Tips on Balancing Blogging & Full-time Job
It is officially the end of the year and many people, including myself, are putting plans in place to accomplish our 2021 goals. Though 2020 has been such a crazy year, it has allowed me to put things into perspective and get more organized. Blogging takes a lot of work and planning however, blogging while working fulltime is an entirely different monster. It is not easy balancing both, but it is possible and so worth it.
I have no desire to quit my job and blog fulltime, so I must use my time wisely. Becoming more organized is key when it comes to balancing anything. Below I have put together a few tips that has worked for me on this blogging / influencer journey so far. These are just options and what works for some may not always work for others. I am still learning as I grow and will always share what I know so hopefully these tips help you like they’ve helped me.
Get A Planner
My planner is my bible as it relates to day to day task. It keeps me organized with everything that comes my way. A good planner is hard to find. When searching for the perfect planner, I try to keep in mind the things I want to put in it. I like planners that have enough calendar space that allows me to write out every detail of the event or task I have going on. I have two planners, one for work and one for blogging. I sometimes have the same information in both if I have the same deadline or event on the same day or month.
With my work planner I write out important deadlines and task. I also jot down work related goals and ideas. I keep employee birthdays in my planner and well as certain holidays like "Bosses Day" and "Administrative Assistance Day". You'd be surprise how sending a quick birthday or anniversary email brightens up someone day.
If you are not into carrying around a planner, a desk calendar or your smart phone will work as well. I use all three so I can ensure I never miss a deadline.
With blogging, in addition to sponsored deadlines and events, I also jot down my shoot days, locations and times. I add in the notes section the goals I want to accomplish for the year, and month. I also write down corky holidays that are not nationally recognized like "National Lipstick Day' or "National Pizza Day". It always me to schedule post around those days if I am up for it. I don't do it as often as I like but it’s something, I plan to incorporate more on my Instagram feed.
Scheduled photo shoots
For blogging, I plan out the days I want to shoot. I usually shoot content biweekly and, on the weekends, when I am off from work. There are times I shoot during the week and times I shoot weekly, if I have an unexpected campaign or I need to reshoot something. I shoot about 5-6 looks each session. I also plan my locations and what I want to wear on each shot. With blogging it is important to plan ahead.
I try to be at least one month ahead. For example, it is late November, so I am shooting content for Christmas and New Years now and getting blog topics together for next month. I know Valentine’s Day is the next major holiday, after New Year’s so I will be gathering things needed for that time in early January. I have to be honest; I have not been the most consistent with updating my personal blog but one of my goals for next year is to be more consistent with it.
If you are lucky enough to shoot yourself or have a friend or a photographer bae, that is even better. You don't have to plan your shoots as much because you could always jump in the car or stay in the house and shoot as much content as you want. Even with having a photographer, I still believe planning is important. It allows you to save time which is always a great thing.
Ask for Help
Let’s face it, you can’t do it alone. Until recently I was doing everything by myself and it caused me to burn out frequently. There were also times I just didn't have the time to do things like engage on social media, pitch to a brand, or write a blog post. I finally had to realize if I want to be great at work and blogging, I had to learn to delegate things or ask for help when needed. Help does not have to be someone you pay. You can ask a family member, a blogger buddy or coworker to assist you.
With work I have an Administrative Assistant that helps with different things needed to make my job a little easier. If or when I am feeling overwhelmed or afraid, I won't meet a deadline, I ask a peer and they are usually willing to help because I am willing to return the favor. Work relationships are very important because there might be a time you can't make an important meeting, or you forget to jump on a conference call. Having a work buddy comes in handy when those situations occur.
I have been blogging for 3 years but the first 2 years I was trying to find my way. To be honest, I am still trying to find my way, but I have learned so much during this journey than I did a few years ago and the #1 thing is you need a team. When I say a team, I don't mean a bunch of people at all. A team can be 1 or 2 additional people to help out. I knew I wasn't going to have much time to reach out to brands, so I recently hired someone to do it for me. You, on the other hand, might enjoy or have time to do this, in that case save the money and do it yourself. Because I know that I am not at the stage in my blog where I can have someone fulltime on the payroll yet (manifesting this one) , I have to be resourceful so my advice is to prioritize what you need assistance with most.
Take Time Off
All work and no play are never a good idea. As it relates to my work career, before I ever decide to accept a job, I always research the company to see if they believe in work life balance. I will never understand a person that has been working for a company for years and never use any of their vacation time. What are they thinking? The same thing should happen with blogging. Take some time off. I don’t mean go on a vacation and document everything that you do. I think the key to longevity with blogging and work is to totally unplug.
Turn off the phones, shut down the computer, remove social media from your phone and be present in the moment. I know some people are not fortunate enough to go a vacation outside of the country or even outside of the state they reside. There are still ways to take time off without leaving home. You can stay at home and get some much-needed rest, plan a staycation at your favorite hotel, have a spa day or treat yourself to a fun girls night. No matter what you decide, talking time off is important.
I delegate certain days of the week to blogging. The weekends are usually when I have my "me time" and do something fun. Also, when blogging starts to become overwhelming, I take a few days to a week off to get inspired again.
I really hope this information was helpful. Feel free to comment below with any other questions you might have.