I am really really excited (and kinda’ freaked out) to say that my blog has turned 3 today! 3 years old. Wow. I seriously find that absolutely mad to think about. I honestly cannot thank you enough for supporting me for this long and giving me so many amazing opportunities, it’s been an awesome experience. You may remember last year on this very same day, I put up a post answering the question, ‘Why Do I Blog?‘, so this year I thought I’d answer ‘How Do I Blog?’. To celebrate my 619th blog post and 1095 days of Tolly Dolly Posh Fashion, here’s a little insight into my creative process… (excuse the messy/curly hair by the way… curls just don’t work with me!)…
~ STEP 1 – THE INSPIRATION ~
The first place I go to for blogging inspiration when I’m a bit of a rut is magazines. I find them really inspiring to flick through. Back in the day I used to love Company Magazine (as most of my posts were celebrity style etc etc) but now-a-days I love more photographic and editorial magazines like VOGUE, Glamour and more recently, Wonderland.
I also love to scroll through places like Business of Fashion and Pinterest because you can find some really interesting articles and just one idea or thought can spiral into hundreds (okay, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration) of others.
TOP TIP: Put on some headphones, listen to some music which you love and flick through your favourite magazine. I always end up in a different mindset for new ideas after the album/playlist ends.
Next up is to get jotting down notes. I find it super helpful to have everything planned out before hand, especially if I’m taking pictures. I don’t usually do this for wishlists or the actual writing (although, I do, do that for long, chatty posts… like this one!) but either way, I would definitely recommend this if you’re also a blogger.
I have a notepad for this and some pens specifically set aside but if you’re an online-tech-obsessive then I recommend Evernote. I didn’t actually use a notepad for this post but I in fact used the web app for Evernote and thoroughly enjoyed typing it out. When I haven’t taken my pictures, I usually prefer to do it out of my actual blog so it’s free of the frills and extra bits and bobs that is behind the scenes usually.
TOP TIP: Have a notebook set aside just for your blog. Label everything clearly and fold down pages when you’ve published a post you’ve written down. It’s such a handy and easy way to stay organised.
These days I would say a good 90% of my blog posts have photographs I have taken myself included within them, so my 3rd step is to get ‘shooting’ (I have to say, I feel most bloggers use this term just to sound a bit more fancy… “Ooh, I’m off to shoot an outfit post…”). As most of you will know, Papa Posh (my dad), usually takes all of my outfit posts, but if I’m not in the picture, then I’m sure to be behind the lens. I will say though that most of these pictures and my prom outfit post were mainly taken by my big bro!
I use the Nikon D3200 with my trusty 35mm f/1.8 DX lens (Phyllis is her name), and they’re a nifty little combo. A few other items in my ‘kit’ are an IKEA side table – it’s perfect for taking pictures of things like my scrapbook –, a set of 2 soft box lights – great for when I sometimes dabble in YouTube and for photos I take inside – a white wall – for posing in front of – and a very large memory card.
TOP TIP: For outfits, read what my dad has learnt whilst taking my pictures, and for other sorts of pictures, just remember to have clear daylight… not too bright, no harsh shadows and not too much clutter… unless you want that kinda’ look!
So, unfortunately, I’m not going to show you how I edit my photos completely because there are some secrets that must never be told… but I will tell you that I use Photoshop CS4! I first of all save my photos on to my laptop, then I create a new folder with 3 seperate folders inside (‘Originals’, ‘Edited’ & ‘Un-used’), move the originals into the ‘Originals’ folder, choose what set of effects I want, then I open up 4 images at a time, crop each one to size, paste them separately into my ‘effects file’, tweak what needs tweaking, click ‘File’, ‘Save As’, ‘.jpeg’ into the ‘Edited’ folder… and… REPEAT!
Haha! Imagine how long that takes me with outfit pictures…! I don’t mind though, I actually really enjoy that part. Especially when my lens makes a nice bit of bokeh for me to look at, then I’m happy!
TOP TIP: Don’t over edit. What I listed above sounds like a lot, but what I actually change isn’t much. Unless you want that photographic style, don’t go too overboard with things like contrast and sharpening, it can really ruin an image sometimes.
We’re almost finished! Next up, I like to type it all out. Once I’ve uploaded the images, I think up a whitty yet SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) loving title and start typing! As you will know, I do a paragraph of introductory chattiness and then get on with the post. Depending on what I write, depends on how I lay it out, which also determines the length of each post.
I think it takes a while to find your blogging voice and I’ve probably only just started to find mine after 3 years (eek, scary to say that), so don’t panic. Don’t force yourself either, if you don’t love a post, then you don’t have to post it!
TOP TIP: The small details are really important. Remember the basic rules of writing; paragraphs, correct grammar and punctuation. Be yourself too! Be chatty, be serious, be whatever you want to be!
It’s time to click the publish button! But first I schedule the post… I never used to do this, but now I do because it gives me time to get my ducks in order. When I’ve scheduled my post, my blog will give me a link which I then feed into ‘bit.ly‘ and turn into a custom link (you may have seen ‘tdpf.co’ floating around… well now you know what that is!).
I then schedule a few tweets on Tweetdeck and a post on Facebook. I usually publish my posts at times which people are online (this is UK timing mind you), so that’s around 9 AM in the morning, 3 PM in the afternoon and 6.30 PM in the evening. Sometimes they’re later, sometimes they’re a bit more random, but these are great timings to catch people on social media.
TOP TIP: Don’t over share! Not as in ‘TMI’, but don’t spam your followers with too many links. I try to limit myself but sometimes it’s easy to flood your feeds. 1 tweet an hour is quite a good amount, for perhaps 4 hours… but it’s good to space it out over 1 day.
~ MY BLOGGING UNIFORM ~
Okay, I kid. I don’t actually have a ‘blogging uniform’ (heck, that’s what this blog is all about, wearing what you want), but I do have to say, comfort is key to me! I blog in bed, on my sofa, wherever, so I like to be comfy at the same time. I’m currently blogging in my awesome customised TDP hoodie. HOW COOL?! It’s awesome, right? I’m so so happy with how it came out and I love the cropped style. The quality is great too, and I think my signature works well, non? I can’t wait to challenge myself to style it up in the summer. I think it’s such a great idea if you have a group of friends to share it with too… #SquadGoals, am I right?
WHAT I WORE: Customised Cropped Hoodie (Leavers Hoodies)* // Super Crop Top (ASOS) // Spotty Trousers (ASOS)
Eeep! So I hope that was helpful to some of you and maybe it was a nice lil’ sneak peek into my life?! I just want to say a huge thank you once again for supporting this little blog of mine and I really hope you still enjoy reading this piece of the internet! Don’t leave me anytime soon as I should have some super exciting things coming up and of course the Mooi en Lief by Tolly Dolly Posh launch is just around the corner! Keep up to date with all things TDP by following me over on BlogLovin’ and signing up to my newsletter. I’ll speak to you soon…
Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx