Today on the blog Erin Condren, some fabulous Seattle bloggers, and I have partnered to discuss “how to maintain your blog when you have a full-time job.” I think this is one of the questions I get asked most often by people thinking of starting a blog, or followers that are shocked to discover that blogging is only my night job.
The reality: Blogging could honestly be a full-time job (and so many bloggers do it, and I #respect that) between planning and shooting content, engaging on social media platforms, and reaching out to and working with brands, you could easily spend all day. But for me, blogging is a passion and a creative outlet. I don’t see it as a viable career path for my situation, but I do admire those that take the plunge.
But today I’ve decided to reach out to some local Seattle girl bosses who have the whole blogging & career thing down to a T. They’ve been kind enough to share their top tips for success today on P&P.
Allison Wagner, Amazon Art Director
Blog: West Coast Aesthetic
Prioritization, Organization & Time-Management
I started my blog West Coast Aesthetic three years ago as a creative outlet that brought me joy, inspiration and fulfillment. Juggling a full-time career as an Art Director at Amazon is time consuming and challenging in its own ways but my love for blogging has not wavered. This is a direct result of staying organized and using my time to its fullest whether I’m blogging or at work. When I’m at work, I dedicate that time to work and thriving in the workplace. Before I go to work, during lunch breaks and after work I spend my time writing blog posts, photographing content or filling out my content calendar and collaborations. I stay organized through the use of planners! In fact, I purchased one for work and one for my blog. Think of your work planner as a place to write in your career-related goals, to-do’s, deadlines, etc. and have your blog planner designated as a content calendar to schedule blog and social posts, blog shoots and collaborations. Prioritization is also the key to success when blogging and juggling a career. Sometimes, you have to prioritize your career over your blog and YOU have to be OKAY with that. If your blog is not your full-time job, you have to be OKAY with taking a break here and there when your career is the focus. Maybe that’s one or two blog posts a week instead of five. Maybe that’s one social post a day instead of two. More often than not, taking a break can really help you refocus and deliver content that is fluid and genuine instead of forced.
Bailey Chauner, Redfin Content Marketing Coordinator
Blog: Hot Dress Hot Mess
On Saying “No”
From 9am to 5pm I’m a Content Marketing Coordinator at Redfin and from 5pm to 9am I am a fashion blogger at Hot Dress Hot Mess. While I enjoy both my corporate job and fashion blogging, I have to find a way to balance both while also maintaining my personal life and sanity. Aside from time management and organization, I’ve found my greatest tactic – saying “no.” I love to say yes to everything, but I’ve learned the importance of being okay with not doing it all and not saying yes to everyone. It can be hard declining events, coffee dates, and even some brand partnerships. However, learning to say “no” has helped me focus on saying “yes” only to the most important, productive activities of my day. Time is our most valuable asset and we should be strategic about how we use it.
Photography by Michelle Dorman
Emma Cortes, Boeing Business & Planning Analyst
Blog: Emma’s Edition
Define where to spend time
My career is important to me and it is also my main source of income. I spend at least 40% of my time working. Other than sleeping, eating, and working out, how I choose to spend of my days is up to me.
I easily could spend the other 40-60% of my time blogging, but I want to accomplish other things in life – like spend time with my family, friends, and boyfriend. I also really need my work out time to unwind and distress. So I block out one hour each day to workout and I also block out 1-2 hours on week nights brainstorming, writing, and spending time on social media.
I would ask yourself what is important to you and how do you want to spend your time? You can define your balance and where your time should be spent.
Photography by Holly Phan
Ribicca Mamuye, Nordstrom Merchandise Anaylst
Blog: Amro Menor
Connecting with other creatives
It can be a bit challenging to keep up with a full time job, blogging, a social life and traveling . There is no perfect formula on how to make it work because all of those things can be quite demanding at times. Nonetheless, you make the necessary sacrifices needed to make time for all the things you love to do. I have found that connecting with other creatives and bloggers has helped me better manage and develop content for my blog.
Carolyn Marino, English Teacher
Prepping & Planning Ahead
My biggest tip for juggling a career with a blog is to plan ahead and stay organized! My work Outlook and OneNote calendars have my meetings and days planned for at least the upcoming few weeks. I put all my blog and social media due dates and events as well as personal items and trips on my iCal. Being able to see my weeks laid out visually helps me prepare and prioritize posts, and it eases my stress and keeps me saner. That way, if I’m working on collaborations with brands, I can plan to shoot the campaigns weeks in advance. Since my weekdays are really busy, I try to shoot on weekends, but honestly, it’s just whenever I can make the time to do so. I remember for one project, I rushed home after work, changed into some of the products I was shooting, did my hair, and ran out to photograph the looks before the light disappeared (and this was during Seattle’s winter, so I was lucky it wasn’t pouring rain that day!). So life gets a little crazy sometimes but I enjoy my career as well as blogging, and that helps with making the balancing act more fun!
And lastly… a little advice from yours truly:
Comparing yourself to full-time bloggers
When I first started blogging I would compare myself and P&P to bloggers that were clearly running their blog as their job. I would constantly ask myself why I wasn’t releasing as much content, why my photos weren’t as great, and why I wasn’t growing as quickly. Eventually I realized that I (someone that spends 40 hours a week at work) can’t compare myself to someone that spends 40 hours a week on their blog. So obvious right? But that realization removed some pressure from my passion project, and made me focus on doing the best that I can do, and not comparing myself to others.
And of course, as a few other ladies above mentioned, staying organized is key. I write everything in my Erin Condren planner, and it helps me keep track of projects and make sure I’m not overdoing it!
Do any of you have blog & have full-time jobs? I’d love to hear your tips!
Disclaimer: The Erin Condren products mentioned above were provided by Erin Condren, but all thoughts & mentions are my own.