For Twenty Swans’ third anniversary I thought I would put up an extra post or two to celebrate it, about how I go about putting together something for the blog. This will mostly focus on my beauty posts since that is the only type of post with a tangible routine to it, and there will be two parts for my writing and photography. Today, I’ll be writing about… well, my writing.
Draft out an idea in my Evernote.
For me, Evernote is pretty fantastic because I have it as a smartphone and a desktop app, and when I am using it at uni I use it in the web browser. My notes are always synced across so I can shut down and continue drafting in bed when inspiration strikes! In Evernote, notes can be sorted into ‘notebooks’ and even ‘notebook stacks’ and all my blog stuff and beauty inventory is part of one stack. If I have something new on trial, this is where my initial thoughts go.
To be honest, this is where everything goes. Uni notes, story ideas, all there, all the time. Did I mention I’m only on the free plan? On premium, you can download whole notebooks for offline use! (It’s my major motivation for finishing NaNoWriMo because you get three months free as a reward!) I’m not sponsored – I rely on it so much it deserves this promo.
(Oh, but sometimes things like checklists get lost in Evernote because I have a lot of them, so I put them in Google Keep where I keep a lot less notes. I use it only for things that need chasing up on and can be deleted soon after.)
I make sure to think about what I want to see in a review when I write one, for example for lipsticks, I think the lip swatches are very important and sometimes colour comparisons, too, so I include a note to include them. For lip balms and skincare I don’t mind not including it but I make sure to mention standout ingredients and what they do. I used to include ingredients lists but I’m no cosmetic chemist… what are your thoughts on including ingredients lists? Is that helpful?
Recently I have tried to [remember to] include information for people looking out for vegan or cruelty-free products as I realised that just because it’s not a deal-breaker for me, I shouldn’t forget about it. Especially when a few of my friends find that important and I may want to buy gifts for them!
Unless stated otherwise [or maybe I’ve forgotten one somewhere], all the images on the blog are my own snaps!
When a draft is being written I also include notes and positions for possible photos I want to take. Recently I have also included theme colours as well so I know what to reach for when looking for background items.
Most times, I have a little photo session every time the sun is good. Sometimes, the sun is out before I even have had a chance to draft ideas but I hurry and take some snaps anyway even if it is not all the ones I need, by grabbing my most recent purchases, for example. My actual photography process is getting a separate post after this as it’s a bit long, looking at my draft…
For posts that don’t need product photos and are just chatty, like this one, I keep a backlog of background-type photos that aren’t busy-looking, and actively seek out patterns and gradients just to keep it from being boring.
Move and edit photos.
One of the best features of the Canon 750d is the addition of wi-fi and its own mobile app, which is my favourite method of moving my photos to my phone. I haven’t developed a process for editing photos on my laptop yet because it’s old and sometimes the colours are inconsistent based on the angle of the screen, so I prefer to use my phone where the colours appear consistently making it easier for me to edit.
I like to use Snapseed on my phone to adjust small things like brightness and contrast, although as I adjust my camera settings manually whilst shooting, I often don’t need to. Many phones now also have the option to increase exposure and other light settings, too. I also add a Twenty Swans mark in the bottom corner of my images.
For some posts that don’t need product shots but perhaps just a title image, I use the in-app options for text. It’s not a unique idea and I’ve seen similar title cards being used a lot, but they’re quick and easy and pleasant-looking.
Put everything together.
I use the WordPress mobile app to upload the photos. It’s also good for checking up on my daily stats and reading other WordPress blogs on the go. Then I switch to my desktop to paste over my draft and edit the whole post so that everything is in order with tags and categories and the scheduled date. That said it’s not unusual for me to just leave a post and forget about it before scheduling it! Like… I’m sure there are sheet mask photos just buried in my computer somewhere!
That’s it! I’m missing a whole section on promoting my own blog because I tend to slack off in that department. At most, there’ll be a tweet. I used to use Buffer, but recently I quite like Tweetdeck for this. Instagrams are once in a blue moon (the official twitter and insta handle is @twentyswans. Please follow me ^-^)
I hope you got some ideas from this and found this interesting! I personally love this type of post once in a while.
Until next time,
Days since buying lipstick: 20
Lipstick last worn: NARS Velvet Matte Pencil in Train Bleu over Primark’s Black lipliner and New Look’s [discontinued] Pure Colour Dark Purple lipliner.