A day in the life of a corporate blogger

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Is there even such a thing as a typical day anymore? We travel. We write. We tweet. We meet. We code. We coach. We manage. We lead. We all go in so many different directions, that it's hard to really picture a normal day the way you might quaintly envision an average day for good ol' Don Draper.

Last week I spent an hour speaking with students in the Technical Communications program at North Carolina State. I'm a graduate of that program, and one of my former professors, Stan Dicks, set up a video conference so I could answer questions from his students about the blog program here at SAS. I could probably write a post in response to every one of their questions - but this one in particular has stuck with me as I've worked this week and tried to think about how my time is spent:

How much of your time goes into your own writing versus managing the overall blog network? Also, what other duties in the position require significant chunks of your workday?

As corporate communications roles in social media continue to grow and evolve, it's a question that interests a lot of people - so I took some time this week to document some of the typical tasks that make up my workday, which might look something like this:

  • Review last week's traffic report, and write a blog post promoting last week's top posts. Also take notes about the "time on page" stats, which are high for most of our top posts (put that on the list of posts to write later).
  • Edit two posts for sascom voices. Publish one, and send edits back to author for review on the other.
  • Create a new user account and categories for a new blogger who will be contributing to the sascom voices blog. Edit and upload author photo to include with his posts.
  • Review any posts from yesterday that I haven't read yet and pick one or two to tweet.
  • Send a note to one of our bloggers to resize the video on his blog (which was exceeding the column size).
  • Send a note to another blogger with tips on how to write compelling headlines and how to ask specific questions when closing your posts instead of generic "leave your feedback here" requests. Also add this topic to my list of things to blog about in the future.
  • Meet with designer, project manager and application developer for the blog migration project we're working on as we switch to WordPress.
  • IM a few bloggers to get their input on questions that came up during the project call.
  • Work on slides for an upcoming 1/2-day social value workshop that I'm co-leading with Kirsten Hamstra, our social media manager.
  • Send a note to an executive blogger to notify him of a new comment on his blog that he should respond to.
  • Catch up on twitter, rss and email to find interesting content to share with followers and friends.
  • Review daily blog alerts for mentions of SAS and send notes to any product experts who might want to comment or repsond to those posts.
  • Notice customer question on Twitter while there & send note to one of our bloggers who can answer it quickly.
  • Send note requesting permission to republish a post from one of our partners.
  • Prepare a slide of statistics and suggestions for department presentation about the performance of our communication channels.
  • Try to troubleshoot a problem with the trackbacks on our blogs. (Still trying to find the answer to that one.)
  • Read internal blogs and notice that one from an R&D director includes information about high-performance computing that will make a good conclusion on another post I have in draft form. Make edits and send that off for review.
  • Brainstorm with customer support team about developing taxonomy needed to continue to improve the way we monitor and respond to customer conversations online.
  • Log in to test environment for new blog platform and test write two posts. Send note to developer and designer about issues and questions encountered there.
  • Log out for the day but keep iPhone in pocket and answer emails throughout the evening.

I know I'm leaving some things out and also merging some things together over a few days, but this is pretty typical of the types of tasks that take up my day, which is split between writing, editing, coaching, planning and technical administrative tasks. If you have a similar role as a blog editor, chief blogger or blog program manager, tell us in the comment area what else you do in a typical day. I'm sure I've forgotten something. Or maybe you're doing something that I'm not but should be doing too!

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About Author

Alison Bolen

Editor of Blogs and Social Content

+Alison Bolen is an editor at SAS, where she writes and edits content about analytics and emerging topics. Since starting at SAS in 1999, Alison has edited print publications, Web sites, e-newsletters, customer success stories and blogs. She has a bachelor’s degree in magazine journalism from Ohio University and a master’s degree in technical writing from North Carolina State University.

3 Comments

  1. Alison Bolen
    Alison Bolen on

    I'm a naturally creative/curious person, but creativity is admittedly one of the first things that gets shelved when I'm busy and over-worked. So, for me, the important thing is to recognize when I am getting too busy and take steps to address that problem first.

    Some standard creativety exercises that usually work for me are:
    Reading other blogs for ideas.
    Reading magazine headlines in line at the grocery store to repurpose for my own content.
    Brainstorming with colleagues on article ideas.
    Attending presentations/seminars that push the boundaries of my current knowledge/understanding.

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