January 30, 2016

How I combine blogging with a full time job (ànd a social life).

combine blogging with social life

The thing I find most difficult about blogging is finding the time to do it. I love blogging but combining it with a full time job was a little harder than I anticipated at first. If you would check, you'd see that I published far less posts in 2015 in comparison with the two years before. And in 2013 I was only blogging for half a year. Save to say, I had a little adjustment problems at first.

My experience

Thinking about my blogging process, I realized I didn't really have one. I blog for fun so I don't really think about SEO, whether I'm writing about a popular subject, something that stirs discussion or how to gather more readers. When I come up with a new blog post idea, usually, I immediately start writing. It all comes natural to me and I actually do it all quite spontaneously. Except for food posts, I don't think about my posts too much because I would only start doubting everything. Furthermore, I like my blog to reflect me and I think I can do that best when I'm just being me, even when I'm rambling on in my blog posts... that's part of who I am. Of course, I didn't win a spelling bee contest so I'm not saying I don't check my posts for spelling mistakes (and I'm not saying I can correct everything either by the way).

Anyway, at the end of last year, I wanted to become more serious about my blog again. With serious, I mean I wanted to commit myself to writing more regularly, publishing at least one blog post a week. It wasn't easy at first, as I follow two evening courses and have social "obligations' as well, I've had some trouble with coming up with a schedule that works for me. During the rare moments that I was home, I didn't wanted to take pictures and think about what to post on this blog. Perhaps you can tell that I developed a new routine with which I'm able to share a blog post each Saturday now. I hope I can amp up my effectiveness a little more and be at two blog posts a week by the end of this year but as I still have big plans for the upcoming year (like move out), I don't want to commit myself to that just yet.

My tips

How did I regain the discipline to post more regularly, you ask? Well, I'll share that in more detail below and I hope my tips might be of help for you as well (should you need them one day).

Rediscover your passions

Well, first of all I rediscovered my passion for blogging. I wasn't really aware that it had gone but once I started a digital imaging course and got more actively involved with photography, I remembered how much I loved it. Plus, having a colleague who is as passionate about baking as I am, encouraged me to try new things which were of course the perfect object to practise my photography on. It all made me remember why I love blogging: it combines all of the things I love. Writing, practicing my photography skills, baking and traveling, all these things have their spot on this blog. It gives me a platform to share my thoughts and experiences about the subjects that interest me most.

Find a routine

Secondly, I findly found a routine that worked for me. Obviously, I had a lot more time when I studied so I had a lot more time to schedule posts and write them out. The transition to a fulltime job was hard for my routine but I finally found a schedule that works for me. I now use all free Saturday afternoons to take the photos for this blog as the Boyfriend has his weekly football matches at this time hence, I'm usually alone on Saturday afternoon. As soon as I have the pictures, the hard work is done. The editing and writing of the posts, I do each day about half an hour before I go to sleep. That half hour has become my "blogging" time and has helped me to plan ahead of posts. I don't always work on a blog post during that time, sometimes I comment on other blogs or brainstorm a bit about what to write next.

Planning is key

Like I said, I usually take pictures on Saturday afternoon, especially in these winter months when I leave home when it's dark and come back home in the dark. Therefore, I try to bundle as much things as possible in that one afternoon... which isn't always easy as I still live with my parents. On top of that, I'm not always the best planner which ultimately results in the fact that I need to bake or cook two - three things in one day and do it before it gets dark or there's no good light to take the pictures (and leaving them until Sunday is no option because my dad would have eaten everything I've baked by that time already). Yeah, I should probably work on that. Anyway, I learned that doing multiple things at once (like taking pictures of different projects) can be very helpful but in order to do so,  planning is everything... I only have to find a way to implement it more thoroughly.

Use free time to your advantage

Another thing I've learned in the past couple of years, is that inspiration doesn't always come easily. Lately, I've been soooo inspired to bake new things and try new things in general but I know from experience that there are periods that you can't think of anything to write about either. So, I've been baking like crazy because that's what I love doing these times (in a few weeks it might be something else, you never know) but instead of posting everything already, I kept a stash of recipes apart. You know, for when a less inspiring period comes along. I think it's important to take advantage of the days or periods when you have a lot of inspiration because it doesn't last forever... at least, with me it doesn't.

Just have fun!

At last, I just wanted to stress the most important thing: have fun and let go. Blogging, to me, is all about having fun. I genuinely love baking and posting my recipes online, as well as I love writing these types of long blog posts about things that go on in my life or ways I believe I can help someone else. I love it all (really, ALL of it). Of course, blogging is pure fun to me, I don't earn any money with it so there are no consequences when I don't write something each week or even every month. But, ultimately, blogging should be all about the fun of it for every blogger, I think, even if it's your job. No blog post is perfect, so let go. Stop worrying about whether it's good enough. If you're happy with it and you had fun writing it, it will be good enough for everyone else as well. That's my philosophy on things. Maybe I might be all wrong but at least I'm having fun.

1 comment:

  1. Oh yes, same here! I can relate.. Planning is everything and finding the time can be a real sport. Thanks for letting me know I am not the only one here x Josine