A Behind the Scenes Peek at How We Create For LifeStyledByErica

September 14, 2018

When I started this blog in October of 2016 and I had not a clue what I was doing.  I knew my why, but I didn't know my how, but I jumped in anyway.  I thought it would be a hobby, I thought I could "half ass it" and still accomplish greatness.  I was wrong.  Those bloggers who are doing great things work their arses off.  To believe that I could write one post every two weeks or engage on instagram without a plan whenever I had a cute picture and still grow my platform like those other bloggers was an illusion.  The truth is I am still very much learning, that is one of the things I love about my blog!  I am constantly challenged to learn how to move the needle.

The last few weeks I have gotten into a groove with my shoots, instagram aesthetic and blog posts and I am feeling really good about it.  I have been writing no less than 2 blog posts a week (consistency is key), planning ahead, editing and posting a photo on my feed every morning at the same time (it is important to figure out a time to post and stick to that schedule so people come to expect it , again consistency is key. 7am works for me because I am having my first cup of coffee before starting my day before all the crazies happen).  Slowly but surely I have fallen into a groove that works for me and I am already seeing results.  Just this week I was asked by a fellow blogger starting out, "how do you post pictures everyday?" I was flattered and thought to myself, why is she asking me?? What makes me qualified?  I have about 3500 followers on instagram and a modest amount of traffic to my blog then it hit me, people are taking notice of my work, enough so, to ask about MY process.  I LOVE reading other ladies who are putting in the work to make their passions a reality so I thought I would share my process to help some of you who might be interested in moonlighting in a passion project while working a 9-5, managing a home and family etc.

1) Fully Commit 

When I started this blog I was excited but also apprehensive.  I didn't want to come off shallow, vein or tone death.  I thought people irl wouldn't take me seriously if they knew I had an interest in fashion and a blog to boot!  I also didn't want to just push consumerism.  Then I realized, I have a unique voice.  I am neither shallow nor vein and women can enjoy fashion and still be "serious" and smart, the two weren't mutually exclusive.  The other eureka moment was I can mix my love for fashion with posts that inspire me and my readers.  I can share my outlook on life and the same advice I share with my closest friends with all of you!  This adjustment has reignited my passion for my blog.  I know that the only way my blog will grow is when I do.   Anything you are passionate about pursuing should be taken as seriously as a paid job.  I mean its your life and your happiness on the line here and you never want to live with the regret of never trying.  And when you do go for it give it your all, otherwise what is the point?  Yes it will be hard, no you aren't going to be an overnight success but that is ok.  I actually prefer it that way.  I love putting in the work. 😀

2) Creating Content

Now we have the commitment locked down.  What is next?  A plan and execution!  I am still working on this part although we are getting somewhere, again it takes time.  My loving and supportive husband takes all of my photos.  Before we head out to shoot we will spend some time looking at some photography inspo and talk about it.  This is important, you need a plan and you should share it with your photographer so they have it in mind when they shoot.

We typically shoot on the weekends and between changing outfits and locations I would say it takes us about an hour to an hour and half to shoot.  I plan a minimum of three looks (usually a workwear style and a weekend look), pack a bag, load up the car and head to the location.  Sometimes I have a location in mind, sometimes my hubby does.  Something I am trying to be more mindful about is the "look" I am trying to achieve.  Depending on the look I've styled, I might want more of a cityscape with storefronts like here or a more gritty style we will look for a location that is more casual or industrial like here . I am still learning how to have a holistic approach to our work, it is after all a form of art and no I am not kidding.  It is being mindful and giving 100% of my energy into honing my craft and feeding my creativity.

3) Research and Feedback

After we shoot, my husband and I will sit at a local Starbuck's (he gets paid in iced coffees, lol) and review the pictures we have just taken.  We will discuss our hits and our misses.  Again, we aren't professionals, we are learning as we go.  My husband is an amateur, self taught photographer, he is learning how to work with locations, angles, light, background.  He is also learning how important paying attention to the subject's details can be for example, if my shirt is bunched or my collar isn't even from changing in the car in between shoots (no, it isn't all glamorous😜), or I have got lipstick on my teeth and he doesn't notice, those pictures are unusable.  He is also learning how to direct me and I am finally learning how to be directed.😁This is for another post because when we first started I was the most difficult to shoot, we would argue and it was just generally unpleasant.  I am learning to trust him.  He understands what I am trying to create, he sees my vision and tries his hardest to help me realize it.  It is a process, it is not just a matter of taking a few pictures.  We put in the work.  We are perfectionists, we want to create great stuff.

4) Writing 

Now when it comes to writing for the blog, I take my work seriously.  I know that people enjoy pretty photos, I know I do!   But I also enjoy bloggers of substance and I know that my audience enjoys that too.  I am not only a fashion blogger, I am a lifestyle blogger.  I am sharing my unique voice with you and building a relationship with my readers.  I am creating a space of inspiration, lightheartedness but also empowerment and self love.  That is important and meaningful to me.  

Logistically speaking: If you follow me on instagram then you might remember in late July I took the plunge and invested in a planner!  That's right, I said it.  I knew that if I was going to take this to the next level I needed to be more methodical and accountable.  I carry this planner around with me everywhere in case I get hit with a topic idea and those can come from anywhere.  I am constantly thinking about bringing real life value to my readers through the content I create.  For example this summer my husband and I set a savings goal in order to purchase a new car, yay!  I was able to save $4K in 3 months and it hit me why don't I breakdown how I did that and I shared it in this post. Or after meeting up with a few friends and recognizing a pattern of discussion on the topic of toxic friendships, I thought I have been blessed with incredible friends and that didn't just happen to me.  It took me all of my twenties to understand how to be a good friend and what a good friend looks like, so I shared this post on identifying the bad friendships.  Typically on the weekend I will plan some topics I would like to write about that week and take into consideration work and social obligations and plan a writing schedule around that and STICK to it! Discipline is key here, no excuses. Yes I have long days beginning with a hour and half worth of traffic going into the office and an hour trying to get home but again this is something I love doing so I make the time for it.

Shop this look

That is all for now.  I think I will save my "lessons learned" for another post.  But I have a question for you?  What are you passionate about?  What is it that you always wanted to do but haven't dared or haven't been able to find the time? Share below!

Thanks for reading and don't forget to subscribe and follow me on instagram.

Until next time. 💋

By LifeStyledbyErica

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