How to balance your blog and your day job is a question I get asked a lot at the moment. I work full-time and blog on two sites while attempting to still be an in real life human sometimes. It’s busy. Like maybe sometimes I could sleep for a week kind of busy. So I’m here to help out.
Most, if not all, bloggers dream of the elusive full-time blogger job title. They want it for themselves and the free time that comes with it to write, develop your blog and just be more available to it. It’s a lovely dream, one I hope you achieve, but what the heck do you do until then? I’ve got your back, let’s get started.
How to balance your blog and your day job.
Will that even work?
Over the years, I’ve found a way to balance the two. It’s been a stumbling, bumbling comedy of errors. I’ve been reprimanded for too much Facebook in work hours. Then on the flip side I’ve had bosses ask if I wanted to blog about a situation at work, implying that a back-link wouldn’t hurt. So with all that experience under my probably high-waisted belt, there’s a few tips I want to share to help you out. Take what will work for you and leave the rest. My hope is that you’ll find your way, and you job AND you blog will
It’s about communicating
Everyone at my current job knows that I blog and will often call out to say they just read something or do I have a post about such and such. It’s something that I have learnt to be really upfront about. I need time to check in on my accounts during the day. I take my lunch and other breaks to do this. I need to be able to attend the occasional event during the week. I communicate all this upfront and find it smooth sailing because of it.
In a previous job, I was asked about my regular posting schedule on social media during work hours. I hadn’t been upfront and the bosses had noticed a full day’s worth of activity on my page and were a little annoyed it was on their time. We had a meeting and I explained the process of scheduling a lot of updates and how checking in for a few minutes here or there is all it takes to keep things ticking over. Everyone was happy. It was a conversation I should have gone to them about in the first place, not the other way around. It was a lesson learned.
It’s about being respectful
If I am working for someone, they have purchased my time. It doesn’t belong to me any more, they own it. So if I have to take time within my work day to handle something for the blogs (much the way you need to handle other personal business), I make up that time. Always. I need to feel that I have done my time one hundred percent to feel good about myself. And let’s face it, a clear conscience is something we all want at the end of the day.
Schedule like your sanity depends on it because it does!
It actually very much does depend on it. To balance your day job with your blog and do well at both, you need to be super organised and ready for all the things. Sigh. I remember being that blogger. Having two blogs put a dent in my productivity for a while but I am clambering back.
Schedule posts in advance. Schedule tweets and social media posts. Schedule your free time and make it laptop and device free. Schedule time to write, to take photos, to create awesome post images for Pinterest… All that. Independent Fashion Bloggers has a great post that will give you all the insider tips on apps and scheduling. Check it out even if you think you know all the things, I always find something new at IFB, and not just as a fashion blogger.
Then you have to do it.
No matter how good your plan is, the structure around it or your intentions if you don’t execute, you’re done for. Continuing to grow a blog (or, cough, blogs) while working full-time will require you to treat your blogs like a second job. A third too if you’re in the fashion blogger game because you need to be a part-time photographer and editor too.
Plan the work, work the plan. That’s going to be your new motto. In fact, I saw some amazing resources for bloggers at ByRegina.com that are aimed at editorial planning not only your blog posts but your entire social media calendar for the month. Let that sink in a minute… Imagine being THAT organised. You can be. Start there. The By Regina “get serious about social media” post is here and you’re going to love it!
And my thing has always been, if you don’t love it, don’t do it.
That’s not to say you will always love it. But the truth is you’re going to need something more than the dreams of blogging grandeur to keep you going. Especially when you arrive home from a crapola day at work late, hanging for a wine but have a week’s worth of emails to answer. Or posts to schedule. Or comments to reply to. The only thing that will get you over to your workspace then in a love of your blog. Full stop.
To read more about my blog journey and all that, journey gag, head over to Amanda’s blog, Kaleidoscope for the full interview. And if you’re a woman who blogs, then you are going to want to hang around there. It’s gorgeous and always has new posts filled with hard-fought blog and design knowledge.