“Wait… you work a 9-to-5 job? I thought you were a Full-Time Blogger!”
The amount of times I hear this is astounding! Yes, it’s true. I live a “double-life” as many other bloggers do. It’s about time I shared this post and tell you all how I juggle blogging while working a Full-Time 9-to-5 job. Be warned, this post is going to be lengthy!
So what do you do? What’s your 9-to-5?
I am currently a Human Resources professional. I actually went to school for this and earned my Bachelor’s of Business Administration degree in Human Resources Management. I also furthered my career by earning my SHRM-CP certification at the end of 2017.
Wow, that’s really different. What made you start blogging?
Yup, it’s definitely different for sure. I always had a thing for fashion and writing… and this whole idea of blogging really started kicking off so I figured why the hell not. I took my Instagram account more seriously and I launched a website. If you’ve been following me since the beginning, you’ll remember that I launched as Jennsemble (a spin on Jenn’s Ensemble). Purely fashion. I easily burned out and lost of drive by the end of year one. Took a 3-4 month hiatus and then Planoly with a new name: Jubilant Dose. I switched my focus to incorporate fashion, lifestyle and just self-empowerment. Opening up my focus to include more topics, to be able to share layers of myself and hopefully reach an audience who can relate and learn/grow from my experiences is what made me passionate again.
Alright, before we dive in I just want to clarify that by “blogging” I am using it as a universal term to encompass being a blogger, influencer, content creator, digital story teller, and anything in this genre. If I’m honest, I’m a horrible blogger. My previous post before this one was a over a month ago. The only thing I’m truly consistent with is Instagram. One of my goals is to start blogging more consistently again, but I’ll touch on that later.
Disclaimer: My personality is that I need to constantly be busy doing something, aka a workaholic. If not, I go crazy. Blogging feels like another Full-Time job so if you plan on juggling both, just know that it won’t be easy but it’s certainly doable.
The key to juggling essentially two jobs is time management, consistency, remaining inspired, and hard work. Since your blog is your baby, it will only grow based on how much time, effort, and work you put into it. #Truth. I’ll give you the run down on what I do to stay sane and maintain, as well as some tips/advice!
How I Juggle Blogging While Working A Full-Time 9-to-5 Job
Manage your time wisely.
Since you have a corporate job to worry about, most of your time in a day will be allocated to doing your job there and focusing on those responsibilities. Setting specific times to work on your blog/social media is key. This allows you to keep to a routine and engrave designated times of focus for different things. Time is precious, so I definitely use what I have. I allocate time in the morning, mid-day, and night to work on my social media accounts and blog. I rely heavily on using the time I spend commuting to and from work to work on things I need to take care of, whether it be posting content, answering emails, or engaging. I heavily use my google calendar to keep my life in order. Being able to see what I have coming up or even setting reminders is super helpful. I’ve found that when it comes to working on projects, if I add time to my calendar I tend to stick to it and get the job done. I don’t do this for everything, but as a reminder if I need to answer an important email or work on editing photos, it’s great to stay organized. Also, to keep sane, I definitely schedule in me time to unwind and relax. Very important.Pro Tips:
1) Shut off Instagram notifications. This will keep your phone from blowing up and for you checking it every few seconds.
2) Map out your posts. Use a post planner like Planoly to plan your content ahead of time. It’s helpful to visually map everything out and you can even schedule posts too. For blog posts, I suggest to have a list of ideas ready and dedicate time to write them out. I use WordPress as a platform so it makes it easy to save drafts and schedule posts to go up on a specific date/time.
3) Stock up on content. Since I only really have weekends to take photos, I shoot several outfits in the same day to stock up on content (bless my boyfriend for being my main photographer). Knowing this, I try to have an idea on what I need to shoot, location, and deadlines beforehand. For me, I typically shoot everything on Saturdays. If I need more content, or the weather stood in the way, I find alternative ways to get content. Whether it be meeting with other bloggers on Sunday for brunch or after work (since it’s summer). If I know I have events coming up, I make sure I plan ahead to look nice so I can snag an outfit pic.
4) Filler pics. These will literally be your best friend and save your life. I wish I had all the time in the world to shoot multiple outfits in multiple locations, but a) I don’t have the time b) nor the money for clothes. So I turn to filler shots. Examples are: product shots, creative flatlays, food/dessert, coffee, architecture, cute spots, etc. This gives dimension to your feed as well as a breather to easily capture something (even if it has to be on the go). As long as you have an eye for it, that will definitely help.
5) Batch editing. I edit all my photos in batches and in Lightroom. I created my own presets and apply the one that fits best for a shoot. Learning shortcuts to this has definitely helped me tons, i.e. selecting all the photos in the same batch and applying the same preset. Using my presets as a base, I adjust each photo how I like it but having them all have the same edit is great for saving time and maintaining consistency. Life. Saver.
You’ll hear this in every basic tip in the blog-o-sphere. Consistency is essential. Whether this be in your editing style, your niche (sticking to one), your voice/message, and your content in general. Practice makes perfect and as you keep building, you’ll grow and learn.Pro Tips: 1) Identify your theme/niche. Pick a niche that you’re happy with and fly with the wind. I mentioned earlier that at first I picked fashion, but realized I didn’t want to be pigeonholed into one thing so I branched out to have three main themes. That’s OK. Just make sure you stick to it/them consistently. I’d say anything over 3 is kind of pushing it. As long as you don’t have 10 different ideas that clash or don’t go together or if you plan on switching it up all the time, you’ll be fine. Readers, viewers, and audience all want to know exactly what you’re a resource for and that you’ll consistently deliver.
2) Consistent editing. It’s OK to try new editing styles and test things out. Trial and error is great to figure out what you like best and what your viewers enjoy the most. But once you find it, stick to the same editing style. Editing consistently will help draw someone in to your style/signature as well as make everything more cohesive. Lightroom presets are great, or you can use specific filters from VSCO or anything else.
3) Posting time. Posting consistently is just as important so people know when they can expect content from you. I currently stick to posting once daily on Instagram. I used to stick to a new blog post every Wednesday but I have clearly fell off that wagon and my stats have dipped (sorry for going MIA). I’m working on incorporating consistent posting on my blog again so stay tuned.
Can’t stress this enough. Blogging is literally another Full-Time job, except you’re held 100% accountable. Whatever effort you put in is what you’ll get out of it. Combined with time management and consistency, being devoted and dedicated is crucial. Whether this means sacrificing sleep, waking up crack of the dawn early to shoot, or whatever it is, just purely being willing to put the blood, sweat, and tears into this is going to get you far.
I’m currently writing this post at 2 AM in the morning even when I have to wake up in a few hours to head to work. It’s all about what you’re willing to sacrifice. For the past month, I was not willing to sacrifice me time and sleep to be consistent at blogging so I fell off the wagon. As a result, I lost readership since I wasn’t producing any new content. Once I start posting consistently again, I’m sure my blog will continue to grow but until then it won’t. Grow your baby. Nurture it. Feed it. Give it the attention it needs.Pro Tips:
1) Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Focus on one thing at a time, whether it be on purely blogging and maintaining a website. Or focusing on Instagram. Whatever it is or how many things it is, just make sure that you’re comfortable and able to devote the time to it. Juggling too many things can become overwhelming and can/will stress you out.
2) Network. Connecting with other like-minded individuals who are entrepreneurs, bloggers, etc. is a great way to learn and grow. You can always learn from others’ experiences, get advice, and develop new friendships. Networking with the right community will give you a support system and expand your knowledge. Don’t be afraid to reach out.3) Be inspired.
4) The worst you can be told is no. Know your worth. Value your work. Don’t be afraid to ask. This applies to everything. Circling back to networking, don’t be afraid to ask someone a question or advice or to meet up. Referring to pitching, don’t ever be afraid to pitch to a brand/company an idea you have or propose a partnership to start a relationship. And never ever be afraid to ask for compensation for your work product. You put the hard time and effort into your content, so never undervalue what your time and work is worth. I think the worst thing is to assume the answer is no. If you don’t ask, you’ll never get a true answer.
5) Dedicate Me-Time. While working hard on blogging is great, do not over-work yourself. Know when it’s time to take a step back, to unplug, reevaluate, and just relax. You are not a work horse. You do not want to suffer from burn out. You do not want to have something you’re passionate about turn into something you hate. Take care of yourself. I touch more on this in my post Why Self Love Matters.
Hope this post was helpful! It’s good to be back.