Despite our best intentions and wishes coupled with the deserved success of other in the field - gaining any kind of notoriety let alone a full time career can be tough in blogging. Creating a wage from your space on the internet is not a goal achieved by everyone. Whether it be due to personal choice, lifestyle, just not worked out or that's not how you want to earn your income. This means blogging has to be a balance of passion and how you actually pay the bills. So in not wanting to give up your release or form of expression, how do you find a harmony between work and your blog?
Use Your Lunch Break
As I'm back to working now spending whole days working solely on my blog are few and far between and although I'm not allowed to go on my blog and social media - there are some things you can do still keep the fires burning. During my 45 mins you'll find me eating my sandwich and handwriting out the next blog post on the schedule, creating a new monthly plan and research for any potential post.
Preparation Is Key
When trying to find some equilibrium with everything going off in your life preparation can be a life saver this can take many forms, below are only a few things to do to when you want to gain a bit of control and not feel so overwhelmed:
- Write out small lists of all your ventures & plans
- Research key points to potential blog posts
- Create small piles of props for each image / blog post
- Look at your past analytics & look at what works well
- Bulk edit Instagram images
- Screenshot what inspires you for an inspirational mood board
- Charging your equipment before you use it
- Schedule posts the night before
- Hand write out the next post
- Prepare the headers / footers to your work
- Tidy your working space / bedroom to clear your head
- Organise an instagram theme ahead of publishing the date
I'll admit I'm not the most organised of people but over the years I've come to understand what makes me tick when doing any kind of work, for example I'm more of a natural night owl which makes my productivity work a little differently in comparison to others. Being prepared can be take some of the stress off and can make your blogging feel less rushed whilst still maintaining the quality you want.
Push On Through
Despite the above point, sometimes you just need to keep on going. When I moved my blog to Squarespace, a few weeks were dedicated purely to the blog from designing, to photography to formatting codes the only time I left my computer alone or didn't think about what comes next was to have food and sleep. It meant a lot late night and earlier starts but the happiness and reward I got from completing this project was overwhelming. On occasion it's worth making that extra effort and going outside your normal parameters can work wonders, it can take a toll of your mental and physical health (which is a factor to consider) but this can be eased with preparation plus still making sure to find those moments to focus on yourself.
Work During The Weekend
When you come home after the work day it can be hard to get back in the zone and be your creative self plus as we're heading into the later months it means the nights are drawing in so concepts like taking photographs (especially in natural) can be incredibly difficult. Depending on how you feel about your working week you may feel like it's completely appropriate to sleep the whole weekend but a great way to keep up to date even ahead of the game can be to take advantage of those more relaxed hours. You can take things at your own pace and do lots of little jobs that make up a lot of productivity. It may not be long enough but it's a good time to not think about the stresses of work and be a busy bee.
Don't Be Too Hard On Yourself // Ease Up On Your Expectations
Blogging (despite what some may say) even if you're a part time or hobbyist blogger it's surprisingly time consuming so fitting it all in with your work life, social life, sleep, other hobbies, food and time focusing on yourself can be unrealistic at times. The fact is we can't all be the next big thing, it takes a lot of dedication, hard work and that one lucky moment that could help propel you further. Which means understanding your statistics, how you write, what you write about and what you can give to your beloved blog factoring all this could take a long time to get going or find your rhythm. Numbers can be a big element of any social media presence as the more (organically) you have it's a bigger potential audience to broadcast to and although numbers aren't the reason many of us get into writing our thoughts down on the internet, however when you see a peak, plateau or dip it's natural to feel elated, deflated or stuck. Having a realistic view but also the knowledge of when to step back and take stock of the blog can be invaluable when you want come back with a bigger impact or fresh perspective. Easing up on what you expect of yourself and the blog can be of a benefit in the long run, as I've possibly taken the longer route being a part time blogger, what I want from my space has changed over time as how I approach it.
How do balance the 9-5 of a work day with your passions?