Today I thought I would off-road a bit from the usual content of my blog and give you a peek behind the magic curtain to see how I work and share with you a bit about the workings of StoneGable!
I AM A CREATIVE PERSON…
Even as a little girl I was coloring outside the lines in a good way and making clothes for my dolls and creating houses for them out of boxes. I’ve never known a day that I was not compelled to create.
I’ve been creative all my life. I can make almost anything prettier! This is why I have dubbed myself the Embellishment Queen.
Life is not full unless I am creating. I paint and write and garden and cook and sew and knit and stitch and decorate and sing (not well at all), and dance although with a bit of a limp now, and photograph and more! I have so many creative outlets.
So when I found the wild and wonderful world of blogging almost 10 years ago I was hooked! A world of creatives opened up for me. But I really did not start blogging for decorators. You can see the whole story of how I started blogging here! WARNING: this post was written over 5 years ago!
STONEGABLE IS A BUSINESS…
What started out as a hobby turned into the business of my dreams! I still, after all these years, have to pinch myself! I really am in my passion wheelhouse!
Many people don’t tend to think of blogging as a business. But it is! Big business! And it should be treated and respected as such! When I turned the corner from hobby blog to a brand I really decided to make StoneGable the best decor blog you will ever read!
I strive to have a beautiful blog that is a haven for my readers! I want it to be warm and friendly and a place for my readers to learn something and be entertained every time they visit!
I KEEP OFFICE HOURS…
And they are long! I’m usually down in my home office and around 6:30 am. and I work until about 5:30. I do take a lunch break and do other fun things with friends and family but pretty much I work every day Monday through Saturday. Plus a bit on Sunday evening.
This may sound like a lot but I have grown children and grandbabies who don’t live in near. And Bobby works. I love what I do and am always learning so much! And I get to connect with wonderful readers like YOU! What could be better!
I live and die by my editorial calendar. I blog about six week’s ahead of any season or holiday. Sometimes more. And have a good idea what I’m posting about three months out. If you are reading this in July I’m working on October content.
The beauty of what I do is I can work ahead and work almost anywhere! When I was going through my ankle ordeal I blogged for 4 days in the ICU!
You’ll never know when I’m away visiting my children or other family or away in our RV! As long as I have internet and an external hard drive full of pictures I can blog!
MANY HANDS ONE HEART…
It takes a lot of resources to keep StoneGable running!
I could never keep up with everything I need to do without help. I have a virtual assistant who helps keep me up to date on social media. Trish is amazing! She is great at analytics! I hate analytics! She keeps my creative mind grounded on things I need to know!
Trish is the backbone and silent partner in so many things you see on social media!
She also has a calm and gentle southern spirit I adore!
I also have a real live assistant here at StoneGable a few times a week.
Katie helps me gather up all the inventory and decor in the basement I need for styling and photo shoots. She is a “second eye” to make sure what I’m shooting is perfect because the camera picks up everything! And she cleans up and things back in their place! Oh, I love that part!
She does all sorts of really eclectic things! Like climbing up a ladder on the porch to hold a sheet up against the window so the light won’t “blow out” a photograph. Or you might find her combing the fringe on a rug or stuffing feather inserts into pillow two sizes too small! And she does “flower runs for me” facetime-ing me at Wegman’s or Giant making sure the flowers will be perfect for our photoshoot!
She literally RUNS everywhere! What a powerhouse of a tiny woman!
Katie knows how to get her hands on a candlestick or a tray or florals and every other single thing in my home! She has inventoried the decor in my basement like a store! She really knows more than me when it comes to where to find… fill in the blank!
And yes, she is too good to be true! We are kindred spirits and I love her dearly!
Along with Trish and Katie I enlist the help of an ad agency, a tech guru, a professional coach, a SEO expert, an accountant, a blog designer and a videographer.
You see it takes village…
A LOOK AT MY WORK DAY…
WOW! I’m a jack-of-all-blogging trades and a master of a few! The blogging world has changed so significantly since when I began.
Ten years ago blogging was like the wild west. We sorta made the rules up as we went along! No Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube. At least not for bloggers.
I did not have to worry about being compliant or having the right keyword for search engine optimization! And I posted when I wanted on most social media platforms, ie Facebook. Looking back, I could not have started blogging at a better time!
So now my day is often spent learning new things and trying to implement it on my blog!
And my days now are much more structured! Every day is planned out!
I research and write all my own content. I adore decor and love researching and writing about it! It’s the editing and proofreading and spelling I’m not too wild about because I am horrid at all three! And if you have been reading StoneGable for any time you know what I am talking about! Thanks for loving me through my foibles!
I take new batches of pictures two or three times a week. These photoshoots can last hours! Especially if I am styling and setting a table! You can’t believe the mess I can make behind the camera to get a pretty shot in front of it! Believe me, there is no such thing as “keeping it real”! I always say, “when you visit StoneGable you see my real life but only a slice”! The mess is not for public viewing!
I would have never known I loved photography if I did not blog. I really love the art of it. And some part of photography figures into almost every day! Remember I am a creative!
I look forward to editing images too. Making things pretty is my forte! I have to be careful not to spend too much time on photo editing programs. It can be a bit addictive for me!
There really is an extraordinary amount of work putting together one post! It’s not just taking pictures and writing anymore!
During the work week, I also meet online with groups of bloggers and professionals to help keep developing my skills and brand! The world of blogging changes so quickly!
My email is a mess! I really wish I could tame it! I’ve tried many things! I get hundreds of email a month from readers and answer them myself. This is the fun part of my job. I really wish reader emails was all I get. If I let my email go a few days I can have 750 unanswered emails easy! Junk mail is a pox on my life!
I answer the mail after my first cup of coffee in the morning, after lunch and about an hour before I end my day. And still, it can pile up!
I really need a better system or another assistant. YIKES!
Another big part of my blog life and day is working with brands! I’ve worked with dozens and dozens of brands over the last 10 years!
And I’ve written a blogging course called HOW TO KNOW YOUR DECORATING STYLE and am writing another one about mixing color and pattern! I find this is something I love to do! Who knew?
Whew! This is just the tip of the blogging day iceberg! I keep a very organized schedule. But you know what they say about the best-laid plans, don’t you?
HIGHLIGHTS OF BLOGGING…
Well, YOU, of course! You are my biggest blogging blessing for sure! Yes, I adore my readers. And you motivate me to do my best and keep getting better!
I think of your every day, a hundred times a day! Every decision is all about you! I honestly feel as if we are friends. And that’s how I write!
Another highlight of my blogging year will happen next week. It’s called Haven. A blogging conference for home decor and diy bloggers in Atlanta.
I’ve attended for six years now. This is where I meet my dear blogging friends, old and new!
Three glorious days of kindred spirit bloggers and learning and networking and meeting brands and connecting and talking and talking and talking. I literally wear myself out! It is wild and fun! Can you imagine hundreds of bloggers together?
Some of my dearest friends are bloggers and I’ll be with them! Oh, I can’t wait! This year will be the second time I’m a Haven Mentor. I’m so blessed to be a mentor to a group of darling girls!
There you go! Just a peek behind the curtain! I hope there is still magic and I have not ruined any pretty illusions!
Thank you, my family, of readers! It is because of you I get to do what I do! I love it and you too!