Let's have a little break from SEO today, it's an incredibly difficult subject & I'm not gonna lie, it makes my head hurt just like a bottle of white wine does. Today will be more about practicalities of blogging & how to make your blog organisation easier. Of course not all bloggers get PR samples - this can be because their blog is very young, or simply just because they don't wish to receive them. Many bloggers however do receive sample products, new releases & launches, feature products for brand campaigns... and let me tell you - it's sometimes oh so hard to keep track of it. Plus they will also buy a truck-ful of products they personally want to try and feature and that's when things get even more overwhelming! I'm a strong believer in organisation and keeping things tidy (be it your jewellery or leftovers from yesterday's dinner). I've tried a number of ways to keep track of products I've received for review or purchased for a scheduled feature and here is a breakdown of which methods have worked for me (and which have not).
PR sample inventory methods I've tried:
📦 Baskets, bags & boxesOne of the most basic yet very effective methods of keeping track of PR samples & products to feature is to dedicate a beautiful copper basket (like this one) to solely gathering your products to feature. Throw in all your shopping/blogger mail on a regular basis and you're done. This is a pretty simple, cost & time-effective method however the downside is that you will most likely not use the products until you've blogged about them. This brings me onto a pet peeve of mine - why are bloggers not blogging about things they've actually used anymore? I want to see lipstick stubs & half used bottles of toner, damn! It might be the basket preventing you from integrating products into your routine - and if that's the case, just ditch the basket, put a bunch of magazines or all your wooly winter socks in it and move on to something more functional!
📦 Handwritten listsOne of my favourite blog organisation methods is writing things down on a piece of paper. I'm old-school like that. Or rather - into a blog planner (this one's my favourite!). You can print of as many pages as you want and you can also choose which layouts you want to use - genius. Because I memorise things easier when I write them down this works great for me. The downside is losing said piece of paper or you know, putting it a very very safe place no one, not even you, will ever find again.
📦 SpreadsheetsI know that many bloggers prefer using spreadsheets for their blog organisation. It's wise (and eco-friendly) to go paperless & you could even save your documents on the cloud however personally I find it more difficult to keep track of. As a blogger you spend a ridiculous amount of hours looking at the computer screen so doing your prep on the computer adds yet another strain to your already tired eyes (and brain). You could also use Evernote or just your regular Notes app on the phone and every once in a while you could just copy & paste it into your spreadsheet. Still - that seems like a lot of work to me!
📦 Inventory appsThere's many many inventory apps out there however most of them are very business-like and have this warehouse feel to them which doesn't really go with the high aesthetic nature of blogging. Recently I've been introduced to Snupps - an app which allows you to collect, organise & share your earthly possessions into neat virtual shelves. In an authentic 'Clueless-style' you can organise your wardrobe, beauty drawer, shoes & even books! You can then of course share these publicly & collect followers, likes and inspiration or you can take a slightly different approach to the app and also use it as a blog inventory. Whenever I get a blogger mail or purchase something new that I'd like to feature on the blog I simply take a quick snap, title it and upload it. As you go about using it you can add notes and thoughts to the items too. Even the RRPs for ease of submitting your tax returns! For obvious reasons I keep the blog inventory shelves private (although you get a little sneak preview of what's coming on the blog soon from the screenshots below - sssshhh!).
I also use the app for other things, for example:
✖️ gathering inspiration: Don't you ever screenshot an Instagram or Pinterest outfit just so you can later buy it?
✖️wardrobe inventory: I've created a shelf for my shoes - I usually keep them in storage boxes and it's ever so hard to remember what pairs you have!
✖️ driving traffic to my blog: I do have a little following on Snupps which I'm trying to drive to Cityscape Bliss by sharing product sneaks of currently published blog posts
You can find more about the app here & if you download it please make sure you give me a follow on @cityscapebliss.
What's your way of keeping a blog product inventory?
Or do you just keep it in your head rather than on a piece of paper?
💭 This post is in collaboration with Snupps however the blogging struggles of PR sample inventory upkeep are all real and mine (gathered over the past 5 years!).
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