A Week In The Life Of A Food Blogger

"life of a food blogger"

Welcome to a week in the life of a food blogger. I often asked what hours go into bringing a food blog together and what I do each day and I decided to share it all with you.

A bit of history first though. I have spent the last 7 and a bit years as a blogger. It started with an internet marketing blog. Then there was the golf tips, the kitchen gadgets, the slow cooker recipes, more internet marketing blogs and of course the diet sites. It has given me this fantastic advantage as I know what works and how to quickly build up a blog.

Building up Recipe This has been really great fun and now the focus is very much on the content of the site. We will get daily content going out on our blog, sharing on social media, extra social media sharing and building up our mailing list.

This is EXACTLY what we did for the week of the 8th February.

Monday 8th February 2016 – 9am-8pm

It is Monday and I have to admit I wish there was 48 hours in a Monday because there just isn’t the hours to do everything. I start the day by checking my emails. I am working a lot with brands at the moment for future reviews on the blog and I have about 40 emails to answer. I also have an old diet site that is in the final stages of selling so there is a lot of exchanged messages while we get everything sorted out.

By 11am I am finally done with emails and I have also shared the daily content to social media. So I am now free to get on with what needs doing. Next on the agenda are the weekly reports from my virtual team. Right now I have a team of seven. Though I would like to grow it over the coming weeks.

I have three virtual assistants, one graphics designer, one advertising manager and two freelance writers. It takes quite a while to get through their reports as I see what they have done, check to make sure everything is running smoothly and calculate last weeks wages. This info is then placed in a spreadsheet and saved for when it comes to paying the monthly wages.

It is 12.30pm and I am now moving on to checking my traffic from the week before. I first look up Google Analytics to see if I have any new movers and to see who our top traffic sources are for the week before. We have just started using link parties and we wanted to see what traffic this can bring us. It seems not much so far, so we will carry on testing it. It is also nice to see all the traffic that is coming our way from social media and SEO.

I then follow this up by checking on my Google Webmaster Tools this then allows me to see what Google impressions and clicks I have had. I want the average position to move up. It started on 600 when I launched the blog in November and now it is below 50. For a high traffic SEO site I want it to be in the top 10. That will then mean that on average I am on the front page for all my keywords.

By 1.30pm I am tucking into Dominic’s lunch it is roasted vegetables with some cooked chicken. Followed by some lovely Paleo chocolate!!!! Of course I am super busy so I am doing the naughty blogger thing and eating while I work.

I have the latest recipes to write up. I am so glad I am eating while I do this as talking about chocolate desserts that I just want to eat is driving me crazy. I am really pleased though as I am on the last week of posts for February and I am writing them 2.5 weeks in advance so I am a lot more motivated and organised than I thought I was.

By 5pm I am all up to date on my recipes, I have a clear desktop and I am ready to work on something new. The something new is my Podcasts. I have done Podcasts before but this is the first for Recipe This and it is amazing how much organisation goes into doing Podcasts. There is the ebook to go with it for the transcript, the ecovers to have made, the blog post written, the transcript written, the recording of the audio files and by the time I have recorded the first two weeks it is gone 8pm. I am shattered but so pleased that I managed to sort out the Podcasts.

Tuesday 9th February 2pm – 5pm

Well today is technically my day off. What we do is take it in turns with work. That way the housework gets done, our kids get one on one time with their parents and everyone is happy.

But even though today is my day off I still have daily social media to do. On top of this we also have some technical issues with our Podcasts and to finish off my day we also have server problems as we are moving servers.

By late afternoon me and Dominic are shouting at each other and this is something that we never do! We eventually think we have fixed the servers and maybe my emails might work again.

Dominic spends the day dealing with a lot of technical small jobs and getting the first Podcasts done. He starts at about 8.30am and is out of the office by 9pm so he looks shattered by the end of the day. In the end I work about 3 hours on the blog, but at least it wasn’t a 12 hour day!

Wednesday 10th February – 9.00am – 7pm

So I wake up to the fact that my server is down again. Seems our cache plugin is not working with our server move. And I thought it was going to be easy moving to a different server with the same VPS hosting site. Several hours later and everything is fixed.

Though this has meant that not everything has run smoothly today. It is 1pm before emails are answered and the daily social media has not been done yet. Then at 2pm I am training one of my virtual assistants in some new social media work. She is working on doing the daily Yummly, Stumbleupon and Pinterest threads for me and it will save me a lot of time as there just isn’t the hours in the day for me and she is so good at what she does.

6pm – I am finally caught up with everything and my emails are finally fixed. It is amazing how we go nuts when we don’t have working emails. I soon realise that they are still not fixed and after resending out emails for about the third time I feel like I want to scream.

Then I get with writing a guest blog post about monetising a new food blog. This is my first guest post for Recipe This and it is so nice to be asked to do it rather than having to go looking for guest post opportunities.

By the time I have finished it is time to log off for the day and I feel like the day has gone by without me actually achieving anything! But there is always tomorrow…………

Thursday 11th February – 9.30am – 7.00pm

Today I am determined to get my blog posts done. I am always weeks in advance and I don’t actually have tomorrows done yet. I need more and more hours in a day.

I wake up to my emails working properly and it takes me until 2pm to answer my emails and get my social media up to date. This is crazy as it should all be done after an hour in a morning. It is rather draining when you have such a huge amount to do, but it is something that I will never outsource as I like the personal touch and to know what else is going on in my business.

I also resend our Monday newsletter to my subscribers. I target those that have not opened the Monday one by changing the title to increase the open rate. It only takes about 3 minutes to do and is always worth it for an increase in email opens.

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Then at 2.30pm I am finally cracking out these blog posts. I manage to write up another six of them and then finish the evening by networking with fellow food bloggers. An important part of this business (for me) is building up relationships with fellow bloggers so that we can share each others content and help build up our blogs. Many bloggers (myself included) name this as their biggest traffic growth.

Friday 12th February – 2pm-3pm & 8pm – 10pm

It is Dominic’s work day today. He is focusing on loading up some blog posts and getting our second week of Podcasts set up. Things don’t go completely to plan so he will be carrying on again with it on Tuesday.

I spend the usual hour getting my social media on and also spend the night on my tablet networking and answering comments on Facebook and on Instagram.

Saturday 13th February – 10.30am – 6.30pm

This body of mine needs a sleep in, so after getting up at quarter to ten I am having breakfast and then finally cracking on with work.

Loads of emails later, loading up social media and I am caught up and back to blogging for 1.30pm. My target for today is to get the last of Februarys blog posts done. That way I can be focusing on March as I know we have a lot of content planned for it and it is really time consuming.

So from 1.30pm to 6.00pm I am writing up the last of the posts and before I know it I have written another five and Dominic has made me some of his lovely banana bread. Then after finishing off on my social media I am off the laptop for 6.30pm and it is time to enjoy the Saturday night with a great movie and some wine!

That is my week J so there you have it my week from start to finish and top to bottom. I work 45.5 hours altogether. Dominic works 26.5 hours so we have had rather a busy week! This also means that our wage works out at about $6.60 an hour. Really low but when you think you have a business that you’re building up and that by working harder you’re giving yourself a promotion, then it is fine with me. Plus we don’t work those kind of hours every week.

Meet The Milners

Samantha and Dominic
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Dominic & Samantha Milner are the founders of RecipeThis.com. They love cooking, blogging and being full time parents to their three food obsessed kids. They cook with their kitchen gadgets everyday and love sharing their homemade recipes. Their favourite foods include chocolate, air fryer burgers and macaroni cheese. You can learn more about them here or you can sign up for their free newsletter here.

3 comments… add one
  • avatar Chrystal @ Gluten-Free Palate Feb 22, 2016, 3:36 pm

    Hi Samantha, Great post! It would be great to see how six months from now you are able to optimize your time as a blogger and spend less time blogging. I’d be interested in learning what you have done to work less, but do more if that makes sense. I know you have a lot of balls in the air right now. I am currently putting in about 8 hours a week since I work full time, but I have put in place certain strategies that keep my traffic growing (up 50% in page views in two months). We bloggers are super smart and I know we can figure out the right strategies to optimize our time so we too have “work-life balance”.

    Best,
    Chrystal

    • avatar Samantha and Dominic Feb 24, 2016, 11:09 am

      Thanks Chrystal,

      Yes that makes sense and it will be interesting further on down the line. I had a paleo diet blog that I was putting these kind of hours in at the beginning to about 5 hours a week after 4-5 months. I think there is also extra work required at the beginning to build the foundations and after that you can do less. I live in Portugal and it is all about the summer and the beach days, so we work harder and longer hours during term time and then have a lot of time off during the summer. But it depends on what your personal circumstances is and when you have the time to put the work in.

  • avatar Ann {Created To Cook} Feb 22, 2016, 7:17 pm

    Thank you for allowing me to take a peek into your work week. It’s fascinating to hear how other bloggers do it. And the email tip was GREAT… I’ll definitely give it a try.

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