How do you balance a full-time blog with a full-time job? Frankly, not easily. There’s a lot that goes into crafting a successful blog. From the keyword research and writing to the designing of social media posts it all has to be done alongside your 40-hour workweek. I know it sounds intense but don’t worry, balancing blogging and a 9-5 is possible if you use these tips.
Know your job
The first tip, know your job. What does knowing your job look like? Knowing your jobs means you know what is expected of you at all times and how long each task will take you to complete. For example, if you work in an inflexible environment and can only use your cell phone at lunch make the most of that time. Or if your job has a no personal work/phone policy you’ll need to schedule time before or after work hours to complete your blog tasks. When you know the ins and outs of your job, you can then build a schedule for other tasks around it.
Fortunately for me, I work in media. It’s a flexible space and generally, my tasks are set. Having this clear knowledge of my job expectations allows me to plan and schedule a time to complete blog tasks like updating social media and jotting down blog post ideas. Perks like working from home helps me in the balancing act too.
Spread the work around
Blog tasks can be overwhelming for even the most seasoned of bloggers that’s why some people hire help but if that’s not an option for you just yet, simply spread the work around the week. Give yourself one-hour blocks throughout the week to complete specific blog tasks. Schedule social media posts on Tuesday and create fresh ones on Wednesday. Write a paragraph or two on Thursday and take Friday night off. You can decide what works best for you and make it your routine.
For a long time, Sunday has been publishing day for me. I would try to complete all my blog tasks on the same day and it was a nightmare. I’d often spend hours just working on a single and all the elements I needed only for it to be postponed because there’s something I couldn’t get done. Now that I spread the work around and it’s been a great experience. The posts have all the elements I’d want and writing is a much smoother process. Sundays are now a day of editing and compiling posts and enjoying time with my family.
Plan posts monthly
Knowing what you want to write about is half the battle in blogging. Having clear post titles for every post you plan to make for the month is a lifesaver. If the creative juices are flowing you can even write the outline for each post at the start of the month to really give you a kick-start. Planning posts monthly sets you up for success. It takes the guesswork out of blogging and can keep you consistent. And boy does Google love consistency. When you know what you plan to write for a month you can plan for all the other elements. You can take some photos, create your graphics and start writing your posts. Essentially you’ll never miss a beat when you plan ahead.
I’ve changed a lot about my blog since the start of 2021. I’ve changed the way I develop my posts and I’ve been planning my posts monthly to keep me on track. Truly, one of the best changes I’ve made. It makes everything so much easier. No more writer’s block, a single brainstorm session can give me enough blog posts for 3 months. From that brainstorm monthly I go through that big list and pick which ones I’ll write on for the month.
Batch shoot photos
One way to make blogging life easier is batch shooting your photo content. After you’ve decided on your monthly plan and drafted your list of blog post ideas for the month it’s time to plan a day of shooting. From your content plan create a shot list, grab your camera and tripod or a friend and get all your photos for the month done. With your batched photos stashed you’ll be free of that photo hunting time, you’d spend when writing.
Related: HOW TO START A BLOG IN 2021
Create graphic templates
Blogging is a lot of work. From writing and editing copy to formatting posts for your site, selecting and editing photos, creating Pinterest and social promo graphics, it’s a handful! So to save time planning and creating templates in advance is a great strategy for success. It saves time and helps you create cohesive content. Who doesn’t love a consistent aesthetic?
If you visit my Instagram or Pinterest board you’d notice that templates are my jam. For Pinterest, my board will use the same templates for months at a time. And on Instagram, I’ve finally found a colour scheme and a template I like to use to share blog posts.
Make time for rest
The best way I create balance is to make time for rest. I work my best when I’m rested mentally and physically so I prioritize it. Whatever rest looks like for you, make time to enjoy it. Go for a walk or sleep in, do whatever it takes to recuperate. Blogging is work and your 9-5 is also work so without rest you’ve booked a one-way train to burnoutsville.
Give yourself grace
Sometimes plans don’t go off to a great start and other times they do. Whatever the result I like to give myself the grace to get better. I’m always encouraging myself to do a better job the next time. Missed a Simply Candi Nicole blog post deadline? As much as I hate to disappoint my readers missing a deadline really means other parts of my life had to take priority. Cooking, laundry and appointments aren’t just going to take care of themselves. Some days striking the balance is just plain hard and there’s no denying it. With all my plans and preparations a tough work week can result in a missed blog post because prioritizing self-care as rest is key. It’s ok if you miss a blog post because you need to rest. Allowing myself to take a guilt-free unplanned break is how I give myself grace.
In fact, as I’m writing this I’m realizing as a part of my blog plan I should include vacation days as I have with my 9-5. I’ve been unfair to myself in expecting to be able to produce content weekly without a break. Give yourself grace by planning blog vacations too.
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