My first year of Blogging

 I still remember writing my first blog post last September. I didn’t really know what I wanted to achieve out of starting a blog, I just knew it was something I wanted to try.  I thought a blog could be a fun platform to share our story; the past, the present and dreams for the future.  I thought I’d share some of the life lessons I had learned and hopefully be a positive voice in this great big online world. What I’ve learned over the past year is how to blog with strategic planning and smart tools.

35 Blog posts later, I can definitely say that I’ve learned a lot about this world of blogging and also a lot about myself, my goals, and what I have the ability achieve from my little corner of the online world – Karin U Living –

I often get asked questions about Blogging and Instagram and I’m always more than happy to share.  So, I thought I’d share a few of the tips I’ve learned, tools I’ve found helpful and systems I’ve put into place that help me make the most of my blogging adventure.

Photography

I knew that I wanted good photography on both my blog and my Instagram.  I’m a big believer in doing things with excellence and putting my best foot forward. The only issue I have is that I am not a photographer LOL.  Well, besides typical “Momtography” . Off course, I’ve always been the camera happy mama trying to document each and every moment.

Blogging is very much about creating content and then sharing it.  I believe that photography is like the first impression.  Its the first thing that draws a reader in and that’s why I’m a firm believer in investing in good photography whether that be purchasing the tools you need to produce it yourself or finding a photographer who can help you bring your visions to life from behind the lens.

I’ve definitely learned a lot about photography this year.  Different angles to use, how important the right lighting can be, and how to do basic editing on a photo.  I try to be self sufficient with some of my photography needs and for this I use my trusty iPhone 8 plus and probably over use the portrait setting because I just love it so much;) For the majority of my photo needs though, I leave it to the professionals:)

The beautiful Bernine Marie – My dear friend and photographer

Strategic Planning

I am SO fortunate to have an incredible photographer as a friend so before I even published my first blog post, she was the person I met with to see if we could form an ongoing partnership when it came to my photography needs.

I knew that my life was already busy enough and I didn’t want the stress of constantly creating content.  Growing a blog and Instagram account requires consistent posting so I needed to create a game plan that would work within my already busy life and take the stress out of creating content on a daily basis.

So, my photographer Bernine and I decided to meet once a month and create a good portion of my months worth of content in one sitting.  This has worked out perfect and continues to work great.  I plan all my partnership and sponsored posts for the month and we take photos to complete these agreements.

Then, I use an app to plan out my feed for the month and voila! no stress about daily creation.  Instead I’ve created it all when I was already feeling inspired.  Its a win for the companies I’m representing and a win for my sanity!

Helpful Tools

Is there an app for that? If so, I want it! I’m all about using tools that are available to me when I can, especially if they help me be more efficient with my time.  Here are my favourite apps for blogging and Instagram

Planoly

A game changer for planning posts in advance and seeing how the photos will look together. Having a cohesive Instagram feed is so important and this app ensures that you can preview

Pic Tap Go

I use this app for quick edits on my photos.  I’ve changed my look over the past year a few times so have used this app a variety of ways.  These days I basically use this app for brightening my photos and then at times cooling them down

Lightroom Mobile

A few months ago I wanted to up up my cohesive look on Instagram so decided to purchase a preset.  Basically, a preset is a filter that you add to all of your photos giving them a similar look which in turn bring an extra level of cohesiveness to your brand.  I purchased this preset through Etsy from Willow Collective and really love what it does with my photos:) . The preset is used with the mobile version of Lightroom which makes it super easy to use right on my iphone

Hype Type

This is a fun app that adds some pizzaz to your Instagram stories.

Unfold

Another great app for adding something more unique to your Instagram stories.  There are a variety of different templates and ways to use this app but I personally use it to add some creativity to my stories.

Over

This app is fairly new to me.  A friend brought it to my attention a few months ago and so far I’m loving it as a tool for making graphics that can be used on a variety of platforms.  This is great for making quick advertisements, overlaying quotes on a photo, and so much more! Again used right on your iPhone so super easy!  I recently used this app to make little icons for my story highlights:)

Canva

Canva is great used on their app but offers even more options on their full desktop version.  I’ve used Canva for Pinterest graphics, my media kit, various graphics and more!

Am I having fun yet

Its no lie that blogging takes time, energy and some hard work.  The beauty of it for me is that it’s something I love to do, and it brings joy.  Its my creative outlet, its something that I do for myself and the opportunities that have come my way have been some really fun perks:)

I’m excited to continue growing this little creative corner of my life and finding new ways to add my own personal touch!

Until next time

xoxo

 

 

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6 Comments

  1. October 10, 2018 / 4:46 pm

    I also have a best friend photog and it’s been a collaboration made in heaven! We shoot a full two months worth of content (since most posts I take images for myself while we are out and about) in one setting and she is always great for bouncing ideas. It’s a match made in heaven!!

  2. October 10, 2018 / 5:27 pm

    Happy Bloggerversary!! May you have much success in the coming year!

  3. October 11, 2018 / 10:30 am

    What a resourceful post! I haven’t heard of many of the tools you use but will look into these. I have done so little with Instagram stories so far… I’m mostly getting comfortable with being on video!

  4. October 11, 2018 / 11:45 am

    You know more than I did my 1st year. Hiring a photographer is smart.

  5. October 11, 2018 / 2:03 pm

    I have to say, for one year of blogging your site looks amazing! I am still learning new things about blogging every day (ha, many days feeling like I know less and less about what in the world I’m doing). It’s encouraging to see other bloggers figuring it out and doing well because it encourages me. Happy blogaversary!

  6. October 11, 2018 / 11:01 pm

    I love hearing about your adventure! Happy Bloggerversary 🙂

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