The number of hours I spent blogging this week - Skillful Cook
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The number of hours I spent blogging this week

Berries in a bowl.

People often ask me how much time I put into blogging each week, and honestly, I can't give them a good answer. Sometimes I feel like I am working on this blog always and forever because, um, food is what I'm thinking about 99% of the time. In the June income report from a few weeks ago, one thing Bjork talked about was how much time actually goes into all the different aspects of Skillful Cook, but we didn't have any hard numbers to put around that in terms of hours, so I thought it would be interesting (okay fine, very mildly interesting) to take a week and document how much time I actually put into creating posts and working on other blog-related projects.

Of course, the week that I chose to do this documentation just happens to be the week that I'm “on vacation” at the cabin.

I almost decided to throw in the towel and wait to do this until a regular week. But then I realized that maybe vacation blogging hours are even more interesting than my hours in a regular week. Last time we came up to the cabin, I did a much better job of scheduling my posts out in advance so I could disconnect a little bit more, like Bjork talked about in the May income report. It's one of those awesome bonus perks of blogging - you can do it from anywhere and you can work ahead in order to unplug later. Howwwwever. This time I wasn't that good at being organized in advance, so between picking blueberries with my grandparents, having leisurely coffee and lemon coffee cake under the pine trees, and baking perfect chocolate chip cookies just because, I was working little bits of blogging into my day.

Here's what this week has looked like, part cabin and family photos, part blogging hours.

Saturday: a Regular Non-Cabin Day.
Total Time: 3 Hours

8:30am-10:30am: breakfast meeting with Bjork to plan and organize for Food Blogger Pro and Skillful Cook
3:00-4:00: grocery store trip

Sunday: a Preparing-For-The-Cabin Work Day.
Total Time: 10 Hours

6am-9am: testing the bread recipe, recording new editing tutorial videos for Tasty Food Photography
2pm-6:30pm: testing the bread recipe again, baking dessert pizza, grocery store trip, photographing dessert pizza
9:30-9:45: another grocery store trip (wahh)
10:45pm-1am: responding to emails, sending book downloads, uploading and sorting photos

A woman in a hoodie smiles at a man in a sweatshirt.
An old man bending down and gardening with other people on a field.
An older couple enjoying a boat ride together.
A child in a creek bed holding a net.

Monday: Leaving For The Cabin!

Total Time: 2 Hours

5:00am-7:00am: making and photographing salmon, writing recipe, uploading photos

Tuesday: At The Cabin.
Total Time: 3.5 Hours

12pm-1:30pm: responding to email, editing photos
4pm-5pm: editing photos, writing post
11pm-12am: editing photos, writing post

A man smiling.
Woman relaxing on a chair with a smile.
A boy smiling while wearing a jacket and cycling helmet.
Elderly woman in a chair.

Wednesday: At The Cabin.
Total Time: 3 Hours

6:30am-8:30am: responding to comments, responding to emails, publishing Wednesday’s post
9:00pm-10:00pm: organizing and editing pictures

Thursday: At The Cabin.
Total Time: 3.5 Hours

11:30am-1:00pm: editing pictures for a blog-related project
3:00-5:00: responding to email, responding to comments, writing and uploading photos for post

Family members playing cards in the dinning table.
Man and young boy sitting in chairs.
Two people ride on a scooter with helmets.
Plate with a fork and a piece of food.

Friday: At The Cabin.
Total Time: 1.5 Hours

5:30am-7:00am: publishing post, responding to emails and comments

Total Time: 26.5 Hours

I added that up really fast so you might want to double check me. Or not. One thing to realize with these hours is that many of them have nothing to do with actual blog posts. I have several other Skillful Cook projects that I'm working on in between recipes and posts, so you can take that total time with a grain of salt. Or a pinch of yum. Bad, bad, bad.

I'd love to hear from you on this one! If you have a blog, how many hours do you think you spend working on your blog each week? Do you blog on vacation, or take time off, or schedule posts in advance?

PS. Lemon coffee cake. It's a good idea.

Filed Under: Life

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  1. Skillful Cook Logo

    Thanks so much for the insight! I’ve just started a blog. I’m trying to get into a rhythm. I also was trying to figure out how many hours I spend. All I came up with is: A LOT. But I’m just beginning and it’s fun. There are so many things for me to figure out still. I hope I’m getting the hang of it. Thanks again!

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    This is a very interesting post-thanks so much for sharing a break down of your time.

    Just like Melanie, I am a newbie blogger too and I do love it…I do not post everyday, though I read other blogs just about 5 days a week….so I want to say I spend about 10 – 12 hrs on it…but it could be more some days. So far, I have not blogged during vacation time.

    I must say, your “skillfulcook” has been a major inspiration for me-in fact, I started my blog based on a lot of recommendations on yalls “how to start a blog” page….so thank you!

    Oh…and I hope you post that lemon coffee cake recipe … soon 🙂

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Agreed! I am still ‘finding my way’ in the blogging world and you have not only been an inspiration but a huge help (just from reading your posts). You do good things here and it is nice to see all the work that really goes into running a great blog. Keep doing what your doing, its great.

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    Lindsay, you got up early and made salmon at five o’clock in the morning… in the summer?! That is serious dedication! (Salmon scares me a little, but thanks to your shrimp scampi post, my kids are begging for more shrimp… in the form of your scampi, of course. Also, I roasted cauliflower for the first time the other day and we loved it! And the kids discovered that they love pesto. A whole new culinary world is opening up for us Flanagans!)

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Well, it’s not really something I’m proud of, the 5 am salmon thing. But I opted for TV and drinks with Bjork the night before instead of doing this, fully knowing that my only other option was in the morning before my grandparents came and picked me up for the cabin…. so… there I was. Oh my gosh, this is getting way too revealing. I’m so glad to hear that you and your family are having such a great food summer. 🙂

  4. Skillful Cook Logo

    Like you said, I think about food almost all the time, so it’s hard to say when I’m working on my blog and not working on my blog… Between reading other blogs, searching for recipes, grocery shopping, making food, photographing it, and writing up posts, I’d say I spend at least 2 hours a day during the week (on top of my full time job) and a bit more on the weekends. I would guess I spend 20 hours a week on it. But who knows. I’ve never actually added it up.

    When I’m on vacation, I’ve done all of the above. Sometimes I schedule posts, although I don’t like doing that cause then I feel behind the ball when it comes to responding to questions/comments when I get back. I really like lining up guest posts. I did that when we went to Europe for 2 weeks last year and it was a big hit. I’ve also just not posted sometimes. I try not to let blogging stress me out, so I don’t blog on vacation and if I didn’t get on the ball early enough, then so be it.

  5. Skillful Cook Logo

    Thanks for the breakdown on how much time you spend. Even on an off week, that’s 25+ hours! Wow. I do have a blog, but I’ve never actually measured how much time I actually spend. Some weeks, I spend much more than others when there are blog posts to write and pictures to upload. Other weeks, I hardly touch the blog at all. I try to get at least 1-2 blog posts up a week, but I have so much blog posts scheduled in advance, so that’s kind of nice. I write when I feel like writing, or if there’s a new restaurant I’ve just been to or a new recipe that I’ve cooked up. As long as I know I have one post in the bag, then I can kind of forget about the blog for a bit. And when I go on vacation, as I’m leaving for tonight for 2 weeks, I just forget about the blog. I have 3 blog posts already scheduled for the 2 weeks I’m gone, and that’s good enough. I know I’ll take tons of photos while on vacation, and then when I get home, I’m sure I’ll spend a fair amount of time writing and uploading.

  6. Skillful Cook Logo

    This post is great! I recently started my own blog and i felt the time i was putting into it was a bit meddled! Hoefully a little schedule will sort it! 🙂

  7. Skillful Cook Logo

    Thanks for this post! It’s so interesting to see what other bloggers put into it! I love how you refer to “up north”. True Minnesotan at heart. I hope you have a wonderful time at the cabin. I’m headed to ours this weekend!

  8. Skillful Cook Logo

    So interesting (way more than mildly!); I’m so glad you did this! I get that question a lot to, and mostly my answer is “ummmm???” as I silently try to add up hours in my head.

    I’m tempted to record my own week of work now, but a rough estimate is:
    grocery store: 2-3 hrs. / wk
    planning (recipe / and with Eric): 2 hrs. / wk.
    cooking / recipe testing: 5-7? hrs. /wk.
    photographing: 1.5-2 hrs. / wk.
    writing: 2+ hrs. / wk
    other (emails, etc.): 1-2 hrs. /wk
    Grand Total: 13 – 17 hrs. / wk

    P.S. Only a food blogger makes salmon from 5-7 a.m. Loved that 🙂

  9. Skillful Cook Logo

    Oh! And for vacation; I definitely stockpile posts…otherwise, I have a really hard time not worrying about the blog! (Plus, when we visit my parents, I know I’ll be dealing with 1994-Internet speeds, so no makeup blogging there!) 🙂

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Exactly. We only get Edge (not even 4G) at the cabin, and there’s no wifi, so in order to connect I have to literally drive into town and go to the library. 🙂 Sometimes I sit in my car outside the library because it’s not even open yet. Sigh. I need to schedule out my posts like I did last time… the pursuit of internet in cabin-land is not super fun.

  10. Skillful Cook Logo

    So much fun to hear about how another blogger works! Especially one that I admire so much!

    I’ve been blogging for about 4 years and I find that editing photos and writing posts has gotten easier over time. I can take a Saturday and do photos for 4-5 projects or recipes, and then edit the photos and write the posts during the week. Between making content and responding to emails, comments, social media, etc I’d say about 15-20 hours a week (on top of a full-time job). Some weeks are more if the posts require a great deal of research or the projects are very involved. But the great thing is that it never feels like “work”. I love doing it and you find the time to do the things you love.

    When I’m heading out on vacation, I like to schedule my posts in advance, but if I don’t have time to get them all ready, then I at least have the photos edited and added into the posts, so that I only have to write the content on the road.

  11. Skillful Cook Logo

    my blog is not as vast and does not have much readership, I spend most of my time checking out other blogs and commenting. When it comes to writing, edition, and posting – it takes 2-3 hours each for couple hours of shopping, cooking, and cleaning. I would say about 10-15 hours but again, I am not counting the hours I am phone stalking fellow bloggers post.

  12. Skillful Cook Logo

    Thanks for the break down. Its interesting to know. I would definitely be interested in hearing of your blogging schedule while working your day job as well. I recently started a blog and it is hard to find time to cook, blog, work 40+ hrs, and manage my household chores. Maybe I need to find your dedication of waking up super early and staying up late to make sure you fit everything in. It seems like you barely sleep, even on vacation! Keep up the hard work! You continue to be an inspiration to many bloggers out there!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Yes! I’m hoping to do more of this as I get into my regular routine a bit more. These crazy morning/night hours are definitely a little extreme – especially the 5am part. That’s not going to fly once I go back to work. 🙂

  13. Skillful Cook Logo

    My blog is very, very knew and I don’t normally go out of my way to make recipes or food that I wouldn’t normally be making and eating (in large part because I’m hesitant to give the time and also because I don’t have people to pawn all that extra food off on!). In the typical week, I spend maybe an hour or 2 writing posts and my boyfriend spends 2 hours editing photos. It seems like taking the photos takes the longest, but probably only because I’m really hungry and waiting on my dinner!

    With how great your blog looks, I’m actually surprised it doesn’t take more of your time!

  14. Skillful Cook Logo

    What did you do with the salmon after you baked it at 5 am?! Do you usually do that, and just save it for a meal later in the day?

  15. Skillful Cook Logo

    This is hard for me to define as well. It’s hard to draw the line between photos/writing and other “blogging” tasks like social media, answering emails, hosting, ads and even commenting on other blogs.

  16. Skillful Cook Logo

    Interesting. Seems like you spend a fair amount of time responding to comments/e-mail. I used to have a blog but gave it up years ago. Just didn’t have the time. Thinking of starting one again. Just not sure what it will be about. I work full-time (@ 50 hrs/week) and go to college part time, but could really use some supplemental income. Just don’t think I have a spare 26.5 hours right now. I’m thinking I could do around 10 hours/week, but even that could be pushing it. My problem is that I have so many interests that I just can’t boil it down to one thing. (Ha ha, had to get a cooking term in there!) What’s a girl to do? Anyway, good for you and Bjork. I love your blog! Rock on!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Email, email, email! I try not to spend too much time on it, but I do feel like it’s important to connect with people who reach out via comments or email. It’s all a balance, I guess. Thanks for the comment Martha!

  17. Skillful Cook Logo

    I love hearing how others manage their space- large or small. I put in probably way too much time than I should. Spend time responding to emails in the morning. Try to get recipes & projects done & photographed by mid afternoon & then spend the late afternoon processing & putting posts together. I do this so I can walk away once my hubs comes home & then we can have family time. I try to limit my time in the office when he’s home. We do spend a lot of weekends planning recipes & prep& photos of them – he helps quite a bit with that. Trying to find more balance- however in the growing stage it’s hard to do. But I love the scheduling part so when I know I have other things coming up & can plan ahead.

  18. Skillful Cook Logo

    This is a very interesting post Lindsay and it is great to see how you manage your time. I spend alot of my time really reading and commenting on other blogs since I am only beginning. Time spent on shopping, baking, photographing and writing posts per week range from 10-15 hours.

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      I used to spend A LOT more time doing that when I first got started, too. It’s really important for getting inspired and for connected with people. Thanks for the comment Zainab!

  19. Skillful Cook Logo

    Based on how much content you produce for your blog and other projects, I assumed you worked a lot of hours each week and wondered how you found the time. Now I know, at 5:00 a.m.

    Between blogging at Hungry Happenings, doing freelance work, and all the stuff that is involved in promoting my blog, I spend about 40 hours a week. I feel like should have more to show for that many hours. My projects are quite involved, so most of my blog posts take me two full days to complete. Some days I wish I would have chosen to do something easier than edible crafts, but it’s what I love doing, so I create pretty detailed tutorials.

    My biggest challenge and time sucker is the photography. I understand the basics, I just don’t have the eye for it that you do. I have a hard time setting up my shots and I spend way too much time at it. I’m also not good at the whole social media thing. It’s a huge struggle for me. I’d just like people to come see my creations without having to Tweet about them!

    Thanks, for sharing!

  20. Skillful Cook Logo

    Very cool, thanks for sharing! I just have to chime in and say I’m a Minnesota girl too and love to read about your Minnesota life! I’m in AZ now but one day I will be back 🙂 Hope you had fun at the cabin!!

  21. Skillful Cook Logo

    I am always thinking about food and coming up with recipes. I don’t have to put that much effort into it, it just happens naturally. I work from home with my regular job so it is easier for me to put in a bit more effort into my blog that way. I often look at blogging as a second full time job. I do give myself the weekends off as much as possible. When I have a scheduled vacation, I completely unplug. I don’t take my laptop and will try to schedule a few posts to go out while I’m away. But I think it is important to unplug from things, even things we love, to just “be”. There was a certain period where I was burnt out on blogging and that is because I wasn’t giving myself a break. I had to take some time off, which was hard to do, to get re-inspired and to create a balance of everything.

  22. Skillful Cook Logo

    Another great and very interesting post. Fisrt, cabin and family…beautiful! Second, since my blog is new I have never taken the time to figure out how much time I spend on it. My issue is that I have to define my brand (who am I and what is my blog about) I have so many interests that I am easily distracted. One day I give 100% to an art project then the next day its all about food.

    The one thing I learned from this post is that I should make a work schedule. Being a stay at home mom, you are distracted by everyday home “stuff”. So this weekend I am going to work on a schedule for next week. Yay! Fisrt, step towards treating the blog like a business.

    Another interesting thought, that was your time spent on the blog. I wonder how many additional hours if you factor in Bjork’s time as well. Bottom line, the 2 of you are committed and it shows! It is greatly appreciated by all who follow you 2 love birds ~ 🙂

  23. Skillful Cook Logo

    Lindsay, thanks for satisfying my curiosity as to how much time you and Bjork invest in your blog. Blogging is clearly not for wimps! I am inspired by your dedication and particularly by your willingness to work into the wee hours of the morning. BTW, the pics of your family at the cabin are delightful!!!

  24. Skillful Cook Logo

    Obviously some posts take longer to write than others, but in general, I find that taking the pictures, sorting through them, editing them, adding a watermark to them, takes the most time. And answering emails, which I enjoy doing, but I definitely have to set aside time for it. I have no clue how many hours a day I spend, but I’m sure it’s way more than I’d like to know. 🙂
    We went to my sister’s house for dinner last night and I purposely left my camera at home. Sometimes I feel like, if I don’t post it, it didn’t happen. It’s nice to walk away and just enjoy a good meal with family, without thinking about where I’m gonna put the salad for the best lighting. It was a beautiful salad though. 🙂