Monday, November 11, 2013

It's Monday. For my CoffeeMaker (husband) that means getting up early, hitting the gym, grabbing coffee and heading into the office. For my son that means getting up early, eating his cereal, tying up his tennis shoes and heading off to school.

But what does Monday mean for mom?

Confession:  I get the sense that my friends and family think I sit at home all day watching the cooking channel and stuffing my face full of organic Oreos.  Hardly.  Let me run you through a typical day-in-the-life-of-a-food-blogger.

First of all, I'm up early too. Just because I work at home for myself doesn't mean I get to slack off and sleep in until 11:00 a.m.. As many of you parents know when ToddlerBaby is up, I am up. That doesn't change just because you don't have an office to go to.

Once up, I am the one getting ToddlerBaby fed, dressed and out the door to school. I am the one he clings to and screams for when the door to his classroom closes, and I am the one who will have to drop everything and run back to the school if something is broken, lost or forgotten.

Once ToddlerBaby is at school and CoffeeMaker is at work then the real fun begins. Just like those of you sitting at a desk or in a cube I too have to check my emails every morning. I have to see if the articles I spent hours writing and the recipes I spent hours testing and the pictures I spent hours photographing have been approved for publication on sites other than my own. Sometimes they have, sometimes they haven't. It's a constant battle either way.

The day goes on. Once the emails are checked then come the follow ups. Follow ups to my web designer to see when we might be ready to launch a new site and when we can discuss additional features. Follow ups to sites I haven't heard back from yet. Follow ups to guest bloggers to see if they are still interested in contributing to my site. Follow ups. Follow ups. Follow ups.

Now comes research. If you think social media is limited to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram you are wrong. For professional food bloggers there is a never-ending thread of websites we are either on, need to be on or want to be on. For example, my social media stream of uploads involves the following…
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
Instagram
Tumblr
BlogLovin
MyRecipeMagic
Yummly
FoodGawker
BlogHer
...and two new ones discovered today Taste and Feast. I'm sure I will find more tomorrow.The stream of food sites that require a presence in order to make it in this business are exhausting! But I'm not complaining.

I haven't even gotten around to the outreach required for online magazines like Huffington Post Food, Tasting Table, Food52, SheKnows, Parenting, Good Housekeeping, Reel Simple, etc.  Food plays a part in each one of these sites and as a food blogger I am reaching out for a presence here daily as well.

Then come the locals. Those sites who live right next door, whom you want to support and encourage just as much as you do your own. Sites like Kansas Women Bloggers, SPLURGE Magazine and many other local publications. They need content too, recipes, stories, reviews and I want to provide for them as they do for me.

Have you noticed I haven't even discussed my own blog content yet?! After a morning full of outreach and networking comes the actual cooking and posting to Yumology. I may or may not have to go to the grocery store before I come home and prepare a new dish that both you and I can enjoy. Once the food is actually cooked it needs to be photographed. The light has to be just right or many of our partner sites won't accept the submission. Details are important so I have to make sure I have just the right angle to make the food look attractive.

It would be nice if just one recipe were necessary but if we've promised an exclusive to a partner, that means we need to cook twice. Once for them and once for Yumology. This is becoming more and more of a trend as the site grows in popularity. It's a good problem to have, but time-consuming nonetheless.

A second, maybe even a third, recipe is cooked and photographed and the food is put away until dinner time. The recipes and articles are typed up and either posted to Yumology or sent off to our content partner. As you know, the posting is only the beginning. That post for Yumology must now be blasted out via every social media network we are on - see the list above and then some!

Some photos needs to be resized due to file capacity limitations on certain sites, and tracking urls need to be inserted to determine stats for Yumology's audience. Once all of that is done the fun part begins. The paperwork.

If you want your blog to legally be a small-business you have to document your spending like a small-business. Every item that is used needs to be added to a spreadsheet that tracks my spending for Yumology. It's tedious and time-consuming, but come tax time it should pay off. Fingers crossed!

Once the paperwork is done, the receipts are catalogued and the articles are out the door I have to start thinking about advertisers and sponsorship opportunities. It's a good time to do so because I have just documented how much money I have spent and how little money I have made.

Here goes. Another round of outreach and follow ups begin. Will someone sponsor me? Will someone advertise with me? Yes, my audience is growing, via ALL the work I did this morning for my site and other people's sites. An exhausting and self-confidence annihilating roundabout of "pleases" and "thank-yous" that occurs every. single. day.

Once all is said and done I have about 30 minutes to sit down and do a quick review of everything that took place today before picking ToddlerBaby up from school.

After ToddlerBaby and CoffeeMaker get home and are fed, bathed and in bed I am still awake doing a competitive analysis of other food blogs I admire and seeking expansion opportunities for Yumology. Cooking classes? Cookbook published? Cooking segments on TV? Tasting events? Food festival judging? Food festival hosting? The possibilities are endless and I want to do them all. Sleep and downtime are so overrated.

So there you have it friends and family. A day in the life of a food blogger. I hope this shines a light on just how little time is spent eating Oreos on the couch and just how much time, thought and energy is spent grinding out the dream of something more. I appreciate all your love and support! :)

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