Sunday, 28 December 2014

My Little Blogging Secrets (Behind The Scenes)


Personally I'd love to look behind the scenes of a lot of people's blogs, and see how you all put your posts together - so I thought I'd give you an insight to how my blogging process works. This is quite an extensive and detailed post, so hopefully it's helpful or interesting in some way!
TAKING PHOTOS

When I first started off as a blogger, my Iphone was my best friend and my main camera. If you look back to old posts like this one you can probably tell. Although in posts like this [x], where I went to the trouble of editing photos and had great lighting it really wasn't as obvious. Now I use my dad's camera, which I love because you can really pick up detail and take great photos. Using your Iphone or smart phone as your camera is perfectly possible though, just make sure you get good lighting and edit the pictures later for the best effect. 


Choosing a background for your photos is probably one of the harder tasks when taking a photo. My biggest secret is I rather boringly use paper as a background. That's right plain white paper. In the case of the two photos below, they are both on a background of paper, although the second was a bit of a fail as you can see the shadow of the paper quite clearly in the corner. Trust me balancing a piece of paper whilst taking a photo isn't as easy as it looks. 

My other new and favourite background - if you follow my blog it is in virtually all my photos now, is my sister's throw on her bed. It's the softest, fluffiest thing and looks great as a crisp white textured background. Much to my sister's annoyance, I'm often bursting into her room with a product to take some photos. I tend to like quite a simple background, but most people will go for something with a pretty pattern or texture, to provide a good backdrop. 

When taking photos, shadows are definitely my biggest pet hate. Especially now it gets dark so quickly, finding great lighting can be near to impossible sometimes. So what I do now is make sure I take my photos as early as possible, and if I forget to, then I try my best to avoid shadows like the plague. In general though I tend to take a lot of pictures of different products all at once, edit them on photoshop and put them into posts, ready to write the reviews later. This helps if you find you don't have much time for blogging as it definitely saves time.

BEAUTY REVIEWS

Since I've become a beauty blogger, 'I'm buying this because I need a product to review on my blog' has become my new favourite excuse for a beauty splurge. Haven't we all used that one? I'm also a bit obsessed now with making sure I keep packaging and products in pristine condition for when I take photos. Gone are the days when I'd open up an eyeshadow palette and use it straight away.



My favourite products to review are Lush bath bombs and eyeshadow palettes, simply because they look so pretty in pictures. Although when it comes to using bath bombs, I always find myself fully clothed, camera in hand, taking photos of it dissolving in my bath before I can even enjoy it. When I do swatches, they usually turn out pretty messily (as you can see above) and I usually end up getting the product accidentally on my face. I've lost count of the amount of times my mum has commented on why I'm covered in eye shadow.

Because I don't have lots of money to constantly spend on new products (ah the student life), I tend to borrow a lot from my sister who lets me review them on my blog. This is a great tip if you find yourself running out of products to review, ask a friend or your sister (if you have one) if they'd let you review one of the products they have. 

BLOG DESIGN

My blog has definitely evolved since the beginning, when I started off I had this very simple banner, which looked fine, just a bit too bland. I remember panicking a little when it came to design, I didn't know what font to pick and I had no clue what to design. But after a lot of fiddling around with my layout and trying out lots of banners, I eventually got to the one I have now (made on Polyvore) which I have to admit I kind of love. I will always stand by the fact that you don't need to pay for a blog design. If you want to that's fine, but there's so much you can do to your blog without spending a penny, that it's worth playing around with design ideas. 

WEEKLY HOMEWARE/GIFTS PICKS


Committing to a post every week is a great thing to do, especially if you're prone to writer's block. I've been doing my weekly homeware/gifts picks every monday since the beginning of September and I've loved having the schedule of it. 

This post involves a lot of internet searching, that can take hours. I'm incredibly picky so end up really searching for things I love to feature in my posts. The sites I usually visit are ohhdeer, mzube, Iwantoneofthose, urbanoutfitters as well as many others. It's also helped me to find out about some amazing brands like FredandFreinds, Mustard and SuckUk who all do some amazing products.

I find because of these posts I have a really good knowledge of gifts and brands you can get on the high street, so if you ever need any gift ideas then I'm a good person to ask!

PR EVENTS AND OPPORTUNITIES

One of the slightly surreal parts of blogging is getting PR opportunities. I personally find it pretty bizarre when a brand wants to work with me but it does happen occasionally. I get a lot of dodgy PR opportunities as well, usually from sites that are pretty obviously scam sites that usually offer about ten dollars for you to write a post about them. For me being genuine and honest as a blogger is one of the most important things so I've never been tempted. On the other hand, I've had some lovely things sent to me to review and try out - so my experience working with PR people has so far been pretty great. 

I've been to two PR events, one for House of Fraser and one for Sheridan. My first was for Sheridan and it was a very weird experience, an opportunity I got through the site bloggersrequired. I spent an extortionate amount of time getting ready and trying to look presentable, because honestly I was pretty scared that I wasn't going to fit in. When I got there however, it wasn't as daunting as it first seemed. Everyone was so nice, and they really did make me feel at home. They left me to snap some pictures of their new collection and it was a lot more chilled then I expected. PR events aren't as scary as they sound, promise.

Thanks for reading lovelies! Hope you're all having an amazing day and remember to leave a comment below, I love reading them! 

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19 comments

  1. I really enjoyed this post! I would have never guessed that you made your header with Polyvore. That's such a good idea!

    COOCOO FOR COCO

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    1. Yeah it's a great place to make blog headers for sure :)

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  2. This is pretty cool! I think a behind the scenes look into blogging is neat, especially when it comes to photographs. I know a lot of us go through crazy measures to get good pictures, so it's nice to look into someone's else photos and see how they set them up.

    And I'm like you, I panicked on design as well - especially font. Idk, for some reason every article I read about blogging or branding they make a huge deal about the font. Go figure lol.

    Z. | J. POTTER

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    1. Yeah people are obsessed with finding the right font and spend hours looking for it!

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  3. What a lovely post! I agree with pretty much everything. Lately, because lighting is so bad in the winter, you will see me rushing home from school as fast as possible only to take a photo the minute I get inside ♥
    Amy xx

    Perfect Imperfections

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    1. Haha, I love the blogging dedication :)

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  4. This is a really good post. I started using polyvore because of you and it's so good. :D Also the paper thing is so genius. I haven't found great backgrounds yet for my posts. I'd love to start a little weekly series of something but I'm not sure what exactly. :)
    Awesome insight gained. :)

    http://fishnetsxd.blogspot.ie

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    1. Aww thank you and that's cool, glad I helped you find it :). Yeah, it's hard thinking of a weekly post, but it's great once you get in to the swing of things!

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  5. This is such a great post! I was thinking of doing this actually today! And I LOVE your header (I think I've told you this a few times haha) and that something I really need to do in the new year!

    Drea xo
    Drea's Junkyard

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    1. Thanks, you should do a post like this to! I'd love to read one and thanks haha :)

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  6. Wonderful read! You included some really useful tips, thank you for sharing :D

    VioletDaffodils
    xx

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  7. What a great post with so many tips! I hate getting those spammy emails from PRs. You definitely have to be careful!

    Hope you have a wonderful week!

    Jessica
    the.pyreflies.org

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  8. Amazing and helpful entry! You've got a lovely blog right here. x

    SOMETIMES I FEEL LIKE ALICE.

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  9. Thanks for the tips!! I'm super excited, because currently I use my phone too (and you can definitely tell it's phone quality and shape :() I can't wait to try what you suggested!

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  10. SO true about not spending anything on your blog design! I was adamant that I wouldn't pay and so I literally googled every single step into arranging and designing my layout! If you don't know how to do something, definitely google it because I was shocked at how much I could change! http://emilyjanewebb.blogspot.co.uk xx

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Thanks for your comments, I love reading them and will be sure to visit your blog soon :) have a lovely day!

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