As I work full-time, evenings and weekends are the only time I can dedicate to blogging – which is often not enough. There are evenings when I wish I was motivated to blog but all I want to do is watch YouTube videos or scroll through social media. So weekends are usually the time when I can focus and do some actual work.
But as I said, that is often not enough. I end up trying to write a blog post the night before it is supposed to go up and, because I feel pressured, nothing comes out.
A couple of weeks ago I was on annual leave so I knew I wanted to use a few days off to work on my blog, while also allowing myself to switch off and enjoy Summer, of course (although that is always hard for a blogger, to completely switch off but – that’s a topic for another time).
So for today’s blog post, I thought it would be fun to share with you what I did on one of my days off from work – a day that I dedicated to working on my blog.
The day before.
On top of my to-do list, there was batch photography and writing so that I could be on top of things and not rush to write a post the night before or simply not posting at all.
As I type this, I feel proud to say that I’m working a week in advance and already have two (almost three) blog posts ready to go up. It’s not the perfect scenario but I’m happy with it.
So on the day before, I wrote a to-do list of what I wanted to do, blog posts I planned on writing and photos I would like to take for each. This helped me stay organized because I knew what needed to be done.
A Day In The Life Of A Lifestyle Blogger[one_half]
Wake up. I have to be honest here and admit that I grab my phone and scroll through Instagram and email while still in bed. It’s not the best way to start my day, I know, but it’s the truth. While I eat breakfast – not before taking a picture for this blog post, of course – I watch a couple of videos on my subscription box.
I started catching up on blog work at around 09:00. As I feel more inspired in the morning, that’s the time I enjoy writing the most, I feel like words flow easier.
My writing process:
Step one: I start by outlining the main topics I want to mention throughout my blog post. It’s basically loose sentences that form the skeleton of my article.
Step two: I go through it once again and start putting things together but still quite loosely. Some paragraphs are done but others still need some work.
Step three: I go through everything once again and make a few tweaks while also proof reading with the help of Grammarly. English is not my first language – I’m Portuguese, in case you’re wondering – so that’s even more important.
By eleven I decided it was time for batch photography so that I could make the most of the daylight.
I can be a very disorganized person sometimes and leave everything to the last minute. And what better thing than taking photos on the day before your blog post goes up only to realize that you don’t like how your photos look and there’s no time to re-do it?
I already had a few batch sessions before and found it made everything easier. Aside from all photos having the same lighting and feel, it makes you more relax as you have back up photos for the next few weeks.
Also, batch photography saves you a lot of time. If you’re like me, it can take you a whole hour to get just 3 or 4 photos for a new blog post – from planning a session, gathering the props, trying different compositions and camera settings, and then editing. It’s very time-consuming.
So why not take photos in advance and save time in the future?[one_half]
*Behind the scenes of What’s Holding You Back?
My photography process.
Photography is one of my favorite parts of blogging. If I’m not happy with how the photos turned out, I most likely won’t publish the blog post until I have some time to redo the shoot. So here is my process.
Step One: first, I think about the blog posts coming up in the next few weeks and list all the photos I want to take. Usually, the main one and a few extra, depending on the post.
Step Two: then I go on Pinterest for some inspiration. I have a private folder on Pinterest with photos to inspire me whenever I’m not feeling very creative.
Step Three: after gathering my props and gear, I make sure camera has the battery charged and the card is not full. Please, don’t make the same mistake as I did and plan a batch photography session without checking if the camera had battery first – very smart, Joana.
Step Four: it’s time to shoot. Often, the idea I had in mind ends up not working out as I expected, so it’s important to try different angles and compositions to see what works best.
At around 13:00, I took a break and made myself lunch while Pretty Little Liars was playing in the background.
After lunch, I’m back to taking a few more photographs.
Step Six: after I’m done, I leave everything as it is (a mess) and import the photos to my laptop. Imagine if I tidied everything up only to import the photos and realize they’re awful? So, another tip is to check if you like the photos first.
Step Seven: if I’m happy with how the photos turned out, it’s editing time – well, only after I tidy up the mess. When it comes to editing, I usually apply a preset on Lightroom so that my photos have the same feel. If you’re interested, I can write a specific blog post about Lightroom because it made things much easier and simple.
Step Eight: the last step is to add the photos to the scheduled blog posts.[one_half]
Meanwhile, my parents got home from work and we ate dinner together while watching the news. But before I sit down to eat, I fed my cat his dinner treat, otherwise, he wouldn’t stop meowing.
My night ended with me watching the last PLL episode – which I’m still not really sure how I feel about.
Since I was on holiday, I was allowed to have a late night. And it feels great going to bed without the feeling of “I must fall asleep right now because I have to wake up super early tomorrow”. So I headed to bed and grabbed my book – currently reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin – before turning the lights off and falling asleep.
This is how one of my days off went. I thought it would be fun to share it with you a day in the life and also chat about a few of my blogging strategies that help me stay on track. Hope you enjoyed this blog post as much as I enjoyed writing it!
Do you also have blogging days when you’re off from work?