Photography: Juliette Carton
Finding ways to blog more productively and efficiently is something I always try to prioritise.
As i’m sure you’re aware considering I did a photoshoot with a huge number 7 balloon the other day, my blog is seven years old. I’m so proud of the fact i’ve been running it for so long, and I love every minute of it. Granted, we had to lend a little more time than i’d like in recent years to YouTube, but really in a roundabout way that’s only helped me more with efficiency. There’s lil tips and tricks i’ve picked up over the years that have helped me with blogging, both when I was balancing it with a job and also now without. Hopefully I can now pass them on to you to help you blog a little more productively in the small amount of time you have!
Plan as much as you can in advance, and create lists of ideas to refer to.
When I say plan in advance, I mean plan the content in advance. If you know you are going away, or visiting a city you can get the most out of, loosely plan content before you go. That way you can figure out what photos need taking, how much time in the day you have to snap them, and roughly what content you want to produce. If you’re not going away and you’re just at home, make a list as long as you can of ideas you want to do. Even if they never come about, they’ll help you get ideas in motion, and you may find you can tweak ideas you had 6 months ago into relevancy now. This way you never run out of things to do or say, and you’ll not feel flustered by the amount of work you need to do. I constantly have a list as long as about three pages on Pages on my mac, and I wouldn’t change that. I know if i’m a bit low on inspiration or the mood strikes me, I can rummage through my list and within minutes find something i’m ready and happy to talk about. Edit and tweak your weekly plan every single day to fit the time you have, and before you know it you’ll be smashing through the content.
Combine as many things as you can into one photoshoot.
Sorry to potentially burst a bubble, but this isn’t the outfit i’m wearing right now, or even today. Actually it was shot two weeks ago, on a day when we also shot two other outfits as well. I batch shoot all my outfit posts like this, and someone like Juliette who knows what she’s doing behind the camera can smash through three photosets in about three hours – okay three and a half if we stop at Starbucks, which is usually something I insist on! You don’t necessarily have to do this with outfits however, when I worked with a lot of beauty products, I would batch shoot as many of the products/flat lays in one hour as I could. That way you can spread out an hours shooting into two, three, maybe even four blog posts that are ready to go but just need the words. And if you’re even more productive, combine several different genres and different items in one day when you’re out and about by shooting close ups of the lipstick you’re wearing, the food you’re eating, the outfit you’re wearing… the possibilities are endless. I suggest if you don’t have a photographer nearby or budget constraints are holding you back, meet up on the weekend/your day off with another blogger, and work together to create content. As bloggers you’ll both know what you’ll be after, and for example one tea and cake date at a cute cake shop can result in three blog posts each.
The outfit is one, a beauty item/handbag/detail shot another, and the cake shop in itself will make a third. It’s all about using time and space wisely, and making the most out of every situation. Wherever I am, i’m always one step ahead thinking about anything else I need to shoot that will fit with what i’m doing.
Try not to sit at the computer when you do have time for too long.
It’s far too easy to get sucked into an email vortex, but personally I find this quite unproductive. Most of the time blog related emails aren’t 100% urgent, and you can tend to them within minutes on your phone whilst shooting, even if you’re only shooting in the room next door. I find the days I get most frustrated are the ones where i’ve just sat at the computer all day, and not allowed my brain the time to refresh away from the screen. I also find that should I look at other bloggers for too long I get lost and demotivated focussing on what they are doing and not what I am doing. Never use another blogger as reference, because your blog will then become too similar to theirs. Use your own brain, art, books, movies, Twitter even for reference, spy something and take inspiration from it. The best blogs are the ones who go out about on the street, whether it be to source new products they then report about that they’ve seen in store later, or to find a new little nook in the city that isn’t the same one that pops up on every blog. Take this street for instance. Juliette and I took a wander, and we found it. I obviously don’t read every single blog in London, but it’s not a little street i’ve seen on another blog. Sure, it takes a lot of reference from other style and magazine photos, and it’s definitely a nice blogger aesthetic, but it’s still unique and different. Look around you when you pop out for a coffee and scout every wall, every shop and every restaurant for potential new content. I’m constantly on foot taking photos of walls/street signs i’ve seen to remind me to come back, or in the back of an Uber quickly scribbling down a cafe and screen-shotting the map to head back another day! Of course time at the computer is needed, but time away from it is more important to productivity.
Take rough notes of analytics and numbers, but largely ignore them.
This one is one that’s taken me some time to adjust to, because of course when blogging started to become a way to make money, it harshly became a bit about numbers. It’s now in a nice place where if you can build a strong brand that companies want to be a part of, will mostly ignore numbers because they can see with their own eyes you have an audience and a platform they want a part of. I now very rarely check my Google Analytics, and when I do i’m looking at the location, the duration spent on the site, and the age range. This only helps me work on better curated content for the people who are reading, instead of worrying about adding another 0 to the end of the number displayed. I found that the minute I stopped looking at the numbers the easier content curation and creation got. Of course I still have goals – very healthy to set a goal and work to it – but if you are largely motivated by money and numbers you 1. wont be very happy and 2. are less likely to create better content that will help you reach the money and numbers.
So there we go, a few tid bits i’ve picked up myself over the seven years blogging and I hope they help you feel more productive and efficient with your time. I had to write this for myself because I had a week last week where I felt quite unmotivated and needed a little pep up to remind me I have learned so much over the years, and I can be a productive blogger balancing it with the YouTube channel as well!
Let me know if you enjoyed this post and the outfit, leave me a lil note with your thoughts in the comments!