Growing Your Blog & The Great Juggling Act

January 6, 2012

Greetings all and happy happy weekend!  I’m sitting at my desk looking back on this week and feeling so grateful that Nester, Sarah, Jen, and Marian were a part of this series:

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The final topic is finding balance as home bloggers or what I prefer to call it: The Great Juggling Act.  How do you decide where to spend your precious time when you have a family and relationships or another job and a life and you still want to grow your blog?

Last month I invited four bloggers I greatly admire to be a part of this series to kick off the new year, and I need to publicly thank them for their enthusiasm to sign on.  These four seasoned bloggers have been pulling it off for a long time with style and grace, and I think we all want to know their secrets.  So let’s hear what they have to say on these questions and then I’ll offer my two cents.

What are the ways you manage the responsibilities of home life and blogging?  What time management tips can you share?

 

 

nesting place

{Nester}: The more Nesting Place has grown, the more help I have. It’s as simple as every day math–if I add something in, I have to take something else away. So, for our family, in this stage of life it means that I do my grocery shopping online and then pick it up, I have a housekeeper twice a month to do all the stuff I neglect, my husband stays home one day a week to help homeschool our boys ages 10, 11 and 14 {they are in a University style school where they are home two days a week}. I can only do that because Nesting Place makes enough money to justify all those things. Two years ago, I couldn’t spend as much time online because I had to clean toilets and grocery shop and homeschool younger boys and procrastinate billing people. My family knows that Nesting Place is a business {that I LOVE} and my husband is my biggest supporter and encourager.

I also have an assistant who is Nesting Place’s ad manager/president of giveaway day/organizer of Nest Files/conference companion. Without Caroline, I wouldn’t be able to focus on the stuff I’m good at and love to do as much because I’d be busy avoiding billing people for their ad space. I wish I would have hired her years ago. I’ve also written a few posts at (in)courage about how my husband encouraged me to follow my passion {you should follow yours too} and how I use my 12 work days per month if you’d like to read more. And for laughs, here’s a fun In Her Shoes post I wrote for Effortless Style about a "typical" day in my life.

 

thrifty decor chick banner

 

{Sarah}  “When you start out blogging (whether writing one or reading them!) it kind of sucks you in…you’ll sit down at the computer and then find you’re still sitting there two hours later. :) If you aren’t careful it can really affect your productivity and family life. I figured out how to balance the projects, the blogging and the business side of everything with some time (and a supportive spouse!).

You know what, scratch that. I still don’t have it figured out. It’s just more figured out than when I started.

I feel like a slacker when it comes to my blog more often than I’d like to admit. I often feel like I need to post more, but I just don’t make the time. My kiddo only goes to preschool a few hours a week, so until he goes to kindergarten next year I want to dedicate as much time to him as I can. But blogging is my "job," and the best job EVER. I love it, so I dedicate time to it and my projects as often as possible. I don’t follow a particular schedule — I just work on projects when I can and I pretty much always blog at night. I’m a late owl so that’s my time to get work done on the computer. And I cannot express how much my iPhone has changed my life — it sounds silly, but I can get SO much done at random times, even at home. It’s so much easier to answer emails, jump on Twitter or check out a few blogs here and there throughout the day.”

 

tatertots and jello banner 

{Jennifer}  I have found that it’s very hard to balance a blog, particularly a creative blog based on tutorials, with family and personal time. There’s always more I could be doing to make my blog better, answer emails, improve a project, etc. A couple of years ago I kind of burned myself out, working non-stop, and that was before I was making anything at all from my blog.

Now, I have found a few ways that have allowed me to keep my sanity and remain married. (1) I’ve organized my to-do list for my blog by time of day – I do certain things during certain times of the day. I check my email early in the morning. I do all of my projects during the day and take pictures in the afternoon. Then, when my kids are home from school, I take time off until they go to bed. At night, I edit my pictures, write my posts, and do more email. (2) I’ve also found that having a blog calendar is super important. I plan my months in advance. That way I can buy the supplies for many projects in one trip. I’m not scrambling for last-minute projects. (3) Also, if you can get ahead in your blog, spend one day a week writing your posts, and then set your blog to auto-post them. For social media, tools like HootSuite can schedule your Twitter and Facebook posts in advance – you can queue them for later posting.”

 

miss mustard seed banner

{Marian}  “This is a constant struggle for me, as I’m sure it is for all busy people. I try to use every minute to the fullest and constantly check my priorities versus how I’m spending my time. I wrote a post last year where I shared all of the keys to my productivity.  It all boils down to the fact that I love what I do, I can do it while I’m home with my kids and all of the hard work is paying off, so I find a way to make it work. It sometimes means the laundry is a little out of control or we order takeout for dinner or I’m up later than I should be, but most of the time it’s manageable. I think the best time management tip I can give is to say “no” when you need to and let go of things that are sucking up your time and aren’t worth it.”

swirl

Wow ladies, it seems we all suffer from that same struggle to juggle it all and your insight is so encouraging.  Just about every day of the week I feel just like this gal:

 

image

If only I had more arms like her… then I could do it all!  Do you find yourself saying that?  If only I had what she had, then I could do it all too.  That’s a misconception.  Truth is, no one person can do it all, we all have limited resources and only 24 hours in a day.  That’s why I love these four ladies, they’re so honest about the fact that we all struggle to try to do as much as we can in the time we have and they’ve made some very smart choices that work for them. 

Jennifer is right, there is always more we could  be doing, but should we?  No. Like she said, it leads to burnout when you take on too much.  I love Nester’s tip about getting help if the budget permits, and how important it is to have a supportive spouse. Sarah’s smart phone is a major time saver for her and I agree, it’s a helpful tool for hopping onto Twitter, Facebook, or returning quick emails.  Marian impresses me too, with her abilities to manage home life and all of her growing opportunities.  Accepting a little chaos in our lives, and letting go of perfection is so important. 

When it comes to my own juggling act, I basically stick to these five rules.

1.  Prioritize.  The most important thing in my life is my family and my relationships.  I believe my blog should always come second, so I schedule meaningful family time every day.  Like Jen, I take those hours when the kids are home from school in the afternoon to be with them, get them started on homework, start dinner, and if time permits, use my phone to catch up.  I don’t sit down on the computer until after dinner and usually after the kids go to bed.  It’s important to pinpoint your priorities and focus your time there.

2.  Know when to say No.  Think about what you want for your life and your blog and stick with that plan.  Don’t say yes to every opportunity or social media outlet just because it sounds good at first glance.  You’ll spread yourself too thin and then you’re no good at anything.  Like Julia, resist the pressure to do what other bloggers are doing.  You don’t need to follow the pack, you set the rules, you budget your time, you decide what works best for you.  I agree with Marian so much on this point.  Not every opportunity that comes your way is meant for you and knowing when to politely say No is so key. 

3.  Develop a system.  Find a way to be organized that works for your lifestyle. I put together a Command Central binder so I have all my household information in one spot. I also find it’s helpful to plan your projects and posts ahead of time and to use an editorial calendar. Keep drafts of a few ideas stored in your blog so whenever you blank or have no project in the works you can turn to those.  

4. Set Your Pace.  Writing a blog is a more like running a marathon, not a 50 yard dash, you must set your pace, whether it’s one or five posts a week. I wrote a little more about my choices and daily schedule in this article on balance and blogging last year, and still follow those guidelines.

5.  Take care of yourself.  Get a good night’s sleep, daily fresh air, and feed your body well.  Get your hair done, go to the movies with a friend, and live a little, it enhances your life and often gives you stuff to write about you wouldn’t ordinarily find if you were sitting in front of your computer all day.  When all else fails and you do feel overwhelmed, take a nap, a hot bath, check out for a day, go exploring, and come back when you’re ready.  One thing I’ve realized is that readers are patient and understand that you are human.  You will get tired and you will run out of creative ideas, but that’s okay.  Inspiration and energy will return only after you’ve cleared your mind and rested your body.  The readers will wait for your next post whenever that may be. 

One of my favorite authors Shauna Niequist puts it even more succinctly, we just need to make these choices:

Present over perfect.

Quality over quantity.

Relationship over rushing.

People over pressure.

Meaning over mania.

 

To read the four previous posts in this ‘Growing Your Blog’ series follow these links:

Authenticity at Nesting Place

Making Money Blogging at Thrifty Decor Chick

Building a Community & Social Media at Tatertots & Jello

Photography & Styling at Miss Mustard Seed

 

What about you?  Do you share the same struggles to juggle it all?  What tips can you share for better time management or finding that balance we crave so much?  And did you enjoy this series?  I’d love your feedback.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend, get out and spend some time with the people you love in your favorite places eating your favorite food. 

Cheers,

kate signature image

 

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72 Responses to “Growing Your Blog & The Great Juggling Act”

  1. Christina says:

    I’m so new, like a baby, when it comes to blogging…I started in August 2011, not knowing a thing about what I was doing, and I still don’t. I absolute love it though, I love reading others and getting inspired by people just like you!! I hope to grow mine, I see all kinds of mistakes I make (like, I kind of want to change the name of mine already)…we’ll see how far and where I go this year. Thank you so much for all your words of wisdom!!

  2. I am soooo very grateful to all of you for your postings. I have greatly enjoyed reading them and have learned a lot about the blogging world. I understand a great deal more and look forward to getting my hands busy in the blogging world. Keep ya posted on my efforts. Please relay my thanks to the others!!

  3. Wow, this has been a great series packed with great info. I am going to spend time reading the links provided and go back and read every topic again.
    Thanks again,
    Debbie

  4. Amanda Eck says:

    I have so enjoyed this series all your gals did! Thank you all for sharing your tips & insights. This will be something many will refer to for years to come!!

  5. Hi Kate,

    Thanks for this series, there have been great tips and I’ve enjoyed hearing from everyone. One thing that keeps me sane as I get older, no wiser, is I realize worrying is a waste of time. I can’t spend my time worrying what others think, or what I should be doing. It’s very liberating once you get the hang of it. This keeps me on the right track, with the right priorities. Don’t know why I didn’t stop worrying earlier!

    Have a nice weekend.

  6. I have been LOVING this series. Such great commentary, tips and ideas from an amazing group of bloggers, all pulled together on so many pertinent topics! Thank you so much for initiating this series.

  7. Jamie says:

    Such great advice, thanks!!

  8. MeganM. says:

    Thanks so much for the tips. I’ve had my blog for over a year now and I’ve been so inspired by this series. Thanks so much for the great advice!

  9. britt says:

    This was an exceptional series! You gals opened yourselves up in a way that is so very giving, thank you for all that you do for your readers. Wow, this series couldn’t come at a more perfect time.

  10. This is a great post for bloggers who’s main job is family and working (blogging) from home. I worked from home years ago and it is not easy to juggle it with kids, too. But as a full-time decorator at a small firm (with teenage kids, a man and a dog), I find it almost impossible to keep up with blogging. And, worst part is, I love to blog! I love sharing design, even though I do it all day every day. It’s passion that keeps me going. But it keeps my blog small, as the time constraints are nuts. If only there was a way to grow a blog on a couple of hours a week! Kudos to those of you who do it as a job and raise a family at the same time — that’s a ton of work!

  11. Dee says:

    Thanks! I was wondering how bigger blogs keep up the pace. Great tips!

    Dee

  12. Such great reminders of priorities! I am an absolutely BIG fan of schedules and scheduling blog posts. I think several of you suggested that and it offers me an opportunity to get ahead, plus I like being able to change my mind on part of a post before it goes live. My blog has become my official “job” as of two months ago. After a year and a half of blogging {for free} I had a HUGE amount of traffic and opportunities and started running ads {per my hubby’s decision}. Since then, I often feel very obligated to work harder than I did before, so it’s taking a more time so I have more quality. I’m thankful you help to put things into perspective and I am enjoying my new job {I also work part-time from home as piano teacher so I’m BUSY}. You ladies are inspiring us all…

    Becky B.
    http://www.organizingmadefun.com
    Organizing Made Fun

  13. Megan says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed this series. Considering I named my blog Balancing Home, umm…yeah! definitely something we are working on. I cannot believe how much time and dedication it takes to running/growing a blog. Thanks for such a fantastic series. Big or small, it is nice to see we are all in the same boat :)

  14. This entire series was very helpful for me! All of the tips, suggestions, stories and inspirations make me smile :) I certainly picked the best blog community to join :) You are all so very honest, helpful and truly inspiring. It’s good to hear how you were when you started and how you adjusted as your blog grew. Thanks so much everyone!

  15. FANTASTIC series, Kate! I truly enjoyed each day’s subject and found each of you ladies very insightful, informative and REAL. Yes I agree, it is incredibly hard to find balance sometimes with real life and blogging. Plus I’m also a full time Art Director where I’m gone from 6am to 5pm! That only leaves me 3-4 hours to play, cook dinner, bathe the kid, read a story and put her to bed (not to mention cleaning, etc). Somedays it’s rough, but I’m not blogging for the money or followers. I’m blogging cause it makes me happy (and pressures me to actually finish projects around the house)! Thanks again for the wonderful series. I can’t wait to meet you at Haven!

  16. jamie says:

    Thank you so much for this series! Now THIS is what new bloggers need to be reading. I read far too many posts about having to be consistent and post often when you are starting your blog. I think that is a lie! I actually won’t follow another blogger if I feel like they post too often (I feel like my blogroll gets clogged with too many posts) unless most of their posts have incredible content. I took a 2 week break for rest and recouperation over Christmas and my blog is doing better than ever right now. This series is a beautiful resource for us newbies and offers great perspective from amazing women… I am so appreciative!

  17. This was an awesome series and it really helped hearing it from such successful ladies! It is hard to juggle it all when you have a full time job. I can’t wait for the day when my blog can become my full time job and when I can devote more of myself to it. Thanks for this series!

  18. This was an amazing series and I loved each day of it from all bloggers!!! I loved a lot and will try some of it out for myself. This “Balance” one was the one I was really waiting for. Good to know that everyone makes time for their families and the important things in life. Blogging 2nd!!! ;) Thank you to all of you for some really great advise! :)

  19. [...] be sure to head over to Centsational Girl today for a great post on finding balance in [...]

  20. Wonderful advice Kate!! You are amazing with all that you get done and you are so helpful and encouraging to everyone. I admire you so much. Thanks for putting this series together. I have loved being part of it and I’ve learned so much from you amazing ladies!!

    xoxoxo
    Jen

  21. Love love loved the series! It was great to follow along & get great advice from bloggers we all look up to & admire. Great timing too. Thanks so much for your candid advice. I work full time & blog part time & manage family too, so I totally understand juggling.

  22. Lacey says:

    I am not a blogger but really like what you said about getting away from it every now and then and experiencing life a bit. One of your posts that was really actionable for me was the one about all the great oyster places in CA. I can’t always find time to do one of your great craft ideas, but the oyster tasting post did inspire a super fun trip to hog island for some great oysters! So, if you hadn’t gotten out of your house and taken a break from blogging/crafting, we never would’ve seen that great post!

  23. The insight, resources, and just plain generosity of this series have blown me away. What I love about blogging (as opposed to traditional publishing) is that it’s not a zero sum game. There’s room for everyone at the table. The more I blog (and I’m new), the more I realize I have to learn. Feeling a bit frustrated/overwhelmed today because there’s so much I want to read and try and do, and I have two teenagers and an almost full-time job. Reminding myself to shoot for maybe one baby step a day (or week!) and know that I’ll get there in time–with the help of others who’ve gone before. Thanks so much for sharing all that you’ve learned.

  24. I love this insight!

    For me, I actually quit blogging for an entire year because I felt so burnt out the prior year! I spent that time regrouping and really figuring out what I wanted to do and where I wanted to go with my blogging. I wanted blogging to be fun again. Pacing myself is the one thing I really learned. Now that I’m back, I have that temptation to just blog or read blogs or do something blog-y every waking moment, but I remind myself of the burn out before, and stick to the pace schedule I know I will appreciate later.

    Thanks so much for this advice!

  25. I have thoroughly enjoyed this series. Thanks to each of you for putting it together. This post was one of my favorites.

  26. charlotte says:

    Thanks for putting this series together. It was very timely and helpful. Oh dear, this sounds like a spam reply, but I mean it. You girls did a great job and it is a good reminder that we can’t do it all and I need to remember to take time for face to face relationships even though I have a tiny little blog. :)

  27. Well gals, this post could make me cry it was so great. It’s been my biggest struggle for 2011: learning to adjust to a new normal, and taking it all in stride! Amen to everything, especially the saying no part. I’ve struggled with that in the past because I’m a people pleaser and it really hurt me in the long run ;) I tell myself now that just because I can, doesn’t mean I should. So it’s wonderful to hear it all coming from all of you…Especially when some of my friends certainly don’t get it… Sometimes I feel like I have an “imaginary” job. And it’s so not. Kinda makes me feel normal. ;) thank you all so much again for doing this! And for being you! Mushy hugs!

  28. Oh, how I loved this post! These are the kinds of things I’ve been thinking a lot about lately, so it’s great to hear all of your perspectives. It also helps me to know I’m not alone in my struggle to juggle everything. Sometimes I wonder why I’m not able to get more done, or work faster, when it seems like other bloggers are doing a million things at once and doing them all so beautifully. I’m really trying to be more focused and be more intentional about what I do this year and stop worrying about “keeping up” all the time. There’s always something else I could be doing, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I should.

    Thanks for all the inspiration and great advice you’ve all shared through this series. I enjoyed every day of it!

    P.S. Sweet of you to give me a shout-out, too, Kate! Thanks! :-)

  29. Sandy says:

    Kate, this series has been such a help to me.. although I’ve had my blog for over a year I just have not spent the quality time as you all… I don’t have any advertisers yet and not sure that I want to devote all the time to keeping up with them… but, I might just start scouting around for some?
    No matter, I’m so enjoying being a blogger and following all the wonderful blogs out there!
    Great series
    Sandy

  30. Lesley C says:

    I am a super newbie blogger as well. In fact I didn’t even know what they were until a few months ago when I found Pinterest. I love blogging and love looking at other people’s as well. It can be very confusing at times and articles like these definitely help the newcomers out there. Thanks again

  31. Thanks for the series. I just wonder how you know when it is worth it or not?

    My husband and I blogged mostly to entertain ourselves for a few years and occasionally I would put up tutorials and decorations. I’ve never taken it very seriously (as a possible business) until recently when some of my tutorials seem to have really gotten popular and we put up a few ads. Which will cover our modest hosting expenses, Yea!

    However, how do I know if I’ve got the “it” factor to make it in the blogging world? I absolutely love it and could envision myself growing a business, but in the mean time I work, have a two year old, another baby due in Feb. and going to school full time (computer degree). The pace of all that would be worth it in the end if I knew it would lead somewhere, but every evening tied up in blog posts (trying to edit pictures taken in crappy lighting after work), etc is a lot to do for no reason.

    I guess I struggle on how you know the turning point, when to keep it a hobby and when to grow it into a business? If that makes any sense. Anyway, again, great articles! Thanks for all the advice from everyone.

  32. Kate, I’ve really enjoyed this whole series and appreciate the time you ladies took to put it together. I really respect all of the work that you do on a daily basis – it brings a lot of enjoyment to me as a reader! What you wrote the other day about meeting other people through blogging who “get it” when it comes to crafting and decor really spoke to me. I have wonderful friends, but none of them are creative in the same way that I am, or appreciate the same things the way I do. Blogging has been a wonderful way to connect with like-minded folks and I look forward to meeting more this year.

  33. CentsationalGirl says:

    Hey Brianna, sounds like you have a lot on your plate! You’ve touched on something that I don’t have the answer too, but what I do know is we all started blogging because we’re passionate about the subject and consistency among other things has led to readership which then eventually after several years translated into a modest income. I really don’t think anyone should choose blogging just for the business or money gain and I don’t think there is any *it* factor, except to be your true self (which we talked about in Nester’s post). I encourage you to blog when you can, if you enjoy it, and if it helps you express your creativity or document projects going on around your home, or just to share what’s going on in your life for friends and family, then go for it!
    Kate

  34. Thanks for the advice! That’s what I was doing anyway then all of a sudden I felt pressure because people actually started reading. Which was shocking :). I guess I’m at the point where I was like wow what if I actually put attention into my blog, what would happen?

    But I think I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing and see if it grows organically from there. There really are just so many hours in the day and I would rather spend some with my family than make another dollar.

  35. Christina@greige says:

    It is funny how blogging becomes a habit. I cannot see stopping anytime soon, it is very fun and rewarding.

    Great series!

    Christina
    Greige

  36. Balancing my family, clients, blogging, friendships, etc. is difficult. As for the blog, I aim for 3 posts a week {if more great!}. I have also decided to unplug on Sundays. I need to give myself at least one day a week of no work.

    I love all the suggestions and to know we all struggle reaching a balance!

    xo,
    cristin

  37. Christy says:

    Thank you very much for putting together this series. I am brand new to blogging, I started right before New Years. I have been able to read all the posts and have learned soooooo much! I am most impressed by the generosity of all five of you in sharing you insights, tips and hard learned lessons. Thank you for taking the time!

  38. Beth says:

    Yall are all unique and great at what you do. I found the whole series helpful. I feel like a freshman geek, and I am just trying to take it all in at Blog High School, but I feel like I have definitely found my “people” here. Thanks for sharing all the helpful advice.

  39. Shelly says:

    I don’t blog on decor (much… This reply -and most all my replies on these sites -link to my personal blog, which I don’t update often. Don’t feel it’s appropriate to link to my business site, which isn’t decor at all!)… My business site focuses on MY passion, which is web development. I have a lot of visitors to that site because of the stuff I post. So it may not be decor, but it is blogging about what I love to do, and what I’m good at.

    Which is why I’m commenting, because as a web developer, I think I have a unique perspective on this :) I manage a LOT of blogs, and I can tell you a couple of really great tricks almost all of my clients use. 99% of my clients use WordPress, which will allow you to post to your site via email. Most people aren’t aware of that. You can set up the site with some information, so when you’re out grocery shopping or on a road trip, you can compose an email on your smartphone and send it to your blog. (you can set it as a draft, too, so it doesn’t publish.) I find this handy because I’m notorious for getting awesome ideas and then forgetting them when I pull into my driveway!

    This is really helpful, because if an idea hits you, you can start a post and save it as a draft. This also works on nights when you’re really creative: “bank your ideas.” when you have a slow day (as far as “busy” goes) you can start posts and work on them slowly. I have about 10 drafts on my site of ideas I want to write about, and every now and then, I’ll go in and add to and edit those posts. Then when I’m stymied for content, or just too busy, I’ll publish one. No need to sit and wonder what to write about ’cause it’s already done!

    Another good tip – and this one is for sharing the love – get guest posts every now and then. When you’re flat out of ideas or whatever, find an “unknown” (or if you’re unknown, present to someone like the people in this post) and let them write a post on your site. It gives you relief, and gives the n00b a foothold on a ladder rung. It’s nice :)

    Hope that helps someone :)

  40. monique says:

    Loved this post. I struggle with finding balance in my life. I find it hard to juggle being a mommy, wife, full time student, work and blogging. Knowing I am not alone is priceless.

  41. Kate, Nester, Sarah, Marian & Jen,

    Thank you all for these posts. It is such a gift for all of us bloggers who struggle everyday to figure out how to manage this passion of blogging.

    These posts have been such a great resource for me, I’m definitely going to share them with my mentoring group.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  42. Lauren says:

    When I started I was so amazed and interested in everything! As a reader, even I became overwhelmed! I would follow so many and each would lead to a new one etc. It was an rabbit hole of awesomeness! Over time I came to realize the ones I loved and chose to follow 4 daily and allow myself one alternate a week from my “favorites folder of too much awesome.”

    The result has given me less time in front of the computer and more connection with the blogs I love. Blogs are such a fantastic outlet to connect with real people and find tips, inspiration and outlets for your own life. But it can also become a little intimidating, seeing blog after blog of people who have time, money, skills or strengths you may be lacking. Early on, as a reader, I felt a little unworthy of all the coolness that seemed to pour off each blog. It was nice to step back, choose the few that really spoke to me and realize there is only so much any one person can do!

  43. amy says:

    you rocked this series, ladies… and the timing was impeccable! what a great new year’s gift to all of us!

  44. Ann says:

    Hey Kate…my blog is about a year old. It’s grown steadily but I don’t have a bunch of time to devote to it. I work full time and have an Etsy shop so I feel pulled in several different directions. I am at the point where I would love to take a leap of faith and see if I could turn my blog/shop into my own business where I could work from home. I am just so unsure if it’s the right time and the right thing to do. Honestly, it makes me really nervous. Any advice on how to tell if it’s time to quit your day job?

  45. The Nester says:

    Hey Ann, I know you were asking Kate, but your question made me think of another crafter/blogger who quit her day job and documented it along the way: Gussy at Gussy Sews http://www.gussysews.com/

  46. Heather Leigh says:

    When will BOTB be back? I look forward to it every Sunday! Thanks!

  47. Thank you for doing this series Kate! I anxiously awaited each day’s post and loved every single one. I’m bookmarking this and planning to refer back to it from time to time when I need some expert advice.

    Rachel
    xo

  48. JUST what I needed. A long term blogger, this year saw a big dip in my blogging for various reasons. I’ve been feeling renewed and excited once again to blog more and this is such perfect timing with both detailed and big picture advice. Thank you :)

  49. Just clipped this article (by that, the whole series) to my evernote folder on blogging. Definitely something to save!

  50. I’m with you.. if I don’t prioritize even a time.. I can’t be as productive as I need to be.. Heck! Who am I kidding? I wouldn’t be productive at all.

    Email and Twitter are part of my business, but I have to check them in the morning and then turn them off until afternoon or I’ll run back and forth all day wasting time. And I have such big plans for 2012!! I have to get efficient.

    dee :)

  51. Shaunna says:

    Wonderful, wonderful series ladies!!! :-) Love them all!
    shaunna

  52. Loved this series, Kate! Awesome insight and honesty from all of you. Thank you – us “younger” bloggers appreciate it!
    xo,
    Shannon

  53. Sarah says:

    Hi everyone! I just started playing around with Blogger in the fall of 2011 to document for myself recipes I was trying at home. In doing so, I found out how much I LOVED writing and the photography aspect of it all. Also, at that time, I was invited to Pinterest – and wow did my mind go into creative overdrive! (which is a good thing!) I have begun to document some of those projects in the blog as well.

    On our drive home from Christmas vacation, I opened up the first blog I ever read, by the Nester. I saw this series and what perfect timing for me! You ladies answered a lot of questions for me – some I hadn’t even though of yet! Confession: I am a closet “blogger” – I haven’t showed anyone I know yet – is that insane? I have recently shared some projecs in link parties and in Pinterest and have seen some more traffic – what a great feeling! I’d love to interact more with other bloggers, so my question would be – if you choose to grow your blog – what is the best way to network and get yourself out there? I’m sure the support of my friends and family wouldn’t hurt ;)

    I guess it would be worthy to mention on the heels of Kate’s post about balancing it all – I mostly blog when my husband is away, traveling for work (which can be 3 full days a week). I got tired of sinking into the sofa (well, I didn’t mind all the time, I am human;) and getting zoned out in TV. Your blogs and everyone’s ideas give me projects to keep me busy and kind voices that fill my heart. For that I am thankful!

  54. Kate, Nester, Sarah, Jen, and Marian –

    Thanks so much for the series this week. As a new blogger and still trying to figure out where I’m going with all this, it’s been great to hear that I can pretty much do what I’m doing and simply enjoy the ride. The tips have been super helpful and I plan to do more research with the extra links you all provided. The juggling act is a continual challenge, but it’s so worth it!

  55. Diana says:

    I loved this series. It was so informative and educational. As a new blogger I struggle with just about everything that you covered this week so I will keep referring back to these posts for some time! I really love your blog and I respect the integrity you bring to the blogging world! Thanks for the help and inspiration!

  56. CentsationalGirl says:

    Wow Sarah, such great you have found blogging enjoyable and thanks for writing in with your insight! And no it’s not insane to not tell people you know…. I kept my first few months of blogging secret too! Well, the hub knew about it but no one else… so glad you’re getting social with link parties and on Pinterest too, have fun and enjoy!

  57. This is a great series. This is the first I’ve read and I’m headed over to read the others. I would love to be able to write all my blog posts for one day. I’m interested in knowing how you do that. It seriously takes me 3 hours sometimes to write one post.

    Looking for ways to be more efficient in that area.

  58. This was a very amazing series and was a great help to put a lot of things in perspective as I start my own blog! Thank you all ladies for these tips!

  59. Thank’s so much for this series! I’ve learned a lot. I’m ready to revitalise my blog after a year or two of taking it easy. I started with a little redesign yesterday to freshen things up!
    ~Joanna

  60. Thanks so much for doing this series ladies!!! I think one of my very favorite things about blogging is the incredible community of bloggers helping each other out & being willing to share the love, how great is that?! thanks for sharing the knowledge! :)
    blessings,
    lauren
    summitstreetjoy.com

  61. Aimee says:

    I love the honesty that’s been expressed here. Blog or no, everyone’s lives occasionally seem unmanageable! It seems like the key is finding some system and being able to set some limits. Thank you so much.

  62. Jen says:

    This whole series was amazing. Such great advice from such seasoned bloggers. The hardest part is getting sucked in and trying to be super mom and super blogger all at the same time, so the time management piece was the most valuable segment for me. Thank you for hosting and for all of wonderful tips!

    xoxo!
    Jen

  63. Thanks for introducing me to Shauna Niequist via your post. I love her thoughtful loving approach to life and I’m adopting her “present over perfect” mantra for my own.

    While I don’t aspire to make blogging my job, I’m still enjoying this series–you are a very talented and thoughtful group of ladies that I admire.

  64. Love this series! I happen to be starting my own blog and this has been a huge help! Thank you all for taking the time to share your own experiences!

  65. (Sorry I incorrectly typed my site’s address earlier!)

    Love this series! I happen to be starting my own blog and this has been a huge help! Thank you all for taking the time to share your own experiences!

  66. Bri says:

    You ladies are all so inspirational. As an aspiring DIYer and blogger, this series was awesome…especially your last installment. I don’t have any kids, but my husband (software developer) and I (new attorney) are constantly trying to find a balance between our house projects, work, our puppy, who might as well be our kid, and time together. It’s refreshing to hear that everyone has those ‘if only I was more like X, she really has it all together’ moments and that you really can strike a balance with just a little effort.

  67. Ashleigh says:

    This series has been so wonderful! I’ve learned so much and it has been fascinating to hear such seasoned bloggers talk about their journey in growing their blog and finding their balance. Thanks so much to all of your for sharing your personal experiences!

  68. You all are amazing inspiration & I appreciate this series more than you even know! I’ve been struggling with the balancing act for a little while now…as soon as the blog started to take off, I quickly felt burned out with toddler twins running around. It’s comforting to know that I’m not the only one that has felt this before…and that basically, I need to suck it up for the love what we do! In 34 years, I have never been a complainer or felt defeated, but dang if I haven’t felt like that’s all I’ve done for the last 6 months (unless I’m in my element with decorating, etc.). It definitely helps to know that you’ve all been there too and I appreciate the tips on how you all get it done so gracefully. Despite all a’ that, I do have one tip: The quality of a post matters more than the quantity. I’d rather read one AWESOME post a week vs. 6 more whoopty do posts. So, if cuddling your babies is your #1 priority, do it 6 days a week, use the extra time away from the laptop to cuddle & crank out some projects without guilt, and post 1. And for the record, I’m so guilty of a few whoopty do posts myself!

    Thanks, Kate!
    Jami

  69. Lesley says:

    Kate,
    This series was such a great idea. I started my blog like most people to keep a portfolio of things I create. I have created projects in my profession (childcare director/provider) for years and at home. I always forget to photo document. In all honesty I didn’t even know what a blog was until I started an account on Pinterest. That’s where I found blogs and slowly decided to start my own. Before you came out with this series I had read your posts about photography and got right to work with my camera. You can see a distinct difference between the photos I took before I read your post and the ones after. Also, I used Picasa which worked wonders. It was amazing I got virtually no re-pins on the a picture of a Nailhead trim Headboard that I took before your tips. After the new picture was posted on Pinterest it was repined many times. Thanks again for all your advice along with the other ladies. If you want check out my blog to see the difference between my older photos and my latest one for Gavin’s World. Thanks again!

  70. jen says:

    Such great advice! I’m trying to catch up on the ‘growing your blog’ series and am loving all the advice! I started blogging in Nov and am excited to say my blog hits grow every day! It’s been a wonderful ride!! But I do see that it can be time consuming.

    Thanks for sharing!!
    Jen
    athomeinthenorthwestblog.com

  71. Kate R. says:

    I love this post, and even as I am reading it I am trying to balance! I have hubby sitting next to me on the couch..trying to get some snuggles in at the same time as I try to figure out how to be the est blogger I can be. I could not have imagined how much fun I would have. Ever since I have started my husband says I have an “extra pep in my step”. I totally get why you do this and I never want to stop.

  72. This series was so awesome! I just finished reading today but still want to check out so many of the handy links. I didn’t comment on each post, but I want to make sure all of you know how much insight and inspiration you have provided. Thanks for sharing!!

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