23.1.15

TOP TIPS ON JUGGLING A BLOG & A FULL-TIME JOB

My love for blogging will never cease. Having your own little corner of the infinite internet to share your thoughts, news and views is like nothing else ever seen within the modern age; never before have we been able to catapult our voices around the world with the click of a button and reach out to others that may share our passions. Blogging has changed my life, like many other millions of people globally, and opened up a plethora of opportunity that I couldn't be more grateful for. With more and more of us clicking that 'start new blog' button and embracing all that it brings, more and more of us are juggling a growing site and our full-time jobs, as well as busy social schedules and the demands of keeping in touch with readers via social media. If you're struggling, don't know where to start or just need a helping hand to organise your time a little better, I've pulled together some of my top tips for juggling a blog with a full-time job and still ensuring you're kicking ass.


1. Plan
The key to any successful venture is a plan of action. Sitting down and jotting notes on what you want your site to be, what kind of pieces you want to write and the direction you want to grow in will help refine your ideas and provide a clear path to follow. This may seem a little too 'business' for some of you, but it really helps clarify ideas and give you a list of 'dos and don'ts' that will clear your mind and refine action points when you're short of time. I used to spend so much procrastinating and wasting valuable time that could have been turned into a productive writing session, by trying to force content that wasn't working or wandering around looking for inspiration. Now I have a very clear idea of what I want my site to be, the kind of pieces I like to write and what my readers respond to, it helps me cross out chunks of wishy washy thoughts and focus on getting sh*t done. Buy yourself a fancy notebook, take a trip to a coffee shop and plan away.

2. Block
Setting aside time to specifically focus on your blog will really help you get into a routine and ensure that time is as productive as possible; by mentally blocking out an area of your diary it ensures you don't organise plans or find yourself in Nando's again rather than working on something you're passionate about. It may be that sleepy Sunday afternoons could provide a great opportunity to turn eating cake and watching films into valuable writing time, or Monday evenings (when nothing more is going on than a soap marathon) could hold the key to your creativity. It may work for you to write on a Saturday morning before you meet with friends, or two evenings at week you know you're going to be at home - whatever it is, stick to a schedule and block out time in your week to dedicate to your site. Routine is everything.

3. Binge
I don't mean scoffing a whole box of Dairy Milk, but binge writing and blasting out as many posts as possible in one session. I can sometimes write ten blog posts in a day if I put my mind to it, knowing that I've then got a plethora of content to work from across the week. Rather than putting pressure on yourself to write a little something every other day, sitting down with a cup of tea and focusing your mind helps to ensure you're super productive. The same goes for photography - taking all your photographs in one session ensures you have a catalogue to work from and can help you build content out throughout the week. I tend to have two big photography sessions throughout the week where I capture all the products that have landed on my desk in one hit; this not only makes the most of my time at home, but also provides me with a bulk of images that sits in my computer waiting to be called upon. Minimise faff, time wastage and inefficiency by binge blogging.

4. Draft
Moments of darkness hit us all - we all suffer from those days, weeks and sometimes even months when we're completely devoid of any inspiration and fail to even come up with the most simplest of ideas. If you're having a particularly inspirational moment, draft as many blog post titles as you can and save them as empty blog posts within your site; this ensures that there's always a bank of posts you can write whenever you log in and the ideas have already been thought of. If you have an idea, an opinion, something you've stumbled across or a question from a reader, jotting down notes or the first paragraph of a post can help you in the weeks to come when you're having a dry spell. I've always got at least five 'spare' posts floating around which I can call upon when there's a quiet moment within beauty - or just my mind!

5. Schedule
I can honestly say that no singular 'pro' or 'big' blogger writes every post and publishes it straight away. As a blog owner or social media buff, scheduling is your friend: write posts and schedule them throughout the week to take the pressure off; schedule tweets and Facebook posts to push content out after it's been written to reach those that may have missed it. Nobody expects you to be on the site 24/7 or writing continuously for their pleasure, but scheduling can really release you from that draining feeling of 'oh lordy, I haven't put anything up today.' Even if you haven't been able to write for a couple of days, scheduling social media that promotes old blogs that people may have forgotten about still makes you seem 'current' and 'visible' while directing traffic to your site.

6. De-Pressurise
The most important thing to remember is that blogging is supposed to be fun. As soon as it becomes a chore, you no longer enjoy writing or you feel immense pressure to put something up for the sake of it, take a break. If you have a full-time job then you have a salary; you're not depending upon your site to feed yourself, so take a step back and reflect upon what you want to do moving forward. Don't pressurise yourself to replicate what everyone else appears to be doing (because they're probably not) and refine your plan of action. It may be that you can only commit to two posts a week rather than four, but that's absolutely fine - as long as you're happy, motivated and excited for the future your readers will understand.

Do struggle with the pressures of work and blog life? Do you have any other tips for juggling a blog and a full-time job?


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32 comments

  1. Found this so useful. I have great intentions but balancing a full time job, blogging and chronic illness can make it difficult. I've found "binging" and getting as many posts done when I have the energy and time the best solution!

    Mary // beautyonthecheap.net

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  2. Great post! Thanks for the tips x

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    Replies
    1. You're welcome! Glad they're useful.

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  3. Needed this this morning. I wrote out a blog schedule, so I could post daily whilst working full time... I was doing so well.. and then from being super tired, I missed three days.. the entire schedule has gone to pot, but I don't have to punish myself for it :) Taking ze pressure off feels much better.

    Have a great weekend lovely.

    Zoe Newlove Beauty Blogger & MUA

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! It can be hard juggling, but don't put too much pressure on yourself x

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  4. These are some really great tips! I always block write and weekends are completely dedicated to blogging! I recently bought some lights so I can take photographs in the evenings to free up some weekend time! I always tell myself that I'm going to plan my blog posts in my diary in advance. However, I tend to end up just writing a list in my notebook and writing what I fancy from there!

    Stephanie
    http://missstephanieusher.blogspot.co.uk/
    http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/3436251
    xxxx

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  5. Love these tips. Great for anyone starting out. Definitely need to follow some myself!

    http://yourteendiaries.blogspot.com

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  6. Thanks for this, Hayley, really useful!

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  7. Great advice especially for new bloggers! Thanks for sharing~

    LIVE . IN .LOVE ✞

    ~

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  8. It's hard juggling a fulltime job and a blog but so worth it! Thanks for the tips!

    sophielfarrell.blogspot.co.uk

    sophielfarrell

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  9. Brilliant tips!!! I think the binge one is definitely something I shall be trying.... sounds much more time efficient! Thank you for posting this :)

    http://stylewithgracie.blogspot.co.uk/

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  10. so applicable to student bloggers too! i want to do a better job keeping up with both this semester, thanks for the tips!

    Natalie / Salt & Sail

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  11. I run my own business and that consists of me working 6 days a week but I am finding keeping up to date with my posts quite difficult and finding I am putting more and more pressure on myself. I try to post 3 times a week of course I would love to be able to post more but I just can't find the time.
    I love all the tips you left , I really try to use my days off to blast out a few scheduled posts but even on Sundays when I feel soooo tired from the week I find it difficult. I am definitely going to start planning better. xox

    http://www.rainbowsandunicornsblog.co.uk/

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    1. It's all in the planning! Good luck x

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  12. Great tips. My blog wouldn't exist if I didn't plan, schedule and have a few binge writing sessions a week!

    Sarah :)
    Saloca in Wonderland

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  13. Great tips just what I needed to give me some motivation for a tough month xx

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    Replies
    1. Good luck with the month ahead!

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  14. Thank you for this post, very motivating! :)

    I have a full time job and I'm really trying to get stuck into my fairly new blog. The past few weeks I've also had something important outside of work to sort out too which hasn't helped! I've got a diary that I plan on using solely for planning blog posts, so I'm going to get writing in that today. I'm liking the idea of heading to a coffee shop to plan too!

    Thank you for this post, going to put some of this into use :)

    Amanda :)

    Amanda Alston

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    1. Good luck Amanda! Hope they help. x

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  15. When I first started it was quite hard to put up with my blog, no schedule, no direction, no routine. I now post twice a week and thankfully it gives me time to write posts I'm proud of and have drafts to those days I have nothing new crossing my mind. Organization is everything :) This post is really helpful keeps me motivated!

    Mary Bloomy

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  16. These are all really good points. I don't have a full-time job but I am full-time SAHM so I don't get any free time during the day. By the time I sit down in the evening my brain is fried and I'm too tired to blog. I would love to get organised and schedule a load of posts but I'm lucky if I manage to write anything at the moment. It's hard!

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  17. Great post with some good tips that i'll be putting to use with my blog :) I like the idea of doing a full day blogging so that you can save some in drafts until later in the week when you don't have a much time.

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  18. Thanks for such great advice. Feel like have 2 jobs working full time and blogging. X great post as always lbq! X Bean's Beauty Blog

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  19. This is actually so helpful. thank you :) i sometimes get writers block which is a pain

    www.bumascloset.com

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  20. Thanks for the tips, they were really helpful! I actually discovered how great it is to do a big photo session this weekend - especially in the British winter, when it's dark by the time I get home from work! I have all these photos taken which is really pushing me to get on and write the accompanying posts. Going to try to implement all these this year.

    Lip Gloss Jedi Blog

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  21. Great post. I have been struggling with this quite a bit and your tips really helped me out. I need to plan better and write a bunch of posts at one time and schedule them for the week.

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  22. Useful stuff, thank you. Now I just have to take the advice!!!

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  23. Great post! I love it when you have a really successful 'binge' day! Takes the weight off for a few weeks!

    www.edenmarkl.com

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  24. Great post, Lots of good tips that I am going to use to help me stay on track.

    Linda - Boston Beauty Buzz

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