Most of the time, what you see on my blog and social media is the finished product. The final post after all the planning, prepping, and styling is finished. Although I like to make it all look effortless, most of the outfit content I publish (3+ times a week on my blog) requires hours of planning. From the outside (of Instagram) looking in, it might seem like I stumbled upon a beautiful city scape, dressed in a cute outfit, while my Instagram husband snapped away and captured the moment. I’d like to think I’m that glamorous or that my imaginary IG hubby is that good.. but believe me, there’s a lot more that goes into the process. Although I do love all the girly perks of being a blogger, the behind the scenes content creation is my favorite part of what I do! To switch it up a little bit, I’m taking you through the step-by-step process of what goes into each outfit post.
1. Brainstorming The Concept
There are a few different ways I come up with blog post ideas.
- A brand (like Express) will come to me with a specific idea to partner (like promoting their petite line!) – this is a sponsored collaboration
- I’ll pitch an idea to a brand I want to work with that aligns with my style in hopes of landing a sponsored collaboration
- I come up with an outfit idea I want to create without any affiliation to a brand
I spend a lot of time brainstorming ideas for blog posts – upcoming holidays, important events, trends I love, reader’s questions and requests, things I’m dealing with in my personal life, outfits I think would be great for a specific occasion, something I really love, etc. (PS to all my blogger girls reading – companies love when you, as the ‘creator’, come to them with a unique & creative idea for how to promote their collection in an authentic way. So, don’t be afraid to reach out to your favorite brand and tell them why you want to work together – they might bite!).
2. Content Calendar Planning
To keep blog posts flowing consistently throughout the month, I have to plan things out in advance. I try to plan ahead to keep things running smoothly and to prepare for holiday content. It’s just like the retail industry where stores start to advertise for upcoming holidays/events early. My posts are usually planned down to exact time of day they go live. I think it’s really important to know the most effective times to post during the week, so I typically like to publish most of my blog posts at night (when people are in bed looking at their phones before falling asleep!).
3. Styling The Outfit
Styling the outfit is one of my favorite steps. I spend a lot of time browsing my go-to websites to find the perfect items. If I’m doing a brand collaboration, I’m given free reign to style the outfit with my own personal taste. I’m an American Express Blue Cash Every Day cardholder, so I get to enjoy the benefits of a free Shoprunner membership. With Shoprunner, you get free two day shipping and also free returns. These perks make my life a little easier being able to shop from home, try the outfits on at home, and return or exchange anything that doesn’t fit correctly or doesn’t work with the outfit.
Oh the joys of being a 4’11” fashion blogger… Pretty sure I’m on the way to putting my seamstress’s daughter through college right now with the amount of alterations I’ve paid for at this point. I do my best to post about petite brands and stores that carry XXS – but I also want to give options to girls who don’t have to shop in the kids section (raising hand emoji). So long story short, taking the clothes to the seamstress is a major step in the process before shooting my outfits to ensure they fit correctly. In my opinion, a perfectly tailored outfit is key when it comes to looking put together.
5. Hiring a photographer
I’m lucky enough to have a bunch of talented photographer friends in Chicago. I love shooting with different people for different outfits. Each outfit is different and each photographer’s style is unique. I work with a specific photographer if I’m going for more of an editorial street style look. But I hire someone else when I’m going for more of a naturally-lit lifestyle shoot. I work with the photographer to brainstorm ideas for a shoot location and I do my best to match the location with where I’d be out and about in that specific look.
Lighting is always tricky. The best time of the day to shoot is typically early in the morning when the light is soft & not many people are out – and also around sunset for golden hour. There is a lot that goes into photographing an outfit, which is why I strongly believe in hiring a professional. But! My mom and my roomies are always great for snapping a quick iPhone pic here and there. Never underestimate the quality of the iPhone camera!
6. Typing up the post
Writing the copy for the blog post is all about creating a story around the outfit. I like to write about options for when and where you could wear the outfit and different ways it could be styled.
7. Linking the items
I spend a lot of time researching the most affordable option to purchase online. Sometimes a specific item will be sold out or unavailable in certain sizes/colors, so I’ll search for the most similar options available. If I’m wearing a splurge item I like to share very similar affordable options and if I’m wearing a petite piece, I always like to provide the regular size as well. Afterall, I guess it’s kind of my job to keep tabs on the new arrivals pages of all my favorite sites!
8. Post the Blog & Post on Social Media
THEN – it’s finally time for the content to go live! Once I receive the images back from the photographer, I insert them into the blog post, come up with a blog title, and hit ‘publish’. Then I head to Instagram at the pre-planned time of the day and insert my caption (the struggle), tag the brands in the image, insert the applicable hashtags, and usually I’ll run the featured image through VSCO – my favorite editing app – before posting. It’s very important to make sure this is all done correctly every time and aligns with the brands expectations.
9. Answer readers questions, comments, and emails.
I do my best to respond to every comment/email that comes my way! I love the feedback from you guys and appreciate every single response. Keep them coming please and don’t hesitate to send me blog post suggestions if you ever have an idea you’d like me post about!
Then.. it’s on to the next post! Comment below with any blog post suggestions you’d like to see, I always love hearing from you guys. And as always, thank you for reading 🙂