I Don't Have Marble Countertops (And Other Blogging Tricks)

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Blogging takes more work than some people realize. Whether you're running a blog in addition to a full-time job like I am, or your blog is your full-time job, it requires a good amount of time and effort. Coming up with ideas, writing them out, planning, scheduling, taking (relevant) pictures, promoting each post so it can actually reach an audience.

While I don't believe there's any "right" or "wrong" way to blog, I did want to give a little peek behind the scenes on how an ordinary girl who works full-time also manages to regularly blog, along with a few tips.

We'll start with the oldest trick in the book...

I don't have marble countertops

That marble background you see in all of my book pictures? It's actually adhesive film, intended for covering shelves. Very cheap adhesive film, at that.

It comes in a roll, similar to wrapping paper. For a while, I would just lay it across my coffee table for photos. Now what I've started doing, which I'm finding super helpful, is using a foam board. I bought a medium-sized board and stuck the film to that. It's easier to handle, and now I'm not restricted to using the same spot for pictures. If the lighting is better in a different area of my apartment, I can move and still have a flat surface.

Tip: Be creative with what you use for backgrounds. I've even bought a blanket with blog photos in mind. I already needed to buy one, so I chose the pattern based on what would look best in pictures. Anything can work!

All of my ideas are drafted

All of them. Whenever my mind wanders to something I might want to write about eventually, I draft it. I have a dozen or so drafts on Blogger, scattered thoughts on various topics. Sometimes these ideas are brought to fruition and published as a full post. Other times they're put on the back burner for a while. Either way, I'll rarely delete one, because even if I'm not in the zone to write about it now, maybe another time I will be.

Tip: Use Voice Memos on your phone to help flesh out an idea. If I'm struggling to take something that makes sense in my head and put it in writing, I'll think to myself, "If someone asked you what the post is about, what would you say?" and I record my answer. Talking it out can help make it more clear and coherent.

It's not always about a present situation

Because all of my ideas are drafted, when a post goes up, it's not always based off of a recent event. It might've been pulled from a thought I had a year ago. Or it might not have come from a real-life situation at all.

It's crossed my mind before that when I put up a more emotional post, it could appear that I'm going through an emotional time, which isn't necessarily the case. I write when inspiration hits, and sometimes that inspiration is random and unexpected.

 Let your mind wander, and write about whatever you end up thinking about. Blog posts don't always have to be diary entries about what's going on in your life. They can be about anything.

I keep a lot of random photos

One of the most difficult parts of blogging for me is picking a photo to go with the post. (Who knew?) Sometimes I end up scrolling through old photos and come across one from a year ago that fits perfectly. You never know.

 Take a lot of random photos and keep them stored some place just in case. That sunset picture you never got around to posting? It could come in handy later.

It's whatever I want it to be

Ultimately, my blog is my own space, which is what I like most about it. I like having a place where I can write and post about whatever I want.

Over the almost-two-years that I've had my blog, I've received a handful of messages from friends, or even strangers, that have all said something along the lines of, "I've been thinking of starting a blog too, but I feel like I don't have anything interesting to say." Sure you do! Say whatever you want! Talk about your day, tell a funny story, share a quote you like, review books you've read lately or movies you've seen. You don't have to have brand new unique ideas. Even if it's been done by other people, it hasn't yet been done by YOU.

Tip: If you want a space of your own, whether it be a blog or another outlet, make it, and run with it.

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