I’m often asked about ‘how’ I blog including how I shoot my photos, think of post ideas and manage my time. Even as my favourite hobby, there’s no denying that blogging plays a large part in my life and it does willingly takes up a lot of time.
With so much of my time being spent on trains and between offices, blog planning is key. Whilst sometimes it takes the fun out of throwing up a spontaneous blog post like I used to in my student days, it helps me work out when to take photos and schedule things around events like sales, season appropriate events, etc. Maybe that’s the social media assistant girl cracking out in me though!
A simple notebook and pen chucked in your notebook will certainly help: I have a list of blog post ideas, another of outfits I’ve worn and want to shoot at a later date (sorry, not sorry) and of little ‘admin’ things to sort out, like remove spam comments (hate you, Blogger), install Disqus, email back to commenters who’ve asked questions… It’s good for putting words to paper immediately too, if you’re not near your laptop or iPad.
Writing my blog is one of my favourite things to do. No guidelines, no house style to follow and the ability to sit down and have a metaphorical chat with my readers. I’d like to think that I know my readers quite well and so my posts are pretty nonsensical: a little talk about how I styled a new favourite piece paired with some chatter about what’s going down in my world. I probably use my blog in a way similar to a diary in all fairness! What do you think?
Most of the questions that I get about my blog relate to taking outfit photos. I shoot mine on either my phone (a Samsung Galaxy S3), my Nikon D3100 on a standard kit lens or whichever camera/phone my friend uses. I have a particular style with my photos that I stick to: a few full-lengths, some cropped body shots, close-ups of my shoes, accessories and separates, and then a couple of atmospheric shots.
Currently I live at home and my little sister is a dab hand with my DSLR. She takes all of my photos using manual settings. I help her to adjust the ISO and aperture to suit our location, and we shoot in multi-shot mode to get the job done quickly. You can read more about DSLR settings on Gem’s blog. I post-process my photos in Photoshop CS6 and GIMP, mostly joining photos or cropping them, but nothing much else happens in production time!
Before my sister took my photos, I lived in Southampton for Uni and thankfully, studying a semblance of Fashion Journalism, there was always someone on hand to shoot! The majority of my outfit photos taken in 2011 were shot in manual settings, auto focus mode, multi-shot timer on a tripod though.
… & Everything Else
I always read the blogs of my commenters and often leave comments in return. The beauty in blogging over traditional print media is that it is so reactive, fast and community driven. If you’ve ever received a blog comment from me, I’m sorry in advance for being so talkative! 😉 Try and make a point of commenting on at least 5 blogs a day: trust me, you’ll make their day!
Admin bits. The bit no-one cares too much about. Day-to-day, I go through and delete spam comments on the blog, reply to comments and check that links are all a-okay. I also like to update my blogroll and switch up my favourite independent retailer links (none of these are sponsored, just my own favourites!).
I also go through my blog emails (seriously, hundreds a day…) and make notes of brands that I’ve agreed to work with. I then like to plan content for gifted items if I really like the piece, such as the Ways to Wear I wrote about my macaroon flecked Uniqlo top, or this video I shot for a J Crew partnership. Sometimes I reread posts and amend little mistakes/cringe inwardly at my outdated copy!
Hope this answered some of your questions surrounding how I blog! If you have a blogging tips or similar post, I’d love to hear – whack your link in the comments. It’s always interesting to see how people started blogging and how they plan blogging within their everyday lives. (: ♥