In Part 2: Social Media and Blogging platforms, you established which platforms you are going to use. The logical next step, therefore, is deciding what content you are going to display on these platforms. I use three key mediums of content: pictures, video and written content. In this part of the series, I talk about the technical aspects of content creation such as photography, editing and writing. In Part 4 of the series, I will talk about getting creating with content to keep it interesting and how you can really differentiate your content.
– iPhone vs. DSLR- when you start a blog that requires a lot of photography, many questions may arise around how existing bloggers get such wonderful pictures. I know bloggers that use the camera on their phone who are as successful as bloggers that use DSLRs. So it’s clear that blogging success is more about the quality of your content rather than how professional the photograph looks. Having said that, the quality of the camera on mobile phones these days, specifically the iPhone7, is as good as a professional camera. I personally use a combination of both, however, the more I use a DSLR, the more I enjoy the quality of the photographs, as they are easier to edit.
If you do not have the resources to get a DSLR at the moment, trust me your phone is more than enough. Aimee Song, of Song of Style, uses her iPhone for most of her pictures and has over 4 million followers.
– Photographer- I used to think I could not start a blog without a professional photographer, however when my boyfriend, with no previous photography experience, offered to help out with the photography, I realised that it wasn’t rocket science. If you don’t have a boyfriend to help you out, ask your parents. And if they can’t, ask a friend. You can basically ask anyone who is around. Just tell them what you want in the frame and if they don’t get what you want, you can always crop and edit the picture.
If you’re ALL alone, I can say through experience that some of my best pictures have been taken with a timer on a tripod. It is quite fun trying to get the perfect picture against the timer. Also, it can be quite satisfying knowing you produced some gorgeous picture by yourself. Alternatively, take pictures that don’t involve you in the picture!
– Laptop- I use Lightroom to edit my blog photos (and some Instagram pictures). Lightroom is the simplified version of Photoshop and I find it easier to edit pictures on Lightroom rather than on a few apps on my phone. However, sometimes you just need to edit on the go, so this is where the below options are better. There are thousands of Lightroom tutorials on YouTube, which I used to learn the basics of editing. After that, you just have to play around with the effects to find a look that you like and keep it consistent across pictures.
Facetune- I use this one primarily to smooth out really bad skin blemishes. I also use it to correct white backgrounds. The whiten tool is a saviour when you have pictures shot in yellow lighting.
Snapseed- this app is great when you have uneven lighting or colour. It allows you to target edit areas. Also, they have recently introduced a writing tool that allows you to put funky quote overlays on your pictures. If you only have time for one app, this one should be it.
VSCO Cam- I used to use VSCO a lot more before than I do now, for the filters. My pictures are now predominantly edited on Lightroom but for those short on time, I suggest choosing a great VSCO filter and pop it on each time rather than spending hours on editing. My favourites are HB2 and A6.
Darkroom- I paid for the pro version of this app for one feature, which allows you to reduce the saturation of individual colours. Sometimes backgrounds may have too much colour that makes the picture look busy and since I have a relatively neutral feed, I like my backgrounds to be quite clean. I usually just remove any green (trees and grass) to make the picture look cleaner.
Another key element of blogging is written content. Whether it’s your Instagram captions, Facebook posts or blog posts, your writing has to be on-point. Spelling and grammar really differentiates a professional and amateur blog. A few mistakes here and there make your blog real and personal, however, constant errors, will irritate most readers and reduce your credibility.
– Combating errors- I always write my Instagram captions in notes on my phone and blog posts in Microsoft Word before I officially post them. This ensures that obvious spelling and grammar errors are rectified. However, if sentence structure and writing are generally not something that you are comfortable with, you may want to work on those or hire someone to edit your work (fiverr.com may be handy here) before you post. Alternatively, you can focus on images and videos to combat this issue.
If you are not 100% convinced about the quality of your content, written or visual, don’t post it. There have been many times when I have shared average pictures on my Instagram feed just because I really wanted to share the outfit I was wearing. In the long run, quality is much more important and I regret posting those sub-standard pictures. It’s better not to post.Spend a few hours on the weekend getting content ready for the week. You end up posting your worst content when you try and find and edit a random picture to post or whip up a quick blog post. This comes back to, if it’s not perfect, don’t post it!
This part has covered how to create content for your blogging platforms. Part 4 talks about getting creative with your content and ideas to keep your followers interested. I will be adding a whole heap of tips and tricks I use to edit and create content in my eBook, which I will be releasing later in the year. Do subscribe to Gourmet Runway to be updated on the next part of the series and information about the eBook!
Thank you so much for reading!
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