Wednesday, March 19, 2014

How a blog post comes about!

I thought I'd give you a little nosy into behind the scenes of a blog post here at Lovely Girlie Bits today!  I think it's a preconceived notion that blogging is easy and quick and sometimes it is if your mojo is in full swing! Other times it can take a bit longer.  Trying to fit it in around working full time, events, launches and real life can be challenging, but I love it.  I love it so much.  If I didn't, I wouldn't be blogging every day for the past 3.5 years!  So here's my process.

1. I spend about 20 minutes each week making a list of ideas for posts.  This helps me see what's inspired me and what I want to talk about.  Generally I end up with a list of 20 ideas, so not all make it onto the blog.  Some can be put into a feature about similar items and some make it into videos.

2. I pick the five main ideas that'll be the main blog post each day.  And on weeks where I've more time, I'll pop up a second mini post.  I'm all about keeping new and relevant content on the blog.  For my Favourite Five posts that go up every Saturday, I have a draft on the go for the whole week and I add links to posts I loved so I don't forget them by the time Friday comes around.  The same goes for the Slimming World Sunday post.  I decide early on in the week what I'll be writing about and it helps my brain stop ticking over.

3. Photo time.   Once I pick the five posts for the week, I assemble the products and usually take my photos for the week all at once.  This generally takes a while do do, depending on what I'm photographing and it's my favourite part of the whole process.  I like making products look nice and love using props like flowers, coasters, scarves and fairy lights!  People are more likely to Pin a photo or like it on Instagram if it's pretty and interesting.  Sometimes I can have the photos for a post done in five minutes, especially if it's just of a bottle of cleanser or something like that, but for nail polish and makeup looks, it takes much longer.  This week I blogged about the L'Oreal Color Riche Topcoats collection and this is one of the photos you would have seen in the post.  I spent about 30 minutes setting up everything and taking the photos of the polishes.

Now, that looks all grand and easy and sparkly, but after taking a few photos of the polish on their own, I remembered I'd some amazing coasters I bought in Zara Home last year in Spain and knew they'd be perfect for a little disco backdrop.  So what you're seeing is three coasters stuck together a little bit with blu tac so they don't move.  Ah the glamour of it all!

Then for the balancing photos, more blu tac was used and all in all, I took 64 photos of the polishes, from different angles etc.  It's better to have more photos to choose from rather than having to go and take more if you're not happy with them.  Blu Tac is the best tool for a blogger as it keeps everything in place, especially things that can roll or fall over.  You can thank me later!

When I'm doing a nail polish post, I like to swatch on the nails so this takes time, especially if you can only take photos on the camera with one hand!  My left hand is usually the swatching hand and it keeps things consistent at least, but I can generally only use the camera with my right hand!

4. Then I need to edit the photos.  I upload them all to Picasa and generally only crop the photos and add text to them if I need to, or make collages if I'm doing something like a makeup tutorial.  This takes about 20 minutes or so.  I always make sure to rename the photos using the product's name so if someone does an image search, they'll find my photo.  If at all possible, I like to upload the photos for the whole week into draft posts, ready to write around when I've time.

5. The blog post itself.  Depending on how detailed the post is going to be, it can take a minimum of half an hour to write, but it's usually longer.  I generally know what I want to say in the post, but uploading the photos first means I can write around them, making the blog post flow.  I've learned that if I'm on a deadline for whatever reason, I can't be on Twitter because I'm like a child and get so easily distracted!  On weeks where I've a lot going on after work, I do my best to have as many posts finished as possible, just to take some of the stress away.

On average, a post can take the guts of an hour to an hour and a half each.  Mini reviews take shorter obviously and posts like makeup looks or tutorials take longer.  But oh sweet Mary Jane I love it when a post comes together.  I feel proud of each piece I put out there and 1275 posts later, it's still exciting when I've scheduled a post for the following morning and can't wait to see what you think of it!

So a question for the bloggers out there.  How long does it take you to do your posts?  Do you write them all at once or on a day by day basis?  Do you have any tips to help speed things up or keep you more organised?


  1. Love the Blu tac tip! I want to get more creative with my photos so I'll definately be trying that out :-)

  2. Loved this! I'm trying to work on planning my blogging routine better so this was a great help, thanks love! Also those coasters are amazing!

  3. Great post Karen! I'm also an advocate of bulk photography at the weekends. I've got to get better at writing in advance though. I could have pictures taken for weeks but no words to go with them!

    Love that shot of the nail varishes too :D x

  4. Love the post! Blu tac is my best friend when taking photos especially of round things that tend to roll around the surface! My husband always laughs at me, I take about 50 photos and then end up using 1 :P

    alex @

  5. Great post! Blu tac tip is very helpful - had lip crayons rolling all over my desk in last post, trying to stop my toddler from grabbing them out of the pictures!!

  6. Never though of using Blu Tac Karen! I usually take photos at the w/end but often struggle to find time so then I’m left with shitty lighting in the evenings! It does take me a long time to do posts though, probably an hour or so between photos, editing, re-reading, tags etc. The effort we all go to!! Would love to see a photography post maybe from you Karen, your photos always look great!

  7. Great post, I wish I was as organised as you when it comes to my blogging. I tend to just do it when I have time, I'm still learning how to juggle everything! You've inspired me to get planning a routine, also I am envious of your coasters, they are FAB!

  8. That is some amount of work! I very much appreciate it! Checking the beauty blogs are a highlight of my day when I am stuck in work having an emotional day!

  9. I loved this post, it was just so deadly to see someone like yourself and your really amazing blog be as down to earth and normal using blu tack ha! Love you even more now, thanks for the tips! xx


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