5 TIPS FOR BALANCING YOUR SOCIAL LIFE, A FULL TIME JOB AND A BLOG
May 16, 2017
Today I am touching on a subject which is pretty important to my day-to-day life as its how I have managed to keep my blog growing without making too many changes to my lifestyle. I’ve always been a people person. Well, except for those days when you want to shut yourself away from the world and take a day on the sofa binging Netflix, because sometimes a little self loving and peace and quiet is much needed. The rest of the time however I love socialising, seeing my friends as often as possible and generally keeping busy.
So when just over a year ago I finally launched my blog I suddenly realised that it was going to eat into a lot of my time that I might have spent seeing mates etc. Creating a growing a blog takes a lot of hard work and if you want it to grow you gotta put them hours in. It took me quite a while to find the balance because at first I still just carried on as usual going whenever I wanted and sort of just writing up blog posts whenever I had a spare minute. This might work for some people, but for me it just wasn’t getting my blog anywhere.
What I needed to do was find a good balance. I needed to be able to come back from a day in the office and find time to relax, see my friends and stay on top of my blogging.
The one key word: Organisation. Keeping organised is what helped me finally find that balance for being able to keep on top of all these things. You’re probably thinking well duh, I know that – but honestly even though I knew I needed to be better organised it did take me quite a while to actually realise what I needed to do to achieve this. So here are my tips for how I got there:
– CREATE A ROUTINE –
This is one thing that has massively helped me stay organised. Having set days which I know are dedicated to posting on has helped me create a routine.
My publishing routine is to post twice a week (or so I try), once on a Tuesday and once on a Thursday. Although I am currently changing this to Once on Wednesday and once on Sunday. With Instagram I like to post at least once a day but sometimes if I’m busy I let a day slip by here and there. I honestly don’t think people should be too hard on themselves with this. You’re Instagram should be all about you and your best content. I pick quality and relevance over quantity any time. Once you know the days and times you like to post on your blog & Instagram and you manage to keep on top of it every week then you fall into a routine very easily.
– BUY A DIARY –
I’m sure we all know that planning ahead is an essential however sometimes it is much easier said than done. When I first started my blog I would just randomly choose something I wanted to write about (like a new Foundation I had just bought), take the photos that day and then write it up and publish. There wasn’t much structure to my posting at all. Plus sometimes weeks would go by where I wouldn’t post anything at all because I couldn’t think of something to post.
So I got myself a Diary (👈 this is the one I use) which had monthly and daily views. I would sit down and think about things I wanted to write about and then scribble draft post names under the days I had set to post on (aka Tuesdays and Thursdays are mine). It’s also useful for when you have perhaps a gifted or sponsored opportunity suddenly given to you because you can look at what you have planned for the month ahead and move things around to then accommodate your new opportunity. Plus by having this diary it meant that I always had deadlines to work towards.
– PLAN YOUR TIME –
So you know what you want to post and when you want to post it. Now it’s about organising your time so that you can keep on top of this. Working full time means you lose all those hours in the day to create content. Also you want to be able to have time to relax, this is key when it comes to blogging. When I get stressed out over not keeping on top of things, not only is this not great for me but also it’s not great for my blog. The pressure of trying to get things done quickly means I tend to rush and lose quality in my content. Give yourself that time to plan and prepare for your blog posts so that you also have time to then relax. To get ready for my Tuesday/Thursday posts I will dedicate an hour or so of my weekend to taking photos. On Sunday I will then write up my post during a spare hour. By Sunday evening I have the evening to chill out and watch TOWIE (no judgement please). Keeping to these little time plans means that it frees up a few of my days to then go and see my friends, have date nights or just have an evening of chill.
– UTILISE SPARE TIME –
Okay, so you’re probably thinking it’s all well and dandy saying to set aside a couple of hours on the weekend for photo taking etc but what happens if you’re away for the weekend.
This is something that definitely happens to me often and I find the best way around it is to utilise my spare time. Whenever you have a spare hour or you’re feeling a bit bored utilise that time to take some extra photos or write up a blog post that has been sitting in your mind bank. If you have stuck to your diary planning then you will know what content you might need to create for the week after and can get to work on it early with your spare time. Make the most of the light evenings and maybe take some photos before you make dinner, or whilst it’s cooking in the oven (I do this a lot and it helps for those weekends then where I don’t have time to go out and take photos).
– FIND THE BEST APPS –
Finding apps that helped me schedule my Instagram posts and Tweets really helped me find a routine with my blogging.
First up I use two methods to prepare my instagram posts. UNUM for planning the layout of my feed and the drafts feature in Instagram for preparing my pictures ready for posting.
UNUM is a free app with a paid upgrade option however I have never felt the need to upgrade at all. It has great features like being able to easily move images around so you can see how your feed will look. There is a hide option for images you have already posted incase you want to envisage how your feed would look without certain pictures in it and it also has a great analytics feature which lets you see when you get the most engagement on your instagram.
In regards to Twitter I like to use Hootsuite, besides the great name I also find it really handy for writing up my Tweets to schedule for the week. You can set them to post at whatever time you like and Hootsuite will then do the rest of the work for you. Also it automatically shortens your Blog URL links for you whilst you write out your tweet which is so handy.
Some of these items were kindly gifted to me
I know everyone has different circumstances and might not be able to find as much spare time as I can and so on but these are just some starting pointers which I have felt have helped me along the way in my first year of blogging. What do you guys do to help you stay organised?