I’ve started doing things a little differently in the past few months when blogging and I figured why not show you guys what works for me. I’m always interested in seeing what goes on behind a blog; we’re all different, and I’m sure we all have our own favourite tools when blogging. So, without further ado, this is how I blog.
PLANNING BLOG POSTS
Whenever I had post ideas or things I wanted to note down, I would generally use Any.do on my phone, which is a notepad style app. If I was at home, I’d maybe pull out my pocket filofax and write in there. Then I would add things to a spreadsheet that I’d made, but honestly it wasn’t working too well. Recently I discovered Trello and it has been a complete game changer for me.
The app allows you to have different boards (you can see my editorial one above) and within this board you can have different list areas which contain cards. My main areas are ideas, date scheduled, progress, scheduled and published. Pretty self-explanatory really. Within each card you can give it a label (I’ve used this for my post themes), set a due date, add a checklist, add notes, add attachments and even share them with other people. So you can see above that I have plenty of ideas (blocked out sorry ;) haha!), a few posts with the date I’d like them to be posted, a couple in progress, none scheduled (yes I am writing this the night before) and a few published already. You can see that in the card for this post, it is warning me that the due date is soon; on the far right you can see that the published dates are in red, and that’s because the date has passed. Once your task is completed you can archive them, but I like to keep mine in the published section so I can see what I’ve done. So yeah, seeing as I can easily use it on my laptop and on my phone, Trello has been perfect for me.
Another new thing that I’ve done for my blog is to get myself some backgrounds for photos. I only have three at the moment, and these are sticky back flooring style pieces. I found them on ebay and paid less than a tenner for all three with postage. I have white marble (yes it may be overdone for some, but oh I do love it), dark wood and a white wood. I’ve stuck bits of the marble and dark wood onto the side of a cardboard box, as you can see above, and it just makes an easy and interesting flat surface. Now I also take a lot of my photos on my bed there because the rest of my room is just too dark – you may recognise the spotty sheet from other photos! The photo below was taken in the exact spot with the background there.
An important aspect to blog photos is props. I don’t have that many that I’ve bought specifically for blogging, but really you can use anything you find around the house. Here are just a few that I’ve picked out from my bedroom… I especially like the shells. I bought them in Lanzarote this October, and they’re just so pretty. Notebooks are a pretty good call, as are photos. If you don’t have a polaroid camera but want the shots, there are loads of websites that will print your instagram photos in that style. Other good props could include flowers, plants, candles, food/treats, writing implements, fancy plates… the list is endless really.
My camera is a Canon 500d and I tend to use that mostly with the 50mm 1.8, but honestly I’ve been using my Galaxy S6 for a lot of photos recently. If the lighting is right, and there’s enough interest in the photo then it does the job perfectly well. I feel like a let down admitting that, having studied photography for 5 years haha! On my phone I’ll use VSCO a lot in editing, and I upload them into my Dropbox folder so they’re easily accessed on my pc. My phone also comes in handy for scheduling tweets. If I’ve forgotten, I’ll tend to do it whilst out and will use the hootsuite app.
WRITING BLOG POSTS
My desk! I feel like I should add that this photo and the one above it were taken within 15 minutes of each other and both on my phone. My desk area does get really dark. I’m on the hunt for a suitable not-too-big-and-bright lamp. I’d like to say that it’s always this neat and tidy, but that’s not the case. My usual set-up consists of my laptop, a drink and something good on my TV for background noise – most often linked to my laptop through HDMI. I just bought Season 1 of House though so I have been watching that through the Xbox. Yesterday I was catching up on my youtube subscriptions.
On my noticeboard I have a list of ideas that I wrote ages ago, a list of instagram hash tags and a list of twitter chats and times. Always helpful! The calendar is tracking my BBG exercise progress.
I’m not one of those people who sits in bed with their laptop, and more often than not I am at my desk when blogging. It makes things seem more professional and gets me in the right mind-set. For this reason, my desk area needs to be something that I like to look at. I have a few photos dotted about, including a photo of Roger Bannister (ran the first sub-4 minute mile – I think it’s awesome), my tattoo and a photo of the cats of course! I also have my 101 in 1001 list up to keep reminding me! Simple but effective. Then I’ll just open wordpress, put all my photos in and start writing!
I’m a planner, always have been and always will. Using tools like Trello works for me, and I think I get higher quality content out that way. I don’t think I do anything particularly extensive when blogging, but I guess someone else may think differently. You may work better completely unplanned and spontaneously and that’s perfectly normal too – how I blog is probably completely different to how you blog. So the question is, which kind of blogger are you?
On a slightly un-related note, I’m planning on doing more ‘behind the scenes’ posts. I have a few ideas, but is there anything you have in mind that you’d like to see? Could be anything! Exercising, cooking, blog design, photo editing, instagram etc.