I often get asked how I managed to balance blogging, youtube, and a full-time job. If you didn’t know, I was a full time outpatient physical therapist and was in a clinic 40 hours a week with patients. I did this for over two years before I decided to take the leap and blog full-time. I knew the potential my blog had and decided to put in the work. I stopped treating my blog as a hobby and starting creating a serious plan. My goal was initially to generate a second income to pay off my student loans quicker.
In this post, I’m sharing how I managed to balance my full-time job with my side hustle of blogging and youtube.
Decide if you want your blog to be your hobby or a career
If you’re wanting to keep your blog as a hobby, don’t let it stress you out. Work on it when you’re passionate about sharing and keep it fun! I started my blog during my first year of PT school as a creative outlet to distract me from the stress of school. I kept it up just for fun throughout the years until last year when I thought… if I’m still blogging for fun 5 years later, I must really love it! I wanted to see what would happen if I started being more consistent and intentional with what I was sharing. Plus, I thought it couldn’t hurt to make a little extra money to help pay off my student loans.
If you’re hoping one day to go full-time blogging, you have to hit the ground running and treat it like it already is. That means working on your blog when you’re tired, during your free time on the weekend, and everywhere in between. To be honest, if and when you do go full time, this pace probably won’t stop. Blogging as a career or working for yourself, in general, will always demand more hours than your typical 9-5 job. But hey- I love it so much it often doesn’t even feel like work!
I think this is one of the most common mistakes I see from aspiring influencers. They know they want to make moves, but they continue to treat it like a fun hobby.
One of my issues with blogging is figuring out what I should focus on, whether it’s growth and engaging on Instagram, pitching, creating content, writing content, filming videos, editing videos, shopping for new content, answering comments and DMs, emails, etc. I know it sounds pretty blunt, but it makes sense to prioritize the tasks that will bring home the best return of investment of your time first, and consider the extra bonus points.
That means you have to prioritize income-generating tasks over anything else. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the to-do’s in this industry, but you really have to double down on what’s moving your business and forget about the rest. I talk more about this in my course, The Profitable Influencer!
Utilize your free-time
How much free- time you use will depend on how much you want out of your blog. If you’re wanting to make it your career as soon as possible, you’ll have to make some sacrifices to your free time. I started bringing my laptop to work every day so I could take advantage of my hour lunch break to get a few things done. That means if you need to wake up an hour earlier, or cut out the Netflix binging on the couch after dinner, you have to use the free-time you have to work on your goals.
When it comes to the weekends, that’s when you should really utilize your time wisely for content creation and things you couldn’t get done during the work week. Every now and then I would squeeze in a shoot with my photographer right after work, which meant waking up early to pack up my car and taking some extra time to get ready that day for work. I knew in the beginning investing in a photographer would be the best way for me to get regular content and also unload the editing. In one hour I could accomplish with my photographer what 4+ hours of doing it myself would do! And let’s be honest, the photos would be way higher quality.
Don’t have any free time?
If you want your blog to be a hobby then just squeeze it in when you enjoy it, no stress needed! But if you’re wanting it to make money one day (and one day soon) then you need to find the free time in your schedule. Everyone has the same amount of time during the day…it’s how you prioritize that time that matters. Sure, you’ll have to make some changes to your current lifestyle, whether it’s waking up an hour and a half earlier, stopping your after-work habit of browsing Instagram, etc. You just have to eliminate your distractions during your day to get it done! If you’re struggling to find it, I recommend tracking your time for a week and seeing where your time is wasting. How much time do you scroll Instagram consuming everyone else’s hard work??
Make the most of your weekends
On the weekends, you need to prioritize most of your time to prep for the following week. Batch shoot images for your blog and Instagram, record videos so you can edit during the week, or write up 2-3 blog posts for the week. Whatever your platform priority is, get it ready to go over the weekend and schedule it out so it’s ready to go when you’re busy during the work week.
Create a realistic posting schedule
If someone checks your blog and they see the same post at the top each time, they will eventually stop checking. You have to post consistently to keep readers coming back. My biggest tip is to stick to a schedule you can maintain, even if that’s just once or twice a week. I did this when I first started youtube last year. I committed to posting one video a week, and eventually, it’s gone up as I got more efficient filming and editing.
Don’t overwhelm yourself thinking you have to post 5 days a week because that’s what the bigger bloggers do. They do it full time! Stick to a schedule you can handle so your audience can learn what to expect from you week after week. You don’t have to do all the things to be successful, you just have to be consistent.
Use Your Calendar To Hold You Accountable
One of the best things you can do to hold yourself accountable and take away the overwhelming stress is to map out when you plan to do what. For instance, if I knew I wanted to publish 3 blog posts in one week I would schedule out time on my calendar to write and edit the blog posts. Then I would put reminders on my calendar to promote the content when it goes live. This also helps me decide what I post about on Instagram stories each day. It also helps to create a flow to the content I share. The key here is to block out the time slots on your calendar. This will also hold you accountable so you don’t “push off” tasks or trade that time for non-income generating tasks.
* * *
I hope that was helpful if you’re in the process of balancing a full-time job with your blog, or if you want to in the future! If you want to read more blogging tips, I shared 4 mistakes holding you back from growing as an influencer here. I also have a ton of free resources, here!