A day in the life of a professional wedding blogger
The Budget Savvy Bride

 

professional-wedding-blogger

I’ve been getting many of questions lately about what exactly I do. I have to admit, telling people that I am a professional wedding blogger has gotten me some CRAZY looks from time to time, since many people still don’t seem to understand exactly what a blogger does. So I am joining my friends from The Love Collective in sharing a day-in-the-life of what exactly it is that I do around here! In all honesty, I hope it doesn’t bore you too much! It’s not just looking at pretty images and browsing Pinterest all day, contrary to popular belief! :)

When it comes to blogs, you’ll probably realize that there are millions of blogs out there, and many many many in the wedding world! There are several types of wedding blogs and I want to note the differences:

 

  • bride blogs: brides who are currently planning their wedding and sharing their experiences and adventures along the way. It serves as a personal diary for the bride, not generally for informational purposes. (BSB started this way!)
  • wedding vendor blogs: vendors who blog to promote and share their business and work. Their blog serves as a portfolio of sorts.
  • professional wedding blogs: they come in many sizes, shapes, styles, and focuses but they all have certain things in common: we make an income from our blogs, and thus we pay taxes, have quality standards and practices,  post consistently,  and adhere to a set of standards put in place by the FTC regarding sponsored content, not to mention a plethora of other unspoken/unwritten rules that exist in the blog world. The blog is the business.

 

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Running BSB is not my only job, but it does take up a large portion of my time. I am also a graphic designer so I do quite a bit of freelance work, and I also design wedding invitations and other custom paper goods for my Etsy shop, Jessica Bishop Paperie. So on a “typical” day I’m juggling all of these things! (I use the term typical very loosely, because quite honestly there’s no such thing as typical for me these days.) I’m not sure if my schedule would be enviable to most, but I am really committed to doing what I do- it’s all work that I am passionately interested in, so to me it’s totally worth it! I don’t have a ‘real’ schedule, but these are all things that I do or deal with on a daily or weekly basis.

 

Administrative Blog Tasks

  • Brainstorm post ideas and create an editorial calendar
  • Proof and edit each post that goes up on the site. I spend time adding photos, choosing tags and categories, and optimizing the posts for SEO (search engine optimization).
  • Write blog posts of my own and create images to support them
  • Moderating comments and answering questions left by readers if necessary
  • Interacting on twitter / FB / pinterest – schedule social media shares for each post of the day.
  • reviewing wedding submissions sent through TwoBrightLights
  • Networking- reaching out to people/vendors/bloggers for partnerships and collaborations
  • Recruit, interview and train new bride bloggers and other guest contributors
  • Coordinate with advertisers, create partnerships, negotiate giveaways and other fun content for the site

 

Wedding Feature Posts

BSWOWs and wedding features typically take me a bit longer. I spend alot of time reviewing submissions, contacting the photographers or brides to get questionnaires filled out, reading and proofing the completed questionnaires, inputting the text into a blog post, formatting the text style, adding links. I download all the photos from a submission and storyboard them into a general overview of the day. I upload images to the post, add intro/favorite things from me at the top, then categorize the wedding by budget and location, add tags and descriptions for SEO and then schedule them for publication.  One wedding submission typically takes 5 or so hours to process on my end from reviewing the initial submission to scheduling and promoting the blog post. Whew!

 

emails

Emails, emails, + more emails

I filter all my emails through my Gmail account– and I mean ALL of them. Between my BSB, JBP, and personal email, I typically have somewhere around 200 emails each morning. I generally do a quick look over all the emails- delete the excess junk mail, and prioritize my inbox into what are the most important or needing the quickest response.

Generally I have to sort through lots of pitches, advertising inquiries, collaboration opportunities, consulting requests, etc. Emails filter in all day long, so this is something that I’m checking in on multiple time throughout the day, but I try to keep it down to a few times per day. Here’s an example of the kinds of things that enter my email inbox on a weekly basis:

  • people offering ‘guest post’ content on topics they aren’t really knowledgable about to try to boost their site’s SEO (I generally don’t respond to these unless they actually seem like they know what they’re talking about and/or I know them and trust their site, content and consistency.)
  • news alerts and blanket press releases from companies looking to get their products featured on BSB (usually for free.) I delete ALOT of these.
  • networking/consulting requests from wedding vendors and fellow bloggers
  • inquiries from companies who are interested in advertising with BSB to reach brides who would love their products (I check out each company to ensure that they are a true fit for the site because I only want to promote products and services that I feel are of real value to you, the readers. Trust me, I turn down LOTS of companies who aren’t really a fit.)
  • invitations to wedding industry events (getting lots of these with bridal market next month!!)
  • media opportunities and interview requests
  • emails with completed questionnaires for wedding features
  • occasional email submissions from photographers or brides who’d like their weddings featured on the site.

 

 

Technology + Site Updates

Last year I worked with the talented Joy Kelley to redesign and update the site- she did a fantastic job. It was a significant financial investment and something I have to do every so often to keep things fresh. In addition to design, I spend time coming up with ideas for site updates and coordinating with my developer Taylor McRae to make it happen. Currently working on: better “Pin It” buttons, updating the text spacing for easier readability, updating the look of certain pages on the site, concept and development for a future gallery search feature, general look + feel updates, etc. We use a site called Basecamp to communicate about the desired updates, the status of projects, etc.

 

collaborations

Collaborations + Partnerships

I’ve been working on some collaborations with different bloggers and companies that will benefit the content and features of BSB! Some of these include the FREE DIY Printables from Download & Print, the Blooms on a Budget Series with Maddy of Confetti Pop sponsored by Blooms by the Box, the new Money Mondays series from LearnVest, DIY tutorials with Elizabeth of Stockroom Vintage and Old Time Pottery, and some possible future features as a part of Martha Stewart’s blogger network.

 

Accounting + Admin Tasks

I enter in my expenses to keep up with where my money is going. Some expenses associated with running the blog are hosting fees, domain fees, event tickets, conference fees, paying my developer for work he does, design update fees, transportation to and from business related meetings, etc. Luckily computer software and hardware updates, craft supply purchases for DIY projects, and blog related lunch meetings are write-offs, too! I also prepare and send invoices to advertisers for sponsored posts and things of that nature.

 

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{from Joy Kelley – the designer of BSB!}

Monitoring Analytics + Financials

I typically check out my business overview once per day. These include BSB statistics, analytics, ad earnings, affiliate networks, etc to make sure everything is functioning properly and get a financial overview of how I’m tracking for the day, week, month, etc. I see what trends highly so that I can determine what the readers like best – I want to continue serving up content that you all like, so this helps me get an idea of what does well. I’ll be doing a reader survey soon to get some feedback from you guys as well!

 

Learning + Continuing Education

I attend various conferences, networking events and workshops each year and many of these have fees involved. I like to constantly learn about new technologies, practices, and ways to improve the blog and what we have to offer, so attending these conferences is huge for me. I’ve also had the opportunity to meet many other bloggers who I’ve befriended over the years. It helps to have friends who get it – they know what I do and what I’m going through because they do it too! In the past I’ve attended blogging conferences like BlissDom, networking events like Martha Stewart’s Dreamers Into Doers and the B-List, as well as personal development workshops like the Making Things Happen conference, and I’m currently enrolled in Marie Forleo’s B-School to try to better my business and this site!

 

It’s a TON of work for one person, but I love what I do.

In the interest of full disclosure, I do make money from this blog but it is more than just a job for me. I’ve spent nearly five years working on BSB and it’s taken me a very long time to get to the point where I could consider doing it full time. Running this blog is not something I would’ve continued doing if I didn’t absolutely LOVE it. Some of you might remember (or if you’ve read the archives you’ll know) that I started this blog for fun, as a place to share my own wedding planning experiences. I had no idea that it would grow into what it is today, but I couldn’t be happier to be doing work that I enjoy and that helps others who are going through what I went through!

To be honest it took me years to start making even a decent side income from this blog. But as the site has continued to grow I finally decided to step out of the corporate world to pursue blogging and freelance design full time! I am thankful that I am able to do two things that I love so much, set my own hours, and work from basically anywhere. These are definitely the biggest perks of the job!

 

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{from Making Things Happen}

 

There are difficulties involved in being a blogger too… it took a very long time to get to where I am. I spent years building and maintaining the blog with little financial gain- that’s how you know I love what I do because I basically did it for peanuts for years! The income is definitely variable, so that is something that you have to plan for-  which is why I am lucky to also have my design business. And then of course there’s the fact that many people just don’t get what I do no matter how hard I attempt to explain it. There are also a ton of blogs out there so it’s hard to keep yourself from getting caught up in ‘competition.’ As I said it has taken me years to get to where I am, and I’ve had to work to remain focused on my growth and comparing myself only to how far I’ve come!

But all of these hardships are worth it because this blog is mine. It’s a part of who I am and I’ve put my heart and soul into building it to where it is today. I *know* what it’s like to be a bride with a small budget with no flippin’ clue of how you’re realistically gonna make your dream wedding happen. Everything I do to work on this blog- every partnership I make, every post I schedule, every sponsor we choose to work with- these are all done because I truly believe that it will help you, the readers, in your goal to have a fabulous wedding. Much of the money I earn from the blog gets reinvested into building out new features, site updates, etc because I want to continue to grow the site and make it even more helpful for all of you!

 

adreamderandadoer

{image source}

Whew- if you’re still reading, I hope this little peek behind the curtain helps answer any questions you might have wondered about. If you ever have other questions, feel free to leave a comment or email me- I’m happy to share! If you’re a wedding blogger and interested in joining a community of other bloggers who are passionately interested in what they do, and in fostering relationships with other bloggers to help promote standards for our profession, please check out The Love Collective. And if you are interested in starting your own blog (be it wedding related or another focus) don’t hesitate to contact me- I do consulting on the side as well from time to time and would love to help you get started! Thanks to everyone who reads this blog, even if you didn’t make it through this beast of a post- because you’re allowing me to do what I love and for that I am truly grateful!

jessica-signature

 

Jessica is the creator of The Budget Savvy Bride; she launched the site in May of 2008, shortly after becoming engaged. Jessica has been recognized as a budget wedding expert by various media outlets and continues to share realistic inspiration and actionable tips to help brides save money on their weddings. Google

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  1. Love this! I’ve had my blog for years and I’m just now making a bit of money off it. Not enough to go full-time but enough to supplement our household income. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I love that you clarified the distinction between a bride, blogger, a vendor blogger, and a professional blogger! Oh, and you NAILED IT with the admin work and emails :-)

  3. LOVE this post! We sure do a lot, don’t we! Your collaborations are always my fav – keep up the good work!

    • Sunaina Sharma
    • July 7th, 2013

    true, even though I am a planner and not a blogger (at least so far!), I can relate its not an easy task especially to juggle with those emails in different inbox accounts.

    • Andi
    • January 31st, 2014

    This information is great. I just started my own blog and I love writing about weddings. Eventually maybe I would like to make a little money off of blogging or writing about weddings. Any information to point me in the right direction to go towards that path? Great information on this page.

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