One of the most common questions I receive from my readers is about how I manage to run my blog while working a full-time career. For real, it took me a while to really find my groove. My first blog started in 2010 and over the years I’ve perfected a routine that works for me. I work 40 – 50 hours per week in my career at a software company and I run my blog full-time. How do I do it all?
How I Blog While Working Full-Time
Here are my secrets…
I use the hell out of Siri
Ever since I switched from Android to iPhone I’ve learned to make Siri my new BFF. My favorite phrase is, “Hey Siri, add a note.” I have an enormous note log on my iPhone which is full of blog post ideas. It includes weighing in on a current event, sharing an experience, something in our marriage, or a new product I bought.
Sometimes, I’m inspired by another blog I read so I’ll say, “Hey Siri, add a note.” When she asks me what the note should say I’ll reply, “Write a post about our road trip playlist.” I used to carry a notebook around with me to record all of my ideas but that became too tedious. Also, most of my ideas hit when I’m driving. Atlanta is known for its insanely heavy traffic so it’s not typically a good idea to fumble with a notebook and pen while driving around I-285. It’s easier and safer to talk to Siri.
I keep a strict schedule
In the beginning I posted whenever inspiration struck me. Then, I was struck by so much inspiration that I posted 2x a day. I tried to scale back to 2x – 3x a week but that didn’t work for me either. Now I post content M – F with Weekend Links on Saturday. Since my husband has joined the blog he takes over writing 2x a week which leaves me with publishing 3 posts plus the Weekend Links roundup. That’s manageable for me so I’ve stuck with it.
I’ve also learned to batch my work. Siri has a huge list of content ideas for me to pull from so I sit down and work in batches. I create my content calendar for two weeks at a time. That allows me to choose which 10 topics (plus Weekend Links) I’ll write about and plan my batching. My Pinterest graphics are created at one time using Canva (I have saved templates since I use Canva for Work). Taking and editing photos is done the next night. Outlining posts is completed on the third night. I spend nights four and five creating full posts from my outlines. Weekends are “off” days to spend with Brandon.
When you’re trying to blog while working full-time, having a planned editorial calendar is a must. It keeps me organized and on track.
I maximize ViralTag + Tailwind
- ViralTag Review (and a FREE Credit for You)
- How to Use ViralTag to Schedule Social Media
- The Tailwind Feature that Doubled by Blog Traffic
ViralTag lets me build a huge library of content for my social media channels. This saves a ton of time. It recycles content so my queue is never empty and my posts are regularly being shared. I use BlogLovin’ to follow my favorite bloggers and I share their content as well (to follow that 80/20 rule, although I’m definitely not a 80/20 ratio). I use ViralTag to manage Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. While it could manage Pinterest as well, I prefer to use Tailwind for that and I’m planning a very long in-depth post comparing and contrasting the two services for Pinterest.
I write in more detail
In 2016, we took a trip to Disney World for my niece’s 3rd birthday. Do you know how many posts I wrote about that trip? Seven! I wrote about things to do before a vacation. I introduced the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress. I offered advice about vacationing with the in-laws. I dedicated a whole post to dinner at the Rainforest Café. I could have done a vacation wrap-up but by breaking it out in to details I was able to write 7 posts which, at 3 posts per week (my schedule at the time), gave me over 2 weeks of content.
Don’t be afraid to do that. It’s good for your SEO too. I mean, now instead of just a trip to Disney’s World’s Magic Kingdom, I have posts about vacation planning, a specific hotel, a specific restaurant, travel advice, birthday celebrations, etc. I’m planning to do the same about our upcoming move. 😉
I schedule Weekend Links posts
There are a lot of specific day-of-the-week link-ups or trends. Ember Grey used to do Grateful Heart on Mondays (I’m not sure if she still does that or not) and a lot of bloggers host different events so ask around and find one that works for you. If you can’t find a link-up that you enjoy then plan your own series.
My Weekend Links go live on Saturday and feature links to blog posts, articles, and videos I’ve found online during the week that I want to share with my readers. It’s an easy content dump and it helps me find time to fill out my editorial calendar without feeling overwhelmed.