.

8. BREAK UP ALL OF THE TEXT WITH SOME OF YOUR BEST BLOG IMAGES

So far, your media kit will consist of mostly text, which can be informative but doesn't look very eye-catching. Add images throughout the document to break up the large amounts of text, ensuring that they are some of the best photographs from your blog. This will give the brand a feel for your work and style of photography, as well as making your media kit more appealing to look at.

9. LEAVE YOUR CONTACT DETAILS IN A CLEAR AND NOTICEABLE PLACE SO BRANDS CAN EASILY RESPOND

I prefer to have my contact details at the very top of the page, but you could also have them at the end, depending on your preference and where there is room. The brand reading your media kit might want to contact you, but they probably won't go to great efforts to find out how. If your email address isn't prominent, you might lose that client and many others in the future. Oher contact information is optional, so I'd suggest saving room and stating that any other forms of contact are available upon request.

10. ARRANGE ALL OF THIS TO CREATE A CLEAN AND PROFESSIONAL LAYOUT

You now have all of the components of a great media kit and all that's left to do is build a clean, sleek layout that showcases and compliments the information. Try and stick to a colour scheme that is similar to your blog, staying clear of lots of bright colours. You want your media kit to look professional, so different shades of grey with one accent colour will work much better. Find a font that is easy to read but isn't boring and consistently use it throughout the media kit, sticking with a uniform size for headings, subheadings and body text. Try and fit everything onto one or two pages, as a brand mightn't spend lots of time flicking through excessive pages.

11. CHECK THROUGH TO MAKE SURE THERE ARE NO ERRORS OR MISTAKES

There's nothing worse than trying to create a professional looking media kit, only to find that there are frequent spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. Scan over the paragraphs a number of times in search of these, using a spell checker to help you if necessary. It also helps to read over everything again to make sure that it flows, sounds right and everything is phrased in a way that you're happy with. 

12. CONVERT THE FILE TO A PDF AND START SENDING IT OUT!

PDF files look a lot more professional than sending out your media kit as an image or a word document, so either convert it within the program you created it or online. Then, you're ready to start approaching brands and companies with your new handy tool that will instantly create a good impression.
That is all you need to know to make a successful and effective media kit. If you'd like any more advice, tips or want to see some examples, just let me know and I'll be able to help you. I hope you like this post and that I've inspired you to make your media kit the best it can possibly be.

Love from Daisy x

I'm very lucky to have such lovely and loyal readers of my blog that constantly support me through every step of the way. Although I always notice you, it was particularly evident back in August, when I reached 200 followers. Although this might appear to be a really small number to some, it was a huge achievement for me and was certainly unexpected to say the least. I wanted to celebrate this achievement with the Daisies and Delights community, but I was on holiday at the time and didn't have my laptop with me, meaning I couldn't write and edit a proper post. It was at that moment that I decided to hold an impromptu giveaway on my blog, which was for advertising space in my sidebar, promotion for the winners' blogs on social media and a blog post dedicated to those who won. Staying true to my promise, I will now be sharing with you the three winners and telling you a little bit about them and their blogs.


The first winner was Anna from Annie Mac. I started reading her blog a few months ago and absolutely fell in love with it, so I was thrilled that she wanted to enter my giveaway and even more pleased that she was one of the winners. Anna blogs about a variety of things, such as beauty, style and life, but it's her makeup posts that I particularly love. Not only is her writing chatty and relatable, but her posts are really informative and fun to read. I'm also in love with her blog design, especially her gorgeous header and template. Overall, I really love Anna's blog and I would definitely recommend taking a look at it if you haven't already.


The second winner of my giveaway was Emma from Coupon Queen. Not only does Emma have a website where she is dedicated to finding the best coupons and money-saving deals, but she also writes some outstanding blog posts that I'm in love with. She posts some very informative and detailed product reviews that are also very persuasive and make you want everything she's mentioned! I love catching up with her newest posts and seeing what she's loved using recently, as I can guarantee that her opinion is true and worth trusting. Her blog design is absolutely beautiful and I love her aesthetic. Emma's also really lovely and a great person to talk to, so I'd definitely urge you to take a look at her blog.


The third and final winner of my giveaway was Rachel from the Little Life of Rachel. I discovered her blog through my giveaway, and I'm incredibly glad she entered as it was a great way for me to find her posts and I'm now in love with them. Her beauty posts are incredibly well informed and always provide me with an extra insight on her opinions. They are also coupled with beautiful photographs, which I'm really envious of! Rachel's blog is one that I've been returning back to frequently, since I love her style of writing and we share a lot of the same opinions. If you haven't already, I'd definitely head on over to her blog, as you definitely won't regret it.

I'm so glad that three lovely bloggers won my giveaway, and they all deserved it immensely, but I'm also incredibly thankful for everyone who entered. Things like this wouldn't be possibly without amazing readers and I look forward to all of the exciting times in the future that blogging may bring. Thank you for reading this post and just supporting me in general, as I really appreciate it. I'll be back on Sunday with a new post, so I'll see you then.

Love from Daisy x

It's been quite a while since I've uploaded a detailed and in-depth book review on my blog, which I was sad about as I really enjoy writing these posts and they seem to be received well by my audience. Today, I will be reviewing Reason to Breathe by Rebecca Donovan, which is a book that I wanted to read for quite some time and finally got around to this summer. It has an excellent storyline and some very deep and important themes, so I thought it would be a great one to share with you.

I came across this book while looking for something to read in the library. I'd noticed it sitting on the shelf, untouched, many times before but it was only a few months ago when I decided to pick it up. After reading the blurb, I could tell that it was going to be an emotional read and something that I would enjoy, so I decided to try it. I'm honestly glad that I did, as this book deeply affected me and really opened my eyes, leaving me touched by the beautiful but upsetting story.

"In the affluent town of Weslyn, Connecticut, where most people worry about what to be seen in and who to be seen with, Emma Thomas would rather not be seen at all. She’s more concerned with feigning perfection while pulling down her sleeves to conceal the bruises - not wanting anyone to know how far from perfect her life truly is. Without expecting it, she finds love. It challenges her to recognize her own worth - but at the risk of revealing the terrible secret she’s desperate to hide."

Emma might appear to be an average school student, being smart and talented while remaining lowkey and undiscovered, but that's only a mask, hiding who she truly is. She gets outstanding grades, maintaining a 4.0 in her advanced classes, is one of the most valued athletes in her school and does any chores without complaint. She has the potential to be one of the most popular students in her school, yet chooses to remain a recluse, going unnoticed by most of her peers. This is due to her dark secret, where it is physically unsafe for anyone too know the truth about. Emma doesn't want help or a rescue plan, and is instead bravely coping with everything around her until she can finally escape her horrible life.

That is until she meets Evan Mathews, a new pupil in her school who seems to have taken a bizarre interest in Emma's complexity and quietness. She is instantly drawn to him, but knows that letting her guard down could lead to the truth being revealed, with everything she's worked for being lost. Emma is faced with the opportunity to get what she wants - an ordinary, teenage life with supportive friends and happy memories - but her safety and future would be at risk. Reason to Breathe shares the emotional and heart wrenching story of a girl holding onto her final piece of hope and her struggles to make it through the unbearable pain brought upon her.

The main characters in this book were extremely detailed and fleshed out, making them feel realistic. This really helped the story come alive and I could often predict how certain characters would react to events, based on their personalities and flaws. Emma's character is one that is written with both a sense of vulnerability and bravery, showing her true terror at brutal times and a more mellow yet still on-edge version of her in relaxed times. The main antagonist, Carol, is an incredibly well-written character that made the story so emotional and memorable. Rebecca Donovan did an excellent job at makng her very terrifying and a constant looming threat in both Emma's mind and the reader's.

I was, however, disappointed by some of the secondary characters in the novel, as they seemed to lack realism and would do anything that helped to advance the plot. An example of this is Sarah's parents, who would stretch to great extremes to allow Emma to frequently stay over at their house and even go to New York with their family, which are things that regular parents wouldn't allow, and certainly Carol wouldn't have allowed it, but this was brushed upon since it helped the plot continue. I also wish that some of these lesser characters would've had more development and had noticeable traits and characteristics.

The events of this book weren't about a drasitc plot point, but rather a series of events. I really liked this, as we were able to see how the characters shaped and grew as people over time, but it did leave me unmotivated at certain points, as it seemed like it was just a constant timeline of unnecessary events in parts of the novel. However, I do feel that this way of writing helped us to understand how much Emma was suffering and shown that there wasn't one clear plot point that affected her, as each time Carol hurt Emma was as bad as the preceeding. 

I was amazed by how eager I was to read this book and how I couldn't put it down, especially after about halway through. I read the first half of this book on and off over a few weeks, but on holiday managed to read the second half in less than 24 hours. I was completely engrossed in the story and couldn't stop thinking about it when I wasn't reading it. The storyline and flowing feel to the writing really helped me to enjoy the book that much more and kept me reading it for hours on end.

Although I fell in love with this book, there was a few inconsistencies and unrealistic elements which I couldn't help but be slightly irritated by. One thing that this book really lacked was a steady concept of time, as I felt that weeks or even months passing were brushed over in a couple of sentences, leaving me confused. Also, some of the events felt a bit unrealistic, such as the trip to New York to look at colleges with Evan coincidentally being there, which was actually unrelated to the plot and wasn't really necessary to the storyline.

Rebecca Donovan's writing style is one that I quickly fell in love with, which is part of the reason why I was eager to keep reading. The book itself wasn't challenging or difficult to read, but I feel like this helped me connect with the characters and appreciate the events even more. Her narrative voice has such a casual feel to it that makes this book seem more relatable and reinforces the idea of Emma being a regular teenager at heart. Rebecca also pays great attention to detail, which is evident through discrete clues and foreshadowing that clearly sets up the story.

This book has quite a deep and upsetting concept, but I still found it to be a very progressive and enjoyable read. I feel like every emotion possible was touched on, with sadness and fear playing a major role, but being counteracted by the happiness and joy that was underlying in the events. Although the scenes aren't overly graphic, they can be hard to read and make you feel pain deep inside. There are definitely some powerful messages included in this book and moments that make you stop and think.

Overall, this was a great book that I found to be an intense and addictive read. It's more suited to older teenagers, as it's quite a mature and upsetting read while still featuring some fun and youthful elements, but I feel like adults of all ages would appreciate and connect with it aswell. It was a really unique story that was conveyed excellently and has left me eager to read the sequel.

Thanks for reading this post and I hope you enjoyed it. Hopefully I've convinced you to try this book, and if you do I'd love to know what you think of it. I'll definitely be back with more book reviews in the future, but make sure to tell me if you have any particular requests, as I'd be more than happy to write about them for you.

Love from Daisy x

People always say that you get what you pay for when it comes to makeup, but that isn't necessarily true, as I've found a large amount of amazing products that cost very little money. I've noticed quite recently that Pound World have their own makeup brand, entitled Miss Beauty London, with all of their products being, you guessed it, only £1! I thought I would try some of their products since it would be shocking not to at that price.

The first thing that I decided to try from Pound World was their Miss Beauty London Eyebrow Pencil in the shade blonde. I'm always looking for a colour that matches my eyebrows, since blonde is usually too pale and brunette is too dark, but I think this might be the perfect match. It is a gorgeous ashy blonde that is quite cool-toned, being a great match for my eyebrows. It glides on really nicely and isn't too harsh whilst still being generously pigmented. Honestly, you wouldn't think that this was only £1 after using it. If you're looking for a pencil that matches your eyebrows I'd recommend looking here, as they had quite a few other colours that might be suitable for you.

I also picked up a blusher from Pound World, which was their Miss Beauty London Blusher blusher in the shade bonbon. This is a gorgeous medium toned baby pink blusher that, like the name suggests, is a really similar colour to pink sweets or even candyfloss. It is incredibly pigmented and noticeable on the skin but blends really nicely and can be applied in a much more subtle way. On the back of the packaging, it is described as being silky soft powder blushers that give the face a radiant look, which I 100% agree with. The colour compliments my skin really well and looks like a healthy flush, making it an all-around amazing product, especially for only £1.

I loved this blusher so much that I decided to go back to Pound Land a couple of days later and get another one in a different shade. I decided to try the shade cupcake, which is quite a bit lighter than bonbon. This blusher is much more radiant and glowing, with the shimmer being more noticeable in my opinion. It is quite light, so it would look gorgeous on people with fair skin or used as a highlighter on the cheeks for an added sheen. Again, I would definitely recommend you give this a try for only £1.

Overall, I'm incredibly impressed with these products and they're a lot better than I expected. There's often a misconception in the beauty world that only expensive, high-end products will be of a great quality, but these prove that to be wrong. Since everything is a pound, it doesn't break the bank to try them, which I'd really recommend you do. I'm surprised that a budget brand could create such lovely makeup items, and hopefully I'll be able to try more of them in the future!

Thank you for reading this post and I hope you enjoyed hearing about my budget makeup finds. I'd love to know if you've tried any of the Miss Beauty London cosmetics, and if so what did you think of them? Let me know down in the comments because I'd love to get some new recommendations from their brand. I hope you liked this post and I'll see you on Sunday with a new one!

Love from Daisy x