How to Balance Blogging with Your Full-Time Job

When I created The Blissful Balance, I had one thing in mind: the balance between a healthy lifestyle and my favorite indulgences. I was blogging about achieving a blissful balance; eating a big bowl of spaghetti with no guilt, going for a run without obsessing over how many calories I’d burned, just living life and enjoying its’ simplest pleasures. Two years later, I’ve witnessed myself struggling to balance a few other things in life. The biggest balancing act I’ve had to learn is how to balance ‘The Blissful Balance’ with a full-time job.

This is a tough one. So many aspects come into play when balancing work with blogging. You have to leave room for exercise, cooking, family time, a social life, SLEEP. Just like with many things in life, you will learn as you go. You’ll find what works for you, but today I’m hoping to provide you with some tips and insight on how to find your balance.

Here’s what works for me:

How to Balance Blogging With Your Full-Time Job

spare time is blog time

I wake up really early almost everyday to exercise before I start my day. Additionally, I do my best work in the morning. Therefore, I am waking up even earlier to get blogging done before exercising. Depending on how busy my work day is, sometimes I will work on the blog while I eat lunch (if I can afford to take a break from work). Then, there’s always the after-work-hours blogging. The toughest of them all. After staring at a computer screen all day, it can be very difficult to get yourself to continue laptop-ing (new word). It’s all in your control and depends on what your goals are.

I recently read Will Write for Food by Dianne Jacobs (highly recommend!) and in the book, Dianne mentions one of my favorite bloggers, Lindsay Ostrom of Pinch of Yum. Lindsay was a school teacher before becoming a full-time blogger. She would work on the blog in the morning before leaving for work around 7AM, then test recipes and do photoshoots after school. Having a sister who’s a school teacher, I know what a busy life that is.

use your weekends

I reserve my Sundays especially for blogging. Well, I try to limit it to Sundays (for my sanity), but I almost always end up popping open my laptop on Saturdays. I use my weekends to plan, recipe test, photograph and write for the upcoming week(s). My goal is to always be at least one post ahead of myself. I know it can be tough to work on the weekends, but you’ve got to make sacrifices for something you really want. Plus, if you don’t absolutely love blogging, then why are you doing it? For me, it makes no difference what day of the week it is, as long as I make sure to give myself breaks. I love blogging, so it never feels like work.

plan, plan, plan. plan plan plan plan…plan

I cannot say it enough. Okay, maybe I said it too many times, but PLANNING makes such a huge difference! Once I began viewing my blog as a business, I began treating it like one. I use this as a planning and organizational tool, and write out my monthly editorial calendar. It helps me stay on track and assists in giving myself deadlines. I work much better with a deadline! If you have goals for your blog, then stop viewing it as a hobby, but as a second job. You would never slack or ignore work you had to do at your day job, right?

get out of the house

Get out of your house and work on your blog somewhere else. When I go somewhere else to work, like a coffee shop for instance, I tell myself what I’m going to get done, and that it needs to be done before I leave. This is a mind game and tricks yourself into thinking you have a time constraint on something. If you work from home all the time, you’re more likely to push it aside and be distracted by something else.

How to Balance Blogging with your Full-Time Job

let’s phone a friend

I reached out to a few of my bloggie friends to get their perspective and tips on how they balance their blog with a 9-5. Here’s what they said:

“Whenever possible, I try to utilize my lunch hour at work to write a quick post that I review and set-up to post once I get home. Using my lunch to write for myself really helps to break up my work day. Plus it never hurts to return to the blog with fresh eyes a few hours later to make sure I’m still satisfied with what I wrote.”
– Emily Ruth Weir of emilyruthweir.com

 

“For me, balance is about making time for my needs and the needs of my husband. While I’d love to spend every evening glued to my computer working on new content, it’s terrible for my relationship! I have to be conscious of where I put my focus and I have to stick to a schedule that includes time focusing on each of my priorities. My solution has been to take a “working” lunch. I have an hour in the middle of the day that I use to eat lunch and work on new content. I also keep my planner on my desk at work so I can jot down ideas as they come to me. The balance is hard, but if you love what you do, you make it work. Having an insanely supportive husband helps too.”
– Pragati Gusmano of simplemedicine.co

 

“I have five main tips that I go by…

1. Plan a blogging schedule…make a plan of posts that you would like to do. I love google calendar for this! I don’t always stick exactly to it, but its good to have a plan.
2. Take pictures and edit in batches…best part about having a tentative schedule is that you know what can be coming up!
3. Work on content when you’re inspired…I used to be stuck when I couldn’t come up with something to blog about because I wasn’t sure when I could take pictures, or edit, or share on social media, etc. Now, I just like to write when I’m inspired. Worst comes to worst, I save it as a draft and come back to it whe I can add great pictures!
4. Blog REAL life. Yes, having a schedule is great, but if you do something great and something your reader would enjoy, then share it!
5. Remember to use it as a way to connect with others and enjoy it for the reason you started…I like to remind myself why I’m blogging in the first place!”
– Colleen O’Connor of keepitrealclean.com

 

“Scheduling Facebook posts in advance has been helpful. I usually only pin on Friday – Sunday, as I find those are when I get the most repins, and will usually do it while I eat breakfast to save time. I also try to batch-test recipes and photograph in a large chunk of time, i.e. Sunday afternoons, especially when I can get good daylight. And I think every single post on Insta is a “latergram” — I usually take most of my pictures on the weekend and then post them throughout the next week. ”
– Alexandra Maul of madetoglow.com

 

So even though I’m still fairly new, I’ve quickly learned that scheduling and planning is an absolute must if I want (quality) content to get out. I work full time + travel that sometimes carries over to the weekend (like the end of this month for example). I’m planning recipes about a week out, and will do anywhere from 3-6 recipes on the weekends. Giving room for some failure (yup), photog setup (still learning) and a little bit of writing/prepping the post. Mostly writing 1-2 days before hand, and finalizing the post if necessary the night before. It helps that my husband and I don’t mind having separate schedules sometimes, and he knows the mornings-midday on the weekends are when I need to do most of my blogging work. I use Hootsuite to schedule Instagram and Twitter, and Buffer for Facebook.”
– Ashley Hovey of fitmittenkitchen.com

 

Join the conversation:
Bloggers: what tips would you add here?
Readers: how to you balance work with life?
What’s your favorite thing to do when you aren’t working or blogging?
What’s the best method of relaxation for you?

The Ultimate Guide to Breakfast On-The-Go

Comments

  1. says

    Great tips! I find that when I plan and do a bunch of blog posts on Sunday I am much more happy and stressed about my blog posts…BUT sometimes life gets in the way and that does not happen and you just have to go with it. Blogging can definitely be overwhelming and take up a lot of time, so it is so important to find that balance. Working on that NOW! Happy Friday!
    She Rocks Fitness recently posted…My WORKOUTS In OctoberMy Profile

    • The Blissful Balance says

      Exactly. Sometimes I have other things going on over the weekends and I have to compensate! It’s tough but totally worth it :) happy Friday to you, too!! xoxo

    • The Blissful Balance says

      Such a great tip, Debbie. I have actually started to do this as well, and you’re right, it totally helps when I feel drained, tired or not creative

  2. says

    Awesome tips! Although I am still a student in college, my schedule has really picked up during the week that sometimes the only time I have to shoot recipes or write posts is on the weekends. It may be tough opening my laptop to write and edit photos on a Saturday afternoon, but I am chasing after something I love so it is all worth it to me!
    Brie @ Lean, Clean, & Brie recently posted…{Friday Favorites} 10/16My Profile

    • The Blissful Balance says

      Oh girl. I completely understand, when I was blogging in college it was definitely not easy, either!! I tried to look at it like this is my escape from my studies, I used it to get my mind off of school for a bit

  3. says

    Great post Christina!! Balancing blogging/life is probably one of the hardest things that people don’t realize! I like how you dedicate your sundays to blogging – i try to do the same although in the summer that barely happened at all. Thats why im secretly excited for it to get cold again, so i can cozy up in a coffee shop and get it to WERK. Hope you have a great weekend love <3
    Beverley Cheng recently posted…Spinach, Zucchini and Ricotta Stuffed Pasta ShellsMy Profile

    • The Blissful Balance says

      Thank you so much, Beverley!! That sounds amazing, actually. I just wanna put a giant sweatshirt on, make a cup of coffee and get to typing ;D thanks for the love!

    • The Blissful Balance says

      Hi Hillary – the plugin is called Click to Tweet ha! I am actually sharing a post next week about my favorite plugins!

  4. says

    Great post! I’ve found that keeping my phone on me at all times is super helpful. I’m always recording ideas and sometimes even audio recording post content. The biggest thing I learned recently was to record everything and then have it transcribed to save time. It only costs $1 per minute for a pretty decent quality is what was said at the mini-conference I attended. I’m definitely going to try this out!
    Ashley Grant recently posted…My First Time Lunching at Del Frisco’s Tampa!My Profile

  5. says

    Great post, Christina! I try to do a lot of the tips you and the other bloggers talked about! Weekends are my time for recipe testing and photographing, social media scheduling is a savior, and I take breaks when I need to and things get too crazy with my 9-5 job.

  6. says

    I keep a notebook with me at all times. Someone said write while you’re inspired, I get ideas for blog posts in some of the most interesting places. I’ve been known to stop in the middle of the grocery store because I saw something that gave me an idea. When you mention planning, writing down even crazy ideas helps to work towards planning posts. I also have a secret pinterest board for when I find things on the internet that inspire me. As far as the time to blog, glad you posted tips. I used to be so much better about posting in a timely manner & then I changed jobs, moved to a new city and now I have to find a new groove. Every little tip helps :-)
    Kellie ~ The Hurricane In Heels recently posted…Absent Without LeaveMy Profile

    • The Blissful Balance says

      You’re so right!! I need to be better at it, too. I tend so think to myself ‘oh I’ll remember this and do it later” yeah… never works! Haha. Thanks for the love, Kellie! <3

  7. says

    I love that you limit one weekend day to blog. It’s so important when it comes to balance. Let’s face it, most of us could find something to write about every spare second of the day :) I think being mindful of how I spend my time prevents burnout too. I’d never want my blog to feel too moch like “work.”
    Pragati // Simple Medicine recently posted…The Gratitude DinnerMy Profile

  8. says

    I started my blog after moving to a new city where I didn’t know anyone. I live alone and was in a long distance relationship so my blog kind of took over my life! I love it and I spend probably way too much time on it but right now I don’t have any other real responsibilities outside of my day job so it’s the perfect time to work on the blog and see where it might take me!
    Jill @ RunEatSnap recently posted…November Recap – Books I ReadMy Profile

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