Do you work full time and run a blog? Do you find that hard to do? Yeah, me too.
But there are few things I’ve learned that have made it a lot easier to maintain my blog while also working full time.
Here’s a quick look at my life to let you know where I’m coming from. I work 48 to 50 hours a week. Currently, I work Wednesday through Saturday night. I’m off Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday nights. I’m in a committed relationship, and have a Chihuahua that demands my attention. I live alone so keeping up with will the household duties is up to me.
There’s a lot of demand on my time. So, I can only imagine what it must be like for those that are married and/or have children, who are also trying to run a blog and work full time. It must be insane!
That said, I do believe that these tips will help everyone, no matter what your working situation is. It’s all about organization, planning, and even a little delegating.
Make a To Do list
I know! Not revolutionary advice, but still so important to staying organized. I have several different lists that I keep. One is technical/design related. One is for post ideas. One is for goals. My lists usually start off in the memo app on my phone and are then transferred over to my bullet journal. Use whatever method you are most comfortable with.
Once you have your To Do list made – prioritize it. Some things may need immediate attention, other’s are nice to do but don’t need your attention right now.
You also need to look at setting small goals to help you complete your to do list. Like one item on my To Do list is to reformat some of my older posts. So, I’ve set a goal to complete at least 10 a month until I have them all finished. Yes this will take some time, but it’s less overwhelming than thinking about all 500 posts that I need to work on.
Set aside time each day to work on your blog
Some days all you may have is 10 minutes to work on the blog, that’s fine. Look at your To Do list and pick out a small task to do. Or use that time to visit another blog and comment on it. Connecting with other bloggers is also part of working on your blog.
Set aside time each week to write
For me, it has worked best to spend time working on the blog everyday after work, and then set aside time to write on my days off. I spend two to four hours a week writing, depending on what all I have going on in my life. But no matter what I make time to write each week.
You may need to do the opposite – write everyday, and work on your blog two to three times a week. Experiment until you find what works best for you and your schedule.
Make a template for your blog graphics
I just started doing this and it has made the image editing process so much easier. So, whatever graphic program you use, make yourself a blank template and save it, so that all you have to do is add your new image and post title.
You can get idea of what I mean by checking out my Saturday Sharing posts which all have a similar look. I just change the graphics out each time. Coral Paint Shop Pro is my graphic program of choice.
Utilize your breaks and lunches at work
If you’re more social than I am, this tip might not work for you. But personally I enjoy a little alone time on my breaks and lunches. So I use this time to catch up on some blogging tasks. For me, this is a great way to take my mind off work for a bit and actually relax.
Be sure to choose simple and non-stressful tasks to work on. You can check email, and return blog comments, or edit one of your posts. I like to use the WordPress app on my phone for this task.
Schedule posts in advance
As much as possible, I like to stay one week ahead on my posts. Currently, I’m posting on Mondays and Wednesdays and Saturdays, so by Friday of each week I try to have all my posts scheduled for the following week. I feel less stressed and behind this way.
Repurpose older posts
If you’re like me, and you’ve been blogging for a long time, than you probably have a ton of old posts. Posts that you’re really proud of! So why not update and repost them? This is great for really busy weeks, when you don’t have as much time to write new content.
It’s also a great opportunity to update those old posts. You can add some new graphics, deep link to posts that are relevant to it’s topic, add new information if needed. It will also help drive new traffic to those posts.
Automate what you can
It’s important to promote your work on social media, but who has time to keep up with it? That’s one reason I use the JetPack plugin, as it automatically tweets my posts and publishes them to Google+ and Facebook for me. There’s a ton of other great scheduling options out there, I’m still in the process of choosing one.
It’s hard to do everything on your blog by yourself. Especially when you’re working full time. I wanted to learn to design my own responsive theme, but right now I don’t have the time. So I purchased one instead.
Maybe you want to take pictures for your blog, but you just don’t have the time. That’s ok. There are a ton of free stock images sites out there. Use them! Think of it as delegating.
Don’t be hard on yourself
You may never be a post a day blogger. You may never learn to take perfect photos. Or to design your own themes. Or you might, but it may take longer than you would like to do so. That’s ok!
First and foremost, your blog should be about doing something creative that you love! Don’t put so much pressure on yourself that maintaining your blog becomes stressful. Don’t be hard on yourself! Instead, allow yourself to find the pace and schedule that works best for you and your blog.
So, what about you? Do you work full time and blog? What are your tips for staying on top of everything? How do you keep from stressing out? Let me know in the comments!