I’ve been creating this post on how to maintain a blog when you work full time in my head for quite some time. I thought about writing it over a year ago, but the timing didn’t feel right. There needed to be some substance behind it and I wanted my methods to be tried-and-true. So after another year of refining my schedule, daily to-dos and blog management habits, it all finally feels worthy of sharing.
Here’s what a typical Monday thru Friday day looks like:
5:30-7:30am: wake up, smother Cooper with kisses, shower, get ready, breakfast, log in & press “publish” on the day’s scheduled post
8am: work, work, work
12:30-1:30pm: Lunch hour – eat, work on posts, Pinterest, catch up on personal emails, engage on social media
5pm: drive home, listen to favorite podcasts
5:30pm-10pm: catch up with T, smother Cooper with more kisses, work out, dinner, finish writing posts, edit photos if needed, engage on social media, Netflix binge
Saturday and Sunday look a bit different. Obviously I’m not working, but if T and I don’t have plans, I try to fit in an outfit shoot, work ahead on blog posts, spend quality time with T and Cooper, grab groceries & maybe even wear my pajamas half the day. Weekends are also prime for shooting my recipe posts. I can take my time and make sure everything looks good (and appetizing!).
There is definitely more to it than simply taking photos, writing the posts and hitting “publish”. For photo shoots, I have to outfit plan down to the accessories or recipe plan down to the serving platter. Then I brainstorm locations and gather items I need for the shoot. I keep up with emails for potential collaborations and track my website & social media analytics. When writing posts, SEO needs to be up to par, old posts need to be linked & product widgets created. Oh, and those dang photos need to be edited!
I’ve answered some frequently asked questions below, and provided my top tips on how to maintain a blog when you work full time.
How do I keep up with social media?
Since general engagement has become oh-so-important to gain and retain followers, I use a couple different tactics to keep up without having to actually be on. For Pinterest, Tailwind has been an absolute savior. It helps me have a presence without having to manually pin or even be logged in. On Facebook, I use the schedule post feature. Most weeks, all the daily posts are scheduled by Monday afternoon, so again, I’m present without actually logging in.
Instagram, however, is a totally different beast. And an extremely important one as you know. Tailwind offers scheduling for Instagram posts as well, which is helpful, but nothing beats real-time engagement on this platform. So… lunch hour, I’m commenting on my feed. While dinner cooks, I’m responding to comments on my posts & updating my stories. A 5 minute break during the day, I’m on the explore page. Ty watching football, I’m all in. But, I want to make one thing clear – I make a very, very conscious effort not to be online 24/7. Being in the moment, having time to myself, with T and family/friends is the most important thing in my life. That’s why I’m using all the tools I can to be online, while also living life. Which I highly recommend!
How do I stay inspired?
As I mentioned above, I have Agnes Wright to thank for keeping my creative juices flowing, but that doesn’t mean I never get frustrated or deflated of all creative ideas. Those moments I get in a real inspiration rut, I have a few ways to dig myself out, but on a day-to-day basis I use whatever I can to keep moving forward on projects. That may be blasting my favorite playlist or taking a short walk to organize my thoughts or even reading posts from my favorite bloggers. Inspiration can branch from anywhere, so keeping the wheels turning is the most important part.
What is the hardest part?
I think most bloggers with a full time job would answer similarly – simply balancing the daily to-dos. I’ve worked out a great schedule that works for me most weeks, but there are still times when we have an unexpected event or I want to do a last minute happy hour with the girls. I’ve found that accepting life can be messy and knowing that no matter the plan, there will always be bumps in the road helps me avoid stress and anxiety. If this space were to become a real burden, I wouldn’t do it. Simple as that.
Top Tips for Managing a Blog with a Full Time Job
- Make time for yourself and your loved ones daily – even if it’s 5 minutes
- It’s OK if you can’t do it all – just realize when you can’t
- Don’t let social media hold you back – use the right tools
- Have a good planner & make list after list
- Stay busy – find creative ways to seamlessly mix blog work into every day life
Are there days I feel like erasing my presence altogether? YUP. But do I get over it? Yes. And at the risk of being totally cliche, I have to say, I haven’t quit yet because I absolutely love it. This space keeps my creative juices flowing, keeps me engaged with the fashion industry I’ve always wanted to be involved in and has broadened my horizons more than I could have ever imagined.
Do you manage a side hustle and a full time job?