This post is brought to you by CamelBak and Her Campus Media.

When I tell people I run an online magazine, most people have one question: so what do you actually do all day? The answer is it depends. It depends where we are in the year, what collaborations are on the calendar, what posts require photos, what networking events (including Twitter chats) I plan to attend, etc.

Running an online business can be confusing if you’re not familiar with how it all works (and it’s not always the same for every online business!). Most days I work from home (as opposed to a coffee shop or co-working space) and my primary tasks are editing, content planning, outreach and collaboration, social media, but those certainly aren’t the only things I do behind the scenes at GenTwenty.

An inside look into what really goes on at GenTwenty HQ! @Camelbak #GotYourBak

Thank you to CamelBak for sponsoring this behind-the-scenes look at a typical day at G20 HQ. I’ve been using CamelBak products for years and was thrilled to find out about their new insulated bottles. As always, they’ve #GotYourBak with their lifetime warranty. I always take a water bottle with me everywhere and I’m so glad I can #DitchDisposable with a bottle that keeps cold drinks cold for six hours and hot drinks hot for 24 hours. Total game changer in my opinion (seriously, cold water and iced lattes are my favorite).

If you ever wondered what happens behind the scenes at GenTwenty, keep reading!

In case we haven’t met yet, hi! I’m Nicole. GenTwenty has been around since 2013 and you can find out more on how we got started here.

An average day generally starts between 7 and 9 am. I usually have breakfast, drink some lemon water, sip my coffee, catch up on the news, and check my personal and GenTwenty’s social media. I usually spend 20-30 minutes on Pinterest pinning fresh content to our boards, on Twitter replying to tweets, and on Instagram commenting and liking others’ posts. Engagement and community are key!

I also take time to look at my to-do list and highlight my priorities for the day. I can’t do everything every single day, there just aren’t enough hours! I try to work ahead as much as possible, though.

How I Start My Day

Here you can see our content calendar for Q4 (October through December), my daily priority list, and my breakfast.

For the next two to three hours, I respond to emails and start editing new articles and blog posts for future dates. I’m usually on and off social media during this time too. Instead of scheduling every post for G20’s social media, I like to be present and engage in real time.

Working out in the middle of the day is how I stay sane.

When I need to get in a quick workout, I do something at home.

At about 11:30 am, I go to the gym or do an at-home workout. One of my goals this year was to make fitness a priority and I realized the best way to fit it into my day was to do it in the middle of the day. It usually works well for me because I can eat lunch afterwards and it helps me feel energized for the afternoon ahead.


Lunch time means reading time around here.

I try to take a break everyday to do some reading, have lunch with my husband or just get outside for a quick walk. It’s also important to me to stay hydrated throughout the day. I aim to fill up my water bottle five times throughout the day for a total of 100 oz of water. If you’re not sure how much water you should be drinking, you can find out here.

Around 1 pm, it’s back to work. If I need to take photos for blog posts or Instagram, this is the time I do that. The lighting is best in the early afternoon so it’s an optimal time. I’m still learning how to take good photos but I’ve made it a goal to move away from using stock photos for every blog post.

My planner keeps me organized.

The next few hours tend to vary. I might have to write content for GenTwenty or a guest post, I may have to take some calls, I might be scheduling for social media or doing the monthly accounting. I may be working on a sponsored post, a collaboration, doing research or prepping for a #G20Chat.

If I have freelance projects I’m working on, I generally work on those in the afternoon as well. It depends on deadlines and what needs to take priority, though.

At some point each day I make time for learning something new. I’m currently going through courses on SEO, Photoshop, and a DSLR photography course.

Dinner between errands for sponsored posts.

Occasionally I need to run errands for upcoming posts. This usually means dinner out and sometimes late nights because it’s not always easy to find what you need! I filled my CamelBak up with water at dinner and was so surprised to find there was still ice in there the next morning.

If I don’t need to run any errands, I try to make it a priority to get outside for a little bit. It’s always great to catch the sky doing beautiful things like this:

The sunset and errands.

And that’s about it! I try to not work too late into the evening so I can spend time focusing on family, friends, and fun.

Online businesses general have similar elements but they’re all slightly different beasts. If you run your own biz or blog, I’d love to read about how you structure your day!