Running a food blog while working a full time job can feel like a juggling act. Between baking, writing, photography, and all of the business and marketing tasks that go along with it, you can see why people do this as a full time job all on its own. For me, I still work an 8-5 job while managing Butternut Bakery so I try to get the most out of the limited free time I have. If I’m in the car on the way to work, I’m listening to a podcast. On my lunch breaks at work, I spend time working on my blog. And the weekends? I’ve pretty much sacrificed those all together to be able to fill up those two whole days with nothing but Butternut Bakery. But you won’t hear my complaining! I absolutely love what I do and wouldn’t trade it for a single weekend off.
So, I’m sharing a week in my life as a food blogger…while working a full time job. It’s a bit of a long post but I share more than just my week. I added in a couple tips and notes to help you get the most out of your time if you’re in the same boat as me. Now, I’ve only been at this for almost a year so this is from someone who is still trying to figure things out. What I will tell you is that I will never be someone who works until 3am and wakes up at 7am to go to work the next day. I cannot sustain that. I don’t know who can! So this is a very realistic approach to managing a food blog while working full time.
Whether you’re a food blogger yourself or are just curious as to what goes on behind the scenes, I hope you enjoy this peak behind the curtain. There’s also tons of information in here that I can elaborate on in another post all its own. If there’s something that you’d like me to dig deeper into, I’d love to hear from you! You can either leave a comment on this post or message me on my Instagram. Now let’s get to a week in my (busy) life.
- 8:00am: Started my day with a podcast. Listened to half of the How I Built This: Slack episode on my way to work to get some motivation for the week.
- 8:30am: Got to work and shared my giveaway post on Instagram (see pic below of me gorging on cookie dough) before digging into my emails.
- 9:00am-12:00pm: Peaked at my phone whenever I had time to respond to messages/comments.
- 12:00pm: Checked on my pins and analytics at lunch and pinned some interesting recipes I saw in my feed. Outside of scheduling my pins through Tailwind, I like to be organically active on the platform as much as I can. I then watched a couple YouTube videos on food photography. Loved this video. I’m a very visual learner so watching videos has been the biggest help for my food photography.
- 5:20pm-7:30pm: Drove home listening to the rest of the How I Built This episode. I loved it since Slack is something I use at my full time job every single day. I work out, eat, shower, then settle into the couch to start working on my content.
- 7:30pm-10:00pm: Since my time during the week is so limited, I like to designate a day to a certain task. Mondays are typically my content planning days. I try to plan out as far in advance as I can. This was especially important this month because I’m going to be gone for a week in August and two weekends in September. I planned out a few weeks of posts in my Google sheets and wrote up some recipes in my Google docs. Watched a couple more food photography videos and called it a night. Content planning is exhausting.
- 8:00am: Started my day with another podcast – Food Blogger Pro Podcast: Understanding Your Accounting. Not glamorous but good info to know since I’m in the process of monetizing my blog. I just registered as an LLC so I’m brushing up on how to log my expenses and pay myself. Anything involving numbers just goes way over my head so I need all the help I can get! If you want to monetize your blog, become an LLC first. It’s easier than it sounds. I did it through LegalZoom in just a few clicks.
- 8:30am: Got into the office and clicked publish on my Summer Peach Galette recipe and shared it on Instagram. Since I post in the mornings at work, I write my captions ahead of time so all I have to do is click SHARE.
- 12:00pm: On my lunch break, I pinned my Peach Galette recipe to two of my Pinterest boards and checked my notifications. Scrolled through Instagram for a bit then got to writing this post up until this point.
- 5:30pm-6:30pm: Planned on working out and finishing up that podcast but there were no parking spots at the gym. Welp, guess I’m not working out today…darn. I then drove straight to the grocery store to pick up a couple things for the recipes I had planned for the week.
- 7:00pm-11:00pm: Got home, ate dinner, and had my person photographer (aka my boyfriend) take a couple photos of me for this post. I edited them in Lightroom to see how they turned out and made a poll on Instagram to see which post you’d rather see, a week in my life or time management tips. It was a 70/30 split so I decided to add in a couple tips to this post to help out that 30%.
- I head upstairs to our guest bedroom/office to get some work done for ANOTHER side gig I have. I’m currently making around $500 a month with this blog so this other job is helping me save up for a new camera! Worked on that for a couple hours then started a post for my Caramel Apple Muffins. I’m collaborating with a couple other fantastic bakers to share muffin recipes and I needed to reach a deadline so we could be nice and organized for the week ahead. Done!
- Nick pops his head in to tell me he’s going to bed. I said I’d be done soon but then I remembered I had to pick a winner for my giveaway! I collected the names of all eligible entries and imported them into a random name selector. I held off on picking one until the next day in case a couple stragglers came in. Rounded out the night with logging my day here.
- 7:00am: Woke up and checked my phone to see Taste of Home shared my Chocolate Babka photo. What a way to start my day! I stayed in bed a little longer and responded to some notifications.
- 8:00am: Shared an Instagram post of an old recipe before starting my car. In order to keep up with posting every day, I cycle through some of my old recipes. Listened to Simple Pin Podcast: August Pinterest Trends on the way to work. I learned that you should plan your seasonal posts way ahead of time because people searching on Pinterest are planners. I mean they’re planning their Halloween parties in August! I wish I was THAT on top of my game.
- 8:30am: Picked a winner from my giveaway. It turned out to be one of my sisters good friends from high school! I reached out to her then got to work.
- 12:00pm: Didn’t do much today on my lunch break. Checked on Pinterest and my Google Analytics (more pageviews for the month than I expected!) then watched a YouTube video that was unrelated to blogging/food/photography. I just needed a mental break.
- 1:00pm-5:00pm: Checked my phone whenever I could to respond to comments. I always try to respond to every comment I get.
- 5:30pm: While at the gym I listened to The Influencer Podcast: What Brands Look For When Hiring an Influencer. I got some great nuggets of info out of it! Like how brands are getting smarter than just the number of followers you have and that you shouldn’t turn down a company if they offer you a free product. If it aligns with your brand, accept it. It should never be money or bust. The key is to build relationships, not transactions. Good stuff!
- 6:45pm-8:00pm: Drove home in silence because that podcast was enough info for me to digest for the day. Made dinner, ate, showered, sat down, and documented my day on here up until this point.
- 8:10pm-11:00pm: Sat down at my computer and signed up for the Simple Pin Media newsletter. I’ve been meaning to do that for awhile since I’m constantly tuning in to her podcast. It comes with a free Pinterest planner which I save for later.
- I head on over to my blog and proofread a recipe I’m going to share the next day. I then pulled the image up on my Instagram and saved the caption into my drafts. Like I said, this makes my life a whole lot easier when it comes to posting later on. Instagram tip: you can add up to 30 hashtags to your posts and you want all of them in the caption of your photo. I organize mine in a certain format which I save in the notes section on my phone. I write out my caption using that handy template, select all, copy, and paste it into my Instagram caption. It makes life so much easier! Also make sure to use hashtags that will help get your content shared. These can usually be found in the bios of popular food accounts. This has played a huge role in growing my Instagram followers.
- Dug into other options for ad networks. Right now I’m just using Google AdSense (because I don’t have a ton of monthly pageviews). I’m thinking I’ll stick with that until I grow more but I added some networks to my To-Do list so I can go back to them later.
- Looked through my emails and read one from Unboxed. I’ve been looking into joining influencer marketing networks so I did some research and decided to sign up. I’ll find out for myself it it’s worth it or not. Can you tell tonight is my monetization night?
- I finish the night by planning out my next week in Instagram posts and scheduled my pins for the rest of the week. I just started to implement a Pinterest strategy (as you can tell by my week) and scheduling my pins in bulk is a huge time saver. I could honestly write a whole entire post on Pinterest alone because there’s so much to know! Right now it’s taking a little extra time for me to schedule them because I’m in the process of updating all of my Pinterest descriptions for my posts. I recently started using the Tasty Pins plugin and it tells you exactly where to write your description. No more guessing!
- 8:00am: Drove to work listening to Don’t Keep Your Day Job: What is the Third Door episode. It was interesting but I couldn’t really connect to it even though I LOVE this podcast. If you’re ever feeling discouraged about what the heck you’re doing and think you’re insane for following your dreams, listen to Don’t Keep Your Day Job. Trust me, it’ll completely change your mindset.
- 8:30am: Got to work, published my Edible Brownie Cookie Dough recipe, and shared the photo on Instagram.
- 12:00pm: Mainly dug through Amazon for some cookbooks and photo inspiration. Put a couple in my cart (like this one) but couldn’t pull the trigger just yet. Checked on Pinterest, answered a couple emails in my inbox, and wrote down some additional ideas I have for Fall content.
- 7:30pm-10:30pm: After the gym, dinner, and a shower, I got started on baking the famous Momofoku Milk Bar Crack Pie. I’ve always wanted to make it! I typically save Friday nights for a majority of my baking but I have a work event that night so I’m splitting it up between Thursday and Friday night. After a few hour of baking, I finally sit down, open my computer, and document my day. Time for bed!
- 8:00am: Shared an old recipe on Instagram before starting my car. Another silent drive to work. My mental battery starts running low at the end of the week.
- 12:00am: Skipping lunch because I have to leave work early. No blogging today.
- 9:00pm-10:30pm: Just getting home from a bowling event for work. I’m exhausted and plop on the couch. I try to convince myself to bake my other recipe (pecan bars) tomorrow morning but I know I really need to do it tonight. It’s a recipe I’m baking as a guest post and since I’ll be gone the next week, I HAVE to get this done and photographed. I’m so happy I was able to peal myself off the couch because round one of this recipe was a disaster. Back to the drawing board tomorrow morning.
- I always try to get in two recipes a week or two pieces of content a week and create them all on the weekends. Sometimes my recipes work out great and sometimes I really struggle. This just isn’t my weekend.
- 9:00am-11:30am: Round two of my pecan bars. I make my second batch and pray it works. It didn’t. It failed again. I’ll have to wait and try the third batch on Sunday.
- 11:30am-1:00pm: I’m trying out a new set up in our guest bedroom in hopes of better lighting. I get it all set up and shoot the crack pie I made on Thursday. Photographing upstairs in this heat was a bad decision on my part. I was drenched in sweat by the time I was done. Gross. Pie anyone?
- Rest of the Day: Usually I’d spend a full Saturday working on my blog but it’s Nick and I’s five year dating anniversary and we wanted to do something special. We stayed at a resort about 25 minutes away. Lots of pool time, good food, and beautiful views of the mountains. The perfect way to unwind after a busy week!
- 11:30am-2:30pm: We leave the resort and head straight to the grocery store (vacation time is over). I have to pick up more pecans and butter because of the two fails at the recipe. Why are nuts so dang expensive?! We get home and I immediately make the third batch. Made a couple tweaks to the recipe and baking process and FINALLY a winner! They turned out so delicious. Almost like a sticky bun but in bar form. I eat two….OK maybe three.
- 3:00pm-4:00pm: Not too sure about this lighting at this time but I have to get these bars shot since I can’t photograph during the week. I take the photos, clean up, then head to the gym.
- 9:00pm-10:30pm: After showering and getting distracted by YouTube, I import the crack pie and pecan bar photos and start editing. Turns out 3pm is a great time to shoot! I love how the lighting turned out. After editing, I export the photos and add them to my Dropbox. I then pull them up on Instagram to make sure the colors look OK. They can get a little finicky when transferring from screen to screen.
- 10:30pm-12:20am: I JUST settle into bed when I remember I have to write a post for the next day. Totally forgot. I try to think of a situation where I could hold off and write it the next day but I can’t. I get out of bed stay up till midnight to get it done.
Aaand there you have it! That was my week. Lots of Pinterest, podcasts, and posting. Every week looks a little different but follows along these same lines. Had I not taken a staycation on this weekend, I would have got a ton more done! But I think this is a good representation on how you can balance a blog, work, and relationships when it feels like you have zero time to do so. I hope you enjoyed this small snapshot of my blogging life and if you did, let me know what you thought! And thanks for following along with my blogging journey. If I keep this up, who knows where this little blog will go!