Southern Belle in Training

Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle Blog || Est. 2012 || Charlottesville, VA

July 13, 2020

Blogging FAQ: How I Balance Blogging & Working Full Time

     Let's talk today about balancing blogging and a full-time job! It isn't always easy, but if you set your mind to it you can definitely accomplish both for the longterm. I'll have been blogging for 8 years come September. For the first four years I was a full-time student, for the fifth year I balanced broadcasting school and a few part time jobs along with blogging, and finally for the past three years I've blogged and worked full-time in radio. So blogging has never been my main focus, and I've been able to continue doing it and adapt it based on my jobs, daily schedules, and places I've lived! 





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     If you're going to be able to balance blogging and working at your day job, first and foremost you need to have a passion for blogging. While I am so grateful that I've been able to turn my blog into a successful side hustle with regular income, I don't blog for the money. I blog because I love documenting my style, travel, thoughts and experiences: both to inspire and encourage others, and for my own benefit- to look back on and read about special memories and times in my life.

     There are months when I do great financially with the blog, and others that aren't so great at all. If you're trying to have a blog aside from your day job just to make money or gain a large following, I feel like it could be very tough to keep the momentum to keep going with it when both of those things take time to build and can be unpredictable. You will most likely have months where you don't earn much of anything, or lose followers instead of gain. And where blogging can be so time consuming, I can see how easy it would be to quit and just focus on your day job or different hobby pursuits. But if your head is in the right space with blogging (doing it because you love it and enjoy it), then hopefully my tips today will be useful for you! 

Tips For Balancing Blogging & Working Full Time: 
  • Use an editorial calendar: I can't stress enough how much it helps to plan in advance with your blog! I've been using an editorial calendar for my blog for about four years now, or half the time I've been blogging, and I wish I'd started it even earlier. By planning out when you're going to post what content, it can help you better structure your free time outside of work. I usually do my calendar at least two weeks in advance, sometimes up to four to six weeks. I put everything on there: general blog post ideas, reoccurring blog posts (like Midweek Ramblings on Wednesdays), sponsored Instagram posts, etc. I prefer to do my editorial calendar on iCal on my computer- doing it digitally is best for me so I can easily adjust post topics and dates if needed, rather than using a physical planner. In past years, I was better at finishing blog posts several days in advance and preschedule them to publish. These days, I am a bit busier so I usually finish blog posts the day or evening before, and preschedule them for the next morning. But the calendar still helps keep me accountable on what I need to write that week!
  • Wake up earlier in the mornings to accomplish blog work: Sadly I can't do this anymore given the fact that I'm a morning radio host... 3:30 is already when my alarm goes off for my day job, and I don't want to make that 2:30! But I used to do this at my first radio job and it worked so well for me. If you have a more traditional day job schedule like a 9-5, I encourage you to start setting your alarm clock at least one hour earlier on weekdays (or two hours if you can manage!). First thing in the morning is a great time to either work on writing blog posts, responding to emails, or any other blog related tasks. By the time you arrive at your day job, you'll already feel so productive! And it will free up a lot of your time after work as well. In my previous radio job before doing mornings, I didn't have to be at work until 10. I tried to wake up at 6:30-7 most days so that I could knock out at least an hour of blog work. I also liked meeting my photographers for early morning shoots! 
  • Figure out what days of the week are best for you to blog: I don't follow a super strict schedule about what days and times outside of my day job I'll be blogging. (It's not like I have every Tuesday from 3-3:30pm blocked off to I plan my Instagram feed.) But I am pretty aware of general days of the week and times of day that do and don't work well for me to blog. Mondays afternoons I generally am pretty alert and focused to be working on blog stuff. This is also the day of the week that I try to complete most of Wednesday's Midweek Ramblings post. Fridays on the other hand are my most unproductive day of the week! I've given up trying to do anything blog related after work Fridays, aside from posting the occasional Instagram Story. Maybe for you, it's the opposite! Mondays might stress you out but by Friday you're feeling creative and ready to work. What works for me might not work for you, but try and find your peak days and times of the week to work on your blog. 
  • Say yes only to writing posts or doing collaborations you're passionate about: I'm guessing that at your day job, there are some things you do at work that you really enjoy and look forward to, and other tasks that are straight busy work that you dread. The same goes for blog work, especially when it comes to sponsored opportunities. Some sponsored projects that I've done are for brands that I'm super passionate about or that are fairly easy for me to execute, and others have proven to be a huge hassle that I don't look forward to doing. These days, I'm very careful about what I say yes to, both with sponsored and organic blog content. For collaborations- I make sure that I'm getting paid a fair amount to justify the time that the project will take, and that it's a brand or item that I really am excited to put the work in for. If it's not, I say no! I'm busy enough as it is, and my blog isn't my full-time job so I don't have to say yes to things just for money. For organic blog posts (meaning regular content that isn't sponsored), keep the same rules! Don't feel the need to write a certain type of blog post that others are doing if it doesn't bring you joy. Here's an example of mine: in past years at the holidays I've always made myself write at least a few gift guides, even though I don't enjoy them. Other bloggers do them and readers seem to like them, so it felt like I had to as well. This will be the first year that I don't do any gift guides, and I couldn't be happier! I have nothing against them and really enjoy reading them on other blogs. I just don't enjoy putting them together on my own my blog (side note: gift guides are a lot more time consuming than you might think!), so I'm not going to continue devoting my time to stuff like that any further.

     I hope these tips are helpful to anyone curious about balancing both! Obviously my job schedule is a bit unique in that I do have my late afternoons free to work on my blog, but the trade is that I don't have any time before work to do so, nor am I able to stay up late on weeknights to work either. 

     I also want to give a shout-out to some other favorite bloggers of mine who both blog and work full-time, and balance doing both so well! These ladies are great follows and are inspiring to anyone trying to do it all:





     God Bless,


     xoxo Annaliese 









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5 comments

  1. This was such a great post friend and I think it will be so helpful to others who are in the same boat! I admire how you balance your unique schedule and the demands of blogging so well!

    PS- thanks for the sweet shoutout!

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  2. These are great tips! I definitely need to keep up with my editorial calendar.

    Demi | https://demibang.com/

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  3. I love these tips! I'm still trying to figure out how to blog and do school full-time. The editorial calendar doesn't always work for me because sometimes I'm not in the mood to write about that certain topic.
    - Gigi
    studyinglifewithgigi.com

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  4. I 100% agree with you that you have to be passionate to do both. It’s hard to do both, but I always enjoyed it especially since my full-time job was very non-creative. I’ve had people ask about tips so they could make money and I always say if you’re just in it for the money it’s not worth it. These tips are soo true. I am with you on not loving creating gift guides.

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  5. Love reading how others balance it! It's definitely tough, but so worth it for those of us who have day jobs that we also love!

    ReplyDelete

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