One question I get a lot is how do I manage posting (mostly) Monday to Friday when I have a full time job. It’s taken me a long while to get to a point where I feel like I’m not working myself to the bone to do that (and no one wants that) but I thought I’d share how I’ve found my groove over the past year.
I tend to post 5 days a week, but I know some people tell me how they struggle to post once or twice a week. This is roughly in order of how I go through the stages of creating a blog post…
Snap Away Straight Away
As soon as I get a new product most of the time it gets put straight into a box on my bed ready to be photographed before I use it. If I know I’m not going to be starting a product then it will just get placed away where it lives, but for makeup – especially it’s stuff which doesn’t look as pretty as once it’s been swatched – it goes into a photograph box. Putting it away properly will mean that there’s nothing more tempting than an unswatched eyeshadow palette being within arms reach.
In addition to product review posts I also have my other post ideas I have ‘e.g New In The Shower’ which I’ll start to gather up at the end of the week and prep in piles for posts – usually on these I work 1-2 weeks ahead. I then tend to take photos in a batch, at this dark wintery time of year I tend to block out a morning on either a Saturday or Sunday to work my way through everything new I’ve gathered for the week, as well as any of those other non-product review posts. Late Spring and Summer is much better time of year and I tend to be more efficient as I can get lots of photos done in the evening too!
I then tend to focus on a particular product for a few weeks to wear – e.g if I’m reviewing an eyeshadow palette I’ll wear it solidly for a few weeks to a) be able to truly gauge the quality, but most importantly to get a load of pictures of the product in use – I try to do this as I’m walking out the door for work whilst my makeup is fresh, but at this time of year light doesn’t always play ball at 8-8.15am. Once I have a full idea I’ll review all the photos on a memory card and select which ones will make the review.
“The Bank” (aka Draft Posts)
I usually float between having 80-90 posts in my draft at any one time and they divide up into a few different ‘stages of completion’. I regularly do a top to bottom review of all posts I have in here and delete any out. I call it the bank, it’s the bank of ideas and posts which are half ready to go.
Usually just a simple title and maybe a few notes on a particular post idea I have in the works.
When I’m caught up with writing my posts for the week I then turn to my memory card of pictures, to resize, crop and edit. I then save them to a post ready for when I’ve used and reviewed them – some of these will get added to over time (e.g eyeshadow palette reviews might take me a month or two, and I might add pictures of different looks as I go along so I remember what is what.
This is the category which is most likely to have posts deleted from it, sometimes I prepare the pictures and decide a product wasn’t worthy of a full review – and it just goes into another empties or a different kind of post, e.g products I’ve been loving, or products I haven’t. However, I can’t stress enough how much this section can be my saviour when I’m struggling with what to post next, there’s usually something always ready that I have a full review of in my head.
Half Written Notes
There’s much less of these as drafts than those which are “Photo Ready” – I have some posts which are half written or I write notes down on products as I’m using them – e.g how my skin changed, how long things lasted, which shades I liked vs which I didn’t. I have one post – my liquid lipstick comparison post which will likely form a weeks worth of posts when I’ve finally through my collection I’ve been adding to since August.
Variety is the Spice of the Week
I tend to have a 1-2 week view of what I will be posting – the first week is relatively nailed down (although their can be curve ball landings such as beauty boxes which cause me to rush around like a headless chicken to get it up as quick as possible). The second week is a mixture of ideas of what I’ve been using and other more general ideas.
One of the first things I do is take a look through “the bank” to see if there’s any half prepped posts in there that I now have a fully formed review of in my head (as well as any accompanying pictures I might need such as application/swatches). I try to post 2-3 reviews a week, but I try to get other things mixed in too. If it was reviews only Monday-Friday it be a bit boring, so I tend to make sure I’m mixing it up with things like beauty box unboxings, hauls & other posts to make sure there’s hopefully something for everyone through the week.
Putting Fingers to Keyboard
I feel like I utilise my time quite well, if I’m in early to work (that rarely happens), I spend 10 minutes working on a post. I usually spend 4 out of 5 days of a week working on my blog posts too during lunch times- we’re a small office with no official designated canteen, so I’m stuck at my desk unless I go out, I may as well spend that hour working on my blog post. Even if you don’t have an office you can write up good chunks of notes on your phone.
Ben and I don’t have much of a social life in the weekdays, because the dogs have been at home, we go home to them and we don’t like then leaving them again – so in the evenings it gives me more time to work on my posts, I also have a short attention span and if I’m watching a movie I also like to be doing something else at the same time. I tend to be able to write a couple of posts on a Sunday night, and by Tuesday I tend to have all the posts for the week finished and scheduled.
I used to work on getting really scheduled – I think my record at one point was having 21 posts scheduled. Great, kick back and relax for four weeks, but actually I find that I become complacent and end up stressing at the end of a good run. It also doesn’t give me such a buzz, setting the content live, when you’ve worked hard on something and then pressing “go live”. Going that far in advance will often mean I’ve forgotten what the hell I actually wrote.
On a weekly basis I tend to do certain tasks on certain days.
Sunday-Tuesday/Wednesday (depending on the length of posts), I work on the writing posts for the week and the start of the week after if I have time and everything prepped and ready.
Wednesday-Friday I work on getting any new photos edited and turned into “Photo Ready” posts and put into “the bank” for future, this is the point I start anticipating the next few weeks posts and cherry picking those first.
Saturday’s I don’t tend to do any work on my blog in terms of being on a computer writing something up (whilst I might take some photos), occasionally if I’m home alone/bored/won’t be home on Sunday I will do.
It’s very rare when I get to a Sunday and I nail down what’s being posted for the week that I feel like I’m missing something – there are times when I do have to revisit my memory card as I’ve missed editing, but those times are few and far between.
I’m planning on writing up a ‘beginners guide to Lightroom’ type post for how I edit my photos and take you start to finish on what I do. That’s one tool that’s been a real time saver for me too but it would be too long for this post!
So there you have it – I hope you found that helpful, my biggest tip is beginning to build up a bank if you feel like you want to start posting more frequently. Let me know any tips you’ve come to find for yourself over the years too, I always want to do more to streamline my time and be more efficient is welcome!