Last week I put out a call for any questions people had for me to put in a post. I said it could be about anything, they were all about blogging. This turned out great because Wednesday marked the end of my second year blogging (blogging consistently, at least). I’ve answered some submitted questions plus a few more based off of some questions I’ve gotten over time and to keep with the blogging theme.

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Q: What made you want to start a blog?

First, I started blogging in high school. My very first blogs were about creative writing and photography. None of them lasted super long because I was in high school/college, and I was more interested in novel writing and using flickr/facebook for my photos.

I started a more ‘serious’ blog sometime after graduating, where I shared writings and thoughts on writer-ish things. (At this point I had Lyme, so I was sort of processing that as well.) Still, I only did so much and found it hard to keep up.

At one point, because I was working at Kohl’s, I began using Pinterest to find outfit ideas. This revealed the rest of the blogging world to me. Most of all I latched onto fashion blogs (the first I followed very diligently was Lizzie in Lace).

I hadn’t explored, admitted, or shared my love for fashion before, partly because I found that looking the way I did, many people would assume things about my personality and criticize how I looked when I focused on fashion. (“You look like a hippie,” or, “You look like Barbie.”) Because of this and people’s assumptions about my personality I didn’t want to feed the stigma. For that reason, I didn’t start to look into fashion seriously until the last year of my undergrad (very secretly and slowly).

When 2016 rolled around I had been bit by the blogging bug. I wanted to share my outfits and connect with people who were like-minded. My health was also declining, and right before I began my first “real” blog in 2017 I had stepped out of an internship position. I was unable to work usual jobs, and I hoped that, with time, maybe the blog could bring in a side income.

Gradually I began to miss sharing my other creative habits and loathed the commercial aspect of blogging. Eventually, I realized I needed to share all my creative practices and blog about the creative process, which is where I am today. I don’t have any desire to make money off of it, and if by some means comes about to do that, I’m not opposed, but I don’t want it to get in the way of the things I love to share here. I still see it primarily as sharing my life and creative habits.

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Q: How long does it take to plan/create a post?

It depends. The writing is the quickest, the only part that takes long is I like to have it sit a day before I edit and post it. Sometimes a special post takes long time. Usually on a more serious or deeper topic that I chew on over time.

Photography can run anywhere from 30-90 minutes (averaging 60) because I do it all myself. Because I do have any way to see what is being shot I take anywhere from 100-300 pictures for each look/shoot. The fatigue and health issues from Lyme’s disease are the reasons I do take more photos and post more often.

Editing can be very quick if all the colors are processed right and the images turned out well. I have my own presets that I spent a long time developing and those are almost one-click edits (with a few adjustments). More recently I’ve been playing with textures and graphic design elements, which adds a bit more time.

Add it all together and a blog post could take 1 hour to 4 hours to put together, depending on how it all works out.

Q: What camera/editing equipment do you use?

I used an old Canon Rebel T1i with a kit lens until the lens broke, now I’m borrowing my brother’s Canon Rebel T5… (another reason why I haven’t shot as much).

shoot with a tripod and a basic wired remote with an extension wire because it allows me to use the auto-focus and speeds up the process.

Originally I edited my photos using a free software program called Darktable (I couldn’t afford Adobe subscriptions). Now I use Lightroom Classic, Photoshop, and sometimes Lightroom CC. On Instagram I will edit stories using Snapseed, VSCO, and Afterlight.

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Q: Where do you shop?

I shop several places, but I usually only end up buying from a few. Here are my most frequent stores:

  • Kohl’s (mostly Lauren Conrad’s line)
  • T.J.Maxx
  • Ann Taylor
  • Piper & Scoot (Boutique)
  • Thrifting

Last year I also picked up a few pieces from Anthropologie and Morning Lavender (Boutique).

I have a limited budget and I buy very specifically, so I will visit several different stores to see what is on sale and if anything fits my wish list.

Q: Any advice to people starting a new blog?

Enjoy the process, take your time, and allow yourself to develop as a creator. Don’t trap yourself in a niche too narrow or a branding/visual style that is too specific. Take the time to develop and learn things yourself, rather than copying the work of others. Growth might be slow, but the stronger you become in your own style, the better your growth will be. While my numbers are still very smallI’ve noticed a bump up and a bit more reach in the last two months as I’ve come into a place that feels comfortable and very me.

And that’s it! Also, what do you think of the new editing style? I really love some magazine and graphic design spreads and am playing around with how to make it work for my blog.

Thank you to those of you who come and read. I am so grateful for each one of you.

Here’s to more years! God bless,

Mary

2 Comments

  1. Marilyn March 14, 2019 at 10:58 pm

    Thank you for this informative blog. The answers are helpful to all.
    Marilyn

    Reply
    1. Mary Tait March 17, 2019 at 1:18 am

      You’re welcome, Marilyn. And thank you for reading.

      Reply

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