We started blogging in 2011 while we both taught high school math. We had this crazy idea that we could start a business online and work from home in a year or two. We knew if we were going to be successful and consistent, we had to have a plan to balance blogging with our full-time jobs.
It was hard, but it was well worth it. I mean – I am writing this post on from my couch while the dog snoozes on my feet with Mike & Molly on in the background. It may not be an Eat Pray Love moment, but it’s what I really wanted.
So many pieces come into balancing blogging.
After all, everything else in your life didn’t get slower when you added in blogging.
Can you relate to:
- struggling to balance a stressful job and blogging
- coming home and just wanting to hit the couch after a hard day
- making room for your dreams in your everyday life
- not being motivated consistently
- feeling like you are always on the computer/phone
- wondering how you can make this blogging thing bigger than that job thing
If you can relate to any of the above, I was right there with you. I had such rough classes that the police officer at school was constantly at my door. I just wanted to come home and flake out, but I knew I couldn’t.
10 Tips to Balance Blogging with a Full-Time Job
1. Have a Goal in Mind
For me, I was pretty miserable teaching. I knew I wanted to do something else, and I would love to say “I’m not coming back” at the end of the school year. That goal (along with an income goal I had to hit) kept me motivated.When I was tired, I told myself that this crazy push was temporary.
My Motto: If I worked really hard now, I can take it easier later.
Have a deadline in mind and strategize how you’ll get there. It will help you stay on track and be motivated.
2. Have a Blogging Schedule
Once I started focusing on blogging as a business and scheduling more my results improved. Not only did I find the blog doing better, but I was able to get tasks done quicker.
One of the most common things I hear is, I just don’t have enough time to blog.
If you want more time – more money – more freedom, you have to FIND the time to make it happen.
We have to make a game plan.
- Ask yourself – how often will I blog?
- Then – how long will each post take?
- Put those work hours on the calendar!
For us, it was all about using an editorial calendar for scheduling out our ideas for posts. Then, we knew what we would blog about each week.
From there, we created time by getting up an hour earlier a couple days a week. We also worked during lunches a couple days a week and usually set “Weekend Work Hours” for 1-2 hours a day on Saturday.
Another way we scheduled our blog posts was to work when extra free time appeared – parent-teacher conference days with no parents, snow days, etc. were all blogging days! That way we stayed ahead of our editorial calendar, and it allowed for some flexibility on other days.
3. Plan and Eliminate Distractions
The more you can close out other things when you write the better. No cell phone buzzing, Facebook notifications popping up, or people popping in and out. That’s one reason we liked to get up early to blog.
Also, you have to be willing to discipline yourself.
I know for us, if we had to blog at night we had to do it first thing. There wasn’t room for a Netflix break because if we did that we would just watch Friends all night.
A struggle our clients seem to have is that they get sucked into rabbit holes of “learning” vs applying. So while reading EVERY expert’s opinion on social media and blogging can feel productive, if you aren’t applying anything – you might as well have watched Friends with us all night.
Close all the tabs except for your writing one. Put your phone on do not disturb. Bang out a blog post.
We love an editorial calendar and a having a paper planner like this one. That way we stay on track to our bigger goals.
4. End the Comparisons
Another type of distraction is to compare ourselves to others. With a background in network marketing, it was (and still is) tempting to compare ourselves to others and how long they’ve been in the business or blogging.
But comparing ourselves robs us of time and energy. So we gotta stop.
The other thing is to find one mentor you really like. There is no need to compare 71 different top social media or blogging experts. Find out you connect with and rock with it until you can’t learn anymore.
5. Go Out and Live
As determined as we were to be successful and quit teaching, we came really close to burning out. Even after becoming full-time business owners, we can reach burnout.
The best way to prevent burnout is to go out and live!
Not only will it make your blogging time more productive because you’re rested, but it will also help the creative juices flow!
Even choosing to blog from a cute cafe with a $4 mocha can help you feel more passionate and motivated. So if you’re blogging in PJs and haven’t had a shower in 3 days – it’s time to put the computer down and live.
6. Use Batching Technics
Batching is a huge tip to balance blogging with a full-time job. I wish I had known about it when I started.
Batching is essentially doing one task for a block of time and moving on.
For example, you might plan out topics and put them on your editorial calendar one day, write without editing the next day, then edit those posts, and finally, add in pictures and schedule those posts to go live based on your calendar.
This helps you always have new content that is just a couple steps away from being done! It also saves so much time because you’re able to focus on one task.
7. Reinvest and Outsource
When you start making money blogging, it’s tempting to hold onto it tight. However, one of the biggest things that helped our blog grow was reinvesting in it.
As our blog grew, we invested in a better host and a mobile-friendly theme.
From there, we also did Facebook ads to boost posts that were heavy in affiliate links because we knew if people saw them, they might order from it.
Another investment that was worth every penny was hiring a graphic designer on Upwork to create images for us. We had her size them for Pinterest optimization (1000 x 1500). Pinterest has become a major source of traffic on both of our blogs because of this one thing! We pay her $2-4 per pin and do sets of 20+ usually.
8. Schedule Social Media & Posts
When we first started, I struggled to balance blogging and social media. I felt like I always had to be online either writing or promoting. But it was killing my energy and productivity…and my husband was like a stranger because I was in my phone all the time.
Now I schedule my blog posts on WordPress, use Facebook’s scheduler for my page and ads, and Tailwind for Pinterest.
HootSuite also allows you to schedule on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin for free!
I plan one hour to plan out my week and posts once a week, and it’s so freeing to know it’s all set for the week!
9. Take Notes When Ideas Strike
Siri is a powerful tool in my blogging belt. Sometimes an idea hits – in the shower, driving down the road, when you’re reading a book or magazine, etc.
Anytime an idea hits, I will put it in my phone or tell Siri to make a note. That way I have ideas ready to go when I sit down with my calendar.
10. Be Kind to Yourself
As you set these big goals, you have to remember you’re an awesome person. You didn’t have to START, but you did. Don’t worry about being perfect or being everything to everyone.
Don’t let a job, phone or blog dictate your whole life.
Bonus Tips to Balance Blogging & Working:
- Set work hours for your blog and a full-time job. I turned off all my phone notifications minus calls and texts. Otherwise, I would work (either teaching stuff or blogging stuff) every time it buzzed.
- Consider starting with just 1 blog post per week. Then if that’s easy, move up to 2 and so on.
- Remember quality over quantity! 1 Longer, SEO post is better than 5 so-so posts.
- Know you don’t have to know EVERY social media. I suggest Pinterest first for bloggers.
Also, know that working full-time hours on your blog along with your full-time job is temporary hopefully!
Ask yourself, how bad do I want this?
If you don’t want it enough to get up early, skip Netflix after work or a few hours on the weekend – that’s totally okay! Just adjust your goals!
And always keep in mind – even if someone’s blog or social media LOOKS like they are always just having fun and rolling in the dough doesn’t mean they are.
Blogging at any stage is hard work and requires self-discipline.
It’s a lot of fun, and you can set your work flow though – so if you really want it – go for it!
Your 3 Action Steps to Balance Blogging
- Set Your Goal
- Make a Plan
- Get Going
The more you’re able to be consistent, the better! You can do this!!
Readers: Which tip helped you the most to balance blogging? The least?
Bloggers: What is your best tip to balance blogging and a full-time job?
I may include it in an update of this post! :)