Hi lovelies! A bit of a chatty post coming your way today, I hope you don't mind. This is a post that I've been planning on doing for some time now as it's a topic I've struggled with in the past. 'Maintaining a blog when you work full time'. As, for most of us blogging is a hobby, we have to fit it in around everyday life, whether that be work, uni, school, actually having a social life etc etc, it can actually be kind of difficult to do. Let's face it, if you start a blog, as a hobby, with the intention of turning it into a full time job or for a project for school, whatever the reason, you probably want your blog to be successful right? You want people to read it, you want to gain views and followers and comments, because let's face it, it's nice to know that people enjoy what you do.
Let me make one thing quite clear, I do not consider my blog to be 'super successful', It isn't, nor do I want it to be, my full time job, I don't earn huge amounts of money every week from sponsored posts and advertising and I certainly don't have a fan base to rival One Direction, but for me, my blog is a personal success. I have a fair amount of followers, I get to go to cool events and meet amazing people, I get products, clothes, accessories and other more random items sent to me fairly regularly, and sometimes, my monthly income is sometimes boosted by the fact that I am 'A Blogger'. However, to get the perks of being a blogger, I've had to put in a lot of work and while for others these achievements may seem small, to me they are as I said, a personal success.
As I said though, being a moderately successful blogger, whatever your view of blogging success may be, takes a lot of work and dedication. Don't get me wrong, I love blogging and I don't consider it 'hard work', but what blogging does take is time, so today I thought I'd share my tips for managing your time and being a blogger when you have a full time job as some of you will know, it's not that easy! This will also apply to those at Uni, College or School, particularly if you have a job alongside, basically, if you feel you want to have a blog, but don't have the time, read on!
Utilise your free time.
One of the more obvious points I'm going to make I admit. However, it can be really easy to forget to do this. I work as a beauty therapist and am generally in the salon 5 days a week and sometimes do private beauty work for friends and family at home too. However due to the nature of my job, I don't work a normal 9-5, I work Saturdays and often have a day or two off in the week and sometimes work nights, freeing up my mornings. It is so easy to spend your time just chilling watching TV or generally wasting time in the mornings, late evening or on days off, but use them! Even if you just spend a free lunch hour jotting down ideas for blog posts, it will make it much easier on your when you do get the time to sit and write and you won't find yourself staring at a blank screen so much!
As I said in my last point, spending any little time you can jotting things down can be a huge help in future. Even if you're at work and an idea for a post pops into your head, pop it in your phone, then, whenever you have time, expand on it, brainstorm that idea. If it's a product review, write down your thoughts, does your new foundation last through your whole day at work? Did anyone comment on your perfume today? Inspiration can be taken from anywhere - just make sure you remember it.
Take photos in bulk.
This is something that I find helps me a lot when I've got a particularly busy week at work. Taking photos can take a long time setting up your background, sorting out good positioning etc, once you've set up that space, photograph as many products as you can. If I have several products I want to review, I'll wait until I have some free time (and preferably good lighting!) and I'll set up, then photograph them all at once. This means when it comes to writing up blog posts, the hard part has been done beforehand and all you have to do is write. It's also a good idea to have a folder on your computer full of these product photographs, as this way, when blogger's block hits, you'll have a whole range of products ready to be reviewed.
Write, write, write.
Similar to taking photos in bulk, writing posts in bulk can be a good idea too. Some posts are spur of the moment posts and are best written and published straight away, but other posts, such as product reviews, advice posts or tags can be pre-written and published later, on days when you just don't have the time. I tend to do this when I have a day off, or in the evenings. However, I'll only do this when I'm really in the mood to write, because if you're forcing it, you'll end up with a whole load of half hearted posts and that's definitely not what you want!
Decide what your idea of 'success' is.
When starting your blog, or developing your existing blog, it may be a good idea to know what you want from your blog and why you're doing it. For me, my blog is a hobby, the perks I mentioned above are great, but they're bonuses, ultimately, I blog because I like to write. I enjoy sharing my views with like minded people and getting to know people with similar interests. That's not to say though, that if you want to blog with the intention to eventually be a full time blogger, that you shouldn't do it. However knowing your goal will help you prioritise. If blogging is really what you want to focus on, dedicating more time and energy to it will be more important to you than if you're a blogger that's blogging for fun. However, do not take this as an excuse to lose focus on your job or education in the name of blogging! Unless you do become super successful and can blog full time, your blog will have to come second to things like work and school, but that does not mean you can't dedicate a lot of time to it if you are determined to succeed.
Take the pressure off.
To repeat what I said above, your blog, sometimes does have to come second to certain things. Sometimes you will just be too busy to blog and that's okay. Sometimes you won't be able to post every day or every other day but your loyal readers won't go anywhere if you don't. When I first started Chloe's Way, I blogged every single day and it was hard going. I was at college and had a part time job and eventually I realised that it was too much pressure. After decided to stop blogging on such a strict schedule (every single morning, usually before 11am), I actually found my posts got better as I only wrote when I wanted to and that definitely came across in my posts.
Honestly, whatever your goal, if you don't love blogging, there's no point. If you're starting up because you love the idea of free stuff and easy access to catwalk shows and parties, then you'll be bitterly disappointed. Those things all come with time and effort and don't happen overnight. Write because you love to write, write about things you love and enjoy it. Running a blog can take up a lot of your free time and if you don't enjoy it, then that's a lot of time wasted!
Let me know your thoughts, are you a blogger with a full time job?