How I Balance Blogging & Working Full Time

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Blogging Beginnings

I’ve been blogging since 2010, which seems like a lifetime ago now. Advised by our art teacher to keep a visual online diary of our mood boards, it felt like the perfect space to share my daily inspirations. My project ended, but my blog kept going. I didn’t know anyone was even reading it. I was sharing all of the little things in life that made me smile, or things that inspired me. From photography mood boards to the latest interior design trends. This was reinforced as I moved through college and eventually university where I studied photography and graphic design.

Back then I would blog whenever took my fancy. I felt so inspired to put my digital pen to metaphorical paper that I was blogging each week whenever I had the opportunity. Sometimes it wasn’t even any words, just a set of photographs as a visual diary. These blogs were some of my favourite back then, where a photograph could tell a story about someone you had never met.

Blogging Shifts

As I got older and blogging started to shift into more of what it is today, I realised there were many more bloggers out there doing the same thing. A whole community online where people would share their life stories and daily inspirations. As I moved through my education, responsibilities began to pile up and additional workloads through both study and working part-time would take it’s toll. It was at this point I realised if I was going to continue blogging, I needed a plan of action.

The Little Things came to light when I first moved to Edinburgh in 2014 after graduating. I wanted a grown-up way of still sharing those ‘little things’ in life that were inspiring me, and more so than anything else in my life – blogging is the one thing I’ve kept up with the longest. I sat down and worked out a plan for moving forwards, and where I wanted to take my space on the internet. It’s taken a lot of trial and error, but here we are today. An Edinburgh based travel and lifestyle blog.

Having A Plan of Action

For the majority of us, blogging and working or studying alongside is the norm. But like anything, it can all get a little bit too much sometimes. I love being busy, there’s nothing I hate more than not having plans. I love a good list, and the satisfaction of ticking things off said list too. But sometimes I can be my own worst enemy when it comes to taking time out for myself. Or even, taking on too much in one go. It’s easy to think of ourselves as invincible when we’re young and eager to take on the world. Sometimes you have to take a step back and really assess if something is working for you.

A Realistic Timeframe

One of the first things I wanted to asses when re-shaping my blog was, how much time can I actually dedicate to this? I think I stand for most bloggers when I say that we really never switch off. There’s always something to be photographing, editing, writing, planning. Even down to time spent on social media and correspondence with PR companies and brands.

I work full time in my day job as a graphic designer. It’s a job that again, I’m always thinking away at in the background. I’m lucky enough to work for an agency who really value a work life balance for it’s employees. For that I know that when I leave at 5:30pm each day, I can have time for myself to really have a break in between. Working around a 8-9 hour working day leaves me with roughly four hours in the evening, and two hours at the weekend. Not accounting for any time needed for household chores, life admin, and remembering to feed myself!

On average I try to keep any blogging ‘work’ down to two hours a day, Monday to Friday. It’s here where I’ll write up posts from content previously photographed over the weekend, and plan ahead for things like social media scheduling and email correspondence. No-one’s working day is the same, whether you’re studying or working full-time, or even part-time. Be realistic in your time approach, and decide how much time you really can dedicate to a blog. Remember that you chose to write it at the end of the day, if you’re not enjoying it – consider cutting back.

Why Weekends Are Your Best Asset

We all love the weekends, and with the weekends being my time off work each week, it’s the perfect time to get things sorted with my blog. I generally always have a rough idea of content a month ahead. It helps keep ideas fresh, and gives me a focus for getting what I need done, each week. I use the weekends to check what the following week’s blog plan is; are there any photographs I need to capture ahead of this? Are there any events I’m going to be attending? Is there an opportunity to capture something new?

Writing a travel and lifestyle blog, a lot of what I share on my blog – is just what I’m doing in my daily life anyway. For this reason I find it a lot easier to capture content ‘on the go’ of sharing a recipe, or places I’ve travelled. I shared a post at the start of 2017 about knowing your blogs worth when it comes to content. Talking about time spent and dedication to each and every post, it’s something to bare in mind when working with brands. You control your own time spent on your blog, make it worthwhile and crack out that to-do list.

How do you keep yourself organised with blogging?

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Welcome to The Little Things, a Scottish travel and lifestyle blog. Written by Louise, a graphic designer, living and working in Edinburgh. Sharing all of the little things in life which make her smile along the way. With her boyfriend Luke, and their cat Gizzy.

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  • My blogging organisation is next to nil at the moment – it’s all very ad hoc and dependent on when I get days off (like today!) But it’s really interesting to know how much time you dedicate to your blog each day – something I might consider to apply to my own blogging in the future!

    • Thanks Saskia, yes I’m a big organisation geek so it works for me, but it’s your blog so you should just blog whenever you feel like it! πŸ™‚ x

  • Urbanity Blog

    Love this post Louise! My time management is awful at the moment, especially as I work over the weekends!

    • Thanks Ruth, you already do an amazing job of juggling everything – keep it up! x

  • Jen

    Love these types of post feeds into my nosiness. I’m the opposite from you that I do not do any blog related work (or try not too) at weekends. Mon-Thurs is for blogging and freelance project work, Fridays are my ‘housewife day’ (which is oddly one of my favourite days – I’m a weirdo who enjoys cleaning) and weekends are for relaxing.

    • Thanks Jen! Yes I definitely find a routine helps me keep on top of things x

  • This is something I’m only really getting to grips with now too. I work full time in marketing, I run my own freelance make up artistry business and maintain a blog – between those three things and life in general throwing anything else into the mix often leads to me taking colossal breaks from regularly updating my content. Thankfully 2017 so far has been my year and I feel I have learned how to organise and essentially compartmentalise different parts of my ‘jobs’

    Sounds like you too have a great system and have found something that really works for you and your schedule!

    Hannah | Granite City Girl x

    • Wow you certainly are busy! I always try and remind myself that I started blogging for myself, so if you’re still only posting as and when makes you happy – then that’s great! x

  • It is so good to hear that it isn’t just me who struggles to juggle work life and blogging, it is hard! I really try to motivate myself, but sometimes it is so difficult. Thank god for scheduling because otherwise I would never post anything!!

    Joanne // Fashion Polaroids

    • Absolutely, social media and blog scheduling is a life saver! x

  • These are some fantastic tips! I work full time and although I really enjoy blogging, I find it hard to find time to work on it. But, I definitely need to start putting my weekends to good use; even if I just take a bulk load of photos or plan posts! Great tips lovely πŸ™‚

    Hannatalks

    • Thanks Hannah, I hope they help! Yes weekends are a massive bonus x

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