If you spend enough time in the blogging community, you’ll know there’s a joke about being the blogger’s blogger. People want to know how to be successful. They want the tips for being the next blogging sensation and your blogger essentials. And they want to do it all in the next month.
But here’s the thing: it doesn’t work like that. Building a blog and a community takes time. And when you hear people say the same things over and over again, it’s because it’s probably true. So today I’m going to breakdown blogger life in my own way. I’m going to share my system for doing everything and what my essentials are for running my blog. It’s probably going to be a long one. So let’s get started.
In the two plus years I’ve had the blog, I’ve changed quite a bit. New name, more than one site design, a complete re-branding and more have all happened. Yet I’ve also learned a lot about creating a system and schedule that works for me. This looks a bit different for everyone. But there are a few items I consider my blogger essentials to keep me organized and on track no matter where I am.
I’ve played around with a few ways to do this. But at the end of the day, I always go back to my digital calendar. There’s a color coded system that I use for blog posts, Youtube videos and now the occasional IGTV video. This helps me look ahead in case I need to order anything for reviews. I can also easily swap things around if I feel like I need to break up too many of one type of post. I use a light pink for blog posts and a darker pink for Youtube videos.
It’s taken me a while to really be able to comfortably schedule my content a month out. And there are weeks where I’ll push something back because I’m just not in the right space with it. Sometimes I want to test something for longer or don’t feel like I’ve got quite the grasp on it I want before I share. A digital calendar makes it easier to move things around. Plus, I always have access to it when I’m on the go.
MY BULLET JOURNAL
A year later and I’m still obsessed with my bullet journal. It’s quickly become one of my blogger essentials. I’ve tried a few different things with it but only a few have stuck around. When I need to get my brain down on paper, it’s my go to. It’s also where a good chunk of my post ideas get broken down. I’m pretty slack with using the index in the front. But I’ll sit down and breakdown posts for a week so I can think ahead for writing & photo purposes. It’s also where I do meal prepping for our house. And at the beginning of the month, I use it to record stats so I can see how What Savvy Said is growing.
I hit a rut a while back in navigating working for myself. I was so used to be on everyone else’s schedule, I didn’t know how to get myself on track. Eventually, the lightbulb went off and I remembered how I managed it all in college. A planner was too vague and I wanted a place to keep all of my lists. The bullet journal* has been perfect for all of it. Between my phone, my computer and my journal, I stay fairly organized. And it’s easy to keep on top of things when I’m on the go.
When I first started out, I was a strong Photoshop user. I took a class ages ago and was slightly more familiar. But these days I’m more of a regular Lightroom user. One of my biggest goals last year was to make sure I was using original photography. I have nothing against using stock photos and think they can be a great time saver. However, I know for the aesthetic of my blog & instagram, it’s important that my photos match my brand everywhere they are shown. Lightroom has been an amazing tool in helping me with this challenge.
Because I post far more pictures on instagram than my blog, I like to be able to edit on the go. And since I want everything to match between the two, I need to be able to access the same resources to edit. If I’m using the pictures on the blog, I mostly edit with Lightroom on my laptop. There are lots of little back end things I like to be able to do that are just easier from my laptop before uploading to a post. But I do like to be able to edit on the fly and Lightroom mobile is great for that. I found an online tutorial that teaches you how to get your presets in Lightroom mobile*. So now I can make sure my branding matches no matter where I post.
These days iPhone cameras are so amazing that you don’t necessarily have to upgrade cameras to get the job done. It took me quite a while to make the jump but it’s quickly become one of my blogger essentials. However, if it’s not in your budget, then just use what you have to make it work. I spent the first 1+ using a few different cameras to take pictures before I upgraded. My phone, a Nikon d3000 and my vlogging camera (Canon g7x*) were all used at some point. Nevertheless, I finally decided to upgrade in March and I’m so incredibly glad I did.
My current camera combination of choice is my Fujifilm X-T2* with a 35mm lens*. I read loads of reviews before making my purchase because I knew it would be an investment. Currently, I own two different lenses because I wanted the option for a zoom lens. However, I really only use the 35mm. It does a great job of helping me get the blurred effect around the items in my picture. Plus, the fuji camera is amazing. I’m still a bit camera illiterate so I found a free course online to help me really learn the Fuji specifics. But it’s made a huge difference in teaching me the little things and helping me make the most of my purchase.
When I started the blog, one of my major goals was to be able to work from anywhere. I wanted to be able to travel as much as possible and get my work done no matter where in the world I landed. It took me a while invest in my soundproof headphones but they are worth every penny. Again this is a personal preference. I know there are plenty of bloggers who probably function without these. But if we are going to talk about blogger essentials for running What Savvy Said, I’d be remiss if I didn’t include my Bose headphones*.
There always tend to be things on the go in my house. Whether it’s loud TVs or dogs barking, I have a heard time zoning out. Headphones have helped me to really make my office functional no matter where I set up. I can tune out the plane, cafe or house noises and just work. My home office situation is currently in transition so having noise cancelling headphones is essential to my life. Plus, it means no matter I am in the world I can set up my office.
Overall, these are the top things that help me in my everyday life. There are a few apps I use and some other wisdom I’ll be sharing in posts over the next few months. But if I’m talking about the basics of how I do things, these are the items I’m using time and time again. If you’re a blogger or on the go girl boss, I’d love to now your essentials. And if you have any other blogger post requests, let me know below.