Hello and welcome back to the last of my blogiversary bonanza! It was my blog’s first birthday last week and I felt it needed properly celebrating, so for the last 7 days I have been sharing all the things I’ve been learning in my first year of blogging.
Yesterday I shared How to start a food blog. But you may be wondering what exactly does a food blogger do all day? I mentioned last Friday that blogging takes up an enormous amount of my time. Well, today I am welcoming you behind the scenes to see what it is I do all day and why it takes up quite so much of my time!
Or maybe you are a food blogger and you are wondering what I do and whether it’s the same as you or not. I’d love to know what you think in the comments below…do I do things the same way as you, or totally differently?
A day in the life of a food blogger
Blogging is an incredibly varied job and so consequently every day is different. I mentioned in my post last Saturday that I try and theme my days to make sure each day has a focus and I get everything done. Monday is about writing and editing my recipes, Tuesday and Thursday are about promoting my posts on social media and blogger linkups, Wednesdays are all about reviews and Friday is when I focus on developing my blog and making it even better.
Since Tuesdays and Thursdays are probably my most interesting days (these are the days my posts usually go live), I thought it would be most interesting to look at one of these – so here is an example of what typically goes on on an average Tuesday…
Like most working mums the first part of my day revolves round my children, getting them (and myself!) up, washed and dressed; eating breakfast and washing up afterwards; getting the kids ready for school and walking to school. I always try and walk to school unless it’s absolutely tipping it down with rain – it’s good for them and me to get a breath of fresh air before the day starts and the school run is often the only exercise I get in the day!
I often walk home via the shops (we live in a small village so everything is walkable), where I’ll pick up essentials like bread and milk as well as anything I might need for recipe testing / photography that day.
When I get home, I’ll chuck a load of washing on and then fire up my computer and make a coffee. I really need coffee by this stage in the day! I try to have one straight after breakfast, but I often only manage to drink half of it (or less!) before I have to leave the house. 🙁
The first thing I do is check my latest post – mostly to make sure it has published correctly, but also to give it one last proof read. Somehow I find that so often typos only show up AFTER the post is published – it’s like they hide until then – gah! I always schedule my posts for 9am. I have read in many books and websites that it’s good to be consistent, so I am – mostly!
The next job is checking my comments and replying to any that have come in overnight and then checking my social media and again replying/retweeting/liking/commenting as necessary. I try to be strict with myself, though and only allow myself to do 5 or 10 minutes at this point in the day. I allow myself more later on. (If I wasn’t strict, I’d probably be on social media all day!) Then I check my e-mails, delete the rubbish and reply to anything urgent, but then, again, I leave everything else until later. I also usually take a sneaky peak at my stats (I’m obsessed – this usually happens several times in the day – silly, I know!).
The main job on a Tuesday is to promote my latest post. I begin with social media. For pretty much every post, I will do the following: schedule a selection of tweets (using Hootsuite), post on my Facebook page, post on Google +, pin a few images onto my Pinterest boards, share an image on Instagram and submit to Foodgawker and Tastespotting.
After I’ve promoted on social media, I share my post on blogger linkups (blogger linkups, also known as linkies and link parties, are another way for bloggers to promote their posts – basically I get to put a small photograph and a link back to my recipe on someone else’s blog). Pretty much every week I do the following ones: Cook Blog Share, Tasty Tuesdays, Recipe of the Week and Brilliant Blog Posts and if the recipe is veggie, I will also do Meat Free Mondays. And then I will link up to any monthly linkups that my recipe fits in with, such as Cook Once Eat Twice, Food Year Linkup or Teatime Treats.
Once I’ve added my latest recipe to the linkup (and added a link from my recipe post back to the linkup), I then tweet the owner of the linkup to let them know (which they usually share – lovely people!) and also post in the Cook Blog Share Facebook group (if you are a food blogger and you are not yet a member of the Cook Blog Share Facebook group I thoroughly recommend you join – it’s a great group, very friendly!)
Next I spend some time commenting on other food blogs. I usually start with others who have linked up to the linkups I’ve done (and the linkup owner usually as well – it only seems polite) and whilst I’m at it, I do some pinning / tweeting / Facebook sharing of anything I find interesting. Then I’ll move on to commenting on other blogs I follow. After that, I check Twitter and do some retweeting and commenting and if I have time I’ll do the same in Facebook and Instagram too.
If I have something to photograph, that usually happens around now. I’ll make the dish and photograph it and then eat it for my lunch (whilst watching the last 15 minutes of Daily Politics – I’m addicted! And sometimes the first 5 minutes of the news). I also use my lunchbreak to unload the dishwasher and hang up the washing – all the glamourous jobs!!
1am (ish – I usually catch the headlines of the 1 o’clock news first)
I tend to do a quick whizz round my comments / social media / emails and reply to any comments and urgent emails. Then I’ll edit the photos that I took before lunch and save them in an appropriate file, write up the accompanying recipe and the rest of the text and then upload it all onto WordPress and schedule it for whenever I’ve planned it in for.
If there’s any time left after that (unlikely), then I’ll have a quick check of social media and do some retweeting / commenting etc.
Time to go and collect the kids from school. I try and keep this time after school until about 4.30pm sacrosanct. If it’s dry, we might go to the park or the shops. If it’s wet, we go to the library or come home and play games. From about 4.30 onwards, they are allowed to watch TV, which gives me an opportunity to get some more work done.
I do a quick check of comments and social media and then tackle my emails – I’ve generally tried to keep on top of the urgent stuff all day and deleted anything I don’t need, so now I just have to deal with the less urgent and/or more long-winded bits and bobs, and generally try and get my inbox down to one page, if I can. I also use this time to deal with any bits of household admin I need to – usually school related!
Time to start making dinner, if I haven’t started already. My work area is also the dining room, so dinner time means I have to clear everything away! Quite often I am also photographing and/or recipe testing dinner!
After I’ve taken any photos I need to, it’s dinner time, followed by bath time and bed time (for the kids – not me sadly, though I’m often sorely tempted by this time!).
I don’t work every evening, but once the kids are in bed I do generally check my comments / social media / emails one last time and reply to anything that needs to be replied to. I also find this is a great time for getting into conversations on social media – especially on Twitter, so if this is a work evening, that’s often what I will do next.
Alternatively, I might use this time to read through my latest copy of a foodie magazine or a blog related book
Time to switch off the computer, put away the books and have some time off – or at least in theory!
10.30pm (very ish)
Time for bed. Except, of course, I’ll check my phone ‘one last time’, inevitably to discover something urgent has come in that I really need to deal with…and I’ll have to fire up the computer again!
So there you have it – a day in my life. Of course, they don’t all look exactly like that (obviously!) – I don’t have a post to promote every day and I don’t always photograph my lunch/dinner or have a post to write up in the afternoon…and I’ve probably left out a good deal of random faffing and reading of stuff I’ve found on Facebook…and then there are days when I am required to help out on a school trip or I have some errand to run and the whole day is out! But it’s a good flavour of the sorts of things I get up to on a regular basis.
If you are a blogger I’d love to know if this is similar to your days or totally different!
If you are not a blogger, I wonder if that was what you expected? Did anything surprise you?
And that, I’m afraid, was the last of my blogiversary content 🙁 Thank you so much for all the lovely kind comments on my posts and all the likes, shares, comments and retweets on social media. I’ve had a lot of fun putting together these posts and I’m a little bit sad that it’s over (though I will be glad to get my life back – I’ve definitely been working overtime this week!!)
If you missed any here they all are again…
I really have enjoyed writing these posts on blogging and plan to write more in the future, so if there’s anything else blog related you’d like me to write about, do let me know in the comments below and I will do my best to cover it!
And for those of you who are somewhat puzzled as to where all the lovely recipes have gone – don’t worry I have one scheduled to go live tomorrow (at 9am funnily enough..!) and normal service will resume next week. Well…kind of normal – I have two school trips and a visit from my parents next week, so probably only semi-normal! But there will be two recipes!!