When I first started my blog, I had a lot of time on my hands to craft length detailed posts and post just about every day. I never anticipated how much harder blogging with a full-time job would be! While some of you may have always had a full-time job while blogging, this is a balance I have just entered in to.
Depending on your job and the demands it puts on your life and regular life demands, the amount of time you have for blogging can fluctuate from time to time. Achieving that balance does not look the same for everyone. No one blog is the same and not all our lives will allocate the same amount of time and resources we have for blogging.
Over the past few months of sorting through my blogging woes, I have a found a rhythm that works for me. Here’s a few tips to get you thinking about how to manage your own blog along with your full-time job.
1. Set Priorities and Boundaries
I did not do this when I started my job, which meant every day that I didn’t blog, every picture I didn’t take – I agonized over the “missed opportunity.” I was used to having the time to put my blog at the top of my priorities. When that all shifted quite dramatically overnight, I wasn’t mentally ready.
These are my basic priorities:
- Home life – meal planning, keeping my house clean, being with my husband, etc.
- Being prepared for work – making sure I’m getting enough sleep, showing up on time, having my lunch packed and an outfit ready for the next day
- Training/working out – I’m often training for a race; I prioritize this over blogging always! When I don’t, my training suffers and it’s not worth it to me to train poorly but have a blog post published
- Blogging – when I have time and feel inspired, I blog
2. Get Your Expectations in Check
After I set my priorities straight, it was a lot easier to realize that my expectations were out of whack.
If I expect to have healthy meals planned, my laundry done, to work 40 hours a week, and run 21 miles this week, it’s not reasonable in the least to expect that I should be able to blog 5 times a week, keep up with comments, & read other blogs daily.
Depending on how you have blogged in the past, it may feel very different to change your blogging habits. Not beating myself up about whether I blog or not feels so much better though. Because I have more reasonable expectations for my blog and myself as a blog owner, I enjoy blogging even more by doing much less.
3. Utilize Your Most Productive Times
With all I have on my plate these days, it’s easy to come home and want nothing to do with my blog. I may be free at night, but I’ve found that that is not my most productive or inspired time to write.
My most productive times are Saturday morning/afternoon and one evening a week if I plan it in advance. If I make it a “date” with myself to work on blogging a certain night a week, I’m more likely to look forward to it. I also utilize my lunch break at work sometimes to buffer up written content and then add photos later at home.
4. Make Your Blog What You Want
If you’re strapped for time, don’t waste it doing post series that you aren’t really that into or creating posts you feel you “should” make but aren’t truly inspiring.
Blog quality and blogger satisfaction is much higher when the blogger is truly passionate about the content and creates the best quality content because of this. All posts can’t be top quality super-passionate content, but when most posts are low quality, low energy – it shows.
Use your blog to show your passions and not just as a “filler.” My passions are blog tips (I always forget how much I love writing these posts until I write one!), fitness, and perfectionism-related topics. I venture into recipes and fashion more, but I don’t think those will ever be my “go to” posts because I have less passion about those topics. Choose whatever works for you!
5. Stop Comparing
Whether you work or not, aim to quit the comparison game when blogging. Comparing your blog to someone else’s is like apples and oranges. Their workload, busyness of life, and blogging experience is most likely totally different from yours.
It’s really dangerous to compare yourself to the blogger who blogs for a living, has been doing it for 5 years, and has perfectly crafted recipe and craft posts on a weekly basis. If you are new and are still using your smart phone as a camera (like me), don’t worry. Blogging takes time in many respects. But comparing will only make that time pass with much more pain and dissatisfaction than if you just compared yourself to what you’ve already done.
We can all be our own worst critics, but try to be realistic with yourself. How far have you come since starting your blog? How has your following grown since last year? Focus on the positives and from your own blog’s perspective to gain insight.
Some of you may be in a different boat, having had the full-time job first and then adding a blog. If that’s the case, how you go about finding that work/blog balance will be a little different from this. You will have to take a look at your life and consider what you may want to sacrifice to fit blogging into your schedule. One word of advice: give it time. Finding your blogging “groove” does not happen overnight, especially with a career that comes first.
My priorities will change as life goes on, which will then call for readjusting my expectations once again. The secret to balance is being flexible and being open to change. To me, there is still nothing more rewarding than having a side hobby that I do just for myself. My blog has been a great outlet for my creativity, emotions, and a way to document my life while also inspiring others to live a healthy, balanced life.
I wouldn’t trade blogging or working for the world – both are my passions!
Questions for You:
- How do you manage your blog with a full-time job?
- What tips would you add?