A year ago today I dove in to follow my passion. I had a very vague idea as to what blogging was about at the time, what bloggers did on a daily basis, or that blogging could quickly become
a full-time job, and then some.
Little did I know, just how much work was involved but I had this raging excitement to finally go for it. I was stunned, puzzled, and intrigued by beautiful lifestyle images that pulled me in and motivated me to put all my skills to the test. I was going to dedicate my time and energy into making this happen, and so I did! I didn’t let fear stop me, nor the amount of hard work it would take.
I launched my blog last year in early July 2015 to build content while I built my web presence, and then in February 2016 I began to work daily on building up my Instagram and social channels. It’s been a really fun and busy ride since!
To give you a little insight into my personal experience with blogging, I accepted a challenge from one of my close blogger friends, Christine Kong of Daily Kongfidence. She recently tagged me to share my blogging life and behind the scenes of it all.
WHERE DO YOU BLOG?
One of the beautiful things about blogging is that it can be done anywhere, anytime. As long as you have a wifi connection and some power (or portable power) to charge up your phone and or laptop if it runs out, you’re all set to blog! Everyday I work off of my Macbook Pro and iPhone and I take these with me everywhere I go. At this exact moment, I am writing late at night, sitting on my bed with my husband half asleep on one side, and dog on the ground begging to come up on the bed because I happen to be eating a delicious Gruyère cheese quesadilla. Yumm! 🙂
WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION FOR YOUR POSTS?
Inspirations is all around us. If you seek it, you will find it! I draw inspiration from traveling, and traveling could be as simple as just moving from one city to another. We all need a refresh to keep creativity flowing! I also get it from interacting with others who may not even realize they are being inspirational, from walking on the street or being amidst places of gathering. I can also pick up on inspiration from online (Music, Instagram, Youtube, Pinterest and blogs), from films, and a nice quote or book.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE YOU TO DO A BLOG POST?
This is where it begins to get interesting. This may differ from blogger to blogger, but the process is pretty much the same. Every post consists of a photoshoot, photo editing, uploading images, linking all outfit/product details, writing the content, proof-reading and publishing. In regards to style posts, photoshoots alone can take 30 minutes to 1 hour – if the location you are shooting at is far, or it’s not good at that time of day you’re standing there because of the way the lighting is, or you need to scout for a new location, it can even take 2 hours!
With practice you learn your best shooting spots, times of day, and you learn to prepare more than one outfit to shoot at a time! This quickly becomes a must! 🙂 Consistency is key in any business and it is no different here. Having those outfits shot ahead of time allows for better scheduling of posts. Photo editing takes me typically about an hour, then linking all of my outfit details and writing takes anywhere from 1-2 hours. If you add this all up, you see that it’s certainly is a process to produce a style blog post, but typically 4 hours is about average for me. For a beauty post it takes me a little less, and for a food or travel post, it takes me a little longer.
DO YOU PLAN YOUR BLOG POSTS? IF SO, HOW?
I plan my posts for the week, and if I am super backed up and busy, I will lay out a schedule for the week following as well. I certainly do not have my blog posts written days ahead of time [yet]. Typically, I will start working on a blog post 1-3 days before the day I want to post it, and I always have to do work on it the day of posting. There have been more occasions than none where I have done a whole blog post and posted it the same day, but the shoot was done at an earlier date. That always feels tight and more stressful, because being a blogger is more hard work than people really know.
Blogging is an around the clock business, having to spend sometimes hours a day responding or catching up on emails, coordinating with brands on items and deadlines, catching up on comments on all platforms, crunching numbers, to networking and marketing on social media platforms at different hours of the day, to coordinating looks, creatively and artistically visualizing compositions and areas to shoot, buying/returning items, keeping my devices backed up and safe, general maintenances on the website, and the list can go on and on. It is so fun to wear all the hats and accomplish so much each day, but it can be very overwhelming too, and I am happy to say that I am finding my balance a bit more each day.
WHAT KIND OF CAMERA DO YOU USE?
I started off last year doing my food and some outfit posts by using my old Canon Rebel EOS that i’ve had since college, then my parents gifted me their Canon EOS 60D (current 70D) in the Fall of 2015, which is what we’ve been using thus far everyday. Now we are making an upgrade to the Canon EOS 6D, which is a full-frame camera with this and this lens. We are excited to experience the difference!
WHAT EDITING PROGRAMS DO YOU USE?
I could do this all day, no joke. I really enjoy it! I use Snapseed for color correcting, VSCO for filters, Facetune for quick blemish edits/spots, and Photoshop for everything else.
DO YOU USE A NOTEBOOK TO TRACK YOUR IDEAS?
I am notebook obsessed! I have notebooks upon notebooks, and notepads and stickies all over the place. When I have a thought I have to write it down, otherwise it swims around in my brain all day causing me unnecessary stress. I love checking things off too! I am definitely a list/note person all the way. I even use my iPhones notes eerrryyyyyy day! My life is nothing but notes I tell you! 🙂
DO YOU TAKE YOUR PICTURES?
My husband is my photographer. He takes all the photos of me. I take my own photos when I can in circumstances such as food, some travel shots (that I am not in), flat lays, my own snaps on snapchat, etc. My sweet husband has a great eye for design, his skills at photography are amazing for learning it on the side and on his own, and he’s getting more and more into it! I have relinquished all control over the taking of photos except for times when we argue over creative direction or spot location. That I can’t help! We are both designers; it’s bound to happen! 🙂
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE BLOG POST TO WRITE?
I love all blog post types! I do need to have a variety from time to time, and when I have that need, I switch from a style post to either travel, beauty or recipe post.
WHO KNOWS ABOUT YOUR BLOG?
There are more people than I know that know about it! I don’t like to push my blog onto anyone that may not be interested, so I don’t talk about it unless asked or it comes up in conversation. I get many people approaching me telling me that they are following me (it still makes me blush a little), or that their mom or aunt is following me, or some friend of a cousin … or a neighbor of my in-laws! It’s all a lovely surprise, and I love hearing about it! I love all my supporters!
ARE YOU AN ORGANIZED OR MESSY BLOGGER?
Organized on paper, but sometimes things can get messy. As I already told you guys, my note situation is crazy, so you can probably already visualize my workspace. I also like to research any idea that comes to mind, simply because I am always hungry for information and/or looking for solutions. I like to keep everything out where I can see it clearly and access it quickly – so if things get messy, it is because of this reason! My house may be a mess, but only I will know where I left that specific piece of paper or item. 🙂 But nothing feels better than a clean and organized space! That really helps me think more clearly! Finding the time to clean my house while starting out on my blogging journey has been a real struggle! #priorities 🙂
WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST BLOGGING PET PEEVE?
At this point in my blogging journey, I have to say that my biggest pet peeve is that bloggers are sometimes misperceived. I myself had no idea what bloggers did, almost until I started doing it myself.
If we make it look easy, then we are doing it right. Right? Right!
What brands and/or viewers may not know is that it takes a lot of hard work to make a single photo or post look clean and effortless. Sometimes getting that body language right can be a challenge and a half!! When we create work that appears “effortless,” it becomes easy for everyone to think that what we do takes only minutes and that we are just messing around enjoying our “passion.” If you are wondering if you are passionate in any area of life, these 3 traits will help you identify it:
1. You are likely doing it for free
2. You can’t stop talking about it
3. You lose track of time while doing it
Bloggers like myself take pride in what we put out into the world, we have fun at it, and we do it in a way that is specific to our audience and our aesthetics. For me, blogging is about building my brand – The Charming Olive, my personal style, sharing my knowledge and life experiences with the world, and networking with amazing people just like any other great company would. It should not be overlooked as merely a passion or a hobby. It is a full-time business like any other!
Everyday I learn so much and meet such inspiring people. It is truly amazing what happens when we support one another and we choose to shine our light onto the world in a positive way! This journey has been nothing less of wonderful thanks to you and everyone I have met along the way! Come find me on snapchat @ thecharmingoliv and let’s stay in touch! As always, thank you for stopping by!
This was a very fun tag to write and I challenge Careese Quon of Lychee Style to share her BTS blogging details next!
If you have any comments or tips of advice, please do share in the comment section below. I’d love to hear from you!
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