Whatcha Makin' Now?: Tips for Bloggers Who Work Other Full-time Jobs


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Tips for Bloggers Who Work Other Full-time Jobs

Tips for Bloggers Who Work Other Full-time Jobs --- you CAN blog and work full time, and be successful!

Blogging becomes even a bigger passion of mine with each post I write. It's so refreshing to have a creative outlet and even serves as a way for me to relax. But a lot of us, like me, work full-time and blog in the evenings and on the weekends.

In this week's Whatcha Learnin' Now post, I thought it would be fun to share some tips for managing a blog while working full-time at another job.

1. Set goals. 
I can't lie, I'm not the best at setting goals but it is key. There will be days you'll be too tried to even look at your blog after a long work day. Keeping your eye on what you want to accomplish will give you the push to continue. Your goals should also include how many posts you want to do each week and how much time you will set aside to blog.

2. Take advantage of your mornings. 
Give yourself an extra 15-30 minutes in the morning before you head to work. This will give you time to make sure your post went live, reply to comments, and review any posts left on your social media channels.

3. Schedule social media posts.
Your readers might be active on your blog and social media during your work hours. To keep them engaged, schedule your social media posts. I shared 5 ways to automate a few weeks back. I use and love Buffer; it's free, easy to use, and connects to Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. One reminder: DON'T post the same thing on all of your social media channels. A lot of people following you on ALL of your channels; you don't want them to see the same thing everywhere.

4. Take advantage of your lunch hour.
If you have access to an tablet, smart phone, or computer over your lunch break use that time! Read and comment on bloggers you follow, review your social media channels, reply to blog comments, spend time on Pinterest, review posts in your Facebook groups, etc.

5. Purchase photography equipment.
Especially this time of year, I'm almost out of daylight by the time I get home, make dinner, and get time to blog. Having the right equipment can really help. I find that a light box or umbrella lights really help when I'm in a pinch.

6. Focus on your days off from work. 
When you have days off from work, dominate that time. During a weekend, I almost always carve out 5+ hours to bake, photograph, and write blog posts. In a perfect weekend I will make 2 recipes and write up 3-4 blog posts. The more I get done during the weekend, the less I have to do in the evenings after work. I love when I have my blog posts pretty much written and ready; it gives me time to just be active on social media. The caveat: sometimes I don't feel like writing. In those instances, I stick to getting my photos ready and engaging my readers on social media.

7. Always have a note pad handy.
You never know when an idea will jump up and hit you in the face. I tend to think of things while I'm getting ready for work. Write those ideas down (use phone notepad, email yourself, write with a real pen, etc) so you can review them later!

8. Work those on-the-job skills.
Don't be afraid to work in your on-the-job skills when approaching brands or pitching sponsored posts. The fact that you work full time AND run a successful blog can speak volumes to your determination, passion, and organization skills. I even encourage you state your professional experience in your media kit and on your work with me page.

9. Plan ahead.
There will be times that you're wrapped up in a work project, out-of-town, or work is just down right busy. Try to anticipate these busy times. If your goal is to grow your blog you have to be consistent with your blog posts. If you are not able to plan ahead and prepare the blog post, maybe look to have your favorite bloggy friends guest post for you!

10. Housework probably won't get done.
Don't beat yourself up over the load of laundry that didn't get done, the floors that didn't get scrubbed, or the dinner you burnt because you were "in the zone" (yes, it's happened). Remember you blog goals! Stay on track!

11. Network!
Having the support of other bloggers is huge and should probably be #1. I'm active in a few Facebook groups and they make a world of difference. It's not only a place to connect with other bloggers but you can celebrate your successes and vent when you're in a rut. Take your blog off line too; almost every city has a local bloggers group. We have a few in Kansas City that meet-up to socialize and share knowledge. Thanks to that group I've met, Katie, Dawn, and may other wonderful bloggers.

There you have it! What do you think? Any other tips I missed?