There is nothing like the thrill of sharing thoughts and ideas with others. Managing, designing and writing a blog is one of the most rewarding experiences you can give yourself, and can be a serious source of income if managed resourcefully.
The bummer is, you’ll have to work a full-time job until you get there. It can take a lot to get your feet off the ground if you’re new to blogging, and if you’ve been maintaining a blog for a while, you understand what it’s like to feel behind and exhausted by a recklessly busy life.
The truth of it is, we all get the same 24 hours each day. How will you spend yours? Here are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind when managing a blog while holding down a full-time job.
Wake up Earlier
Maybe not the words you want to hear, but don’t knock it ‘till you try it.
I was not a morning person until I started blogging. I realized that after my workday, I was so tired that I didn’t feel like working on anything — even something I loved. My nights were spent with family, and I was finding it harder and harder to carve out time for my writing.
That is, until I started waking up earlier. It was actually easy to learn how to wake up earlier after I started getting better sleep. I try to get up two hours before I go into work each day, so I have a solid amount of time to work on my blog, answer emails, plan social media posts and write. I found that, even within that little hour each morning, I had enough time to get things done.
Working on your blog first thing in the morning is motivating, because you’re putting it first. No one’s ruined your day yet, and you feel ahead of the game when you’re up before the world is. So even though it might be an adjustment at first, you and your blog will be better for it.
Carry a Notepad With You… Everywhere
Yep, you heard me. You’re about to be in grade school again, but instead of a backpack you’ll just keep your spiral notebook in your purse.
Even though you’re working, you can still plan, daydream, envision and get inspired by the people talking and events happening all around you. Keep a notebook with you at all times to ensure no good blogging idea ever escapes you. This will save you a ton of time brainstorming, because when you finally do have time to write, you’ll already have more than one great idea waiting for you.
Automate & Schedule Posts
You probably don’t have time during your busy day to stop right at noon to publish an article — let alone visit all your other social media sites after your post is live to advertise it. Use modern technology to your advantage and invest in apps that can automate your social media.
By scheduling your posts, you’ll maintain consistency for your readers, even when you’re swamped at work or your home life gets busy. Consistency is one of the most important factors in determining your ability to maintain and continue to engage your audience.
You can even use apps like Buffer to link your social media accounts and post to multiple sites at once. This is a great way to reach out to as many people as possible and to cut down on the amount of time you’re spending traveling to different social sites.
Prioritize the Most Important Tasks
Not all blog-managing duties were made equal. There are a whole lot of things that can distract you from the two most important things to do when managing a blog: writing and promoting. Don’t let the color scheme of your website or the search for the perfect image of a candle distract you from the more crucial aspects of running a blog.
Use online editing sites to help you scan your work for typos, grammar mistakes and spelling errors. Grammarly, an online editing tool, is a great resource to help you fix the small stuff and focus on the bigger picture.
If you only have an hour or two a day, focus the most on writing and brainstorming ideas for posts. The worst thing to have happen is to have a beautiful, completed blog site and no posts to fill it. You don’t want to start your blog up with less than five posts for people to read. Once someone is there, odds are they won’t return regularly or set an alarm on their phones to remember to check your site for new content. Keep them reading your blog for as long as possible.
Minimize the Time-Wasting Activities in Your Life
Even as you read this post, you might be thinking about checking Facebook or have a Pinterest board open on your phone. Unfortunately, our many devices and constant access to the ever-present world of social media has damaged our ability to concentrate. It is all too common for healthy people to display incessant, obsessive-compulsive behavior, and to feel the need to check or update their profile all day long.
As a full-time working professional who also wants a successful side-hustle, you may have to sacrifice the time you spend on Facebook after work, or before you go to bed, in order to make time for writing your blog.
I always find it easier to concentrate when I put my phone and turn other electronics around me off. The quiet is conducive to a good thinking atmosphere, and finishing an article is a lot easier when my phone screen isn’t lighting up constantly beside me. Dedicating a space to writing will also help in this venture, because you’ll be able to train your brain to be in writing mode when sitting at your desk — social media time can be on the couch.
Another nasty time-sucker is TV. While great for winding down after a long day, it’s easy to spend several hours watching shows. Before you know it, you have no time left for the things you love.
You might consider a few different things to do instead of watch TV — like read other writers’ blog posts! If you know a good blog you’d like to emulate, read the latest posts and brush up on what people are saying in the comments section. Reading, instead of watching TV, can keep your brain engaged and focused, and will breathe life into your own blog when you sit down to write.
Write What You Love, Love What You Write
At the end of the day, the thing that will determine your ability to successfully write and manage a blog while working full-time is your drive and motivation to do that — and that all stems from the love of writing and sharing with others.
I tell people to write about what they love. Your blog should make you excited. It shouldn’t matter if you have to get up early to work on it, cut out social media time or lose an hour of TV. If you’re not enthusiastic about the content you’re putting out, your readers won’t be either, and all your effort will be for naught. That’s why it is so important to choose a niche you love.
So roll up your sleeves, set your alarm, forget the distractions and chase your dream. Your blog is like your coffee — it’s as good as you make it.
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