How to Manage Blogging and a Full-Time Job

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 5.

Curious about this challenge? Check out Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 and Day 4

Are you trying to start a business while working a full-time job? Do you have a hobby blog you want to monetize?

Trust me, growing a business while working full-time is not easy.

Work college counselor China

My day job

Full-Time Counselor, Full-Time Blogger

At this point, I like to say I’m working two full-time jobs: one as a college counselor in China, and another as a travel blogger. My blog has gotten to the level that people assume I don’t have a day job, but my $10,000 in student loans and expensive apartment in Beijing makes it impossible to quit my job right now.

I’ve come to terms with my situation, and I’m okay working in an office for another year, but managing both a full-time job and my blog is really difficult! With the admissions season fast approaching, my work as a college counselor is piling up. This makes it very difficult to manage everything. I think you’ll all remember last fall when I started having panic attacks and lost my sense of hunger for a solid two weeks!

college counselor China

I joined a gym in my office building!

Staying Healthy and Sane

This year I’ve focused a lot of my energy on health and wellness. When you work full-time at an office, it’s easy to let things slide: hitting the gym, cooking healthy food, and sleeping enough become more and more difficult. Instead of going out salsa dancing, I’ve been sitting and drinking multiple beers at a bar. After a long day of work, sometimes cracking open a bottle of wine sounds perfect when really I should be drinking water or tea.

I’ve started doing yoga in the evenings if I don’t hit the gym in the morning. I do deep meditation breaths when I get stressed, and encourage myself to go out and be social or explore when I have free time. I also started going salsa dancing every Monday, which is an excellent workout and lets me blow off steam without drinking too much alcohol.

For me, staying healthy is the only way to handle blogging with a full-time job, and not go crazy.

Craic House happy hour

“Working” on the road

My 20 Minute Success Plan

For me, I always try to get some blogging work done at my day job (Shhhhh don’t tell anyone). Even if it’s just answering a few emails, or editing a post, I like to get something done so that I can actually relax when I get home in the evenings. If I work all day and then come home to more blogging, I think I might actually go crazy!

Today Natalie challenged me to create a daily success plan that takes 15-20 minutes.

After taking a while to think about it, I decided that every single day I’m going to take 20 minutes to work on my blog with zero distractions. I’ll pick a time at work during the day when I have no students coming in, and I’ll turn off everything not related to the task at hand.

I have Facebook and WeChat on my computer and often have friends and coworkers messaging me. Well, I’ll be clicking out of these distractions, and blasting my “focus” Spotify playlist to get things done. For twenty minutes I’ll work on one task with no distractions. If for some reason I’m in the zone, I’ll up the time to 45 minutes.

work and blog full time

I did a little bit too much work on this couch last year

At the beginning of the day, I’ll set my task. It might be clearing out my email inbox, answering and replying to all of the important emails that pile up. Maybe it will be writing or editing a blog post. If I’m especially tired that day, I’ll do something mindless like scheduling Pinterest pins.

I might also take this time to work on something technical. I need to finally figure out how to redirect my blog posts so that there’s no date in the URL. I may create a media page with all of my publications or maybe work on improving my page speed.

If things go well and I don’t have much work to do at my office job, I’ll repeat the process another two or three more times. I think this is the only way to actually get things done now that my college counseling job is getting busy. I don’t have time to goof around on Facebook anymore!

Travel blogging and working full-time

PIN ME!

Getting Productive

Overall, managing a full-time job with a blog is difficult. But if you focus on efficiency and your physical and mental health, it can be doable. Personally, I know I’m lucky that I can squeeze in a little blog time at work. If you work away from a computer, I know this may not be possible for you.

For those of you who work full-time and have a blog, how do you manage it? Let me know below! 

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Comments

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About Richelle

Expat, traveler, and spicy food lover, I've spent the last few years living in China and traveling around Asia. In my spare time I enjoy salsa dancing, exploring night markets and stuffing my face with street food.

12 comments on “How to Manage Blogging and a Full-Time Job

    • Yeah I feel like the more you multitask, the less you get done. I always have a million tabs open with half-started projects and half-read things, but I really need to focus and do everything one task at a time.

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  2. I hear you on the physical and mental health part! I feel so much better after a workout, which I like to do before I start working in the morning. I feel much more energized and focused after that, and badass if I lifted some heavy weights! That positive mentality carries over to my work and blog, which is always a good thing :)

  3. It’s not easy Richelle! I work full-time, I’m married with a son, and I’m a travel blogger too! I don’t know how I manage it either!

    The key I guess was that I thought about how and what I wanted to do before I actually started the blog. A luxury I know, as most star bloggers sort of just fell into, making it up as they went along. And to some extent, we all do that as you never really know what direction your blog will lead you to! I thought I would write to readers in the UK, but apparantly, most of my readers are actually from America, the UK, Germany, Canada, Poland & India!!

    I consider myself a professional blogger, but I still keep it fun by only writing once a week, spending 2 hours a day in the early hours of the morning, not doing any social media at the weekend, and living my life. I get invited to loads of lifestyle events like Fashion Week and the Berlin Music Video Awards, some of them I decline, but the top profile ones I make sure that I attend, and do a great job covering them so that people recognise my face lol!

    • That’s very smart of you to go in with a business plan. I just sort of fell into it, which means that my growth has been slow, and I haven’t monetized as well as I probably could have. But you know what? I started as a study abroad student, so I won’t be too hard on myself. That’s incredible you’re able to compartmentalize like that. I hope to be able to make enough money to support myself and a potential family by only working a few hours a day instead of sitting in the office all day. At least I’m only 25!

  4. Hi Richelle, I’m pretty new to blogging but also see it as something I’d love to turn into an income generator at some point. I’m kind of resigned to the fact it’ll take a while which is why I’m working only on things that excite me deeply – the kind of stuff that even if no one sees the post I’m still glad I wrote it! I kind of have faith like everyone says, eventually the direction will become clear, in the mean time we keep doing it! Work must bring good things. Getting up early in the mornings is THE way to start the day.

    • Hey Tom! Yeah I’m still trying to get myself where I want to be financially, and it’s taken years! I think it’s really important to focus on the business aspect in addition to just writing good content. You need to have a solid niche, network, take courses etc. Good luck!

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  6. OMG! I am still trying to figure out same things. I use to be a nanny. But now I work 10 hours a day and I have almost no break in my job. I was googling some guidance and I found your blog post very interesting. Keep the hard work, Kind regards, Daniela.

    • Thanks so much Dannie! I finally quit my job two weeks ago, so I’m now worried about supporting myself (thankfully I have money saved), but blogging while working was definitely tougher than when I was a student. Good luck!!

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