For every one of the “big” bloggers who manage to turn their blog into a business there are thousands of us that manage their blog alongside a full time job. Here’s my second set of blogging FAQs:
Q1. How do you find the time?
Well it’s odd isn’t it. They say that if you really want to do something you’ll find the time. I’m really proud of my blog and enjoy every moment I spend on it. I get to be me, with no filter and no one to answer to – so I make the time.
Before I started blogging I used to get home from work and flop down in front of the telly. I’d spend quite a lot of time chatting to my friends on various social media or playing games on my phone while I watched the news or the soaps. It was relaxing but unproductive. Since I’ve been blogging I’ve learned to utilise every bit of free time I get and you know what’s great? The most popular times for people to read blogs and social media posts are generally the same times that I have free time to engage with people so it’s a win-win.
Here are some of the times and ways that I work on my blog:
- As soon as I wake up I check my notifications on social media and reply if to any comments or questions. These are generally the ones from the USA or from early risers in the UK.
- While I’m having my morning toast and coffee and watching the news on TV I scroll through my social media feeds and e-mails to pick up on anything new and say the odd good morning to my friends and followers
- On my journey into work I do some more scrolling and start to reply to any early e-mails that come in from PRs and brands.
- At lunch time, it’s more of the same. I find that engaging on social media during working hours is very productive as this is when PRs and brands are engaging with followers and sharing news on line. I also chat with friends and followers, enter a few competitions and keep up with what’s going on in the world in general.
- The majority of the blogging events and launches that I attend are in London and I manage to attend them straight from work. Most of the events are tailored to expect bloggers to attend late afternoon or early evening with print press generally invited to morning/day time sessions. Sometimes there are all day drop in events and I usually attend first or last thing and let the organisers know when to expect me. If I can’t attend at all I send my apologies and request a press pack to be sent to me.
- If I’m not attending an event then evenings are for writing blog posts, more engaging on social media and tracking my statistics.
- I use weekends and days off to take my blog photos and to draft more posts and you guessed it more engagement on social media.
Q2. I don’t want to spend all my breaks and evening tweeting I just want to chill. Do I need to be on line all the time?
Of course not. When you start out you might want to spend more time on line but once you’ve built an audience you can start to schedule posts and tweets. This is particularly helpful when you’re on holiday or when you just want to spend down time with loved ones without interrupting things. There are plenty of software tools to manage this such as Hootsuite and Buffer for Twitter and many more.
There are some downsides to this though. Scheduling posts too far ahead may mean that you miss out on something current that everyone’s talking about. You might also find that if you’re scheduling promotional tweets constantly and never take the opportunity to chat with people on social media live you may lose some engagement. Keep a look out and see if you can find a balance with some scheduling and some live engagement and you’ll be fine.
Q3. It’s ok for you. You live in London. It takes too long and it’s too expensive for me to go to London all the time. What opportunities are there outside of London?
There are thousands of successful bloggers outside of London including many of the big ones. Look out for events in your area. Hook up with other bloggers that live near you and meet up. Department stores often have launches that anyone can attend either for free or for a small redeemable fee. Look out for others who might want to attend and meet up with one or two before the event so you don’t have to go alone.
If there aren’t any events then arrange something yourself. It can be anything from meeting up with a few blogging friends to go shopping – to finding a venue and talking to brands to see if they would be up for collaborating with you to send some products for goodie bags or to attend to spread the word about their brand. You could even have a swap meet to exchange all those products you’ve been hoarding!
Q4. Do the people you work with know that you blog? I don’t know if I’m ready to share my blogging self with my work mates.
Yes. I didn’t tell them straight away. I didn’t want them to judge my work. I knew that my on-line audience liked what I was doing and I wanted to protect that and stay in my bubble. Over time I told one or two people and then they told a few others and the more positive remarks I got the more I shared. I know that I’ve got a long way to go with my blog but I’m no ashamed of it either.
But that doesn’t mean you have to share. It’s your blog, your world and you can keep things separate if you want to. You don’t have to post your photos on line and you can remain incognito. I know some bloggers who haven’t even told family members about their blogs. It’s your choice – just do what feels right for you.
So that’s it really. It works because I want it to. Do you work full-time and blog? What are your tips? I’d love to read them so do leave some comments below.