For the majority of us bloggers, working or studying full-time is the norm. In fact, it’s pretty much impossible to turn your blog into a money-making success overnight, so most of us work during the day and spend our nights and weekends blogging.
When I first started my blog, I was a full-time university student in my final year of studying. I was doing a media related degree, balancing the stress of revision and my dissertation with getting back into my enjoyment for writing. Ever since, I have been balancing blogging with the rest of my life and have learnt a lot along the way. So today, I wanted to share with you my top tips on running a blog whilst working full-time without going completely insane (it’s possible, I promise!)
Find a schedule that works for you
I’m an advocate for organisation, so for me having a blogging schedule and plan is really useful to me. I find it helps me to create more of a work-life balance, as I have specific times or days dedicated for blogging, so I can spend the rest of my time with my partner, friends or family.
Perhaps you’re too exhausted after work to even think about opening your laptop and weekends are more productive for you. Or, maybe you’re a bit of a party animal with an active social life at weekends and want to write in the week. Either way, be honest with yourself over what you can realistically achieve and manage long term and how best you can fit blogging into your lifestyle.
From TV to WhatsApp messages, so much can distract your attention and mean you are less productive in the time you have set aside for blogging.
Now you can be as strict as you like here. I tend to put my phone on silent whilst I’m writing as I don’t want to lose my flow, but if I’m doing other blog-min tasks, I’m more relaxed and just try and get as much done as possible.
Sometimes, having a particular place where you go to write can help get you into the right mindset to really concentrate on your blog – for me, it’s my soft office aka pj’s in bed!
Schedule your social media
Oh my goodness, social content schedulers are the best thing the internet has ever invented. Once I have hit publish on a new post, I go straight to scheduling. I personally use Tweetdeck as it’s free and I find it super easy to use, but Buffer is also a popular choice.
I don’t schedule all of my tweets and posts, but probably one or two a day for the week ahead. It again helps with work-life balance as I can then relax knowing my posts are still being promoted even if I happen to be busy that day.
Take photos and write posts in bulk
Scheduling doesn’t just apply to your social media – why not schedule your posts too? If Sundays are the only day of the week you can really dedicate to your blog, why not write 2 or 3 posts and schedule them for the week ahead?
The same goes for photos. Particularly now that it’s winter, it can be tough trying to take great photos in the poor lighting conditions after work. Instead, work out which posts and products you’ll be featuring in the coming weeks and do one big photo shoot over the weekend for all of them.
Think of blogging as “me-time”
I’ve found that when you start thinking about blogging as a job or a chore, something that needs to be done, it can add unnecessary pressure and become too stressful. Remember why you started blogging and make sure you’re getting what you want out of it. Blogging should be something you enjoy, and if you are finding it is making you feel worse, then assess your strategy. Maybe you are trying to do too many posts a week and stretching yourself and could cut down if you know you have a busy time ahead.
Blogging is your time to be creative, to experiment both visually and with your content and writing. Let yourself enjoy what you are creating and put the love and care into your work that it deserves and don’t put too much pressure on yourself.
Set realistic goals and targets
Speaking of taking off the pressure, make sure you are setting realistic goals for yourself that you can actually achieve. Maybe you’d like to post every day and grow your following fast, but if that’s not realistic, then that shouldn’t be your goal. Start with whatever works for you, your schedule and your social life. Remember, you have a full-time job and it’s okay to post less often than your ideal.
The same goes for growing your blog. We all know that being a blogger is so much more than the actual writing. We need to build communities, to engage an audience, to give people a reason to want to come back. It’s easy to look at others’ Instagram accounts and feel envious of their photography and their ever-growing following. But driving yourself crazy trying to hit certain milestones in a certain time-frame isn’t a healthy way to grow your blog or your audience. Nurture your platforms, learn your audience and it will come with time. Choose realistic goals for yourself that you can work towards weekly, monthly, and yearly and be proud of yourself when you reach them!
Take a Break
Just like in a full-time job, you may sometimes need to take a break away from blogging. It can be really hard to separate life and work and it’s easy to become overwhelmed with feeling like you need to be online 24/7 on creating content all the time. Sometimes taking a step back can help inspire and motivate you even more than if you sit at your computer all day!
I’ve taken more blogging breaks than I would have liked to this year, due to a variety of factors. Part of me has noticed my stats and potentially my growth have suffered for it, but I’m reassured by the fact that I have readers that consistently welcome me back or check in on me if I’ve not been around for a while. Remember to give yourself a bit of time away from your blog every now and then, and it’ll keep on feeling fun and not like an unavoidable chore.
How do you balance running your blog with the rest of your daily life? Are you full-time blogger balancing work with other commitments? Share your experiences below.