Dear kfangurl: Can you talk about how you manage everything that you do for the blog?

Welcome to my work space..?

Beez writes:

Dear Kfangurl – After your in depth, thorough, review of Move to Heaven (you’ve always done thorough reviews, but I’m amazed that you still manage to squeeze in watching dramas, much less having the time to deep dive in your writing to break down every character and every characters’ interactions with other characters the way you still do) – so after reading that recent review, I became even more curious of how you manage your time? I’d bet others here would also like to see a timeline post of “a week in Kfangurl’s life”. I imagine you writing, watching, and scribbling 24/7 (almost chained to the television and computer): “Sunday, interacting with patreon members. ‘Oh, it’s Monday, time to finish my notes on NIF’ to post on Tuesday. Wednesday, watch episodes of the latest dramas while taking notes. Post new review on drama recently completed. Thursday, Watch a couple of 1-hour drama specials, prepare and post reviews. Friday, watch episodes for KMHM and prepare recap to post on Saturday. Sunday, hair pull out day.”

But seriously, I’d be so interested in seeing how you manage it all. I guess you don’t have to tell us when you have time to brush you’re teeth, unless you want to… 😊

I definitely brush my teeth 😇

Dear Beez,

Thanks for being interested in how I manage the blog! I feel so important, heh. 😅 I’m honestly not sure that my answer will be super compelling, but since you asked, I’m happy to share!

If you guys have any advice on how I could manage the blog better than I am doing right now, please feel free to share your tips in the comments below!

CLARIFICATION & SETTING THE STAGE

Mmm.. Putting food on the table. 😋

I think it’s important to mention, before I get into anything, that I’ve switched to blogging full time. Because, well, the pandemic happened, and what I used to do for work isn’t super viable anymore. Also, I love this blog, and I figured this would be a good time to try turning the work that I do for this blog into a proper income, to, y’know, keep my lights on and put food on the table.

Meaning to say, I didn’t use to do this much for the blog. It’s only because I’m now blogging full-time, that I’ve taken on this kind of blogging load. Just thought it’d be important to make that clear. There’s absolutely no way that I could do what I’m doing for the blog, AND hold onto any kind of other job right now. 😅

I literally wake up and work on the blog. And then have lunch, and then work on the blog. And then have dinner, and work on the blog. Sometimes I squeeze in time for things like going out for groceries, or going to the bank. But otherwise, that’s what a typical day looks like. Kinda nuts, I know! 🤪

STUFF I DO FOR THE BLOG: A QUICK OVERVIEW

Let me see..

Before I talk about how I manage everything that I do for the blog, I guess it makes sense to at least give a quick overview of the various things that I do for the blog, and how much time each of those things tends to take.

1. Full Reviews

The number of full reviews that I write per month, depends on when the various shows that I’m covering on Patreon end their cycles, and also when I finish watching other shows that I’m not covering on Patreon. This means that I could post anything between 1 and 3 (or 4) full reviews a month.

You guys already know that I write my episode notes while I watch the show, so those notes get reorganized, while I write additional stuff and create the review in its final form. It typically takes me about 2 days or thereabouts to finish working on a full review, not counting the time that goes into writing the episode notes in the first place.

2. Quick reviews of short drama things

The number of quick reviews tends to go up, if the number of full reviews is on the low side in a month. Quick reviews are much faster to do. The quickest ones can be done within 1-2 hours each, not counting the time it takes to watch said short drama thing.

3. Patreon posts

I publish one Patreon post per day on average, unless I’m covering a bonus show on Patreon. In those cases, sometimes I publish 2 posts on Patreon in a single day.

It takes me the time to watch the episode (so anywhere between 35 minutes to 1.5 hours, depending on the length of the episode), plus about 1-2 hours on top of that, to write the notes for the episode.

4. Open Thread posts

I’m covering 2 group watches right now, and it takes about 1-2 days to write each Open Thread post.

5. Dear kfangurl posts

I try to do at least a couple of these a month, and it usually takes about 1-2 days to write one, depending on what the question is about.

6. Comments & other messages

I used to be able to reply to almost every comment or other message that I receive, sometimes dedicating several days just to responding to comments. With the additional blogging load that I’ve taken on, it’s become impossible to keep up with every comment. I’m really sorry about that, you guys. 🙈 Please don’t stop leaving me comments, though? I love reading them! ❤️

Just as an overview, I receive comments on the blog itself, on Patreon, on Facebook, Instagram  and Twitter. On top of this, I also receive emails from you guys, as well as messages on Patreon. I do my best to keep up, but with everything else that I have going on, I can only apologize that I can’t reply to them all. I assure you that I read everything though! 😝

7. Technical issues

As the blog’s grown, the technical challenges have grown as well. When it comes to technical issues, I mainly spend my time either troubleshooting, or looking to make improvements.

Essentially, the more stuff that’s gone into the blog, the greater the possibility that some stuff’s not going to play nice together. Also, the more stuff that’s gone into the blog, the more the site speed’s likely to slow down as well. Neither of those is a good thing.

Lately, I find myself spending large chunks of time trying to get things to work properly, and also, trying to understand and implement things that will help improve site speed. On top of this, I’m still trying to figure out some stuff related to ads.

I just spent all (literally, ALL) of last Thursday trying to find a good Lazy Load solution for the blog (a thing where images don’t load on the page, until you scroll to them), so that the site loading speed would be improved, but ran into so many problems of stuff not working as it should, that it gave me a literal headache. As I type this, I still haven’t solved it yet. I just had to put it aside, because I had content-related deadlines to meet, like Saturday’s Open Thread post for Kill Me, Heal Me.

I’ve come to understand in a very acute way, why online companies have people who specialize in creating content, and people who specialize in the technical side of things, to keep everything running as it should.

Y’all probably already know this, but I’m no technical whiz; I’m definitely more of a content creator. And I wish I could pay someone to do this technical stuff for me, but hey, I’ve got to be able to make a proper income first, before I can even think about paying anyone else, right? Therefore, I’m just gonna keep on keeping on, for now, and hope that it will be enough. 😅

HOW IT WORKS

..Mostly I’m hanging on by the seat of my pants..! 😅

The quick answer to how I manage everything, boils down to a single, unexciting (some would say suffocating) word: SCHEDULING.

I do a heckuva lot of scheduling, to stay on top of things. I won’t bore you with the details, but suffice to say that I have a daily, monthly and yearly overview, in order to make sure everything’s running the way it should.

I update the schedules as I go, and mainly, the daily schedule (which is very much informed by the monthly schedule) dictates what I need to do on any particular day.

Since you mentioned my Move To Heaven review in your question, I’ll use that particular week as an example.

The deadlines

The week beginning 18 August, I could see from my monthly overview that the deadlines I had for the week were:

Wednesday: Nirvana In Fire Open Thread + Move To Heaven review

Friday: Quick review for drama special You Are Closer Than I Think

Saturday: Kill Me, Heal Me Open Thread

On top of this, there were the usual daily Patreon deadlines, ie, one set of episode notes per day.

The schedule

Therefore, I knew that I’d need to schedule my time accordingly. This is what that week looked like for me:

Saturday+Sunday: complete Nirvana In Fire Open Thread post

Monday+Tuesday: complete Move To Heaven review

Wednesday: complete quick review for drama special You Are Closer Than I Think

Thursday+Friday: complete Kill Me, Heal Me Open Thread post

The Patreon posts were chunked in-between, so that I’d have dedicated time to work on the various posts. I watched some stuff that I’m covering on Patreon, and wrote the related notes, on Friday night, before starting on the NIF stuff on Saturday, and then watched and wrote more Patreon-related stuff on Sunday night, after finishing the NIF OT, and on Monday morning, before starting on my Move To Heaven review. This ensured that my Patreon cycle could continue uninterrupted, while I focused on other content deadlines.

This particular week, I could only answer comments, or see to any technical issues, in the pockets of time in-between juggling everything else.

At other times, when I’ve managed to get a little bit ahead with content-related deadlines, I can afford to spend a larger chunk of time on technical issues – until I run out of content-related buffer, and need to go back to creating content.

IN CLOSING

I hope that made sense, and I hope that wasn’t too boring for y’all! At least now you know how I (try to) manage everything? 😅

Like I said earlier, if you have any ideas or suggestions to help me manage everything better, do let me know in the comments!

And if you value the work that I do here on the blog, please consider supporting me? 🥲 You can do so on Patreon, through a one-time donation, &/or whitelisting this site, if you’re using an Adblocker (an overview of all the ways you can support the blog can be found here). Ah! You can also tell your friends about the blog, that would really help me out too!

Thanks, you guys. For all your love, your presence, and your encouragement. I couldn’t do this without you.

Smooches. ❤️

~kfangurl

POST-SCRIPT:

1. If you feel that I missed anything, or if you have your own insights that you’d like to share with the rest of us, do tell us about it in the comments!

2. Do you have a question of your own? Drop me a comment here or on the Dear kfangurl page, or send me an email!

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[…] If you’re curious about the nuts and bolts of the work that goes into maintaining this blog, here is a Dear kfangurl post about this very topic, I hope you […]

Princess Jazz
Princess Jazz
1 month ago

Dear FGV – I saw your working schedule and it seriously looks kind of crazy.
Do take a break and walk out and refresh yourself every alternate day. Writing can be emotionally exhausting especially now that you are doing it full-time. So do take care on that part and balance it out please.

Also I want to tell you that kindly consider streamlining the Patreon benefits etc…they are all additional work for you.Basically for anyone sponsoring for the blog – below 30 dollars per month (people like me) – don’t do anything extra.
What we see and read on the blog is sufficient for that sponsorship. You don’t need to write / send-in additional notes. In other words – try and cut down on extra workload for sponsors etc and direct people to the blog instead.
For major sponsorship – maybe you can do additional things for them specifically.
Also maybe you can restrict to one open thread posts per week (1 drama watching per week instead of 2 drama watching per week).These are just my suggestions though and do take care and please kindly ask for help/suggestions wherever need be.

We are here to enjoy and support your work but not at the cost of your well-being which is important during these times. Take care and much love.

MC
MC
1 month ago

Hi KFG! I have been away a lot so not sure if you’ll see this but I just wanted to pop back and say – wow that’s a really really busy schedule! Busier than a normal workday! Honestly thank you so much for all the hard work you put into the blog. Please take care of yourself too – don’t be a workaholic for the blog! We need you to work sustainably so that you can go the distance (coz I can’t imagine you burning out and stopping writing… 🙁 )

Take care – there’s light at the end of the tunnel (restrictions wise)!

Ele Nash
1 month ago

You are a blogging master and I love you for it! The work alone is enough, but you also infuse your reviews with such enthusiasm and thoughtfulness. Thank you for everything you do, kfangurl 😍

AlphaGirlIndia
AlphaGirlIndia
1 month ago

Being a blogger myself, I totally relate to you especially the technical troubles you must be facing. Managing a website with no technical know-how is really challenging. I personally have spent sleepless nights when there have been backend issues and I have had absolutely no idea of how to solve them. YouTube videos and some general research help control minor issues but something or the other keeps popping up every now and then. It truly is a headache. I too feel like hiring someone who can take care of the technical aspect of my blog so I can concentrate only on the content part. But no luck (read not enough money) as yet.
 
Your dedication to dramas is admirable. Even if you are blogging full-time, there must be days when you may not feel like going into the details of a drama. You may not feel like writing about a character you did not understand or connect with. But you spare no pains in giving the most detailed reviews because you like what you do.
 
Blogging is serious business. It is time-consuming. And a review blog takes more time because you have to watch dramas then write about it too. So, it means around 16 hours (approx.) of watching and then 6 to 7 hours of analyzing, writing, editing, image editing before finally publishing.

But it is fulfilling, right? When someone writes to you or says they liked what you wrote or could relate to your opinion it feels good, right? Blogging is rewarding like that.
 
Keep writing and I hope your blog advances by leaps and bounds. Blogging full-time is my dream too and seeing the kind of dedicated hard work you put in, I would be the happiest to see you achieve great heights in it. All the very best!!   

seankfletcher
seankfletcher
1 month ago

This post is a marvellous insight re your blogging prowess, commitment and doing it your way, kfangurl. I am so glad Beez asked the question.

To entertain us, to inform us, and delight us – your most devoted fans and readers my observations are thus: what you do, and how you do it, mirrors the same traits who aspire to be the best, to produce the best and to leave the world in shock and awe (inspiringly). 

To bend time and space the way you do, I can recognise\one of the key ingredients which is scheduling along with the discipline of sticking to it. The other is an innate understanding of drama including what you like, along with a willingness to explore, and at times, step outside your comfort zone. 

Perhaps the hardest thing is knowing how to look after ourselves when we are at the height of our spell binding magic. There are two things I can add, further to what the other fab responders have provided, and they are:

  • Every 40 minutes, take a deep breath, stretch, talk to the dog; and
  • Have a reward system that might include time off here and there (imagine what to do on a Saturday afternoon);
  • I know I said two, but here is a very important one: as many other bloggers say, take time off. Let us know when you are taking some downtime and that you will be back again sometime soon. Giving ourselves permission to do this is very powerful and rejuvenating.

I leave you with Wayward Son by Kansas, the rock gods of a bygone era (and I apologise it’s not something more kboppy – but you know, big hair, beards, master musicians 🤣). This was an eternal song for Supernatural, a fabulous show that I really enjoyed, but I won’t mention how the fan girls in the house felt about it. It has great lyrics about our responsibilities, reaching the dream, taking on board what comes our way and resting our weary heads. Anyway, it will blow away the cobwebs. I also attach a link to a more gentle version 😎  

https://youtu.be/P5ZJui3aPoQ

https://youtu.be/qKvj12YTtI4

J3ffc
J3ffc
1 month ago
Reply to  seankfletcher

RIP Robby Steinhardt…

seankfletcher
seankfletcher
1 month ago
Reply to  J3ffc

Yes, yet another one that has gone to the great rock pantheon in the sky. Robby was awesome, J3ffc🤘

Elaine Phua
Elaine Phua
1 month ago
Reply to  seankfletcher

Wonderfully said, Sean. Yes Kfangurl pls take a holiday! We will wait for you, no worries!

seankfletcher
seankfletcher
1 month ago
Reply to  Elaine Phua

Thank you, Elaine 😊 Good things are worth the wait!

jandoe23
1 month ago

Reading this and gosh. Hats off to you! Quick question: does switching to blogging/drama-watching full-time sap the joy out of what is (was?) a pastime activity and interest?

Trent
1 month ago

Just echoing everyone else: awe and respect at your organization and the work you’re putting in (and the quality of the output), and sincere hopes that you’re carving out sufficient time for self-care and non-drama downtime.

Natalia
Natalia
1 month ago

Dear Lord, K, I am the least organized person I know, so I couldn’t offer you advice even if my life depended on it. Luckily my line of work does not need much scheduling, otherwise I would have taken advice from you!
Seriously, respect.

Kay
Kay
1 month ago

Wow, what an interesting breakdown of what you do! I consider myself very organized and definitely use a schedule, but you have me topped. I knew with how involved your blog had grown that you would have to be super organized, and luckily, you are!

You do amazing work for the kdrama community, and I know we all appreciate it. Do make sure to regularly schedule time for yourself. We need those regular breaks too ❤

beez
1 month ago

@Sudan – if you have any power & influence in the oppa lending department, may I suggest that Kfangurl might prefer a date with Gong Yoo. I would volunteer to fill her shoes with Hyun bin but he’s dating Son Ye jin right now. But keep in mind that I’d gladly step up for almost any of the other oppas who need a date. 😉

Sudan
Sudan
1 month ago

Dear KFG, you are amazing! Thanks for all that you di to enhance my kdrama viewing experience. I think you deserve a date with Hyun Bin! Your fan, Susan

j3ffc
j3ffc
1 month ago

I’d like to second what everyone else has said about this post, and KFG’s work in general, with just a couple of little add-ons:

  1. KFG is not taking credit for one element that allows all of this to happen: an obvious and profound talent for writing and and dramatic analysis. Own it!
  2. I am glad to see that KFG’s avatar is taking a little time for eating a delicious meal and hope that she is too. I am surprised to see her editing on paper, which I admit I still find useful, too. And finally, we all feel a little upside down sometimes.
  3. It is so typical of a KFG post is that I thought that the post was finished and only then got to the section about “Scheduling”.

Finally, here’s how I have found best to consume all of the great content in the KFG blog-verse.

  1. I am spoiler-averse, so I read the “Short Verdict” and scroll down to the bottom to see the final grade as part of my drama selection process (which has its own complex set of rules that I have mentioned elsewhere and will not bother you all with here).
  2. I read the show by show notes on Patreon as I watch the shows. I like the on-the-fly, water-cooler experience of following along as the show progresses. (Obviously, only possible for those shows on Patreon, but for me, it’s worth the price of admission.)
  3. When all is done, only then do I read the full review for the post drama a analysis. Since I am not nearly as disciplined with my time as KFG, I skip the “spoiler” sections during this read if I have already read the Patreon show by shows. And, FWIW, my favorite part of the reviews is usually the “thoughts on the ending” or “penultimate episode” sections.

Thanks again for the interesting post!

reaper
reaper
1 month ago

Wow it is even more than I expected.
I mean when I was very active on here you responded to every comment immediately.
Which means your workload in the last year must have gone trough the roof.
You have my respect ^^

Shahz
Shahz
1 month ago

What a fantastic question. And many a time I have wondered how you fit in all in! I just hope you continue to love what you do💖 .

BE
BE
1 month ago

One suggestion: exercise, swimming is especially good. I know it sounds like one more thing to do, but it will give you extra energy & allow you to rest your mind.

Kate
Kate
1 month ago
Reply to  BE

I second this. As someone with a desk job and working from home, I worry for you. I‘ve neglected working out during the pandemic and had a herniated disc a month ago. Am in the slow recovery process, swimming or walking 5K every day and doing specific back and belly muscle exercises.

I am in awe of how you manage to do all these reviews and posts and wrangle the tech side of things on top of it!

Thank you for all you do! 😘❤️

beez
1 month ago

@kfg – Wow and whew! I asked because it seems like an amazing feat that you can still write so in depth while juggling so many other things that go into the blog. I know that if I were in your shoes, just the pressure of knowing I’ve got so much more to do would freeze my brain so I couldn’t get past the first sentence of a review (and I would’ve been that way even before my brain went on permanent vacation 😆). But I must admit that besides being curious of how you do it, I was hoping to pick up pointers to figure out a way to organize my own relatively lightweight schedule better. 😆

But in all seriousness, kfg, don’t neglect your health. Maybe you could invest in some dictation software so you could walk or exercise while you dictate your reviews/recaps. Other than concern that your schedule is not leaving you time for physical or mental health, as far as suggestions that might help – I’ve got nuttin’. 😞

Nicole Quek
Nicole Quek
1 month ago

You are incredible!!! And I love your Patreon posts. I may not be watching the drama that you are writing episode notes, but I read the posts anyway because they are so nicely written and they give me a summary of what happened. Thanks for all the work you put in and for your excellent!! use of the English language and I hope your blog and Patreon continue to grow 🪴

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
1 month ago

LOVE this post Fangurl. I am so glad Beez asked this question (I will be the first to admit that she asks the very best questions).

I do have some understanding of what it takes to work on a site. The technical glitches have to be the most frustrating for you with that tight schedule. They drive me bonkers. For example I notice that your ‘like’ function disappeared a little while ago and I laughed as I wondered which wonderful new plug-in did it. Please do not worry about restoring it. You are not alone in this frustration, trust me.

So to the nuts and bolts – the content. I cannot for the life of me figure out how you can produce content of this caliber with that tight schedule. It is the best of the best out there in drama review world on the internet. Plus your Patreon account is superb and there is a ton of very good chatter and really great people over there so it is very worthwhile. If you are unsure of a drama, checking out Patreon (if you are covering it) is a sure-fire way to discover if this is a good fit or not.

As I mentioned on one of my comments that I worry that some big time CEO is going to steal you away – their gain, our devastating loss. Let’s face it – you cannot eat comments. You must have an income to live.

I am hoping that the traffic increases on your Patreon page. I want more folks to be aware of you and when I do meet like-minded drama fans, I always recommend your site as the best source of info. I hope that Netflix’s ongoing delve into KDrama will continue to boost your views.

I did an experiment. I goggled ‘Vincenzo review’ and you popped up 11th which is not bad at all Fangurl considering the ones in front of you are all big site publications (I included MDL in that) and you were at the top of ‘individual fan-run’ sites. That made me quite happy indeed.

I will continue to share your talents and I look forward to increased Patreon traffic on your page.

One last thing – I listened to the Drama Beans podcast and I apologize but I cannot remember what you said about your lovely teal-haired mascot. Are you creating these yourself? These are really awesome, especially the upside-down one!

BE
BE
1 month ago

A long time ago, when I was teaching, I had one student ask me how I had been able to do so well in graduate school, and still make enough money to send my ex dough for our kids as well as being their primary parent three months a year. First thing, I said was I knew I had to get scholarships to cover tuition and books, and the only surefire way I knew how to do that was to get all A’s. Secondly I made sure that every semester, and it took me two and a half years all told to finish my Bachelor’s and then get a graduate degree, I would set up my schedule so that at least one of my classes was so much in my personal ballpark I would not have to work too hard to get an A, another might be a less challenging course. I was fortunate at the time I was also able to sell my watercolors for extra income, but that did mean scheduling in time to paint, and making the connections for sales. Finally, and this was really the key to the highway. I woke up every morning at five and did not go to sleep till after midnight. That is to say I booked my butt off. I talked with profs. I never left a classroom with a question unanswered. And this was all before I became a college instructor, one daughter a young single mom, another going to a very expensive east coast performing arts school, both needing my help, and thus having to work sixty-seventy plus hour weeks, week in and week out. Some folks do find a way to have less being more, but for most of us, there is no substitute for being as time effecient as one can manage and then putting in as much time as one can muster. As I said to that student, sorry to tell you this bub, but I worked my butt off.
From my perspective as a writer. I know how long it takes me, never proofing, cause after years of correcting papers, well, I just can’t, plumb worn out for close revision, to do my little posts on this site. K if all you did was produce content, it would be a marvel. And not only produce content, but such lucid, intelligent, intellectually and emotionally intelligent, content, the amount of it since you have gone full time is staggering to me.
Then there is the bit about managing the nuts and bolts. I truly would hope there is some sort of award or grant out there that might allow you to hire someone at least part time. Anyone at home who has tried to figure out why all of sudden they cannot get into their Viki account and it having to take hours talking with folks who keep passing you onto someone else who equally cannot figure that out…well talk about time consuming siht.
Finally, and this is really beyond all that other stuff that is the key to your highway, even now when it is clear you could not on earth possibly have time to respond to us all, you continuously make all your followers feel so appreciated, so invited in. The atmosphere on this blog is very unique on the interwebs, and beyond your personality that always comes across with friendly, affectionate, and tolerant feels, the way you welcome your various followers and make the site feel so comfy for one and all, that too is something beyond simple talent.
All I can say, and you know I say it over and over because we should be saying that over and over, is that wonderful catchphrase from K Dramas, thank you so much KFanGurl for all your good work.

BE
BE
1 month ago
Reply to  BE

I should add for clarity I was taking 15-24 units per semester back then.

Elaine Phua
Elaine Phua
1 month ago
Reply to  BE

Thank you BE for saying it all so eloquently! Indeed I very much appreciate this blog and Kfangurl’s reviews for helping me not waste precious time on dramas which aren’t worth watching. I’ve loved the gems she has recommended, including NIF, Someday One Day and Healer!!!!

j3ffc
j3ffc
1 month ago
Reply to  BE

BE: Amen and seconded. And kudos to you, too, for doing what it took to take care of your family for an extended period of time.

And rest assured that (at least many of) your little music refs are not lost on me. Here’s to Big Bill Broonzy, Eric Clapton, and everyone else before and after!

BE
BE
1 month ago
Reply to  j3ffc

Taking care of my daughters is like breathing. And like all parents, I could have done better when I look back in hindsight. These days they are taking more care of me than vice versa. We love each other, and that is all there is to that. No kudos necessary, but thanks.

Here is to Barthelemy Attiso and Sekou (Diamond Fingers) Diabate, lol.
PS Ah K, what other K Drama blogsite would tolerate such shout outs? Just asking? And while I run hot and cold on Devil Judge, that soundtrack is smoking.

beez
1 month ago
Reply to  BE

@BE -first of all as to kfg – ditto.
Your experiences – wow.
Thirdly, you actually were able to talk to someone at Viki??????

BE
BE
1 month ago
Reply to  beez

@I do not remember how, but I did. Phone call began at 9PM, quit it at 1:30 when I figured out how to fix the problem myself by accident.