Running a blog or a big website as a business… it’s a vague concept to many. A question I often get is: “So, as a blogger/website owner, what is it that you do all day? Keeping up a website with a big reader base – like I did with This chicks got style for five years and now on CHAPTER FRIDAY – is a little bit like running your own little magazine on the web. This website is my biggest passion project in the world, I’m simply a huge online fanatic and am incredibly proud of each and every one of my readers.
And I’m grateful for getting to do this for living every single day. Most of it is greatly inspiring, but running a (small, but still) company does mean you’re working non stop. I have final responsibility for the creative part, the practical part and all the administration that are involved. Thoughts that constantly cross my mind are: “Do we have enough articles scheduled for the weekend? Do we have at least one career article a day? Where do I want CHAPTER FRIDAY to be in one month, or five years? What new interview series does the website need to feel fresh and unique? Where do we connect with new readers? Are bills being paid? Is my bookkeeping in order? What e-mails to prioritize? What about contracts? Are my meetings confirmed? Why did a deal fall through? What new events do I want to set up for my readers? Are my followers still happy with CHAPTER FRIDAY?”
Over the years, I’ve built up a big and powerful community of incredible girls (and the occasional guys). However, after nearly a decade since blogging became big, some still assume that managing a website with a bigger audience than most print magazines is just a matter of typing an article in fifteen minutes, pressing publish and watching Gilmore Girls/online shopping for the rest of the day. Man, I wish! But I do totally understand that our online work might be a bit vague, and why many of you wonder… What do you do all day?
Let me tell you what sort of activities fill my week (and weekends). And starting this Friday, I’m posting a weekly work diary with behind-the-scenes-peeks so that should be fun!
Writing content for CHAPTER FRIDAY
As you know, This chick’s got style – so my personal posts – are now in Yara’s corner. I try to update that with a personal post every day so you still get the same content as you did on This chicks got style. As well as publish at least 4 new articles op CHAPTER FRIDAY daily, many of which have a career angle.
Me and Kelly plan ahead the entire week, and still leave room for articles and ideas that come up last minute. We plan ahead for bigger content productions, shoots for CHAPTER FRIDAY, interviews with people for sections like the Career one-on-one or Desk of… We aim for at least 4 articles a day, and constantly keep a variety of different topics in mind for your daily dose of CHAPTER FRIDAY, which requires some strict planning.
Answering e-mails is one of most bloggers/online entrepreneurs big struggles. I get anywhere between 50-150 e-mails a day. And by the time I’m done with most, my inbox is filled up again with new messages and responses. Still working on it, but the last two weeks have been rather intense as CHAPTER FRIDAY just went live and I need to focus on the core of my business: making the site perfect.
Directing my team
I work with three great girls that all help out part time – Kelly helps coordinate the site, Karen is our in house photographer and Rachel is our writing intern. I a so proud of my girls and couldn’t keep up with everything without them.
With an online business, your social timeline never stops. Instagramming with Christmas, on a day off, on your holiday… I really want to keep you updated about new articles all day, as well as in the evenings and in the weekends. And I love being in touch with you there! Instagram is definitely one of the quickest ways to get in touch with me.
I keep track of the comments carefully and always try to answer your questions. So I spend some time every day reading those and commenting where necessary.
Shoots, interviews, events
Although quite a bit of my work happens behind a computer screen, I might be out for an interview, shooting for a magazine, creating a video, going to a press event, a product launch, etcetera.
Setting up commercial projects
Given that collaborating with brands is my main source of income, a substantial (and fun!) part of my job is making sure there are projects up in the air and that clients I work with are happy with the results I provide. I might be working on a pitch or am brainstorming with my media agency to come up with new ways to work with our favorite brands.
There are quite a lot of meetings in my schedule. With pr-agencies, with brands, with other creatives, with potential clients, etcetera. I might sneak in a coffee break with a friend but I try to separate work & play so that I can focus when I’m working and can focus on my friends when I’m with them.
Speaking at events and companies
I am hired quite often as a speaker, to talk about online topics, about my personal ‘success story’ or about fashion and trends. It’s what I absolutely love doing! I’m quite a bubbly person and won’t stop talking about any of these subjects until you tell me to, so getting to stand in front of a crowd and tell stories gives me great energy. At this time, there’s usually a speaking gig lined up monthly.
Blog Class Event planning
And then there’s my own Blog Class Event, that takes quite some time to plan to perfection. From filling the goodie bags to printing custom made bags to making appointments with sponsors to managing the applications and payments, you name it.
Shooting with Karen
I might be out shooting with Karen, to document my outfit posts or for other personal articles that you’ll mostly find in Yara’s corner.
Ugh. Not a favorite.
Managing long term projects
Some ideas need longer to work out, some ideas fall through. I’m constantly thinking of future goals and next steps to take, and brainstorming about how to get there.
Deadlines for other clients
Usually I’ll have a deadline for ELLE magazine, for which I write a four page section in which we visit someone’s home and talk to them about their style, their closets and such. Writing is a great passion, and I published a marketing book with my father (communication book bestseller Wil Michels) two years ago, which was nominated for the Marketing book of the Year Award. Other related projects include consulting companies on their online strategy.
So, plenty of inspiring activities to keep me busy, and especially the variety of it all is what excites me. If you are a blogger, I’m curious: what takes up most of your time?