Blogging is one of the hardest but rewarding things I’ve ever done.
I know I’m not the only one who tries to blog part-time while holding down a job and a social life. It’s not always easy and sometimes you will definitely find yourself wondering, is this really worth it?
For me, all it takes is one comment, like or share to relight that fire under me to keep going. If even one person takes the advice that I’ve given or uses some of my past itineraries to help make their vacation the best possible then I’ve done my job.
Trying to maintain a full-time job, a social life and build a blog at the same time is exhausting. There are only so many hours in a day to get everything done. How do I manage? This is how:
Treat your blog like a job
Obviously you, full-time job takes priority over blogging (unless you are lucky enough to have made your blog your full-time job). It’s way more important to pay the bills so never let your full-time job suffer as a result of your blog.
That being said, you should treat your blog the same as if you had a part-time job or were getting paid for it. The only way to progress is to dedicate your time and keep improving.
Try and set aside a certain number of hours a week to your blog. I try and make sure I’m ‘blogging’ a minimum of 10 hours a week.
One thing that’s helped me over the past couple of years is by keeping to-do lists and having goals. Giving myself an actual reason or goal to strive towards has helped push me through those tough nights when the last thing I feel like doing is working more.
Create a schedule
Set aside certain weekdays and times to ensure you are working on your blog. Typically my blogging days are Mondays, Tuesdays and Sundays. There’s no rhyme or reason to it, these are just the days that work best for me. By setting aside these days each week I have set myself a personal schedule. I try not to book any social events on Monday or Tuesday night and set aside at least a couple of hours on Sunday to make sure I’m getting what I need to do done.
There’s no rhyme or reason to it, these are just the days that work best for me. By setting aside these days each week I have set myself a personal schedule. I try not to book any social events on Monday or Tuesday night and dedicate at least a couple of hours on Sunday to make sure I’m getting what I need to do done.
If it helps, mark it in your agenda or calendar so you don’t book other commitments.
Schedule as much as you can
The beautiful thing about technology and the digital world is that so many things are automated. You can pre-schedule almost anything you need to. For someone who maintains a blog part-time this is a godsend.
My goal every week is to have at least two posts scheduled for the upcoming week. This helps free up the remaining days to work on other things like social media, research, engagement, and pitching. Having plugins like Sumo that post links to your most recently published blog posts
Having plugins like Sumo that post links to your most recently published blog posts is another great way to free up some of your time.
If you haven’t signed up or gotten accounts like Hootsuite or Tailwind yet, do it now!
Always jot ideas down
To help combat those bad weeks when I’m suffering from writers block, I try and refer back to post titles I’ve written down as a way to jog my memory.
Whenever I have an idea for a post I either write it down in my daily planner (yes I’m old school like that), or I open my blog – plug the title into a new post and save as a draft. I consistently have 7-10 drafts on my blog at one time. Honestly, sometimes a title or idea will sit there for months before I actually get around to writing it.
I find that sometimes I come up with a good idea but am not able to dedicate the time required to actually getting it written. Writing a title and even just the first sentence can really go a long way for later. Take this post, for example, the title has been sitting in my drafts for three weeks!
Be social in your down time
As a blogger social media is one of the most important ways for you to grow your followers. This may sound funny but you should have your phone on you and be posting, tweeting, sharing, liking or reposting as much as possible. I mean if it’s the only time that you can afford, bring your phone to the bathroom with you.
Spend those three seconds reposting a Pin to help grow your traffic, or updating Twitter. I used to commute on a train for an hour and a half each day (each way, ouch!) which I discovered was a good amount of time for blogging.
Now that I’ve changed jobs I have a 35 minute walk every morning and then again at night. I spend at least 5-10 minutes of this walk updating Instagram or Pinterest. I find it the best way to multitask, plus these are usually the times when others are looking at their social accounts for updates as well.
Pinterest should be your best friend
While social is important for reaching new audiences and growing, Pinterest is the bread and butter to driving traffic. The best thing I ever did was focus on my Pinterest strategy.
Since doing so, I can go even 3 weeks without posting anything and still have a decent amount of traffic coming back to my blog on a daily basis.
Joining group boards should also be a major strategy. By posting on different group boards you’ll gain exposure to completely new audiences and bring even more traffic around. I also love Pinterest for giving me all sorts of new ideas, or allowing me to save some ideas for later.
I can’t stress this enough. Honestly, being organized in life alone is strongly suggested but especially when it comes to trying to maintain a blog part-time. Write things down for yourself that you might forget, have one notebook where you keep all of your blogging notes that you can constantly refer to if needed, bookmark important pages (like affiliate links) so you can refer to them easily and always try and stay on top of who you are contacting.
What about you? How do you maintain your blog part-time and stay on top of … life?