Most people who start a blog do it as a side project at the beginning, whilst working full time. So, how to blog successfully and work a full time job is a challenge that they encounter and have to overcome in order to do both.
For some, blogging is a hobby, or a way of expression a passion (drawing, crafts, movie reviewing, etc). Others view a blog as a side hustle, an endeavor that will, hopefully, provide extra income in the long run.
I admit I relate to both reasonings. So I started my blog, Cozy Home Hacks because I
- Needed a project to keep me occupied and engaged during quarantine and the months that followed;
- I like writing and I love reading blogs;
- Wanted to build extra income streams, beside the monthly paycheck I already had (I guess quarantine and layouts helped me realize that, too)
It took me a while to actually start the blog, but I delayed it with a purpose: consistency. Which leads me to my first suggestion. So, if you want to know how to blog successfully AND work a 9-5 job, see how I’ve been doing it and how it has worked for me so far:
1. Post consistently.
I’ve started other blogs in the past. I would have an idea of a topic I like or would like to write about, so I would quickly find a name for it and open a wordpress account. I’d write a couple of posts in the first week, then gradually start to slack off. A couple of months later, the blog would be dead.
So this time around, when I started my blog, I wanted to make sure this was a strong idea and that I could be consistent with it. I say this because consistency is a very important part of having a successful blog. A blog will not be immediately profitable or even have traffic from day one, so you need to keep at it long enough to start seeing the results. Otherwise, you will start to slack off and just give up, like I did in the past.
If you want to be consistent, you need to always allocate time for blogging. And / or write in advance. Which leads me to my next point:
2. Write your posts in advance.
This is a great tip especially if you haven’t started the blog yet, but it also works for people already blogging.
In order to keep up and not feel overwhelmed by the idea you have to blog weekly (once, twice, as many times you want), you have to be ahead of the game with at least 2 or 3 articles, in my opinion.
I mentioned people who haven’t started a blog yet because it’s easier to do it then and a better head start. That’s what I did.
I decided I wanted to blog, I decided on my niche, and I brainstormed 20-30 blog post ideas. Then I started writing them. I first hit publish on a post after I’ve already had 10 blog posts written. I did it to have a jump start and to be able to be consistent with blog posts. It definitely worked and it’s still useful.
Another thing that worked is planning my content.
3. Have a content game plan.
For a blogger, the content is the most important of the job. You need to make sure you publish quality posts every time, posts that are relevant and useful to your audience.
Sometimes you run out of ideas, and that’s normal. But being in a rut can mess with the consistency of your posting schedule, so you need to make sure you don’t get into that situation.
That’s why I recommend you start and constantly update a blog post ideas list. Open one in a Google Sheet or an email draft, or in your planner.
After you have the list of ideas, you can easily choose one and start drafting the blog post.
Another tip for you, if you want to create a great content game plan, is to have a content planner template. Below you will find a sample of my own. It has
- Name (or subject) of the post;
- Category in which it will be placed;
- Status (published or scheduled, or just written);
- When is supposed to be published
- Link to the post;
- If I made Pins for it
- If I actually pinned them on Pinterest;
- A second batch of pin creation and publication, to make sure I come back to older posts.
My content plan has Pinterest sections because, for me, Pinterest is the social media platform I chose to focus on in the beginning. So I always make sure I am present there and post regularly.
If you’re in the same boat, I recommend that you publish the post after you’ve also done the pins, so that it will be easier for you to promote it.
That’s why, if you want to know how to blog successfully, the content plan is one of the tools that will definitely help:
– it keeps you organized;
– it helps you be consistent with posting;
– it’s easier to track your progress and your next steps.
After you’ve figured out what to blog about, now it’s time to write.
4. Schedule time for blogging.
I know we can all get caught up in the “I don’t have enough time for it” mindset, but trust me, you do. We all do. There are people out there with much less time than most of us do, who actually blog successfully.
For example, I watch a YouTuber who works full-time, has two kids and a big house, cooks & cleans by herself, and who finds time to post 3 or 4 times a week on Youtube, all 30-40 minute long videos. She said she allocates about 20-30 hours a week for YT, besides her normal 40-hour work week,and still finds time to read a book or spend time with her kids.
You can find time for blogging, too, I guarantee it. It’s just a matter of managing your time wisely.
Start by writing down your daily routine, and allocate minutes and hours to it.
Say, you wake up at 7, you do your morning routine and are out the door by 8. Commuting takes an hour, and then you work 9 to 5 30, with a half an hour lunch break. One hour commute back, so you get home at 6 30. Prepare dinner and eat until 7 30, then chill time with husband and kids until you go to bed.
After you wrote down the daily routine, find time slots in which you can squeeze in blogging.
Taking the example above, you can allocate 20 minutes of your morning routine to checking emails, Analytics, Social Media, etc. Then you can start drafting a blog post during lunch break. Then you can finish it at night, after you’ve tucked in the kids. See? Three moments in the day in which you can actually write content. You should be able to find more time on the weekend, too.
Writing posts should be the most important of your strategy at the beginning, so write whenever you can. If that means squeezing in 10 minutes of writing during work hours, because there’s nothing more urgent to do, I won’t tell, so go for it!
5. Write whenever you get inspired.
I don’t know about you, but I write better and faster when I’m in the mood for it or when inspiration strikes on a particular subject.
You have no ideas how many times my schedule said “post about dinner recipes”, but I suddenly had a great idea for a career post, so I went with that, instead.
It’s very important to be aware of your instincts and your creativity, and write whatever you feel the need to write. (Unless it’s a sponsored post that needs to go out tomorrow and you haven’t written it yet. You need to write that specific post first, money and reputation depends on it.)
My best posts and the most natural ones are the ones I started writing on the spot or when I was in the mood.
I suggest you honor that feeling, too, and write especially when you are inspired.
You might be in the middle of a zoom meeting or watching TV; in that case, just open the Notes app and write the main ideas there, it will definitely help when you sit down to actually write the post.
Funnily enough, I started writing this exact post on a Tuesday night, on my Ipad*, while I was playing Mahjong on the tablet. And here we are 🙂
6. Treat it like a business.
If you were to start your own company right now, you would allocate money, time and resources on it, right?
So treat your blog like you would your company, and do whatever it takes to make it successful. That means
- Spending extra hours on it,
- Finding ways to make it profitable,
- Figuring out the logistics of everything,
- Making sacrifices,
- Promoting it
….and so on.
The moment you take blogging seriously, it will become a serious topic for you, and you will make things happen. You will learn how to blog successfully, because it will be a necessity and a need for you.
So, are you ready to make this happen? Let’s do this!
I hope you’ve learned a bit on how to blog successfully and work a 9-5 job at the same time, and I hope this article helped and you can implement some of the things I mentioned.
Let me know in the comments if you’re in the same situation and how you’re managing it?! What are you doing to make it happen?
P.S. If you want to increase your income, find out How To Save Money!
*This post contains Amazon affiliate links, which means that I may receive a commission if you make a purchase using these links, at no extra cost to you.