Q + A // tips for blogging with a 9-5

Blogging with a 9-5 Tips for blogging with a 9-5

I currently don't have a typical "9-5" type job, but in the past I've blogged while working part time, working part time and being in school full time, and also while working a full time job with 10 hour days.  My experience might not be similar to yours, but I'll share my personal story.  I didn't start blogging "full time" until I was out of school, and I didn't blog very seriously during that period when I was a full time student and working part time.  But after graduating college, I worked full time while living at home and also was working towards blogging full time.  I posted just about every day, and also worked almost every day as well.

When I worked longer days, from 7 am to 6 pm, blogging was much harder, especially in Alaskan winters where the sun sets at 3:30pm.  I'd go to work in the dark and get home in the dark, so I would often have to use my lunch break to grab a quick bite and take outfit photos so I could do them while it was still light out.  Then, when I came home I could edit photos and write my post.  I worked in a somewhat industrial area, so there were some cool nearby spots where I could quickly grab a couple outfit photos, and it was relatively unpopulated, so I didn't have to deal with passers by asking me what I was doing.

One thing that helped was the fact that I moved home to Anchorage (after graduating from college), and I didn't have a ton of friends.  I had just one, maybe two, so after work I didn't feel like I needed to socialize with people.  I'd just go home from work, hang with my family and blog.  Plus, being an introvert, I don't need a lot of social stimulation anyway.  My priorities were working and blogging, and since I lived with my family, spending quality time with them was kind of default.  I remember thinking back then that I would never be able to have a typical 9-5 job, blog, and also have a boyfriend because I would just not know how to juggle all those things.  I'm amazed when I see people who do it successfully.

Blogging takes an incredible amount of time, which I don't think many non-bloggers realize.  My photo shoots take at least 30 minutes (unless Dan snaps them super quickly), it takes about the same amount of time to cull and edit, then writing the post can be either pretty fast, or take hours.  Then there's sharing the post on all your social media, maybe sites like chictopia and lookbook, reading and writing emails, managing ads and other blogging business aspects.

The biggest thing, when it comes to blogging on top of a 9-5, is organization.  Fitting in blogging between work and having a social life just isn't going to work very well if you're flying by the seat of your pants.  You'll have to plan ahead when you want to take photographs, edit photos, and write the post.  I know a lot of bloggers will schedule what posts they want to write on each day, sometimes a week, even a month, ahead of time.  Some of them even plan what outfit they are going to blog about many weeks in advance.  For me, I've never been able to function like this and the most ahead I've gotten on my blog is about two weeks.  Organization also means planning your time well, and browsing around on facebook for hours will decimate your blogging time.  Avoid going on time-sucking social media until you've finished blogging.  If I bounce around between social media and trying to blog it takes me probably 10 times longer to finish my post.

If you're working towards making the leap to blogging full time, you're going to want to be putting a lot of work into your blog, which is really hard when you're already committed to 8 hours at another job.  Before going full time with my blog I worked part time jobs that were relatively easy, so I still had enough time and energy during my off time in order to blog well.  I worked part time as a barista, which gave me enough supplemental income that I was able to spend the rest of my time working on blogging, and eventually I (sort of accidentally) switched to being a full time blogger.  Granted, while blogging is a major component of my work, I also do graphic design and photography, so technically I'm still not exclusively a "full time" blogger.  A lot of bloggers I know who are full-timers also have other skills they use to supplement their blogging income.  Some create handmade things and have etsy shops, some sell vintage, some are photographers, some are graphic designers, some write books, etc. etc.  So when you think about making the decision to blog full time, also realize that you can work for yourself in other ways beyond blogging.

For some of you, though, blogging full time just isn't something that is feasible financially, or you just don't want to quit your job!  It's important to realize that you'll have some handicaps when it comes to creating your content.  Full time bloggers simply have more time to create their content, and to make it as good as they possibly can.  They have time to brainstorm and plan and create.  Working with a 9-5, you'll have less time to do everything that they do, which might mean blogging less frequently in order to create great content.  But that's okay.  I'd rather read a great blog that posted less frequently, than a mediocre blog that posted daily.  Some blogs even have multiple people contributing, which means the workload is distributed, which is another handicap you'll have to deal with.  Even I wish I had a "team" sometimes!  Don't overstretch yourself.  Understand that you're just one person and you can't do what they do, simply because you don't have the time or manpower.  Plus, making yourself crazy and working to much on your blog will probably cut into the time you need to maintain your relationships, which should definitely come before your blog, just like your relationships need to come before your 9-5.

Blogging full time can be a little crazy, and having a regular job is nice for financial security and hey, you might actually like your job!  Making the leap to blogging full time isn't for everyone, but lots of people are successful bloggers who also work or go to school full time.

If you're looking for some ways to stay motivated with your blogging, check out this previous Q+A about just that!