Blog Better: How to Balance Blogging and a Full-Time Job

It can be tricky to find the balance between working your full-time job and pumping life and energy into your blog. First of all, there’s the fact that you only have so many hours to work with, and so much brain power to contribute. Everyone has to rest! And not to mention, you have to watch out for issues like conflicts of interest, non-compete contracts, and colliding deadlines. Or if you have a major deadline at your full-time job AND in your blog work, you’ll have to choose to prioritize one or the other.

Here is how I balance blogging with a full-time job are transparency, passion, time management, drive, and, perhaps most importantly, coffee.

How to Balance Blogging and a Full-Time Job 2

1. Be Transparent:

I was hired at my current job because of my experience blogging, my writing skills, and my ability to create and cultivate an online presence. The fact that I could do it on my own was a good indication that I could do the same thing for clients.

Throughout the hiring process, and on my first week on the job, I was really transparent about the fact that I was actively growing my blog and freelance writing portfolio. I asked if that would be a problem and learned that it wouldn’t be at this job.

You should also always read the fine print before signing anything. It’s crucial to check if anything you take on could be in violation of a non-compete or similar contract.

I work at an agency where we represent a wide range of clients in multiple industries. I am always careful to evaluate and ask if there is a conflict of interest with one of my articles, blog posts, or brand partnerships. If I think there could be a problem, I ask right away. As a result, I’ve had to stop blog series, say no to a partnership, or go back to the drawing board on a post, but it’s always worth it because I respect the agency and our clients.

The takeaway? If you’re not sure, always bring the question to your employer.

2. Love What You Do:

I am incredibly passionate about growing my blog and my freelance writing career. I am also passionate and energized by my job as a content strategist. This passion has been pivotal to my success thus far. When you are freelancing with a full-time job you’re likely to work late nights, early mornings, and weekends. If you’re passionate about what you’re doing you’ll have a much greater likelihood of success, in part because you enjoy what you do, and in part because you are willing to put in the hours. That’s where the coffee comes in handy.

Also, if you truly love your work, you’re likely to find that both your full-time work and your blog work feed into each other, so growing and putting time into one doesn’t take away from the other. If you are a digital marketer in the day and build websites as a blogger, chances are you’ll learn skills and get insights from each experience you can apply to the other. So it really pays to love both your full-time job and your blog.

I feel fortunate to work at a job that allows me to also pursue my writing and blogging career. I’ve found that my writing and marketing outside of work makes me better at my job. I am constantly learning about new industries, fostering relationships, being creative, and making my writing stronger. My theory has always been that my full-time job comes first but I know that I’m lucky to be somewhere where I can also focus on other things – on my own time.

3. Stay on Schedule:

I write almost all of my blog posts on Sundays and schedule them to go up throughout the week. I like scheduling my content ahead of time so that I can get together with friends, go to networking events, try a fun gym class, go to a museum, and work on pitches, freelance writing, and career profile questions and outreach throughout the week. I also wake up between 6:15 and 6:30 am almost every day so that I can “Wake up an hour early to live an hour more.” It can be really difficult to get into the habit of getting out of bed between 6:15 and 6:30 a.m. every day but it gets easier and, in time, becomes a good habit. Due to my early morning routine, I find I am more focused, happy, and alert when I get into the office. It’s crucial to make time for the people and activities you love – otherwise the hard work isn’t worth it. It helps if you don’t plan to do more than seems possible, and of course, never plan to work on your own private projects during the hours of your full-time job.

4. Get After It:

If you’re going to focus on blogging along with your full-time job, you have to make it clear that you will give 110% at work. I think that if you do great work and consistently exceed expectations, your company will be more accepting of your side project. Do great work and show that you’re willing to put in the hours and the effort.

This same drive and ambition will help you be better at your side projects. When you’re freelancing, building a blog, or building a business, you have to be your own boss. As with anything, there are going to be some parts that energize and excite you and some that don’t. Stay motivated by remembering why you started in the first place…then get a big cup of coffee and get back to work.

Adapted from an article I wrote for Skillcrush. Image via Home My Design.

24 Responses to Blog Better: How to Balance Blogging and a Full-Time Job

  1. Shauni says:

    Thanks for sharing this! It definitely can be a struggle to juggle work and blogging but it’s all about finding a balance. : )

  2. These are great tips, Elana! I think prioritizing tasks and being willing to stay up late or wake earlier are critical when you are working full-time and blogging.

    http://www.livinginsteil.com

  3. Jordyn says:

    Managing a full time job and a “full time blog” can definitely be a struggle. I think scheduling posts ahead of time is a wonderful way to manage. It sounds like you are so passionate about your career which is amazing!

  4. A) if that’s your office in the picture then STOP IT. I’m OBSESSED.
    B) thank you so much for sharing this. Getting into the routine can be so hard sometimes… and staying organized can be even harder. I’m taking this summer off before I go back to grad school and I’m so looking forward to being able to devote actual time to blogging for once!
    XO Amanda | http://www.glitterandspice.com

  5. Kayla says:

    I had no idea your blog conflicted with your job! That has to be hard to deal with sometimes. Also, props to you for writing all of your content on Sundays! I’d have such a hard time doing that.

    Kayla | kaylablogs.com

  6. Sara Kate says:

    Great post. This is so relevant to so many of us! Thanks for the tips.

    xo,
    Sara Kate Styling

  7. Kayleigh says:

    I feel like this is so similar with those who are full-time students, it does get hard to balance! Love these tips!
    http://www.kayleighskloset.com

  8. Kait says:

    I agree with all of these things! The balance is SO hard and sometimes employers don’t appreciate you having a blog presence.

  9. Stephanie says:

    Great tips! I’m still in school and not in my career yet, but I think these tips are really applicable to students too!

    Stephanie | http://www.stephanietherese.com

  10. Ashley says:

    These are great tips! I definitely struggle with working full time and blogging! I need to start scheduling the majority of my posts on Sunday!

    xo Ashley

  11. Savannah says:

    Staying on schedule is SO important. This was such a good read!

    http://thealwaysblog.com

  12. It is so great that your job and blog complement each other. It sounds like you are on track with keeping them separate and accountable at work.

  13. Kristin says:

    This is such great advice! I’m adding this post to my favorites because I just graduated from college and it will be super helpful!

    Kristin
    The Blush Blonde

  14. Great Tips Elana. I love the fact that your job and blog are aligned and contribute to your energy. I wish it could have been the case with all part time bloggers. For a maximum people I have come across, they are blogging to escape the mundane day job life and sometimes to quit the day job altogether. And even a small mention of the blogging can cost them their jobs , the source of lively hood till blogging as business takes off.

  15. matthewwilkin7 says:

    Having read this I believed it was really informative. I appreciate you finding the time and energy to put this content together. I once again find myself personally spending a lot of time both reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worth it!

  16. jczlyndon93674 says:

    Hi there! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a team of volunteers and starting a new project in a community in the same niche. Your blog provided us valuable information to work on. You have done a wonderful job!

  17. Love this post! Balancing a job and a blog are difficult, but this post gives great tips!

  18. adriana says:

    I LOVE this!! I really need to work on staying on a better schedule.. I let things get SO out of hand haha!

  19. cazare112v7 says:

    Please let me know if you’re looking for a writer for your weblog. You have some really good articles and I think I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d absolutely love to write some content for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine. Please shoot me an e-mail if interested. Regards!

  20. This is such a great article! And so important to keep in mind, especially if you are changing jobs and they may be worried about you balancing the new job and the blog. Thanks for the advice 🙂

  21. Jillian says:

    Great tips! Blogging while working full time can be difficult so this post is so helpful!

    Jillian
    http://www.rejoiceinthejourney.com

  22. Fabi Ami says:

    Thank you so much for this post! I started a blog and have a full time time so I am super happy that the support is there!

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