A lot of people are shocked when I tell them I work full time as well as run my blog as the two combined take up a lot of my time and it takes some serious organisation to go to work five days a week and ensure my blog is updated as often as possible. In an ideal world I'd be a full time blogger but when you're trying to save for a mortgage and have rent and bills to pay, having a secure wage each month is more important.
I'm definitely not complaining as I know I'm in such a fortunate position to be in employment and earning a living as well as doing something I love by writing this blog but it does take up a lot of the free time I have and it can become quite stressful. There's been many moments where I've thought something has to give as I can't physically do it all but alas, I plod on and somehow make it work. With this being said, I thought I'd share the ways in which I manage to blog and work full time, just in case some of you out there are in the same position as I am and are feeling like its all too much! I hope you enjoy...
Plan, Plan, Plan
Planning is the number one most important thing when it comes to juggling a full time job and a blog. Its so important to have a think about what you want to post and when each week so you can have a plan in place to make it happen. I usually spend some time on the weekends planning things like what posts I'm going to write that week and which days I'm going to post. I don't always stick to my plan but if I have a rough idea of what I want to accomplish, I have a goal to work towards.
Use Your Lunch Break
Ahhh the trusty lunch break! If you work in an office and get a one hour lunch break, use some of that time to type up your blog posts. I'm actually writing this post on my lunch break right now and its often something I do to save me some time when I get home in the evenings. Even if I don't get a whole post wrote, getting the majority done or the most important info saved into a draft saves me so much time in the evenings and lets face it, who needs an hour lunch anyway? I can quite easily scoff my food in five minutes flat ;).
A lot of people will tell you you MUST schedule blog posts in order to be a successful blogger but I think that's a load of rubbish to be honest. I rarely schedule posts as I don't find I have the time to write more than one or two posts at any given time. However, I do appreciate that scheduling can be really useful if you do have the time to write multiple blog posts in one go. I've done this occasionally if I've had a free weekend and it is a massive help as it means you don't have to worry about getting posts wrote during the week but if you're always busy on the weekends too (story of my life), this might not be the best solution for you!
Take Photos in Bulk
I always set aside a couple of hours at the weekend to take all of my blog photos for the following week. I have a little area in my bedroom where I keep all of the samples I've been sent, photo props and my camera so its just a case of laying it all out and snapping away. It usually takes me a good few hours to get all the photos I want as I'm quite the perfectionist with my photography but when its done, I always feel like I've accomplished something and its great to have a bank of images sat on the computer waiting to be used throughout the week.
Write on the go
I didn't discover the Blogger Iphone app until recently and I can't believe I've been missing out all this time as I can now write and update blog posts directly from my phone. I love writing posts when I'm travelling as it passes time and means I can blog on the move instead of waiting until I'm home and sat at my computer. I like to use the notes section of my IPhone to jot down any blog post ideas too!
Draft ideas and pre-edit images
Although I struggle to find the time to schedule blog posts, I do find it helps a lot if I spend some time editing lots of photos and drafting post titles in advance. I tend to upload the photos I've edited with the title so then all I need to do is write the post when I get chance and hit publish. It saves a lot of time and it also means there's always a post waiting for me if I'm lacking inspiration.
If you work five days a week and run a blog, you need to be realistic about the amount of times you can post. I'd personally love to be able to blog more than I do currently but its just not feasable to do so or I'd have absolutely no time to myself to do anything other than work and blog. As much as I love blogging, its important to take time away from it too. I always feel I'm more inspired if I step away for a couple of days and my readers don't seem to mind that I don't post every single day. I think its best to do as much as you can without stressing yourself out as that's when blogging becomes a chore instead of an enjoyable hobby!
Do you have any tips for staying organised while blogging and working full time?