One hour? Five hours? Half a day?
How long does it take you to create a personal style post for your blog? I vary the type of posts I share on my blog, and by far, personal style takes the longest, as far as man hours are concerned. I usually space out the different tasks over a day or two, so I've never thought too much about just how much time it takes. Until now. From shooting the images to scheduling the social media, here's how long the average personal style post takes me to complete. I'm curious to know how this stacks up to other bloggers in our community – both new and experienced – so be sure to add your thoughts in the comments!
Taking Photos: 30 minutes
It may sound strange coming from someone who does it so often, but I'm not particularly comfortable having someone take my photo for extended periods of time. I get restless, awkward and self-conscious. I like to get through the photography portion of post-making pretty quickly. Usually I'll pick two or three spots to take photos, that are all within striking (a stone's throw) distance of each other. A couple of minutes of standing, full-body shots, trying a few poses; detail shots moving accessories and trying angles; review what's been taken and try a few do-overs. I usually tell whomever is taking my photos to take many photos in rapid succession, rather than shooting selectively, so I have more options to choose from when editing.
Photo Editing: 30 minutes to 1 hour
For me, photo editing is usually the most time-consuming element of blogging. The time varies depending on how many images I decide to use, and how many were taken during the shoot. (Narrowing down the options can be time-consuming.) I select which photos to use (usually between 3 and 5 for a personal style post), and make sure they show a good range of angles and details. As I've touted many times on IFB, I love using PicMonkey.com to edit my photos since I'm a novice with Photoshop. I adjust brightness and color, clean up errant blemishes and then re-size the images to a universal width for the post.
Writing: 1 hour
The amount of time spent on this aspect of putting together a blog post will vary a lot from author to author. Some of us like to write a lot, and some just a few sentences. Myself, I write a lot, probably more than many style bloggers (3 or 4 full paragraphs per post), so this can take up to an hour. I try to create a story or anecdote to accompany the images, one that's hopefully entertaining or interesting to my readers.
Add affiliate links: 15 minutes
Recently I've been trying to step up my game as far as peppering in relevant affiliate links into my posts. I devote some time to finding the retailer that has both a good commission rate and one that I do or would shop from naturally. Under the main photo (a full-body shot, usually) I will list out each item, and then add the links. I also italicize this text and center it under the image, so it's separated from the rest of my content.
Come up with a title: 5 minutes
Okay so sometimes the title just comes to you, right? You've got a slick play-on-words or a great idea in your head already, and bam – you're set! However, sometimes a little extra brain power is required. You want your headline to be irresistible, fitting and fun (and bonus points for making it SEO-friendly too!)
Add tags: 1 minute
This is the fastest, easiest part, right? I tag my posts to send them to my “Personal Style” page, along with the prominent brands and whatever else might be relevant depending on the content of the post (fall trends, styling tips, etc). It never takes more than a minute or two.
Preview, make edits and schedule to go live: 15 minutes
Once I think I'm done, it's time to see how the whole thing works together. I preview my post and ready it over at least twice from top to bottom. Does the headline fit? Are my images in focus? How is the spacing and formatting? Usually I'll find at least three or four quick changes to make. I then preview it again and read it from top to bottom, again. Finally when I'm satisfied, I schedule the post to go live.
Social media pushes: 10 minutes
Because I work full time, and often am doing exactly that when I have scheduled my posts to go out, I am apt to forget to promote them on social media. This is why I have an auto-tweet set up for my posts, which I customized using twitterfeed.com. I upload my posts to Facebook manually, as well as pin my images when I get a moment during a lunch break. If I get a moment, I'll manually tweet about my post again at the end of the day. All together this takes no more than 10 minutes.
Total time: About 3 or 3.5 hours
Wow, 3 hours! I am sort of surprised at this number myself. Many times putting a blog post together doesn't happen in non-stop succession from beginning to end, so I don't even realize the amount of hours it can take. However, when I think about how important it is to me to have my outfit posts be well-done, well-written, and easily shop-able, it's no surprise that the effort takes time.