How to Blog While Working Full Time

How to blog while working full time | #blogging #socialmedia | SONIASTYLING.COM

I was having a chat recently with one of my bloggy friends (who is a freelancer) and she asked me how I fit everything blog related into my week while still working full time.

Truth be told, I have no other choice but to be organised.

Plus, being a typical Virgo, I’m obsessed with structure, routine and order!

Here’s what a typical week in my life looks like…

BLOG POSTS

When it comes to planning my blog posts, I use a monthly paper planner (mine is from Kikki.K) so that I can see everything in front of me in black and white (and blue for when drafts are due and green for sponsored posts).

I like to try and mix up my topics, but sometimes there’s just more to say about fashion one week and then the following might be more lifestyle focussed… and that’s OK. I don’t get too hung up on it and don’t allocate specific topics to specific days – except Wednesday tends to feature a What Sonia Wore post.

I blog 5 days per week (Monday to Friday) and that’s the absolute maximum I can handle right now. For other people it might be 3 days per week and for some it might even be 7 – choose the workload that suits you. Blogging should fit into your life, not the other way around.

Once I’ve planned my posts (which tend to be on a week by week basis – though sometimes I can plan a fortnight’s worth of ideas), I use my weeknights and some of my weekends to write. I tend to take most of my photos on the weekend, so I can make the most of the natural light during the day that I miss during the week.

As Nikki from Styling You said in this post, even though I might plan my posts a bit in advance, I tend to write them as close to the go live date as possible so that all information is accurate and up to date and any items I’m linking to are (hopefully) still in stock.

COMMENTS AND EMAILS

I try and reply to comments on the go, because there’s nothing more overwhelming than having to sit down and reply to 3 or 5 days’ worth of comments in a sitting. That’s way too time consuming. So I’ll check in on my posts and social media during my commute to and from work and also on my lunchbreak. I’ve also been known to reply to comments while in the checkout queue at Woolworths!

As for emails, I tend to do the same thing. I try and check my emails twice a day so that I can keep my inbox to one page maximum – otherwise if I lose sight of things, I’ll forget about them. If I need to come back to an email because I can’t answer it right away for some reason, I’ll leave it in my inbox. Once I’ve replied to an email, I file it into a relevant folder straight away so I know I’ve dealt with it.

SOCIAL MEDIA

I have a bit of a routine when it comes to social media…

Facebook: share my blog post at 6am (Adelaide time) each morning, share my quote for the day around 7.30am, and then share something I’ve found or ask a question in the evening. Sometimes I’ll also post something during the day if I feel compelled to.

Instagram: share my quote for the day around 7.30am, share my outfit post for the day around lunchtime, and then share my blog post for the day in the evening.

Twitter: erm, I’m not amazing at Twitter! I find it too fast paced for me to keep up with and really get into, but I still try to maintain a presence so I share my blog posts and my quotes, and also share other people’s blog posts.

Pinterest: I find Pinterest so relaxing! I’ll spend 10-15 minutes a day (sometimes twice a day – morning and evening) to pin images from my blog and to also pin other people’s images. It’s also great for inspiration.

As for the scheduling and sharing tools I use…

Bitly is a free link shortening tool that also tracks the clicks on your links. Facebook seems to like Bitly and it’s also useful for not using up too many characters on Twitter. I find it incredibly easy to use and highly recommend it.

CoSchedule is something I was recently introduced to recently by some of my favourite bloggers. It’s a WordPress plugin that makes sharing your blog posts on social media super simple. Once I’ve written a blog post, I then set up my social media sharing on Facebook and Twitter. I’ve only just started using CoSchedule (it has a 2 week free trial period and is then $10 per month) so I’m still wrapping my head around everything it can do, but it’s already making my blogging life so much easier.

What I’m Not Doing

A newsletter. I know I need to do one and I really want to do one – I’m just buying into the fear that comes before starting something new. My plan is to suck it up (princess) and carve out an extra hour per week to create my newsletter. I want it to be something of value to my future subscribers, so I just need to pull my finger out and plan what that will look like… and then bloody well do it!

And there you have it – a week in my blogging life!

For more ideas on how to balance your blog your day job, check out this post over on Suger Coat It.

Bloggers – how do you fit your blogging in with your home/work life?

What are your favourite scheduling and sharing tools to use?

Comments

  1. says

    Great post Sonia. I always love seeing how other bloggers make it work, especially when you’re still working full time in another job.
    I try to plan out my posts at the start of the month and then write my posts for the next week on the weekend. I do end up doing a fair bit of writing/research/back end stuff of weeknights as well as reading other people’s blogs. Luckily my husband is very understanding and encourages me to spend time doing blog stuff.
    I love using co schedule for planning my posts out and for social media, it makes things so much easier.
    I’m a natural planner too (definitely a Virgo thing) so I find that being organised and structured is the easiest way to manage blogging and working.
    I was doing 5 posts a week but when I got pregnant and sick I had to take a little break and slowly build back up. Now I’m back up to 4-5 posts per week and it’s manageable. No doubt things will change when the baby is here and I’m working around her!

  2. merilyn says

    just want to say I think you are amazing Sonia!
    now we know how you do it all!
    I’ve decided not to blog because I’m not organized enough!;)
    you are excellent at answering comments and emails hun!
    and as for a news letter I think they are a waste of time! I read many blogs
    i find a newsletter redundant, because they repeat of all I’ve read through the week! … really not worth it! … only if those blog posts aren’t sent to my inbox each day then the newsletter is the only contact and catch up!
    my take on it! … hope to be helpful! … love m:)X

  3. says

    I don’t really plan anything or use any co schedule tools although a few friends swear by co schedule. I manage 4-6 posts a week, it depends on what’s going on in my life. I manage a newsletter but only once s month…which rolls around quickly. You do an amazing job fitting it all in and genius doing all your pics on a weekend

    • Sonia says

      Thanks Jen! Maybe the thought of a weekly newsletter is what’s overwhelming me? Perhaps a less frequent one is what will get me started…

  4. says

    I can’t love this enough Sonia! I’m a newbie blogger and trying to find a routine and habit is really hard, especially on those weeks that you can’t put aside a free hour to just relax.
    I praise you for blogging so often each week, keep it up! xx

  5. Kelly says

    Hi Sonia. Thanks for sharing – it is nice to know the behind the scenes stuff! Can I say I also say as a blog reader, I don’t see any value in a newsletter. To be honest, I would be happier knowing you spent the time it would take enjoying a good wine and some time with your husband and adorable dog. Bear in mind I know nothing about growing a blog so you can totally ignore this opinion if it doesn’t fit in with your long term plans.

  6. says

    Thanks for mentioning my post in your awesome post! It’s a tricky thing to juggle sometimes but I think the pace of it, the inspiration of external factors helps in its own way too. Off to check out Bitly.

  7. says

    Thank you for sharing what works for you: you’re so organised, it’s very inspiring!

    Being a fellow Virgo and someone who doesn’t work full-time, you’d think I’d be a touch more organised… but I’m just not. I’m not quite sure when I became so unravelled and I don’t think I’ll ever find my way back to being super organised unfortunately.

    • Sonia says

      I’m not the most organised blogger out there – far from it – but I think the key is to just do what works best for you. And don’t compare yourself to others (though I’m still working on that bit)…!

  8. says

    I really really loved your blog post today, so much so that i’ve sent my little one out with the husband so I could plan out my blogging calendar. Was the perfect article to read at a time when I was feeling down about the whole blogging business. Love your work!

    • Sonia says

      Oh I’m so glad I could help! That’s brilliant. Hope you’re feeling nice and organised now.

  9. Claire says

    Hi Sonia

    I like your other readers feel sad that you will be giving time up for a newsletter than offers no value add.
    I like the others find its general just a rehash of already shared info.
    I love what you currently do and will click on the link from Facebook if the story appeals to me. I also love your Instagram outfits.
    Keep doing what you do best.
    Goodluck

  10. Aitch says

    Like other people have said, I don’t really value a newsletter. I subscribe to newsletters because I figured that perhaps it was useful for a blogger to be have stats to show to advertisers to illustrate the audience the blog reaches ie: “I have X number of visits to my blog, X number of comments, and X number of subscribers”. I don’t know if that’s actually how it works though. If a blogger I like has a newsletter, I always subscribe. But I do find they are mostly a summary of what’s already been on the blog, and I use Feedly to keep up with that (plus Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest).

    That aside, I love your blog and I have even more respect for you knowing how much time and effort goes into it behind the scenes. Thank you so much for sharing yourself and your life with the world 🙂

  11. says

    Loved reading this. I think my blogging buddy and I will check out Coschedule based on your recommendation. Keep up the lovely work Sonia!

  12. says

    Thanks for sharing Sonia. It is always great to hear how people manage to work fulltime and write a blog. I have so many ideas on the go and tend to blog as I go. Ideas are stored on my ph, laptop and diary. I really need to try and keep them all together. I work 4 days a week but am returning to five next term. I manage 2 blog posts a week atm. I also have a very supportive hubby and family. X

  13. says

    I also blog and work full time. I spend a lot of time working before and after my day job and at lunchtime.
    I have also purchased leave to take time off for events like problogger. I batch write and plan ahead.
    I do get tired and feel like I need a rest occasionally.

  14. says

    Great post! I’d love to share on the BloggingME page if that’s ok as we have a lot of full-time workers in our community. I’m very much like you when it comes to Twitter. It’s just too fast for me so I just share my blog posts and a few IG photos. Kirsty and I set up BloggingME as a way of building a community in the Middle East and that lead to the podcast, those two things have taken off much quicker than expected and I can see my personal blog starting to fall behind a bit. I’m so busy with uni and bloggingme/podcast that sometimes I don’t dedicate enough time to really growing my own blog. I think I need to do what you do and shoot my outfit posts on the weekend rather than racing around first thing in the morning and only getting an ok shot.

    • Sonia says

      Of course, share away! You’re doing so much and all of it brilliant. Don’t be too hard on yourself! x

  15. says

    Oh I love this behind the scenes peek into Sonia Styling HQ! I work 3 days which is like 5 days work into three days of time – it’s full on! I’m like you I have a monthly planner and sketch out what I’d like to do and where. I do all my baking and food photos on my day off so I can get the best light and I try to schedule my She’s So Inspiring interviews about a month in advance. I’ve just got Co Schedule too and it’s a game changer! A great tip I learned at Little Blog Big is to chunk tasks together, and it works a treat. So I’ll have a writing session, or a photo editing session etc and it’s super productive. I love the way you do your social media, that is Virgo PLUS and I too have to get on the newsletter train! So many things to do and so little time in which to do them!

  16. says

    Thanks so much for sharing your tips. I juggle working part time, a professional blog, a personal blog and looking after two little boys, so all help is so very welcome! I too have recently discovered co-schedule and think it’s so great. And congratulations on all your success – I think posts like this show that it is hard earned.

  17. says

    Wow! Working full time and blogging 5 dates a week is a lot. I loved this peek behind the scenes of your blogging routine Sonia. I work three days a week but only manage 2 posts a week, with one being a link up party. I seem to spend a lot of time reading and commenting on other peoples blogs, oh and my kids chew up a big percentage of my time also but I’ve started doing blogging tasks and social media stuff whilst they are at their sports training and music lessons.

    • Sonia says

      I wish I had more time to read other people’s blogs! I try and visit a few each day, but there’ never seem to be enough hours in the day.

  18. says

    I salute you! How you manage to post 5 days a week I will never know. I struggle with 2-3…I tend to write very close to launch date, often the night before or in my lunch break.
    Like you I use bitly, I’m yet to reach out to co scedule – but I will take a look. Anything that makes my life easier though should hold my attention! xx

    • Sonia says

      I just explained how I post 5 days a week – did you not read the post?! Just kidding! In all seriousness, it’s a hard slog but I love it, so it’s not work to me. CoSchedule is great. I can’t recommend it enough.

  19. says

    Thank you Sonia, it’s so useful to see how other bloggers plan their time! I’ve been blogging on and off for a few years and after a recent break I’ve just launched a new one with my husband so am slowly getting back into the swing of things!

    I tend to keep all my posts in my iCalender and in my daily Emily Ley planner. If ideas etc come to me or I feel the urge to start writing a post, I use Evernote, which I love because it automatically sinks to my iPad and laptop. I used to use co-schedule and I’m thinking about getting back into it, so it’s great to hear you’ve been loving it too!

    Annéka x

  20. says

    I am definitely not as organised as you!! I still blog on the fly, which works for me.
    Newsletters – the great next leap of blogging – I tend to agree that unless they have super dooper can’t get it elsewhere content, I barely look at them.
    Maybe a monthly wrap up newsletter? Trend forecasting, stuff like that?

  21. says

    Love this post! I am a bit of a weirdo in that I LOVE seeing how other people do things.

    I work about 3-4 weeks in advance. This helps when I have hectic times at school with marking and reports etc. I try and get ahead in the school holidays, too!

    I agree with the newsletter, it’s something I don’t think I could do right now.

    x

  22. says

    Great post Sonia! I am still in the ‘fit-it-in-where-i-can’ phase! But I would love to be more organised, as I find that often I am pressured to post or do social media when I’m not really in the mood to.

    • Sonia says

      Don’t get me started on ‘being in the mood’ – some days I’d love to be completely offline. This is where little breaks from blogging can do you the world of good.

  23. says

    Sonia I think we might have been separated at birth because we seem to do things the same way. Esp the NO NEWSLETTER BIT, naughty us lol.

    But I didn’t know about CoSchedule and have just signed up and am going through the tutorials as I type… Well you know what I mean!

    I also work full time, but just love my blogging! Of course sometimes life does get in the way and you may go through things that might slow your blogging life down every now and then, but overall it’s a wonderful thing being a Blogger andddd being an organised one! 🙂 xxx

  24. says

    You do an amazing job keeping content churning and doing your day job. Only recently when started a Digital Marketing course at night that had assignments due every Monday did I realise how much of my free time was dedicated to blogging. When the course started the blog nearly came to s standstill! I like to take photos too at the weekends in bulk. I definitely I find I start a blog post with the image and work from there so its always good to have a collection of photos for inspiration!

    I’d love to work one week ahead of myself at least in scheduled posts but can never seem to find the time to catch up!

  25. says

    This post is perfectly timed for me, I have been working more hours and finding it hard to get organised and I have been blogging less because of this. It’s good to see how other bloggers do it and I got some really great ideas from you, so thank you! RHI MAE xx

  26. says

    Great post! I love seeing how full time workers make full time blogging work!
    I work full time and I find personally I produce better content if I only do 3 posts a week so that’s what I’m sticking to for now.
    Your twitter schedule seems the exact same as mine LOL xox

    • Sonia says

      It’s all about doing what works best for your personal situation. And yes… erm, Twitter… eek!

    • Sonia says

      Oh thank you gorgeous one. You’re always a huge help to me – but that’s a secret I’d like to keep to myself…! x

  27. says

    I really appreciate seeing how you do it from behind the scenes, so thank you for your generosity! I’d consider you to be one of those amazing bloggers who I aspire to be like. Watching your journey has inspired me a great deal, so its wonderful to see how you do it. One thing I do wonder is how you do those amazing quotes on instagram each day. Is there an app or program t help with that?

    • Sonia says

      Thank you so much for your kind words! I tend to use either PicMonkey or Canva to create my quotes. I also sometimes use the Rhonna Designs or WordSwag apps.

  28. says

    Awesome post Sonia, I’ve always thought you must be juggling a lot and putting in countless hours. I love your blog post images and graphic design, is there a time saving app or program you use?

    • Sonia says

      Thank you! I tend to use PicMonkey for my blog post images – I find it really easy to use.

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