A blogging resource is a dime a dozen these days - the internet is littered with posts about how to start one, maintain one, grow one and even make a living from one - it's no secret that blogs are a hot topic.

So rather than crowd you with more generic advice, I thought I'd nudge some books (study geeks 4 lyfe) that've helped me in refining my content this year. These aren't directly to do with blogging per se, but each have a strong steer on guiding you towards creatively expressing yourself and your identity visually. I think so much of what we do as bloggers is closely linked to self expression and staying inspired, so it can really grind your gears when you're expected to produce content and coming up empty. That was my experience, certainly in the earlier half of the year. I'm feeling a lot more refreshed and eager now, and I think a large part of that is down to these reads. I hope they work for you too!

IF YOUR PHOTOS ARE 'BLAH': Capture Your Style by Aimee Song: Probably the fluffiest and the most obviously related to blogging, this guide to visual expression on Instagram was actually really useful in 'nuts and bolts' ways - iPhone photography, rules of thirds, grid-setting etc. - as well as visually inspiring. Aimee has a very genuine, wistful 'voice' in her photography and it's hard not to be put into an aspirational headspace as you turn the pages of this coffee table book. I particularly loved her sections on travel and food photography. I also really appreciated her tips on how to take a good selfie and outfit photo, as someone who is a permanent phobe of having their photo taken for Insta! If you're looking to up your game on that platform, as well as improve your eye as a photographer in general, pick this one up.

IF YOU ARE LOOKING TO STREAMLINE AND SIMPLIFY: The Curated Closet by Anushcka Rees: I don't know if any of you guys ever read/followed Anushcka's blog Into Mind, but you should take the opportunity to follow her new self-titled offering now. As a blogger, she's the gateway drug into capsule wardrobes and minimalism - she has such a strong voice and aesthetic in her work that a book feels like a very natural next step. This isn't just another 'blogger turned author' offering - make no mistakes, this is a handbook/workbook, taking you through the process of curating your own sense of style, and collecting together inspiration to make your wardrobe a happy place again.

I've got some more specific thoughts on the book, the method and the minimalist wardrobe, but those are for another post - for these purposes, let me just emphasise how thoroughly this asks you to question your own style. I've fallen prey to trend-led dressing and being a little bit of a 'follower' in the past, but through working with this book I've started to really consciously think about what I wear and what it says about me. Getting what you want to say right, from your dress to your work, is a form of personal branding. I'd strongly recommend this book if you're looking for that kind of 'voice'.

IF YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOUR BLOG IS SAYING: How To Style Your Brand by Fiona Humberstone: Visual identity and branding, I guess because of what I do for a living, is one of those topics I could talk about and geek out on for hours, so let me just say this - you won't get far with blogging (if you want to pursue your blog as a business) unless you've got a hold on your brand. This book will help you find it if, like me, you're struggling to articulate it. Fiona goes in depth into personal and professional questionnaires, exercises and brainstorms to dig deep into what makes your business unique and carving out that space for yourself. I felt so energised by this book, and it really did get me excited to create content again. Fiona's tone is bright and cheerful but never patronising and always thought-provoking - everything you'd want out of a brand consultant. Don't skimp out on this step - it'll be so worth the time you invest once you've gotten your personal brand nailed down.

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