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My Business Staples & The Products I Recommend If You’re Interested in Starting a Blog

October 22, 2018

I started The Blondielocks over 5 years ago (so crazy to think about!) and at that time I never would have anticipated that this blog would grow into what it has. Looking back, I certainly didn’t think that The Blondielocks would become my full-time job around 3 ½ years later, but it has, and for that I couldn’t be more grateful.

In the beginning of The Blondielocks, I didn’t set out to try and make a profit from my blog. I had, to put it simply, just graduated from fashion school and I wanted a place where I could share my interests beyond just fashion and create a portfolio of sorts. The number one thing I committed to was posting 5 days a week, Monday to Friday. I wanted to share topics I was well versed in (mostly fashion at the time) and other topics I wanted to learn more about and grow into  such as, recipes, home décor, DIY projects and beauty. Another small yet impactful step was creating the tag line, “curate a life that is juuust right”. This statement is what The Blondielocks stands for, and it has always been the guide that I follow when it comes to creating great content. However, to this day, I truly believe that my commitment to posting consistently 5 days a week is what has set The Blondielocks up for success.

There are of course other business staples I use on a day-to-day basis to help The Blondielocks thrive, and without them, I wouldn’t be able to do my job successfully. October is Small Business Month, which is a month dedicated to celebrating small businesses and recognizing the important contributions entrepreneurs make in their local communities. So, I thought that this would be the perfect opportunity to share the business staples that have helped me thrive. I’m thrilled to be partnering with Staples Canada today to share those business “staples” while making suggestions to you if you’re interested in starting your own blog.  

I’m partnering with Staples Canada as I truly admire their commitment to understanding and providing valued support to entrepreneurs on their journey. Staples Canada prides itself in helping small businesses grow, not just by offering great products and services but, committing to understanding and providing valued support to entrepreneurs on their journey. I’ve visited Staples countless times in the last 5 years (and that’s not including every year for school before I started my business) because they offer products I actually use from office supplies and technology to comprehensive Print and MarketingServices.

Keep reading to see what my business staples are and some suggestions on products you might need if you’re interested in starting your own blog.Organization Staples:
In the beginning of The Blondielocks, I didn’t think too much about organization because I didn’t anticipate that this blog would turn into my full-time job just a few years later. However, once The Blondielocks was registered as a business and I had things like contracts, invoices and receipts to deal with, I needed to become organized…and fast! Whether I’m working with contracts, invoices or tucking away receipts for tax time, the key to any organized space is a good filing system. Luckily, Jamie is our business side of The Blondielocks and he keeps our records organized, but things like a 2-drawer vertical letter file cabinet (for a small space) or 4-drawer vertical legal file cabinet (for a larger office) is an ideal method to help efficiently store and organize all of our important and confidential documents. We even like to take our organization to the next level by keeping a label maker and bright and colourful sticky notes on hand to quickly and easy to organize our file drawers.

My Small Business staples & What you Might Want to Buy:

Notebook/Agenda: for writing down important dates/meetings and for jotting down any notes and/or ideas that strike!

Smart phone: This one is kind of an obvious one/I assume most people already have one but I figured I’d put it in here

Portable battery pack for your smart phone: I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve been out to an event and my phone has died. Keeping a small, portable battery pack that can charge my phone on the fly is key!

Portable hard drive: A larger hard drive works too…but I love a portable hard drive, especially while travelling because I can easily transfer my photos without taking up bulk in my bag. I have a few 2TB hard drives where all of my old content and original, unedited RAW photo files live. As a Blogger, Accessibility is Key:
While I do work from home most of the time, I have been travelling more often as of late and with that, being accessible from anywhere is crucial. While travelling, I like to take my MacBook Air with me as it’s much slimmer and lighter than a classic MacBook and it does everything I need it to do while on the go. I can edit my photos the same and of course be in contact with anyone I need to via e-mail or video call.

I am a definite laptop gal because of all the photos I need to edit but, if you’re more of a tablet person an important tip to remember when choosing a tablet is that a smaller, 7-inch screen is great for portability but a larger, 12-inch screen is better suited for sending emails or reading documents.{Admittedly, I’m pretty old school when it comes to organization and I love writing down my meeting and ideas in a good, old-fashioned agenda.}Photography Equipment: What I Started Out with and What I Use Today:
What kind of camera do you use!?”. This is a question I get asked multiple times a week and have been asked for YEARS. Even before I started using the camera I have now, I was asked this question…so you’ll be thrilled to know that the camera/lens I started out with is an amazing product and will cost you under $700!!!

The camera/lens I recommend every blogger starting out with is a Canon Rebel DSLR with the Canon 50mm EF f/1.8 STM lens.* This is the exact the body/lens I started out with and I learned everything I needed to know about blog photography with this combo. The Canon Rebel is an amazing, lightweight baseline DSLR camera, and anyone starting a blog and/or interested in DSLR photography will benefit greatly from this body/lens. The 50mm f/1.8 lens was my secret weapon of sorts for YEARS with as it gave me those crisp photos with a blurry background everyone loves and I could use this camera/lens for everything from outfit posts to food photos. I also shot in RAW with my Rebel so that I would have the best quality photos possible and was able to edit freely. Both of these products are available at Staples and are actually on sale now!

*I have since upgraded my camera equipment which I’d be happy to share in another blog posts if you are interested. However, for the purpose of this post I wanted to share the best and more affordable camera option if you are just starting out. Memory Cards:
Another fun technology topic! I can’t tell you how important it is to have a good memory card (or 10!!) for blogging. A great camera needs a great memory card and I’ve trusted Lexar memory cards since starting my blog. The memory card I have is the Lexar 128GB, 1000x UHS-II SDXC Memory Card. We take A LOT of photos but you can get smaller memory cards from 16GB-64GB. I love this High-speed performance memory card. It leverages UHS-II technology for a data read speed up to 1000x (150 MB/s) and captures high-quality images for 1080p full HD, 3D, and 4K video (not that we’re shooting 3D or 4k but it’s nice to have the option) with a DSLR camera, HD camcorder, or 3D camera. The memory card also quickly transfers our files from card to computer which is so important because we are constantly transferring photos. Finally, there’s also downloadable Image Rescue software to recover most photos and select video files…juuust in case!Staying Secure:
Finally, one of my biggest tips is keeping your files and your accounts SECURE. Unfortunately, thieves are everywhere, including online and I learned the hard way this year when my Instagram was hacked and I had to actually pay hackers when they held my account ransom. Luckily, I was able to retrieve my account and learned about 2FA (2-factor authentication) and downloaded a master password service so that now, all of my passwords and uncrackable and change every so often. with just a few clicks, you can also safeguard all of your devices from viruses, malware, spam or theft with Norton Small Business.

Next, don’t forget that sensitive information isn’t just digital. I protect financial and partnership information by shredding our confidential documents. Staples offers shredders that can micro-cut up to seven feet of paper per minute and have a 10-minute auto feed mode.

Lastly, avoid the frustration and heartache of losing important documents and hours of hard work. Always, ALWAYS back up your work to an external hard drive. This is something I also learned the hard way while we were away in Charleston this year. To say I was DEVESTATED that I lost soooo many photos is an understatement. Now I am SOOO adamant about backing up on our hard drives (as I mentioned above).So there you have it, friends…my small business staples and what I think are some great tips and products for you if you’re interested in starting a blog or a small business in general. For more great products and information, be sure to head on over to the Staples Canada website and the Staples Blog.

This post was brought to you by Staples Canada

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