How to Balance Blogging with the Day Job

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As the sun is streaming in through the window on this lovely spring Sunday afternoon I'm steadfastly at work in my home office, catching up on emails, plotting the following week's posts, and writing, writing, writing, until my fingers can't take any more (or I run out of the steady stream of coffee to drink).

As someone who works full time as well as blogs and freelances, this has been my life for, well, as long as I can remember! I do all of these things because I love them all and they keep me afloat creatively, and financially, however these components wouldn't be able to come together and work like a well-oiled machine without a decent amount of sacrifice, and planning.

Many of you are probably in the same boat of trying to balance full time work with blogging, and truth be told, it can be quite a juggling act when factoring the spare time one has to allot to something such as a blog when they aren't commuting, taking care of pets, kids, being with significant others, friends, or simply exhausted. I've put together a list of some of the items that I've incorporated to try to stay as productive and anxiety-free as possible when it comes to balancing the day job and blogging:

Prioritize and Plan

Honestly, it is the simplest thing ever, but sometimes being super busy with a day job doesn't allow for much else, so figuring out a head of time what content and blog-related tasks you are going to do for the week, and when, when help you actually get to what you need to do rapidly and efficiently. I like to keep a running tally of blog-related items I need to do via “Google Tasks,” rank them in order of importance, and then transfer the most important ones to write or do for the week to a “Stickies” note on my desktop. I then make more of an outline for each post, and try to get 3-4 done in one sitting. If I am super tired or can't dedicate the energy to write at the moment, I will at least edit and format the pics for several of these posts at once, then come back and write when I feel more refreshed and motivated.

Time is of the Essence

Some might be able to actually do the planning, and even writing from the day job, while others have to offset blog time to the evenings, weekends, or early mornings before work. Find a time that may consistently work for you, and try to make that time always ‘blog time,' so that you ensure it happens, and others understand to try to avoid interrupting you while you are working. I also like to build in “buffer time” and allow a little more time than what I think I need to get these tasks done, in case I decide to spend more time researching a post, or just generally when “life” happens, i.e. the dog needs to be walked, my neighbors are being loud and I need to relocated to a quieter spot, or hunger strikes and I need to go make a meal.

Be Realistic

Although I'd love to have multiple posts go live every day, and can make it a soft goal, in reality I would have to quite my full time job to be able to fulfill that goal. I know that, given my schedule, I'm lucky if I get one done a day. If you are realistic with how much you can accomplish, it will help to diminish the guilt that can arise when trying to balance your job with blogging. It's easy to feel like you are neglecting your site, but in reality, you are doing the most that is humanly possible with the time given.

Be Accepting

So with the aspect of being realistic with your goals, be accepting of the fact that the time you may need to use for blogging will cut into your spare time that can be spent with friends, family, or doing other things for yourself like hobbies, reading a book, watching TV, etc. I'm not saying to cut out this time completely, but you may want to manage it a bit; go to your cousin's birthday party, but know (and stick to) that you will need to leave by 11pm so that you can get up early the next day to blog, or skip those mimosas at brunch with the girls so that you can return home and have a product writing session. If you love your blog, and do want it to be an integral part of your life, this won't be so difficult as it may sound,  to put into place.

Don't Be So Harsh on Yourself

Honestly, blogging and working full time is really A LOT, and can sometimes border on “too much.” Most likely though, you are your toughest critic when it comes to keeping up with blogging and working full time, so if you come down with a cold, or go on vacation, or are just insanely busy at work and miss posting, it really is not the end of the world. I think it is important to keep a good work/life balance, but also do things for yourself that keep everything in check, so if you need to take some time away because you are feeling burnt out or exhausted, IT IS OKAY.  You know why?  A little r&r can give you the jump start that you need to fuel that next amazing post, proving that you are passionate about your blog,  love doing it and it shows, regardless of working full time on it, or somewhere else.

 

 

How do you find a happy medium between working full-time and your blog?

 

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About The Author

Blogging at her site Fashion Pulse Daily since 2008 and working on fashion's editorial side since 2003 has lent Julia the acumen to think creatively and endure in the colliding worlds of blogging, fashion and beauty. New York City is her backdrop for inspiration (and many a outfit photo), where she is often found on her couch, feverishly typing away at her latest post, with her trusty feline at her side. Follow her on Instagram , Twitter, and Pinterest.

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61 Responses

  1. Paulina

    I’m soooo on this boat, it’s the ongoing struggle to find a balance. You have some great tips, I know that I def need to get better at planning posts ahead of time. Usually I prepare the writing for as many posts when I feel very expressive because I know that there are just some days that I have writer’s block. I’m glad that you added that last paragraph, sometimes when I don’t post as often I feel like all of my readers are going to go away- it’s like this fear I have- but you are so right, it is not the end of the world 🙂

    ~Pau
    http://www.lilbitsofchic.com

    Reply
  2. Corinne Alexandra

    Planning and scheduling has been a life (and time) saver for me. When I’m at school full-time during the day, then have to come home to work on freelance projects, there’s hardly any time for blogging. Since I only post on weekdays, I use my “off time” on the weekends to write and queue up all my posts.

    Reply
  3. Asia Mays

    Ugh! yes. It is so easy to be hard on yourself, but at the sametime, it is worth it with the little bit of pulling together for posts from time to content. Its all about planning. Great read.

    Reply
  4. Briana Iwuji

    Great ideas. I work full time, blog, and I have three small children. Being able to schedule posts and tweets for the week early Saturday morning works for me. Wish I could blog in the evenings after work, but that time is mostly bathtime, dinner and homework. Gah! It will get easier– I know! 🙂

    Reply
  5. Grace

    Your last point hits home! I started blogging in ’09 and got to a point where I had a good following and getting lots of comments. Then I got exhausted and neglected my blog, only sporadically posting for a year or so. Now that I’m back again, I feel like I have to start all over again.

    Grace
    vitaMinnStyle.blogspot.com

    Reply
  6. MonicaP

    I’ve finally figured out that I need to shoot pics on the weekend so I can write content during the week. I’d love to do a more ‘spur of the moment’ type of blog, but my camera man (husband) travels and I haven’t mastered self portraits.

    So my blog pics may be from last weekend when I post, but .. it’s the best I can do and I’m happy with that.

    Monica
    http://www.pear-shaped-gal.com

    Reply
  7. Laura

    I should definitely work on a plan/schedule for my blog. It’s really hard for me to do a post every week since I’m working and at the same time in school. But I guess with good planning You can manage almost everything:)

    Great post!

    -Laura
    http://laery.com

    Reply
  8. Dominique Bennett

    GREAT POST!
    I’ve learned to combine my passions into my 9-5, I’m a digital communications rep so I’m able to blog/maintain social media/and create videos during the day which LUCKILY help me to build on my skills.
    I’d love to read about some more about some of the tools and resources you use to help prioritize and organize

    Reply
  9. Hope Howland

    So good!! I wrote something incredibly similar recently and it’s true… we do a lot and we deserve a gold star… Thanks for the encouragement and tips!
    Hope
    hchdesigns.blogspot.com

    Reply
  10. Pinksole

    Originally I wanted to post once a day but with my day job I quickly realized that was not feasible. So I settled for 4 posts a week, 5 if I have some extra time. And my blog did not suffer, over the weekend I really try to upload all my pics, I just wished I had more time for social media. Although I do use hootsuite to schedule posts, I had a cold recently and really struggled to keep it together. I really need to take it easy on myself, and I get absolutely no help when it comes to my blog. It is really a one woman show, I need one of those photographer boyfriend lol.

    xo
    http://pinksole.com

    Reply
  11. Liz {What Dress Code?}

    These are all the tips and tricks that I know in the back of my mind but that continuously get pushed further back there when life steps in. It’s such a great reminder to not stress too much about things and to seriouslyyy remember the time saved with an editorial calendar!

    Reply
  12. dacy

    This really hits home, I work full time and post 5-6 times a week and am starting a personal styling business on the side. My main issue is that I’ve felt like there’s always more to do, the to-do list never gets shorter, but perhaps that’s where the be less harsh on myself thing can come in. Does anyone else feel as though there’s some blog content that’s just time-sensitive and has to get written and posted asap or it won’t be relevant anymore? I often feel that way…

    Reply
    • Chelsey

      Absolutely! A lot of times I’ll have a trend post on my list or scheduled to go out later on and I’ll feel like it needs to go out immediately in order to stay relevant. This is easily one of the big hurdles I’ve struggled with as a fashion blogger: knowing when it’s okay to keep the post scheduled versus recognizing when it should go out immediately.

      Reply
  13. Michaela d'Artois

    Such a necessary and honest post. Trying to keep up a blog and work full time can literally drive you crazy, especially when what you clearly want to be spending your time doing is blogging! I think that learning to balance the two will only do good in your life and bring creativity and freshness into your day job!

    xxx
    M
    http://fashion415.com/coco-life/

    Reply
  14. Juliana Bui

    I have a bit of a problem with procrastinating, so for me, getting rid of that problem will really help with writing my posts and everything without feeling overwhelmed. The other tips really helped as well – thanks for sharing!

    – Juliana
    http://cocoandpicasso.blogspot.ca/

    Reply
  15. Julz

    Planning and scheduling is a big part! Oh my gosh this post has encouraged me more. I thought I wouldnt be able to blog by doing this full time and my side jobs and my real fulfilmant job which is ebay. Juggling all these tasks in my life has been a struggle. BUT knowing what you love to do and knowing its your job is amazing! I have no reason to stop (:

    Thanks for this post!
    ~Julz

    Reply
  16. Bohmyi

    I don’t have a day job but I am a student who balances a social life and school and extracurricular activities as well as blogging so this was such a useful post for me! Thank you so much for sharing the tips, lovely! x

    Reply
  17. Asia

    I’m just getting into learning how to balance it all. It’s kind of difficult but I’ve figured a way to work full-time, have a social life, and continue blogging. Blogging has become a past-time for me. So usually when I would be doing something like watching tv or doing my nails, you’re likely to catch me blogging instead; or thinking of new topics to post. I’m disciplining myself to blog at a certain hour which is a few hours after I get home from work and have settled down a bit but still a bit revved up or in the morning before I leave for work. And then I’ll probably doing something blog-related or on instagram on my break because I’m addicted. lol

    waybeyonda.blogspot.com

    Reply
  18. Belinda

    Since I started my new full time job last June I have gradually learnt to plan my posts ahead. While having sunday/monday off I dedicate some of my time doing outfit posts/scheduling then through the week replying to comments and networking. I just find that life does get in the way sometimes of my blog but I put as much effort in as I can and the point you made of ‘being realistic’ is what you have to be otherwise you just stress yourself out too much.
    I do love my job, while with other projects I have planned I can hopefully do a bit more with my blog but we shall see! Thanks for posting, it’s made me feel a lot better about my blogging and brought me to a level head 🙂

    Reply
  19. Sarah Harman

    Great post!

    I struggle occasionally working in a full time job in the digital media industry and blogging on the side. It means I’ll work all day getting inspired by new content and ways I can improve my blog, but then I’m too tired to do anything about it in the evenings and weekends. I’ve also just recently moved house so my usual blog time is now fulfilled with unpacking time. Hopefully soon once I’ve unpacked and sorted out the house I can put some time aside for blogging and set myself a scheduled.

    Thanks again for this post, it can be really tough working long hours and trying to squeeze in blogging!

    Sarah x
    sarahloves.co.uk

    Reply
    • Julia Dinardo

      I totally know what you mean Sarah; when I learn about new ways to improve my site, but then don’t have time to actually execute it, it becomes frustrating, but you’ve got to take it all in stride and it will happen. Congrats on the move!

      Reply
  20. Ariana

    Great post! So helpful. I just recently started working full time again and balancing blogging with working has been difficult. When I get home I am tired and not motivate and on the weekend all I want to do is socialize and be lazy. 🙁 But I believe planning would help a lot and getting some posts done ahead of time like three in one day on a weekend so in the evenings during the work week I can do other things like social media, email follow ups etc. Still finding a happy medium but I am going to give the planning ahead a try. Thank you!

    Ariana
    Shopaholic Undercover

    Reply
  21. stylecurated

    It certainly takes prioritization, time management and sacrifice to be able to do well at both blogging and being successful at my full time job! I’ve reduced posting to 3 times a week and set aside time one night a week to write posts. Sometimes I’ll write blog posts on my subway rides to and from work.
    -jen
    http://www.stylecurated.com

    Reply
    • Julia Dinardo

      lol that is great! I love that you use the commuting time totally to your advantage – I need to do more of that. 🙂

      Reply
  22. Jenn Staz

    I’m glad to hear you also work full time, Julia. All of your tips are incredibly valuable and ones that I try to apply to my blogging life versus my life of the working woman and being a good wife.
    Finding the right block of time that works consistently for blogging efforts is key, and in fact, the theme of my new creative blog. I’m still struggling with the best time for me, but it truly does seem like making the time before work is the best solution since I’m often way too burnt out from my day job by the time I get home.
    Thanks for sharing your tips (and also for acknowledging that we need to make time for ourselves and to stay balanced… and to eat meals, haha)

    Reply
  23. Brandy Saldana

    It is nice to be reminded that I don’t have to beat myself up for not posting frequently. I have yet to find a manageable schedule, but I am leaning towards writing up more than one post in one sitting and have them ready for the week. I’ll have to start implementing that and creating task lists I can check off.

    Thanks for the tips!

    Brandy
    willbakeforshoes.com

    Reply
  24. Melinda's Musings

    Thanks! I needed this post! I’m having a hard time finding a balance with my full time job, blogging, small business ideas, and various family/friends commitments. I know one thing I need to do ASAP is get organized. I’ll try out Google Tasks.

    Reply
  25. Barbara

    Whenever people ask me what I do I usually have to ask something like this – by day or by night? formal or informal?; and they wonder what I mean. I then explain to them that I have 2 FULL-TIME jobs. THEN the questions start flowing. The question I get asked the most is how I manage to handle a successful online reputation along with being a professional makeup artist while building my digital marketing skills along with my 9-5 job as a Manager at an Advertising Agency.
    A couple weeks ago it dawned on me that unconsciously I have perfectly learned the art of compartmentalizing my life in perfect, unlinkable sectors. Some may say it is creepy but that is the only thing that has kept me sane in the 2 years since my life became like this.

    You could’t be more correct with the ‘Be realistic’ & ‘Don’t be too harsh on yourself’ points. I had to learn those the hard way when I almost burnt myself out (and I still stretch myself to the limit sometimes).

    Thank you for this post Julia

    Barbara
    http://www.barbara1923.com

    Reply
  26. Kayla

    I find myself inspired a lot throughout the day but when I get home from work I am so exhausted to put my thoughts into writing. I am a big believer in finding time for your passion. Recently, I’ve been writing posts on the subway using Evernote on my phone during my commute to work. I find that’s when I’m truly inspired without relying on the Internet or outside sources. My commute to work is usually when I feel most creative and Evernote is a great app to jot posts and lists on the go.

    Thank you for these great tips.

    Reply
  27. Rania

    I find this article very helpful- I totally relate. I’m an Account Manager at an advertising company and work 9-5 and have minimal time to focus on my blog during the workday – it kills me. I agree with Kayla – Evernote is a great tool to jot down thoughts/posts when I find myself inspired but away from a computer. Awesome post!

    Reply
  28. Samiksha

    I believe that is the biggest problem, taking out time from the day job and also the household chores. It’s quite difficult to manage a blog side by side including writing, promotions and responses.

    Reply
  29. Kenneth Jacobs

    I planned my editorial calendar weeks in advance, but I have a bad habit of writing my post the day I want to post it. With my 2 jobs and lack of resources, it can be difficult at times. But like you said, we shouldn’t beat ourselves up. Thankfully, things are looking up for myself; now I’ll be able to prepare my blogs post before hand because I received a new computer recently 🙂

    Kenneth
    http://www.thefashionatefotobug.com

    Reply
  30. The Dazzling Diva

    Thanks so much for this post! I know my situation might border on extreme neglect, but I had some life and job changes and my blog fell far by the wayside for several months. To reenergize things, I’m currently revamping the look of my blog and I’m taking a photography class with a used DSLR I purchased. To help going forward, I’m planning to tackle fewer posts a week and try to schedule them to post. Because I have to be realistic with myself – this is a hobby, that I enjoy immensely, but for me it doesn’t pay my bills (unfortunately).

    http://www.thedazzdiva.com

    Reply
  31. Ashley

    Thank you for all of these helpful tips! It really can be tough to manage a full-time job, a blog, and that thing called life. I agree with many of you that recognizing and taking advantage of when you’re feeling expressive can really give you an edge in sticking to a solid editorial schedual. There are some days when I feel so burnt out or have such writers block and know I won’t be accomplishing much. Glad to know we’re in it together….

    Reply
  32. Elaine C

    I try to maximize my time for blogging and day job by creating outfits that can be easily photographed while on the go. Like most of my outfits are while vacationing (when we will be taking photos anyway) or while going to events after work with friends. I don’t plan it out since I think it causes more stress for me anyways. Blogging is just a fun way to escape the stresses of my day job! 😉

    Reply
  33. Gwen

    I feel so guilty not being able to update my blog and not being able to meet my goals in terms of blogging. I may be in denial but yes juggling between a regular job and blogging is really tough. I end up neglecting my blog and even thought of giving it up entirely which makes me really really sad. But reading this and all the comments of other bloggers struggling to keep up their blog inpires me.

    xo,
    Gwen
    greenbellpepper.net

    Reply
  34. Stefanie Grace

    I love this post, So much resonates with me and sometimes, it’s good just to hear that somebody else is in the same boat. I’m working on finding apps for scheduling so that old posts can also be recirculated if I’m busy. I also try to have some basic photo posts prepped for days when I haven’t had time for what is scheduled. I have also now found a happy balance, posting every two days instead of every day. This helps me to balance my whole life and I can get about 4 posts up a week at the moment.

    Thanks for this! 🙂

    Reply
  35. Raven Rosie

    This was enjoyable. I feel like networking is probably the most time consuming thing for me, especially as a full time worker outside of blogging. I would LOVE my blog to be well known but getting the word out there is so tedious! It’s something that has to be done though. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    -Raven Rosie

    Reply
  36. Charley

    This post completely describes my situation, only as a DIY blog where entries/projects can take anything up to 20 hours (if I’m unlucky enough as that’s never part of the plan) I’m lucky to get 2 entries in a week never mind more than one a day!

    http://chiccheat.co.uk

    Reply
    • Hayley

      As a DIY blogger, why would you want to try and post more than twice a week? That sounds like plenty for what you do!
      Remember you want your audience to be able to repeat your posts in their own time too so give them a chance to do that, otherwise they’ll feel like you do… too many to catch up with.
      In-between your DIY posts you could always post a single image or two of what’s inspiring your post to come?

      I’m gonna have a sneak peek now at some of your posts! Head up girl x

      Reply
  37. Hayley

    My blogs been going for over four years now and in the beginning I would post several times a day EVERYDAY. But the content wasn’t full articles, it would sometimes just be a single photo.

    I went through a phase recently where my blog came to a stand still as it felt exhausting to keep up with on top of everything else (plus I felt my other social media platforms did their jobs well enough and my blog wasn’t needed).
    I’ve found a new inspired focus and honestly took all the pressure off to be current with my posts or post a certain amount of times a week. I’m back to enjoying it again and I think in time, it’ll show!

    My two cents for anyone having the same struggle! x

    Reply
  38. Ana

    I feel much better now! Guilt was killing me, especially now when I have a baby too! 🙂

    Reply
  39. Musank

    Thank you so much for this post. As a lot of commenters already said, it’s nice to see that we are not alone!

    Reply
  40. Angie

    This was good to read. Balancing blogging with a day job can be overwhelming and quite the challenge. It’s getting more difficult for me to blog consistently since a change in my day job. But I have a network of bloggers, and it helps when they blog. Guest bloggers are a great help, too.

    Reply