A British lifestyle blog

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

How-To | Blog & Work

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There is quite a lot of crossover between another post I recently wrote and this one - you can read the other here.

Working and blogging is a lot harder than it looks. There’s a common misconception that blogging is easy, that anyone can do it and it’s taking a few pretty pictures and writing a couple of paragraphs. Yes anyone CAN do it, but it takes time, a part of your life and your passion. If you aren’t willing to commit that, I’d think twice. Hence why this post was born. Because I put a lot of time into my job, it isn’t your usual 9-5, quite literally in that it’s actually 9-6 and because I’ll happily work extra if I’m stuck into something I care about. So fitting my blog in and around that is quite hard, along with my friends, family, loved ones, fitness, hobbies, travelling and everything else life throws at me. So hopefully this post will help you, and in times of no time in my life, help me too.

Be Realistic

Only you know how much free time you have in your week. As I mentioned above, like me you may have your job, fitness regime, hobbies, social events, seeing your friends, family and partner and that’s BEFORE your blog even comes into play. I never realised how true the whole ‘There aren’t enough hours in the day’ saying was until I had to start squeezing in all of that into my life. Your free time is precious so be realistic with what you can achieve. You may be out of the country for two straight weeks so decide what you want to do. Some take a hiatus, some bring in guest bloggers (which is great for building up blogging relationships and for a fresh eye on your content) and some prep that empty gap with scheduled posts. Or you may have plans every night in one week - the same applies. If you’re working with a brand on a post and you realistically won’t be able to fit in that post or something has delayed the publishing of that post - communicate that across.

Assess Your Week

The best way to know what you can achieve is to take each week as it comes. Every Sunday I’ll look at my calendar - well all three of them. I’ll look at my work schedule and what I’ve got on that week, what hours I’ll be working and which lunchtimes I may have free to fit in some writing. I’ll then look at my social schedule to see what plans I have, and finally that ties into my blog schedule. I’ll see what I’ve plotted in my blog schedule and what posts require what to go live. For example reviews will require accompanying well-lit photography, gift guides or fashion pieces will need more research time whereas lifestyle pieces require more written work.

Plan

Once you’ve got to grips with what you’ve got on that week it will allow you to plan. During the winter months photographing is pretty much limited to weekends and even then you’re working with a 4-5 hour good light window. If say you have six posts that month that require photography, I try to bulk take everything in that one period so not only is your lighting consistent but then it’s not eating up my time again later on. Any sort of research posts probably require the internet so I tend to do those in bulk to, when I’m in the mood or have the inspiration to do so. And with heavy writing posts, I’ll either write when I have the inspiration or wait for a point in my week when I know I have some dedicated ‘me’ time. For instance if I know I’m off to London or I have a two hour wait at the airport or I’ve been writing a lot 30,000 ft up on flights as that works for me really well and helps those annoying mid-haul flights go a lot quicker. Make a plan based on that whether that’s a to-do list, a month excel sheet, a diary or a journal - that should help lay everything out for you and see what time realistically you’ll need to dedicate to your site.

Schedule

Whether you’re away (literally) or just don’t have that much time that week, scheduling is a great option. From scheduling a post to scheduling tweets and Instagrams, it can take the weight off doing it daily and let you have more of your free time back. I’ll be honest, I rarely schedule, just because I’ve not found a programme I’m fully confident with doing that with, and I like to see the initial reaction to a post as soon as it goes live. If anyone does have any scheduling tips and tricks, please let me know!

Be Ready For Inspiration

It can happen at any point so be ready. If you have an office job like mine, I can easily jot down ideas on a pad or make a quick list on Word. If you don’t, use your resources around you. Make notes on your phone or grab a sheet of paper. I try to carry my laptop around with me as much as possible as although I love my phone, I love typing and my ideas seem to just flow better from a keyboard. And as you can tell from posts like this, I ramble on so I can’t imagine the amount of sheets of paper I’d get through if I wrote a post like this on your standard A4.

Fit It In Around Your Life

Ultimately, unless your blog is your life and your job, it should compliment and accompany your life. Don’t let it take over or become a chore to do. Enjoy it and weave it in and around your work. Some weeks it will be easier than others to slot the two together and some it won’t. Try your best but don’t beat yourself up about it.
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