It comes as a shock to many beginning bloggers that blogging can easily be another full time job. Sure, if you’re writing for fun you can post at your leisure and share it to social media a few times and be done with it, but blogging for money is a whole new ball game. You need to devise a business plan, spend time networking, marketing yourself at every opportunity, perfecting your SEO and more.
Many bloggers making the big bucks suggest that they put 40 + hours a week into their website EASILY. 60 – 80 hours is not unheard of.
So how in the WORLD do you find time to do all this while working a 9 to 5 job? There are only so many hours in a week no matter how much you desperately wish there were more.
It’s not easy, but if you really want it, here are 5 ways to make blogging easier while working full time.
As your blog grows, it’s important to pay attention to when your blog peaks in traffic. It’s no use posting your killer article at 6 in the morning or 11 in the evening if no one is online to read, as it will get buried underneath other news (and other blog posts!)
But that doesn’t mean you need to hit the publish button yourself when it’s go time. Take advantage of your blog platform’s ‘schedule’ feature. You can choose the exact time your blog post gets published to the world and you don’t need to be there to make it happen. Also learn how to automate your social media postings to follow a similar format. Hootsuite is a great all around scheduler, and you can check out Tweetdeck for Twitter and Tailwind for Pinterest and Instagram.
By taking advantage of the insight tools on these apps, you can also choose to post when your blog is most likely to be read by your audience. So you don’t have to do a thing, and your post goes up at the right time – win!
Facebook also allows you to schedule posts right from your page. There are mixed schools of thought on whether this is a good idea or not, so check out this article on automated posting on Facebook to learn more.
Use Other Devices to Write Articles
Don’t feel confined to your laptop or desktop to get blog work done. It may not be ideal, but many of my blog posts (or large chunks of them) are written on my iPhone as I’m rocking back and forth on the train in the morning. In fact, this blog was planned out on that same tiny screen!
If you have a tablet you’re in an even better position, as you can use it during a long commute on the train or bus to get your ideas flowing without having to squint. I remember when it used to be that tablets seemed to cost your first born child to purchase, but that isn’t the case anymore. You can find some quality tablets for relatively good prices, especially if it helps you get your blog off the ground.
Check out a list of my favorites below!
Finally, if you’re stuck in a boring board meeting or generally need to look busy in the office, get reacquainted with old fashioned pen and paper. Sure, it might not be as fast as banging out a post on your Macbook Pro, but it will let you get some words down, and that’s truly what matters! I carry around a regular sized white-lined notebook in my backpack to work, as well as smaller (cuter) notebooks when I just have a purse with me.
You never know when an idea is going to strike!
Write Articles in Bulk
I do the majority of my blog writing on the weekends, but it’s rare that I post on Saturdays or Sunday. Instead I’m effectively prepping a batch to go out later in the week using the scheduling techniques I’ve already mentioned. Try and see how many you can get done at once without compromising on quality. You might find that once you’re in the groove, batch writing blog posts is more time efficient than trying to sit down every evening to write one.
This is also easy to do if you come up with the topics ahead of time and do some brief outlining (during your commute, while you’re waiting at the pharmacy, etc). Then you can sit down, put the main points down, and get writing. Otherwise you’re sat there going “Oh, yes! A blog on XYZ would be interesting!” and then 10 minutes later “Never mind, didn’t think this one through. Next!”
This method also gives you more time to edit and mull over your posts, which is important for putting up quality articles. Even if they’re not perfect at the first go round, you’ll know that the article you’re iffy about doesn’t need to be posted right away since you’ve got others written.
Give Yourself Deadlines
I wish there was a hidden secret to writing a blog and working full time so we could all sign up to a course and learn how to add more hours to our day by the time we finish. Unfortunately it all comes down to holding yourself accountable. Take advantage of being your own boss in your free time. If you aren’t in a position to quit your job and blog full time, you’re going to need to set deadlines for yourself and live up to these demands.
I have tons of calendars lying around where I religiously plan my time, including blog posts and scheduling. Brands need to be replied to, comments need to be read, and Instagram’s every-changing algorithms needs to be figured out. But no one is going to stand over you and wag their finger at you to get you to do it, so take personal responsibility for your own success.
I have always been a self-motivated person, which has served me well in many aspects of my life, but I also like to use an idea I read about a couple of years ago on Reddit of all places. When I am not motivated to do something that I know I should, I think about ‘future me’ and ‘present me.’ You should always work to make life easier on ‘future me,’ so think about that person and how happy/less stressed/proud/accomplished they will be if you put the work in now.
Schedule Time Off
Working full time and running a blog can be absolutely exhausting. There is a real danger of burning out and overstretching yourself to the point where blogging is just a chore you come home to. Know your limits and schedule time off. I usually leave one day a week to spend with my husband and take off from work and blogging.
There is a flip side, of course, as you are only going to get out of your blog what you put into it. There is a school of thought that suggests bloggers and entrepreneurs can really never rest because there’s always something to be done.
This is admirable up until a certain point, but I cannot stress enough the importance of being self-aware and understanding when it is time to push everything to the side for a moment. Having a successful blog is only worth it if you’re not hating every second of it and wanting to burn the entire internet to the ground.
I’ve had moments where I’ve pushed myself too far, lost complete interest in my blog because I resented the time it took, and stopped. In those moments where I let my blog lag, I was only hurting that ‘future me.’ Instead, I should have just scaled it back a little (maybe decrease posting frequency for a couple of weeks, asking around for guest posts, etc) instead of getting so overwhelmed that I just quit.
What are your top tips for blogging while working full time? Leave them in the comments below so we can share them with the Budgeting to Freedom community!