This is a post that's honestly been in the works for a while, but I honestly wasn't sure what to write, because I mean, the truth of it is that sometimes I SUCK AT THIS. Working full time, blogging, attempting to have something of a social life, y'know date, go to the gym, meal prep, and well you know stay on top of my shit. Bloody hell, it kind of pushes me to breaking point just thinking about it tbh.
Managing your time as a blogger, especially one that also holds down a 9-5 is difficult. It's stressful, it's trying, and it ultimately forces you to use every little nook and cranny of time that you find in your schedule to work. I spend upto 50 hours a week on my content, meaning that a lot of my spare time, much to the annoyance of my friends, family, ex boyfriends and well everyone around me, is not my own. I recently heard Hannah Gale say that she works harder as a blogger than she ever did as a journalist, and I mean that pretty much just sums it up. I'm not saying that my 9-5 isn't stressful, I'm not saying that I don't put my all into every other job I've ever had. But I can't help but feel that I wouldn't get quite as stressed about a big and stressful client deadline at my day job if I knew that I actually had my evening to myself and not that I had to throw in a few hours of interacting on Instagram, coming up with content ideas, doing an online SEO course and editing some photos for tomorrow's post.
It can often feel relentless. Even once I schedule tweets and social media posts for the day while I'm at my day job, I still have to keep the window open, just to make sure I'm replying to comments on my latest blog post, and that I'm putting some genuine tweets out as well. I mean nothing annoys me more than seeing a feed that's full of all scheduled self promo, and no genuine interaction with your following. I find that I'm constantly asking myself, am I doing enough?
I'll interrupt a movie night with my flatmate to take an insta-story, I'll see some drama kicking off on Twitter and have to voice my opinion, because I mean if I don't, what will people think? Oh shit yesterday's blog post, did I pin those posts on Pinterest? Did I share that post enough yesterday? Do I have enough Instagram photos ready to go in my Planoly? Am I using the right hashtags to grow at an okay rate?
With all this being said, of course I'm not complaining. This site has been my home for over 2 years now, and what can I say, I simply adore creating content. It's something I'm incredibly passionate about, and it's 100% where I see my full time career eventually going. Even though I'm not currently in a position to make blogging my full time income just yet, it's something I certainly don't take for granted. I know that I'm incredibly lucky to be able to make some of my income from blogging.
With all of that being said, these are the ways that I find my life can stay a little bit more sane, by employing these tactics I hope that you find coping with the second job that is blogging just a little bit more manageable.
Look at your Schedule and Identify your Time.
This is going to look different for every single person reading this. I personally work 8:30 to 5:30, meaning that I have an hour at lunch where I usually will sit at my desk, cram a Pret salad down my throat and reply to tweets, comments and generally do some interacting on instagram, twitter and youtube, but I don't actually have that much time to y'know actually produce content.
Around a month ago, I decided to try something new. I switched up my commute, and instead of sweating it out on the district line, I opted to change it up for the bus, this actually only takes me an extra 10 minutes all up, and it means that I'm able to actually use my mornings to reply to tweets, catch up on blog posts, interact on Instagram and not be at the mercy of tube wifi.
I've also started to go into work an hour prior to my start time. This means that I am able to fit in an extra 5 hours a week where I can edit photos or videos, write up content, or just do some general admin, like plan out my content for that week, schedule tweets + pins, and reply to emails. It's honestly been a game changer.
I will generally spend 2-3 hours every evening doing work on my content, and replying to emails. Of course this is totally flexible depending on my schedule that week, but I'll make sure I do that for at least 2-3 days a week, in addition to spending one weekend day filming videos and working on my content along with some general blog admin.
Find the Scheduler that Works for You and Revolve your Life around it.
Oh schedulers, WHERE WAS I BEFORE YOU? But seriously, schedulers honestly make this gal's life the easiest thing in terms of my content, and I mean what can I say, I'm a fan.
For Tweets, I am a loyal Buffer fan. I have their Awesome package, which sets me back around £7.99 a month, but makes my life SO much easier. I've tried quite a few schedulers, and the thing that always brings me back to Buffer is their Re-buffer feature, it simply makes my scheduling of tweets so much more speedy than without. I have a spreadsheet which I follow everyday for sharing my content through tweets, and the re-buffer feature means I can schedule a day's worth of tweets in around 10 minutes, in comparison to the 20+ it would take me without Buffer. I mean guys, that's a whole extra hour throughout the week that's mine. I FEEL LIKE I JUST CHEATED TIME.
For Pinterest, I love using Board Booster. Board Booster works by creating secret pinterest boards that only you can see, these are the boards that you pin and re-pin content to throughout the week and Board Booster will pin this content to your visible boards at optimal posting times that will get you the most engagement.
It's just such an easy way for me to stay on top of things during the week, meaning that I have more time for myself, my actual job, and y'know creating content that I hope you guys will like. Again, this sets me back around £7.99 a month, but seeing what HUGE traffic source pinterest can be, it's well worth it.
Set Realistic Goals
Blogging is time consuming, and crikey, youtube is INSANELY time consuming. And I mean, while I would love to be able to pump out two videos a week for you guys, it just isn't that achievable for me right now. I love youtube, and I want to get better, I want to make my videos higher quality, and I want to do a newsletter, a podcast, I mean really I just have so many ideas for SO many projects that I want to do. But hey ho, I've got to be realistic. In a year or two, when I will hopefully be doing this full time I'll be in a better place to achieve these goals, but right now, that just isn't how things are going.
My current aim is to consistently stick to the schedule I've made for myself, which at present is 3 posts a week, 1 video, and posting everyday on Instagram. So newsletters, podcasts, that extra youtube video and y'know world domination, you'll just have to wait a bit okay.
The way that you stay organised will be SO massively different for everyone. I'm a back to basics kind of girl when it comes to staying organised, meaning as much as I love my digital tools, I know that all of my best blogging ideas come out of my notebooks. There's something about putting pen to paper that gets my creative juices flowing, so I pretty much have a notebook with me at all times.
And I mean everywhere, on the district line, on a night out, on a date, in the middle of a work day, I'll be jotting down blog and content ideas that I can get working on when I get home.
If you're more of a digital gal, then I know so many friends and bloggers who rely on things like One Note and Evernote as organisation and productivity tools. These are also great because they all have phone and ipad apps, so you're able to sync your work and access it anywhere inspiration might hit you.
I know that some people will look at this post and think GIIIIIIRL where's your you time? And I mean, I do fit it in, but ultimately time is money, and I know the more time I can put towards my side hustle, the less it will be a side hustle. My 'me' time is my blog time, and I mean it's not for everyone, but it's just the way I've found I'm able to be productive.