This Blog Tip Tuesday post is coming to you from Alex of Alex Tries it Out.

Why do you blog? For most of us, it’s a fun hobby. For a lucky few, it’s a career. Ask ten bloggers, though, and I think you’d find that over half of them are juggling running a blog along with a separate, full-time "day job". I’ve been doing this for about two and a half years now, so I have some tips to share on the matter.

Blend Work and Play

This is easier for some of us than others, but I enjoy letting my work blend into my hobby when I can. For me, this mostly comes in the form of recognizing how a skill I learn for work might come in handy for the blog. For instance, I’m constantly working on SEO for my company’s website. I knew nothing about SEO, so I had to learn from scratch. But as I did, I went home at night and also applied that knowledge to my blog!

What are you good at- (1)

Think about the work you do. Is there a skill that you do on a daily basis that’s easy, but might be difficult for others? Write a how-to post and get creative! Yes, I work in marketing, so I know a lot about blogging as a whole. But if you ask me how to itemize my blog expenses when filing a tax return, I’d be clueless! (So … someone write about how I should do that, okay?)

Time management is Key

This is my number one tip when it comes to juggling a full time job with a blog. You just have to be organized with how you use your time! In my typical day, I have about two hours of "free" time once I factor in work, commuting, a workout, and dinner. Since I’m in graduate school part-time, I have to juggle that 2 hours between any personal things I need to get done, homework for my class, and blog business (blogging, responding to comments, AND replying to emails). It’s a short window, so if I don’t commit to using it wisely, it’s gone before I know it.

If you’re struggling to find balance, Google Calendar can be a great way to schedule out your week. You can then visually see where you have holes, and "assign" your blog time accordingly (along with anything else you need to do!). In this typical week, my work is in green, workouts in purple, schoolwork in gold, and “blog time” in red.

Google Calendar

In addition to scheduled time management, always be alert to any unexpected "holes" in your day when you could potentially get some work done. Some people find it’s easy to do this in the morning when they wake up – these are not my people, mind you – I prefer to take advantage of this as I’m waiting for things throughout the day. Meeting a friend for dinner and she’s 15 minutes late? That’s a window when you could brainstorm blog topics for the month. Waiting in line at the supermarket? Spend the five minutes replying to a couple of blog comments. Smart phones have made things easier for us to work on-the-go. You might as well take advantage!

Know Your Priorities

This is a tricky one. I’m not going to name names, but I know bloggers who blog on their company’s time. If that works for you, that’s great! Keep on keeping on. I know some people can do that with no issue. However, I urge you to know your priorities. I love my blog, but I love my job (oh, and the actual paycheck that lets me pay rent) even more. Blogging at work will often get you in hot water, so be careful!

Know Your Priorities (1)

Every once in awhile, I get struck with some "blogspiration" mid workday. That’s bound to happen, and it will! So I don’t interrupt my workday, I typically take 30 seconds to write down the idea (typically in Evernote) and get back to work. I can’t spend work time pondering over that idea, but if I write it down, I can go back to it later. This is also helpful when you’ve been too busy to blog much. Take the time, write all those distracting thoughts down, and you won’t lose track of them.

Knowing your priorities also means knowing how much time you’re willing to commit to your blog, versus your full-time job. Maybe you are trying to "make it big" and live off your blog. In that case, you won’t choose to work extra hours at your day job to get ahead, you’ll choose to use that time to work on your blog. Either way is okay, but make sure you know what is most important to you in the long run.

Give Yourself a Break

I have to remind myself of this one, too. You aren’t a full-time blogger, so don’t try and compare yourself to one. If you aren’t blogging every single day, that’s not a big deal! The fact that you’re working full-time, juggling family and friends, your other responsibilities and still have a blog, is enough. It’s easy to get caught up in comparing yourself to other bloggers, and that’s a dangerous game. You need to do what you can manage, and still have a healthy, well-balanced life. For me, that used to be blogging 5 days a week. Right now, that means I publish two posts, maybe three, on a good week. It was hard for me to make that transition, but once I accepted it was what I should do, I was much more at peace with myself.

What other tips do you have for blogging with a full-time job?

Alex Meyer is a Crossfitter, runner, and blogger, with a splash of geek thrown in, out of Des Moines, Iowa. She writes about trying new experiences, foods, products, and places, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle while on the go.


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