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”?