Blogging tips for when you can’t be a full-time blogger

Blogging tips for when you can't be a full-time blogger

Blogging is a full time job.

This is something professional bloggers say all the time – and I agree completely.

Putting together a fabulous blog post takes time and writing is only a fraction of what blogging is all about. There’s also photography, promotion, social networking, reading other blogs, replying to comments, coming up with post ideas and communicating with brands.

So, yes, blogging – and everything that goes with it – is time-consuming. And, while there may be successful bloggers who manage to be insanely popular without putting in a lot of time, they are very rare – and that’s certainly not the case for any bloggers I know.

But what about those who don’t have the time to put in all that work?

That’s me! I would love to be a full-time blogger. But I have to hold down a more “traditional” job. I’m also taking care of a toddler and I have a editorial/proofreading business that I’m trying to get going.

I’m not saying I have it harder than anyone else – that’s certainly NOT the case. But, I do have trouble finding enough hours in the day.

So, unfortunately, blogging has to take a back seat sometimes.

Since I’m pretty sure I’m not the only blogger in this situation, I thought I’d write this post to reach out and say you’re not alone. I also wanted to some of the lessons I’ve learned over the last few months about trying to find a balance.

1. Burning the midnight oil doesn’t work

Okay, so it does work if you do it occasionally. But staying up until the wee hours every night just to crack out a blog post – or three? It’s just not sustainable. You’re going to start feeling it during the day and that means all the other things you’re trying to do will suffer. Plus, your blog posts won’t be as good. Nobody writes well when they’re cross-eyed from exhaustion.

bowlhat

Tiredness makes you do strange things.

Then, one day you’ll burn out, You’ll throw your arms in the air and say “F*** it.” After that, you and the kid will spend the day in your pyjamas, watching Frozen on a loop and eating a loaf of toast.

(I may or may not be speaking from personal experience here.)

2. Find tools that work for you

There are loads of productivity tools that can help streamline your blogging. My personal favourite is one that tweets out links to old posts on a schedule. This means that even if I have a day – or 12 – that I can’t pay attention to my blog, at least it’ll be getting a few visitors from those tweets.

Other tools I use include:

  • Klout – I try to schedule a week’s worth of tweets to promote each post I write. That way if life gets in the way, at least my latest posts will continue to be promoted on Twitter. I’m sure there are better tools than Klout for this, but I haven’t looked into it yet.
  • Publicize – This is part of the Jetpack plugin on WordPress. It automatically updates your social network accounts whenever you publish a blog post.
  • Evernote – I keep a running list of blog post ideas on Evernote and I have the app on every device I own. That way, I can write down ideas whenever they come to mind.

3. Compromise

If there’s one thing I’d like to change about my blog, it would be the photographs. I’m a pretty avid photographer and I love editing images to get them perfect.

But, I don’t have time tweak every photo that goes on my blog. I wish I could – it would probably be a big improvement. Instead, most of my pictures get basic colour correction and sharpening before I watermark them and save them for web use. It’s a compromise I’ve consciously made to save time, and my sanity.

4. Be more picky about reviews

When I started blogging, I jumped on every review opportunity I found. Then I got stressed because I had a stack of products to review and not enough time.

Sure, getting review products is great – but it’s easy to get carried away.

benihana benigirlsbash

A meal at Benihana? Now THAT is the type of review I WANT to do.

At one point, I spent a two hours working on a review of a product that I didn’t want or need, and which cost less than £5. That’s when I realised I needed to change my ways.

5.  Don’t compare yourself to others

This is my personal blogging mantra.

It’s so frustrating to see new bloggers come on the scene and quickly overtake me in terms of followers, rankings and paid work. But we’re all different and we each have our own barriers to overcome.

Just keep trying to improve your own blog and be happy for your blogger colleagues because they’re working hard too.

I need to listen to my own advice on this more.

6. Create a blogging workflow

A workflow is basically a checklist of things that need to be done for every blog post. I’ve found that establishing a workflow has helped me be more productive and it helps to keep me on track.

7. Re-assess your goals

So you want to be the next Honest Mum, Tiger Lilly Quinn or BrummyMummyof2? Sorry to be a downer, but maybe that’s just not going to happen right now.

Britmums-Xmas-19

What are you aiming for?

So, instead of working yourself into the ground trying to be like those super-successful bloggers, take a step back and remember why you became a blogger in the first place. Think about who your audience is and try to find your niche – again, this is something I need to do more of, but I’m getting there slowly.

Blogging tips for when you can't be a full-time blogger

Are you a blogger, but can’t give your blog a full-time commitment? Tell me how you deal with being a part-time blogger in the comments below – I’m sure there are plenty of things I missed!


Thanks for stopping by!

(You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter and Bloglovin.)

12 Comments on "Blogging tips for when you can’t be a full-time blogger"

  1. I struggle with this too. I would love to make some money from my blog and writing eventually, but in order to do that I’m reviewing products that are hardly worth anything, and writing content for free on other sites, just so I can build up my blog and portfolio ready for any paid opportunities. Which takes up a lot of time.

    I usually draft posts on my phone when I have 5 minutes here and there – I find that more practical than me spending hours at a time on the computer. I’ve also compromised over photos – many I post from my phone and sometimes the quality isn’t great.
    Social media is my downfall – it’s easy to waste a lot of time scrolling through social media feeds when I could be writing blog posts instead! I need to be more organised and disciplined!

    Thanks for a great post .
    Kiri recently posted…Wicked WednesdaysMy Profile

  2. This is a great post, Shannon.

    I’ve only been managing two or so posts a week lately as I just don’t have the time or inclination to do anymore than that. I would LOVE to be a pro blogger some day but at the moment my priority is being mum to Jasmine, she’s only this little once. I think once she’s older and starts going to nursery then I will try and make a proper go of the whole blogging thang! Until them, I’m happy just bumbling along doing my own thing. If I get to do nice reviews or a little bit of pocket money along the way then great, but right now it’s not top of my list.

    In terms of tips for people in a similar position to us – One thing I’ve been doing lately is going back to my old posts (around a year old when nobody read my blog and I had zero following) updating them with better pictures etc. and republishing them. xx
    Jenna recently posted…Making a Sleep Nest with HomebaseMy Profile

  3. good tips. I found myself burning the midnight oil and then being absolutely exhausted at work the next day. I now set myself a shut down time – tonight is 2200 (I have 19 minutes left). Otherwise blogging will take over my life, which is stupid because I don’t earn any money at it…yet!

    Thanks for your post.
    Pen recently posted…Make believe stories about my neighbourMy Profile

  4. Fabulous advice – and I particularly agree with 4 and 5. I say no to so many things these days because we seem to end up with so much stuff! And they don’t pay the bills!! Thank you so much for being this week’s newbie showcase and for linking to #PoCoLo x
    Verily Victoria Vocalises recently posted…Post Comment Love and Newbie Showcase 31st July to 2nd August 2015My Profile

  5. This is a great post. I work full time and its tough to indulge my love of blogging. I write and schedule my posts at the weekends as much as possible, but it is promotion and the huge demand of time that social media requires that I just can’t keep up with. As a result, I often question why I bother blogging when I can hardly get any readers. But I love it and don’t want to stop, so I have to be happy to talk to myself most of the time!

    #pocolo
    @SarahAnneDG recently posted…My handmade wedding bouquetMy Profile

  6. These are all really great tips Shannon, especially the last one. Comparison is the thief of joy, so they say. 🙂

    At the end of the day this blogging lark is supposed to be fun. Even if you intend on making it your full time job, it should still be something you enjoy doing. If you’re exhausted from staying up ’til the crack of sparrows and stressed out because you have to review a product you hate then it sort of defeats the purpose.

  7. Such lovely tips! I have a hard time not comparing myself to others. But that is the field that I am trying to overcome. Still working on it! #pocolo
    Merlinda Little (@pixiedusk) recently posted…Window of SunshineMy Profile

  8. I so agree with all these sentiments. I used to spend soooo long on one blog post that it became a chore. I realised I was writing far too much and trying to do too much for every post. And, yes, photo shopping photos….it’s a slippery slope!
    Bobbyanne
    xxxx
    PromisingBeauty.blogspot
    Bobbyanne recently posted…Summer Sunshine Yellow Polka Dot Nails!My Profile

  9. The hardest thing for me is finding time to write – it can take me several days just to write 500 words in between caring for a feeding/crying baby. Whenever I get free time, all I want to do is sleep!
    Katie recently posted…The Popple and the catMy Profile

  10. I find it very hard too! It is not easy at all!! I’m still trying to find a balance as I’m the one that stays up at night until silly hours!! Very bad I know!! But I hope it is just for a short period of time until I gain more followers otherwise I will not be able to cope. The comparison with other bloggers is something that you can’t stop doing. I think that is natural but we have to just try to focus on us and not the others. Good advice there! Thanks for sharing! xx
    #PoCoLo
    A Moment with Franca recently posted…9 things to keep an 11 month old busyMy Profile

  11. I loved this post. Fab advice, I too have started to turn review opps down. Sometimes they are just too much work for the return! I am going to follow your advice and create a workflow for each blog post as I usually forget to tweet it out or create tags etc.
    Thanks for sharing
    xx
    Becky recently posted…Our Week: Tipi’s and farmsMy Profile

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