typical week of a digiscrapper designer/blogger?!?!?

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typical week of a digiscrapper designer/blogger?!?!?

so my question is this....for those of you who have made this basically a profession (and those who are borderline 'just a hobby but i wanna make a little $$ too) ..... what is your typical week like? To clarify: how do you stay focused and make sure everything gets done. Do you blog on a certain day of the week scheduling your posts for xx amount of days in advance? do you blog daily? how many hours do you devote to building your 'stash', how much time designing? Do you set a schedule? Do you wing it? Many of us who scrap and design have families and kids...and while the one who lives with me is only 2, i am also a full time student....so really i guess I'm asking how do you balance it? I ask these questions because I love creating, i love collecting, i love posting to my social media to being people to my blog (not selling yet but would like to in the next year but i don't mind sharing freebies...better than them sitting on my hard drive collecting 'dust')

...but I also have ADHD which can be a good thing and a bad thing....sometimes i get so focused(we call it hyper-focused) on ....let's say...collecting brushes...or attempting to organize (and too often over organize)/purge my collection of resources so i can find what i'm looking for, that what i initially got on the computer to do...doesn't happen...and sometimes that's not due to hyper-focus but 'shiny' things.....man, this kit could really use that overlay/element/style set i saw on xx blog/shop....ooh look a squirrel....ooh that style looks cool...oh hey they're having a sale on cu items.....crap i need to do my blog posts....where is that image for this blog post...oh yeah, i gotta upload it to xx hosting first....oh i didn't check to see how many people downloaded my latest freebie, let me go check mediafire and google drive....oh awesome i got some downloads...did i get any comments....cool xx commented, let me go check out her blog....etc etc....meanwhile...that kit i had started....but only opened my browser to find a specific thing.....has now wasted at least an hour or two...

i hope all of this makes sense and doesn't appear to be a jumbled mess....lol

I have a keep a list of all my "administrative" tasks that I need to do, and schedule them in Todoist for Mondays and Thursdays. Then, on the other days I focus on designing. I find keeping the list of things I need to do and having a scheduled time to do the really helps to keep my time organized and productive.

I start up every day with checking email, forum, blog (and some coffee) and set the alarm for 45 minutes.... That is the only way I can control the urge to do the same as you are: oooh, pretty freebie, let's download that, another blogtrain, let's check that out too, oh maybe the forum has some news too, look there is... Etc.... So I completely understand!!

After that I either design or make templates for future use (depending on how creative I feel). I keep one day (or rather morning in my case, since I have schoolgoing kids too) reserved for social media stuff like uploading, blogging, putting stuff up on my FB and Pinterest page etc.

I do some 'pre-production' stuff on evenings every now and then: sometimes I paint or handdraw things to be scanned later, sometimes I collect ideas and themes on the internet and stick them in Evernote, with a little checklist of things to make. I find that when I finally have time to actually design, the process is much faster when I work through my checklist of things I have thought up in advance. Plus, less inclined to go surf the net or get distracted in some other way... smiley

I totally get what you're talking about with the "squirrel phenomena"! I didn't actually realize I had ADD, until I moved in with my girlfriend and her two kids, who became "unofficially shared kids". "Our" son has ADD--the more time I spend around him, the more I learn about myself. smiley

I personally find that keeping lists, sometimes using a planner, and blocking out periods of time for specific tasks keeps me focused. I would literally be lost in life without constant list-making. lol I say "sometimes using a planner" because I went through a period a few months back where I decided to completely block out my days, and quickly discovered that as a creative person, that felt very much like living in a cage. It's okay to use a planner, just don't marry yourself to it.

As far as blocking out periods of time, around the same time that I said "I do" to my planner, I took a free online course on increasing productivity that introduced me to the concept of the "pomodoro power hour". "Pomodoro" is the Italian word for tomato, and it's called the "Pomodoro power hour" because the person who invented it used a tomato-shaped kitchen timer. There are some great online timers. I personally use this one:


When you get ready to start a focused activity, you decide beforehand how long you're going to focus on that one activity. You set your timer for that amount of time, and while the timer is running, you ONLY do THAT activity--completely focused; completely head-in-the-game. When the timer goes off (I personally enjoy the rooster crow, as it adds a bit of whimsy to my day, and I'm all about the whimsy), you take a few minutes to do something else (whatever you need to do). I personally find that also setting a timer for the "something else" gets me to transition back into working more easily.

As far as a typical week, a couple of months ago (back when I was taking that ecourse on productivity), I decided it would be a fabulous idea (and a very "marketing-forward" idea) to blog three times a week: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Somewhere in between all that blogging, I was supposed to actually produce product! Keep in mind that also in between all of that blogging I was determined to market with visual ads and content-driven posts on social media, as well as maintain a newsletter (that goes out every Friday). Needless to say, after about a month of this, I had way less product to actually sell and had basically driven myself crazy!

Now a typical week consists of starting my days (9-11, generally) cruising social media and seeing where I'm needed (like posting here on these forums, for example), and then spending the afternoons (after lunch; 1pm til 4:30pm, M, W, F, and 1pm-10pm, T, TH) doing the actual "meat" of my work. Beyond that, I have delegated days (though they're way more flexible than they used to be) for specific tasks:

Mondays: Make art

Tuesdays: First Tuesday of the month, make and schedule all advertising for the first half of the month (this includes newsletter creation/layout, to be published the first two Fridays) and blog for as much of the month as possible. Second Tuesday of the month: either make art/product/handle Tarot clients, or do something fun (I also collect and show model horses, and those websites require a lot of maintenance); Third Tuesday of the month: make and schedule all advertising for the remainder of the month.

Wednesdays: Make art; make sure blog is shared, reposted, and comments are replied to.

Thursdays: Follow up on any social media stuff that needs following up on; make art/product/handle Tarot clients; do something fun

Fridays: Publish newsletter; make art (Fridays are extremely malleable, as I need to make sure I also have time for the kids if they need me)

Hope this helps!

thanks Michelle! I love the ideas you've put in my head. I agree that I cannot be married to a planner....Having a strict schedule does make me feel like I'm in a cage but having no schedule at all...i simply don't do what I need to do...I may PLAN on doing those dishes or reorganizing that area that has become cluttered...but I just spent the entire looking at clip art and seeing how I could replicate it....or I started transforming this folder into templates...but then I remembered something else and had to go look at it before I forgot which led to me to, which reminded me of that....etc. I really should at least have a notebook to write things down...my biggest problem is that if I don't do it when I'm thinking about it...chances are, In will forget. Using the timer and keeping a notepad handy will help. I can create an entire kit in a day...with 12 papers, a full alpha and 20+ elements in a day, IF I'M FOCUSED....I just need to find somewhere to start selling. I have about 4 kits made and numerous templates that just need to be packaged. I also got my Wacom pen & tablet last week so I can start doing doodles and handwritten word art.

I participated in the May blog train...creating my kit in a matter of hours because I just came back to the world of digital scrapbooking....I participated in the June train and have had over 500 downloads of my main portion, 300 downloads of my flair & alpha and about 25 newsletter subscribers. I find that scheduling my blog helps a lot. Especially if I'm giving out freebies...whicI have been doing a lot of to "get my name out there." I have set up Instagram and twitter @DesignsByAmyP as well as a Facebook page. ofc, keeping up with all that social media is difficult. I have all my social media links in one place so just go click, click, click and that way i know i got all of them...but since i cannot do Instagram except from a mobile device, it suffers.

I actually designed my desktop so that it's pretty but has sections...i downloaded a simple app that ensures my icons don't get moved (unless I turn the app off from the task bar)....the top left is all digital scrapbooking...the top middle is fiverr and the jewelry my daughters and i are creating this summer top right is my games, the bottom left is daily-(my school work, daily downloads i want, etc) (yes, I'm a full time online computer technology student as well as a mom of 3--2, 10 & 12 with birthdays this month and Aug) and the bottom right is utilities::

me items aren't in their prospective categories but that is so I can see them easily....they're put in a place that is somewhat isolated. I went to an icon webiste and found an icon set i liked and individually changed each folder icon. for fiverr and my school folders, there's a website that will change any image into an .ico file. I find that having the logo or image representing what is inside, it helps me find what I'm looking for much easier. Nobody uses my laptop but me so I can put everything on the desktop and not have to worry about it...it's all right there....and i prefer my task bar to be hidden when not in use. when it IS visible, everything i use on a regular basis is pinned to it...Mozilla Firefox, Office 365, Adobe CC, Visual Studio (for school), Character Map (for dingbat fonts & special characters) and MyITLab for Office.....now if it were as easy to organize my house as it is my computer....lol. ok I gotta get off of here...I got a paper to write while the kiddo (the 2 yr old---i have shared custody of the 2 big girls-they'll be here every other week for the summer) is in her bedroom. I have 2...MAYBE 3 hours...otherwise I don't have time to focus until about 7pm. I can work on my computer when she's not in her room, it just can't be anything that takes a lot of focus and brain power...

I'm so glad my ideas helped you, Amy! I love the idea for organizing the desktop. Seriously thinking I may do a bit of that later this evening, because that's pretty brilliant. smiley Also, totally following you on Twitter. Don't know if you have a Facebook Page as well (not a profile; a page), but if you do, did you know that you can connect the two so that every time you post to Facebook on the Page it'll automatically post it to Twitter for you? I find that saves me a huge chunk of time as well, and prevents me from getting distracted at Twitter. Oh, and have you considered selling on Etsy?

oh awesome, didn't know that about facebook/twitter. Does Etsy do direct downloads now? they didn't used to and my understanding of the fees makes it kinda expensive....maybe i'll check it out...this should link to my facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Designs-By-Amy-P-226997447678886/ I can't have a unique url address until I have at least 25 followers smiley Maybe I should blog about that...lol but at least I CAN schedule posts on my facebook page=)

There is a *huge* market for direct downloads at Etsy now. I am, quite frankly, "broke as bed bugs" as they say down South (meaning my budget is practically nonexistent), but so far, the fees aren't killing me. Simply price your stuff to include the fees *plus* make a profit. So glad the Facebook/Etsy thing helped you, too! (Oh, and I officially liked your facebook page as well! I'll try to run over and like your Page with my Page, too! I'm at facebook.com/Iaconagraphy!)

awesome! thanks for the tips, I will check it out. Yeah...I was raised in Florida and have lived in NC for the last 10 years...well 11 in September.... Just wanted to pass on something really awesome! You can set it up to post your blog feed to Twitter AND Facebook. It's called http://twitterfeed.com and I learned about it here :Get Your Favorite RSS Feeds in your Twitter Account ...this person isn't using it as it was intended but I am. It will read my blog feed and post it. It posted perfectly ...it is nice to know that I don't have to update Twitter or Facebook Anymore about my blog posts! Yay! The Facebook feed is only valid for 30 days. But that's ok with me, I just have to remember to renew it(I liked your fb page too btw smiley)

Oh, thanks! It'll be awesome to have you aboard (I'm in the middle of switching boats midstream, so bear with re: Facebook lol) I'm originally from NC myself (moved to Massachusetts two years ago, and love it up here!). I have my blog set to post to Twitter and Facebook via Wordpress, but thanks for the linkage. It works *most* of the time. lol (Occasionally it won't update, and I still haven't figured out why.)

oh wow...lol....it didn't update earlier and i just went to the site and clicked check now and then it posted to Facebook. I can't get enough of my Wacom Intuos...finally got a chance to play with it last night....practice practice practice to get better!!

For me, i juggle many things. First, i have a full time job with 2 hours commute each day. I take the time i drive to listen to podcasts on marketing in general (list building, facebook strategies, sales funnel, etc.)

On weekday evenings, i work at creating scripts or tubes for my online store (although on Wednesday night, i have a 2 hours mastermind meeting). My product has to be done, tested, previewed and uploaded by Friday night (and i know some clients are actually stalking the store starting mid-afternoon, while i am still at work!).

Friday night, i release the product in the store.
Friday night OR Saturday morning, i do my freebie, blog post about the product and freebie, change my FB cover image to feature the freebie.
Saturday night, i write my store newsletter, and schedule it for Sunday morning. That usually takes me about an hour.

The rest of the weekend is spent working on the Campus stuff, tutorials, videos, planning the monthly Master Class or holding it, writing weekly blog post/monthly theme of the month post, creating monthly freebie for the Campus and/or for the Corel site, writing guest post for Corel (once a month).

Between that, as time allows, i will send newsletter to the Campus members, tweak my autoresponder, create product videos for the store, tips and tricks videos for the Campus and/or my YouTube channel.

Luckily, i have a VA who does all the video editing, and youtube uploading, all the tutorial transcription, FB post scheduling and such.

I keep a written notebook, with a to-do list for every weekend (since the week night work is always the same), and check off tasks as i finish them.

I think i might have a touch of ADD too! smiley

UGh...Etsy only allows a max of 100 MB total and 20MB per zip....that kinda puts a damper on things huh?

Can you do a layered compression, where you zip things in a folder, and then zip those things into another folder?

I'm not sure but it's worth a try....maybe my 7zip is set up weird but it appears that the zip file is the same size as the original files....i'm going to have to check it out.

i had it set to normal but now i have it on ultra. it gives me a little more leeway but not much....it seems that people who sell full kits, send the rest of the files via email to the customer....that could be a pain ....

@Amy: Yes it does smiley

UGh...Etsy only allows a max of 100 MB total and 20MB per zip....that kinda puts a damper on things huh?

so i will eventually need to find a store or have my own, huh.....i don't have enough to have my own full store yet...but i will one day. Still getting my name out there. Just from doing 2 PS regular blog trains and one CU, I have had tremendous success at driving people to my site. Over 600 downloads of Yesteryear Kit, 300+ of the Alpha & Flair. 20 Newsletter signups (just sent out my first one yesterday). The poll on my page has pretty much said that everyone prefers Dropbox (since I can't do direct downloads yet) so I'm going to have to look into that. It's a process and I know I won't get there overnight. I have spent the last week organizing all my collections from my hard drives, deleting what is unusable or not cu ok. Putting my kits I've downloaded into a separate area so they don't get confused with CU. Basically trying to make sure it's organized so I don't accidentally put something in a kit to sell that isn't allowed to be sold. Having a BLAST with ArtRage and my Wacom Intuos!! ArtRage is AMAZING for making custom painted papers and Watercolor elements I made 3 backgrounds for July's Blog Train with ArtRage....having a pen to be able to draw with instead of the mouse has made things really easy. Now to decide on an inspiration for my next kit or maybe finish one of the 4 i have in progress...lol

What are you doing to promote your newsletter (anything beyond blog trains?)? I'm having an incredibly difficult time building my mailing list....

i have a pop up 5-10 seconds after you visit my blog the first time that asks you to sign up for the newsletter but that's all other than blog trains. Btw, just sent out a CT/QC Team call on my blog with a signup form. I have big plans but I know I can't do it all alone...lol

I've been having an ongoing internal debate on whether to use a popup or not. You may have just settled that argument for me. Thank you. lol

Also, it occurred to me while I was off doing something else yesterday that you might want to check out easy digital downloads for wordpress, when it comes to setting up your own shop via your blog. I've used it to sell my books, and also to sell my Tarot readings (haven't tried it yet for art). Pretty sure file size is limited only by what size files you can upload to wordpress, though it may also have a dropbox add on (worth the research). It's very easy to install and use. Hope this helps!

yeah. i'm using blogspot for now. i have my own domain so if i switch to Wordpress, there won't be any issue, I just switch domain routing. I saw they have a shop but if I'm not mistaken you have to pay for it...I just paid a whole year on here...so yeah....lol....i know mediafire was offering me a deal to up my storage and be able to use direct downloads for half off ($45/yr instead of $90)....It's a process though...and now I don't have a whole lot of "stock" unless I just want to sell the templates I've made for myself....but if I sell my templates, then I have less unique things to create with...lol. I've been inspired to create templates but less inspired to create kits lately. lol...plus, Etsy kinda put a damper on that...maybe by the time I ready to open shop for real, I'll have the funds to just buy one. I might have about $50 this week...but it's the eternal debate on what to do...I prefer to buy my site for the whole year...less of a headache if finances get tight down the road...I found a few hosting sites through consumer reports than have unlimited bandwidth but only one is WordPress compatible. I prefer the aspect of a store because the downloads are more secure than giving a customer a direct link that I either a) have to constantly change so they don't share it with all their friends or b)remember to take down. --Both of which are an inconvenience. I've been doing research into it because I'd rather make the right choices from the beginning than have to re-do everything later....that would def be a pain in the arse...lol

hope that wasn't too scattered and confusing...lol

Easy Digital Downloads is totally free (which is why I picked it) and protects the download URL (no clue how that works; just know it works lol). smiley I don't know how much you're spending for your domain right now (none of my business), but I've found that bluehost honestly has the best rates around, and their customer service is amazing. I've been with them for years, so when your year is up, if you're considering switching at that time, I highly recommend. (Unlimited bandwith, and Wordpress is free with your account.) I was lucky in that I was already with them when I decided to start my business (I had been using them to host pages for my model horse hobby and my gaming hobby).

I hear you on the "research first", rather than have to redo. I've been through a LOT of that over the past year, so you are very wise to go at things the way you're going at them!

i only bought the name from google. i haven't got the site yet. bluehost was one of them on pc mag's list (not consumer reports as i first thought)....I used to have a yahoo small business account that had unlimited storage and bandwidth. i don't remember my password, the recovery email and the recovery phone number are things i don't have and they said they can't recover my account without it. but 10yrs ago it until about 3 years ago when i didn't have the to pay for it anymore it was $12/mo...it's a lot cheaper now lol. I went ahead and upgraded my drop box. With the upgrade you get unlimited user downloads, can set up direct links and expirations dates on the links and has 1tb of space (plus 500mb for everyone you refer). It's 99/yr or 10/mo....i could buy a web hosting for less but most of them want a 1yr+ payment at a time...i'm going to check out easy digital downloads....i was looking at my wordpress yesterday but can't figure out how to start a shop or get more info about it...gonna google that too.

thanks you all the helpful info. it's nice to have someone to chat with about this stuff! smiley