A couple of weeks ago Erin did a post on how she spends her blogging day and I was fascinated. You see, I’m nosy. I want to know all your secrets of how you make it work! When do you write? When do you find the time to schedule everything and keep your life going and run an almost full-time blog? I guess the only way to find out your secrets is to show you mine, so here we go…
A day in my blog life.
Not every single day is the same, but I’ll go with a typical day where at least one of my kids is in school and I am juggling another one with all the other pesky little details of life, like grocery shopping and scrubbing toilets and the like. I wake up at 7am and immediately upon leaving my room my kids come out of their rooms and ask me what’s for breakfast. I stumble into the kitchen and try to simultaneously get a cup of coffee while putting breakfast together for them. They sit at the island and eat and I sit at the table and sip away at my first, life saving cup of coffee of the day. I remind the kids to eat 10,347 times and we talk about the day and it’s actually pretty relaxing.
After breakfast I herd the kids into their rooms where they get dressed for the day. We do the brushing teeth, brushing hair, neatening up their rooms routine, and that brings us to around 8:15. I pack their backpacks with their lunches, snow pants and boots, and lay out their jackets by the door. At some moment during this time I log on my computer and post my new post to all my social media accounts via Bit.ly, and look quickly at any new blog post from others. I get about five minutes to do this if I’m really lucky. After that I get dressed, usually in workout clothes if I am heading to the gym, or something I’ve figured out the night before if I plan on doing a photoshoot. The other days I am in whatever is easiest, typically this means something I wore the day before. I have anywhere from 5-20 minutes to get ready myself, with the kids running in and out and typically arguing with each other, or wanting to hang out with me in my minuscule bathroom.
We leave the house at 8:45am and arrive to their school about ten minutes later. I bring at least one kid (two on T/Th) and their backpacks, boots and other misc. stuff in and drop them off in their classrooms with lots of kisses and extra hugs.
After I do the school drop off I either go to the gym (Mon/Th), to the grocery store (Wed), to playgroup with my youngest (Fri), or I go directly to my photoshoot place (Tues/Wed/Fri) and do that. My son comes with me to do my photos a lot of the time and he likes to help set up my tripod if it’s not too cold. I do 90% of my own photos with a tripod and timer and it takes me usually 20 minutes to take about 80 photos.
At 11am I am usually done with any errands, pictures, or random errands/activity with my son and I head back home. I often let him watch a quick show on Disney Jr. when we get home and I take an hour to go online and catch up. I read and comment on favorite blogs, go through social media and re-post my new blog post, and reply to emails. I try to comment on every person that comments on my blog, as well as reply to everyone that comments via email. This is sort of a constant thing and I am doing this on and off throughout the day. I upload any photos I took and go through approx. 80 pictures and edit them down to about ten. I then edit them in PicMonkey until I have four that I like.
By this time it is lunch and I put my computer away and spend this time with my son. We eat lunch together and then play till around 1pm. He then goes down for a nap until 3pm and I begin my main writing time. From 1-3ish I put together my post for the next day. I write, add in photos and keep up on blog reading and commenting. I love the writing process and find this is one of my favorite times of the day. I like getting the main part of my post done before the day is gone because I get too tired at the end of the day and I find my posts are better when I take more time earlier on.
As for scheduling and ideas, I have a planner and I jot down ideas and prompts in it when they come to me. Every month I have a couple of times where a subject is prescheduled (the What She Wears link up, the Group Giveaway post, my Blog Series week), so mostly blog post planning is more of a fill in the blank type of thing. Monday and Tuesday tend to be more style related posts, Friday is almost always a shopping post, and the other days are more free flowing. If I feel like posting something on a day when I have something else planned, I do it. I also don’t post if I’m not feeling it. Right now I have been posting closer to four days a week and that works well for me. It lets me focus on the quality of what I’m putting out there and I don’t feel pressure to post if I don’t want to.
My big catch up days for emails, blog planning and goals is on Tuesday and Thursday when both of my kids are in school, and also Sunday mornings. I come up with more long term goals then, break my goals into weekly to do lists, and deal with the details of sponsors and business stuff. I use these planning sheets in a big binder, and it hold all my plans, stats, goals and other details. I write everything down and thrive on my to do lists.
Around 3:40pm I leave to pick up my kid(s) from school and we usually get back home around 4:15. From 4-7pm I put my phone away, stay off my computer, and devote my time and focus to my kids and husband. We put all our school stuff away, hang up our snow pants and boots, and empty out lunch boxes. We spend a lot of time at the kitchen table, they do art projects and puzzles and I sit with them and read, cook dinner and hang out. I keep the tv on to the music channel and it’s a nice, relaxing time of day for us.
We eat dinner as a family between 5 and 5:30, then take baths/showers and get into out pajamas. After this we either watch a show together, play video games (Just Dance!), or they play and we all hang around the family room. I’m actually working on a plan to eliminate television during the school days completely as I feel we watch a bit more than I like. Around 6:30 we read together and by 7pm they are both in bed for the night (!)
After the kids are in bed my husband and get some alone time together . He tends to watch his shows that he tapes, and I work on my laptop. I look over the post I wrote earlier in the day and make minor changes, then schedule it to publish at midnight. I reply to more emails, read and comment on more blogs, and catch up on more social media. I do this until about 9pm before I (finally) put my computer down and get a book out. If I’m not on my computer I am always reading, it’s my favorite thing to do and I always make time for it. We often get into bed around 10pm and watch tv together, then I fall asleep around 11:30ish.
Some days I have more time to devote to my blog than others. Friday and Saturday I do almost nothing, Tuesday and Thursday I do the most when it comes to keeping up with the business aspect of blogging. My mind is always thinking of new posts to write, different ways to earn an income, and ways I can do this whole blog thing better. I try to have a balance where I either just do blog stuff (nap time, after my kids go to bed), or just live my real life.
It’s sort of a constant balance for me and I put in a lot more behind the scenes time than I ever thought I would need to when I began this blog almost three years ago. Luckily I still love it and I really like using different parts of my personality and skill set to run this mini business.
Tell me, how do you balance blog life and real life?