“The only thing standing between you and your goal is the bullshit story you keep telling yourself as to why you can’t achieve it.”
– Jordan Belfort
We all tell ourselves excuses as to why we can’t or shouldn’t do something. We focus on what we are not good at, rather than what we are.
We as bloggers also tend to focus on the things we don’t have rather than the things we do! How ofter have you caught yourself saying;
“If only I had a…” or “I can’t do that without a proper…”
I have done it so many times over the last 8 years that it is frightening to think of the amount of opportunities I have potentially missed out on because I found an excuse rather than a solution.
Only recently we wanted to record some videos to go along with our One Day Social Media and Blogging Workshop, but our regular videographer has moved to London. So we did the usual, “If only we had a decent camera and mic we could do them ourselves!”
Both myself and Paul agreed, we were never going to be able to produce decent videos without our videographer or the kit. However, we still had a problem, we needed to shoot these videos, they were not optional, they had to be done.
And it’s amazing how your brain works when something “has” to be done. You will find a way more often than not. I suppose as the saying goes “If it is important to you, you will find a way. If not, you’ll find an excuse.”
We didn’t have the luxury of an “excuse”, so we decided to improvise.
Firstly we needed a camera, well, my iPhone 6s has a pretty good camera I guess we can use that, I said to Paul.
Camera problem sorted, we still had an issue with the sound. The quality of the sound was never going to be good enough with just the phone.
Now I should point out that if we were really pinned against the wall we could have used the built-in mic in the iPhone earphones, but we decided to do a little research.
What we found was a lapel microphone that plugs into the earphone jack on your smartphone and works like a charm, according to the reviews.
The microphone was £49, which works out at about €57, which isn’t cheap, but it had the best reviews and was made by “Røde”, which I knew was a reputable brand. I decided that if it worked, it would be a worthwhile investment for not only doing video’s but also for live streaming on Facebook and Instagram and doing quick updates on Snapchat, so I bought it.
The Mic arrived a few days later, via my Parcel Motel, so that I could get free shipping, even with the cost of the Parcel Motel, it was still cheaper than paying for shipping. Needless to say, the mic worked a charm and given the amount it has been used recently, I can honestly say it paid for its self within the first month.
What’s the point?
Anyway, the point of the story is, there are always solutions to a problem if you want there to be and there are also little pieces of mobile tech and kit that are worth investing in as bloggers.
I have decided to put together a list of my top 5 phone accessories for bloggers that I think bloggers and vloggers of all levels should consider adding to their toolbox.
My Top 5 Phone Accessories for Bloggers
Smart Phone Mic
As you can tell by my little story above, I am very pleased with my Rode Smartlav+. It’s not the cheapest mic available, but I can promise you this one is bullet proof.
If you don’t quite have €60 to spend on a mic, but would still like one, I have been told by friends that the OYA BY-M1 3.5 mm Lavalier Microphone
is also very good and judging by the reviews on Amazon, it is.
That one is only £15, so that’s about €20, which is considerably cheaper than my Røde one.
If like me, you haven’t got the steadiest of hands, or plan on doing a bit of video work from a desk or live streaming, holding the phone isn’t ideal.
I had gone and bought a “Lazy Bracket” phone/iPad holder which clamps onto the desk and for £12.99/€15 it works perfectly when I am in the office. The only problem I have with it is that it is too big and bulky to be carrying around.
So I have just ordered a Manfrotto PIXI Mini Tripod on the recommendation of Pat Flynn, which I will be able to carry with me when needed, after all, my mic fits in my pocket, so the stand needs to be easy to carry too.
This stand is normally £25/€30, but it is currently available for less than the “Lazy Bracket” at just £11.24/€13.50. Now there is one small problem, the mini tripod is made for cameras, not phones so you need to buy a holder for it, but Amazon does a bundle where you get the mini tripod and Mudder Universal Smartphone Holder for £16.23/€19.50.
So for €20 it’s still a good deal and I’m looking forward to getting my hands on it.
Next up in my top 5 phone accessories for bloggers is a Bluetooth camera remote.Amazon has a habit of dragging you in, so while I was buying the mini tripod, a saw a little GnG Blue Wireless Bluetooth Remote
for only £2.29/€2.70.
I decided to throw that in the basket too, it will come in handy for doing “lives” and social updates and even selfies. At only €2.70 I actually grabbed 3. They’ll make good stocking fillers.
Right so after the tripod, grip and remote I decided to call it a day before my wife killed me, but I was very tempted to grab a couple of lenses for the iPhone and I will.
I’ve seen a good few bloggers and vloggers use them and the results are pretty good. Again from speaking to my friends there seem to be two that they recommend.
The first is the “VicTsing 3 In 1 Clip-On Lens Kit which comes with three different lenses that clip onto the phone. This one is currently £6.99/€8.30 and judging by the 65 five star reviews, they certainly do the job very well.
The second is the “TECHO Universal Professional HD Camera, Lens Kit“. This one comes with two lenses. A 0.45x Super Wide Angle Lens and a 12.5x Super Macro Lens, which for me would be enough I think. This one is £14.99/€18.00 and with 99 five star reviews it comes highly recommended.
The final gadget that I’ll be adding to my toolkit will be a “Selfie Ring Light”. The lighting can be an issue, especially in the winter when daylight is at a premium, so I’ve been recommended to get a light for my phone, which should address that problem.
The one recommended to me was “Bodecin Portable Selfie Ring Light.”It seems to have been reduced from £40/€47.50 down to £12.99/€15.50 which isn’t a bad deal.
The light clips onto your phone and the best bit is that it is powered by two AAA batteries, so I won’t have to worry about it draining my phone battery. Again, I’ll be picking this one up soon along with the lenses so I’ll let you know how it works out.
Are they worth the investment?
For me, yes they are. I do and will use them at least once every two days and the mic alone has taken the quality of my videos up a notch and removed any and all excuses I used to tell myself when it comes to jumping in front of the camera.
They may not be for everyone, we all blog in different ways, but I think many of you will find use for some if not all of the above.
So there you have my top 5 phone accessories for bloggers that think everyone should consider at some point. Of course, the price of these all add up, in fact, you can spend between €60-€100 depending on which piece you go for, the biggest difference being in the microphone, that’s why I am adding them to my toolbox over time and dropping subtle hints as we head towards Christmas.
Let me know, what piece of mobile kit are you using at the moment and would highly recommend?