It's a TAG Post, yay! I have been tagged by the lovely Huda of the The Lipstickholic Blog to give a Virtual Blog Tour - Share my writing and post creation process with the lovely readers. There are many tag posts which I enjoy doing. This specific one is really important because we all get to share how blogging isn't just a click and paste. Those who enjoy writing about their passion(s) - beauty, travel, fashion, lifestyle, music, world affairs and/or ANY topic under the sky - put in a lot of effort into it. See me share some insights as a newbie myself - It'll help y'all aspiring bloggers thinking to create their own beauty blog!
1. WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON?
A lot of things, precisely. Sometimes I even get a certain blog post idea while I am half asleep. I'm more of a detailed planner and laggard in execution - one reason is I'm lazy and another (more important) one is that I want everything to be as close to perfect as it can be. Be it photography, writing, or the general content. This instinct makes me start different posts and keep them in the pipeline for development. Then, I publish them according to the demand or readers' choice. Few things that are underway - MAC Lipstick Dupes, Comparison of More Than 10 Primers, NARS Orgasm Dupes, Highlighters Collection, Foundations Collection, Naked 3 Dupe, Medora Collection Swatches, Wet n' Wild Lipsticks Collection and so much more. I'm particularly fond of such comparison posts and there are less of them in Pakistani blogging, so I'd attempt to do my share in bridging that gap :-) Here's a little peek ;-)
2. HOW DOES YOUR WORK DIFFER FROM OTHERS OF ITS TYPE/GENRE?
I am not reinventing the wheel here, frankly :-) It's good ol' beauty, fashion, and lifestyle blogging. I don't consider myself or my content to be unique, but I try to reflect my personality in what I put forth. That is important for your originality. I really struggle with keeping my writing short & sweet. Instead, I make it long & entertaining. It's like talking to your friends. You just can't keep to one topic. I have to digress a little, put in a joke or two and come back to what's being discussed. It makes the blog post friendly, reliable, and personal. Like it is coming from a source they can trust. Not like a robotic and sponsored press release. I sincerely hope the readers enjoy reading and it's worth their while.
3. WHY DO YOU WRITE WHAT YOU DO?
You can't blog well, if you don't love writing. Period. Interestingly, writing hasn't been my passion, but something of a strength. I had an imagination and liked the word-play. That made me freelance as a writer since I was 16. The more I did it, the easier it became to communicate. I realized that I can converse well through my written words too. The newfound passion of beauty items, product photography, and picture editing converged with the writing skills to set up this blog. I write in my particular way because that's how I speak and I'd always wanted my blog to be the virtual voice. A type of conversation. Witty, informal, yet informative.
4. HOW DOES YOUR WRITING PROCESS WORK?
Attention Bloggers-To-Be: I'd bore you with few extra details because something similar has been asked by several people via my Facebook multiple times. Mostly, the process begins with buying the product :-P Before I get to the writing part, I take pictures, preferably in natural light. Else, under a bright lamp I had with me in Lahore. The cameras I have been using are DSLR Nikon D90 and Nikon CoolPix S4400. Initially, you'd need to take a lot of pictures to figure out what setting, lighting, and background works the best for your products. You need to take care of the fact that the pictures are clear and reflect the right shade. It doesn't have to be perfect, because you can get to that in editing. Note that editing alone can't make a picture work - unless of course you're a photoshop guru :-P You still need the base picture to be decent enough.
After I am done with the pictures, I transfer them to the BLOG folder in my laptop:
Excuse the random clutter, this does need some cleaning :-D Let me share the raw-est versions of some of my pictures:
Yep! That's my Mother's arm.
And Yep, she was sleeping.
That box you see is a the DDIY - DESI Do-It-Yourself lightbox with a cardboard box cut from 4 sides and covered with the translucent butter paper (or Shameez fabric in my case :P) from 3 sides. Keep lamps on 2-3 sides to have a well-lit box for the pictures. A MUCH EASIER option is a natural light though.
Then comes the editing part, I use PicMonkey for all my editing, since I find it user-friendly. Photoshop is a better option for you to learn though. Here's a Before and After of a photograph editing:
Simple cropping and a bit of light enhancement... you're done! I'm not a fan of putting filters in the pictures where you need to show the "shades" because they always alter the true color. Whatever you choose to do, make sure there is a theme to it that you personally consider right. Also, go through international blogs - both English and other foreign languages to see their style of editing and photography. I always find them inspirational. Plain white background is good for certain posts, but I do like changing it up. Gives a human quality to what you're writing/photographing. Shouldn't be tacky or distracting.
Do watermark the pictures, please. Although people still plagiarise and distribute your pictures without any consent, but still it's a procedure you shouldn't be lazy about. There are certain instances where you think putting a watermark is spoiling the swatch or look. You can always fade it a bit and put it somewhere central where it is difficult to crop or clone over.
Now, the writing part, I keep little notes (mental and smartphone) to record my experience using a certain product. Otherwise, it is hard to remember all the pertinent facts once you get to the writing board. I prefer writing directly on the Blogger post and upload pictures accordingly. A step I often skip is to re-read my post. It happens that I have written the post in a hurry and not used Dictionary check either, eventually, I spot errors once the post is published and that annoys me. Try not to do the same.
Ta-Da! Publish the post and share it over social media like your Facebook page, Google+, Bloglovin, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, and relevant Facebook groups :-)
That is all from my side, folks! Thank you again for the tag, Huda! I'd like to keep this going by tagging these lovely bloggers:
Ayesha of Ayesha's Blog
Huda Sheikh of Sparkling Makeup Blog
Nida of Nida's Beauty Bag
Saleha of Saleha's Makeup Diary
Include the link to the blogger who tagged you (ME! ME! ME!) and answer to the tag questions, ladies!
I hope you guys found it somewhat helpful :-) If you have any queries regarding blogging, in general, feel free to contact me on Facebook and I'd be glad to help you!