Friday, September 25, 2015

How to Balance Blogging and Working Full Time

Remember a while back I mentioned that I started a new job? Well, the first couple weeks were pretty uneventful, as most new jobs, but it has dramatically picked-up. When I started blogging last year, I had a lot of free time during work and also after work to commit to writing posts, scheduling my editorial calendar, replying to comments, etc. But you know how life likes to get in the way of your plans, right? So how do I juggle working a demanding full-time job along with blogging, which as many of you know, can be a full-time job in itself! I've paired up with Alex from Always, Al to share our best tips on how to balance blogging and working (and still having a life!)

Work Smarter, Not Harder

Take advantage of all the great tools out there to help you blog! I consistently use Buffer, but there are other great scheduling tools like Co-Schedule, Hootsuite, and more to help promote your posts. I typically schedule one facebook update, three-four twitter updates, add a pin, stumble the post, and post to Google+ for each post! Buffer can take care of four out of those updates (Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, Google+) right away, as soon as you hit "Publish" on your post, take some time to write out all your social media updates, and then you won't have to worry about it the day that your post goes live.

Use an Editorial Calendar and Plan your Posts

Not only does this help create consistency for your readers, but it also gives you deadlines! Figure out what you want to write, when you want the post to go live, and then work backwards. It usually takes me a good couple hours to write a post, if I know I need to write my three posts for next week, I can plan out how much time to set aside, and when I need to get it done by. Unfortunately, I don't have Co-Schedule or Wordpress, which I think does all of this, but I use my handy Google Calendar. Here's a sneak peek of how I lay out my calendar. I color code posts that are already developed, and posts that are still drafts.

Don't feel pressured to respond immediately

I know we're all tempted to read and respond to everyone's comments and tweets as they ping in on our phones, tablets, etc. I've only recently employed this strategy and it really helps. I always have my phone on me and to combat impulsively checking it and then feeling the urge to respond, I put my phone on "Do Not Disturb," that way, notifications can still come in, but they won't beep at me. By all means, please do respond to all your comments, but if you respond a few hours (or even a whole day!) after the notification comes in, no one will die!

Set aside dedicated work time and blog time (and life time!)

I'm going to assume when you're at your job you're busy. You're on the clock, you're getting paid, so respect your employer's time and concentrate on the job at hand. At the same time, find some dedicated time for blogging. I typically dedicate my week day evenings and Sunday evenings to blogging! In that time alone, I can get everything I need for my blog done. That way I have my Friday evenings and Saturdays to spend time outside the blog world and spend some quality time with family, friends, or Starla!

Hi everyone! I’m Alex, and I blog over at Always, Al,  a lifestyle blog where I write about all the different things that interest me. I write a little bit about beauty, books and you’ll see the occasional recipe or DIY on there too. I started writing Always, Al as a creative outlet when I was in college, and continued it when I moved down South for work!

One of the things that I work on a lot in life is balancing my work with my blog. Blogging is my favorite hobby, and it is so important to have a good work, blog and life balance. I find that when I don't have a good balance, all three of these things suffer! Whether you are balancing work, school, children, blogging, or animals, here are some of the strategies that I have found help me to stay sane!

You Can Do Anything, But Not Everything

I am a firm believer that you can do anything you put your mind to. But with the busy schedules that we take on today, it's so important to keep in mind that we can't do everything. Taking on too many responsibilities isn't good for anyone. When I have too many things going on, I always feel spread too thin, and I know that my work, blog and life are suffering for it.

Plan Out Your Time 

Scheduling my days is a lifesaver. I use a Day Designer to schedule my time and to keep daily to-do lists for both my work and my blog. Planning my time helps me to use my time wisely and make sure that I am getting all the tasks done that I need to do. I highly suggest that everyone invest in a quality planner and start using it!

Take a Break!

When I blog, I occasionally miss a post in my editorial calendar. In finding balance between work, life and blogging, sometimes something has to give. Since blogging for me is a hobby, that is what needs to take a back burner sometimes. And that is okay! We all need to give ourselves a break once in a while to be able to catch up on life, or even just to recover from a busy week. Blogland will be there when we get back.

What tricks do you use to balance your work and your blog? Or are you a full-time blogger? 

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