I am a huge Mollie Makes fan and when I saw that they had published another special, I knew it would be right up my street! The latest one is all about social media, and as I found the blogging special to be very helpful I decided to add it to my collection. I have been meaning to do a little review of them for ages and because this one is so good, it seemed like the perfect opportunity!
The first special I bought was the photography special. I am really keen to improve my photography skills (which has been well-documented on my blog) and as I don’t really know much about the technical side of things I thought this would be helpful in terms of doing a bit more than just ‘point and shoot’! There are loads of really helpful tips in here and this special is great for giving ideas about new ways of taking photos. I love the idea of making your own camera! There’s also a really great section on food photography, which is notoriously very difficult.
The interviews with various people who do this for a living are really informative and inspiring. It definitely makes me want to get out there with my camera! This is where I really saw Project Life for the first time, and it was one of the reasons I decided to get started with that. I’m really glad I did!
DIY Fashion is up next – I love the Liberty print dress on the front cover (made by Lisa Comfort of Sew Over It, who also guest-edits here) and will definitely have to make one out of that fabric at some point! This special is divided into four different fashion trends: vintage, quirky, bohemian and retro, with different projects and features in each one. Whilst I don’t necessarily stick to one of these trends, each one has inspiring elements which you could adapt into your own style. So you could take the fabric painting technique used in the flamingo t-shirt, and make your own retro style print.
The embellishing tips are really useful here too – I’ve got some ideas in my head for projects and I’ve never really done anything like that before. It’s a good excuse to go and buy some supplies! So even if you’re not going to make the exact projects from this special, you’ll certainly be inspired to go and create your own wardrobe.
The Blogging special has been really helpful in so many ways for my blog, so whether you’re new to blogging or you’ve been doing it a while now, I’m sure there’s something in it for you. The interview with Elsie Larson from A Beautiful Mess is super interesting to read, as she talks about perceptions of blogging as a career and is really honest about the pros and cons of that. Great to read all about it from someone I really admire. The feature on Blogtacular made me even more excited about getting a ticket for this year – woo hoo! Can’t wait to make new connections and learn so much in June.
I guess that’s one of the main things I took from this special – there’s always more to learn. Since buying this I’ve tried to put some of the things I’ve learnt into practice, and I’ve also been signing up for online classes and events like Blogtacular. In a sphere that’s constantly changing with so many people blogging now, it’s important to be yourself and get yourself noticed as much as possible. This special will certainly point you in the right direction! I believe I am right in saying that all physical copies of this have now sold out (on account of it being really popular!) but you can still download it for Apple or Android through the newsstand (or Android equivalent).
Next up is Sewing, which features another of my favourites Tilly Walnes from Tilly and the Buttons (as well as a bit more from Lisa Comfort – yay!). How gorgeous is the patchwork dress on the front?! Like the DIY Fashion special, this is really inspiring, even if you don’t make the projects as you see them. There’s a lot of repurposing and reusing, and it’s great to think about things that are in your wardrobe that can be reworked into something new.
If you’re new to sewing, there are loads of handy tips about sewing machines and techniques. I just love looking at different fabrics and there are plenty to lust over in this edition! Will definitely be trying to track down some of them…
I’ve saved this one until last as it’s my favourite (even though they are all lovely!). It is divided into several main sections that cover Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest, with an extra (brief) section for things like Google+. For those of you who are completely new to any of these social media, there’s a handy bit at the start of each section to explain how they work and what the different functions do. Lots of people will know this already, but it’s great if you don’t know your likes from your pokes on Facebook, for example! Even though I know a bit about social media already, I have learnt so much more from this special. Who knew that Pinterest has an analytics function?! I didn’t, but will definitely be trying it out soon! It also made me have a little spring clean of my boards, so do check out my Pinterest boards if you’re on it.
Another thing that I love about this special is that they have included some suggestions of people to follow on each of the social media too – the feature on Emily Quinton of Makelight is really interesting and I’ve been a fan of hers for a while now so it was good to find out more about how she’s grown her audience. I found the section about Twitter to be really useful too. It’s my least favourite of the social media by far, but I know it’s one of those things that I’ve just got to do! Hopefully the ideas here will prompt me into being a bit more proactive on my Twitter account.
“So are there any downsides?”, I hear you ask…well, these specials are a bit more pricey than the usual magazines at £7.99 (the Blogging special was £9.99 but it is slightly bigger). I didn’t get the Christmas one last year because I actually had lots of the projects featured in it in craft books that I already have and it seemed like a waste of money really. So if you’re thinking of getting them you might want to flick through it first. If you’re an avid Mollie Makes reader and have been reading for some time, you may also recognise some of the projects from previous issues (e.g. the fabric camera strap in the Photography special was in a back issue a couple of years ago or so) – and the interview with Zoe Pearson in the Social Media special was in issue 51 of the main magazine only last month. It must be difficult to get the balance between reusing content that takes AGES to write and shoot, and keeping regulars happy. I really enjoyed reading the rest of the magazine so it didn’t bother me too much, but I wouldn’t want to see too many features reused in such a short space of time too often.
If you’re a blogger or a small business person looking to improve your blog or photography, or you want to get the most out of social media then you should definitely grab a copy of these specials! The sewing one is beautiful too – I was really inspired by some of the projects and especially by the prints and styling of the photos. Fab!
Have you bought any of these specials? What did you think?
***This is not a sponsored post – I am genuinely a huge Mollie Makes fan!***