Today is a super exciting day, like realizing it’s serious with you and your boyfriend and finally bringing him home to meet your parents! I have that same giddy feeling today because I’m introducing you to a special person, Shannon, who’s been working with me on my blog for the past several months! I’ve come to know and love her and I hope you do too!
Let’s start at the beginning so you can understand why I brought Shannon on to work with me. When people email me for blog advice, two things I always say upfront is that: 1) it is so very fun and rewarding and the thing I still wake up excited to do everyday, AND 2) it can be so much more work than you might realize. More on that below!
This is why many established bloggers have whole teams – or at a minimum – spouses, moms, and their older kids helping them behind the scenes nowadays. Without help, it’s easy to lose yourself to blogging and social media all day long! For the last 7 years, I did everything myself on my blog and social channels. Last year, I realized that it was just too much to keep up with on my own if I wanted to blog and have a quality family life.
Also, I realized that I was pouring all of this time and energy into my blog to create quality posts, but then I wasn’t maximizing them! I didn’t have time to properly keyword or SEO the posts, share them on social media or pin them to Pinterest, or boost posts on Facebook. All that “extra” stuff you can do to help grow your blog.
I STARTED BY HIRING A COLLEGE INTERN
Last summer, I was at a point where my son was home from school and didn’t want to go to camps (which is fine by me), but I didn’t want to be holed up in my office all day while both of my kids were home and not get to play with them. One of the main reasons I stepped away from my lawyer job was so that I could be a work-from-home mom and set my own hours.
I realized that if I wanted to enjoy more of the summer with my kids and still have time to workout, run the household, etc. I would need to step out of my comfort zone and get help. There are lots of time consuming blog tasks that I didn’t personally need to be doing and could easily train someone else to do.
I put a call out on Facebook and also let friends know that I was hiring, and Rachel came as a recommendation from a friend. She was home from college for the summer and after interviewing her, I knew she’d be perfect! She worked with me for a few hours each day, and you know what?! I absolutely loved it!
First of all, she was darling, fun to be around, I felt like I was actually teaching her something useful, AND she was great at snapping quick outfit pics! She took the pictures in these posts (here, here and here) when my photographer was out of town!
With Rachel here, it was absolutely awesome to be able to give her those easy tasks that take forever, shut it down early, focus on family and dinner and whatever else we had going on that day, go to bed early, then wake up early to workout.
But, after Rachel went back to school, I found myself not being able to get everything done during my “work hours” so I’d often be up late on my computer and then not able to wake up early to workout. I hated it!
THEN I HIRED SHANNON, MY BLOG ASSISTANT
After several months of struggling like that, I decided to bring on a more permanent assistant. I had originally interviewed about 10 people for the position and Shannon was one I really liked, but she was already a full-time working mom and I was hesitant to pull her away from her job when I’d never had an assistant before.
All kinds of questions swirled in my mind.What if it didn’t work out and she had left her job? What if I didn’t have enough work to keep her busy? What if I didn’t like having someone work with me in my home??
But one of the most common pieces of advice I’ve heard about being a mom or a blogger or really just an adult is “Don’t be afraid to ask for help.” So I did it and I can honestly say it’s been one of the best decisions I’ve made for my blog and my own sanity!
WHAT DOES MY BLOG ASSISTANT DO?
We’ve given Shannon the official title of Creative Director, and she works 9-3, Monday-Friday.
I still do the things you see here, create all the blog posts, collages, Instagrams, Stories, writing and responding to comments and DMs, so that hasn’t changed. But having Shannon here allows me to focus 100% on that, while she does all those little things that you may not see, but are important aspects of blogging and take up so much time!
Blog Assistant Tasks
Goal setting, implementation and execution
Respond to collaboration inquiries
Maintain relationship with brands during collaborations and afterwards
Help plan my editorial calendar (we plan 2 months at a time)
Manage ads on Facebook
Pin blog images to Pinterest
Assist on photo shoots
Adding things to the database so I can link them & link them in blog posts
Creating the shoppable widgets in blog posts
SEO each blog post
Research and learn new blog tools so I can incorporate them into my blog
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The Unintended Benefits of Having a Blog Assistant
The biggest unintended benefit of having Shannon work with me is that I have someone to interact with during the day and I can bounce ideas off of her as opposed to living in my own blog bubble! It can be really lonely blogging by yourself all day, so it’s great to have someone you enjoy being around. Also, I’ve come to trust her opinion and at the end of the day, am still able to make my own decisions.
I got lucky with Shannon because she’s smart, very motivated, and cooperative. And our personalities mesh well! She’s fun to be around and we have some of the biggest belly laughs. She’s married with two precious little girls, ages 1 and 3 that go to a wonderful daycare during the day. My whole family (including Jordan and James) love her!
It was scary for me to bring someone on to work with me because I didn’t know if I’d have enough for her to do, if I’d like working with someone, if we’d get along well, if I’d like having someone in my house and around my mom and Jordan. But, it’s been better than I could’ve ever imagined!
I wanted to wait before introducing her to y’all because it’s a bit like bringing your boyfriend home to meet your parents! You want your parents to like your new BF and vice versa!
Hi y’all!! Just popping in to say hello and introduce myself! I’m 31 years old, grew up in Atlanta, graduated from LSU and have been in Marketing and Events since moving to Houston in 2009. I “fell into” this job while up in the middle of the night with my youngest daughter and saw Megan had posted in our neighborhood Facebook group that she was looking for help. It had been a particularly bad day in the office and I thought I’d try and see if this type of part time work was for me. Turns out – it was!
My days used to be spent in an office, my kids were the first and last kids to be dropped off at daycare, and though on paper I had my dream job, Director of Events, it was not all it was cracked up to be. With this gig, I can work some from home when needed and I get to pick my girls up from school at 3:30 every day – though some days I wish they could stay there a little longer because sometimes this toddler-mom needs a break!
I am loving my 6 hours a day at work now – and don’t let anyone fool you. It is WORK. A lot of effort goes into each post and keeping up with what’s new and interesting to readers takes a lot of focus! My marketing and events training really comes in handy when editing, planning, budgeting and organizing the blog. I’ve been a follower of bloggers for a while (I follow about 50 on Instagram, if we’re being honest) and it’s been really eye-opening to step behind the scenes (in a good way!).
The hardest part of this job is probably not spending my entire paycheck on the cute stuff that Megan posts. I keep a running list of things I like and as I’m checking for sales for you guys, I tend to jump on the things that I like as well! Honey We’re Home has introduced me to a lot of things I never would have known about before – like white jeans, microblading and Zella workout clothes!! I’ve also got a new “Work Bestie” that I look forward to seeing everyday and finding out what we’re getting into next!! #awwwww
I’d love it if y’all would be amazing and give Shannon a warm welcome in the comments below! -M