Back in 2017 before I had started my blogging journey, I also pondered the question: what do bloggers do all day?!
Blogging isn’t a traditional career, so it’s a natural curiosity. I’m asked this question often now that I run my online business (that stemmed from my blog) full-time.
To ease some curiosity and shine a light for anyone who thinks they may want to become a blogger themselves, I’m going to take you through a day in my life.
In case anyone needs to hear this: I am in no way claiming this as “the” way to blog.
Every blogger will have a different answer to the question “what do bloggers do?” Heck, in a few months I’ll have a different answer. I will never “arrive” at my forever routine and priorities.
Blogging is a creative activity and is as flexible as you make it, allowing it to grow and rise to our curiosities and energy of that month. If you let it, blogging will change your life.
Intro To What Do Bloggers Do
Before I dive into an average day as a blogger, I want to answer a few pressing questions that will help you understand blogging first.
Answering The Most Foundational Question First: What Is A Blog?
A blog is not an online diary. Blogs are truly limitless so it’s a bit difficult to describe them in certain terms. This entire website is a blog. This site also houses the services I offer and products that I sell in my shop, but at its core, it is just a blog.
A blog is a place online where content is shared.
Traditional businesses (such as a business-to-business (B2B), or product-based business) will often use a blog as a form of content marketing.
Content marketing is the act of providing free content that your ideal customer or reader would like.
And this isn’t specific to blogging – blogs are just a favorite go-to piece of content marketing because it’s endlessly flexible and you own it (unlike content marketing done on Instagram or TikTok).
A great way to understand blogging and content marketing is to think of a business as an island, and each piece of content is another bridge onto that island. A blog is a great way to do this because blogs are essentially unlimited.
How Do Bloggers Make Money?
The answer to this question is almost endless, but here are some of the most popular ways that bloggers make money:
- Affiliate marketing: a blogger recommends a product (such as the laptop they use) and then if you buy it within a certain number of days after clicking on their link, they get a small percentage of the sale
- Paid brand collaborations: brands pay bloggers to create content including their products
- Website ads: ad companies will buy space on a blog and pay the blogger per views or clicks on the ad
- Freelancing: this is a spin-off from a blog, but the two are connected. Many freelancers will use a blog to bring potential clients to their website
Personally, I make most of my money indirectly from my blog: right now, the majority of my income comes from doing Pinterest management for other creators.
This income stream may look unrelated to my blog, but it’s actually a spin-off from my blog. My clients hire me based on the huge brand reach I have for my own brand (the record-high was 30 million people reached in 30 days in January 2020 – hallo pre-pandemic 2020).
What Do Bloggers Do? The Technical Responsibilities
Blogging isn’t a normal job. In there beginning, there is an unfathomable amount of work. Many bloggers have been eaten alive by their to-do lists and never seen again. It’s a true story.
However, once your blog is set up correctly and you’ve nailed down the best productivity tips for new entrepreneurs, a blog can continue to generate traffic and passive income for years to come.
I’ll be honest: a lot of people will tell you that this took 3-6 months and they’re *so* glad that they survived it. For me, it took 2 years for me to really iron out all of the beginner kinks with my blog. There were a lot of big questions that I didn’t have answers to when I started, like who my target audience was and what I ultimately wanted to offer on this website.
I’m certain that you never really have all of the answers before having the courage to change and getting started blogging. It takes a leap of faith, and a willingness to make mistakes and learn feverishly.
Blogging is incredible. An established blog can make money passively, and very good money at that. But the buy-in is huge: the buy-in is months or years of work with no financial return, and no guarantees of any financial return either.
Seeing the mountain of responsibilities behind an active blog is important. If you’re asking yourself “what do bloggers do?” because you’re dreaming of being a blogger yourself, then I owe it to you to paint an honest picture.
Some Blogging Responsibilities:
- Brainstorming highly-effective blog post ideas
- Researching the keywords to focus on for SEO (I use and recommend Keysearch)
- Optimizing the piece for the keywords you chose
- Writing the blog post. Every post should be at least 1,000 words because Google prefers longer pieces. My longest piece is 6,000+ words
- Editing the writing. I find it very difficult to edit my own writing, and I often miss mistakes. It’s true, you will find typos on Writing From Nowhere. Editing is something I’m truly terrible at but I do my best
- Taking custom photos for each blog post. Sometimes, stock photography is a good fit with the mood of the piece but some pieces just require time-consuming custom photography (such as my 2020 gift guide)
- Building external links via guest posting to raise my domain authority (DA), which helps my site get more traffic from Google. This is known as building a backlink profile; I check my backlinks regularly
- Building internal links and making sure that my content always feeds back into the ecosystem (I use Link Whisper to help with this)
- Creating custom graphics for each blog post. This can be time-consuming for creators, so I also sell templates to help people cross tasks off their list
- Managing my community group. I manage a Facebook group to help creators with SEO that has daily activity, weekly lessons, etc. This is a very common responsibility of bloggers
- Uploading every blog post to Pinterest and optimizing it (you can check out my Pinterest account here if you’re curious)
- Maintaining an active, up-to-date Pinterest strategy. Even on the weeks that you don’t publish a new blog post, you still have to publish content to Pinterest every single day (check out these Pinterest marketing ideas to help you maintain an active account) and stay up to date on current best practices
- Collecting emails for an email list, and making freebies that entice readers to join
- Crafting relevant and valuable emails to send to those people on your email list
- Updating blog posts that have gone more than 6 months without an update. Google aims to send searchers to the most relevant, updated information. A part of every blogger’s responsibility is updating their published pieces to show Google that they are still current
A blogger can responsible for these things either directly or indirectly. In the beginning, when there isn’t a budget, many bloggers are responsible for these tasks directly.
As time goes no, though, ideally you start making money, automating some of these tasks and hiring some help so that you can focus on what brings in the money.
Truthfully though, the early days of blogging can be bleak. Many people hear whispers on the wind (or see ads from white guys with double finger guns selling them a blogger course) that they can make passive income online. It’s true, but it’s a lot of hard work in the meantime.
Most bloggers will quit before they ever fail. If you’re here today, looking for an answer to the question “what do bloggers do?” because you think blogging may be in your future, then you should be prepared to put in some serious work.
An online business can bring in thousands of dollars a month passively. It’s a big reward, and it also takes a lot of sweat equity to buy into that agreement.
What Do Bloggers Do? A Day In The Life Of A Blogger
Every blogger’s workflow is naturally different. After 2 years of blogging, this is what an average day keeping Writing From Nowhere.com running looks like:
6:30 am: Alarm Goes Off
To set an alarm or to not set an alarm? Everyone who works remotely and doesn’t have kids in their home is faced with this question.
Personally, I find that setting an alarm is an important remote work habit, plus I can spend some AM time with Bert-Jan (my husband, for any newcomers) before he leaves for work.
First thing in the morning, I wake up and journal on the couch with 1L of cold water. My Nalgene stays under my chin all day as a reminder to sip water constantly.
My journaling follows the Morning Pages routine from Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. This habit is the only reason that this blog still exists: this is a life-changing practice that will lay your foundation for creative success.
My preferred notebook is the XL, softcover Moleskine cahier journal, and you get bonus points if choose a refillable pen instead of a disposable one.
7:30 am: Make Coffee & Start Writing
This part of the day is done still in pajamas and drinking black French press coffee.
The backbone of every blog is the blog posts. Over the past two years, I’ve refined my website and brand and automated as much as possible, so now I spend a lot of time writing.
In the earlier days of my blogging journey, I didn’t spend as much time writing as I do now. I probably spent equal parts writing in WordPress and writing questions into Googling.
I Googled the exact question “what do bloggers do?” and even, “what are bloggers *supposed* to do?”
Thankfully, blogging is a practice that gets easier as it goes on. Finding keywords, writing, developing your style – everything gets easier and quicker with time.
Now, my days are very writing-heavy and it’s how I start every day.
My process writing a blog post:
- I get an idea for a post, and I open a new blog post in my WordPress
- The idea is dumped in there, sometimes with just a few words or bullet points
- In days, weeks, or months, I will return to that blog post and add more content
- Open KeySearch (a keyword researching program, one of the best online business tools) and research and select the keywords that I will try to rank for
- I will open this blog post draft and keep adding text until it’s done
- On average, a piece takes about a month to complete. I don’t rush the writing process. Whether the writing juices are flowing or not, I force myself to write for hours every single morning. That’s been huge for this blog’s success
Now, every blogger is different: some bloggers adhere to a strict content creation calendar. Personally, I find that I write my best content when I’m able to work on a piece of a longer stretch of time.
This only works because I start working on pieces in advance of their deadlines – way in advance for longer pieces. For example, I started working on my 2020 holiday gift guide in February, and dabbled with it until the beginning of September when I published it.
September may sound early, but search traffic for Christmas content actually begins in July! I know this because my 2019 and 2018 gift guides both started picking up traction in July.
Need help knowing what to write for your blog? Use my checklist and guide:
After years of blogging, I can watch my old writing continue to reel in traffic and affiliate sales. Knowing that my old work is still working for me and making me passive income is a feeling rivaled by none that I’ve felt in my working years.
If you want to peak into the inner-workings of some other creative businesses, check out this blog post where I interview 12 women and they spill the tea on their work.
10:30 am: Get Ready & Make Brunch
Liters of water and coffee serve as my breakfast, so I delay food until brunch. I have a trademark dish that is actually known in our home as “The Kayla,” and it goes as follows:
- Chopped and sautéed zucchini, carrots, onions and mushrooms
- Seasoned couscous
- Scrambled eggs or
Or, when I’m feeling less colorful I often opt for the TikTok breakfast sandwich, which is a culinary masterpiece.
Getting dressed is a quick process. If you’ve been around Writing From Nowhere for a while, you’ll remember that I have a capsule wardrobe and am a minimalist.
My beauty routine is extremely minimal: vegan face wash and serum from Face Theory and I curl my eyelashes. Getting ready takes about 5 minutes.
11:30 am: Shift Out Of Writing & Into Other Tasks
When writing fatigue sets in, I move onto other necessary tasks, such as:
Emails: No online business is free from emails! I email my subscribers a couple of times a month, and also negotiate brand deals, keep in touch with clients, and so no via email.
Researching and pitching collaborations: Collaborations come in all shapes and sizes – sometimes in a collaboration with a fellow blogger or a brand.
I’m always searching for creator collaborations and guest posts that will mutually benefit both of our audiences. Likewise, I field pitches from creators that want to publish here. One example of a collaborative guest post here is Career Fulfillment: How To Know If Your Career Isn’t A Good Match.
If you’re interested in publishing a guest post on Writing From Nowhere, float me a pitch over here!
1:30 pm: Check Facebook Groups For Potential Clients & Collaborations
The majority of my Pinterest management and coaching clients come from Facebook groups.
Pinterest questions: I’m in many blogger and digital nomad Facebook groups, and people often have questions about using Pinterest. So every day or a couple of times a week, I do a search for “Pinterest” and answer questions that people have.
I answer the questions that I see and let the asker know that I’m a Pinterest manager and I’m happy to answer more questions or provide them with some free resources. This method has brought in the majority of my clients!
Sometimes, people just comment underneath of my comment and ask “can I hire you to manage my account?”
Why yes. Yes you can.
This method works because it’s value-first. Showing value, initiative and expertise is the best advertising you can have. It’s also no strings attached – I’m just enjoying my coffee break by answering some easy questions for other creators. It’s a win-win.
Publicity opportunities: People often turn to Facebook groups to publish their calls for publications, magazine features, podcast interviews, and so on.
In the past few months alone, I’ve landed several podcast interviews and two online summit speaker gigs through Facebook groups.
2:15 pm: Review My Manifestations & Goals
Sometime in the afternoon, I pause to review my manifestations for goals for the year.
I work daily to hold my goals in my mind’s eye. In addition to my planer and goal polaroids that you see above, I also have a sticker with my biggest manifestation, “passive income,” on my laptop screen and phone so I see it constantly.
Some of my goals for 2021 are:
- Publish 2 new blog posts per week
- Publish more guest posts by outside writers to provide a more well-rounded experience to Writing From Nowhere readers (you can pitch a guest post here if that sounds appealing to you!)
- Have a successful digital shop with well-selling products
- Reach a domain authority of 40
- Make daily, passive income
- Launch my first physical product
Mindset is everything when in the early stages of blogging. Henry Ford said it best: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.”
The importance of mindset can’t be understated, whether you’re talking about online business specifically or remote work mindset in general. Working remotely will test you.
Make goals and remind yourself of them every single day, and you will reach them must faster. This is how I master my mindset.
If you want a little mindset boost every time you look at your phone, set one of these quotes by strong women as your phone background.
2:30 pm: Make My Pinterest Story Pin Of The Day
Pinterest is my #1 traffic source, where my brand reaches a couple of million people a month. I make sure to spend special time on my Pinterest strategy. Specifically, I focus on producing story pins.
Story pins were a big focus of mine in 2020. The brand reach is excellent, Pinterest is pushing them big-time. I used this new feature as my launchpad into templates in my digital shop, and am speaking at a Pinterest conference on story pins in March!
Story pins are a huge part of my life right now.
Every day, I make a new story pin. This takes me about one hour total: I come up with the idea, design it in Canva, export it, upload it to Pinterest, format the text and save it as a draft to come back and publish at night when my audience is most active.
Some of my most successful story pins are these:
- conscious living mantras story pin
- a day of less with minimalism story pin
- mental health reminders for remote workers story pin
For more Pinterest tips, check out my 30 Quick Pinterest Ideas blog post.
4:00 pm: Manage My Facebook Group
A blogger’s main objective is to provide as much value as possible. Beyond your blog itself, you can do that via Facebook groups where you offer a service or training.
My Facebook group is very small and very active. It’s dedicated to SEO; think: SEO fight club. I keep it extremely small on purpose because big groups are difficult to manage and people join flippantly without really caring about the topic or community. If you’re keen to join the group and participate, send me an email at [email protected] and I’ll add you.
4:30 pm: Finish Where I Started, With… More Writing
I often get the question “do I really need to write a blog to create an online business?”
The truth is, no: this the wild west, you can (and should) make up whatever rules work for you. But I do feel there are a lot of valuable arguments for why your business needs a blog.
Whatever you choose to pursue, design your business and design your life (AKA lifestyle design, one of my favorite subjects) to fit how you actually want to spend your days.
But, if you want to be a blogger, you better get writing. And you ought to like it, at least sometimes.
If you’re someone who hates writing and dreads the idea of having to write for the next year without being paid for it, then blogging isn’t for you. That doesn’t mean that online business isn’t, but this entryway into the online business world won’t be fruitful to you.
I’m hitting this point so hard because a lot of people come into blogging with the idea that it’s not work. Blogging is tons of work, especially in the beginning. You will work hard, for hundreds of hours, with no tangible returns.
The workload *can* be lighter when you use resources from other bloggers, such as my SEO checklist.
Where was I?
5:30 pm: Go To The Store With A Biz Podcast In My Ears
If you’re asking “what do bloggers do?” with an itch of being a blogger yourself, you should start tuning into the business world today.
My favorite medium is podcasting, but you ought to read blogs, books, watch documentaries, etc. to start to develop these muscles.
Travel blogger Nomadic Matt hammered this point home for me. In an interview, he talked about how he meets so many aspiring professional bloggers who don’t educate themselves on business or their industry.
This is educational, but it’s also a placeholder in lieu of having friends who are successful in online business and blogging. In my blog post on living consciously, I quoted Moosha Rahat: “Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.”
If you don’t have friends who are inspiring you, giving you ideas or showing you that achieving your dreams is possible, plug into a podcast and adopt a whole new set of “friends.”
My favorite podcasts about online business:
- The Location Indie Podcast with Travis Sherry and Jason Moore
- Letters From A Hopeful Creative with Sara Tasker and Jen Carrington
- Building A StoryBrand with Donald Miller
Evening: Put Work Away (Physically & Mentally)
Obsessing leads to burn-out. This is a lesson that you will be forced to learn over and over again until you learn to prevent burnout.
Bloggers, like all online entrepreneurs, must identify when they are done for today so they have a clear cut-off point each day.
10:30 pm: Publish My Story Pin For The Day
My audience on Pinterest is most active at night, so I get back onto my computer to publish the draft that I made earlier in the day.
A Day In The Life, For Now
That’s a normal day right now, in a season of content creation. Later, when I launch a new line of digital products, this will look different.
This process has changed drastically over the past few years. In my early days of blogging day, I spent my time really inefficiently because I didn’t know what my priorities were.
The early days of blogging are difficult: I hope I’ve expressed that enough, not to scare anyone away, but to deter people who think becoming a full-time blogger
Sometimes people even ask me “what do bloggers do all day!?” as if it’s so easy that anyone could do it.
What Do Bloggers Do? Final Thoughts
I think you searched “what do bloggers do?” for a reason. You have an itch to share, to make something for yourself, to use the internet to find the same success that you see other people achieving.
Those feelings are valid, and they deserve to be explored. Who knows where they could lead you? Imagine being a full-time blogger, living off of your website and making passive income while working on something meaningful that you own. Why don’t you write your first blog post today? It’s at your fingertips.
Want to chat about some blogging coaching? Email me at [email protected] to see if coaching will help you get your blog off the ground.