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A Day in the Life

Normally, the main subjects of my posts are the recipes.

I’m actually somewhat shy and don’t like a lot of attention on myself.

cck

But many people have asked what I do as a full-time blogger.

I do not just sit around and eat cookies all day. (Too bad, ‘cause that would be fun.) I work really hard! So today’s post is going to be a little different from the normal recipe posts.

A Day in the Life:

I wake up naturally around 5am, amble downstairs, and start replying to a massive amount of emails, comments, facebook messages, and tweets. If it’s a running day, I’ll eat pre-run snack, then and answer more questions while waiting for the food to digest. [Insert run here: a little over an hour]

Upon returning, I quickly check the computer again, then eat a real breakfast.

chocolate-oatmeal

Yesterday’s breakfast was this: 5-Minute Chocolate Oatmeal.

With breakfast done, I go back over to the computer, this time to ensure the day’s post published as scheduled. I work on writing new posts for about an hour and a half, taking mini breaks to measure dry ingredients, get one or two things started on the stove or oven, and cook something else in the microwave. (I’ve become a master at multitasking.) Then I run upstairs for a quick shower, after which I do maybe 20-30 more minutes of blogwork (writing posts, editing photos, answering questions) whilst also making lunch.

After lunch, I take Henry and Batman for a walk (unless they’re at my parents’ house, in which case I go by myself). I come back and do a photoshoot or two, since it’ll usually be nice and light out by this time. I also do some taste-testing of whatever recipe experiments were cooked that morning. Yesterday, I tested chocolate peanut butter pie and peach cinnamon coffee cake.

About two hours after lunch I’m usually hungry again, so I’ll have a snack. Sometimes the day’s experiments have turned out so well that I’ll just eat them for snack.

day in the life

Yesterday’s snack was one of my favorites: Fudge Brownie Energy Bars.

Yes, more chocolate.

Then it’s back to the kitchen for more recipe experiments (and washing dishes!). I also continue to check the computer intermittently, answering questions and emails. Y’all ask a lot of questions, which I love because it means people are reading and making the recipes. I do try to answer as many as I possibly can!

Some days I run errands, often with a friend (or my roommate, if she’s off from work) to keep me company. And then it’s dinnertime, which is often followed by hanging out with whatever friends (if any) have found their way over. Our house is quickly becoming the “hang out after work” place, and I take advantage of this by giving out samples of the day’s experiments, asking for honest opinions.

pumpkin-brownie

Not all my experiments turn out; it sometimes takes two or three trials before I arrive at a recipe worthy of publishing… or ten in the case of my Chocolate Pumpkin Brownies!

Sometimes we’ll watch tv (Gossip Girl, Friends, whatever sports are on), but I always have a notebook in hand to multitask—brainstorming recipe combinations, writing out new posts, making a to-do list, etc. After people leave (or even sometimes when they’re still over), I’ll schedule the next day’s post, continue to tackle the never-ending inbox, eat a nighttime snack—usually more chocolate!—and finally turn off the computer. I don’t take days off, and even if there’s no post for the day I’m still working on all the other components of the site. When it’s time for bed, I rarely have a problem falling asleep.

I know some people (a lot of people?) think blogging isn’t a “real” job, but truthfully it’s no different from saying my job is: photographer, photo-editor, recipe developer, writer, and often–too often!–web technician. It’s definitely never boring!

What do you do as your job?

Do you enjoy what you do? I love almost every minute of this (except when the site crashes or an experiment fails… those times are no fun), and I really hope to continue running this website for as long as people continue to read.

EDIT: By popular demand:

Part Two: Questions and Answers

 

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Published on April 12, 2012

Meet Katie

Chocolate Covered Katie is one of the top 25 food websites in America, and Katie has been 
featured on The 
Today Show, CNN, 
Fox, The 
Huffington Post, and 
ABC's 5 O’Clock News. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating dessert every single day!

Learn more about Katie

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233 Comments

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  1. Kathryn says

    Love your blog! I am a mom of 4, runner, fitness fanatic, and nutritionist wannabe so I am always looking for healthy, delicious recipes for our family! You always have some great ones! Keep up the great work!

  2. Melissa says

    I am a Respiratory Therapist and when I am not making sure people keep breathing then I am homeschooling my 4th grader. While she is doing her work, I am checking your blog for exciting things to make my family. We are gluten, dairy, and soy free so finding exciting recipes were difficult until I discovered your blog. Everything I make my hubby and daughter ask “Is this Katie’s recipe, it is delicious!” Thanks Katie!

  3. Lindsey W. says

    Hey Miss Katie, my husband and I are new to the vegan lifestyle (after watching Food Inc, Food Matters, and Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead on Netflix!!) and I’m so glad I stumbled upon your website. We JUST tried your 5 minute carrot cake recipe and really enjoyed it! That is so cool how you can microwave the cake like that!!! However, to be honest, we were not the hugest fans of the Better’n Cream Cheese frosting….. I think I must have done something wrong b/c it turned out kind of sour-tasting..(our health food store was out of “silken” so I used extra firm tofu!)…

    I’m a flight attendant for Delta… aka professional drink server/global food tester. 🙂 And my husband is in school to be a preacher. Blessings!

  4. Yellow Haired Girl says

    Thanks for sharing this – it was nice to have a little glimpse into your life 🙂 I work as a TV reporter … so I have the same “job” everyday – but everyday is very, very different!

  5. Sonja says

    thanks for letting us having a sneak peak in your daily life! I’m a freelance copy writer and public relations consulter 🙂

  6. Nathalie says

    I’m an assistant English teacher in Japan (ALT). I do enjoy my job, though thank god I’m exempt from a lot of the responsibilities teachers here get saddled with. Teachers here are really stretched to the max attending school functions, helping students with anything and everything (even researching and applying to colleges for them!!), etc.

    I’m in awe that you naturally wake up at 5! I did that (via alarm) last year and wanted to die a little, especially during the winter. May I ask what time you usually go to bed? Also, holy cheese! You run 8-10 miles in “just over an hour”?! I’ve been running for about two years and I just can’t seem to eke out a consistent sub 9:30-minute mile (on a really good day), so my morning 7 miles can take upwards of an hour-ten to an hour-twenty minutes or so. It’s been driving me nuts. I know you’re being inundated with questions, but you have any tips about that I can steal off of you?

    Thanks always for being fabulous ~<3

    • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

      I go to bed pretty early… like 10?
      And lol I think most of my normal running routes are closer to 8 miles. (And “a little over an hour” is like an hour and ten to fifteen minutes)
      I guess… make sure to take days off? I know I’m usually fastest if I’ve had enough rest and my legs aren’t tired. And also, stop stressing about times! I don’t even own a Garmin, and it makes running much more enjoyable ;).

    • Shelley says

      if you want to get faster, try doing intervals. for example, run fast for 30 seconds, then jog for 60. And repeat. You can mix up the length of the intervals, and if you do it once or twice a week instead of your regular run, you will definitely start to notice a difference.

  7. Samantha says

    This was such a fun post.

    I wish I could say I currently love my job but I don’t. My fulfillment ends up having to entirely come outside of work. I do love doing my own blogging, my quilting, and thanks to sites like yours I have become really into baking and cooking (to the point I am trying new recipes almost daily and changing them up myself).

    Since I have worked from home for a long time (which is the best part of my job) I actually can totally appreciate the self-scheduling aspect. I love and admire what you do. It is inspiring to me because I would love to make my own way doing something I love.

    Love that you have people coming over to be recipe testers as well. 🙂

    The side bonus of this post is that it is fun to read what other people do actually…especially some are regular responders so it is fun to get a sense of this larger community.

  8. libby says

    I am a stay at home mom. It sounds like you really like your job…so do I am and it makes waking up so much nicer!

  9. Zestful Lou says

    I’m a teacher for Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade students with Autism. I teach an SH class (which stands for severely handicapped). My students are awesome and awe-inspriring, but many days I go home in tears and simply exhausted because they’ve taken every speck of energy from my mind, body, and soul.

    There are days when I love my job and there are days when I tell myself that I’m going to resign. This week, my days have been the latter of the two. I am sitting in my empty classroom as I write this (the kids have gone home) just trying to kill time until I’m “off the clock” because I can’t bring myself to do any more work for the day and my patience has been tested to the brink of losing it.

    It’s funny because today I looked at my classroom aides and said, “I hope some day my blog becomes popular enough that all I have to do is sit at home, bake, and blog.” It doesn’t sound so easy after all! Thanks for the insight and thanks for taking my mind off work for a second.

    • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

      They did!
      Well, the peanut butter pie was pretty much guaranteed to be successful because it was a food processor recipe. So I just kept adding ingredients until it tasted good. Those types of recipes are so much easier than baked goods, where you can’t fix it if it comes out of the oven tasting/looking horrible.

  10. Jenny D says

    I run a small in-home daycare and I know what you mean about people not taking you seriously! Just today one of my Mom’s text me to ask how her kids were. I responded and then told her the sensory project we were working on. She sent back, Oh, that sounds like so much more fun than working…. Yes, I have a lot of fun and get to play and go outside. But don’t doubt for a minute that there isn’t work involved! Even during my “off” hours and weekends, I am still preparing and doing something for the daycare. It may be play for the kids, but the planning involved, setting up and clean up are very much indeed a job!
    I’m sure it wasn’t meant as dig at me (although this is one of many comments she has said to me that always make me have to take a step back before I answer) but that along with many other snide remarks I get tend to briefly throw me off track. But the positives about this business are so worth it that I couldn’t imagine going and working outside the home ever again!

    • Jessica says

      Good for you for doing in-home daycare. We use an in-home daycare provider and she is worth her weight in gold and I am sure works much harder than many people with an office job.

      • Jenny D says

        Awww, thanks! Its just so much more enjoyable than any office job or working in the public that its definitely less stressful so the actual work part is never as bad as any job that I have had in the past! I think its the stress and dislike of what you are doing that makes “working” so miserable!

  11. Christine says

    You certainly do a REAL job, Katie!!!!! Do you know I eat your recipes multiple times a week – you have a real impact on others! So, thanks for what you do!
    I am mom to 4 boys. I homeschool, am a paid cantor in my church, teach different classes, coach a First Lego League team, and do a little free-lance writing.
    BTW – apparently, there are many people out there who consider what I do (SAHM) not a real job, either. Or, a luxury!!!

  12. Kristy says

    I was a teacher for a few years, but with our district budget cuts my job was no longer, so now I’ve gone back to my family business of property management. So thankful I have that to always fall back on and yes, I do like my job. Not necessarily for the subject matter, but being able to work with my family and have flexibility is priceless.

    I hope this isn’t a rude question, but I am honestly curious about how a blogger, such as yourself, is able to make a living doing this? I’ve often wondered about social networking places as well. You hear on the news that someone sold the social networking site for millions of dollars, but it’s free so how does one make money? I imagine the advertising helps, but is that the only revenue and does it pay enough? Again, this isn’t meant to be rude in any way. I’m just curious.

  13. jo @ including cake says

    I also love getting a little glimpse into the lives of others. I’m also constantly on the go with lots of hobbies and interests to fill my time…. my ‘real’ job is currently only part time (3 days a week) and that is as an architect (sounds way more glamorous than it is) i’ve reduced my hours to make time for the things I love. I’m really into fitness and I teach Pole Exercise classes but also I love to be creative and I have my blog that I am building up slowly plus I make artworks and i’m also trying to get a lot better at photography so that one day that will form some source of income in it’sown right and hopefully in the not so distant future i’ll be able to quit the ‘real’ job!

  14. Natalie says

    Your hair look lovely in that photo! I’m a long haul flight attendant and today was a day off so I spent it banking sleep. Normally it’s an early start to beautify myself, I spend a lot of a working day serving food and drinks and refereeing fights between passengers about the etiquette of seat reclining all while smiling. A LOT! I’m making your corn bread tomorrow really looking forward to it 😀

  15. Stefanie says

    Right now, I am a baker at a local grocery store bakery. Not my dream location but it is just a stepping stone to my own bakery.

    Your day sounds busy. I’m glad to hear you are enjoying your job.

  16. Jana says

    I am a part time at home Criminal Researcher and Student Coordinator for a Foreign Exchange Student Program.
    Look out Katie you could be the next Pioneer Woman!
    Jana

    • Amber with Slim Pickin's Kitchen says

      I think a lot of people have wanted to know the same thing! Look on her FAQ page. She answers your question there and has a link to a post called 3 Steps to Healthy Hair

  17. char eats greens says

    I am a student living off my husband at the moment. No, but in all honesty, I have some summer work coming up, which helps. I’m doing the school thing second time around and I don’t know how I managed to work (midnights!) and attend school full-time. Now I’m having time just attending the school part! I guess having a 40 minute drive does add to that versus when I went away to university my first time around – I lived in the town where my school was!

  18. Dudette (Miss Lebowski) says

    I would certainly say it is a job, you do work hard on your recipes, your posts, you are constantly busy AND you make money from it – sounds like a job to me 🙂
    I would be curious to know what was the turning point when you said ‘okay, I am doing this full-time”. I know you have blogged about that you are a 100% into it or not at all”-type of girl, and how much you loved it, and didn’t want to give it up. What I am wondering that when you decided on doing this as your full-time job, did you already have enough of an income from it to support yourself or was it more of a ‘let’s give it a try, I think I can make a living from this”.
    Also, curious to know how many hits do you get per day…I mean you get at least a 100 from me (ok, not THAT many, but I certainly check back all the time and browse around :-)), I can’t even imagine with all the CCK-fans out there…wow!

  19. Kaila @healthyhelperblog! says

    Sounds like a fun job to have! I would love to be able to be in the kitchen being creative all day! Recipe developing would definitely my favorite part!

  20. J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) says

    A blogger’s work is never done! I swear from the time I wake up until I fall asleep, the majority of my day involves food and blogging, which I love. I’m a small business owner (software and web development) but I’m also a blogger, so I have two jobs that have no real set schedule, but no official days off unless I take the. I was born into business ownership, so all I know is how to be my own boss, which means: your bills aren’t paid and you don’t have healthcare or any other benefit unless you work hard and do it for yourself! There’s nothing easy about it. There’s zero security, it’s not easy, but I love it.

    Thanks for giving us a glimpse I to your days; my days are very similar. 🙂

  21. Amber with Slim Pickin's Kitchen says

    That’s so funny that you posted this b/c I’ve often wondered how you schedule everything. As I’ve mentioned to you before, your blog inspired me to start my own which is something I desperately needed to do. I have a back injury that prevents me from working on a full-time basis, so the majority of the week I was at home twiddling my thumbs while the hubs went to work full-time. We are newlyweds (6 months on the 29th!), so I didn’t feel as if I was doing my part in our marriage. I started to get angry with myself and was starting to worry that my husband may eventually end up resenting me for not contributing more. I knew I had to find some way to set my own schedule and make money at the same time. Before I came across your site, I didn’t even know it was possible to make blogging your full-time job! After reading more and more of your posts, I started to realize that I could totally do the same thing. Cooking is a huge passion of mine, I have a BFA in Creative Writing, I studied manual photography, I have an awesome camera (but desperately need a new lens), and I always had friends asking me for my recipes. I had all the tools I needed, but had no idea how to start. I want you to know that I’m so grateful to you for posting your tips as well as your insight into what it takes to create a successful blog. Even if my site never takes off and I have no readers at all and I don’t make a penny, I am happier than I could have ever thought possible. I love every second I spend working on it, so much so that I’ve been running a fever all week and still managed to get a post up! I feel as if I’m actually doing something useful now. You have helped me more than you can ever realize, and because of that I will always have a platonic girl crush on you 😉

    • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

      Aw you are entirely too sweet :).
      And I think you have the PERFECT attitude to be successful with your blog long-term! Too many people email me asking how to turn their blog into a business, and I cringe because if you are writing a blog with the sole purpose of wanting to make money, you probably won’t be successful OR happy. My blog made little to no money for years, but it was successful because it was FUN.

      • Amber with Slim Pickin's Kitchen says

        Yay! I’m definitely having fun!

        PS. I totally talked you up at whole foods today! The women in front of me were talking about chocolate, and I immediately jumped into their convo and told them all about your blog and your ultimate chocolate fudge pie! I’m no vegan, but I’ve totally slipped that one by both the hubs and my best friend. They had NO CLUE it had tofu in it and they both gobbled it up. SCORE!

  22. Viri says

    Thanks for writing this up! I call myself a “work at home mom.” I spend my days taking care of my toddler, running errands and doing housework, and after she goes to bed, I am a freelance writer/editor. Often I work until 2 or 3 am. Then my child is awake by 8 and the day starts over again. Sometimes I work while she naps, but often I nap too, depending on how late I was up working to meet a deadline. Sometimes I miss having a “regular” job because I never leave my work. Even when I am not writing I’m thinking about my articles, and of course being a mom is work too. I don’t get weekends off or vacations. I would not trade it for anything because I am glad I can take care of my child (my income is not enough alone to live on but I am married and my husband works outside the home full-time), but it’s not all fun and games, either. =)

  23. Katy says

    Thank you for such a cool post – I’ve always wondered what it’s like to be a full-time blogger! I’m a medical technologist. I started out in research as a grad student, but then discovered the clinical laboratory world, got my MT license, and I’ve been hooked ever since. I currently do a specialized kind of oncology testing, where we diagnose and monitor leukemias and lymphomas of all kinds – it’s really fascinating stuff and very rewarding – there’s always a new challenge ahead. Plus my particular job is all day shift – not always a given for med techs! 🙂

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