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?
25 thoughts on “Blogging with an 8-5”
These are great tips! I never blog a work… errr… LOL!!!
I’d only add that the blogs I like the best (like yours!) are the ones where the writer is “real.” I love feeling like you’re just having a conversation with the person. Being fake to fit a certain mold won’t get you anywhere.
Aww thanks, Laura! That means a lot coming from you. I hate thinking of blogging as a one size fits all kind of thing…sucks the fun right out of it all. That’s why I keep things totally random on here! 🙂
Good tips! I totally agree with all of them. I find that blogging as a hobby needs to be just that. Blog when you want to about what you want to. I hate when bloggers start every post with “sorry I haven’t blogged.” That right there shows guilt and not pleasure out of writing the post. Do what makes you happy, not what you think others want! You can’t always in life, so why not in blogging, right? 😉
I hate the ‘sorry for not posting’ line too. Like someone else said, blogging shouldn’t be an obligation. If it’s truly a hobby, it should be always be fun.
I don’t have an 8-5 job but I always have a million things going on (I just blogged about them the other day) but I find that I like to write a blog post or two on days when I have the time to dedicate to writing well and then schedule them to publish later. That way I’m always ahead and the blog doesn’t disappear.
It took me a while to figure out why I wanted to blog and it’s starting to lead my blog into a whole new direction, but it’s something I’m really happy about. Happiness and enjoyment are key.
Found your blog through another blog, BTW and I love it. I’ll be checking in often!
Hi, Holly! Thanks for stopping by! And I agree 100%, happiness is absolutely key. Without it, we have nothing!
I love this. As a consultant my hours are always stretched beyond the normal 9-5 and the last thing I want to do after work is spend more time on the computer. I try and schedule things so I don’t forget to post things I may have written about when I had some time. I’m still finding my ‘voice’ so to speak in terms of blogging which is why it’s so random lol.
Scheduling posts is a good idea. I do that every now and then. And I love your ‘random’ posts! Keep them coming. 🙂
Great post! I just started my very first 8-5, so it’s definitely been a huge adjustment. But, I 100% agree with all of the points you made. I post 2-3 times a week, when I really feel like it. If it’s not from the heart, I’d rather not post at all!
Congrats on the job! That’s exciting. And you’re right, blogging from the heart is what makes sharing so meaningful. The day my heart isn’t in it anymore is the day I will just stop.
Trying to be consistent is so difficult, sometimes I have nothing to say or I may be lazy. I doing my best to keep up with my blog as I only began blogging in January 2012 after being a silent reader for so long. I love blogging, I guess the key is finding what works for you. A balance is key!
Have a good weekend!
As long as you’re having fun with it, be as inconsistent as you want! That’s just my 2 cents. 🙂
Great post, P! I couldn’t agree more, especially about quality content! I made a vow to myself that I will never put up a post for the hell of it! I want to be proud of every post I write, even if that means going a few days/weeks without putting up anything! My blog is a hobby, not an obligation! Have a great weekend!
YES, YES, and YES! Quality surpasses quantity every single time.
I just wanted to add something to your thoughts about blogging.
Even though SOME people, such as your truly, dont always comment on a blog, it doesnt mean no one is reading or missing your blog on days when you dont post! 🙂
Thanks for commenting on this post, Priya! I love it when readers come out and say hi!!!
You read my mind! I sometimes can barely find the time to breathe, let alone blog so it gets pushed to the back, which is just fine by me. I have to live life first and foremost and blogging is a hobby when there is time and content 🙂
Amen! I couldn’t agree more. 🙂
omg, it’s like you read my mind. i started blogging thinking i could turn it into a career. and i even quit my job for 6 months to explore it, didn’t go far. 🙂 and i realize hmmm.. my blog will never give me my full-time salary, it’s just not worth it. but it does bring me so much happiness.. and i love creating new recipes and sharing them. you’re right.. it should never feel like a chore.. cuz then people can sense that when they read your post. and also right – health is not about eating and exercising, it’s an overall package which includes family, friends, fashion, girls night, dinners, and all that fun stuff. life is about balance.
I didn’t realize you did that in the beginning! How cool! I love that you took the risk and explored! And you’re right, balance is the name of the game. 🙂
Thanks for this post, girl! I’m not technically an “8-5er” with a blogging hobby, but I AM a full-time graduate student who blogs as a hobby. I, too, like to think of myself as a healthy-living blogger, and I fall victim many times to writing about what I ate, what I did at the gym, the new factoid I learned about my body, or the new healthy thing-a-majig I’m going to try. I love reading your down-to-earth posts and how your honesty and your heart shines through. Thanks for serving as a source of entertainment and inspiration for those of us who aspire to have popular blogs and larger readerships 😉
Thank you so much for your sweet comments! I assure you my blog is on the far from popular, but that’s a-okay with me! And grad school is more demanding than most jobs, so you are doing awesome! Also, as long as you blog about what you want, you are good to go!
It’s tricky balancing a blog with work…but I agree….I never EVER blog about work. It’s just too risky! And nothing should ever interfere with your job…especially since that’s what pays you (me/us!).
Hope you are having a great weekend!
I agree. It’s a risk I don’t want to take. And I’m pretty sure most people don’t really care. Ha!
This is a wonderful post! It’s so hard balancing work, school, parenting, and just life in general. Blogging is a hobby for me and at the beginning, I felt as if I had to post every day. At some point, it became a chore. So I took a break, reevaluated, and now I only post when I want to – not just because. It’s so much more enjoyable when I don’t put the pressure on myself. 🙂