You guys, I’m stoked about this behind the blog interview! Be Up & Doing has become one of my favorite daily reads. I’ve learned a lot from Allie’s Tips for Blogging series especially! Thanks for sharing more of your great blogging advice with us, Allie!
So what’s your blog all about?
Everything that I, myself, love.
My blog has really become a great place for community. I like to blog about what I love (which includes photography, healthy living, design, and life experiences) but really love to write posts where I feel like I’m just chatting with a good friend. I make a point to respond to every comment and love everyone that I’ve met through my blog.
When did you start blogging + what made you decide to go for it?
I started blogging in 2009. My husband (fiancé at the time) had been blogging since 2007 and had always encouraged me to start one. I mostly blogged about my design work and used it more as a journal.
Walk us through your typical day. How much time per day/week do you devote to your blog?
Typically I wake up around 9am (I am not a morning person) and make coffee while I let the dog out. I respond to emails, get my freelance clients their revisions and eat breakfast. Around 10am, I head to the studio where I am a contracted freelance designer. I work there until 4pm and head home to freelance more! Sometimes I socialize in the evenings, make dinner, or just relax.
I probably devote 10 hours a week to blogging (including responding to comments). I try to queue up all my blog posts on the weekend to free up my week for friends and work.
How do you manage your time + stay organized?
I am a list maker! I always have a list in front of me and the most important tasks are at the top. My husband and I share our iCals and I use Google Calendar to schedule out my blog posts.
Recently, I’ve decided to schedule all meeting for afternoons and evenings. They tend to be longer and I don’t like starting my mornings off feeling behind.
How do you keep your imagination flowing + get past creative funks when they do sneak in?
Taking small breaks has been the best thing for my creative funks. I usually blog every weekday but lately I’ve been cool with skipping a day if I’m just not feeling it (and realizing that I don’t owe anyone an apology if it happens). I also try to stay off sites like Pinterest or Facebook. Watching what other people are doing rarely kicks my butt into a creative rush. Also: having a clean house does wonders for my productivity.
Do you have any quick + easy post ideas for those days when you’re short on time or inspiration?
Yes! I love sharing photos from my Instagram feed or asking your readers questions about themselves!
What are a few business/blogging resources ( online or offline ) that have been beneficial for you?
Design is a Job by Mike Monteiro was one of the best books that I’ve ever read. I would recommend it to anyone who makes money in a creative field. For blogging, I’ve found that just making a note about why you love another blog post helps you think BIG picture. For example: I love it when bloggers share tips and have realized that sharing is never a bad thing.
How has blogging influenced your life + relationships?
I’ve made so many friends (like you, Jordan). I feel like I have friends all over the world and actually look forward to meeting them when I visit different cities. There have been times, however, when I’ve taken on too much and blogging can ultimately create a strain on my relationships with my husband. I don’t get paid to blog and I’ve had to learn that my relationship with him is more important. I can’t spend 20 hours a week on it!
How has your blog impacted your business?
Since I’m blogging almost daily, it definitely keeps me in the back of peoples’ minds. It keeps me relevant and allows potential clients to “meet” me before we work together. I also think it works as a form of accountability. I often hear from people that their last designer “fell off the face of the earth.” To me, that is so odd. I can’t imagine that.
How much of your life offline do you share on your blog? How does this effect your readers’ ability to connect with you?
I think I share a fair amount. I’ve been very open about our finances, my health/diet decisions, and my fears. I try to balance out the dark with the light. I don’t blog to vent or spout out negativity. I also try not to make my life sound like it’s perfect. I tend to avoid things like religion, politics, or post too many photos of my close friends/family.
What has been the key to success for you as a blogger? Especially when you were new to the blog world.
Original content. I’ve made a point to not “re-blog” or curate a lot of posts. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it but I found that once I started posting original content – you find more fulfillment in blogging. I try not to focus on stats or numbers but I did see my readership increase once that became my focus.
Any further advice for fellow bloggers?
Don’t blog unless you want to. Try to bring something good into the world.