How I Balance a Blog + Full-Time Job


I first started my blog in 2014 when I was really lonely. I had gone from being with my friends and my boyfriend all the time in college to living alone and spending a million hours at work. My job at the time was a place where everyone was much much older than me so it was hard to make friends. I needed something else to do, so I started a blog. It was simple at first–little posts here and there. My photos were terrible. Seriously go look and enjoy. It’s hilarious.

However, in March of 2017, I got a little more serious about blogging and began thinking of it as more of a business. I started posting consistently and focusing more on photo quality.  Then I took Erica’s BossPitch course which really changed my mindset about this blog. Then it got to the point where my blog is pretty much all I think about.

I tell you this little anecdote because I’ve always had a full-time job while blogging. It’s hard, but well worth it. You can have both–and I’m going to tell you how I juggle it right now.

Before we jump into this, I want to give a little advice. Don’t run your business at work…or while driving. I would love to use my hour commute answering emails, but like it’s not safe ya know? Also, don’t get fired, it’s so so so not worth it. Separate your two jobs and give your full attention to both. 8-5 give 100% to your full-time, then 6-12 (or 1 or 2, it happens..) give 100% to your business.

Ok here are my tips!

  

Prioritize Your Blog.

I have to make time for my blog. This means sometimes missing social events that would be fun. I think it’s ok to say no to things and work on my blog instead. I skip lots of things actually, but it doesn’t feel like “missing” ya know? I just prefer to put in the effort on this space because it matters to me. This may seem crazy to skip things with actual humans, but it’s so much more work than it looks like. I think it’s worth it!

Use Your Time Wisely.

Weekends are your best friend. I pack everything I possibly can during the weekend and then sneak in the remaining work into my hours after work. Because I am out of the house like 12 hours a day, five days a week, I have to do all pictures on the weekend. It’s too dark when I get home from work…and I usually look pretty scary. This becomes a problem when I have weekend plans, so sometimes I have to double up for the next week. If I can get all of my content done over the weekend then I can save the weeknights for pitching, planning, shopping, contracts, captioning, finances, and whatever else.

Another way to use your time is scheduling! Anything that can be scheduled ahead of time…I do it. Really this means anything other than Instagram–all blog posts/Facebook/Twitter are pre-scheduled. I do go ahead and edit all my Instagram photos and captions and save them in my drafts, so when it is time to post, literally all I have to do is push “share.” If I can, I plan my Instagram stories too and just upload them when it’s time.

Speaking of planning…planning is so crucial. 

You can check out how I plan here. I plan my posts weeks, even months, in advance. I plan out what props I need for photo shoots, photos for Instagram, pitches I want to send, etc. etc. etc. Planning is the only way I stay organized really. If I have it all laid out week-by-week then I can just execute when the time comes. When I’m really busy, I plan my Saturdays and Sundays out by the hour so I stay on track and leave enough time to complete everything on my list.

Time Batching is Life. 

If you aren’t familiar with time-batching, it’s a time-management technique that allows you focus your brain by grouping a bunch of similar activities together and doing them all at the same time. For example, I plan and take all my photos in bulk while it’s light outside. Then, I write all of my posts at night when it doesn’t matter about the lighting. Other things I batch are emails, video editing, filming, Instagram posts, social media, LIKEtoKNOW.it, planning, newsletters, shopping, etc. I love it. It keeps me so focused and on track. It’s the only way I get everything done.

Be Gentle With Yourself.

It’s really hard to devote your brain and your time to two full-time jobs. Again, so worth it, but it’s hard. If you balance both, cut yourself some slack. Sometimes a post doesn’t go live because you want to watch a movie with your husband instead of finish a post. Sometimes you don’t post on Instagram for a week because you were at a wedding and didn’t take any photos over the weekend and don’t have anything to post. We’re all doing the best we can. Cut yourself some slack.

Do you manage a business and a full-time job? How do you do both?

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Hel On Heels is an Atlanta-based life and style blog by Helen Gaillet Bailey. Hel On Heels is intended to be a digital magazine written by your best friend.

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16 Comments

  1. 3.15.19
    Annaliese said:

    I also work full time and blog- but I have to be honest with you, most of my favorite blogs to read are also from women who do BOTH! I think someone that has a full time career usually has such interesting things to blog about, and I admire other girls who do both!

    xoxo A
    http://www.southernbelleintraining.com

    • 3.15.19

      I actually totally agree with you – lots of people who write about their jobs are really fascinating – there are so many interesting things that people do!

  2. 3.15.19

    I don’t work full time while blogging currently but I have been there and can say it is no easy feat. I was all about time batching and scheduling ahead of time!

  3. 3.15.19

    I also have a full time job and my blog. It’s hard, especially with timing! I spend my 1 hour lunch break doing most of my blog stuff. I have other activities in my life too (My running/training schedule takes a good amount of time, and sometimes I’m doing theater which requires huge time investments). So the weekends help a lot too.

  4. 3.15.19
    Katie @ Two Cats and Katie said:

    These are great tips! I just started my blog and working full time, while going to school full time, i am BUSY. But I am so excited to start this journey. These tips will be helpful!

  5. 3.15.19
    Stephanie said:

    This was such a cool read. I’m always curious how people balance a full-time and side hustle. It seems so complicated! You’re doing an amazing job!

  6. 3.15.19
    Trish said:

    These are great tips! I am good at time batching with my work but need to improve that skill when it comes to blogging. I am impressed with how much you get done with your blog and a full time job!!

  7. 3.15.19

    These are great tips! I also run my blog while working full time, and it can get overwhelming sometimes. I definitely do things in batches, especially using tools to plan out Instagram and Pinterest!

  8. 3.15.19

    I also have a blog and a FT job. While it gets busy, I definitely enjoy working on my blog in the evenings, I find it fun and relaxing! At times, I am tempted to work on blog stuff at work though— :/ I need to work on that.

  9. 3.16.19

    I really admire you being able to juggle blogging AND full time work! I currently only work part time and still struggle sometimes. As you said though, I don’t mind “missing out” on other things so I can work on my blog since my blog is my passion and I WANT to spend every moment I can on growing it ☺️

  10. 3.16.19

    I juggled a full-time job and the blog for a long time — it was hard, but so worth it. Now I do real estate, but make my own schedule, so I can juggle the blog whenever.

  11. 3.16.19
    Mar said:

    I love learning how others manage their blog. I am currently on mat leave with my second, but will be going back to work full time in August. When I went back to work after having my first, I found it very challenging to manage. Hoping I can plan better this time.

  12. 3.16.19

    I didn’t launch my blog until after I had my own company for about a year. And with time slowly restructured my services and kind of blended the two. I couldn’t imagine doing my business, which is primarily blogging today, and a 9-5!

  13. 3.16.19

    I think it’s amazing when bloggers can balance the two! I think I need to try out time batching because I get overwhelmed really easily. Being gentle with yourself is probably the best advice possible though. I loved this post. 🙂

  14. 3.16.19
    Amanda K said:

    I always try and get my blog posts done ahead of time + I write in my planner.

  15. 3.16.19
    aisasami said:

    I have to agree with these tips as I use weekends to write a lot. And, I use any time during the week, when I am not working, by sending emails, editing, doing PR on social media, and maybe sneak in a blog post.

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