HOW I CREATE EACH BLOG POST


iPhone case from Iconemesis 

Just this morning I was reading LLYMLRS blog (lovely girl and one of the first blogs I ever read) and she posted a list of ideas for blog posts, one of which was to show what goes into the making of each article, and I thought that was a great idea! Writing this post feels like I am baring myself, but at the same time I feel super excited to share all this with you. As a blogger, I would love to read such posts on other blogs to see if I can find ideas for improvement, and I think that as a non-blogger it could be interesting to see what goes on behind the scenes.

So, is blogging really such a time consuming job? Judge for yourself!

1. Select an outfit to be photographed - either this is an outfit that I am already wearing out or in some cases it can be an outfit that I am hoping to wear in the future. Usually while deciding on an outfit, I need to consider which clothing items haven't made an appearance on the blog yet, as well as which items have been gifted to me by a company and urgently need to be featured in my photos.

2. Find a photographer - I do not have a single photographer who takes ALL of my photos, so it always varies between my friends and family members. I have taught my little brother how to take my photos, so usually I pay him for each shoot that we do. Unfortunately there are days where I can't get anyone to take my photos, and I don't like doing tripod posts in my room, so I am quite dependent on this.

3. Find a location for photos - when I am at home, there are plenty of nice places to take photos in the area, but during the last 2 weeks we had a massive heatwave and therefore didn't manage to find a suitable backdrop in the shadow. You know how people say "Oh, it's sunny, let's go take photos!" - well for me that is the biggest nightmare, because the photos always turn out way too bright and I am quite picky with having good quality pictures for my blog. Normally I go into the shadow, but I face the direction of the light so that it hits my skin better. If I'm in a public place like the city centre, quite a bit of time usually goes into finding a location that looks good, but isn't too busy. Passers-by are not used to seeing someone bending down and photographing your feet, so it can be kind of awkward. Also a lot of people try to be in your photos to photobomb and stuff, so finding a quieter spot can be quite beneficial.

4. Take photos and select 5-9 that make the cut - personally for me, selecting the final photos is what probably takes the most time. I usually have about 100 photos on average for each look,  and narrowing that down to only a few is very difficult. I need to make sure that I am staring in different directions, that my poses are different, that my clothes and details are shown the way I want and so on. Once I have picked the photos, I give them names, so that they can be found on Google a lot easier. If you click on any of my photos, you will see they are named "Kristiana Vasarina.jpg", "Luxembourg fashion blogger.jpg", "Missguided playsuit.jpg" and so on. This is because Google can't "see" the photos visually, so by giving the photo a name I make it easier for people to find what they are looking for. I will talk about more SEO tools later in this post.

5. Editing the photos - let me tell you, you simply cannot have great photos without editing them. Even if the camera settings have been adjusted perfectly, you will always find that the photo needs some more depth or shadows and such. I always adjust the curves in my photos (these are the brightness, highlights and shadows) and normally I add a slight filter or a color tone. I have a favorite online program called PicMonkey which I use for all my editing. They offer lots of options for adjusting your photos, plus you can even create your own texts and banners. I paid extra to have the full package, but even without that you still have plenty of options for editing your photos.

6. Establishing image order and adjusting the widths - I probably put way too much thought into the order of my photos. You will almost never see two vertical photos in a row, I will also normally (try to) avoid having two detail shots in a row and so on. I like having my favorite photo as the first one, because that is the photo that usually shows up on Bloglovin and GFC when there is a post preview. After establishing a nice flow of photos, I also like to end the post with a close favorite photo just to make it more memorable when the reader is done looking at the photos. I also resize my photos manually using HTML, so I first upload them at a width of about 2000-2500 px (photos of feet are usually only about 1000px or lower, as I don't want people zooming in on my feet haha), and then I adjust the width to 720px in the HTML code.

7. SEO image and post optimization - I cannot stress enough the importance of SEO tools as a blogger. After educating myself on the ways to optimize your blog for search engines, I now feel like an article would be wasted if I didn't apply some of these techniques in order to use the full potential. SEO is all about making your blog easier to find on Google. I already mentioned about me naming my photos, but just doing that is not enough. There are various SEO tools that you can use but I usually stick to the same ones - I do however suggest you have a research session of your own, to find what suits you best. For example, post titles are very important. Witty texts and song titles will not always be too helpful for people finding your posts, so, again, it is sometimes best to "describe" the post. You can do this in various ways, for instance, either mention some of the brands featured, maybe a special item that you are wearing, or the occasion what the look was for. Using straight up simple titles such as "How to...", "Pros and cons of...", "My guide to..." is also really good! To make my images appear more on Google, I add an alt tag to each photo using HTML code. This is to further "describe" the photo and it is what essentially boosts the image on Google. I tend to use the same descriptions as the names of the photos, as to not complicate the process.

8. Find all the correct links - in each post I strive to link all clothing items, the online stores and other blogs that I may have mentioned, because not only does this make life easier for my readers, but it is also another SEO tool. This type of "interaction", by mentioning items and websites, helps Google recognize you from your own little online bubble. Linking items in my outfit posts is also my main source of blog revenue - I work with RewardStyle and ShopSense, which are both websites that generate unique links for each item. If I use the RewardStyle link, then I will get commission when a reader has bought the item, however if I use ShopSense links, then I get paid when the reader has simply clicked on the item. Having said that, it is important to evaluate each item and decide whether my audience is more likely to buy it or simply look at it. My statistics show me who my audience is - the gender, main age groups, country and such. Sometimes finding the same or similar items can be a massive hassle, because I want to ensure that the items I promote are in stock and that it is generally a site I would recommend from my own experience. My usual rule is that I only link to items that I would suggest to my friends and family.

9. Write up text and publish - by this point I am usually quite exhausted, which is why the chit-chat tends to initially focus on the outfit, but will soon enough wander off into another direction and I start talking about my personal life and whatnot. The text is usually the easiest part and I also do admit that I sometimes slack on this, simply because it feels like I am finally so close to the finish line (aka "publish post" button). After I have written a decent amount of text (or way too much), I finally add the post labels (the category links under each post), and click "publish". Horaaaay!

..but the party does not start there.

10. Social media - after publishing your post, it will reach your usual audience, which typically consists of your GFC followers, your Bloglovin followers and also those super sweet and dedicated readers that type your address into the search bar each day. If you want to grow your audience, social media is extremely important, so promoting your post on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram is always a good idea. I definitely do not do this as much as I should, but I will work on that! When I link my post on Twitter, I always use the relevant hashtags, for instance, #fbloggers #fashionblogger #ootd and so on. I also @tag any brand that I have featured, because generally they love seeing people wear their stuff, so there is a high chance that you will get a retweet. Same goes for Facebook and Instagram. So promote, promote, promote! (but keep it within limits - nobody likes a pushy self promoter).

I hope you all enjoyed reading this and congrats if you made it this far! I just want to stress that I am not a full time blogger, nor am I an expert at all this. I am still learning every day, so these are simply the things that I have learned so far and do in each post. If you have any advice, I would love to read it! ♥




HOW TO TONE DOWN A PLAYSUIT


This last week has been rather slow for me in general as I have managed to catch a horrible cold in the middle of this heatwave. Therefore I'm spending most of my time in bed trying to get better while simultaneously trying not to get more ill from the incredibly necessary fan that is in my room. I have, however, tried to get a tan by falling asleep in the garden, which seems to be the only way I can somewhat tolerate the heat, haha.

I've had this Missguided playsuit for a while now and have only ever managed to wear it on nights out with high heels and a clutch bag. Since it is quite out there, with it's thin straps and revealing back, I decided that it needs some toning down to make for a good daytime look. I ended up pairing it with my new Quiz Clothing chiffon kimono which is slightly longer than the playsuit, which is exactly what I wanted.

As I mentioned before, I very much rather prefer wearing ankle boots in the summer rather than open shoes (unless they are heels, usually), so these Clarks suede booties will definitely become my go-to boot this summer! I got them off Cloggs.co.uk, which is an online retailer that I have worked with before, and I would highly recommend it to anyone, as they only sell quality items and offer all the best shoe brands such as Converse, Flossy, Ted Baker and more. I also got a massive crush on these Barbour wellies, which I may add to my birthday wishlist :-) Upon opening my shoe box I could immediately see the great quality of the boots - they are made of suede leather and are very sturdy. The zipper part closes very well too (is it just me who values this in shoes?). I think these boots add an edge to the outfit and definitely make it more of a daytime look.

I better get packing as me and Kate are going for an express trip to the UK tomorrow. Til later!

SCALLOP SKIRT & CHUNKY HEELS

Luxembourg fashion blogger Kristiana Vasarina ASOS High Tide Heeled Leather Sandals Primark clutch bag Latvia fashion blogger ASOS chunky white heels Missguided Scallop Mini Skirt ASOS heels
ASOS heels - Missguided skirt - H&M cami top (similar) - Topshop sunglasses - Primark Clutch bag (similar)

Since receiving my ASOS High Tide heels on Monday, I've developed a massive obsession with the shoes, as they are so comfortable and finish any outfit perfectly. Another reason to this obsession might be the fact that they are white, as opposed to my 20-something pairs of black high heels, so these feel rather *special*. I teamed them up with light colors keeping the black to a minimum with this new Primark clutch (because every outfit needs a bit of black). There is a massive heatwave in Luxembourg, so I will probably be wearing this outfit tomorrow night as it is loose enough for this weather.

Enough of the chit-chat, I'm now going to go outside and make the most of this weather (aka try my best to get a tan). ttyl. ♥

PRINTED CAMI DRESS AND SLIDERS

Latvia Fashion blogger Luxembourg fashion blogger Aztec dress blogger Modes blogs H&M sliders Kristiana Vasarina Pull & Bear dress Kristiana Vasarina
Loose cami dresses are my go-to item on the hottest of summer days. There is nothing worse than something that is tight and clings to your body, while all you really want is some fresh cold air, haha. I got this dress from Pull & Bear about a month ago and I absolutely love it! It has a couple of layers, as well as a cool strap situation going on at the front and the back, which adds a feminine edge to any dress or top. I paired the dress with my H&M sliders, which I got during my spring holiday, but haven't actually shown on the blog yet. I've already worn them loads, but mostly just around the house or around the town where I live.

Outfit details

Sunglasses - Topshop
Dress - Pull & Bear (similar here & here)
Earrings - ASOS
Lipstick - Topshop Lip Bullet
Sliders - H&M (similar)

MY SUMMER ESSENTIALS


Summer essentials wishlist




I thought it has been a while since I shared my infinite love for ASOS, so I decided to throw together a post that focuses on my summer staples in general, and with these items shown as examples. The white heels are on their way to my house already, and the jeans and clutch will hopefully soon follow. Have a nice day! ♥

NIKE AIR MAX THEA & OTHER STORIES

Luxembourg Fashion Blogger Pauls Boutique Maisy Kristiana Vasarina & Other Stories blogger Nike Air Max Thea Black Yesterday was the last of our nice and warm days, so when me and my brother went to have lunch with Kate in town, I decided to go for something light and simple. I got my amazing Nike Air Max Thea's in Milan after relentlessly trying to find them online with no result. Luckily for those who are interested, they are now finally available at Office! Carrying on with my & Other Stories obsession, this lace top is my latest addition. I am in love with its detailing and light material, as well as the fact that it's really versatile, so I can wear it with high-waisted as well as low-waisted bottoms. My Paul's Boutique Maisie has proved to be a very great addition to my wardrobe as you can put so much in the bag and it just goes with everything.

Now that the outfit talk is over, onto my usual chit-chat. If you have not seen The Fault in Our Stars, I would definitely recommend it. I NEVER cry during movies, but during The Fault in Our Stars, the whole cinema room was in tears, it was kind of a collective cry fest, really. Unluckily for me, when I was checking out the Youtube trailer, I had a read through the comments and saw a spoiler, so the whole time I knew how the movie will end. There's a special place in hell for people who decide to spoil movies and TV series for others. Over and out!

Outfit details

Earrings - Sweetlime
Trainers - Nike Air Max Thea
Skirt - H&M (similar)
Sunglasses - Topshop

THE MOTEL DEBBIE

Motel bodycon stripe dress blogger Kristiana Vasarina Kristiana Vasarina Motel Debbie Off The Shoulder Bodycon Dress In Mixed Stripe Luxembourg fashion blogger Luxembourg fashion blogger Luxembourg fashion blog
After a crazy weekend at a local festival I am back again and finally getting my energy back too. It was an amazing 3 days and I saw a lot of great performances. The best show was undoubtedly given by The Hives - they really knew how to capture the audience and it was so fun. I also loved seeing Este Haim's bassface in action and Ellie Goulding's dance moves. Wiz Khalifa and Gentleman brought a different and more relaxed mood to the festival, which was really nice too. We did, however, cringe at Jared Leto's obvious self-involved tendencies. Then again, if I was the lead singer of a famous band and recently had won an oscar, I might be a little bit proud too. The weekend had no festival fashion appropriate weather, therefore I did not take too many photos.

Just as the postman came yesterday with this dress, I put it on and it was love at first sight! I love the mix of skinny and bold stripes, and the off-the-shoulder look is great for the summer. I got way too many looks in town though, which is kind of typical in Luxembourg - I wonder if they saw a ONE shoulder dress, would they actually faint?! Haha. Anyway, I absolutely love this Motel Debbie dress, I only wish I didn't constantly have to pull it down as it keeps riding up. After finishing this text, I will embark upon a research session to find out exactly how to stop tight dresses from riding up.

I guess the look is very typical to me, as I always tend to wear my leather jacket and Vagabond boots everywhere. I'm really not fond of girly looks, so I always feel the need to toughen it up just a little. Also, what do you think of my new hair? As I said in my Instagram post just below, last week I spontaneously cut it at home myself and absolutely love the result. Feels amazing to have gotten rid of so much dry hair and everything is so much easier now! The only downside is that now I am tempted to use the straightener every single day to put some shape into the hair, like in the photos above.

I love how 90% of the text has nothing to do with the post, but I somehow enjoy just writing random bits and bobs on my every day life. And before I forget, thanks to the two sweet girls who recognized me at Rock A Field - sorry if I was a bit awkward! That literally made my day :) ♥

Outfit details

Dress - Motel Rocks
Boots - Vagabond
Leather jacket - unknown but similar here
Lipstick - Bobbi Brown
Earrings - ASOS