Behind the Scenes: Revealing Logistics, Planning and Costs for Blogging
I always am intrigued by the behind the scenes facts for almost anything. I think we get a wonderful appreciation for real life when we learn about what goes into a venture.
In the past, I shared the relationship with the original three models on the blog, and many people were so surprised about it. Now I thought it’d be fun to include other logistics and some information you wouldn’t have thought about.
Quote of the day: “The most difficult thing is the decision to act. The rest is merely tenacity.” Amelia Earhart
The decision to act may be difficult, yet it could also be easier when you don’t know all the work involved, LOL!! I’m aware that it might seem super easy to take photos, and put them on a blog!! When I started I sure didn’t realize the ins and outs, and I’m still learning as I go!
So I’m going to touch on a couple of behind the scenes specifics that I’ve had questions about in the past.
If you are interested in starting a blog, I have written a couple of posts about that too
Have you Thought about Starting up a Blog? And Tips for Social Media Security
How to Build a Blog After You’ve Started It
Did you know that even though it’s free for you to read a blog, there are costs associated with running it? When you are just starting these costs can be more minimal, but over time they can add up.
1-The hosting site. This is a techie term but it’s basically who puts your site on the internet.
2-Your email company. Having a separate company that sends out the daily email enables me to include other fun information every day.
3-Add on to your site. Just like accessories in an outfit can give a different look, there are extras you can add to your site, and some of them are an extra cost. For example, the ability to make your site load faster or just the layout of your photos and wording can be extras.
4-Security. We all know there are hackers everywhere and blog land is no different. This is very important after you’ve been blogging for a year or so.
5-Equipment. Of course you have to take into account the camera equipment, lighting as well as any props included.
How Blogger’s Make Money
Not that all bloggers want or need to make money. Realistically though, it’s nice to be able to cover the costs I explained above. Then again, some bloggers are “professional” bloggers meaning they count on this as their income so they need to make money.
If you’re wondering about me? I enjoy getting some financial payback due to all of the time and effort I put into the blog. However, I do not push buying “new” clothes all the time because that’s not my thing. I also don’t buy clothes and return them just to promote the item. Luckily, this is a hobby for me, so I can be very particular in who I collaborate with and how I run the blog.
1-Advertisement. These are the ads you see in a post. An outside ad company places ads on the blogger’s site and the blogger gets paid depending on how many people see them or click on them. It’s no different than ads on a tv show.
2-Sponsored posts. This is when a blogger showcases a company or product for a fee. This is considered marketing for the company and a great way to introduce new brands to the blogger’s readers.
3-Affiliate links/commission. Most linked items or similar items shown in a blog are affiliate links. If you purchase something after clicking through the link, the blogger “should” get a small commission at no extra charge to you.
4-Tips. If you want to support a blogger but don’t want to purchase items through their links, many have a tip button on their site. For my site, here is the link. It’s not much different than giving your waitress a tip for good service. Not expected, but greatly appreciated.
5-Guest Posts. Some writers or companies will write a guest post on a blogger’s site.
Behind the Scenes Planning for Jodie’s Touch of Style
Now, I’d love to go into more behind the scenes detail for our specific blog and how the blog posts come to be. Considering my blog involves 3 different women, it can be a struggle not only to find time to take our photos, but also a challenge for the photographer (my husband) to get shots of us all looking at him, LOL!! (See the photo below).
It starts with a meeting for us to find days that we are all free for a photo shoot. Trust me when I say that’s not always easy, LOL!! We try to schedule once a week for our blog photo days.
While we are discussing the days to meet, we also try to come up with the theme for those photos. That’s where I love having suggestions from you all!! Otherwise, we tackle normal styling ideas or the fun trends that we like.
First let’s start with where we take our blog photos when it’s all three of us in one post. Since we are new to the Arizona area, we like to be able to go somewhere fun to explore while we are all together for our photos. Granted, this can require quite a bit of preplanning.
And we alternate between finding an activity (like touring a museum or traveling to another town) and just finding a nice backdrop nearby. That way Rob isn’t driving a far distance every week and not all of our blog shoot days are a long day.
For example, the photo above was taken in Wickenburg, Arizona where we toured the Desert Caballeros Western Museum. As opposed to the photo below was taken in front of the Abuelo’s Mexican Restaurant nearby.
In fact, you would laugh at how we see cool backgrounds differently looking at them through a photographer’s eye!!
I also keep a list on my phone of places that we would like to visit or that would be good for future blog photos.
The week before the photo shoot, Rob and I will start researching where we want to go. If it’s a museum or tour, we will purchase the tickets ahead of time and google the place to see if it will be a good backdrop for photos.
Then I need to email both Charlotte and Lesley to give them the time we are leaving along with a reminder of what we are wearing!
Insider tip: Did you know some places don’t allow “professional” photography on their ground without a license?? For example, we haven’t made it to the Japanese Friendship Garden here in Phoenix because we would have to pay a fee to take photos in the garden.
One of the challenges for every photographer is lighting. Since we take photos during the day (which isn’t always ideal), we have to find shady areas for our pictures.
Each of us chooses our own outfits for the posts and buys our own items (unless we have been given clothes that we are reviewing). These are clothes that we actually love and wear, not just to promote on the blog.
Honestly, what we wear for our blog outfits is usually analyzed and changed a couple of times (at least for me). Many times I even ask my husband for his opinion on shoe choices!!
Insider tip: What you see in the mirror can look different in a photo. That’s why I suggest taking a selfie of your outfit daily! I also like to show our outfits from the side and back view to give you more perspective.
Since we are going to someplace fun for many of our photo shoots, you end up seeing more of our comfortable/casual shoe choices. That’s not to say that we don’t have and wear our dressier shoes in real life.
Behind the Scenes for Each Blog Post
After our shoot, my husband edits the photos for me which is such a blessing. Neither he or I have a ton of photography experience, which is why they aren’t always perfect.
I try to write the posts a week ahead of time (which is why some items that I link to are sold out by the time the blog is published). Part of this process is researching keywords for Google to be able to find it when people search for ideas.
Then did you know I have to describe each photo before I put it in the blog? And try to make the keyword fit in with the descriptions.
Truthfully writing a blog post is H.A.R.D. for me. I’m not a great writer like many other bloggers. Give me clothing to style and I’m a happy girl, but it’s just not easy for me to explain things in words.
After I write the post and schedule it for the day to go live, I also create an email to tell my email subscribers the post has gone live. DO YOU SUBSCRIBE? I hope you do (and here’s the link) because I also include a lot more behind the scenes information about our daily lives along with some sale, giveaway and other information.
Every evening, I return to the email that I’ve scheduled for the next day, to update it and talk to you all!! I consider it almost like having a pen pal, and I can’t tell you how much I enjoy when you all reply to the email with a suggestion or comment!!
Once a post is live, then I love to reply to comments. It’s also important to promote it liked I discussed in how to build a blog. I just love responding to comments which is why I used the Disqus platform. With Disqus, the person commenting should get my reply emailed to them. It’s not a perfect system, but nothing is, right??
Social media comes in as part of the way to promote the blog. As much as some women hate social media, I have met many wonderful women through the platforms. Along with the fact, I’ve gotten so much inspiration from outfit choices, to embracing my grey hair!! I consider it a great way to find your tribe of women who like the same things you do!!
But social media isn’t always about promoting my blog. For me, I post many more outfits and different videos on Instagram (follow me here). On Facebook, I tend to share inspirational posts that I’ve read, but not as often as Instagram. I realize you don’t see my posts on Facebook much anymore because Facebook is pushing the groups more than individuals. That’s one reason I concentrate on Instagram more.
So those are the fun behind the scenes details concerning this hobby I call blogging. I hope you found it interesting!!
I truly appreciate all of your support. Supporting a blog is easy and free. What helps me enormously is to share wherever you can!! You can do this by saving an image to your Pinterest board or sharing this post on Facebook. Or send this post to your friend, and make sure they sign up for the emails.
One way I make money from this blog is that some of these links are affiliate links. Meaning, if you click a link and make a purchase, Jodie’s Touch of Style gets a small commission at no extra cost to you. I do appreciate you supporting the brands that make this blog possible! I am also a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
Why should you sign up for the emails below? I include some personal tidbits in these emails along with other happenings, sales, information and links. So I hope you join me on this journey.