People are always asking me “is your blog your full time job, or do you have a day job as well?” WELL my friends, since the conception of Blonde Collective in 2013 (previously Polka Dots & Sailor Stripes) I’ve been balancing a blog with a full-time job in. I’d like to say I’ve mastered it, but the truth is…I haven’t. I still find myself rushing to meet deadlines (I’m writing this 19 minute before I need to post it lolol), foregoing a post on IG due to lack of time & or planning in general, and saying “no, can’t make this one” to many events that happen during the normal 9-5 job hours.
Though it can be extremely overwhelming and downright frustrating to balance TWO full-time jobs (blogging is NOT a free-time kinda job…it’s a round-the-clock, 24/7 hustle, so don’t get it twisted), what keeps me going is that I LOVE IT YOU GUYS. Literally. When I started this blog 4 years ago I had NO idea I’d still be going at it full-force, but here I am. I just love it so.freakin.MUCH.
That doesn’t mean it’s always rainbows and butterflies…it’s COMPROMISE (shoutout to Maroon 5 for making me say that line at least 150 times in real-life situations since that song was released). But it is NOT impossible.
I hear so many people complain and say that there’s no way to balance it…but hellllllo I’m living proof that YES, yes you can.
Here are my top 5 tips for anyone trying to balance a blog with a full-time job:
- PLAN AHEAD – What’s coming up on the calendar? Is there an event, holiday, huge sale that’ll make a you some commission that you should be posting about? You should have a huge calendar / planner where you can physically write down what you want to be posting about, and what is coming up for you and your followers (you should know them semi well enough to know what they’re following you for…so use that to your advantage). The best part about this is the organization factor, and the ability to mark it off your list when you’re done. That’s the OCD in me. Everything is color coded and must be moved to the next day on the calendar if not completed.
- SHOOT IN BULK – I have NEVER gone on a planned shoot with just 1 outfit. Heck, 3 outfits isn’t even enough – I legitimately bring 6-10 outfits at a time and see how much I can cram into one shooting session. Luckily my photographer is a boss and he is super patient and lets me do this, but it helps SO MUCH. We only shoot 1-2 times per month together, and it’s generally enough to keep me going strong between each shoot. If you’re working full-time, chances are you’re shooting on weekends – take the time to plan the outfits you want to shoot and just bust them out on a Saturday morning, then edit, organize, and plan the posts on Sunday. Boom.
- DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK YOUR COWORKERS FOR HELP – helllllllo, you must have at least one work wife that’ll run outside with you on your lunch break to snap a photo. And last time I checked, every office building has walls – so get out there and use those walls to your advantage! With editing apps the possibilities are endless. You can make just about anything look good these days, so there’s no excuse as to why you couldn’t be snapping at LEAST one photo a day and posting it to IG. To this day, even though I have a photographer I work with consistently, I have a coworker help me shoot outside when there’s a free second. And my boyfriend and friends help out on the weekend if we’re at brunch or doing something fun. You MUST take advantage of situations like this as much as possible.
- SCHEDULE YOUR POSTS – I touched on planning ahead in tip #1 – taking it a step further would be SUPERSTAR status: write your posts and schedule them ahead of time! WordPress has a scheduling component on every post that allows you to completely compose your blog post, photos, SEO and all, and all you have to do is schedule the time and date you want it to post! You can even use the Editorial Calendar plugin to be extra organized and scheduled ahead of time. It’s a lifesaver, and a better way to use your downtime (if there even is such a thing these days???) – I like to try and do this while Brennan is watching sports but still wants me to sit with him on the couch to be involved. Win-win!
- LET YOUR FOLLOWERS IN ON YOUR LIFE – This is something I need to get better at myself – letting everyone in during your day! Your followers LOVE knowing what you’re up to – if you have a full-time job, they love hearing about that even more! It makes you more relatable, and makes the blogging world be seen more for what it is – REAL people who aren’t perfect all the time. People might think all you do all day is sit around the house and take pretty photos and paint your nails and come up with yummy recipes – even though that IS a lot of work, especially if you’re doing it to create content simultaneously (not an easy task) your followers might not see it that way, and they are your bread and butter! If they’re confused, or feel like they don’t know well enough, they’re going to stop following you – so you might as well jump on InstaStories as much as possible to get to know them better! It’ll pay off tenfold.
Romper, c/o Aryn K
Photography by Clinetography