When I first started blogging, I spent many of my days sitting on the couch or at the kitchen table working on my laptop with a bag of chips next to me. I was productive, but not as productive as I could be.
There were so many distractions around me such as the TV, food, and people walking around. When I would look up and it was dinner time, I realized that I only had gotten half the work done that I intended to do that day because I was so easily distracted.
So when my husband and I were looking for apartment last year, my goal was to get a two bedroom apartment (if within our budget) so that we could turn that spare room into an office. It would be a huge benefit as not only do I teach and blog, but I am also working on a novel. I needed the space for organization and productivity.
We found our apartment within about a week of looking and set our move in date. Our two bedroom apartment had a large master bedroom and a second, spacious bedroom that was perfect for an office.
When we moved in, the office space actually became a wedding storage space. All of the wedding items were spread along the floor and I made it a goal that first thing after the wedding, I was going to make that space the office that I needed and wanted.
As you know, we are now married and I completed my goal of creating my own office space (well, it’s OUR office, but mostly, it’s mine). It is everything that I need it to be and want it to be for my starter office. And now that it is finished, I want to unveil my office space and talk about blogger productivity.
Honestly, I consider this my starter office. I’m loving the way that it looks and I’ve received so many compliments on it since I put it together, but like anything, there is room for growth whether it be in this apartment or when my husband and I make a purchase on our first house.
When creating your home office, you want to make sure that it fits your style, but you also don’t want it to break the bank. In putting together my office, I started off by setting a budget and making a list of NEEDS and then a separate list of WANTS. In my first shopping trip, I made sure to stay within my budget and purchase all of the things that I needed for the office such as the lamp, filling cabinet, calendar, organizer drawer, organization boxes, and mail bin. Then with the remaining funds that I had, I was able to purchase things that I wanted like decor, the wall hangar, and other little pieces that weren’t typically necessary but make my office feel like a place that I want to be in all the time.
After I was finished putting everything together, I was so happy with my office. I work in it everyday and often sneak in there just to sit and do non-work related things when I want to.
Take a look around my office by scrolling through all the pictures.
Also, make sure to check out the blogging productivity tips that I am sharing in this post that has helped me grow and snag my first press trip for my new travel section!
Office Details: desk chair (custom made) – c/o BoConcept Philly | wall calendar | calendar accessories | wall clothing rack | clothing hangars | wall clock | storage tower | storage boxes – Home Goods (similar here) | fashion books – Home Goods (similar here) | sheepskin (over chair) | sequin pillow | mail bin | picture frame | cork board | vase | “make things happen” wall art | lamp | filing cabinet | trash can
STYLE BLOGGER PRODUCTIVITY TIPS
Having a strategy to get your work done is the best way to get it all done by the deadline if not sooner. I used to be someone who just winged it all and that ended up being huge set back as a blogger. Sometimes I would miss deadlines or if I made them, the content would not be up to the standard that I had set for myself and what most brands were looking for to get from me. This past year, I focused on being more productive as a blogger. I tried out different strategies until I finally found ways that worked for me. And since implementing these strategies, I’ve grown my social media, created better posts in half the time, and started to gain more attention from brands which has gained me more sponsored posts and income.
- MAKE A TO DO LIST The first thing that I do at the beginning of the week is make a to-do list of what I need to accomplish within the week. All of the items on that list are prioritized in the order of things that need to be done first before anything else. This stops me from doing things that don’t need to be done until maybe the end of the month and from getting off task as I don’t do anything else until my to-do list is completed.
- MARK YOUR CALENDAR As a blogger, your calendar is typically filled up with due dates for sponsored posts on your blog and social media. It is also filled with meet-ups, blogger events, photo shoots, and days where you actually have to attend to your personal life (or if you’re not a full time blogger like myself, you’re full-time job). I keep a calendar next to my desk with everything on it that I need to. The items on my calendar are marked with different colors. For example, blog due dates are written in pink marker. Appointments (blog and personal) are written in blue. And then the bills & income dates are written in black.I also keep a copy of my calendar in my phone in the same organized way as on my physical calendar. Each item is color coded on my calendar so I know what I’m looking at and what for. Also, if I need to look at my payments, I can just click the color and pull up a list of everything monetary.
- PLAN POSTS AHEAD OF TIME Having an editorial calendar is a must. This allows you to set up your posts ahead of time and to guarantee a sponsored post is actually published on the due date as arranged with the brand. I use the editorial calendar plugin. This plugin has allowed me to schedule posts to the point where I can have drafts set in the calendar a month ahead and when ready, I can begin putting content in.With this method, I have been able to give brands an honest and more importantly, accurate answer for when they ask when a sponsored post can go live in my editorial calendar. It shows when there are gaps and keeps me on a consistent schedule.
- SAVE BOOKMARKS As a style blogger, we use a lot of tools such as affiliate platforms and blogger networks. Often time, we can spend five or more minutes trying to figure out what platforms we need to go through and update or go and look for new post opportunities – we forget.So in order to keep organized and save time, I have bookmark categories saved to my browser that keeps all of the websites for my blog networks and agencies, affiliate platforms, social media, and blogger tools. This keeps me from sitting around trying to figure out what site I forgot to visit to update information as my blog grows.
- STUDY & GROW When you have a day, the best thing to do is look at other bloggers that you are fan of and study what they do. Now, I’m not saying ditch who you are and start being like them, but just from reading your favorite bloggers posts, you can start learning different ways to be more productive and see what they are doing that has been successful for them and caused them to grow.You also want to take time to take classes such as ones with Brit + Co that can teach your about photography.
- BATCH TASKS During the week, I set specific days where I pick 1-2 tasks and commit my working hours to it. Instead of trying to do 6-10 little tasks each day, I can knock out those two tasks in one day and be done with it for the week.For example, on Monday I will work on completing the content and scheduling all my posts for that week. Then on Tuesday, I will open all my blogger mail (setting up my schedule with it) and answering all emails. This allows me to be more productive on one thing and let things automatically function in the background by themselves.
- CREATE EMAIL RESPONSES Like any blogger, you’ll get emails that ask you to write an entire blog post for $10. Or you’ll get emails asking to write a guest post for your blog. Typically, each time that those emails come in, we all end up responding the same way to each one.So to save time, just create an email template for each of the scenarios in order to respond to emails and a quicker and more efficient manner.
- ORGANIZE BLOGGER MAIL Bloggers often receive blogger mail. This blogger mail can range from products to test, items for sponsored posts, clothing to shoot, or items for giveaways. We typically expect those items to come when emails are sent, but when you’re a part of a PR agency’s list, you may receive items that you weren’t actually expecting.When I open my blogger mail, I keep it in a section in my office away from any other mail or personal packages that I receive. In that section, I organize my mail by what it will be used for and I keep it closer to my desk based on the campaign’s due date.
- AUTOMATE SOCIAL MEDIA Social media is so important for growth. But as busy as bloggers are, we don’t always have time each day to work on our social media channels. That’s when automated systems comes in.The one main automation system I use is Tailwind. You can use it for Pinterest and Instagram – two of the biggest social media platforms for showing off your blog and who you are as a brand. Tailwind lets you schedule ahead of time for Pinterest so that posts get posted to your boards even when you haven’t touched Pinterest all week. And then with Instagram, you can use the system to set up your posts based on your highest engagement times for the entire week or a for a few days. When it’s time to post, it will alert you and then it takes 10 seconds to post.
- SAVE CAMERA SETTINGS I’m a self taught photographer. I’ve taken a few photography classes but a lot of the learning has come from me figuring out my camera on my own. When I take a picture and it comes out phenomenal – whether indoor, taking flatlays, or when when taking an outfit photo on a tripod. I save the manual setting on a sheet of paper that I post to my cork board.I reference the notes every time I go to shoot anything and set it to those settings once again. This keeps my photos consistent and saves me time when shooting.
- LEARN TO SAY ‘NO’ Everyone has to admit that it is so exciting when a brand emails you asking you for a collaboration. But if you keep saying yes, you’ll often find yourself swamped by the amount of work that you need to do and then your work ends up below mediocre.So don’t be afraid to say no. The best situations to say no is when a brand is asking for a social media or blog post in exchange for just product compensation or something below what you should be making for a blog post. Unless the brand is one of your top brands to work with and will promote your work and benefit you greatly – say no. Or say that you can’t work with them at this time but would be happy to work with them at a later date.
- ASK FOR HELP Don’t be afraid to ask for help when it comes do doing things. Some things such as taking photos. I used to take my own photos using my DSLR and my tripod. I spent over 20 minutes just on one outfit and then go and change, I would have to pack up everything just to change and set it up again. That’s when I started asking for help. I asked a lot of friends and family for help with shoots and gave them tips on what I am looking for if they weren’t too sure. Outside of shoots, my husband works as my copy editor. He catches a lot of my typos and I don’t even ask him to look.Eventually as you grow, your friends and family will turn into interns and photographers that you can pay.
- PLAN YOUR SHOOTS I plan my shoots out ahead of time so that when I work with my photographer, I can do quick changes so that we can get a lot of outfits taken in one day. By doing that, we only have to schedule a shoot every other month.The wall clothing rack in my office helps me to organize my shoots. All the clothes that sit on the hangar are outfits that need to be shot. When a new top is either sent to me or purchased and I want to shoot it, I find the other pieces of the outfit from my closet and hang it on the rack. So when the day comes to shoot, I just have to grab all of these pieces and head out.
- TAKE A BREAK As a blogger, you are your own boss. So, give yourself breaks and time off. The worse thing a blogger can do is burn themselves out. Tired people don’t function well. And when you don’t function well, your blog and overall brand suffers.Take yourself to the movies or on a shopping trip. Enjoy the day. Or just sit on the couch with your chips and dip.
- KEEP ACCURATE FILES + DATA Make sure to keep everything in one place. When I started blogging, I had files of contracts, contact information, blogger needs, etc. all written on random pieces of paper in random places. That’s when I created my own blogger planner. It allowed me to keep everything in one place right on my bookshelf. When I need that information, I can just pull out my planner and find what I need in seconds.Here is the wonderful blogger planner that I created and use daily to keep myself organized.
I hope you enjoyed taking a look around my office and getting a little insight on my productivity working as a style blogger.
Have any blogging questions, leave your question in the comments!