Shyam B. Hardwaj is an SEO consultant who’s done some guest posting for me before. In this post, he provides advice on how to blog when you have a day job.
Blogging with a full-day job sounds interesting but can be quite a challenge. If you have a job, then probably you are working 9 to 5 involved in various daily tasks, client meetings, deployment of strategies, and reporting back to your Boss. A full-time job and 8 hours of sleep (I believe that should be the minimum) leave you just 8 hours to operate your blog.
There’s drive time, family obligations, doctor/dental appointments, and a plethora of other things I’m sure I’m forgetting. You also need time to eat. Besides, how many of us actually work a 9-5 grind? If you do, fantastic! I’m happy for you. I hope that that covers the mortgage, insurance, utilities, groceries, etc… as well as leave you some extra for your entertainment.
Myself? I was raised white-collar. I work in marketing (SEO). That 10-hour client’s work is the beginning of my day. If I’m lucky, I’m done in 8 hours. However, 16-hour days happen more frequently than one would expect.
I say none of this to say, “Hey, look at me! Look at how hard I work!” I simply state my work schedule to let you know, if you struggle to find time for your blog, you’re not the only one.
In fact, due to my work schedule picking up at this time of the year, I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to find time to write a post this week. Two things, thank goodness for a smartphone and for past weekend!
Blogging with a Day Job
Ok, whether you’re a stay-at-home Mom, an oil-rig roughneck, or a server, each job has its own challenges and all will occupy a portion- if not all of your day.
That being said, you need to carve out time for your blog. Sure, you might not be able to sit down and write a 1,000-word post in one sitting, but chances are you have 5 or 10 minutes throughout your day to jot down some guidelines or thoughts on your next post.
1. Text Messages
Do what I do. When an idea strikes, I send text messages to myself. It’ll be a simple outline or a quick bullet point on what my next post or even a future post will be about. There are many other note-taking applications you can use on your phone as well. You can even start writing a post in the WordPress app (assuming you use WordPress).
Or, if you’re by a computer, there’s email, Word, Open Office, notepad, and many other programs to put together posts if you can’t get on your blog.
2. Mobile Apps
In my last post, I described some of the apps I used while blogging on the go. I won’t describe them all here but a few you can use for promotion are Twitter, Facebook, Buffer, and GetResponse.
For research, I love the app Kifi, and a client, Ben Murphy of lwmpersonalinjurylawyers.com, recently turned me onto Pocket. Pocket is a handy little app for bookmarking pages that you don’t have the time to read at the moment.
Do you set alarms on your phone? Probably just to wake up, right? Well, that’s what I used to do until I realized how much I’d fallen behind on either writing a post, promoting it, or one of the other hundred things you need to do to run a blog.
So, I opened up my calendar and set alarms for every day. There are alarms to remind me to hop on Kingged, to comment on other blogs, to check Facebook groups, basically everything. I spread the alarms throughout the day so that I can’t just dismiss them when I wake up.
I don’t automate too much. I like a personal touch.
All of my tweets are genuinely from me, however, I do use Buffer to schedule them throughout the day. I also will use Viral Content Buzz to spread some posts to other social media platforms.
There are plenty of others out there and even paid ones. HootSuite and Zapier are two that come to mind.
I hate to break it to you, but that cozy 8 hours of sleep may need to be cut short. If you’re blogging for something more than a hobby. If you’re seriously trying to replace your current career with a blog, then sacrifices are needed to be made.
Even if you only shave one hour off of your current sleep schedule, that’s an extra hour you can spend researching or crafting your next post. An hour too much? Try a half-hour. Anything to get you a little more time to chase your dreams.
We should all have a dream when it comes to blogging. Whether it’s to get 1,000 people to read a post or to be able to replace our day job income with our blogging income. Whatever your dream is, goals are the steps you take to get you there.
So, figure out what it is that you want, and then lay out a plan on how to get there. If your dream is to make a million dollars online and you’ve never made one dollar, well that seems like a pretty good goal to have for step one.
7. Evaluate your Time
Where do you spend your time that you don’t need to? Do you really need to see the newest episode of The Walking Dead or that re-run on HBO? Do you really need to go out with the guys/gals for that Friday night out at the bar or club? Do you really need to head to the mall when you already know that you’re only going window shopping?
Look, I’m not saying to not do these things. It’s your life. You can do whatever you please. And, entertainment is important to keep your sanity in this world. I’m simply saying, ask yourself first.
If you find yourself constantly falling behind on your blog, you may need to evaluate how you’re spending your time.
I know I’m not the world’s best blogger, nor am I the guy who has all the answers to every blogging question that exists. I’m simply a guy who works long hours. I have trouble finding time to blog. I also know, I’m not the only one.
This is how I blog with a day job. These are simply a few tips I use to help me reach my goals on the way to achieving my dreams.
What about you? Did you find the list helpful? Are there some tips you would like to add? Please, let me know in the comments below.