Hello my little feathers! I hope you’re having a great week! Today, I very much want to write again a practical article, with tips for your blog. My last article in the same style about my advices to take a good photo and how to use Instagram filters has pleased you so much (it is even my most read article) that I wanted to create a new one! Because giving you tips and making you happy makes me happy. And after all, blogging is my passion, a little bit my job also. This activity, since I started it “for real” (ie not for my friends and relatives only but “on a larger scale” under the advice of my friends and relatives actually) fills me so much with joy and happiness, that if I can give you advice to do the same, it’s even better! After all, my first motivation when creating this blog was to share with you good lifestyle tips, in the areas of beauty, fashion, cooking, home decoration, etc. But what better than to be able to inspire you on the matrix of all this: the blogging. I know that many of you are also bloggers, and that some of you are dreaming of creating a blog. For the first ones, I find that the beauty of the internet and social networks is to be able to inspire one another, so I hope that this article, in all humility, will bring you something. For the second ones, well I hope to be able to enlighten you on what a blog means in its daily management, and maybe give you some keys to get started! Enough for the intro. This article in order to explain how to manage your blog, and how I organize myself for my dear blog plumedaure.com. This lovely blog that brings me so much and has taken up so much space in my life.
Tips for managing your blog and getting daily inspiration & how I manage plumedaure.com
+++ The basis of all : passion +++
There’s so much to say … where to start? I told you below “This lovely blog that brings me so much and has taken up so much space in my life”: it is really that! A blog takes a lot of time. This is not an activity to be taken lightly. Being a blogger is constantly finding inspiration, proposing high-quality and regular content to keep your audience interested, original in order not to bore it. It’s a real job that requires a lot of work. Passionate work. Passion is the basis for being a blogger. You really have to love writing, sharing, spending time for “others” in order to succeed and to hold on in the long term. Most bloggers do not earn money with their blog. Especially during the first months or even the first years. We start a blog in order to share our good plans of everyday life, to interact, to let our imagination run free, to express our creativity. But the blog is often a “second job”, it intervenes in parallel of a main job, of studies or others. It is not our livelihood, at least not in the beginning. So passion is really important. Because for a long time, the “only” (if I may say so) reward that you get is a little bit of visibility, subscribers on your social networks, comments on your articles and photos, and much, much love. It’s so great already, of course ! So much happiness, really, it’s pleasure every day! But that does not pay for the grocery or the rent, unfortunately. What I mean by that is that if you think that blogging will be an easy way to test a lot of products, and to make money, you’re wrong. Blogging is above all a PASSION, that you make “for free” for the pleasure of doing it, for quite a long time. And without passion, you can’t take pleasure in it. Without passion, you get tired of it. Without passion, you will never manage to keep long enough for your blog to become big, and may one day, perhaps, pay the grocery and rent.
Personally, I started this blog in April 2016 and I would say that it takes me about 3h a day. Until about a month ago, I did not earn a penny with this blog, and actually it was not the goal. I started this blog because I am a so curious in life, because I love to test products, new stuff, new recipes, because I like to create, because I like fashion, beauty, good plans, and above because I like SHARING all that with you. And the simple fact of receiving your comments on the blog and on social networks every day, the simple fact of receiving photos of you wearing clothes for which I had coupon codes, or testing a product that I advised, acts like a pay slip at the end of the month. The fact of being able to inspire you, even a little, in your everyday life, is enough for me and fulfills me.
From a passion, my blog is little by little, day after day and month after month, becoming a little more a desire of a carrier, at least a big part of my professional life. For some time now, I orient it more in this way because I begin to have the legitimacy to do so with the brands. Indeed, blogging, even if it is a passion, after a while – that is to say along the collaborations, along the daily work of animating, conserving and increasing my community of readers and followers – naturally becomes a job. Long hours in front of the computer, or behind the camera to shoot a whole bunch of pretty things. It is a job where we give a lot of ourselves, and this work is a work of creation like any other, like a painter, a photographer or whoever creative person is paid for what he does. For some time now, therefore, I begin to earn some money with my baby blog. I will tell you all this in detail in another article, I promise. For now, I prefer to focus on how I manage my blog on a daily basis. How I organize my time. How I find inspiration.
In any case, you understood the meaning of this first paragraph: passion. Passion is the basis. If you are really passionate, you hold your blog with pleasure and it will be seen, it will be read, it will be felt. With passion, you will be inspired, original, regular, qualitative. Everything else will follow, and success as well.
+++ Managing your time +++
As I said earlier in this article, blogging takes time. Personally, since I started, I spend about 3 hours a day working for it. Maybe not 3h every day, but on average, over the week.
If I’d have to detail a classic week, all the activities and time spent for the blog and my social networks, it would be this :
From Monday to Friday (workdays – because yes, I’m also an employee) I make sure to post at least 2 photos per day on Instagram, to answer to all your comments, and write my Wednesday’s post. I post twice a week on the blog, on Wednesdays and Sundays. I imposed this rhythm to myself for regularity, because I find that 2 articles per week is the right amount to have enough new things to propose, but without overloading my readers who also have a busy life and not necessarily time to read one article per day. So I decided to publish twice, and on fixed days. That way, it’s easier for everyone to know when there’s news on the blog. And then, it forces me to stay regular, a bit like an agenda that is there to support me, it helps me. So, in general, I’m starting to work on the Wednesday’s post on Monday. My little secret? Since I am pretty busy, with my full time job in Denmark (while I live in Sweden), the 3 hours of transports every day, all the daily tasks (shopping, meals preparation, sport) and that I still want to spend time with my boyfriend in the evening (and not to be in front of my computer until bedtime), I optimize all my spare time. I pre-write my articles on my iPhone, in the application “notes” as soon as I have a little moment: in the public transports, when I wait for the bus, when I wait for the bathtube to fill up, etc. . For me, what is “practical” is that I spend 3 hours a day in the transports. This leaves me the time to pre-write almost all my articles on the bus or on the train and allows me to spend this time doing something useful. The good thing is that I don’t feel like I’m loosing that time at least.
I’m sure you all have some spare time. So of course, it’s so important to know how not to do anything at all also, and to look out the window of the train, music in your ears, letting your mind wander for time to time. To know how to relax. I’m not telling you that I’m always working on my blog. But let’s say that it is in these moments that I find it pertinent to achieve some stuff for the blog, so that this does not take too much time on the rest of my personal life.
During this spare time, I also manage Instagram. As I was telling you, I try to post about 2 pictures per day. When I post a picture, I like to accompany it with a legend, and especially I love to put all my attention into it (filters, effects, ect.). I often do this during the breakfast, on the train on the way to work, or on the way back. It occupies me, and it is a moment when I am alone, serene and where I can dedicate myself to my passion.
In general, I would say that I use 2 hours per days of “time-outs” to pre-write my articles, post on Instagram, answer your nice comments, etc. And all this is in a normal working day, after I left my apartment, and before I come home in the evening. It is therefore time I occupy to exercise my passion instead of losing it, which is great!
I also sometimes work in the evening, from home, after my day of work. This is necessary because everything can not be done on the mobile phone. Indeed, I also have to take pictures for my articles, for Instagram, work on them on the computer, and format the articles of the blog directly on WordPress. I would say that I spend two evenings a week doing all this. My boyfriend is very understanding about my blogging activity and leaves me all the space and freedom I need, he also supports me enormously, and for that I know that I am lucky and I thank him. This gives us the opportunity to do things “together but separately” at home, and it’s very cozy. He works on his personal projects while I work for the blog, often we work on the same desk, it is very nice.
So, if we summarise : Monday to Friday I devote about 2 hours a day to the blog during my spare time, and two evenings (about 6h extra). So it’s 16 hours in total, so there we go, about 3 hours a day in total, as I said. A lot of time necessary for all this, but only happiness! And a good way of letting express the creativity that is in us. This blog, and my social networks, is my little bubble of happiness, humanity, and good waves of everyday. I could not do without it!
During the weekend, let’s say it’s pretty much the same except that I work more “in one shot”. Often, for example, I take a morning on Saturday, plus one end of the afternoon on Sunday, to work. The things I do on weekends? Write the Sunday’s post (often a fashion / look post) and therefore shoot the look of the weekend. But also: open my packages that I received during the week, take lots of photos of the different items to have a weekly stock, and to prepare future articles (at least to have the photos). I would say that I spend about 3h on Saturday, and 3h on Sundays for these purposes. On Saturdays, it’s reserved for the Sunday shoot and for the writing of the Sunday’s post, and on Sunday, it’s reserved for the finalization of the Sunday’s post, for the opening of the packages, for the shooting of new items received and preparing photos for the upcoming posts of the week. And of course, without forgetting Instagram in all that! 🙂 My favorite social network.
Which becomes no less than 21 hours of work per week … well it’s like having an extra part-time job in addition to the rest, haha :)! It’s a lot of work, it’s true … But once again, I do it with pleasure and it leaves me nevertheless time to do other things with my boyfriend, to work out, to cook good dishes, to walk around in the city and to have a social life. But it’s true that the blog is here all the time, every day. I never take a “holiday”. Do you understand why I spoke of passion at first? Again, passion is the driving force behind all this work.
To be honest, I am so excited to start my new life as a freelancer in 4 weeks. I told you about it in this article about my turning point in spring, if you missed it. The fact of no longer having hourly routine (office hours), no longer having to take transport will free up a lot of time in my life and give me much more freedom to handle all this. No more need to use the “time-outs”, I won’t have anymore. I will be able to dedicate my 3 hours a day to my blog when I want to. And use all the remaining time to perhaps even do a little more and develop a little more all this, and also and especially for my Digital Marketing consulting business. Can’t wait for April! 🙂
+++ Get daily inspiration +++
OK, you’re also passionate, you also have time to devote to your blog and you have your little tricks to fix this in addition to your job or your studies? So welcome to the club! 🙂 But in all that, you also have to find inspiration to post each day on Instagram, and enough articles per week. Without being too repetitive, and especially keeping it interesting for your audience, that is to say your blog readers and your followers on social networks. Not wanting to sound like an old CD which turns in loop, the inspiration also comes naturally from the basis, the passion. Haha. Sorry to insist eh, but it’s true. When you are passionate about your subjects, the ideas come naturally. Personally, I don’t miss of ideas ! The challenge is to organize them for you. Provide regular, original and captivating content. Not always easy, huh? So how to find inspiration in order to keep an interesting editorial line?
Using social networks like Pinterest, Instagram, and getting inspiration from other bloggers can be a first track. Caution here, we speak about getting “inspired” and not to “reproduce”. If you write an article that has already been written by 3 other bloggers this month, it does not have much interest because it’s a bit “repetitive”. Of course, it’s not about reinventing the world either. Lifestyle, beauty and fashion bloggers are everywhere, there are plenty on the web. And some have been here for a much longer time than I have, for example. So, I do not pretend to innovate in all my articles, it’s almost impossible. But, I always try to bring my own thing, my own style, my own vision of things and especially creating my own visual universe. I take all my pictures myself and never use image banks for example. This allows me to stay in my own universe, which I hope you enjoy. I give a lot of importance to words but I give as much, if not more, importance to visuals. I find that an article (and a blog for that matter), before being interesting, must be beautiful. After all, that’s the first thing we see. We say that we make an opinion on a site in a fraction of a second … the visual has so much importance. In short, my motto is to take inspiration from the things I see / do every day (whether online on social networks, sites and blogs or offline – magazines, street signs, news, TV, radio, discussions with my loved ones, good plans / discoveries of every day) and to translate them into my own universe. With my words, my vision of things, and my visuals. I’m planning to invest in a new camera objective to offer even more qualitative photos … I look forward to having it and to talk about it in more details!
I also have the chance to receive quite a lot of different packages, from different brands thanks to the blog. It is true that as a blogger, as soon as we have a few thousand followers, we quickly becomes an interesting channel of communication at a lower price for brands. They often offer us “collaborations”, as they are called. That is to say that they propose to us to test one or several products, against posting our opinion on the social networks. A simple exchange, almost free, both very interesting for the blogger and for the brand. For the blogger, it’s a joy to receive free stuff! My god, this is crazy, in this world where everything has to be paid for! 🙂 Especially at first, you don’t realize it. You get makeup, cosmetics, clothes, accessories, decoration for the house, monthly boxes, all for free … but pinch me, is it real? Yes it is. Blogging is what works from now on. And the brands understood that. But it’s true that at first it makes everything feel unreal almost, you feel like “on a little cloud”. The truth is that it is also very interesting for brands, of course. Otherwise, they would not do it. The cost of producing a product is often so low compared to the “public price”, and blogs / social networks are a way of making almost free promotion. If you compare this to an advertisement in a magazine or TV, for example, which is several thousand euros for a magazine page or for 10 seconds of a TV commercial, then advertising via the blogs / social networks becomes much more interesting: just the cost of sending a product or two. It’s perfect ! In addition, often, the followers of a blogger are right in the target that brands want to touch … so it’s just a great way to give yourself visibility at a lower cost.
I love collaborations, it’s a real treat. A way to discover lots of things all the time and stay inspired. To test products and to share with you the best discoveries, often with a small coupon code :). I do not hide from you that my collaborations remain a very important part of my inspiration. It is also a way of discovering many new brands and business creators, often also very inspiring people whose good energy is contagious.
With all the passion and all that enthusiasm that you have for blogs, inspiration is everywhere. To organize my ideas, I organize a planning tool that I like very much: Trello. This tool is great, free, and very easy to use. It allows to create “boards” to classify and organize your ideas / tasks in “cards”. I use it every day and it allows me to keep note of everything, and not to forget anything. Trello is available on mobile and computer, so I always have it with me.
Here is to give you an idea of how I organize myself on Trello:
First of all, I create my “boards” for all the main themes that I manage for the blog and around the blog. A board for “collaborations”, a board “planning content for my articles”, a board for “ideas / inspiration”, a “to do” board, etc. This allows me to organize my various actions.
In each board, I organize myself in “cards”. For example, in the “collaborations” board I have 4 “cards”: “parcels in delivery”, “parcels received and post to be realized”, “brands in standby – to be contacted later for a collaboration” and finally “collaboration completed and successful”. This allows me to always have a view of where I am, what remains to be done, and to remain professional by never forgetting anything.
Same for “ideas / inspiration”board : as soon as an idea crosses my mind, I note it. So I’m sure I’ll never forget it and I can inspire myself with my board full of ideas I’ve had in the last few months. Trello helps me to keep track of everything, and not to forget anything. I really recommend using this tool, it changes your life!
Here are my dears, I hope this article will have pleased you and could help you manage your blog, or inspire you for a future blog. Do not hesitate to give me your impressions in comments, it is always a pleasure to read you. As I said, your feedback is a bit like a pay slip at the end of the month.
THANKS A LOT FOR MAKING THIS BLOG ALIVE
+++ Without you, none of this would make sense +++
+++ I <3 you +++
Big kisses on your way, and enjoy the rest of week <3 Plume d’Auré