By Jenna Black
You’re on a mission to become a full time blogger and really turn pro with your blog. With laptop in hand and a huge goal for your blogging career, you know you want to go from blogger to boss as soon as possible, but there’s a catch – you’ve got to somehow manage your day job while blogging at the same time!
Before panic sets in, let me sooth your inner turmoil by telling you that it’s 100% possible to manage a blog while working full time. I know this because I’ve done it myself and I’ve seen others successfully do the same!
What’s the secret key to success? It comes down to these three core pillars; savvy strategy planning, smart scheduling and brilliant focus.
I used these three core pillars while I was working full time, running my blog and freelancing. After 5 months, I quit my full time job to follow my entrepreneurial spirit and start my own business. I used my blog as the platform to get me there, and now I want to show you how you can do the same thing!
Using these three core pillars and a hefty dose of self-motivation, you can truly run a successful blog and find balance with your day job. Ready to get smart and strategic? Let’s dive in!
1. CREATE A SAVVY STRATEGY PLAN
The first key to finding balance with blogging and your day job is to get seriously savvy with the strategy and direction of your blog. If you don’t have a plan or a roadmap of where you’re going, you’ll likely struggle to turn your blog hobby into a business. Yet, with a plan in hand you’ll be on your way to blog success!
Each blog is unique but when you create your strategy plan, there are a few things to include, to ensure you stay on track and feel balanced.
Set long-term goals for growth
The first place to start in creating your strategy plan is to set some goals around the long-term growth of your blog. Do you want to turn it into a business? What’s the goal for the next 6-12 months of your blog? Get really clear on where you want to take your blog, and from there you can work backwards to achieve your ultimate goals.
Get insights into your target market – clarity is key!
A common mistake I see many bloggers make, is they fail to research and fully understand their core readers and target market from the start. If making money from your blog is a goal of yours, it’s important to get crystal clear on who your target market is, why they are coming to your blog and how you can best serve them with amazing content.
Start by defining who you target reader is and then develop insights into the specific problems or questions they have that are relevant to your blog. How does your blog help solve these problems or questions for your reader? Dive deep here and really think from the reader’s perspective so you can build a strategy plan around their wants and needs.
Devise a content plan
Once you’re clear on who your reader is and why they are coming to your blog, it’s time to create a content planner to keep your blog focused and on track for success. Plan ahead of time and prep your blog content ideas for the next 3 to 6 months. Focus your content on your target market’s core problems, questions and concerns and be super specific on how and why you’re creating this content.
Creating a content plan and knowing where your blog is going is really going to help you create success while juggling your blog and your job.
Your action step:
Use your long-term goals, target market insights and content ideas and create your own savvy strategy plan. Refer to this when you’re feeling unbalanced or lacking motivation!
2. CREATE A SMART SCHEDULE
One of the biggest challenges as a blogger with a day job is to find the time to actually blog! It can be tricky but there is no better way to stay on track with your blogging goals than with a smart schedule.
Set a smart (and realistic) schedule
Start by setting your blogging schedule in a realistic way. You know your life best, so find a schedule that is going to work for you. Jot down specific times into your work week and go even more pro by creating themed days.
For example – Tuesday evenings could be your blog writing time. Thursday mornings could be marketing prep and strategy and Saturday afternoons might be focused on list building and community engagement. Find a schedule that works for you and stick to it!
Treat your blog like a business
When I was blogging and working full time, I quickly learnt that I had to treat my blog as a business if I really wanted to quit my job and work for myself. I encourage you to do the same, especially if your goal is to make money and become a full time blogger. It’s so crucial to treat your blog schedule with respect and really show up and do the work. Consistency and a smart schedule are your keys to success!
Your action step:
Create your own weekly blog schedule that works for your lifestyle. Allocate key times to create content, market your blog and build your community and show up at those times with respect, pride and passion!
3. PRACTICE BRILLIANT FOCUS
The final pillar in mastering your blog/work balance is to practice brilliant focus. Having a core focus on the direction of your blog and learning to work smarter, not harder is going to really help you find balance while working your day job.
Batch your content
One of the biggest mistakes I made when starting my blog was creating content as I needed to. I quickly realized that I not only needed a content plan and strategy, I needed to get savvy with my time restrictions and batch my content.
If you’re seeking that blog/work balance, batching content is your savior. I personally recommend batching a couple of blog posts at a time and then batching social media updates for your next week or fortnight in one go. This simple tip will save you time and make your blogging efforts more productive.
When you’re feeling a bit burnt out or overwhelmed, go back to basics and focus on your ultimate blogging goals, and from there, focus on the work that’s going to move you closer to those goals in the shortest amount of time time.
Eliminate any distractions that aren’t actively helping you grow your blog or reach those goals you set in your strategy plan. Getting lost in your Facebook feed? Install a site blocker. Caught up in reading other people’s blogs without doing anything on your own? Turn your wifi off and just write blog content instead.
It all comes back to eliminating distractions and focusing on the stuff that’s going to move you forward, fast.
Your action step:
Create time in your smart schedule to batch your content or social media. Be aware of any distractions in your life that may hold you back from blog success and find a way to get rid of them to help you stay focused!
Remember, it’s totally possible to run a successful blog and have a full time job. Setting these three core pillars into your routine from the start is going to help give you clarity, purpose and focus to achieve your blogging goals! Keep at it and you’ll be going from blog to boss in no time!
Jenna Black is an online business coach for rising female entrepreneurs and bloggers. With over 8 years experience in online business, Jenna works with women from around the world to help them build their online empire with purpose, strategy and heart.
Top Photo Credit: Death to the stock photo