Hi guys! I hope all of you are doing well! Today I wanted to talk work with you – the way I work to be more precise. I thought it’s about time I shared my blogging habits and told you what goes behind the scene of producing a blog post. I got inspired to write about this after attending the DELL sessions last week, where a certain number of digital content creators got together to try the new Dell XPS lap top and learn more about the business of running a blog. With the helpful tutorials in graphic design and guest talks about professionalism and etiquette I felt like I should get more personal and let you have a sneak peek into my blogging routine.
So, 3 years ago, while still working as an Acting Retail and Market Editor at ELLE UK magazine, I suddenly had an idea to combine my passion for all things digital, fashion, writing and photography with Patrik’s genius photographic skills (he’s been working as a professional photographer for 16 years now) and start a blog. I didn’t follow bloggers back then and barely used Instagram but felt like by starting my own blog I can create my own little magazine, where I could set my own rules, deadlines and be fully responsible for its content. And that’s how Julia Shutenko blog was born. For the first year it existed under my maiden name until I got married and relaunched with both new design and new Julia Lundin title. Deciding on the name of the blog was one of the biggest question in those early days. After researching the market and assessing the biggest blogging stars, I realised that only very few of them had their own name as a title. Yet my thought process was the following – if a blog name (that doesn’t include my name) doesn’t come to me naturally and has to be forced, it can’t be right. And so instead of calling my blog ‘Trees and clouds’ or something similar I decided to just stick my name there and see how it goes. After all, the blog is about my life, so that kind of makes sense. Fast forwarding to the present day, I am glad that I made that decision.
Second big decision in starting this blog was the design. I did it all myself three years ago. I researched about different hosting platforms and read comparisons between them and chose Blogger to be my first destination. I built it and maintained it myself until my first relaunch a year later. As I already mentioned, I got married and wanted to change the name of the blog and felt like the design needed to be updated as well. That’s when I started working with a graphic designer who convinced me to move to the WordPress platform and helped to design the new look for my website. And a year later (quite recently actually) I had another redesign and this is how you see my blog right now. The reason for wanting this specific look was that I felt like our photography needs to be more prominent and have more focus on it. Patrik is using such an amazing equipment to shoot these posts and we put so much work into producing each and every entry that I wanted to make our photography sit big and proud, almost ‘in your face’ kind of way. I had lots of positive response from you guys about this new look, so I am pretty happy and satisfied with it for now. It’s definitely not the last design update as I like my blog to grow and change along with me.
And so let’s move on to the production of the actual posts. It pretty much always follows the same process. We go out on a shoot (normally I plan the location as it needs to work well with the vibes of the outfit) which takes us anything between a 1-3 hours. I then spend about 3-4 hours editing, writing and making sure that all the links, shopping galleries and tags are used correctly. I always start by selecting my pictures in Adobe Bridge, then transfer my selection to Lightroom for some post production work. In Lightroom I tend to either only adjust basics like brightness, contrast and saturation or use VSCO Film filters. They don’t work for every shoot though. I then transfer the images to Photoshop to size them for my blog and that’s that for the post production part. After it comes the actual creation of the post in WordPress, inserting the images, writing, linking everything, adding SHOP THE LOOK widget so you can buy what I wear and finally ‘Publish’ button. Amongst other tools that I use are Google Analytics to keep track of the site visits, and of course Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Lookbook and Blogloving channels for the promotion of the blog post. And as all bloggers know, social media is a whole separate full-time job. I think I have never been as dedicated to something as I am to Instagram 😀 It’s been three years of posting every single day (2-3 images per day) and spending an awful lot of time being active, engaging with my followers and maintaining the look and feel of it. It’s a lot of work, but it pays off eventually.
So there you go, that’s a short version of what I do at least three times a week when I need to upload a new post. I never thought that blogging will ever keep me this busy. As it’s my full-time job and business now, it keeps me working at it 24/7. Your brain never switches off, you are always thinking of the new ways of doing something, you have deadlines and events, and meetings and trips to attend. And yet this busy lifestyle is what I always dreamed of and I am only starting!
Hope you find this interesting and thank you for following me guys!
*In collaboration with Dell