About four years ago, I got accepted into law school. At that point in time, I didn’t know whether or not I would continue to pursue my blog. As I went through school, my writing and negotiation skills vastly improved and my blog simultaneously continued to grow. While my career is now in law, my blog keeps me connected to my passions and provides me with an amazing creative outlet. It is an integral part of my life and the inspiration behind my future career goals. Balancing this dual aspect has been challenging, but rewarding. Here are my tips for balancing a blog while working full time.
1. Time Management
I credit blogging through law school for my time management skills now. Learning how to manage your time is paramount to juggling both aspects in your life. A good calendar with your work appointments and editorial calendar are key for scheduling. Overbooking can be a nightmare, but that’s where prioritizing comes in. You can use color-coding to prioritize and more easily identify gaps in your calendar. Remember that most of the time your full-time job will come first, so think of your editorial calendar as another layer to your schedule.
2. Saying No to Media Events
One of the biggest things I’ve learned is how important it is to know when to say no. While you may work from home or have a flexible schedule, endless strings of media events can quickly hijack all of your time and leave you struggling to catch up on your full-time job. A morning event and an evening launch party could easily wind up taking up five hours of your day when you include travel time! You’ve got to prioritize your time.
I’ve simplified this task by taking this position: no events between 9:00 AM-5:30 PM, except for lunch events that I can get to quickly by cab. This works well if you have typical office hours, but it can be beneficial for self-employed creators to set aside a 6 hour window with no interruptions as well. It’s always tough saying no, so make it easier for yourself by sending an email thanking the brand for the invitation, explaining why you can’t make it, and asking for a follow up after the event. You can also ask if there is an alternative event date in the future. This still shows that you are interested without jeopardizing your other priorities.
3. Scheduling time to shoot content
One of my biggest challenges now that I work full time during the day (when the light is the best) is planning content shoots. While I’ve yet to successfully schedule a shoot during lunch, this could be a great option if you have a co-worker of friend who would be willing to help you out. My friend managed to do an outfit shoot at a gorgeous cafe near her workplace during her lunch break!
I prefer to shoot on the weekends. While this has unfortunately taken away the “OOTD” aspect of my blog, it’s also allowed me more time for planning shoots, resulting in better photos. If I wear an outfit I like during the week, sometimes I re-wear the same outfit on the weekend as well.
Travel and vacation time are also excellent opportunities to shoot content. Which brings me to my last point…
4. Having “Evergreen” Content
It is incredibly important to have a stash of content that is relevant to post at any time to fill gaps when you don’t have the time to shoot new content. For me, beauty reviews, wish lists, gift guides, and travel advice blog posts are my go-to’s until I have enough time to shoot and edit new style posts. It’s always nice to have some posts stashed in the drafts section that you can publish in a pinch as well.
Overall, my biggest piece of advice is to take things in stride. Sometimes, you don’t have time to publish a post for a week or two and that’s okay. At the end of the day, your side hustle makes you a more complete person (I wrote more about this here) but sometimes your energy has to be channeled into your day job. Don’t let the pressure of creating while working a 9 to 5 sour your passion for it!