. 5 WAYS TO MAKE BLOGGING & WORKING EASIER .
For a lot of people blogging is just a hobby right now, whether or not the ambition is to turn your blog into a full time career or not, at this moment in time you’re juggling the both. Trying to successfully master blogging regularly (for me daily) as well as excel in your career can often be a seriously hard task. Not least because if you’re in an industry like mine, the concept of 9-5 is simply a concept and the reality is 8-8 daily. It can also be hard, if like me, you’re a very driven person and always want to do your best, making the thought of a half assed job not a plausible consideration. BUT, if like me, you absolutely love blogging & your job, then juggling both is exactly what you do, enjoy doing & don’t want to stop doing.
I’ve been blogging and working now for a long time, my blog is turning 4 this year (which is madness) and I would say over the last 3 and a half years I’ve really had to master juggling blogging and work, and taught myself a few little tricks to help along the way.
I wrote a post a little while ago with some more advice on juggling work and blogging, which you can read for a little more advice, but today is quite specific tips & tricks.
. MAXIMISE YOUR COMMUTE .
I wrote a whole post with advice for maximising your commute a little while ago (you can read it here), but one of my tips was about using your journey to and from work to get ahead with blogging. This is particularly true if you travel to work via the tube, train, or bus where you can actually dedicate 30 – 60 minutes each way to getting things done.
I use my commute (about 45 minutes on a tube) to draft my blog features for the day or days ahead & also to brainstorm ideas for upcoming features. It’s also a good time to catch up on emails and get back to people, brands & advertisers.
. SOCIAL SCHEDULERS .
When you’re busy at work, and running around without time to spare, it’s hard to keep up with the ‘always on’ blogging community and social media networks. Whilst it’s fine to switch off every now and then, I personally do like to still ensure all my channels are updated with new content, daily inspirations & general life updates, and so using a scheduling tool like buffer really helps me keep my channels updated without having to sit there 24/7 to do it!
Obviously the best thing about social media is actually talking and engaging with readers and followers, so whenever I get a spare moment i’ll always look to do this myself, at lunch, on my way to and from work and in the mornings, but for those days when i’m in back to back meetings and unable to snatch a glance at my phone, then social media scheduling tools are a life saviour.
. BULK DRAFT .
One of the things I find most helpful when juggling my job and daily blogging is to have bulk drafted posts ready for me to develop and put live. Each weekend I always look to prepare imagery and shoot photos for the coming weeks posts, and I ensure these are loaded into draft posts, waiting for me to write & finish off the content as and when throughout the week. Having a post ready and waiting, with my only task daily to write the feature up really helps me ensure I keep my blog updated daily but don’t drown myself in trying to do a million and one things everyday.
For me the pictures are the most time consuming & difficult part of blogging (but my favourite too), and so having these pre prepared for the week is my best trick for managing to blog daily & have a career (this takes some pre-planning, you can read my tips on this here).
. BOOK A DAY OFF .
A really easy way of ensuring you have sufficient time to blog, without jeopardising your concentration and productivity at work is to actually just book a day off work every now and then, to give you an entire day to dedicate to getting blog jobs done. Obviously you don’t want to do this too often as you’ll use up holiday, but once a month or during a really busy blogging period, can really help give you the time to get ahead, bulk plan for the coming weeks & generally catch up on emails, projects & blog development. If you’re company offers an accrued hours scheme then this is also a good way of trying to balance your time across both work and your blog, taking back any hours you may have ‘earned’ through working overtime.
Once every now and then I book a day off, with everyone else at work & a whole day to myself, I find it such a productive time to get myself back on track and prepared for the next few weeks.
My final tip, I suspect, is a little unexpected, but something that I realised can be really helpful when you simply don’t have any time at all and you’re far too stressed and busy to be able to spend time creating new content! Rehashing, or I should maximising your content, is a really way of generating new blog features without necessarily creating everything from scratch.
A good example of this would be curating a series of posts into one summary post, for example ‘best afternoon tea in London’. If you’ve visited a number of places for afternoon tea and either produced individual blog features previously, or simply have pictures from your visits which you’ve never used before, then why not curate them into one feature which offers readers a full review of the ‘best of’.
Other examples might be curating posts from your travels to create city, foodie, or shopping guides, think best brunch places in London, top attractions in NYC, best vintage stores in Barcelona. Even curating a post with your seasonal outfits, to summarise your favourite trends or stores for certain looks etc. If like me you’re forever taking pictures, then make sure you’re truly using it all to the full. Think a little outside the box.
Its something I don’t really do, but actually something that I love to read on other peoples blogs (summary travel, style & foodie posts) and something that would make blog content creation super simple for those times when I really don’t have much time to dedicate to creating brand new content & shooting new imagery.
So there we go, 5 simple tricks to help make juggling a blog and having a full time job a little easier and more manageable. I’d love to hear of any other tips you have too?