Let’s Talk Blogging & Working Full Time.

Happy Monday!

How was your weekend? My swellling is down & you can see my jawline finally! We spent all day Saturday in wine country, in fact we even joined a new winery! The hotels were a little too expensive for a random 24 hours out so we were back in San Francisco Saturday night, took all day Sunday to fully relax & recover, and I am finishing up  Devil in The White City. SUCH a great read, I can’t recommend it enough!

Anyways, today I am back to work, back into the office, back to the grind.

I don’t talk much about my full time job – more on that in my first tip below – but like many bloggers, I work full-time and I blog full-time. It definitely is a balancing act.

More & more bloggers I meet, the more I realize many do the same.

Also, as much as I love to blog, I LOVE my full time gig. So- I do both and so it’s a major balancing act. It takes full on discipline & motivation.

Don’t get me wrong, some nights when I get home from the office, there’s nothing more I’d rather do than open a bottle of wine, binge on some old Sex & the City {current apple tv obsession – it gets even better as I get older}, & veg out and do nothing but that just can’t happen or it affects the blog negatively.

I wanted to go through my top tips on how to balance both & would LOVE to hear from you and how you do it.

Note: I do understand that everyone has different work environments & commitments. I am speaking as a full-time blogger with a job in a semi-flexible work environment with a serious boyfriend & no children. This is what works for me & my schedule.

Now, without further ado-

My tips on balancing your full time job with your full time blog!

ONE }: I strongly believe in the separation of blog and work.

Basically, I keep both completely separate from each other. On my blog, I very rarely mention my work & at work, I don’t work on my blog. Easy as that. By doing that, it keeps things completely segregated & in turn keeps me sharp at both. I personally do NOT believe in multi-tasking. Sure, more things get done, but I find the quality is lacking. Instead, I’d rather focus on the task of hand & then move on. Basically, I know every single Monday – Friday from 9 – 5 give or take, it is dedicated to my job and anything afterwards – especially weekends – are dedicated to the blog.

That said, this may sound hypocritical under this tip but when you take a break at work, whether it’s lunch or a quick five minutes or a coffee break, use that to your advantage. After all, that’s what breaks are for. Send a tweet, edit a post, pin something, tweak some SEO – you get it. Trust me, a little here & a little there all adds up very quickly! & worst case, last resort?! Take your phone into the bathroom with you. 🙂

TWO }: Are you a morning or night person? Work around that.

If you are a morning person, set your alarm clock for one or two hours earlier. If you are a night person, go to bed an hour or two later. Dedicating those hours really help me knock out work for the blog before it’s time to focus on my job. I can get a TON done in that uninterrupted time.

This can include anything from editing photos, copy for a blog post, working on SEO, fixing any bugs, e-mailing chloedigital, social media planning & posting, calendar planning, sometimes even shooting pictures in the morning.

THREE }: If applicable, take advantage of your commute to work.

I take the bus to work everyday so it guarantees me about 30 minutes of uninterrupted time. If you are driving, obviously you can’t do this but you can brainstorm blog content, etc. Basically, I dedicate this time to Instagram. More times than not, I am making and saving drafts of photos or editing in VSCO or Priime. I try to get at least 1-2 photos in my saved queue so even if I have to post it at a certain time during my 9-5, it takes less than a minute. Also, on that note…

FOUR }: Pre-Scheduling is your best friend!

I’m talking blog posts, instagram photos, & other social media promo’s. I try to get as many of my posts done and “scheduled” for release. This allows WordPress {or whatever you use}, to publish the completed post at a certain time. Basicaly, I get Monday & Wednesday’s post done on Sunday and queue them up appropriately – Friday’s post being an exception because I always do that on Thursday night to keep things at “real” time.

The “Save Draft” feature on instagram is a MAJOR time saver. Even if I don’t have a caption yet, I’ll get the post ready to go, with all the tagged accounts & hashtags. Queuing these really shaves time off instagram & makes it a breeze.

FIVE }: Prioritize & sacrifice accordingly.

I am not as social as I was when I was in my 20’s, so this isn’t a hard one for me. However, five years ago, this would of been tough for me – when you are working full time, you will have to sacrifice outside of your job to work on your blog or business. Whether that’s happy hour, a night out, or sometimes even dinner with Erik. The blog, & it’s future, takes priority, simple as that.

That said, be sure to know when you need to put the blog on pause for your social life – important birthdays, milestones, anniversaries, celebrating a friend’s new job, or supporting a friend after a break up. Whatever the reason, be sure to be there for your friends, family, & other people that matter.

SIX }: Take photos constantly!

This may seem like a silly tip, but it’s been a lifesaver when things are really crazy at work. I take pictures CONSTANTLY- especially over the weekend. This allows me to have a nice dossier of instagram content to work on during my commute. One of my biggest content blocks can be instagram. There are some days where just nothing is worth photographing… & that’s okay!

By having an archive of photos, there’s always something to post at any given moment. I scroll through my photos consantly and any that stand out, I put it in my favourites {the heart button on the iphone}. As I’m looking for insta-content, that’s the folder I ALWAYS use!

SEVEN }: Find out what posting schedule works for you & stick to it.

I remember when I first started, I was posting every.single.day. Granted, I was very excited for the blog and all I wanted to do was have content content content! Well… it goes without saying but it burnt me out reaaaal fast. I started posting once a week, but that was a little too little for my liking. I found my sweet spot at Monday – Wednesday – Friday. I find it’s doable without being stressful.

Figure out what works for your schedule & stick to it! Remember, consistency is very important so your readers know when they can expect new content from you. By not being consistent, you can lose & annoy loyal readers.

EIGHT }: Don’t compare yourself to other bloggers

Keep the blinders on! Do not get distracted by other bloggers, what they are doing & how they are doing it… especially those who do not work full-time in addition to their blog. I’ve fallen victim to this a few times. I’ve mentioned to never compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.

It is very easy to see another blogger who has the luxury of being 100% dedicated to their blog 24/7 and feel inadequate. But remember, it likely took him or her years to get to where they are. If anything, see them as inspiration.

Also, there are so, so, so, SO many bloggers who are also working and blogging full time. It kind of creates a community & support system because we all just get it.

NINE }: Ask a colleague for help!

Okay so- you walk into work in a killer outfit & fleeky make-up & hair that is just begging to be on the ‘gram. Ask a colleague you are cool  with to coffee on you & have them snap your photo real quick! This takes only a handful of minutes and even though you are at work, you have some content ready to post. Plus, who’s going to decline free coffee?!

I am fortunate to work close to my boyfriend’s office {who takes photos of me for the blog} so if I’m ever having a particularly on point day, we meet for coffee or lunch and spend a few extra minutes shooting some pics…. or go outside solo and work that selfie! Some of those you can see here, here, here, here – All of these were during a super quick coffee break! 😉

TEN }: Know when to step away.

At the end of the day, it’s all a balancing act. When one side is too heavy, it effects the other side. If you feel overworked, take some time off. I did this BRB post when work was getting busy, my health wasn’t in good shape {still working on that btw}, & feeling pulled in so many directions.

Life will get in the way & that’s okay – c’est la vie!

Remember, your readers are human too, so by being honest with them and letting them know you are taking a quick break, I promise they will be there with open arms when you get back… because they care & empathize! Remember, vulnerability is sexy 🙂

Well, that’s all she wrote! Time to hit the week on the right foot. Now what say you? If you’re a blogger with a full time job, I’d love to know your tips.

Again, everyone has such different schedules & lives so I would love to know how you do it.

Also, if anything, it’s kind of comforting to know how many of us are in the same boat together. Though times do get really busy & stressful, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Meeting and connecting with other bloggers and learning about their lives and hearing their stories seriously makes blogging so rewarding.

Happy Monday! Hope your coffee is hot & strong!

x Shannon

PS – Samantha & Miranda are mos def my favourite SATC girls! I will say, Miranda is def underrated – right?! But Samantha can never fail to literally make me LOL!

  • Chérie Renee

    You go girl!! I admire you for all the hard work you do. I’m soooo guilty of plopping in front of the tv at night after work. I need to be more disciplined on using my free time wisely. My goal right now is to post once a month, but I need to use that free time researching people with similar work as mine, figuring out my next posts, and learning new skills! Keep up the inspiring work Shannon! <3

  • Katie Bressler

    Thank you so much for this post! I am really working to find a good balance with both FT gigs. Good reminder on finding a time that works best for you… I am more of a night person, so late nights are now my thing!

  • Glenna Etzel

    I love this advice and need it in my life. My blog is slacking and I would love nothing more than to create an income stream from it. My issue is motivation after work. Thank you for the advice, I need to pre-schedule and break the habit of doing both at the same time :(…

  • Great tips! I’m just a few weeks into my blog being launched and am working to find a balance for posting and not getting too distracted at work. Thanks for sharing what works for you!

  • Fantastic advice! I completely agree. 🙂

  • Morgan Jorgenson

    I’m so glad I’m not the only one that is taking my phone in the bathroom! Lol! I love it!

  • Great article! Had also some Blogging difficulties this week but as you put it, keep your mind set on your goalz and everything will work out. 😍🙌

    Love ,

    Arianne

  • Stephanie Gonzalez

    Great Article I find myself struggling with this alot! I made myself a spreadsheet with a schedule and it has helped me tons! I will take away some more tips from this post though 🙂

    http://www.lostinchic.com

  • shannon shipman

    Girl!!!! I feel you 100% it’s so hard but yet we love it! Great points!!!

  • Yes! I feel ya. I still struggle with keeping a consistent schedule and posting regularly! These are great tips. I’ve noticed how literally standing out as “that girl” by taking photos of EVERYTHING is actually very beneficial. There are several times when maybe I haven’t scheduled like I should and I’m so relieved to have some pretty content!

    ***
    Madison
    http://www.madisononmadisonave.com

  • Kristin Kruse

    Right there with you, girl! I think pre-scheduling is key and really keeping a separation between blog & work. Love these suggestions & tips!

    xox,
    Kristin
    http://www.amidwesternmix.com

  • I do exactly the same when it comes to Instagram. Taking photos and favouriting the ones that stands out which makes it easy when posting.
    There are times where I don’t feel like posting anything cuz of the editing but planning and organising in advance really comes in handy

  • LEWAL

    I’m so bad at taking photos, I need to work on taking as many photos as I can.. I always regret it on days when I have nothing to post on Instagram ! Thanks for the tips !

  • Great tips!! I commute to work about an hour and listen to SO many podcasts on yoga, entrepreneurship, and just bad-ass women in business! It definitely sparks so many ideas for myself that I jot down once I get to work.
    And I agree, take SO many pics! Never know when one can come in handy. Especially scenic photos because they can act as a backdrop for just about anything! xo C

    http://www.CaitlinPickett.com

  • These are all great tips! I sometimes I wished I took public transportation to work because it’s hard to do blogging things when driving, haha

  • Kellie

    I struggle to balance it all as well. Full time job, blogging, husband, two kids and a large dog. These are great tips. Thanks for the reminder!

  • Jane Shussa

    These tips are on point… yap, consistency is definitely something that am struggling with as i work full time…These will help, thanks for sharing. https://www.dailylifetalk.com/

  • Thanks for the great tips! Sometimes it’s so hard to post and have a social life, while trying to finish up a project/presentation for work! Definitely need to work on my priorities and time management a little more

  • Azanique

    I love this post babe! Working full-time and still trying to run a blog is not easy. I appreciate every second of free time I get to work on the blog during work hours so much. I definitely agree that pre-scheduling will save you! I don’t do it as much as I should but I totally want to get better at it so my stress level can decrease

    – xo, Azanique | http://www.lotsofsass.com

  • Antonia Strakosch

    FANTASTIC post!! I can’t believe you manage to post 3 times a week with a full-time job – you legend, that’s so inspiring! Since I launched I’ve been posting once a week (every Sunday) but I’m wondering if I could step it up to twice by implementing some of these tips. I’m really interested: once you post, how do you promote it? At the moment I do an Instagram post and then a paid FB ad for 3 or 4 days, but I’m struggling to think of other ways to promote… Any tips would be awesome! Oh, and Samantha is hilarious (“fuck me badly once, shame on you. Fuck me badly TWICE, shame on me”!) But I’m a Carrie girl at heart. 🙂

    The Dressed Fork
    http://www.thedressedfork.com/