The first sequence of questions I typically get asked when people find out I have a blog are, “Do you get free stuff sent to you?” Answer: Yes! I get several packages a day and I believe the people who live in my building think I have an online shopping problem. Second question: “Do you get paid to wear clothes?” Yes! How freaking cool is that? And the third, and my personal favorite: “But like, do you even work?” Oh yes. Let me explain.
Hi there, my name is Audree, or as my close-knit follower crew would say, Simply Audree Kate or “SAK.” I’ve been blogging for more than five years total and doing it full-time for about a year and a half; but I’m also a freelance fashion stylist and fashion editor on the side.
I started SimplyAudreeKate.com the summer after my freshman year of college at Arizona State University as a way to showcase my fashion work. There was not a fashion program at my university at the time, so I wanted to still appear relevant and competitive when applying to internships and jobs down the road.
I showcased sewing tutorials, thrifting hauls, styling tips, fashion week recaps and industry interviews. Over the next three years of college, I slowly gained a local following and also started posting my own outfits and personal stories. I always assumed the blog would dissolve once I entered the “real world,” but when I graduated in 2015, the blogging industry started to boom.
I moved to New York after graduation and freelanced at several fashion and women’s print magazines, including Glamour, Redbook, O, The Oprah Magazine and Editorialist. After a year of working in print, I made the hard decision to say goodbye and pursue styling and my blog. That summer, I sat down and figured out a business plan and finances and hired an intern and dove into Simply Audree Kate 110 percent.
Today, I blog full time; manage a small team of four interns; freelance style for various brands, magazines, modeling agencies and personal clients; and I’m also super-excited to be the freelance fashion editor here at StyleCaster. So, to circle back to my most common third question I get asked, yes I do work — three jobs, actually; and I’m here to tell you what a day in the life of a full-time blogger is like. And first thing’s first, it’s a lot more than cute OOTD (outfit of the day) Instagram pics (even though that is scheduled into my daily to-do list.)
My schedule is never the same: Each week and day varies depending on whether I’m styling, traveling or working on a sponsored blog project, but I do try to maintain a semi-routine schedule to stay on track and have a productive week. All that said, here’s a general idea of what my average workday looks like.
I’m not a morning person, but since my days are always packed to the brim, I have to maximize my time. I make breakfast and coffee and get ready for my shoot with my photographer, Sam. Before I leave my apartment, I publish the daily blog post, share it on social and prepare my first Instagram.
I shoot with my photographer about two to three times a month for outfit pictures, and each shoot contains about three outfits. I’ve learned that shooting in bulk and in advance is the easiest for my schedule. I plan out which items are sponsored and need detail shots, the theme or subject of the blog post and the multiple shoot locations.
Sam and I have been working together for over three years now and manage to shoot all three looks in less than an hour. When leaving the shoot, I post the first Instagram for the day and head to the subway for my meetings. (In real life, I’m not hailing cabs in Manolos like Carrie Bradshaw — I’m trekking to the subway with multiple bags in walkable shoes and mapping out my next location.)
I try to schedule any meetings, brand previews or events first thing in the morning so I can have a solid chunk of time at my computer later in the day. During busy seasons when new collections come out, I typically have three to five previews each morning.
I go see the new collections, chat with the publicists and brands and take pictures of product. This is the best way to network and meet people in the industry. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to see any new upcoming products I can pull for styling, the blog or StyleCaster articles.
After my morning meetings with brands and publicists, I meet with my interns and we shoot my OOTD look on my personal camera or phone. I photograph all my own lifestyle, beauty or detail content, so my interns also help me with that. Once we’re done shooting, we head to a coffee shop and work.
I don’t go into an office, so I mainly work from my apartment or coffee shops with my team. My interns are all college students, and I see them each a couple of times a week. We go over their tasks for the day, talk about analytics and the editorial calendar for the month, discuss upcoming blog sponsorships and brainstorm content.
I publish about five blog posts a week, so there’s always something to be done. Some days I’ll have a couple of conference calls or lunch meetings, but I try to carve out solid team time for writing post drafts, editing photos, sending article drafts to sponsors, going over contracts with brands, answering a million emails and always drinking a large iced coffee.
I like working in coffee shops because I can get a little stir-crazy in my apartment each day. My team picks new coffee shops to try each week depending on the neighborhood we have meetings or events in, and it’s a great way to switch up the “office scenery.”
I have press events three or four times a week, and each night typically contains two or three events. They’re typically a mix of product launches, networking, cocktail hours or dinners. I hop between events with industry and blogger friends and end my night around 9 p.m. The events are a great way to network and see new product, and it’s one of the only ways I really get to see all my friends throughout the week. On nights when I don’t have events, I’ll go to the gym or hang out with friends.
Once I get home, I shower, make dinner (if the event didn’t have food), catch up with my roommates and open all my new mail. Then I’ll post another Instagram and dive back into work. I write my StyleCaster articles, pull product from brands for upcoming photo shoots, answer emails, edit photos, etc.
I’m a night owl, and this time is productive for me since new emails aren’t coming in to distract me. I’m by myself in my bedroom “office” area and can zone in on work. During this time, I also call my family, who all live in Arizona, listen to podcasts or watch Netflix. I don’t normally set a bedtime since my to-do list is never-ending, but I’ll work until I feel like I’ve hit my max or realize I have to wake up earlier than usual the next morning.
Before I go to bed, I plan out my outfit for the next day (it seriously saves so much time), do my skin care routine, pack my bag and write a to-do list for the following day.
I’ll be the first to admit I don’t sleep enough. I envy those who manage at least eight hours a night, don’t need coffee and wake up for yoga or spinning. I normally have to force myself to turn in around this time so I’m not extremely exhausted the next day.
Even though my days are packed, I love every second of it and wouldn’t change it to go back to an office job. Each day is different, and some days I’ll be on set for a photo shoot from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., then head to events or home to work — or on the very rare day I have no meetings, interns or events, I won’t leave my couch or put on makeup. Being able to blog and work for myself full time has given me the flexibility to travel, work on multiple projects at once and be completely in charge of my to-do list and schedule. It’s a lot of hard work, and I can guarantee that each blogger — whether they’re full time, part time or brand new — will agree with me.
I do consider my blog a company, and with that, I am every single department. I am the boss, editor, writer, social media, finance, legal, creative, art, photo, marketing/PR and human resources. I work over 90 hours a week, have an interminable to-do list and still go to bed with a smile on my face. Blogging or freelance is definitely not for everyone, but it works for me. In the end, it’s more than social media numbers or free product; Simply Audree Kate is a business, and five and half years ago, I never imagined I would be able to do it full time, support myself and meet some of the most incredible people along the way.
Originally posted on StyleCaster.
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