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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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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