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.
Do you blog while working full-time? What’s your number one tip?
Hi! I’m Melissa Walker Horn. Around here, they call me Suger. I’m the Chief Blogger and doer of all the things here at Suger Coat It. Blogging since 1901; I love a casual ootd, taking photos, and writing about things that irk or inspire me. I love wine and cheese, long days at the beach and spending time with my family. I make stuff for the internet over at Chalkboard Digital. You know, living the sweet life.
Great Post Melissa, 🙂
Organisation has never been a big skill of mine. I’ve been blogging for a little over a year, and I recently went part time at my job and changed roles, and i still struggle, some weeks are fantastic and all the ducks line up, and some they just dont.
I bit the bullet a little ago and invested in some scheduling tools, and so far so good. But having a little kid around I do what I can when I can, and then drink the wine when he goes to bed 🙂
Thank you Carmen! I think organisation is something you learn. Or I did anyway, as a property manager. People seem to think it’s a personality trait, and for some people it is, but if you get into a routine and have a system for things, sooner or later you can beat yourself into it. Which it sounds like you’re doing with your tools. Can you tell me what you’re using? I’d love to know more.
CoSchedule is the recent purchase for me. Still learning how to get the most out of it. I like being able to do everything from within wordpress when i finish a post.
I’ll check it out! Thank you.
Great opportunity to visit this amazing blog, truely inspiring. Thanks for sharing, GREAT!!!
Thank you Nora! I appreciate you stopping by. 🙂
I so agree with you. It’s all about being organised and scheduling things up front. We do it for the love of it and it is hard work sometimes!
That it is. Lots of hard work and it is love of the blog that gets us through.
My only way to work it is scheduling, and usually taking photos in bulk in the weekend when I actually have daylight to work with. I can see why some beauty bloggers rely on stock images and just flat lays as opposed to using products, because it’s much more effort to shoot the way I do but I definitely think it’s worth it.
Juggling my blog, socialising, exercising and work can be so hard!
I love that Lena. I do I bit of the same with outfit and other items to share. Like my own personal stock image file. It’s worth it for me too. Juggling is tricky, loving it helps. 😉
This is great, I am off to share it with all my blogging friends! I juggled a 60 hour a week job and blogging for a long time, and the only way I made it work was through scheduling. Both scheduling time to write and take photos, and scheduling my posts. Now I’m living the dream of being a full time blogger and I’m yet to nail that structure to my day that I used to have. So I’m going back to my schedule, and making it work!
Thank you Meagan. I appreciate you sharing! And balancing a blog and job is different for everyone, just trying to offer some assistance where I can. I remember being retired and my schedule sucking. For me part-time work will always be the aim. It’s the best of both worlds! Well, either that or I learn to handle my own schedule. Haha.
Yes. I find that unless I’m blogging from a sudden inspiration, scheduling time to write is essential. Without structure, you’ll get caught up in the minutinae of managing everything else you have to get done outside of work hours like housework or tv!
Taking the time to write is everything to a blogger. The rest is just distractions.
Brilliant post Mel … the scheduling bit is crucial! As is being upfront with your employer.
Thanks Nikki. It’s always been something that worked for me. Especially explaining scheduling and all that so when they see items popping up they can get that the majority of it occurs outside of work and the rest is checking in.
I think you are probably in a unique position where you are able to use social media while at work. Lots of professions don’t have that. I totally understand why your previous employer asked you to “Please Explain?” about time spent on Facebook.
Absolutely, there are some workplaces, and I’ve worked and blogged from those, that don’t want you online at all during work hours. It’s their time, they set the rules, so I’ve always abided by that when in those positions. In that case my community conversations occurred outside of work hours. Before 8am and after 5pm in my case and then during an hour or so lunch break. All possible but I’ve found negotiating something a little more flexible upfront works better for me but there are obviously still large portions of time I’m offline throughout the week. That’s where the rest of the ideas come in.