In this post I’m going to show you some great tips on how to balance work and blogging. One of the things I’ve always struggled with over the years was trying to fit my side-hustles around my full time job. It took years of practice, testing out schedules and even reading books on productivity to get to the stage where I now have a great routine.
It’s understandable that people have busy lives with working full time, partners, children and other life things. The way you have to see it is that the people who are now successful also had those things. They also have the same 24 hours in a day but the difference between them and the average person is how they make use of that time.
Most people think they are actually working hard, but when you take a close look at it, they are just not productive at all. It’s so easy to be distracted, especially in today modern society with technology easy at hand such as mobiles and laptops. You can easily get lost with checking emails, social media, and YouTube.
To build a successful blog whilst still working full time, you will have to learn how to balance work and blogging but using certain techniques to improve productivity.
Make a Plan
The most important first step when learning how to balance work and blogging is to make a plan. It’s no good just trying to fit in a blog post here and there each week when you have time, your just not going to get anywhere by doing that. You have to know exactly what you are doing and when you are doing it.
You will have to make small sacrifices along the way and stick to the plan. Make your blog a priority and treat it more like a business. So how do you do this? You will need to know exactly what kind of content you will be producing.
#Step 1: Research
Research what other people in your niche are writing about.Here’s two of the best ways:
- Feedly: Feedly is great because you can type in keywords and follow all of the blogs and topics in your niche. If you take a look at the screenshot below of inside my Feedly account, you will see blogging on the left-hand side which is one of the topics I cover on this blog. Each day your feed will automatically populate with new blog posts of everybody you follow. This will allow you to see what they are writing about.
- Pinterest: Pinterest is another great goldmine for ideas. Just type your keywords into the search box and you will get a ton of ideas of what other people doing.
#Step 2: Keyword Research
Now you have a lot of topic ideas, you can now start putting some of these into a keyword research tool which will generate hundreds of different keywords for you to use. You will then copy these keywords in to a Google Sheets document.
Here is an example of some of my keyword research in the screenshot above. Once you write a blog post, highlight it in green and put the blog url in of the columns next to it. This will just keep everything organised. What tools do you use for keyword research?
I’ve got a couple of blogs in different niches and I have literally multiple hundreds of keywords in different categories for each one inside my Google Sheets. This means I have an endless supply of ideas and I will never have to waste any time of my day trying to think of what to write.
Create an Editorial Calendar / Timetable
If you have followed the first tip then you should now have a plan and a ton of blog post ideas that you are ready to put out there in the world. What you will now need to do is create an editorial calendar. This will allow you to have certain slots each week for writing your blog posts.
This is going to be different for everyone, everybody has a different life and some people have more time than other. What I would say is aim for at the very least, three blog posts per week. Some people will be able to fit four in posts and others may have the discipline to do one blog post every day.
Make Additional Time
Creating a full time income from your blog can be life changing. Not only can it generate life changing income, but it also means you will never have to work your balls off doing a 9-5 job just to make somebody else rich. If you truly want this lifestyle then you will have to do things you wouldn’t usually do. How can you create time for blogging?
You’ll find that the more blog posts you write, you’ll get better and faster at it. So if you started off with three blog posts per week, as you starting getting faster, add one more in and push it up to four posts. You could also fit in a lot of writing time on your lunch break at work.
- Working weekends.
- Staying up later on a night.
- Setting your alarm earlier on a morning.
- Writing on your lunch break at work.
- If you travel to work via public transport, you can write whilst travelling.
To use an example of your average person working 9-5 Monday to Friday. If you allow 30 minutes of your lunch break and you get up just 30 minutes earlier, that’s five extra hours you have. That’s just Monday to Friday and doesn’t even include weekends. Some people write faster than others but if it takes you one hour to write a post, that’s 5 blog posts a week right there.
If your new to all of this or it takes you a bit longer to write, if you follow the same structure but also throw the weekend into the mix, you could still fit in between 3-5 blog posts. Remember, any kind of success is not easy. You will have to make sacrifices.
As I previously mentioned, in today’s modern society of the internet, TV, and WhatsApp, it’s so easy to get distracted from the important tasks you should be doing. As an example, if it usually takes you around 2 hours to complete a blog post, I pretty much guarantee you could get it done in half of that time.
Chances are you are stopping in between to watch the TV, check your email, or have a browser on Facebook. You probably do not even realise you are doing this and they may seem like small things but they can have a big impact on the time it is taking you to complete a task. I’ve been guilty of this myself over the years.
Here’s what you can do:
- Switch off your phone or leave it in a different room.
- Grab yourself a glass of water.
- Turn off the TV.
- Close all other tabs in your web browser apart from your blog.
- Concentrate on your blog and just write.
Treat Your Blog Like a Business Or Second Job
If you really want to get somewhere with your blog, then you must treat it as it’s a business. If you see at just a hobby then it’s just too much of a laid back approach. By treating it this way there is no urgency to get anything done which means you will get nothing done and your blog will never get off the ground.
You wouldn’t just not turn bother turning up for work, or just turn up and sit there doing doing nothing. You should treat your blog in the same matter. The way I see it is if you don’t get that blog post done, you should feel a bit guilty about it. It’s your project and something you are creating which can generate a life changing income. Make it your priority!
Schedule Your Social Media
Scheduling your social media posts will also save you a ton of time. Starting with Facebook, you can go onto your page and schedule as many posts as you like by choosing a specific date and time.
My two favorite platforms for generating traffic to your blog are Pinterest and Instagram. You can automate both of this in one place inside Tailwind which is by far one of the best automation tools.
You can checkout Tailwind and all of it’s features here: https://www.tailwindapp.com/
Recycle old content
Recycling old content is a great way or reworking old posts that performed well for you. You can either go back into the post, update certain parts and re-share it across your social channels or you can pull out a section of it and rewrite it into a new post.
I’ll use this post as an example to show you how it’s done. This article on how to balance work and blogging contains many different sub sections. The first tip on here which was how to make a plan covers enough information to give you an idea. What I could then do is grab take that and turn it into it’s own blog post.
This could be done for every single sub section on this post. Think of all that extra content which you can then internal link all of the posts which is great for SEO.
Create graphic templates
Creating templates can be a massive time-saver. For my work I have templates for absolutely everything, especially Pinterest. Coming from a Graphic Design background I can create all of my templates and graphics pretty quick. All of the templates will be done using Photoshop, and each time I do a new post I can just edit the template with new text and photos.
If your not a designer or have never used Photoshop, here are some other options:
- Canva: https://www.canva.com/
A free online tool which has templates for every latform you can think of.
- Design Bundle: https://designbundle.io/
10 in one cloud based software which has tools for creating all kinds of graphics.
- Fiverr: https://www.fiverr.com/
If you really do not want to designtemplates yourself or if you haven’t got the time, you can hire a freelancer on Fiverr to them for you.
Productivity Using Pomodoro Technique
One of the greatest and most popular time-management methods you can use to get your blog posts done is the pomodoro technique. It was created in the early 1990’s by Francesco Cirillo and it works by making you hyper-focus on a task in short bursts to help you power through any distractions.
So for example, if you have a large task such as a 2,000 – 3,000 word blog post, you will break it down into shorter tasks using timed intervals (called “Pomodoros”). These shorter task allows your brain to focus and concentrate which means you will get more done and stay on top of deadlines.
You do not need any special equipment for this technique to work other than a timer. There are even videos on YouTube with the timer intervals which you can play in a different tab whilst your working on your blog (see video below). Here are the basics of how the Pomodoro techniques work:
- Choose a task you want to work on.
- Set the Pomodoro to 25 minutes.
- Work on your task until the Pomodoro rings.
- Take a short break of 5 minutes.
- Take a longer break every 4 Pomodoros.
Get your mind right
If your mindset is not right then you are going to burn out and fail. There is going to be times when it’s tough and your not seeing results with your blog and you’ll want to just quit. You have to have that mental toughness and self-belief and just keep working through it.
The mindset is a huge topic on it’s own, but if you want to read more about this subject, here are some great posts on this blog which will help you:
How To Change Mindset And Attitude:
How To Become A More Positive Person:
Hope you enjoyed this post on how to balance work and blogging. You should now take all of the tips covered in this post and put them into action so you can really start moving forward with you blog. If you have any questions about this subject just drop them in the comments below.