Blogging while working full time can be a huge drain on bloggers and be incredibly discouraging if you don’t manage your time right.
I’ve blogged while working full time since I started my first blog, Girl Gone London, in 2015.
This includes a commute both ways of about two hours.
This leaves very little time in the evenings and on the weekends to work on the blog, and, as a result, there are tips about blogging while working full time that you should keep in mind as well as a general attitude shift towards your blog to be aware of.
Yes, sometimes, it’s hard, and you just want to throw your laptop at someone and cry and shout and delete it all and tell yourself that you’re stupid and horrible and you can’t do it.
And sometimes, you’re on top of the world and are like, LOOK AT ME GO, look at me write all these articles in my off time and I am going to be queen of the blogging world!
It’s all part of the journey of making money blogging.
Blogging Tools I Use and Love
- Website hosting: GreenGeeks (cheap and have always had good service)
- Keyword research: Keysearch (also inexpensive and has helped my SEO tons!)
- E-mail marketing: Sendfox (SO MUCH cheaper than what a lot of people use and great for 99% of bloggers who don’t have intensely complicated e-mail marketing campaigns)
- Organization: ClickUp (offers fantastic organizational space, including calendars, charts, storage to upload photos and more.
- Affiliate networks: I use a few, but Awin and ShareaSale are two major ones (they are free!)
Practical Tips for Blogging While Working Full Time
1. Set a Schedule
The most important part when you’re working on your blog while also working full time is time management.
If you just let yourself do things on a whim and work “when you feel like it,” you won’t do it.
It’s too tempting when you get home to relax in front of Netflix and binge watch 36 episodes of Gilmore Girls and not work on your blog.
By setting a schedule and making a plan that allows for things you need to do with your time off, as well as time you need with your family, your friends, and other responsibilities, you can get a realistic picture of what you can accomplish and when.
Using a planner like this is going to seriously skyrocket your success.
I always tried to use at least one full weekend day on my blog, and then at least 2 hours each evening, from about 8pm to 10pm as I didn’t get home until 7:30pm and had time for a quick dinner and shower.
Even if you don’t follow your schedule exactly, setting one is a must-do.
2. Block Your Time instead of Jumping from Task to Task
There are so many things to do while blogging.
Writing posts, adding pictures, getting backlinks, social media, behind-the-scenes tech stuff, the list goes on.
Batch blocking your time and your tasks is going to be much more efficient than jumping from task to task.
So instead of spending 15 minutes creating new pins, 15 minutes working on a post, 15 minutes posting on Facebook, etc, try and spend one evening writing posts, one evening creating pins, one evening posting on Facebook, etc.
Let yourself get in the groove and batch tasks and you’ll get more done while blogging when working full time.
3. Play Around with Your Sleep Hours
If you have a very short term goal or you want to “grind it out” and get no sleep while you reach it, then that’s on you.
I’ve done it before, and it’s worked, and I don’t regret it, but it’s not a way to consistently live.
Instead, play around with your sleep hours to see how tired you feel on different amounts of sleep and at what times.
Maybe you’re more productive in the morning and you like going to bed earlier and getting up earlier to work on your blog in the morning.
Maybe you’re a nightowl and don’t work well in the morning, but prefer to stay up.
Test your sleep hours in both amount and time to figure out what works best for you, and try not to fight against it.
If you desparately need 8 hours of sleep to feel good and productive in the day, stop trying to figure out how to survive on less and learn how to be more efficient with the time you do have.
4. Jot Down Ideas While Traveling or waiting
Whether you’re in line at the grocery store or waiting for your dentist’s appointment or on the train to or from work, there are a million moments in the day when you can jot down post ideas or engage on social media and be productive on your phone.
From posting on Instagram to making a list of future blog ideas or products, use that time you would otherwise just be sitting around or sitting down to be working on your blog.
There are obviously some things, like post writing, that is hard to do while in line at the grocery store, but you can easily post a Facebook post or comment on Instagram posts while you have some free time.
This will all build up and contribute to making your blog grow.
5. Find Mini Tasks
Just like I mentioned, there are some tasks that require real concentration and time, but there are others that are more “mini tasks” that can fill in those shorter moments.
Ideas of mini tasks you can do include keyword research, posting on any social media, coming up with captions for social media, coming up with a list of future blog posts, creating new social media accounts for platforms you’re not already on, commenting on other blogs to grow your network of blogging friends and support, asking questions in blogging Facebook groups.
Come up with mini tasks for you that will give you something to turn to when you just have 10 minutes instead of an hour.
How to Adjust Your Expectations when Blogging while Working Full Time
If you have a blog while working full time, there are certain things you’re going to need to come to terms with that are going to affect how you approach your blog.
They aren’t bad, just different than people who can work on their blog full time.
I used to get into a place where I was so depressed at how little time I had to work on my blog and compared my growth to people who could do it full time, but it’s not a productive space to be in and there’s no point in going down that route.
Instead, try these attitude shifts to keep your blogging expectations realistic.
1. Be Your Own Competition
You’ve got to throw comparing yourself to other bloggers out the window.
It can be a relentless rat race of trying to grow as fast as them, but you don’t know what people’s circumstances are.
If you’re a one-person-band running a blog with your spare 4 hours a week, you’re going to grow slower than someone who spends 40 hours and has a team of 5.
You’ll drive yourself absolutely crazy comparing yourself to others, so from now on, you are your only competition.
You want to beat yourself, each and every day and every month and every year.
2. Accept Your Lack of Time
You can’t do it all when you blog while working full time.
You really, truly, don’t have enough hours in the day, and the first thing to help yourself use that time wisely is to accept your lack of it.
I’ll talk about positive mindset in a moment, but realistic mindsets are the place to start here.
Accept how much time you have, or not, and be honest with yourself.
If you get home at 7:00 each night, you can’t spend 7:00pm until midnight blogging.
You’ve got to eat, maybe shower, go to the bathroom, etc.
That 5 hours may turn into 3 or 4 or even 2 by the time you’ve fulfilled your other obligations.
Plan with the time you’ll actually have, not the time you wish you had.
3. Stay Positive
Tons of people have grown their blogs to full-time incomes while working full time.
I got Girl Gone London to $2,000 a month while working full time.
Yes, it took quite a few years, though much of that wasn’t spent trying to monetize, but I got there in the end.
Just because you have less time doesn’t mean you can’t be positive and optimistic about how your blog will grow.
You just shouldn’t get discouraged if you’re not an overnight success story.
4. Get More Focused
When you have limited time to blog because you’re working full time, you’re going to need to get more focused than someone who does have the time to be everywhere.
This could take a different meaning for different people, but for me it means sticking to just a few social media platforms at first instead of trying to be on all of them – I hate Twitter and don’t use it for my blog because I just don’t have the time.
Why be there half-heartedly when I can be on Pinterest 100%?
You also need to stay more focused when it comes to what you work on on your blog.
Sure, having fancy designs and interactive maps could be fun if you see all of the other travel bloggers doing that, but if you don’t have time to consistently write content as it is, that map is pointless.
Hone in on what you need to focus on – writing quality content, and then you can add extras from there.
5. Enlist Help Where Possible
Once you’ve accepted your lack of time, you can learn to accept and ask for help where possible.
For many bloggers, this doesn’t come in the form of paid help for awhile, though you should strongly consider hiring a Virtual Assistant if you do feel as though your business is at that point.
You could also use a service like Fiverr for one-time tasks to get an expert to do it for you.
In smaller ways, see what other people can do to help that care about you and want you to succeed.
Could you enlist the kid’s help in taking pictures while you cook for your food blog?
Can your husband proofread for you?
Do you have a friend that might like to come taste test your recipes and give you feedback?
Maybe you have a coworker who is really good at tech stuff who will have a look at an issue in your site just because you get along and they like you.
Don’t be afraid to politely ask for help here and there to get other people involved, as long as you’re not taking advantage of them or using them consistently without paying or providing something like a meal in exchange!