When I started my blog back in January 2011, I had big dreams for it. I really really thought that myinnershakti would turn into a full-time gig for me. I’m not kidding. I wish I were.
Reality kicked in when I quickly learned how hard it is to build up a readership and write quality content multiple times a day. After doing a little bit of research, I also learned that blogging would never bring home the kind of money my full-time job does. It was a short-lived dream.
However, I obviously continued to blog as a hobby. I love how my blog connects me to like minded people, allows me to share my life with friends, family and random strangers, and is completely, 100% mine. But it’s not always easy finding the balance between my work, personal life, and blog. My mindset around blogging has completely changed from when I first started, and over the past year and a half, I’ve realized that it is possible to maintain a blog and ensure that your career is not in jeopardy…you just have to be somewhat “strategic” about it.
Here are a few things I’ve picked up along the way…
1. You don’t have to post multiple times a day or even every day. I am a firm believer that quality content is the heart and soul of a good blog. And if blogging is truly a hobby for you, don’t kill yourself trying to come up with things to write about. You don’t have time for that, especially since your blog is not your main money maker. Posting a few times a week is plenty. People will still read, leave comments, and try to build a relationship with you. Trust me on this one.
2. It’s probably a good thing to focus most of your posts in a general blogging “genre,” but you shouldn’t restrict yourself too much. For example, I like to think of myself as a healthy living blogger. However, my blog is NOT about “what I ate today” and “what I did at the gym today.” My philosophy is that healthy living goes beyond nutrition and exercise, it’s about life and all that it encompasses – friends, family, fashion, makeup, movies, books, food…everything! By not solely focusing on a very particular topic, I have created a space for myself to write about most anything. Always remember, this is YOUR blog – write about what makes YOU happy.
3. Keep a notebook with you to jot down ideas as they come. Because I don’t ever write about the same thing over and over again, I find that by maintaining a list of possible blog topics helps me a lot. I have both a small notebook in my purse and a sticky note widget on my desktop that I use to organize my thoughts. The notebook really helps when you’re waiting for an appointment or stuck at the airport and inspiration hits. Those ideas are usually my best, and I want to capture them before I forget.
4. Don’t blog while at work, unless you’ve had a discussion about it with your manager or supervisor. I hope this one is common sense. It’s not worth losing your job over. Trust me. I work in HR.
5. Don’t compare yourself to others who are able to dedicate more time to their blogs. The comparison game never works. If this is truly a hobby, treat it as such. Write good, quality content when you can, and always remember, the internet will always be around (knock on wood). Your blog isn’t going anywhere and neither are your readers.
And other than that, just remember to have fun. The day your blog turns into more of a chore than anything else, you probably need to reevaluate. And I hate to sound like a broken record, but if this is truly a hobby, it should bring happiness to your life.
I’m sure there are a lot of other “tips and tricks” out there for bloggers with an 8-5, but these stand out in my mind.
Are you an 8-5er with a blog? What are some of your tips?