One question I always get when I tell people that I’m a professional blogger is – “WHAT do you DO all day?” Apparently, this is not an unusual question – many of my fellow professional wedding bloggers get the same query (and strange looks or snorts of derision). So I thought, why not show y’all my average day as a wedding blogger – yoga pants, dirty dishes, hours of computer time, and all.
8:00AM-10:00AM: Wake up. Let cat in. Snuggle in bed with her and read. *Pre-pregnancy, I used to get right up and start my day but since (in a few short months) my days of sleeping are numbered, I’ve elected to enjoy the hell out of it now.
10:00AM-10:30AM: Get up. Get dressed. Forget to make bed or brush teeth. Let dog out. Open doors (it’s really nice weather and this will save me HOURS of getting up over and over to let Hank in or out). Turn on TV and computer. Fix a bowl of cereal for breakfast and eat while watching reruns of “The New Adventures of Old Christine” and waiting for computer to finish starting up (I really need an upgrade!).
10:30AM-12:00PM: Select and download the images for today’s Real Wedding feature from Two Bright Lights. The photographer emailed me the couple’s wedding planning details so I look those up and begin creating the post in Typepad. After fixing some grammar and punctuation issues, I code the text. Next, I write my own thoughts on the wedding and create a title for the piece. *Full disclosure – I spell one of the words in the title wrong and don’t notice until later AFTER I’ve already published it and distributed it all over the web. Ugh. Too late to fix the permalink spelling so I fix the title and move on. Next, I select the post categories, add SEO keywords, and fill out an excerpt.
The Two Bright Lights images are finally done downloading so I save them and begin creating storyboards for the post. As I focus on organizing the photos so they tell a specific story, I also clean up and edit a few in Photoshop to make them appear brighter and more appealing. I save the new storyboards and upload them to my post. Then I code them to make them work better in Pinterest. Finally, I publish the post (just before 11:30AM).
Next, I copy the permalink into the StumbleUpon link shortener and use that new link to submit the published post to Two Bright Lights and the photographer. Next, I choose one of the images from the day’s feature and create a smaller file size in Microsoft Paint (this is for open wedding submission sites – they require much smaller image sizes that I showcase on the blog). Next, I submit the post to Bride Tide and then to Wedding Gawker. After this, I scroll through my list of favorite wedding blogs and read, Stumble, and leave a review for each one (this takes about 10 minutes).
12:00PM-12:30PM: Next, I take a moment and do some personal social media stuff (Facebook, answer Twitter DMs, pinning for fun on Pinterest, and reading scrapbook, baby, and home décor blogs. I also play some Farmville 2 with my little sister (who’s on spring break and bored).
12:30PM-1:00PM: Answering emails. I get LOTS of PR pitches, requests for posting articles/products for free (I DO NOT DO THIS), and advertising inquiries. As a rule, I only respond to these emails on Mondays and Fridays. *This is another pregnancy/going to be a mommy thing. I used to answer them every day but know that once Baby Voldemort is here – I’m not going to have that kind of time. This new system seems to be working really well. Today is the day that I respond back to the people who got my initial "pat" email with my rates, stats, and packages. Most are mad that I won't give them free press. I want to reply that I can't pay my phone bill with their "free" content... but I don't. Instead, I just delete and move on.
I also do a little email communication with several freelance clients that I’m designing logos and website redesigns for. Have to stop because my hand is cramping. *Yet ANOTHER fun pregnancy thing – did you know that pregnant woman are more susceptible to carpal tunnel syndrome?
1:00PM-1:30PM: Eat lunch at my desk and do some Kiss My Tulle pinning on Pinterest. Just so you know, the entire time I’m working – I’m also watching TV. Total work-from-home perk and I LURVE it. I generally alternate between endless sitcom reruns that I’ve seen a million times or true crime TV shows about spouses killing each other. This is the time that Hank starts to beg me to play. No time to do it today so I just pet him and rub his back.
Next, I tackle some logo work for a freelance client. She sent me back her design thoughts last night and today, I’m downloading some new fonts for her and making endless minute revisions to two of her potential logos. It still amazes me how long this kind of thing takes.
1:30PM-2:15PM: Create today’s second post. This one is SUPER fun since it a reader request for a wedding candy inspiration board based on World of Warcraft and the Alliance. I spend way longer on this one than normal because trying to find wedding images in the specific shade of blue for the WoW Alliance is tricky. But, eventually I’m happy with my inspiration board and create the post + publish it. *To see the entire posting process, see my notes at the beginning of this post about creating and publishing and advertising my first post.
2:15PM-3:00PM: Take a moment to post links for today’s two posts on the various social media outlets and do a little networking at the same time. Can’t do nearly as much of this as I used to but I do try and respond to people when I can.
Next, I continue to create some blog redesign mock-ups for a reader-turned-client. She’s been super patient with me and I really own her some ideas. *The pregnancy thing is kicking my ass with the carpal tunnel syndrome + last week’s glucose testing… which KICKED MY BUTT. I don’t have a lot of concrete ideas from her so I’m just playing around. That way, I can see how she responds to my initial ideas. Generally, people either really love something or really hate everything. Both responses are good though – they help you understand what the client is looking for.
3:00PM-4:00PM: Finally, make the bed, brush my teeth, and shower. Caira “helps” me make the bed. I dress in slub clothes because I’m determined to sweep my floors, wash my dishes, clean the stove, and prep dinner before The Boy gets home at 4PM. *My pre-pregnancy Red Sox shirt barely covers my belly but whatever. Hank “helps” me sweep. I’m just beginning to prep dinner when The Boy gets home. This is Hanks very favorite time of the day.
4:00PM-8:00PM: This is my time to be with my little family. *This is new. I used to spend endless hours on the blog but since we’re expecting a baby, I’ve tried to cut back on my hours and focus more energy on being a part of my family. The Boy and I kiss hello, play with Hank, enjoy dinner (turkey burgers and pita chips), and watch the Spurs game.
Finally, I change into “real” clothes and we snuggle on the couch to read and watch the World Baseball Classic (USA beats Puerto Rico). I do jump on the computer every half hour or so to do a bit of personal and blog-related social media stuff but mostly I chill with The Boy.
8:00PM-9:00PM: I do a last round of emails and blog-related social media postings. I look at tomorrow’s agenda, make a new To Do list, and work on a few PayPal invoices.
9:00PM-12:00AM: Me time. I snuggle Caira, read, work on my wedding quilt, and watch TV. Then I wash my face, brush my teeth, and go to bed.
And that’s a normal day for me, a professional wedding blogger. Any questions?
***Edited to add: Yep, it's not pretty. I know that a bunch of othe professional bloggers have done DITL posts and had professional photographers and stylists to showcase them at their best. But you know what? That's not real life. Real life is wearing your husband's pajama pants all day because you're too fat to fit into your yoga pants. Real life is forgetting to brush your teeth until 3PM. Real life is not a stunning, light-soaked office in a loft space but instead is a tiny corner of your living room in a crappy circa 1970's house. Today's post (and the photos of me) may not have been pretty - but they are real.***