Q&A: The day in the life of a social media manager and lifestyle blogger
I’m on the heels of celebrating my ninth year as a lifestyle blogger and my 11th year working in the communications and marketing industry full-time. Many of you don’t know I have a full-time job and I work in digital marketing and PR in the technology industry. I always get a lot of questions from new bloggers or upcoming PR professionals about my career path and journey. So today I thought I would answer a few questions in a Q&A on the blog today.
What was your major in college?
I attended the University of Alabama for my undergraduate studies and I majored in Public Relations and minored in Art History. In 2016, I went back to school and received my Masters Degree in Integrated Marketing Communications from West Virginia University.
Do you think internships are important to have if you want a career in PR or Marketing?
I think having an internship is extremely important for every major in college. During my undergraduate studies, I had five internships. I started interning during the summer after my freshman year of college for a non-profit in Florida and continued to intern during my summer breaks and during the school year. I graduated at the beginning of the great recession and the job market was horrible, so I did another internship post-college at a boutique PR agency. Internships gave me hands-on experience that I didn’t receive in the classroom. I always walked away with excellent references and samples for my portfolio.
Why did you start blogging?
I started blogging in 2010 when I was freelance writing for several local Atlanta magazines. My friends and family were always coming to me for advice on things do around Atlanta and I really wanted to have an outlet where I could voice my own opinion about the things I loved. I’ve always enjoyed writing and photography since I was a young girl, so blogging just felt like a natural fit for me.
How has the blogging landscape changed over the past decade?
It’s changed a lot. The consumer attention span continues to shrink and our minds are wanting bit sized amounts of content. When I first started blogging Instagram and Pinterest had just launched and people were still tweeting up a storm on Twitter and Facebook had just expanded its audience to a global reach. So social media was still relatively new at the time and it was all about creating long-form content for the blog. Now the tables have turned and people are reading less and spending more time on social media.
Has your career in PR helped you with running a blog?
Yes. Throughout my career, I’ve had the opportunity to work with several of the worlds top influencers. It’s been great to establish relationships with those bloggers but also admire their growth. Working in PR has helped me negotiate sponsored blog projects and build brand relationships.
What’s your favorite social media platform?
Pinterest. I love using Pinterest and I use it daily.
What’s a typical day like for a social media manager?
A lot of my day consists of creating new content, monitoring trends and news, managing multiple social media accounts, and running analytic reports.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned as a veteran blogger?
My biggest lesson I’ve learned is coming up with an organization plan. If you are unorganized, you will fail at blogging. I have an editorial calendar of topics that I want to cover on a monthly basis here on the blog and on social media. Sometimes they aren’t tied to specific dates, but I know that during December I’m going to have several holiday outfit and entertaining posts. There have been times when life is upside down but if I was more organized my blog could have still been updated on a regular basis. This is one of my goals for 2019.
I want to start a blog, how do I get started?
My biggest piece of advice comes from my marketing background. Make sure your blog name and design resonates with your audience. Poll your network first to see what their feedback is. They are your best focus group. Most people want to have a blog because its the popular thing to do these days but also assess the time it takes to run a blog and keep your social media channels up to date. Are you ready to pull a few all-nighters or dedicated your weekends to creating content for your blog?
What’s one fun fact that we don’t know about you?
I was the lead photographer for my high school yearbook for four years. During my freshman year I signed up for a creative writing class that only seniors could take. Somehow I landed in the class and was the only freshman. I sat next to a senior who already happened to be on the yearbook staff and I told him that I loved photography and I ended up being the sports photographer. I was horrible at it at first, but I took a leap and joined the staff. I’m dating myself but this was back in the day before digital cameras existed and we used all film cameras. We even cropped our photos with pencils and a tool. We shipped all of the pictures to have them digitally uploaded into a software program.