How long it actually takes to produce one blog post

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So how long does it actually take to produce one blog post?

A lot of people think that blogging is just about taking pretty photos and getting free stuff. While that’s the fun part of blogging, there is much more work that goes beyond that. There is actually quite a bit of work that goes into producing one blog post. So today I want to give you an inside look of what it’s like being a content creator, a blogger, a writer, a model, and editor. So we’re going to  take you behind the scenes of what it took to produce one blog post.

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1. Photo shoot location/taking photos (1-2 hours)

Photo shoots are one of my favorite parts about blogging. I try to shoot in different areas around the city. Sometimes it only takes me 15 min to pick out a photo shoot location, sometimes it takes me 30 min or even close to an hour if I’m doing research. Typically, I use Yelp, Google, and Instagram to find new places to shoot.

For my Seattle’s Most Instagrammable Walls project, I probably spent several hours researching the murals around the city. For my Floral Boots post, I’ve searched for parking garages in Downtown Seattle and picked one from Yelp.

My recommendation for selecting photo shoot locations is to select a place with a ton of variety. I love shooting in places with lots of little restaurants, shops, and cafes because the scenery changes with each store front. For instance, I shot in Ballard with my friend Karya and we literally took 3 different outfits in span of 2 blocks.

2. Taking Photos (1-2 hours)

I’ve mentioned this before, but I typically can shoot 3-5 outfits in one hour. Sometimes I end up shooting for 2 hours if I have to go back and forth to my car to change or if I’m wandering around the city looking for a coffee shop to change in.

My advice for taking photos: If you’re still new to blogging and getting use to in front of the camera, I do recommend taking your time. It takes practice learning your angles and envisioning how your posing is translating on camera.

3. Wait time for photos (3 days – 1 week)

(not in included in total time to produce a blog post)

Since I out source photography, I count the cost to produce the blog post but don’t count the time. I pay for all the professional photos you see on my blog.

Outsourcing photography allows me to focus on my strengths: styling outfits, taking photos, and writing. Since I work full time, go to grad school, and blog, I also outsource photography to keep my sanity.

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4. Brainstorm blog topics (30 min – 1 hr)

While I still do write just fashion focused blog post, I’ve found I’m so much happier writing about career and life experiences/tips. I love to write about what I do, what I’ve learned, and what advice I can give wearing the clothes. So I truly take the time to brainstorm the old fashion way, with a pen and paper, to thoughtfully write about an experience, a lesson, or a style tip.

Sometimes brainstorming comes as easy as turning on the faucet. And sometimes waiting for inspiration is like waiting for a drought to end in the desert. When I sit down to brainstorm, I try to give myself 30min – 1 hour. I put my ideas down and if an idea starts to flow, I create an outline for a blog post. But if I’m feeling really stuck, I try not to force it. I try to put my pen down and revisit it some other time so I don’t get frustrated.

5. Writing + Editing to produce one blog post (1-2 hrs)

After I’m down brainstorming and outlining, I move onto my laptop to actually write the post. If the post is less than a 500 words, I can usually write out in 20-30 min and then edit in 20-30 min. But if the post is over a 1000 words, like How to Reach Out and Collaborate with Brands or How One of My Biggest Failures Taught Me How to Fail Forward, it takes me probably close to 2 hours to write and edit it all.

Advice:

If writing or editing isn’t your forte, I would consider outsourcing part of this. I know plenty of bloggers who hire copy editors to edit their posts.

I see myself as a writer and a storyteller, so I keep editing in house because I enjoy the entire writing process.

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6. SEO the blog post (15-30 min)

I recently migrated over to WordPress and added the Yoast SEO plug in. While I absolutely love how I can optimize the SEO for my blog post, it is added time to produce one blog post. Choosing a key work, making sure it appears enough throughout your blog post, and more have been added steps before I hit publish.

7. Share the blog post on social media (30 min- 1 hr)

Just because you hit publish doesn’t mean your work is done… now it’s time to write the copy for Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and whatever other social platforms you share.

For Instagram:

It takes time to tag all the brands, choose the appropriate or required hash tags, link your photo and the products to Reward Style (if you use this), and then hit publish.

If I’m with working with a brand, I’ve had to submit all photos and captions with hash tags to the brand for approval. And if the brands want revisions then you have to go through another cycle of approvals. After you publish the Instagram post, I share the post with the brand and make changes if they want anything added or taken out in the caption.

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8. The average time it takes to produce one blog post: 5 – 8 hours.

On average a blog post can take anywhere from 5 – 8 hours to produce. Typically I produce 2 blog posts a week, so I can spend up to 16 hours week (especially if I had a photo shoot that week) creating content for Emma’s Edition. If I don’t shoot for during the week since I stacked my outfits, doing the entire process of creating 2 blog posts may just take me 8 hours or so. I also pay for photography so that’s an added cost with time.

So this is a big reason why I always ask brands to see if they have budget for Instagram posts and blog posts. I totally understand if a brand is just starting out and may not have the influencer marketing budget, I do try my best to negotiate with them. But for more establish brands I do always ask.

There you have it friends. The steps and time it takes to produce one blog post. While I do encourage people out there to create their own blogs and share their creativity, I do want to share what it’s really like behind the scenes.

The pretty photos are just a part of the equation. At the end of the day, whether or not you’re working with a brand, you have to deliver quality content to your readers. I spend all this time to ensure that I’m delivering value to you at the end of the day, whether it’s about fashion, career, or life tips.

Shop my exact pair of shoes & scarf – look alike dress:

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Thank you for reading!

Love,

Emma

Photos: Holly Phan

6 Comments

  1. January 22, 2018 / 12:00 pm

    PREACH. Thank you for sharing this because this is exactly what goes through my mind every time someone says “that’s so cool you get free clothes.” It is a lot of work!

  2. January 22, 2018 / 3:41 pm

    THISSSS Emma, is such a great read. I always love your blog, so learn so much from it. And what I already knew is always shared in a new perspective or added info. I always struggle with adding photos, it takes me like 20-40 mind just doing the photos. Since I do 75% of my own photography I have to add like 5-7 more hours for cooking/baking, photo shoot, and editing. Lately, I have been working so hard on learning food video’s and recipe sharing. That is such a ridiculously hard area for me. The research in blogging is so fun, but hard too. I write all my own wording, like you. I rarely do brand info sharing, unless they specifically say “this” has to be in the post. I honestly, struggle the most with the editing, because I am dyslexic and I read it that way and write it backwards. Not letters or even a word, but a whole sentence. Kinda like Spanish and English, the breakdown of the word placement happens and causes the sentences to be confusing.

    I love all this info, I never thought of doing a outline before. I always wanted my blog to be just me sharing my random thoughts, now that I work with companies I notice my voice, editing, and blog are a little less fun and inspired. I do enjoy learning to have it be more professional. Maybe some day the two writing styles will merge.
    I am gonna be sharing this for sure.

  3. January 23, 2018 / 7:41 am

    This is fantastic! There is so. I have more to blogging than just sitting down and writing. Rather, I should say successful blogging takes a ton of work. You inspire me!

  4. January 23, 2018 / 12:25 pm

    Thank you Emma – what an awesome read (and to Carleeh!) for bringing this to my attention. Since we work with bloggers and brands every single day, we’re always looking for better ways to talk to brands about what influencers are actually doing day in and day out to show why we want to compensate them the way we do / how much time / energy bloggers put into their work.

    Looking forward to following more of your blog posts and hope to meet you someday (I’m a fellow PNW’er – in Portland).

    Also – if you ever want to – you should join Sweat Pink! 🙂 We’d love to have you!

  5. January 23, 2018 / 12:26 pm

    Oh ps- if you ever do want to join Sweat Pink, I’ve left the URL for you in this comment! 🙂

  6. January 23, 2018 / 1:09 pm

    This is a great and informative post Emma. You did a wonderful job describing the pulling teeth part of blogging. It’s not as easy as a pretty picture and even taking pictures take quite a bit of time. I agree with everything you mentioned here except for the SEO category and working with brands. I know nothing about that and still in the process of working it out information wise and learning what it takes to make a blog stand out. I am so glad I came across your profile on Instagram. Love your work and you are doing wonderful things. Happy Tuesday!

    Maureen | http://www.littlemisscasual.com

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