When it comes to blogging, there is so much information across the interwebs. However, most of it isn’t perfect for a mom who works all day, is busy in the evenings, and finally has time to blog after bedtime. After blogging for more than 2 years and working full time, it’s time to share how to balance work and blogging!
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I started blogging when Owen was just 7 months old and Aubrey was 2. I was working full-time and Jordan was traveling often. I found myself with extra time on my hands after the kids went to bed–but not a ton of energy. Admittedly, I wanted to do something for myself.
I am still absolutely humbled that more than just my mom & sister read this little piece of the internet. Really— I am.
Anyone who runs their own blog can tell you how much work it can be, but it’s the most gratifying type of work. You literally build something from nothing and it’s the coolest thing.
Now that we are getting closer to the third year mark of blogging, I wanted to share some bits of advice for those who are interested in how to balance work & blogging.
How to Balance Work and Blogging
Let’s be real, this post will continually be updated as I learn more. #neverstoplearning
But before we start, I want to make it very clear that after 2-3 years of blogging I don’t have it figured out. I don’t get the full 8 hours of sleep that my body needs every night. I blog in all the corners of my day. An hour before the kids wake up, hours after they go to bed.
I don’t say this to scare you away, please don’t let me scare you away. I just wanted you to know that I don’t simply write a few words, earn some $$, and call it a day. If you put in the time & effort, blogging will pay off. I know you’ll love blogging, too!
Understand That It Will Take You More Time
I think that looking from the outside in, I always thought that you’d publish a blog post and suddenly everyone stumbles upon to read it. And that actually happened my third week of blogging, I had 1,700 page views in one day! [Thanks to the now defunct Stumble Upon] But no worries, I was back to 40 pageviews by the next day. 🙂
But in reality, a working mom doesn’t have endless hours & energy to devote to blogging. It’s equal parts writing & marketing. But if you are okay with slow, steady, and keeping your head down, you can succeed. But it will take you longer.
Someone with no kids can work 16 hours a day, 6 days a week and grow rapidly. But for us moms, caught in the trenches, well we have just a few precious hours each evening. Don’t be easily persuaded by claims to build a blogging empire and earn six figures in year one if you can only give yourself 8hours a week to blog.
However— those 8 hours every single week can add up over the course of a year. 416 hours for that year. Do not allow yourself to be fooled that you can’t do it. It just might take you a bit longer to make your goals. And there is nothing wrong with that.
Keep reading to see how you can get the most out of working full-time and blogging…
Sacrifice Perfection for Done
This one will paralyze any level of blogger.
Let’s say this together “Done is better than perfect. Done is better than perfect. Done is better than perfect…” you get the picture…
If you don’t have lots of time, don’t spend it making sure everything is perfect on your site. Inevitably you’ll always be tweaking the look of your theme, menus, or pages. Even your posts don’t need to be perfect. In reality, once I publish this post, I’ll probably still go back through and find a few things to fix.
[Use the Grammarly browser extension to help make writing & editing easier!]
Deliver content that is valuable. Your audience won’t notice that you have extra spaces between paragraphs. Or most people won’t notice if you only wrote 500 words instead of 1500. Don’t get caught up in having numerous perfect photos. Develop 2 high-quality photos and provide that great content!
Be Willing to Buy Blogging Courses
This one is HUGE. Want to know my biggest secret on how to balance work & blogging? It’s about learning from those who are already successful. Instead of wasting time trying to learn from several different blog posts, find a highly recommended course that will help you.
I think my biggest frustration that I share with new bloggers is that while starting a blog is super cheap ($3.95 month, seriously!), it won’t make you a pro. You’ll have to set aside a few hundred dollars for the Genesis Framework and a great foundational blogging course. Then you can learn how to create a great foundation that shows you how to build & grow.
Buying blogging courses mean that you are taking your blog seriously and that you’re already starting on the right path towards achieving your blogging goals.
Elite Blog Academy
Wondering about one of the biggest courses I’ve taken? I started Elite Blog Academy in March of 2017, about 14 months after I started blogging. If you’ve never heard of EBA, it’s this super intensive course that walks you through the strategy of turning your blog into a full-blown business.
First you start with refining your message– not jumping into making money blogging. Why? because it’s so important to create great content that readers return for each week. If you aren’t helping others, you won’t be able to grow and monetize.
The course takes you through identifying your target reader, monetization strategies, creating your own products, and finally, creating a business plan.
But EBA isn’t easy. I’d compare it to an intensive college course. And it’s not blogging by numbers. You need to do the work to see the results. However, there is an extremely supportive Facebook group where you can get all your questions answered while you’re taking the course.
Why Did I Choose Elite Blog Academy Rather Than Learning Everything By Myself?
While I love my DIY blog, I do not love making life tougher. After blogging for a year, I wasn’t earning much money. Sure, I loved blogging, however, I felt like I was spinning my wheels every day. I didn’t have a plan ever, I just posted projects we were doing around the house in almost real time.
I didn’t have much time to keep piecing together strategies from several bloggers and hope that they worked for me. Since I was low on time, I needed a course that had a proven track record and was big enough to support me as Our Home Made Easy grew.
Sometimes DIY isn’t always the easiest way.
I know that I don’t have unlimited time to spend blogging. The time that I do have to myself is short– so I wanted to maximize it. And really, like in the home improvement world, sometimes you need to find the pros, sit back, learn, and then do the work. That is exactly what EBA did for me
Do your research and ask around which courses are right for you. Sign up for that blogger’s mailing list to see if you like their teaching style.
But please, don’t waste your time each night. Find a course and start rocking blogging!
Great Freebies from Elite Blog Academy:
- The Secret Blueprint For Blogging Success
- 10 Steps to Take When a Blog Post Goes Viral
- 8 Bad Blogging Habits and How to Break Them
- 120 Awesome Blog Post Ideas
- 2018 Blogging Trends eBook
- 7 Surefire Ways to Boost Your Blog Income Overnight
Devote Specific Nights to Certain Tasks
This is one area that I am starting to focus on harder. As you’ll grow in blogging, you’ll learn that not only do you need to write (duh, Brittany!), but you’ll also need to become a marketing whiz, strategy builder, and an entrepreneur. It can become overwhelming.
Don’t forget about scheduling social media, too. I rely heavily on Tailwind & Tailwind Tribes to keep me active on Pinterest!
If you feel overwhelmed, as I do still, focus writing blog content 1-2 nights per week.
Then on a third night, create graphics for as many posts as possible. This includes editing photos you’ve taken and creating Pinterest images. I’ve found that editing big batches of photos in Lightroom is a lot quicker than editing 3-5 images here & there.
Focus on What Makes You Grow
This trick means more of the ‘doing over perfecting‘ mantra. Once you figure out what makes you grow, continue focusing on that! And not… Facebook or Instagram… There are so many bloggers who have a large social media following. That could be you, someday. But in reality, those channels aren’t enticing people to click over to my blog, resonate with my content, or sign up for my email list.
In my limited time, I’ve focused on routes that cause my email list to grow over social media. Sure brands love to see big followings, but I love having a large consistent income. Some of the best tactics for list building can be found in Jennifer Maker’s List Love Master Course.
After you’ve started growing your page views and affiliate income, start branching out to social media. When you are ready, focus on growing one social media outlet at a time. Start with the one where your target reader hangs out at the most.
Be Willing to Outsource the Tasks
I think this is something most bloggers don’t like to talk about. Getting help. Shoot, you can even think of investing in great education as getting help. But I’m not taking about hiring a general virtual assistant the moment you earn money!
As working moms, we don’t have the ability to do it all. Look at what you can hand-off while still building your blog. [Done over perfection, again!]
Outsource projects to your husband. He doesn’t need to type a word if he is building. 🙂
Once you are financially ready, outsource tasks that you aren’t very good at yourself. This means that you are finding someone who does something way better than you can and for a price that you can afford. Keep your expectations focused so that you find someone who is awesome in something particular, like Pinterest, or graphics, rather than a ‘jill of all trades.‘
If graphic design isn’t your strong area, I highly recommend the FREE Designing Your Blog Growth 3 Day Challenge by Simplifying DIY Design!
Not only does having help make your life easier, but it also helps you find a better balance between trying to do all the things at home, blogging,– and work.
Find Useful Facebook Groups
Facebook is the best & the worst. If you search for blogging in the Facebook search bar, you’ll likely find 50,000 blogging groups. Don’t allow yourself to get sucked in. One of my mentors, Ruth Sukoup always tells our Facebook group “Talking about blogging in a group is not actually working on your blog.” So, those might not be her exact words, but you get the drift. 😉 Work over getting caught up in Facebook drama.
Ask around to other bloggers which groups they find helpful. Join FB groups that come with your paid courses. Since others int he group are in the paid course, they are likely to be as committed ot blogging as you are. And they’ll offer better advice than free FB groups.
One of my favorites right now is the Blog What You Love with Jennifer Maker Facebook group. It’s full of so many talented women at different levels of their blogs. Not only are they insanely helpful, but they are super supportive. Trust me, some days need you just need support.
Know that You Won’t Ace Everything Else
In the post I Skip Dinner Sometimes, I shared how hard it is to try & do it all. And I don’t. I ask for help. And if you are bent on making blogging successful and working full time, chances are, you’ll have to sacrifice something too. That might be sleep, watching TV with your husband, or even cooking a nice dinner every night.
While I didn’t talk to Jordan about starting a blog ahead of time, it was probably something I should’ve done.
If you are thinking about making a blogging business, have that talk first. I was lucky and Jordan tells me that I’m never allowed to quit blogging, ever. But I don’t want you to find yourself stuck in a place where you become too exhausted trying to keep up all the tasks.
Whew! That was wayyy more than I expected to write. But really— I wanted to share how to balance work and blogging because it can be done. But know that working full time will give you the ability to focus on the items that give you the best ROI and give you permission to ignore the rest!
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