Welcome to the 2nd Series in my weekly “Blogger Learning Series.” Last week I discussed ways to Grow Your Instagram Account; this week, I am giving you guys an overview of what an average day for a fashion blogger looks like. I will review the good, the bad, and the FUN moments of blogging!
If you are thinking abut starting a blog, new to blogging, or looking for ways to spice up your routine, this will be a good read for you.
Morning: Time to Plan
I usually start my morning with a healthy breakfast, a workout session, and then post any new Instagram material; next, I check the previous day’s stats. If you have not downloaded the Google Analytics App to your phone, you have to drop whatever you are doing and go do it!
It is free to install and I love being able to check my site activity throughout the day. This way, you can see which daily posts and Instagram pictures are the most popular, by observing real-time traffic to your site.
Planning…oh planning. I am always planning what’s NEXT! I try and post 4-5 times per week to keep my audience engaged. I usually post 2-3 outfits per week, a “Friday Favorites” post showing what I am currently “eyeing,” a “Round-Up” post showing recent popular Instagram posts, and some type of helpful learning piece. I am also starting to dabble in travel posts , which has been so fun!
Tip #1: Utilize your Blog Calendar
Building a Blogging Calendar has been a huge life-saver for me. When you have so much content swimming in your head, trying to juggle it all can be overwhelming. Giving yourself the option of getting out in front of your schedule will make blogging so much more enjoyable and less stressful. Like I said, I do outfit posts on the same days every week so I have the flexibility to get creative with the other days.
Building in a weekly routine and scheduling which outfits will be posted on certain days will help you plan into the future. For instance, right now, I know that I have outfit posts that will last me until mid-April –this tells me that I have several weeks to plan for the next fashion shoot.
Tip #2 Research Smarter
Who doesn’t like fashion research!!?? Here is what I am researching: Spring 2016 Runway Shows, Shop Style Collective (awesome search engine), and Nordstrom Spring Trends; of course, I read Porter (best for new trends), Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, and Marie Claire.
I actually read most fashion magazines, but these are the ones that I end up pulling pages out of the most for my bulletin board. Part of the job is staying on top of current trends and being able to represent those trends in an authentic way to your audience.
Again, I use Shop Style Collective to search for my clothing links for posts. Instead of Googling “blue Tory Burch belt,” you can eliminate all the clutter by searching & filtering items through Shop Style. This has literally saved me hours of work trying to hunt down an outfit I am wearing. Just try it!
Take-Away: Using a Blog Calendar and Researching Smarter will save you time and unnecessary stress!
Afternoon: Time for a Photo-Shoot
I am just going to touch on what happens in the days & weeks prior to a photo shoot before going into the day-of routine. Weeks before a photo shoot, I have been planning and coming up with ideas for where I want to head stylistically.
I probably have a list of 5-10 looks I feel strongly about. I have either gone online to find what I need and/or stopped by one of my various retail partners.
I try and order from online retailers of whom I am secure enough with their shipping efficiency, such as Nordstrom, Revolve, and ShopBop, to name a few. This process starts about 2 weeks before the actual shoot. Next, my items come in the mail –hopefully, everything fits; if not, I rush the item to my alterations lady. I have to make sure all of my clothing items are free of defects, ironing or steaming out the creases (usually the night before).
Sometimes, I borrow designer shoes from a retail partner for a shoot; here is the type of tape I use on the soles to protect the shoes from damage. Build in about 15 minutes for this the night before the shoot.
Tip #1: Have a Blogger Tool-Kit for Shoots
Just like a wedding day, you need a little tool-kit for your photoshoot. My toolkit includes: Painter’s Tape for shoes, Bobbi Brown Pressed Powder for touch-ups, Bobbi Brown Lip Art-Sticks…I have around 5 different colors and will change depending on the outfit, Kleenex Facial Tissues , Large Lint Roller for clothing, Oil Absorbing Sheets for summer shoots, and a flat-brush ( I use the Moroccan Oil Paddle Brush).
Shop my Pro-Blogger Goodies:
Tip #2: Partner with a Local Salon
Just recently, I started a partnership with a local salon, Cucumber & Mint for day-of beauty services. I will come in a few hours before a shoot for them to style my hair and apply makeup. Depending on the salon, they will do this for free or steeply discounted. In exchange, I will promote their business on my outfit posts and social media.
I am not an expert at doing my hair and certainly don’t own my own airbrush machine, so this has been amazing in helping me achieve my best look for shoot-day. I also like promoting & supporting local businesses and helping them grow! It only takes an hour -1.5 hrs and takes major stress away!
Afternoon: Photo Shoot Continued
Tip #3: Don’t Rush During Your Shoot
Rushing through your shoot is not going to give you the best outcome. I am not saying to take 30 minutes per outfit, but expect at least 15 minutes for enough high quality images. When you are rushing, you will have “STRESS” written all over your face and body language ; it doesn’t do your photographer any favors, either. Plan to have about 1.5-2 hours worth of time, if your schedule allows.
I know sometimes we have to make appointments, or dodge traffic, but long-term success depends on these captured images. Take a walk or go to your favorite exercise class the morning of your shoot…it will reduce your stress and bring pretty circulation to your face.
Take-Away: Bring Your Tool-Kit, Partner with a Local Salon, and Don’t Rush!
Late Afternoon/ Evening: Time to Write!
Thinking about watching a little Bachelor after your photo-shoot? Sure, that’s fine, but be prepared to write at the same time! If you don’t love to write, that’s OK, just pretend like you are communicating with a friend and put pen-to-paper.
Tip #1: Grab the Reader
You have 3 seconds to convince someone to stay on your site. YUP…that’s it! We humans are not known for messing around for long while online…if we don’t like what we see, well…on to the next. So sad, but true. If readers are not impressed with your blog design, they may leave the site before really getting into the actual content.
In the very first sentence, try to “grab the reader.” Say something authentic that will connect with them immediately –be personal and a little humor goes a long way. Write in a conversational tone, similar to the way you would talk to a friend.
Outfit posts are usually shorter-than-average in the “copy” department. I stick to two paragraphs & Iadd in the outfit links under the photos. ***PLEASE do not do this: Post 14 pictures of the SAME outfit for one post.
We do not need to see the same outfit posed a million and one different ways. Stick to no more than 5 photos…or risk annoying your readers. You may think the outfit looks different in each of these photos, but no, just don’t.
Writing Tips, Cont.
Tip #2 Get to Editing
Make sure all of your photos are the same exact size in Photoshop before you insert them in to the post (Go To: File, Save for Web, then Change Size). If you are using a professional photographer, don’t add any crazy filters –you are paying for high quality photos, so this is unnecessary.
Lastly, take 10 minutes and step away from your post; come back to start editing with fresh eyes. Or, have your spouse or whomever look over your work. Just do not rush through a post and put it up without at least glancing over it for obvious grammatical errors. Brands like to work with professionals.
Take Away: Grab the Reader, Write Well, and Edit Your Work
Trade Secrets and other “Tid-Bits”
*Sometimes, I have to change in my car, depending on the location. Tint your back windows!
*Use invisible deodorant or none at all.
* Respect Your Retailers…Return Your Items as quickly as possible after the shoot, preferably on the same day.
*Organize your closet once a month and gradually sell items on consignment or take to Goodwill.
*If you are going on vacation, work really hard the week before to have ready-made posts available.
Please feel free to email me: firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions!
Have a Fabulous Weekend!