Strategies for Blogging while Working Full Time

Unless you’re a blogger, you probably have no idea how much work is involved in keeping a blog going.  Am I right, fellow bloggers?  It could easily be a full time job (and for some it is!), but for most of us, we don’t have the luxury of paying our bills via our blog.  That means we have to work full time and blog on the side.

It ain’t easy...

Writing your content is by far the most important part of your blog and probably takes the bulk of your time.  But beyond that, you have to edit the posts, take and edit photos, create graphics, and format all of that in your blogging platform before it ever reaches the eyes of your readers.

And speaking of those readers…you have to find them.  It’s a myth to believe they’ll all find you! As you become more popular and successful, readers will start to find you organically.  But, until then, you have to hustle.  You have to market and promote your blog on a regular basis.  It also doesn't hurt to network with other bloggers.

Long story short…there is a LOT that goes on behind the scenes of a blog and all of that takes a lot of time.

So, if you work full time, how can you also stay on top of your blog and keep it running?

It is possible, but it requires commitment, dedication, and passion.  But even with those, it takes even more to make it happen...

 

Strategies for Keeping Your Blog Going while Working Full Time

Be Organized

I have sections in my Filofax specifically for blogging.  I have Evernote folders and categories dedicated to storing my drafts and blogging ideas.  

@@Being organized is key to getting more blogging done in your spare time outside of your day job@@.  When you sit down to work on your blog, you need to be able to find your ideas, pull up your posts in progress, or attack your never ending to-do list without wasting time.

Figure out a system that works for you - a notebook, an app on your phone, a folder system on your computer…it doesn’t matter as long as you aren’t scrambling when you are ready to get to work.

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Plan ahead

When you only have scraps of time to work with, make the most of them by planning ahead.  Maintain an editorial calendar, so you when you sit down to write, you can pick the topics that are speaking to you at that moment.

      Related Topic:  Tips for Creating and Maintaining an Editorial Calendar

In addition to just planning time to write your posts, plan in time to brainstorm for content, promote your content, and connect with others. 

 

Use your mornings & lunch hour wisely

Can you get up an hour or two earlier in the mornings and make use of that time?  I am NOT a morning person, yet I typically rise one or two hours earlier than I need to before work to get in some writing time.  I write best in the morning, so I try to work on drafts during this time. I also use this time to promote my new post and link it to various blogging groups or schedule my social media for the day.

What about your lunch hour?  Can you set that aside to work on things?  I don’t always get to do this, but if I can, I try to use my lunch time to read other blogs and comment, or answer comments that have been left on my posts.

 

Automate

I think by now we probably all know the benefits of automating our content.  If you work full time, this is a necessity and a life saver!  

Any blogging platform out there will allow you to schedule your posts, so that’s an easy one.  Squarespace allows me to also push my post to Twitter and to Pinterest as soon as it goes live, so I always take advantage of that.

I also schedule two additional tweets per post via Meet Edgar which adds it to a queue that automatically rotates through my content to retweet it going forward.  You can also use Hootsuite, Buffer, or any number of other services out there to automatically set up tweets.  

For Instagram, I like Latergram, which allows you to set up the image you want to share on Instagram and set a time.  At that time, they send you a reminder to go in and post it and they it set up and ready to go.  Instagram has rules against anyone other than yourself posting on behalf of you, so most auto posters for Instagram won’t actually post for you, but will instead just remind you that you wanted to post at a certain time.

For Facebook, I just schedule my post via the Facebook scheduler.  I find that to be the easier, but Hootsuite, Slacksocial, and Meet Edgar are a few examples of services you can use to set up your future Facebook posts.

For Pinterest, there are also tools that you can use to schedule your content to automatically pin.  I’ve used Tailwind for this in the past, but to be honest, I need to up my game in this area and get on a system to auto pin more of my content.  BoardBooster is something I’ve heard good things about and is what I plan to investigate more in the coming weeks.

Typically, as soon as I finish and schedule my post to publish, I also go ahead and set up the social media side of things if I can. 

 

Be realistic with your posting schedule

Do you really need to post every single day (the short answer…no!)?  If you are trying to post every day while working full time, I’m betting your content is suffering.  It hasn't been that long ago that shorter posts were fine for blogging, but the trend has turned and readers don’t want to waste time with shorter posts.  They want longer, meatier content they can sink their teeth into.

It’s better to only post once a week and have it be an amazing post, than to try to post daily, burn out, and sporadically post crap content (or short posts without much value that leave your readers feeling like you've wasted their time).

 

Set boundaries

@@You need to have a life outside of your blog and your full time job.@@  It is really easy to get caught up in your blog and spend all of your time outside of your day job blogging. 

I’ve been there and I’ve definitely done that and after awhile…it’s not fun.

Your blog is almost like a second job and if you’re making money from it (I am not), then it really is a second job.  Just like your main job, you and your brain need a break.  While it may seem hard to stop blogging to do something else since your time is so limited, trust me, it’ll work out in your favor and you will keep your blog going longer because you’ll be less likely to burn out.

Alright, fellow bloggers that work full time...what are a few of your secrets for balancing everything? Leave me a comment and let me know!

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