I’ve been writing my blog alongside working full time for the past 4 years. With blogging I think from the outside it can look quite easy. As I’m sure you’re aware, it’s never just the blog posts you’re writing. Not many realise it’s everything else that comes with maintaining and promoting a blog too that takes up precious time.
There’s a few tips I’ve picked up along the way that I thought I would share. It’s what’s truly helped me continue to run my blog while working full time. Also, I know everyones full time employment is different. To give you a bit of context I leave the house around 8 and get home around 5.45, Monday to Friday. This leaves me with weekends and the time either side of that are what I have to play with.
Finding a routine that works
One thing I’ve found this past year is that I’m most productive in the mornings. I love having an hour before work to get on with the small tasks. Things like replying to comments, thinking of content ideas or editing the blog photos I took the weekend before. I would say between 6am-7am is my most productive hour no matter what I’m working on. After work I can just about squeeze an hour or so in for anything blog related, but that’s usually it unless there’s a deadline I need to meet for a sponsored post. It doesn’t work for me to sit at my desk all night after doing the same in work all day. I figured this out just by noticing when I want to blog, and I’ve stuck with it and it’s become a part of my routine.
Having said that, I do think having a bit of self-love is key. I’m not going to beat myself up if one morning I fancy a little longer in bed, or get sucked into watching tv with my breakfast before work. Balance is everything, and as much as I want my blog to flourish, I also have a career outside of that I’m trying to grow too!
Being organised and making the most of the time I do have
There have been so many times that my lack of organisation has let me down (I’ve been out to shoot content without my camera more than once, seriously…). I quickly realised everything counts when you’re limited on time. I’ve started making checklists for YouTube videos, all of the camera equipment I need if I’m going out to take photos. Basically anything that requires me to have things ready for a certain time, I’ve got a checklist.
Another thing that’s helped me is keeping a monthly calendar. I write down absolutely everything even if it’s not blog related and just by quickly scanning I can see where I have the time to do things and where I don’t.
Chip away at it every single day
The main thing is keeping on top of things and working on my blog every single day. That way I chip away at it slowly and it just feels more manageable to me. If I arrive at work even 15 minutes early I’ll quickly reply to an email or two, or reply to Instagram comments while I have the chance.
I know Marie Kondo is everywhere at the moment, but I’ve got to say, I agree with most of what she says. Having an organised work space and a proper home for everything saves so much time for me too, and it’s something I’ve started to full embrace. When you’re organised day to day, it helps out when it comes to blogging while working full time – trust me.
Anyone else find they’re more productive when there’s the urgency to get things done? I know I definitely am. When there’s no urgency to get stuff done I find myself slipping into being unproductive, rather than actually doing something of use.
From this I’ve recognised I thrive in a work like environment, and actually I’m most productive in a coffee shop or space where everyone else is working. When I’m surrounded by other people it gives me the push I need to actually crack on, whereas at home there’s always 10 other things I could be doing.
My phone is another thing that’s a massive hinderance on my productivity. I’ll reply to a text then before I know it I’m scrolling through Kylie Jenners best friends aunties dogs instagram account (yep, that’s the first thing that came into my head). Now I leave my phone in another room or stick it on airplane mode. If I’ve got a tight deadline and really need to smash through it, that way I have no distractions.
Read more: 5 Tips for a More Productive Day
Staying in my own lane
The comparison bug definitely comes and goes for me, and sometimes I think it affects me without even realising. What helps me is to try and remember that everyone’s situation is different. The only way to improve is by looking at my own work and understanding what I can do better, not what someone else is doing.
I think another thing that comes with this is staying true to myself, an example of this for me is IGTV/ styling videos trend on Instagram. I love style and creating fashion content but I know that those videos aren’t something I want to create, so I’m simply not going to do them. It sounds obvious but in this industry it’s easy to do things just because you’ve seen someone else do it, it quickly gets boring trying to be something you’re not.
I’m in a fortunate position where my blogging isn’t my full time job. I have no pressure to earn and I’m able to turn down paid work if it doesn’t sit right with me. I create content simply because I enjoy it and comparing it to others quickly takes that away. As I said, I think it’s just one of those things that comes and goes, but self belief is all you need (and a laptop, phone, editing apps… but that’s a blog post for another day)
There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to blogging, or how you want to manage it alongside everything else. It’s what works best for you and my main feeling with it all is that I’ll continue doing it while it feels enjoyable. It’s all about balance, managing time and prioritising, with lots of coffee thrown in too.
Photos by Laura Taylor
How do you manage working alongside blogging?
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