Simple Blogging Tips: How to blog consistently when you have a full time job

by Paris B on · 37 comments

in Discussions,Simple Blogging Tips (for beauty bloggers),Tips

It’s a brand new year and after all the festivities and relaxing done in the last few weeks, we’re all slowly but surely starting to get the ol’ wheels going. You can just hear the creaking of the wheels as they start to turn, can’t you? I know some people have made it their new year resolution to blog more consistently or maybe you’re still figuring out how you can juggle your day job, your life and your blog.

blog job Simple Blogging Tips: How to blog consistently when you have a full time job

Well, here’s a peek into how I do it which may or may not work for you, but will give you an idea on where to start. If you have some sort of schedule or routine you keep to, do share – will love to know how everyone juggles their job, life and blogs! icon biggrin Simple Blogging Tips: How to blog consistently when you have a full time job All niches welcome icon smile Simple Blogging Tips: How to blog consistently when you have a full time job

1. Have an Editorial Calendar

Whether you use a plugin like this one on WordPress or Google Calendar or just a plain notebook an editorial calendar is very helpful. I only really got the hang of it last year and it really made my blogging life so much easier! I don’t know why I never did it before icon razz Simple Blogging Tips: How to blog consistently when you have a full time job

I tried the Editorial Calendar plugin but didn’t like it so I use Google Calendar. I plan ahead for about a week or two and plug in the topics I intend to blog about, and it makes it easier for me to know just what I need to photograph and when I can do it. I have an idea of what sort of material I need for my upcoming posts and I can then source them.

An editorial calendar also helps give you an overview of what your blogging schedule looks like so you can see at a glance if it’s something manageable or too heavy, and adjust it accordingly. It’s invaluable to have one so try to work around one. Use a notebook or paper diary if you prefer but have some sort of plan icon smile Simple Blogging Tips: How to blog consistently when you have a full time job

2. Photography on weekends or when you have the time

Because I already know from my Editorial Calendar what I plan to blog about in the coming week, I can do all my photography in one go. I usually do mine on a Sunday afternoon. I pick out the different items I need photographed and do them all in one sitting. This way, I’m done for the week! It is also done more efficiently and I’m done more quickly than I expect. These days, I limit myself to a maximum of 10 shots per product which forces me to be more economical in my photo taking and also more precise. Taking and editing photos always takes the most time so getting that out of the way paves a smoother path.

If you’d rather not do it on a weekend, then find a little time to take your photos. I use the weekend because that’s when I can make use of the lovely natural sunlight instead of having to depend on artificial lighting and there’s the luxury of time. On week days, I’m usually at the office in the day so if I were to take my photos and then write my post, I might have to contend with colours I may not be happy with.

As for FOTD or face shots, whenever I have those, I take those in the mornings just before I go off to work so what you see is pretty much what I have on at work icon biggrin Simple Blogging Tips: How to blog consistently when you have a full time job Having the editorial calendar helps me work out what I need to take, and when I can do it and I’m not pressed for time icon smile Simple Blogging Tips: How to blog consistently when you have a full time job

3. Writing on weekdays or in the evenings

For me, writing is the easy part of blogging. If I could have my photos sorted for me I’d be happy to blog 3 times a day haha! Ok I kid. Maybe twice a day icon razz Simple Blogging Tips: How to blog consistently when you have a full time job I used to do my writing on a weekend as well so I basically churn out a week’s worth of posts and take and edit all my photos on the weekends. But I don’t do this anymore.

I take and edit some photos till I get bored, but I am happy to write on a week day, a day or two before my post is due to be published. This gives me time to edit it before I publish. I like taking a little time over lunch or after work while waiting for traffic to ease up before going home, to churn out a blog post and then mull over it for a day or two. Again, the editorial calendar helps me work out what needs to be written, when and then I get down to it. It just makes me more efficient and consistent because there’s a routine :) Writing is quick for me so this is actually the least of my worries, and I don’t blog in the evenings either. My evenings are my non-digital winding down time icon smile Simple Blogging Tips: How to blog consistently when you have a full time job

4. Be more efficient with your time

We all have full lives to lead and quite often it’s easy to fall off the bandwagon, stop for a day or two thinking you’ll climb back on and blog again but then the one day stretches into a week and then into a month… so unless you are literally doing it on an ad hoc basis and intend for your blog to remain that, then some discipline is necessary as well as being a little more efficient with your time. Set aside that hour or half hour you need, to get what you need done for your blog, then go on with your life. I don’t feel guilty for not blogging, and I don’t feel guilty while I’m out having fun. That’s how I do it icon smile Simple Blogging Tips: How to blog consistently when you have a full time job

I’m not saying of course that this is the best or most efficient way to juggle your life and your passion for blogging. Each of us will handle it differently but if you’re looking for a place to start, this might help you towards a more consistent blogging schedule this year icon smile Simple Blogging Tips: How to blog consistently when you have a full time job Baby steps! icon biggrin Simple Blogging Tips: How to blog consistently when you have a full time job

Do you use an editorial calendar for your blog? Do you have some sort of routine you follow?

Remember, blogging consistently does not mean blogging daily. Few of us manage to blog daily and sooner or later it takes its toll so while it’s tempting to go all out, guns blazing, remember burn out can happen so be like the tortoise not like the hare. You want to be in this for the long run not just as a flash in the pan. How do you manage your time? icon smile Simple Blogging Tips: How to blog consistently when you have a full time job

Paris B

Simple Blogging Tips are some simple tips I have for fellow bloggers, based on my own experiences. I’m no ‘guru’ but I hope they will help you. You may read up on previous Simple Blogging Tips here or please feel free to ask your question in the comment box or in email.

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[ 37 comments… read them below or join the discussion ]

liyeun January 3, 2014 at 9:03 am

Thank u for these tips! It is really helpful as I hv just started and it really is challenging my priorities now. Hehehe. Like you, my shots will be before I head to office. Office is like warzone, I look like awfully aweful in the office. Lol.
liyeun recently blogged…Chanel Notes de Printemps Collection for Spring 2014 (FIRST LOOK)My Profile

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Paris B
Twitter:
January 3, 2014 at 4:54 pm

It’s important of course to know your priorities especially when you start and I’m sure have a lot you want to say :D So a calendar or timetable will be a good way to keep things in check :)

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sesame January 3, 2014 at 9:27 am

Agree about the picture bit. I can’t write anything without pictures. It is the lifeline of my blog. Ha. But yes, planning ahead works and blogging on weekend works…to some extent for me. The truth is all these can be easily achieved if there is no family to devote time to. Otherwise, it still comes down to priorities.

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Paris B
Twitter:
January 3, 2014 at 4:58 pm

Yeah, a beauty blog just doesn’t quite cut it without pictures of some sort, I feel :) I think even if someone didn’t have family, everyone will have their own lives, commitments and priorities so it’s definitely challenging to keep to a schedule and you’re right about priorities. Ultimately of course, real life gives way to the virtual one but not without some sort of fight :)

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Tracy January 3, 2014 at 9:45 am

Agree with everything! I use a calendar as well, but sometimes I’ll interrupt it and blog about something I’m excited about. But yes, blogging every day is taking its toll on me actually. I can’t do it anymore sadly, but I’m ok with that. I wasn’t at first, but I’ve finally come to peace with it.
Tracy recently blogged…Illamasqua Reflection Palette is My Most Disappointing Product of 2013My Profile

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Paris B
Twitter:
January 3, 2014 at 5:00 pm

Haha I do that too! It’s too rigid sticking to a strict schedule but thanks to work, it’s good to have something there on the backburner reminding you of content you can use :D My calender is an evolving one and for myself now, one that has to be stricter with content since I’m also slowing down. Less space to stick in content with fewer blogging days :D

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Efrain
Twitter:
January 3, 2014 at 10:43 am

Paris you have made the ideal post for one of my improvements I would never think about doing a blogging calendar. I hope that with it I blog every week.
Efrain recently blogged…Hola 2014My Profile

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Paris B
Twitter:
January 3, 2014 at 5:02 pm

Hurrah for helping you with your 2014 goal! Blogging every week is very manageable and I hope you manage to stick with it with the aid of a calendar :)

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xin
Twitter:
January 3, 2014 at 11:20 am

photo taking/editing for me will be mostly on weekends or day off . while the writing is mostly done at work…*cough* when i am home in the evening i just wanna relax in bed, or do that extra load of laundry :P
xin recently blogged…Shoe-Saving Tip: How I Succesfully Stretched My Ferragamo VarinaMy Profile

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Paris B
Twitter:
January 3, 2014 at 5:03 pm

LOL yeah once I get home, the computer doesn’t come on at all. I spend enough time in front of it as it is!

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Rebecca January 3, 2014 at 11:46 am

I keep a blogging calendar because otherwise I’d forget all of my brilliant ideas for future posts, haha. But doing photography in batches is the biggest time-saver for me… I take photos once or twice per week now (when the light is good… or good-ish, since it’s winter here). Batch editing (when possible) also helps.
Rebecca recently blogged…Review: HOLIKA HOLIKA Holiday Vita A Daily Sheet MaskMy Profile

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Paris B
Twitter:
January 3, 2014 at 5:05 pm

LOL!! That is so true Rebecca! I keep my ideas on ice that way too :D It must be really challenging taking photos in winter. When it’s gloomy here, I complain and I can’t imagine not having sun for the most part of the day! The batch photography thing is great isn’t it? I also find that my photos tend to look more uniform that way too :D

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Jenn
Twitter:
January 3, 2014 at 12:12 pm

I think it largely boils down to discipline and priorities! One must actually WANT to blog in the very first place – otherwise it’ll start to be a chore and a burden even! I always believe that if there’s a will, there’s a way! I have no will, thats why my blog has no “way”! Hahaha! :P

I do agree that photographing and editing the pictures for each post is the most time consuming!! Doesn’t help that I’m terrible anal about my pictures – the lighting has to be just right! I’m thinking of investing in a set of mini studio lighting this year, but I’ll definitely have to be disciplined enough to actually use them in the first place, so we’ll see! Hahaha! :P
Jenn recently blogged…2013My Profile

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Paris B
Twitter:
January 3, 2014 at 5:16 pm

Actually you’re right about that too Jenn. It’s whether you want to blog and how often you want to do it and whether it’s something you give some sort of priority to. I don’t deny that for some, it’s easier to allocate that sort of priority and less so for others but as we all have different priorities and lifes challenges, it’s never easy to say superficially that someone has things easier than others. As you said, where there’s a will, there’s a way :)

I considered lighting once too but once I established my routine I realised I didn’t need it. Also, I bought an inexpensive flash diffuser that does a good enough job for me now without having to invest in lighting. A bit of editing in brightness and contrast and I’m usually good to go :)

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Shreya
Twitter:
January 3, 2014 at 12:53 pm

Awesome tips dear ! I have a full time job yet I somehow manage to blog every alternate day …..these tips will really help me .
Thanks a lot again
Shreya recently blogged…Huge Makeup Haul – The Balm, Benefit, Clinique and moreMy Profile

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Paris B
Twitter:
January 3, 2014 at 5:16 pm

Good on you Shreya! It takes discipline to blog consistently so kudos! :)

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Lily
Twitter:
January 3, 2014 at 12:55 pm

I use the editorial calendar as well and that helps me keep on track. I take photos over the weekend, A LOT of them, then edit them whenever I have time. Like you, writing is easy for me, so sometimes, I’d just take a night to focus and churn out a few posts for the next week or two.
I juggle full time work AND 2 toddlers with 1 now in primary school, so schedule is getting ridiculously crazy. The only time for me to write is at night, after they’re in bed. Thank goodness I type really fast! LOL
Lily recently blogged…Beauty Items and the Blog: 2013 LovesMy Profile

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Paris B
Twitter:
January 3, 2014 at 5:23 pm

Good on ya! I find the editorial calendar helps the most to keep me on track with both text and photos. I love photography but taking too many of one item was sapping too much time so when I forced myself to be economical with my time I started becoming a little more efficient too :) Luckily the words come easy eh?

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Mini Kat January 6, 2014 at 11:00 pm

I am a big fan for both you and Ms Lily’s blogs and realize how much similarities in qualities you both have in blogging. I always refer to your blog for all those cool reviews but never know that another blogger I like also use same techniques that you use. The calendar, the photography, the writing and even the topics. How cool is that? No wonder I enjoy reading both blogs. It looks like you both have the right quality for top beauty blogger but sad that Ms Lily is going to blog lesser this year. Nevertheless good job both of you and happy new year! :)

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Sunny
Twitter:
January 3, 2014 at 3:21 pm

Hey Paris, great tips! Here’s how I work. I put everything I have to photograph in a pile, and then I photograph a bunch of them in one go. Once I’ve done that, I choose and edit the photos, put them in file folders, and test them out. I find having an external flash really helps. I work from home, but natural daylight is not easy to come by here. It’s a lot less stress knowing I can take photos whenever I want with my flash! I divide file folders into different rows on my desktop (skincare, perfume, priority…), and I just go from there!
Sunny recently blogged…One Step Up in My Nail Care Regimen: Dior Crème Abricot Fortifying Cream For NailsMy Profile

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Paris B
Twitter:
January 3, 2014 at 5:26 pm

That’s very organized, Sunny! I’m aiming to be even more so this year once I sort out my space and everything. I too organise my photos by folders to make them easier to find :D It’s great to have some sort of system but for the most part, I’ve found that its up to you to find a system that works for you so you can keep up with it :)

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synical
Twitter:
January 3, 2014 at 5:05 pm

Editorial calendar? That has never crossed my mind and it’s obvious from my own blog :P Then again I’m not a niche blogger, so I could get away with it… ?

I am also (kinda) guilty of not doing anything to my own pictures besides cropping them. I don’t think anyone would want to steal them or anything, so I’m not worried too much :P
synical recently blogged…2013 RoundupMy Profile

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Paris B
Twitter:
January 3, 2014 at 5:29 pm

Haha well if you’re just blogging on a free & easy platform then there’s no real need for an editorial calendar :D It’s only for us anal ones hehe… As for photos, I like to just brighten them and adjust the contrast. That’s the limit of my capabilities anyway so it means I have to be sure I take a proper photo to start :D Happy New Year :)

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synical
Twitter:
January 3, 2014 at 5:51 pm

Happy New Year to you too :)

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S. Drama&Makeup January 3, 2014 at 6:40 pm

I really loved this post, thank you for sharing these tips Paris!
I don’t work full time but after my move to Milan I find managing my blog a lot more difficult. Definitely taking notes here :)

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Paris B
Twitter:
January 5, 2014 at 9:48 am

I’m glad you enjoyed it S :) Even if not working full time, I think these are good practices for everyone to use because we all have a life anyway, regardless of whether we work or not, or have a family or not. That is of course, if we’re dedicated to our blogs because if we weren’t then really, blogging whenever will work then :)

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Sam Still Reading
Twitter:
January 4, 2014 at 2:03 pm

Excellent post Paris!
I use a notebook for recording ideas for posts and new release books I’ll be reviewing over the month. I then break it down into a weekly planner and try to stay a week ahead so plans can go awry! Book thoughts go into a separate book journal.

I study part-time as well, so I try to do study at lunch and for part of the weekend, then write. Photos are not such a big deal in book blogging, but like everyone else, I’ll do a batch when the light is good. Evenings I tend write backgrounds/thoughts for posts – I can be anything from wired to comatose on getting home.

I think having a routine is good but knowing that you can alter it to suit your life is also important.
Sam Still Reading recently blogged…2014…new books & challengesMy Profile

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Paris B
Twitter:
January 5, 2014 at 10:01 am

Thanks Sam :) You are so methodical! I just toss everything into my dashboard and think about it as I go along LOL I’m very impressed at anyone who studies part time – the discipline and dedication humbles me because I seriously doubt I’d ever be able to do it. Oh and you’re absolutely right about routines. We can’t and shouldn’t be a slave to our blogs. Unless they are our full time jobs, I think a bit of leeway is always acceptable :)

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Nikki January 4, 2014 at 6:37 pm

Thanks for these wonderful blogging tips. I’ll follow your advice on my own blog.

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Paris B
Twitter:
January 5, 2014 at 10:06 am

I’m glad you found this useful Nikki :) It’s definitely a good method for keeping anyone on track, not just those with a full time job :) All the best on your blogging journey.

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Jyoan January 5, 2014 at 3:30 am

Oh! Maybe that’s why I can’t do it! I never knew there is such a thing called editorial calendar. I love using a calendar for my work, but never thought it would work for a hobby like blogging.

I take photos all at a time and upload them onto my computer. It helps me keep track of what I need to blog about. But that is about it because writing is the part that slows me down. Writing is just not my forte.

Recently, I discovered that taking pictures using my handphone and blogging using phone is much faster because I have my phone with me all the time. I don’t edit the pictures to have words or watermarks or cute images, so as long as there is good lighting, I can snap and upload, and the photo is ready to go.

I agree that typing on the go really saves a lot of time. Sometimes I do this, type on the go, then save as draft. I will upload the photo at home, and publish.

When I really, really have time, I can write enough for two weeks at a time and just schedule them. But that’s really a luxury.

Am still trying to work something out because my work takes up my weekends and weekday nights too. If not for this, blogging with a full time job would be really easy I reckon.

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Paris B
Twitter:
January 5, 2014 at 10:10 am

Haha indeed. Anything that can be practiced for work, can be practiced for blogging :) But ultimately of course, it depends on us whether we are prepared to set aside that bit of time to blog as we will all have different priorities in life. Still, it sounds like you’re on the right track by dealing with your pictures quickly and mobile apps for blogging are very useful to input content on the go especially if you commute a lot. I use my apps to moderate comments but less for blogging but for a quick on-the-go piece, it works :) Sounds like you have a really hectic working life! I’m sure you’ll find the balance once you get the hang of it :)

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Vesna January 6, 2014 at 3:02 pm

Huh, I’m so bad when it comes to planning anything ahead. It just doesn’t work for me (though I haven’t tried really hard but well…). I might give it a go again with editorial calendar, didn’t really thought of that before. For now I only use sticky notes which was an excellent idea at the beginning but right now I have too much sticky notes on my desktop and that’s not really effective lol. Hopefully this calendar will work a bit better.

When it comes to photography, I always do that once a week with a bunch of products at the same time. If, by any luck I have good lightning over the week, I’ll try to take some photos then as well but that’s rare now during winter time (it’s already dark once I return home from work). I also made cheap reflector to help me while taking photos (with a bit of aluminum foil and thin sheet of styrofoam – one side of the sheet is covered with foil and I keep it opposite the window to reflect the light towards the product I’m taking photos of) and that was an excellent way to make better photos when the light isn’t really that good (which is often the case during winter time).

Anyway, thanks for sharing your ideas, will be using something definitely! :)
Vesna recently blogged…Kanebo Sensai Smoothing Water Make-up Base, recenzijaMy Profile

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Paris B
Twitter:
January 6, 2014 at 5:24 pm

I tried sticky notes too but as you said, it just leaves notes everywhere. Give the calendar thing a go. I don’t use a calendar or schedule for daily work but for my blog, it really does help me lots :) Your idea for making a reflector is so clever! :D Glad to know some tips might be helpful. Good luck with your blog in 2014! ;) x

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Tine
Twitter:
January 8, 2014 at 12:17 pm

I take my hat off to you, woman. Seriously. I don’t know how you do it, juggling a full-time job and post daily! Well now I do. :P

I definitely use an editorial calendar. I use the Wordpress plugin and a physical calendar to plan my content. I like to use a monthly view calendar (which is why I love the WP plugin so much) so that I can see the overview of the months, when the important dates and events are, etc.

Mondays are usually blogging days for me. Depending on my mood, I can either write some of the posts on Monday and Tuesday then do the photography later or vice versa. When lighting is good, then it’s photography first. I usually do the beauty posts first and then save the Bloggie Wednesdays ones for Tuesday because they usually require more time to write. I don’t do any blogging stuff during the weekends unless I absolutely have to because it’s my me time (only because I do have that pleasure of working from home). Other days, it’ll be working on web design for clients. :)

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Paris B
Twitter:
January 9, 2014 at 4:16 pm

LOL A lot of juggling is needed and with all the balls in the air, some day they’ll all come tumbling down :) I gave the WP Editorial Calendar plugin a try thanks to you but I found that having an external calendar helped me better. One that I could sync with my phone so I can adjust them as I go. I’m cutting off so much from blogging on weekends, it feels great!

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Phyllicia March 24, 2014 at 4:22 pm

I usually take photos with my phone and I find it easier to edit and wstermark my pjotos using apps. I’d upload them as a draft then type when I get home. Hehe.. Will definitely try to schedule posts with a calendar.

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