It wouldn’t surprise me if most people thought that bloggers just spent their days taking photos in front of flower displays. I think that’s the image a lot of people see because of Instagram but although it may all seem like Starbucks and posing, there is a lot of work involved behind the scenes. Planning schedules, writing blog posts, shooting photos, editing photos, creating captions, optimising SEO, designing your website, keeping up to date with the latest legislation, staying on top of social media, replying to comments, responding to emails, brainstorming ideas, the list goes on…
Now take into consideration that the majority of us have full time jobs or families to care for… It seems a little hectic right?
Running your own blog and socials at the same time as having a 9-5 career isn’t exactly a walk in the park and is something I’ve struggled with over the last three years in particular, hence the sometimes sporadic posts! I feel like over the last few weeks, I’ve sort of managed to nail the whole thaaaaang so I wanted to share with you my tips on how to balance blogging with a full time job.
Utilise any spare time you have
Waiting for your car to defrost, queueing for the loo, standing at the station, commuting and just whenever you get a spare few minutes are all opportunities for you to schedule a few tweets, edit your latest Instagram post, write your captions, bullet-point blog ideas, etc.
Life can be busy and sometimes it can be difficult to put half an hour aside in the evenings to do these things so why not use all the random moments you have in the day to do them instead? I write most of my Instagram captions on the loo and if I’m ever waiting at the pub for a friend, I try and schedule a few tweets or at least have a scroll through Twitter or Instagram and interact with others.
You’ll find that if you get all the little tasks done in these moments, when you finally get a chance to write a blog post, you’ll be able to focus solely on that rather than having other bits and bobs to do as well.
Plan a week in advance
It’s all too easy to waste time before each blogging session planning what you’re about to do so save some time by planning in advance. I sit down every Sunday and add the tasks I need to do into my calendar (more on that later) with any notes so when I get round to it, I can crack on straight away. I know we’re all very organised when it comes to blogging but try to focus your blogging time on blogging, not planning.
Stick to a schedule
I tell you what, blogging is so much easier when you post on the same day every week because a timetable naturally falls into place. You’ll know each week when your post is going live and can base other tasks around that whereas if you post on a Tuesday one week and a Saturday the next, it makes your to-do list harder to manage.
Write your blog posts during your lunch break
~ As demonstrated by me, right now ~
I think a lot of balancing blogging with a full time job is down to what you do in your lunch breaks. I know we’re not all lucky enough to have one hour every single day due to workloads but if you can use that time to write the bulk of your blog posts, you’ll be laughing. That way, you can enjoy your evenings, put your trotters up with some Netflix on, head to the pub or do whatever duties you have without having to worry about blogging because it’s already done and dusted!
Break tasks down
Writing a blog post can sometimes be a mammoth task but to make it easier, you can break it down into smaller tasks like writing the post, optimising it for SEO, taking photos, editing photos, creating pins for Pinterest, scheduling promotional tweets, etc. This will make blogging way more manageable and easier for you to fit in around your job and life.
You can break the even bigger tasks down into chunks too so let’s say that you really want to sort out your Pinterest strategy, instead of trying to do it all in one night, break it up into tasks which you can complete over a couple of weeks – creating pins, researching hashtags, rearranging your boards, scheduling repins… You can see where I’m coming from!
Shoot photos in bulk
I know I just said that breaking big tasks into bitesize chunks makes life easier but the exception is when it comes to photos. Taking photos is without a doubt the thing I struggle most with because it’s so bloody time-consuming and when you work five or six days a week, it’s hard to fit in a photoshoot when things like cleaning and general errands exist. BUT life is made a million times easier when you bulk shoot a shit tonne of photos to last you a couple of weeks. Sometimes it can take a good few hours but it’s always worth it when you know you’ve got enough photos for the ‘gram!
Create a blogging calendar
This is something I’ve only recently done and I really wish I’d done it sooner. I’m one of those people who totally rely on their calendar and to be quite frank, if it’s not on there, it doesn’t exist. So this goes for any blogging tasks I have as well – obviously you can choose whether you need a whole new calendar or they can just slot into your everyday one. I put everything I need to do on there so I have a clear view of how much I actually have to do and it makes it easier to work out timings and how each task will fit into my day around my job.
Holy shit I am the most easily distracted person. You know the dog in Up when he sees a squirrel? That is legit me. So when I finally get a chance to do some blogging shiz, it helps if I have zero distractions around me so I can just focus all my energy into one thing. That means no ASOS *cry*, no TV that I actually want to watch (an old episode of Waterloo Road is alright just for background noise – who else can’t work in silence?) and no phone which is THE WORST distraction ever. You’ll find if you eliminate these distractions, you’ll be able to get things done a lot quicker!
Aaaaaaaaaaaand that’s the end of my second lunch break writing this. So to summarise, the balance of blogging and a full time job is mainly down to the spare moments you can find in the day to complete small tasks which you’ve broken down from much bigger ones. And don’t forget to give yourself some time off every once in a while before you burn out!
Do you have any tips on how to balance blogging with a full time job?