Ah, the mystery world of blogging. Today I’ll be sharing an example of what my week looks like as a blogger.
To an outsider, the job looks fabulous, curated, and honestly… pretty dang simple. Just post pictures all day and talk on stories with cute filters… Anyone could do it, right?
Actually, wrong. But I totally get where the stigma comes from.
I feel like 2019 is the year where we let go of our beautiful flowing feeds and just. start. posting. Less curation and more realness. More raw moments and letting people inside. Maybe then will people begin to accept and understand the influencer industry if we all just let go of this idea of perfection.
With that being said, I don’t think we shed enough light on the behind the scenes… what really goes into putting out content and actually getting that content seen. It’s not easy and it’s truly a 24/7 job in order to succeed and continue succeeding.
If nothing else, I think many people are genuinely curious how bloggers like myself spend our days. So what better way than to lay it all out on the table!
Disclaimer: it’s a long one!
THINGS I DO EVERY WEEK
BRAINSTORM – To be honest, the brainstorming never ends. My wheels are perpetually turning. I always have to be thinking of my next move because that’s my income. As soon as I think of an idea, it goes right into my iPhone notepad or onto a piece of paper. Otherwise, I am guaranteed to forget. This is helpful when deciding on blog post topics. I tend to find my inspiration in more ways than one. To name a few: Pinterest, other bloggers, driving down the street, a magazine, a conversation that I recently had with someone…
PLAN – This isn’t always my strongest suit but I know that it is key to having a successful week. At a minimum, I like to have some sort of game plan laid out each night for the following day. I recently wrote a blog post on time management and what that looks like for me if you want to check that out!
CAPTURE PHOTOS – At least once a week I try to get out of the house to batch some photos for later use. It’s often the case that whenever you see me in a cute outfit on IG, it’s probably from a week ago. And I’m really behind the screen in my sweats. It’s not realistic nor time efficient for me to shoot in different outfits every single day. I’ll either meet up with another blogging friend to help out, ask a family member, Josh, or set up my trusty old tripod to get the deed done. Lately I’ve been taking a lot of my photos indoors with my tripod because it’s just too freaking cold in Pittsburgh. If I’m shooting indoors, I have to drag out my light boxes then clean them up after. Which might be on my top 3 least favorite things about blogging list. HONESTLY. The amount of space that these occupy is obnaxious but they do make the photos so much better.
WRITE – This is a love/hate task for me. I find it really hard to dig up my opening thoughts but once I start typing, the words and ideas usually just flow. Every week I have to write blog content, engaging captions, excerpts, and more. For me, writing anything at all requires a lot of clear headspace and can sometimes take up almost a whole day in itself depending on the depth of the project.
AFFILIATE LINKS – Don’t forget about the time it takes to create affiliate links. Finding the exact product link, similar product links, enabling images in LiketoKnow.it, and creating widgets can take a decent chunk of time.
BRAND OUTREACH – I do this almost every single day. Whether I’m applying for a campaign through an influencer network or pitching an idea directly to a brand, it seems like I spend a lot of time in my email dash negotiating, responding professionally, trying to land my next sponsored post, or introducing myself to a new company.
FINANCES – At least once a week I update my income and expense sheet. I also formulate and send out any invoices that I need to for partnerships I recently finished.
ENGAGE, ENGAGE, ENGAGE – So they say, this is one of the secret sauce ingredients for impressing the Instagram algorithm. Supposedly, in order for your IG posts to perform well, you should engage for 30 minutes before and 30 minutes after you post. *Posting and ghosting* is apparently no bueno and I kind of believe it. Since I’ve starting doing this, my reach/impressions/comments have all increased. So if you do the math, posting on Instagram isn’t really just a simple click of a button. It’s more like a 1 hour gig per post. And aside from it being a strategy to get my posts seen, talking with my followers and readers is VERY important. It’s high on my priority list to answer and acknowledge comments from the people that keep this thing going!
PINTEREST – With the IG algorithm only getting worse, I’ve been shifting my focus off the platform and to other forms of social. Facebook is typically my #1 source of traffic to my blog but I’ve been trying to implement more Pinterest strategies as of lately. I aim to create 3-5 quality pins a day in Photoshop. This means I find old images of mine, edit them in PS with a text overlay, then optimize them with strategic captions and hashtags.
SEO – If you don’t know what that stands for, it means ‘search engine optimization’. Google can be a blogger’s best friend and it’s important you don’t neglect SEO strategies when putting up a blog post. I work with a company called Chloe Digital who has helped to guide me with SEO. For example, the length of my titles, sentences, paragraphs, and URL all matter. I also have to make sure my image sizes are appropriately sized. I can’t just upload a HUGE file to WordPress and call it a day. That will slow my site speed and Google doesn’t like that. I optimize each one in Lightroom then proceed. Each image should also have unique alt tags. Oh and I forgot to mention that I make sure I have the right balance of inbound and outbound links. I guess what I’m trying to say is that SEO is a tricky SOB and can be time consuming especially when you’re first learning.
SHARING BLOG POSTS – Okay, so I finish a blog post and press ‘publish’. That means I’m done, right? Not quite. The only people who are going to see that I have published a new post are those who are subscribed to my email list or avidly check my site. After I publish, I then have to share the post to all social platforms with proper hashtags and captions specific to my audience on that platform. Timing is important with this too. I wish I could just post whenever, but there are certain times of the day based on the day of the week that have higher engagement rates. Which is obviously ideal and what I strive for when going live with a piece of content. Re-sharing old posts is an important task during my week as well. It’s likely that a large percentage of people never actually saw that I posted in the first place due to the time zone and when they were online.
EDITING – As opposed to my deep hatred for my light boxes that I discussed above, editing is probably one of my favorite things to do. I love seeing a photo come to life when I mess around in Lightroom or apply a filter! This is definitely a lengthy task but I don’t mind doing it!
KEEP UP WITH ALL SOCIAL PLATFORMS – I already mentioned Instagram and Pinterest but I also have to stay active and relevant on Facebook and Twitter. Each platform should offer unique value to the reader or else there would be no reason to follow along everywhere. YouTube and creating video is a whole different beast that takes me an eternity but I would like to get better with it in time.
IG STORIES – Uploading to stories is something I have to actively remind myself to do everyday because I get so caught up in X, Y, and Z. But people really like to see the face behind the screen in order to relate and form a trusting relationship. Whether it’s showing my readers what I’m having for lunch, talking with them face to face about something, or sharing a try on session, I try to upload at least a few times per day.
BOOST POSTS – Since Instagram and Facebook want a piece of the cake now, I’ve had to learn how to create IG and FB ads. I am by no means an expert in this department but it’s something I have to do every week.
NEWSLETTERS – Creating custom templates and formulating layouts for subscriber emails is a job in its own! I’m lucky if I get 1 out per month. A major goal that I want to focus on this year is growing my list. Staying in touch via email is so, so important. Think about it – we don’t own our social media platforms. They own us! What if Instagram becomes obsolete one day or even shuts down completely? Having a backup plan to reach followers is CRUCIAL!
MONETIZE – All of this sounds great, right? But since I’m trying to pull the thing off as a main source of income, I HAVE to come up with unique ways to monetize. Again, something else that I am constantly brainstorming in order to land a paycheck. Unfortunately, the partnerships don’t always just land in my lap and require effort.
… & that’s just about all folks!
I’m sure I missed something but I hope this post was insightful for anyone who didn’t fully understand the behind the scenes. OR for those of you who may be considering taking a leap into the blogosphere!