Behind the Scenes: Common Blogging Questions Answered

Blogging is somewhat still new to the world in the sense that a lot of people don’t know bloggers personally. That leaves a lot of questions unanswered. Many people don’t fully understand what blogging actually is, what bloggers do, and how much work it actually requires. On the face of it, I’m sure it looks easy. That’s the point. But the behind the scenes work is really no joke. I’ve mentioned a few things about blogging work before, but thought it’d be fun to create a list of ten of the most common blogging questions and answer them for you all at once.
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1.) Where do you blog?
At my desk, which is shown in the picture above. I’ve tried pre-planning my blogs almost completely in a notebook before or moving my laptop in different areas of the house, but I focus the best when I’m actually at my desk.

2.) Where do you find inspiration for your blog posts?
Usually it’s from another blogger or Youtube. I try to find similar topics that people might be interested in and put my own twist on it. If I see a new product that’s gaining a lot of popularity and it’s one that I’m interested in, I’ll make it a point to get my review out too. But I also just come up with random ideas based on things that are happening in my life, like my wedding or my recent hair fail.

3.) How long does it take you to write a blog post?
It really depends on the blog post, but most of them average around 45 minutes writing time. If a post includes a tutorial or a lot of products, it will typically take longer because I’m doing research on more than one item. If a post includes a single product review or something more personal, it goes a little faster because those flow more easily. Adding in pictures is a whole different set of time, though. I usually dedicate an entire day to taking, editing, and uploading pictures.

4.) Do you plan your blog posts? How?
I plan everything in my life! For blog posts, I have three different planners that I use. I have a monthly planner where I plan out all of my blog posts for the entire month to make sure I’m not missing anything and that topics are spread out evenly. I also have a weekly editorial calendar and a weekly social media schedule. Both of those focus more on each week’s blogs so I can narrow down what I need to write, the pictures that I need to take, and how I’m going to promote them after publishing.

5.) What kind of camera do you use?
I use a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ70. I know everyone and their mother uses a Canon, but I wanted something different. I found this on sale at Best Buy six months after starting my blog and got it for a really good deal. I’m not a total camera geek and I still don’t completely know how to use it. I just know how to get what I need and that’s about it. Although I’m a blogger, technology isn’t my forte. I leave that up to my IT technician fianceé.
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6.) What editing program do you use?
Picasa 3 came on my laptop, so that’s what I got used to using when I first started blogging and learning how to edit pictures. There’s so many programs out there, but I find that to be really simple and easy to work with. I also use Canva for more graphic design images and Perfect 365 on my iPod to edit selfies.

7.) How do you take your pictures?
These are always some of my favorite behind the scenes secrets from other bloggers. It’s amazing the things we can come up with just for the perfect shot! I like things to be pretty simple and clean, so I just got a cheap fold up table at Walmart and place it in front of the window. Natural light is the best light! Just make sure the inside lights are off. For backgrounds, I have used everything from a piece of fabric, the floor, kitchen counters, a square tile, a shirt, a blanket. It doesn’t matter, but my most used is the marble. It’s actually marble contact paper taped on top of foam board.
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For tutorials, the setup is totally different and much more silly looking. I have a chair on a plain, neutral painted wall with that same table in front of me with all of my makeup on it and a plastic bin flipped upside down to hold my mirror. Then I have some PVC pipe that my fianceé put together for me and two lights hanging down from that with my tripod behind it. I refuse to spend the ridiculous amount of money on a ring light and these clamp lights I found at Home Depot work perfectly fine with bright white bulbs. My fianceé’s usually the one behind the camera taking my picture. You can see the rest of my backdrops in the corner and my dog’s ball under my chair, pretty typical.
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8.) Do you use a notebook to track your ideas?
Not necessarily. Aside from my monthly planner that I use to plan posts, I’ll just use the notes app on my iPod to jot down a very rare good idea.

9.) What is your favorite type of blog post to write?
Definitely the more personal ones. I typically just type all of my blog posts as I think of the words in my head, as if I were talking to someone. But the personal posts seem to flow more easily because it’s like telling a story. I don’t have to worry about facts of a product or forgetting to mention an important detail of something. It’s just like chatting with a friend.

10.) Who knows about your blog?
I think almost all of my family knows about it. I also share posts on my personal Facebook page, so other friends can see it there too. But when I meet someone, I don’t typically just shout out that I’m a blogger. I only mention something if I’m asked about it. There’s usually a lot of questions that follow after I tell someone and I’m still getting used to explaining in it a timely manner in person without feeling weird about it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m really proud of my blog. But it’s hard to explain when you can tell someone isn’t understanding, or might not truly care.

Whether you’re a new blogger or someone who is just curious about the life of a blogger, I hope you found this entertaining and helpful. Unless a blog is dedicated to sharing tips, most of these things don’t typically get talked about too often. The point of it is to make things look easy because, let’s be honest, it wouldn’t be attractive if it wasn’t and no one would read. There’s really a lot of work that goes into blogging, but it is so worth it!

If you have any questions about blogging, please leave them for me in the comments below. I’d love to include them in a part 2 post next month! Are you a blogger? Can you relate to any of these questions?

~Christina~

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