Besides the obvious ‘all of it’
Recently I came across a blog post from a freelancer who decided to time all the non-paid work they did related to their business (but that wasn’t actual business – like chasing clients, marketing, tweaking their website etc). The cynical side of me argues that it was written to show how much time/effort they put into their business that they are kind enough NOT to charge for, and also showing how much of a loss in income they were taking by NOT charging for things they probably shouldn’t be charging for in the first place.
But the non-cynical side of me piped up and said, “Hey, book bloggers do a hell of a lot of unpaid work, too!”
So I decided to do the same thing for book blogging! If I charged an hourly rate, how much money would I make blogging for just one week?
Using Parajunkee’s Book Blogger Checklist infographic as a guide, I started to record the amount of time I dedicated to the following:
Reading the book 12 hours 50 minutes
Writing the review/blog post 2 hours 40 minutes
- Include cover,
- buy links,
- author info,
- publication info,
- double check the links,
- proofread post,
- add ftc disclaimer and content warning,
- affiliate links,
Updating currently reading list 10 minutes
Sharing review 25 minutes
- Check to make sure blog post went live.
- Submit review on Netgalley, Edelweiss, Goodreads, Booklikes, Amazon, and B& N. – I don’t post on Amazon and I only post on B&N by special request.
- Share post on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Pinterest. – I don’t have a Google+ or Pinterest account.
Social media interaction 8 hours 20 minutes
I’ll break this down, because I don’t use much social media interaction:
- Answer mentions/Respond to FB comments. – nil
- Interact on Facebook/twitter by asking a question. – nil – but did spend 25 minutes reading Twitter.
- Retweet great posts by others. – nil
- Thank retweeters. – nil
- Reading other industry blogs 1 hr 25 minutes
- Follow new bloggers. – nil
- Comment on other blogs – nil (I am a lurker)
- Read Booklikes feed and interact 2 hrs 50 minutes
- Read Goodreads feed and interact 3 hrs 40 minutes
Emails 1 hr 20 minutes
- Check email
- Organise new review requests – none this week
- Respond to emails
- Prioritise tasks
- List books received on TBR pile
- List calendar tour dates
New books! 1 hr 10 minutes
- Check Netgalley/Edelweiss/Publisher catalogues for new books to request.
- Write email to publicist.
- This includes time spent in bookstores.
Maintaining Goodreads database 1 hr 40 minutes
Maintaining blog 25 minutes
Now, because my reading time clearly skews out the above chart, and also because I read more than normal this past week, I’ve created another chart to show how much time is invested in book blogging that’s not directly reading the book.
Four of my six blog posts for the week were already written and scheduled in advance, so I didn’t get to time them, but I estimate it takes me between half an hour for a short post and up to two or three hours for a longer, more thought out post. If I had a full week of posting, which I often do, that could take anywhere from three and a half hours to twenty hours or more just writing posts.
Please note that Monday was a public holiday in which I was forced to leave my house and socialise, so I didn’t get much else done but spend an hour and a half updating my Goodreads database.
I also read a LOT on Saturday and Sunday, but that’s because I couldn’t sleep and spent some time in the middle of the night flipping pages. I don’t normally get to spend so much time reading. I usually get half an hour at my lunch break, and have to make time to read by telling my husband specifically I can’t spend time with him because I have a review due. Luckily we both have different hobbies and are capable of spending time doing those.
I could have spent the hour and a half writing my review of Fire Study on Sunday night, but we had a guest staying in my office and I couldn’t access my computer.
I’ve spent hours writing this blog post, too.
The biggest surprise is how little time I spend reading in comparison to the other tasks. It seemed pretty much equal – but I know that I read a lot this week.
And now it’s obvious to me WHY I cut out lots of social media interaction, especially Twitter. Twitter is a massive time suck (and I’ll write another post later on exactly why I hate Twitter) and I’m already spending so much time doing other things. I really don’t interact very much on social media outside of Booklikes and Goodreads.
I was totally shocked to find I spend on average just over four hours a day working on my blog. And I was totally surprised to find out how much of my time isn’t dedicated to reading.
Overall I spent 29 hours on my blog. That’s the equivalent of an unpaid part time job. If I charged the Australian minimum wage of $16.87, I’d get $489.23 per week. That’s $1956.92 per month on minimum wage. The question is how much is my time worth? If I charged $50 for all of this non-work, I’d be getting $5800 per month.
I started out by calling it a hobby, but someone corrected me and said it’s a way of life. They’re not wrong. Who else but book nuts would put this much unpaid time into a ‘hobby’ and NOT have it become a way of life?