How I Do a Blog Post: Behind the Scenes

We share a lot on our blogs: our outfits, our families, even our quirks...but what about the process of writing a blog post? I feel like that area isn't explored enough. Vero Says asked me to do a post about that, and I thought that was a great idea. Here's behind the scenes of how I write a blog post for a product review.

There are 3 types of product reviews:

  • purchase--I bought it
  • pr sample--sent to me for consideration
  • sponsored product--sent to me or I purchase and am reimbursed 
The first thing I do is figure out if that product is a good fit for the blog. Some items will be in a specific review post--like this mascara. Some are part of a collage (best ____ for summer, for example). Some I don't review at all--remember, just because a company sent you something does not mean it ever has to be shown, only if you have an agreement with them that you will show it! Don't let them harass you! And in terms of the sponsored post, I don't do sponsored reviews. I like the product to be part of a helpful blog post, like a diy/how to/tips. If the product is new to me, I still have to try it out.

Sometimes I will take a product picture first. This depends on the packaging. Some products don't look good once they are used, so I will take a pic unused. I use a variety of backdrops. I have used wrapping paper, contact paper, a white board, and even one of my marble trays. Here's a view of the marble tray from above (get the diy marble tray here) but I would naturally zoom in so you don't see the tray, just the marble.

I also have a ton of props like flowers, lights, sequins, trays, plates, etc. I have them in plastic tubs according to seasons. That sounds crazy, right? But it works for me.

Allow my crazy beauty nerd self to enter to the room. Yup, I use a chart. Sometimes I'm really good and type it all out, but lately I've been so busy that I just write it it in. This is a shrunken version of the chart. 

  • Product name
  • Brand
  • # of: sometimes I am sent or purchase several, sometimes it's just one. 
  • Start: This is the day I begin the review. I typically review things for a month, but sometimes it's a week or two.
  • Week 1-4: Each week I will track progress (like for skincare) or note anything specific I did that week (used in 101 degree temps, wore product for 8 hrs, etc). Final thoughts go in week 4. The chart pictured is a squeezed down version.
  • P/S/SP--purchase, sample, sponsored
  • Price
  • Pic--Did I take all the pics needed? Did I take a before shot? I note that here. 

Next, I figure out where the review will fit in. I do that using my trusty paper calendar, pictured above. This is a Blue Sky Planner from Target. I cannot do the fancy ones with the stickers and all. That is too cluttered for my eyes (but I think they are so, so cute!) and my ADD self would get off track with all the decorating. I am always running out of time! I just write it all down instead.

Every month I know I will write about:

  • hair 
  • makeup
  • nails
  • skincare 
  • diy
  • personal
I try to include a variety, so there are tutorials, reviews, tips, dupe or not, rounds ups (best of, 10 __ you need to try, etc), and so on. I try and do a video weekly as well.

I like to plan ahead for seasons as well, as in I have a bunch of fall ideas coming soon. I will write stuff down and pick a date. Sponsored posts are usually a sticky date, meaning they won't change, but a lot of times they do. I try my dang hardest to space them out.

The pics are taken (takes about 30 min-hour), the info is collected (1-4 weeks), so now it's time to write about it. I get on my trusty Mac (I love it and will never go back to a regular pc) to write the post. I use Picmonkey to edit pictures. This takes anywhere from 30 min to an hour or two.

Then I write the post. This usually takes an hour or two. I read over it a couple of times and then once more in the morning. I like to let the post "rest" over night. I make sure I share the post online in a variety of ways using various social media. And that's it! All of that for a post that most spend 30 seconds to a couple of minutes on. And I do it 5 times a week gladly.

How do you do a blog post?

PS: Thanks for your comments and support on yesterday's post.


  1. You are so organized - I love your tracker for the posts! xo, biana -BlovedBoston

  2. This is so great to know how others do things. You always do a great job of product presentation. Love this post!

    Whitney & Blaire
    Peaches In A Pod

  3. I always love the behind the scenes sort of posts. Gives me ideas too.
    I love that planner. Target always has some cute simple ones.

  4. Awesome post, love how organized you are! Such a pretty planner too <3
    Green Fashionista

  5. Such an amazing blog. Thanks for sharing. love your way of blogging.

  6. It's so helpful seeing your behind the scenes! Love how you chart out the products you are reviewing!

    Doused In Pink

  7. Thanks for sharing your process! You put a lot of work in your post and it shows. :)


  8. love the behind the scenes! i mean you are wicked organized and the opposite of me who throws stuff together but that is also probably why your posts look so pretty and thought out! :)

    xoxo cheshire kat

  9. Good process. I especially like the idea of a second-look after leaving the draft for a night. With fresh eyes, we often catch mistakes and can improve things.

  10. Thanks for sharing your behind the scenes process! You are so organized, it`s so inspirtional!


  11. Wow, you are so organized with this- I love it! Also, I love the marbled tray you use for taking photos! :)

  12. Loving this behind the scenes post. You are so thorough with your chart! I'm impressed. Your photos always look great too.

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

  13. I had been looking for a planner for a few months and had wanted to buy one of those fancy ones you speak of. In the end, I decided on this exact one from Target, too! I'm obsessed with it! Love the idea of that chart, I might have to start doing that too. That's a great way to stay organized. Happy Monday, Elle!

    xo, Rachel
    A Blonde's Moment

  14. I love that you did this post, Elle! Non bloggers usually think it's just a simple snap of few pictures and write a couple of sentence and voila! we are done which infuriates me. This post shows just how much work goes just a couple of blog pictures.

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

  15. Wow!! Love your organization. I'm always looking for ways to improve my blog/blogging process so I love reading about how others work!

  16. You are so organized! I def need to buy props and maybe make a backdrop tray like yours. I take a bunch of pics first before I use the products, then I edit them and lastly write the posts. I definitely bounce back and forth between doing these and working on different reviews etc. I don't have a plan schedule anymore as I haven't had a bunch of posts finished at once and trying to plan things just didn't work out for me. You def have your process down pat.

  17. One of my goals is to be more organized planning things out and writing it all down. I've also been trying to step up my props and backdrops. Yours are always so cute!

  18. This was so fun and fascinating to read, Elle. I love that you organize all your photo props by season--I think it's really smart to do that! That's something I'd really like to be better at--product/lifestyle flatlay pictures. I have a few props but not many.

  19. You are always so organized :) I love seeing a behind the blog look.

  20. I loved this post, Elle! Thanks for sharing! It's nice to see how others do their blog posts, and plan everything out. I'm trying to be more organized and plan out mine. It was doing good for a while but lately I've been lazy. This gives me motivation to get back on track! I always admire how much time and effort you put into your posts. One thing I always do is take photos of products before I use them so the photos look nice a clean!

  21. Great post. There is literally so much that goes into crafting great, sponsored content. You are incredibly organized...wow!

  22. These are some great tips hun, I pretty much do the same, review a product for a month then write about it :) I am slowly getting more organised and it feels great xx

    Hope you having a lovely monday xx


  23. I love your spreadsheet - you are just so organized!

  24. I love this idea, Elle! You are so organized...I have to be organized, otherwise I get nothing done and I feel so scatterbrained. I like to keep a notebook that is strictly blog related, where I keep ideas and such. I also like that you mentioned that just because I product gets sent for free it doesn't mean that we HAVE to mention it or review it. I have tons of stuff that doesn't make it to the blog because I didn't like it, or it just wasn't anything spectacular. But I'm finally getting sponsored content, which is quite exciting!
    xo, Lily
    Beauty With Lily

  25. I love your process and how organized you are! So fun to see behind the scenes!


  26. Jesus. That's dedication right there, lol I mean seriously, woman! I wish I was only HALF as organized as that!

  27. Your chart is awesome! I love this peek behind the scenes :)

  28. I use a notebook to keep track of all the outfits I wear. I also use an calendar to kept track of the post I have made. Love seeing how you do things


  29. Your tracker is such a good idea, I like that. A few months ago I started planning for a whole month- looking at good days for certain types of posts, etc. I have the same planner and love it, like you...can't do the little ones and all those stickers, haha!

  30. You are so right! No many people know all the behind the scenes stuff. The organization into different plastic tubs is genius. I really want to make one of your marble trays. My dad is usually floored when I ask him to take me to the hardware store, so I can get him on board! I use excel for my blog too. I'm also old school and keep a notebook. I have to write things down! I use and love PicMonkey too. It's user friendly for the photo challenged like myself. I usually start by writing my idea in my notebook, write down all the product info, test it and write down my thoughts, I take my pictures, edit, and then I write my post.

  31. Your organization and processes are impressive! I love that you care so much and really testy our products! Folks don't realize how long it takes to write a post and edit photos . . . and you're right, they read it so quickly! Great job girl!

  32. Ohh, what a great post! I always wondered how other people do these things and if their way works better then my way! I love that you keep stage props in different containers for each season, I should do that.


  33. I know you are so organized and honest,and then it's excellent when we want to buy a product and we know that your review is genuine! So much work and care, like decorating for the photos, it's brilliant! And the table-chart to write down considerations! It's organization to the next level :) I loved to read this post, showing the "behind the scenes" process!

  34. cool.. interesting to get a behind the post glimpse. You are so organized!

  35. Love the chart idea! I keep a notebook, but I love the idea of a pre-made chart to help you remember everything.

  36. You are so organized! I definitely need to organize all of my photo props. Right now they're kinda scattered around the house... I'm sure that thrills my husband!

  37. Very interesting to read! You're so detailed and I love it!

  38. I did one of these a while back. I personally like seeing what goes on behind the scenes. It's cool to see how different we all do things.

  39. If only I could be more organized! I have been massively procrastinating lately, arghhhh!! I'm well impressed by how much work goes into each post, I can tell and it's why I keep coming back to your blog!! x

  40. this is brilliant Elle! you are so organised and detailed, it's awesome. i love how you put received/sponsored items in real posts and not just like *some* people who don't actually try it out or give you any information besides what you can find on the company website.. those posts don't make me want to purchase the product lol.


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