When I started Notes from Joana I was a college student with quite a lot of free time in my hands. Now, with a full-time job, the situation is very different and I see myself struggling to balance my job and my hobby. Aside from those two things, I also need to make room for hanging out with family and friends, sleeping and other life admin. And that balance is pretty challenging.
If you’re a blogger yourself, you know how much work goes into blogging. On the outside, it might seem that you just wrote a few lines, took some quick photos and hit publish. But the truth is that there’s a lot of work behind-the-scenes. And when you’re juggling a blog with a full-time job that can be quite tricky.
Through these last couple of years, I’ve learned a few things on how to balance blogging with a full-time job that I am now going to share with you. It is hard but it is well worth it.
How To Balance Blogging With A Full-Time Job
Use your spare time wisely.
I’ve heard a few bloggers who wake up an hour earlier to blog before work. I wish I could be that person but I’m not as it is incredibly hard for me to get out of bed in the morning. And if you have an office job like myself where you spend your whole day in front of a computer screen, coming home and opening your laptop to blog is not always fun.
The trick here is to find when you feel most inspired. Whether that is an hour before work, a few minutes of blogging squeezed in during your lunch break or one hour after dinner. Maybe you spend a lot of time commuting by train. Use that time to work on your blog.
Right now it’s almost 11 pm on a Saturday night and I’m feeling it so I keep writing.
Make the most of your weekends.
If you can’t squeeze in blog work during week days, then you will have to do it on weekends. But if you’re passionate about blogging, the late nights and weekends working don’t actually feel like work. For me, it’s like a creative escape from my day job.
Planning is key.
Planning is key when it comes to balancing blogging with a full-time job. It’s all about being organized, planning ahead and scheduling.
- List. Keep a running list of ideas on your phone or notebook for those times when you’re struggling to find something to write about.
- Plan. Create an editorial calendar for the upcoming weeks or month. Decide how many times per week you want to post and list a few topics to write about in the upcoming weeks. Maybe you have a holiday coming up, the start of a new season or monthly goals you want to reach. Grab your calendar and decide when you want these blog posts to be up. This will give you clarity on what’s to come and help you keep organized.
- Schedule. Scheduling is also very helpful, whether that is an extra blog post you managed to write over the weekend or social media promoting your latest articles. Buffer is great for scheduling tweets, btw.
Batch your blogging tasks.
Batching your blogging tasks will save you a ton of time.
For instance, think about the time you need to take photos for one blog post – from grabbing your props, composing the picture, taking the actual photos and editing (oh and don’t forget to tidy up the mess afterward). What if you used a few hours over the weekend to take photos for a couple of weeks ahead?
This is why it’s important to keep an editorial calendar. If you have an idea of the blog posts coming up, you’re able to batch your blogging tasks ahead of time. This is even better with photography. If you work full-time, you don’t really have a chance to take advantage of daylight during the week so weekends are your only shot.
Maybe you can have days for specific things: Monday nights for writing and Sunday mornings for photography. Find what works for you.
Make room for failure.
If you’re not feeling inspired, don’t force it.
If you’re like me, you make all these plans of publishing x times per week but then life gets in the way and that doesn’t happen. So you beat yourself up for it. Accept that you can’t do everything.
But know that it’s okay. We all understand. Be flexible and know your worth. It is much better to wait a few days and publish something you’re proud of than rushing a half-hearted post just for the sake of keeping your schedule.
Here’s a little secret, that’s exactly what I did with this blog post. It was supposed to go up last Sunday but I wasn’t happy with the photos. A part of me wanted to ignore the fact I wasn’t 100% happy with it and publish it – otherwise, my readers will forget about me and stop coming back. Really, Joana? – but I waited. And I’m glad that I did.
Don’t forget to take time for yourself.
Every day I get home from work with the feeling that I have to do something productive for my blog and that can become overwhelming and exhausting. Sometimes I just need some time to switch off. So do you, right?
Be mindful of your time to prevent burnout. As much as you’re passionate about blogging, it’s important to make sure that you are taking care of yourself. Take time to do other things you love and be with family and friends. You don’t need to work on your blog every single opportunity you have. Learn to say no to yourself. If you are really passionate about blogging, you make it work.
Do you balance blogging with a full-time job? If so, what is your number one tip?