As most of you know, I’m one of the
lucky individuals who juggles their blog around working a full time job. By day I’m an in house recruiter and by night I’m all about the blog! Fitting in time to blog around having a full time job can be challenging but it’s actually all I’ve even known to do. I started my blog in 2012 when I was already in full time work so I never had the luxury of being a student with lots of free time on my hands. Another challenge sometimes is juggling your blog around your out of work social life. Blogging can be very time consuming (it can take over an hour per post with the writing, the photography, the editing and the scheduling…) and can sometimes leave you feeling like it’s a bit too much.
So over the years I’ve picked up a few ways on how to organise yourself to fit in blogging around both work and your social life.
For me planning is essential if you want to run a blog around other commitments. In fact, my whole life takes a bit of planning to make sure that I get to do all the things that I want – including spending some time on my blog. I’ll spend a few hours a month coming up with post ideas (and video ideas for my YouTube channel). I use to write these down in a notebook but these days I tend to just open up blogger and write the post title, a few notes and then save it into drafts. That way, when I open blogger I can see everything in front of me and can pick and choose what I feel like writing. I also like to schedule (see below) and will sometimes earmark certain posts for certain dates. I also like to bulk write posts and take lots of photos in bulk too.
I plan out when I’m going to blog around my social life that week. Sometimes it can seem a bit to meticulous but if I know that I have an event on a certain day I’ll make time elsewhere or if I know that the boyfriend is going to the football on the weekend and I have no plans with friends and family, that’s when I’ll blog. I’m so conscious of blogging not cutting into my time with him or any of my friends and family and by doing a bit of planning at the start of the week I’v found a way to make it work for me.
When it comes to scheduling, it seems that the blogging world is divided. One half says that scheduling is essential for them to run a blog and the other half don’t do it and say they don’t feel the need too. I’m sat firmly in the ‘scheduling helps me survive’ camp as I can’t imagine getting my posts out in such an orderly fashion without it. As I said above, I tend to bulk write posts and can sometimes spend one day of my weekend sorting out my blog for the next two weeks (that’s about 4-6 posts). My preference is to then add the photos and schedule the post and the tweets to advertise the post so that I don’t have to do anything to my blog for the next two weeks if I don’t want to. It means that if I get waylaid in the week with last minute plans, I don’t have to worry about rushing home to get my post out at a decent hour. I also like my posts to publish at 9am in the morning when I’m certainly not home to make that happen manually. Of course some people prefer that method and I read countless blogs that claim not to schedule. Everybody has a different preference and there is no right or wrong here.
During the summer I tend to take my photos both on an ad-hoc basis and in bulk. In the winter it’s pretty much all in bulk on a weekend. Even though I own studio lighting, I still prefer the finish of natural daylight and strive to take as many of my photos as possible in this. I also have two places in my room where I tend to take photos – I keep them fairly tidy anyway but I always give them the once over with a duster before I start my session as the last thing I want is for my room to look dirty in the photos.
Writing on the go
I wrote a post about blogging on the go which is something I’ve only started to do recently. I’m very lucky as I get to walk to work every day but that means no commute which can prove to be invaluable blog time if you’re on a train or the bus. Sometimes my job takes me to other parts of the country and unless I’m reading a really good book, I’ll use the train time to jot down blog ideas or write a few posts. I also use commuting time to bulk edit photos for Instagram as I always like to have some pretty photos on the sideline for that too.
I don’t do this myself but I know of other bloggers who use their lunch break to blog. I don’t really get long enough to do that but I do have time to answer any emails that have come in that morning. The quicker you can get back to PR’s the quicker you can get certain ideas moving for your blog so I don’t like to keep them waiting too long for replies if possible.
Carry a Notebook
Even though I do most of my blog planning on my iPhone, Macbook or iPad, I still carry a notebook with me at all times. This is because sometimes there are situations where I can’t just grab my phone to write down an idea. I’m currently using a very beautiful Moleskine which looks professional enough to get out at work if I suddenly have a flash of inspiration.
My final tip is make sure that you get some down time. The last thing you want to feel like is that you haven’t had any time off on the weekends because you’ve spent the entire time working on your blog. I usually need a few hours to veg out in front of Netflix or Now TV, chill out with my flatmate or boyfriend and cook some tasty food. If I don’t do that on a Sunday evening, I go back to work on Monday morning wondering where my weekend has gone. My one piece of advise to any blogger is to not let it take over your life, especially if it’s just a hobby. Remember to take some time for yourself.