This is the twelfth post in our “How I Blog” series. To read the rest, visit the archives. Interested in participating? Drop us a note about ‘How I Blog’ along with a photo or yourself or your blogging space at tips [at] blogmedia [dot] biz.
David Peralty, Owner, Blogger.
A while back I made my start into blogging, and for the longest time I had no idea that I could ever make any sort of a living off writing about my favourite subjects. I started out as a guest writer for Darren Rowse’s Laptop Blog when he went away on vacation the middle of last year.
I wrote a bunch of entries and had a great time, while also working on my own personal blog, Phoenixrealm. When Darren came back from vacation, he wanted me to stay on, but Jacob Gower had bigger plans for me, and so I joined up with him to work on the Bloggy Network.
My current routine has me getting up around eight in the morning as that is when my fiance Sabine wakes up, and when she is up, I don’t have a choice but to get up, as she can be the noisiest person in the world, I am sure. I basically head straight for my computer desk, and usually I have left the computer and the laptop on, and so I have three or four instant messenger windows flashing for me, telling me about something that someone did, or a link I have to check out. I peruse the messages and talk to those that are online while loading up Firefox, and then Bloglines. With over a thousand feeds being watched, Bloglines takes a minute or two to load up, so I turn to the laptop and start doing some other tasks. One of the new responsibilities I have taken on includes adding new items to the CSSVault, which means pouring through about fifty spam e-mails, ten or twenty ugly and/or badly coded websites, and a few gems, and setting them aside to be posted later.
Once Bloglines loads up, I look through my feeds, and find some interesting stories. I easily have five to ten Firefox windows open with half a dozen tabs in each one. I then start working on ideas for posts surrounding last nights news topics, and begin posting information that I think is interesting and relevant to the target audiences we are trying to attract for each site.
After I am done all my work for the Bloggy Network, I usually give myself a little bit of time to work on my own projects, and then shift right back into gear and start the process all over again with the blogs I am part of for the Dailypixel network.
Sometimes I find myself working for five or ten hours without really a break or a meal, though thankfully my friends and business contacts usually distract me periodically throughout the day. Sometimes this is good as it allows me to refocus and start again, but other times, when I am in Ã¬the zoneÃ® it slows me down and can be a distraction, but being disconnected from everyone is not really an option, as I don’t really have a social life. A big event for me lately is going to see X-Men: The Last Stand when it comes out, and even then, I will probably be working right up until I am seated in the theater.
I do take weekends off, so that I can recharge my batteries, plan the week ahead, and spend time with Sabine and my family.
My office set-up is as follows:
Custom Built Computer with a 19Ã® LCD and a 17Ã® CRT Monitor
IBM ThinkPad T43 Laptop with a 14.1Ã® screen
I find that having the second monitor on my computer has allowed me to increase my performance as having reference items and Winamp on my second monitor helps keep the LCD clutter free, and reduces my Alt+Tab needs.
The laptop, which was supposed to give me more freedom to move, has really just given me another monitor, keyboard and mouse to work faster and multi task that much more. I have been able to go outside of the small apartment I live in and use the laptop, but I find that it is hard to go back to blogging when I only have one screen to use.
I currently write on around ten blogs between Bloggy Network, Dailypixel, and my Digital Life News blogs. This is my full time job, and I really enjoy it.
For those looking to do what I have done, all I can say is that it really comes down to being in the right place at the right time, working really hard, and making as many contacts as you can. I still remember the first month I did this full time, Sabine, was very nervous about the whole idea, but thankfully I was working for someone else, and my pay was not dependent on how well the blogs that I wrote on did.
Matt Craven is the former editor & publisher of The Blog Herald. Currently, Matt is the co-founder of Bryghtpath LLC, a consulting practice located in Woodbury, Minnesota. Matt's presently looking for new blogging gigs. Ping him at matt (at) bryghtpath dot com. You can follow him on Twitter.