I’m so excited to share this blog post with you, because it’s my first guest post on Imagine You, YAY!! Dee is a social worker by day and blogger after hours over on Morning Coffee With Dee. We connected over on Instagram or Twitter (I can’t remember which one!) and discovered that we have a LOT in common – we’re both INFJ’s, very much into self care and wanting to grow our blogs into businesses. So it only made sense for us to do a collab together! I’m a huge fan of Dee’s writing and her practical tips on self care and finding balance. Speaking of, if you’re trying to juggle a full-time job and blogging, this post is for YOU. Enjoy!
There’s so many blog posts out there about bloggers who quit their jobs to blog full time because they make $50k + from their blogs every year. That’s SO awesome, and I think that’s the goal for many bloggers who are just starting out. However, what about the road that we have to travel on in order to reach that kind of blogging success?
Did we forget about that part?
Maybe you’re not even looking to give up your 9-5 just yet because you enjoy it, and just want to build your blog into your side hustle (at least for now!) I personally fall into both of these categories. I would love for my blog to become my business, and I’m working really hard at that right now. However, I also enjoy my day job as a social worker, and I’m not ready to give that up. Looking to do the same? I got you girl. Today I’m sharing my tips on how you can balance your 9-5 and your blog!
1. Get Organized & Manage Your Time Effectively
I always start with the obvious tips first. You need to get organized girl! Unfortunately, there’s no real “one size fits all” approach to getting organized. I wish there was, but it’s ok we’ll work with what we got.
You need to experiment to find out what works for you. I’ve always loved buying cute agendas to help me get organized, especially when I was in college. Get yourself a cute agenda, and spend Sunday night filling it out for the week ahead. You can also adopt the bullet journal system and create your own planner. This has been helpful for me since starting my blog, because I don’t really have set due dates for that many things like I did in college.
With my blog, I have more ongoing to-do lists that just carry on throughout the week. So on my really busy blogging days (usually the weekends) I can dedicate a whole page in my bullet journal to one day and create a huge to-do list. Even if I don’t finish everything on the list for that day, I’ll reference the to-do list throughout the week.
2. Figure out When You’re Most Productive
Some people are early birds, and some people are night owls. Some people might even be somewhere in between. Whatever it is, you need to figure out what’s best for you. I can blog more easily in the mornings, so that’s when I get most of my writing done. That’s also the reason why I do most of my writing on the weekends.
If I wrote my blog posts after work they would not be good quality. I’m way too tired to think that much after work.
Maximize those “productivity hours!” To be even more productive, create a designated work space for yourself that you go to to work on your blog. If that’s your desk, make sure it’s clean so you have space to work. Add calming items to your space such as candles, or an essential oil diffuser, or some cute decorations! Make your work space a place that inspires productivity to help you maximize your productivity.
A Look Into my Week
When I first started blogging I was publishing 2 posts a week. Looking back though, they weren’t 2 quality posts a week. I whole heartedly believe in quality over quantity when it comes to blogging. Once I found more focus in my blog and figured out what the heck I was doing, I reduced my posting to once a week and it was the best decision ever. That decision alone helped me improve the balance of my 9-5 and my blog.
Anyways, here’s what my blogging process looks like.
First, a little background so you understand exactly what I’m dealing with. I work as a social worker for my county’s child welfare department. My work week is Monday through Thursday 7:30am-5:00pm, and every other Friday 8:00am-5:00pm. However, in social work, anything can happen and there’s no guarantee that I get off at 5:00pm. I’ve had more and more late nights lately (yay for overtime though!), but I’ve still been able to consistently produce blog content. Okay enough talking Dee, let’s get to the schedule. Starting with Friday.
Friday-Sunday: If it’s my off Friday, I utilize this time to it’s maximum potential. I create a to-do list, and I get to work checking off those boxes. I try my hardest to write the majority of my blog post for the next week on Friday or Saturday. That’s what I use my weekend for the most, the actual writing process. Because we all know, that’s the most time consuming part if you want to create true quality content (and who doesn’t?). Yes, I still make time for socializing on the weekends. I’m not cooped up in my room all weekend cranking out blog posts like a maniac (maybe sometimes). I usually block out Friday-Sunday mornings for getting as much writing done as possible. That way, during the week I can focus on all the little things that come along with blogging and avoid driving myself crazy. Let’s say I finish writing the blog post on Sunday, then I’ll do all my SEO stuff and create my pin images on Monday. Because I can handle little things like that during the week.
Monday-Thursday: It’s housekeeping time! Time to do the things that don’t require as much brain power or concentration because I’m tired when I get home from work during the week. Oh, and it’s also e-mail list writing time. Because if you don’t have an e-mail list already you totally need to start one. It’s actually a lot of fun because it’s literally like having a coffee chat with all of you amazing people that read my blog. So I’ll write my e-mail for my Inspiration Roasters community as one of my weeknight tasks. I’ll also do things like optimize SEO on old blog posts, make small changes to my blog, respond to e-mails and comments, brainstorm content ideas, etc. Another major time saver for me is using Tailwind to schedule my pins on Pinterest. Tailwind essentially creates a queue of scheduled pins for you, and you can create custom time slots based on when you Pinterest audience is most active! We all know that Pinterest can be super time consuming, but it’s also SO important for bringing traffic to your blog. So Tailwind is the perfect tool to help you save some of your valuable time.
To sum all this up, my tips to get organized & effectively manage your time are:
- Use an agenda or bullet journal to help you visualize the week ahead of you
- Schedule your pins using Tailwind
- Use your off days to get the bulk of your blog post writing done
- Use some of your time after work to get the little things done
- Figure out when you’re most productive, and use that time to write your posts
- Pick the day you want to publish blog posts that works best for you. I publish on Thursdays because it lets me work all weekend on my post, and still have almost the whole week to polish it up.
3. Stay Inspired
What the heck does inspiration have to do with managing a 9-5 and a blog? Well, inspiration makes it easier to keep blogging. If you’re inspired and motivated to create content, then it won’t feel like a chore. You don’t want your blog to feel like another thing you have to do. Your blog should feel like your passion project, something you enjoy and look forward to working on.
- Ask yourself if you’re truly passionate about the topics you blog about. Could you talk about these topics for hours if someone was there to listen to you? Do the words freely flow from your brain to your hands on the keyboard?
- Keep a dedicated blogging notebook and fill it with your ideas as they come to you. This notebook doesn’t have to be organized. It basically serves as a “brain dump” space for your creative thoughts and energy. I have a pink notebook that says “hustle” across the front that I use as my blogging notebook. When I saw it, I just couldn’t pass it up. Cute notebooks inspire me for some reason (am I alone though?). I keep an ongoing list of possible blog topics in this notebook to help me stay inspired! That way, whenever I’m trying to figure out what I’m going to blog about next, I can reference my list.
4. Self Care!!!
This is the most important tip for all you 9-5 holding, blogging girl bosses! If you skip out on self care, you’re guaranteed to burn out. If you burn out, you won’t be motivated enough to stick to any of the tips we discussed earlier. You’ll basically crash and burn. We don’t want that! Don’t become so consumed by your 9-5 and your blog that you neglect taking care of yourself.
Also, don’t be afraid of taking a break. With how hard you work everyday, that break is definitely well deserved.
- Identify which self care activities work for you. These should be things you truly enjoy and make you feel relaxed and at peace. It can be as simple as drinking tea, to as lavish as a spa day.
- You can use this simple activity to come up with your own list of totally personalized self care activities!
- Exercise is a great self care practice to adopt especially if you sit at a desk all day at your 9-5. Getting active after work before sitting down to work on your blog can help get rid of that sluggish, tired feeling you may feel after a long day at the office.
- Understand the 6 domains of self care and how you can (and should!) nourish all areas of your life in order to be the best version of yourself. Because you’re awesome girl! I have a blog post here where I discuss the 6 domains of self care and give ideas on how to nourish each one! I also have a free eCourse that goes into further detail about each domain!
In the end, to effectively manage your 9-5 and your blog, you’ve got to be passionate. Turn your blog into your passion project. Being passionate about your 9-5 career helps too. When you’re doing what you love, whether it’s your 9-5 or your blog, it’ll feel less like work. Just incorporate self care into that mix so your passion doesn’t burn out. You’re a true girl boss, and you’ve got this!
Deanna (aka Dee) is the blogger behind Morning Coffee With Dee. She’s passionate about inspiring other ambitious lady bosses to live their happiest and most fulfilling life possible! Her background is in psychology and social work so she loves blogging about personal development, self care, and creating a positive mindset. She enjoys being able to blend her passion for her career with her new passion for blogging!