5 Ways That I Navigate Blogging & A Full Time Content Job (affiliate)

11 Aug 2019

Ahh - the age old conversation of how on earth does one continue to blog whilst juggling a full time job. It's something that I've briefly mentioned on The Northernist before because my goodness, have I struggled with it - in fact, I still struggle with it - so I figured it was time I really delved into the topic. To catch you all up, earlier this year, I was on a bit of a roll with blogging and I was absolutely loving all the stuff I was putting out, even after I got my digital content job in February. Fast forward a few months, my blog is flagging and I'm finding it hard to come up with original content ideas.

In my day job, I do a lot of writing, which is great because writing is what I'm passionate, but when I'm spending 8+ hours a day writing about craft products, I'm often a bit deflated and unmotivated when I get home. I did have a few ideas for my blog, but sometimes, the writing felt a bit forced and I was pushing myself to put content out when I wasn't really in the mood to be creative. It's been frustrating and upsetting to say the least because blogging is one of my true loves, so the feeling of starting to fall out of love was soul-destroying. I was beginning to feel as though I had no time or drive to continue the thing that had become an amazing outlet and hobby.

While having a rant and a whine about it is all well and good (and trust me, I've done a lot of that), I realised that it was time to pull on my big girl pants and do something about it. If I really wanted to keep blogging, I had to find the right balance between my work content and my personal content. It's taken a little bit of time and I'm still not 100% there yet, but here are five of the steps I've taken and bits of advice that I'd share to anyone else in a similar position.

1. I joined Grow & Glow

I figured I'd kick off this latest with the major step I've taken to try and fall back in love with blogging. I first heard about Grow & Glow (aff) when it launched around three months ago. I didn't sign up back then because I wasn't entirely sure it was for me - I was in a good place with my blog and couldn't fully grasp what G&G was fully about. When the doors opened up again a couple of weeks ago, I had a read of everyone singing it's praises and I immediately signed up, and I haven't regretted it.

With an absolute wealth of resources for all kinds of creatives, including media kit advice, an Instagram hashtag bank, a PR database and so many more essentials, it's such a valuable project to be a part of. There are also monthly bundles that have been designed to teach you about aspects of being an online creative, which come complete with a video guide, multiple tasks and worksheets. I'm currently working through the branding bundle, so there may be a few changes around here!

However, the most valuable thing that I've gained from being a part of Grow & Glow is the community surrounding it. I have felt much less alone and discovered that there are more people out there that are also searching for ways to fall back in love with blogging. We chat about the things we're working on, ask for advice and share our progress on the bundles. It's honestly like a little family!

Even though I've only been a part of Grow & Glow for a couple of weeks, I've felt more motivated to give my blog some TLC than I have over the past couple of months. I can't wait to make some changes and see how much G&G can help me.

2. I try to write on my blog for at least 10 minutes on a lunch time

This is the one that I struggle with the most, mainly because I want to move away from the computer and sit with my bestie on a lunch time, but sometimes, I'm a bit stricter with myself and do a little bit on my blog.

I try not to put too much pressure on myself and say that if I've done 10 minutes, that's great. Anything more is just a bonus, but in 10 minutes, I can write a loose title and maybe jot down a few ideas for an intro. If it's a list style post, kind of like this one, I can think of each list item and a few ideas of what would be included in each bit of text for the items.

It can be nice to step away from the writing that I do for my job whilst still at work, if that makes sense? It's almost empowering to write something that isn't related to crafting on the computer that I use at work, and it often puts me in a better mood for the afternoon.


3. I dedicate time to blogging on the weekends

As I mentioned in the intro, the last thing I want to do when I get home from work on an evening is write, even when I'm actually motivated to do it (there must be a word for that - when you're motivated to do something, but you're so exhausted, you just can't find the energy). That means that the weekends are absolutely prime blogging time!

After a good sleep on Friday night, I'm usually up early on a Saturday and in the mood to get my laptop out for some solid writing time. Sure, I might go places or do other fun things on the weekend, but I'm trying to make sure that I have at least a couple of hours time on my blog. This could include taking photos too because that's also a huge struggle when you work a 9-5.

Sometimes, I don't manage to get a full post written, but these are usually things that I finish off during my lunch breaks, and other times, I get a few posts scheduled. It all depends on how much time I've got and how motivated I'm feeling - there is no right and wrong. As long as I've done something, I'm happy!

4. I try to remember the difference between my work content and my blog content

This might seem really obvious, but I constantly remind myself that there are huge differences between my work content and my blog content. With work, I have to create the content, whereas with my blog, it isn't necessary to put that much pressure on myself. There isn't a desperate need for me to post something every single day and most of the time, I'm not being paid to blog.

Another huge difference is that at work, my content is very specific to my job and there isn't much wiggle room, whereas with my blog content, it can be what I want. If I want to talk about makeup, that's fine, or if I want to share a list of ways that I try to blog alongside working full time, that's also fine. I need to give myself little reminders now and then that this is my space that is entirely for me and there is no obligation to post.

5. I remind myself of the reasons why I started blogging

This relates a lot to number four, but basically, I try to keep the reasons of why I started blogging at the forefront of my mind. It was never meant to feel like a chore or a job - it's purely a hobby. Right now, I have no desire to turn The Northernist into a full time job. It's my little space on the web for my ramblings and I'm lucky enough to have a little group of dedicated readers, but it's just a hobby.

Keeping this in my mind when I'm feeling a bit bleurgh about writing makes me wonder why I'm even putting the pressure on myself to write if I'm not feeling it. If there is no obligation for me to write something right there and then, why am I making myself feel that way? There is no boss breathing down my neck or usually no strict deadlines, so it's totally not worth putting myself through the stress that I do.

Sure, with Grow & Glow, I'm learning how to make The Northernist feel a bit more polished and one day, it might lead into something more (I think I'd love to do some sort of book), but right now, I'm getting to grips with the whole work and hobby balance.
The moral of this post is to stop putting so much pressure on yourself. Sure, you can apply a little bit, just to give yourself that kick up the bum you might need, but too much, and you'll just end up hating whatever it is you're trying to achieve. My five steps and advicey bits won't apply to everyone, but I'm hoping that they've helped at least one person in some way!

If any of you reading are also trying to navigate blogging and juggling a full time job, let me know your tips in the comments.

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