I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty busy. I’m a dreamer too which is pretty conflicting. Even worse, I’ve never been great at setting goals and keeping them outside of my general life commitments. Behold, the busy girl’s guide to balancing blogging with a full time job was born.
Balancing blogging with a full time job is a bit of a thing to wrestle with. I’m sure you can relate, no matter what your commitments are. By the time I’m home from work, I’m mentally and emotionally zapped. But inside, I’m buzzing. I’m wanting to write but I can’t wring out of my brain and onto the page what I’m wanting to say because I’m so mentally frazzled by working at a computer all day.
Luckily I’ve learned a few things in my two-ish years of blogging both here and at The Blessing Collective previously. If blogging has been laid on your heart the way it has mine, I know these tips are going to help you commit to those plans and follow the Lord’s steps that he’s establishing for you.
The busy girl’s guide to balancing blogging with a full time job (or other full time commitments)
1.) Learn to love the grind.
I recently starting binging Amy Landino’s podcast ‘Detail Therapy’ and the other morning listened to the episode ‘What It Means to Go After the Life You Want, Season 1 Finale.’ In this episode she takes the audio clip response of the same question she asked each of her guests in 2018: “What does it mean to go after the life you want?”
So. Many. of these high achieving power houses answered along the same line. It was essentially this: learn to love the process. It’s truly about loving the journey. They do what they do, no matter what it is (many of them being entrepreneurs) because they love the grind. They aren’t in it for the money or recognition. They’re in it because they love the process of doing it.
Blogging is an incredible journey. Balancing blogging with a full time job or other full time commitments can be overwhelming. It’s also a very steep learning curve. If you don’t already, it’s important you learn to love the grind of it. In order to love it, perhaps you need to go back to square one and figure out why you’re doing it. So, why are you blogging?
2.) Develop a routine.
Every Saturday morning, I kid you not, I practically run to the coffee machine because I’m so excited to sit down at the kitchen table and mind map my day. Saturdays are the sole day of the week I dedicate entirely to blogging. I’ve tried waking earlier during the week, or working in the evenings, and even on my lunch break at work. Nothing has ever stuck the way waking up and writing on a Saturday morning has stuck for me.
It doesn’t have to be a strict schedule, but it helps to have routine. When you’re in a routine, it comes naturally and helps you keep consistency which is good for both you and your readers. Find what works for you based on your schedule and stay consistent. Your body will fall into the rhythm.
3.) Have a plan, even if it’s rough.
I’m not the best at planning, but I don’t think you need to be. Having a rough guideline of what you’re meant to be doing will eliminate overthinking and worry.
Over time I’ve learned what works and what doesn’t, but I think that’s unique to each and every blogger. Learning to organize and strategize is part of the blogging grind. Everyone has to figure out what works best for them.
I’ve started using a bullet journal because pre-made journals weren’t suiting my planning style or way of thinking and organizing. I had certain things I wanted to track that didn’t fit well in pre-made planners. The lists I was making in my normal journals were easily forgotten and if they weren’t forgotten were overly ambitious and overwhelmed me (PS. Stop sabotaging yourself with overly ambitious to-do lists!)
I’ve since adopted a list of tasks that propel me forward on the weekends, which include the following (and are broken down into smaller lists throughout the day):
- Write the blog post
- Research keywords and incorporate into post
- Workout SEO for the post
- Find/take the photos for the post
- Create Pinterest graphics
- Pin to my blog Pinterest board
- Schedule to Tailwind boards + add post to tribes for others to share
- Edit photo for Instagram
- Caption photo to promote blog post on Instagram + stories
- Organize the caption on insta-space
- Promote post on any Facebook groups I’m a part of
Experiment with different styles of planning, but make sure at the end of the day you have a rough idea of what your plans truly are. They’ll propel you forward.
A busy girl’s guide to blogging with a full time job (or other full time commitments)
4.) Know your big picture blog goals.
Part of having a plan means knowing your goals. So, every Saturday morning I sit down with a vat of coffee and look at my 5 Year Blog Plan before I commence with my day’s work. From there I’m able to figure out what needs to be done so that I’m on track for the quarter.
Things that need to be done could range from writing, to creating or updating old Pinterest graphics, to scheduling pins on Tailwind, to interacting with other bloggers on Facebook groups or Instagram, etc. Each task that I’m doing is a part of actionable long term goal.
An example of a long term goal for this year for myself is growing my Pinterest to 1,000 followers. In order to achieve this, one of my quarterly goals is to gain 200 followers. This would mean I am spending more time in the Tailwind app and on Pinterest sharing others’ content and promoting my own.
Establish what your own big picture goals are and break these down into even smaller, actionable goals. Some prompts for goal setting:
- What do you most want to achieve out of blogging?
- What do you believe would make your blog better?
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
- What are some areas you know you need to work on?
- What are others doing that I can incorporate into my blog?
5.) Keep track of your thoughts + prayers.
I’ve written before about how to come up with blog post ideas and you can find that post here. But in this post I’m going to recommend separating your prayer journaling and general thoughts from your blogging and business journaling and brain dumps.
I recently started writing down my blog post ideas and goals in a bullet journal, just to keep track of my thoughts and ideas pertaining specifically to my blog. Usually they float around in multiple iNotes on my phone. Ever since I started keeping better track of my ideas, it’s easier to fashion blog posts out of them.
I would suggest keeping a separate journal for your general journaling and prayers from your blog post ideas and blogging brain dumps. At least in my own mind it helps distinguish the two and keep a bit of clarity. Travellers notebooks are great for separating topics into journals but keeping everything organized and together.
6.) Stop pigeon holing yourself.
This is an important aspect to blogging, especially faith blogging. You are a whole person with thoughts, ideas, interests, and passions that don’t always fit into a particular niche, especially when you’re starting out. I’ve been blogging for two years and I still haven’t ‘niched down.’
You should allow your thoughts and ideas to flow. It’s so much easier to write more when you aren’t censoring yourself. Being authentically you is so much more entertaining and fun. If necessary, pick 3-5 umbrella topics that will help you brainstorm blog post ideas. My umbrella topics at Heart After God are:
- faith + pursuing God’s heart
- blogging/writing tips, hacks, and encouragement
- productivity + self improvement
- general lifestyle (book reviews, life updates, travel)
Niching down will happen over time if you’re meant to. You’ll know if you’re meant to because it will become obvious when you circle back to similar topics over and over. Regardless of what you do, it’s important to let the Lord lead in your topics and trust in His plan, which leads me to my next point.
7.) Trust + lay it at the cross.
I left this step last because it’s the most important for both your long term encouragement and peace around sharing Biblical encouragement. There is a time and a season for every little thing, including your writing. Including your testimony. Including your heart’s desire to make it at blogging. He isn’t playing with your heart; He wants to make it work for you.
I’m firm in my belief that when we trust in His ability to show us the way, we don’t need to stress about our next steps. We can be at perfect peace knowing that He is working out our next steps.
‘The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.’ Proverbs 16:9
Pray that He’ll take your blog over, make it His, and serve His purpose and not your own. Lean into his direction. You’ll know when you’re operating in the Spirit because you will be at perfect peace with the process. If you do it His way, he’ll establish your steps.
‘The Lord gives perfect peace to those whose faith is firm.’ Isaiah 26 3-5
I hope this post was helpful in your pursuit of balancing blogging with a full time job or if you’re juggling other full time commitments too. Next week I hope to share with you my method for breaking down my goals and I’d also really like to show you what I’m doing with my bullet journal.
Please comment below if you have any additional suggestions! I’d love to hear from you. Please don’t forget to share to Pinterest, if you’d be so kind. God bless.