Keep It Simple: 4 Tips for the Part-Time or Hobby Blogger

fashion blogger wearing sweater
Many of the members in the IFB Community are hobby bloggers or part-time bloggers, myself included!  I'm sure by now you've all realized that blogging can quickly take over your life if you let it and that maintaining a blog-work-life balance can be incredibly challenging.

While I always advocate a “work smarter, not harder” mentality, I think this is especially important for those of us who can't devote 40 or 60 hours a week (or even 10 or 20 hour) to growing our sites, creating new content, commenting on other blogs, and interacting with readers.  Our time is split and every priority is demanding so much of it!

Prioritize: focus on the basics.

When you have limited time, remember: Keep it simple, stupid! (the KISS adage).

Use a strong and clean but simple site design.  Then you don't have the worry about fussing with html and css code!

Focus on the core of your site– the content.  Focus on creating consistent, quality content in a realistic schedule.  Ask what you can honestly post a week without burdening yourself or stressing you out.  Maybe that's 2 posts (pop them in Tuesday & Thursday). Maybe it's 3 (Monday, Wednesday, Friday!).

A new technology app or website is launched every month. Don't focus your time on establishing leadership and authority in every site that comes along.  What sites work for you?  Which don't?  Think honestly about them, and cull the others from your life.  (If I were honest, I'd get rid of Twitter. My account has just turned into noise and engagement has gone down so much over the years.)  The only ones I wouldn't cull are those that make you happy: I love Pinterest, but it drives no traffic to my site.  That's okay — I do it because I love THEIR site, not for what it can do for MY site.

Ask (& Answer): “What's important to me?”

Following on my advice about sticking with the sites that work with you, figure out what's important to you in blogging.

Is it commenting and community?  If so, put your precious spare time into that (because you have to give to get).

Is it building a portfolio of your styling abilities, writing skills, or photography talents?  Focus on your content. Produce consistent (even if it's twice a month!), quality content that highlights those abilities and shares your talents.

Is it networking with other bloggers and brands, with the goal of moving into your dream job? Maybe then you want to make sure you're staying genuinely connected.  Email people instead of tweeting at them.  Reach out for recent lookbooks and new product lines.  Be sure to engage with the bloggers you love in multiple formats, but don't be afraid to also send them an email saying hi!

Is it earning a bit of extra income?  If so, build up your SEO and put some more effort and energy into the various ways to monetize your blog.  Focus on selling any services you have above.

You may find that you have multiple things that are truly important to you– if that's the case, I'd take a hard look at how much time you have and prioritize how important they are to you.  Focus on the #1 always; focus on #2 & #3 when you have extra time.  Anything below those? Put them on the back burner until you have more time.

Create realistic expectations.

This is hard, because we all want to believe we're superwoman (or -man).  The tips above are written to help you scale back and recognize that there is so much you can realistically do (or want to do)!

If you don't have the time to manage ads and build brand relationships, don't do it.  No one says you have to.  If you don't have the time to be active on social media, don't do it.  It's as simple as that.  Instead of pushing yourself to do everything (because other bloggers are doing it), figure out what works for you, and do it.

From how often you can post, to how long it will take you get up a review or how quickly you can respond to emails, be realistic about what you can do.  It'll feel better.

Remember: It's just the internet.

Easier said than done, am I right?

At the end of the day, unless blogging is your full-time job and you've got mouths to feed, this is your hobby.  You do it part-time.  Maybe you do it to help support your shopping habit or earn a little extra cash to put towards your student loans.

But you do it because you love blogging, you love fashion or shopping, and you want a way to express yourself, meet others, and have fun.  If you have to step back, that's okay. It's just the internet.

As my priorities in life and blogging have changed over the years, these tips and a shift in my attitude have made blogging more pleasurable again (and less pressure)!  Are you a part-time or hobby blogger?  What tips do you find to help manage the expectations and feelings you have to “do it all”?

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25 Responses

  1. Asia Mays

    Wonderful. As I’ve become a part-time blogger, it is so easy to get into the mode of which offers complete overload, so the reality of the internet, simply being the internet, hits!
    As well, I appreciate being part-time, allowing time to create and manage better,
    scheduling research, shoot time..heavy user now of my google calendar btw.
    I digress, great posting!

  2. danielle

    i used to blog full time along with a full time job. i was completely exhausted and finally made the decision to blog part time. now i hold myself accountable for at least 1 post/week. i’ve never been happier. it allows me to produce one quality post a week and gives me a lot more flexibility to shoot around my work and personal life. oddly enough- focusing on quality instead of quantity has actually resulted in an increase in traffic to more blog and more recognition from brands. funny how that works out!

  3. War Julian

    What a great advise!
    1. Don’t take it sooo seriously that you end up getting pressured and stressed out.
    2. Enjoy. Just enjoy and have fun on what you’re doing.

  4. Mila

    Thanks for writing! It’s very easy to get a little stressed out when trying to keep up with the new technology and reading/commenting on other blogs.

  5. Taylor

    I’m always finding new blogs that are all different, and I keep saying to myself, “oh I could do that!’ but I get myself overwhelmed with too many ‘mini’ projects and they turn out to be bigger than I first thought.
    Sometimes (like now) I just want to start over, like you said, it’s just the internet, but at the same time, I’ve put the better half of three years into my blog and building it’s followers. Not to mention I’ve put some money into it.
    I recently switched from blogger to wordpress, thinking it would be easy, but I can’t figure out how to get my domain name to work on wordpress and I’ve lost traffic.
    I’m really frustrated and could use some advice. :/


  6. Camille

    I think that once you can change your mindset about blogging, it becomes something totally different.

    I used to think of my blog as something necessary to build my career in the fashion world, but now I think of it as just sort of an online portfolio that tracks my progress and allows others to see what I’m up to!

    Since I have changed my mindset- blogging has become SO much more enjoyable!


  7. A Girl, A Style

    What a great post! As a part-time (but passionate) blogger, I have to balance my blog and writing commitments around my full-time (and very demanding) day job and the rest of my life, which means I’m always struggling to find balance (and having blog-neglect guilt as a result). I haven’t quite found the solution yet, but I’m trying to be more gentle and realistic with myself and what I can give to the blog each week.

    Thanks for the reminder that I’m not the only one!

    Briony xx


  8. Sabrina

    Thank you so much for this! Right now, I am a part time blogger but I do it because I LOVE to write about fashion, lifestyle and trends. It’s so important to emphasize the importance of loving what you do. If you love what you do, then it’s not work 🙂

  9. Johanna

    This comes at just the right time for me! Being a perfectionist, it is so hard to stop, take a breath, and remind myself “I do not need this”. Twitter is so hard for me, I just don’t enjoy using it that much – I just want to stalk celebrities, is that too much to ask?! Thanks for writing this, I will keep it bookmarked as a reminder to calm down and do what I can to the best of my abilities.
    xx Johanna

  10. Heather

    So, so true! Thanks for this reminder. I agree with all of your points. The only thing I have to point out is how much I enjoy doing it and wish that I could dedicate full-time hours into my hobby blog. This is the reason for the tension between wanting to do so much more and not being able to. So, my mantra today is..’it’s just the internet!’ — love that.

  11. Maruf Abdullah

    Thanks for your nice post. It is really nice for some great tips for new bloggers. Hope it it will also helpful for older.

  12. Jessica

    Thanks for the great tips. I’m a newbie hobby blogger. My advice:
    – Keep a notepad and pen on hand at all times. You never know when you’ll be inspired by something that can be turned into content for your blog. And it keeps from having to sit for hours trying to think of what to write and how to make the content interesting to your readers. Remember, everything around us can provide inspiration.

    -Don’t forget a camera. Pictures help to engage readers and adds a splash of creativity to your posts. Whether they’re photos of original work (stylist, designer, typist, etc.) or things you like, photos help.

    Happy blogging to all.

  13. MonicaP

    After trying to post x-number of times per week, or writing an editorial calendar .. I just find it simple to post twice a week .. one fashion item, one makeup item. I get to blog and follow other bloggers and that’s good enough for me 🙂

    I work full time, take online courses, try to eat right / exercise and play with my 2 yr old cocker spaniel .. blogging can take the back burner 😉

    Monica, www.pear-shaped-gal.com

  14. Paige

    this is seriously helpful, I am totally a hobby blogger! I am also a designer and I occasionally post about my designs but I mainly post content for myself and because I seriously enjoy writing and documenting my adventures! I also work full time and it can be so hard to keep up with it sometimes, but I think that a post twice a week is totally doable and it keeps my mind moving and thinking creatively of things to write about!

  15. Meredith

    this was incredibly good to hear. In fact, just before I found this article, I was going through my emails and thinking, “I REALLY need to blog, its been like 4 days!”
    I needed the reminder that I blog because it makes me happy, and that will only show through to my readers if I keep it that way!

  16. Donna George

    love this site! I have been blogging since March. I want to put some ads on my blog but not sure which ones to use. Any suggestions?


  17. kirsten

    I agree with what you said with twitter that it’s just noise and engagement is lessened. However, I think it’s really giving me a boost for my new blog. I’m glad that I found this article for since I woke up this morning, I’m obsessing over my blog. More power IFB!

  18. Mary Anon

    Thanks. I stumbled upon this website through google. I write a blog geared toward those suffering depression. I need to post more often.
    Although not an ifb, I find this particular blog-post useful. I’m relieved that I don’t have to tweet (for some reason I have never liked twitter.)
    My blog goal is informing people, encouraging and helping them. Maybe my blog counts as a non-profit. 😉

  19. Waheeda Mahomed

    Great advice. Thank you. I found your blog by Googling ‘part-time blogger’ and also ‘organize my blogging’ because, although I’ve just recently started my blog (on a whim!), I’ve been feeling slightly overwhelmed about what is EXPECTED of me… Now I realise the answer is NOTHING 🙂 Feels so good to have some perspective

  20. Monika

    Really very informative and an awesome article. I am also a part time blogger and i hope these tips will be very helpful for me. Thanks for sharing.

  21. Milind K.

    Thanks for writing! It’s very easy to get a little stressed out when trying to keep up with the new technology and reading/commenting on other blogs.
    thanks again for sharing nice information.

  22. Nimisha

    Love this site because of cool design and quality content! I have been blogging since last year. I want to put some ads on my blog but not sure which ones to use for affiliate. Any suggestions?

  23. Lisa

    Amazing post! I just launched my first blog and while I plan to work on it part-time, hours have just flown by because I’m having so much fun. The “what’s important to me” is a great reality check. For me, the whole point of blogging is to focus on “me-time” so why waste my time on anything else? I just removed my twitter icon after reading this because I realized that I don’t use twitter at all. What’s the point of having people follow me on twitter if I’m not going to update it? Thanks for sharing this info!

  24. Anil Kumar

    This is really awesome article. Thanks for sharing such a nice article that allows me to produce quality post every week and gives me a lot more flexibility to shoot around my work and personal life. Thanks a lot.

  25. Mary james

    I’m about to go live as a blogger of fashion and soul chats! I am so nervous!
    Would love to get in touch with other bloggers