Tuesday 1 August 2017

Blog Help | Tips for Blogging and Working Full Time

Tips for Blogging and Working Full Time

Like many bloggers, my blog is a hobby so I have to work full-time alongside it. I'm also on a five year pathway to achieving a Bachelor of Science degree so study part-time too. All three, work, study and blogging take up a lot of my time and I often get asked just quite how I manage it. Well, the truth is I don't always which is evident from June's lack of posts when I was drowning in assignments. I do still try and aim to post on the blog twice a week, which is usually successfully done so I thought I'd share some of my tips for finding a good balance.

Tips for Blogging and Working Full Time

When blogging is a hobby or a side interest, what is key to balancing everything is time management with a hint of organisation. Effective time management is all about goals and priorities. What goal are you aiming for? Are you aiming to blog full time? Is your blog a side income? Is it just a creative outlet? Once you know what your goals are you can prioritise them alongside other responsibilities such as work, play, study or parenting. For me, my blog is a creative outlet online which I am quite content to stay as a hobby. If I can earn a little side income out of it then great but it's not my priority.

Tips for Blogging and Working Full Time

Plan and Schedule Everything

I find this is pretty key for balance. I try and plan all of my blog posts a month ahead with weekly reviews of what's coming up. It helps me get ahead of the game.

I've invested in a planner, or two, to help me organise everything which has been a god send. I now have a blog planner and a life planner. My blog planner is full of post ideas, my stats on a weekly basis, a plan of my posts and blog events. My life planner features the blog events again, work, study deadlines and most importantly social events and it goes everywhere with me. It gets me places on time and on the right day.

Once everything is planned and my life organised I try and set back 30 minutes twice a week to schedule some tweets and plan my social media. I use UNUM to plan my insta-grid although I don't use it to schedule the posts, I prefer to post them myself, and I use Hootsuite to schedule my tweets. These apps, Hootsuite in particular, allow me to tweet when I am working or studying.

Plan 'back-up' content

Now please don't get me wrong with this one, I'm not trying to imply you should have any second class content on your blog but having some 'spare' or 'back up' content ready to go can be really helpful. If life throws you a few lemons you can just log in and schedule the back up post to go live so you hit your schedule. I can only really photograph at the weekends so poor weather or other social events can sometimes change my blog posting plan, and I don't mind that, but having a spare post or two ready to go can really reduce stress.

Find 'blog' hours which work for you

One of the beautiful things about blogging is that you can do it anywhere with a wifi connection, in any time zone and at any time of the day. Making the most of this you can work to find 'blog' hours to suit your lifestyle. It might be that you prefer to work late at night, once the kids are asleep or first thing in the morning. I find I work best whilst in bed at the weekend having a sort-of lie in.

Tips for Blogging and Working Full Time

Utilise small windows of time

When I have a lunch break at my desk (I often try and escape my desk so I feel refreshed after), you will always find me writing some paragraphs for an upcoming post or bullet-pointing ideas. If I have a half an hour window of time at home before I need to go somewhere I will open my laptop and start typing away, even if it's rough notes or sentences that I can work with later. I feel productive this way and can then really use the longer windows of time to either relax or focus on something bigger.

Photograph in Bulk

I don't get much time to get the camera out and take lots of photos, so every opportunity I do get I get a little snap happy. By photographing in bulk I have images to plan my insta-grid on UNUM and work out what layout looks best and I have images to go alongside my blog posts. I try and match up my planned posts to the images I take so they are relevant. I really love playing around with my camera and this is one of my favourite parts of the blog. I just wish I had more time to dedicate to it.

Don't be afraid to step back

One of the realities of blogging alongside a job is that sometimes something just has to give. Don't be afraid to take a step back and have a week, or a month, off. Have some you time. Maybe use the end of your hiatus to plan ahead and get back on top of everything. We are only human after all.

Tips for Blogging and Working Full Time

Do you blog alongside other activities? Is it work? What helps you manage everything?

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