Dear Diary: Finding a balance as a part-time blogger

I wasn’t particularly planning on writing this post today, although its been in my drafts for a while, but it kinda just felt appropriate after the day I’ve had.

I got home from work today at 6pm.  Nothing so strange about that, you think, most people get home around then.  Not me – I’m supposed to finish at work at 2.30pm, so today was a VERY long day.

Working late means one certain thing.  Once I am home, I don’t want to do anything! Sadly, this does have a somewhat detrimental effect on my already sporadic blogging.

From what I’ve seen in my few years of watching the blogosphere, there are two distinct types of blogger. First, you have your full-time, “professional” bloggers and then your hobby bloggers.  Although the type of blogger you are doesn’t necessarily decide the quality of your blog, it almost certainly effects the kind of blogging lifestyle you have.

I know that a lot of this post is going to be based on ma-hoo-sive generalisations and there are almost certainly exceptions you could point out, but this is just the way I’m feeling at the moment.  Plus, I do think a lot of what I say is pretty accurate.

I am so insanely jealous of the pro-blogger lifestyle.  You see it all the time in people’s Youtube videos or in their blogging routine posts. They have leisurely get-ups, blogging sessions in the local coffee shop scheduling blog posts until June, plentiful twitter updates and Instagram pics taken for the whole of Feb! (Usually while eating avocado on toast – seriously, what the heck is this obsession with avocado?  I’ve lived 31 years and I’m not convinced I’ve ever SEEN an avocado.  I’m almost certain no one ate them when I was a kid!)

Anyway, I digress…

Life as a hobby blogger is somewhat different.  My blogging has to be squeezed in around my job (30 hours a week, until I can convince them to give me more hours), housework (occasionally), raising two children, maintaining a healthy relationship with my husband, not to mention any other hobbies or exercise I might want to partake in.

I always have many, many plans for the blog.  Planning takes a matter of minutes – actually putting those plans into action takes much longer. I have a great post calendar in WordPress, but I’m almost terminally behind schedule and am constantly pushing things back until I can catch up. (This post has been planned for about the past 6 weeks!)

Blogging always has to be my last priority.  If something has to give, you can bet it will be my poor little blog.  I’m currently out rehearing Monday, Wednesday and Sunday and show week is next week (Deep breaths – you’ve got this!)  I had told myself I would preschedule some posts ready for show week but I think we ALL know that isn’t going to happen and I’m going to drop off the radar for a while.

Don’t even get me started on blog photos – they’re a bloody nightmare, especially in winter.  I have no budget for studio lighting and artificial lighting is practically non-existent.  Somedays I leave and return home in the dark.  I’ve found a brief window of time on a Saturday afternoon, in a well-lit room of my Mother-In-Law’s house where I can take photos, if I remember to take the things I want to photograph.  Organisation is not currently my strong point, but I am improving.

Don’t get me wrong – there are definite pros to not relying on blogging for my living.  I don’t need to worry about earning enough money each month.  (Ok, everyone worries about earning enough, but at least I don’t have a fluctuating income.  I like my guaranteed paypacket)

There’s also less pressure.  Obviously, I still put loads of pressure on myself and feel like a HUGE failure if I don’t post for a couple of days.  Ultimately, I have to remind myself that if I stopped posting altogether, there’s a good chance no-one would notice.  I don’t have brands/PRs or management agencies breathing down my neck for my next post.

Do I dream of going pro?  Maybe.  Obviously, I’d love to set my own working hours and be my own boss.  It would be lovely to have a job that excited me and where I got to be creative. Still, I think I’ll always prefer the financial security over the flexibility.  I think I’ll always want a proper job. Maybe my dream would be able to drop a day and supplement my income with my blogging.  Who knows?

What is your experience of blogging?  Are you full-time, part-time or somewhere in between?  Leave me a comment below!

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15 comments

  1. kerry says:

    I hear ya! Im very new to blogging, but like you, it can be sporadic as everything else takes priority. I am hoping to gain some routine, and have started working on draft post when I get time. Blogging for me is a very enjoyable hobby, and I havent mastered the whole twitter/Instagram thing. one day maybe lol

    • Stacey says:

      Sometimes I’m really organised and have loads of things pre-prepped. Other times (like now), I’m completely winging it! Still, as long as we’re enjoying ourselfves that’s all that matters right?

  2. Lora says:

    I completely understand this! I desperately struggle to film and edit as the only time in the light is on the weekend – when I already have plans!

    You are doing a great job so try not to be so harsh on yourself

  3. Emma Topley says:

    It’s so nice to see someone else that has Blogging for a hobby and sees the ‘coffee shop, laptop, blog schedule/updating day’ as a dream but we’re both hard working women who are putting food on the table and sometimes you have to prioritise!!
    I’m with you!
    Xx

  4. Rachael says:

    I completely feel you, I think I often have my priorities in the wrong order and blogging comes above stuff at home and wedding planning and I can sense over the next few months in the last 3 month countdown I am, whilst I really don’t want to have to take a step back.
    I work 40 hours a week, freelance on top to make up for the fact my new job whilst is less stressful doesn’t pay me enough, and then try and squeeze in 5-7 posts a week too, I want blogging to become a stable part time job for me to be able to work from home for part of the week when I have children so I can spend a couple of days a week at home and not feel guilty and I feel like I’m having to really put the work into it now to get to b able to get to that point!
    You’re doing great, and I’ll notice if you stop posting 🙂 xxx

  5. Louise says:

    I’m supposed to be a full-time blogger but I most definitely don’t have the lifestyle you describe here lol. Most nights Oscar doesn’t sleep so I spend around 8 hours writing and re-writing a couple of sentences for whatever post I’m working on, while trying to coax him to sleep or stop him from waking the rest of the neighbourhood up. And when he finally nods off I’ve usually developed a migraine and can’t even look at a computer screen. I am insanely jealous of the people who make it look easy! I think your blog is awesome as it is, and I’d rather read the stuff you write sporadically (as you say) than stuff by other bloggers that’s been forced because people feel they ‘have’ to get a post up. Trust me, you’re doing great 🙂

    Lou x
    Louise recently posted…Awesome New Gym GearMy Profile

  6. Entirely Sarah says:

    Blogging is so hard to keep up with, I dont have kids, just a husband but he is so supportive, we designate one night a week to not go on our pcs and just spend the evening with movies and a nice dinner at home. I work a full time job and have had evenings where I dont go to bed till 1am because im sat up writing posts and working to the bone, then can barely function when I get up the next morning! Its not easy, but I love your blog and when life gets in the way thats ok too! I love looking at your blog so keep up what your doing! Xx
    Entirely Sarah recently posted…Ruby professional large tapered blending brushMy Profile

  7. Corinne says:

    Blogging is quite high on my list of priorities so I always manage to get daily posts out! But there are times when I’m busy and I get really stressed if I’m not planned in advance!

    Corinne x

  8. Jessie says:

    Just starting out and these are my thoughts exactly! Especially, that it only takes minutes to plan and weeks to post! Although I love that I do other things other than just blogging – it gives a little variety into our lives and more to write about! 🙂
    Jessie recently posted…Own Your Decision.My Profile

  9. robert says:

    I’m trying to keep up with you, but like you sometimes the best will in the world can’t re-energise you after a busy day at work. Hell, I’ve got a backlog of house work to do, I can’t imagine what would be said if I just blogged all evening. The main thing I needed was a purpose, some motivation, and both my blogs have that now. My private journal (which no-one gets to see) is only added to when the mood takes me. My new travel venture unfortunately somewhat relies heavily on me travelling. I’m not sure mum is best pleased with me videoing and photographing everything with an hidden agenda, and i don’t think we are going to turn into video celebrities, although I’m certainly going to give it a go. What’s most important is, that when you do post something, it is interesting, and gives some insight in to an important aspect of your life. When you just start blogging crap just to keep the momentum going, I think you may do yourself a disservice eventually. I would personally give up my day job tomorrow if I thought I could afford to, and merrily stream my thoughts to the world all day. But like you, something inside keeps saying “You realise no-one is actually reading your posts?”. So it is heartening when I go and look and see my readership has gone from 26 to 84 in the space of two months. Maybe I am doing something right! Keep up the good work. Make sure it stays fun and doesnt become a chore.

  10. Sian says:

    Blogging part-time is a difficult job! I work part time, anywhere between 16-30 hours and at least an hour travelling time every day. When I get home, all I want to sleep and eat! I also write freelance so I have to fit that in too. When I have a day off, I try to use it to get posts scheduled but most of the time, I just want to sit on the sofa and watch TV! I also try to keep fit but getting time for the gym is so hard right now!

    Sian x
    http://theenglisheverygirl.blogspot.co.uk/

  11. rachelXblog says:

    Loved reading this! I find it so hard to work on my blog as much as I would like to because of my job I am in. I work different shifts all the time (luckily right now I am on a night shift which I am covering and its pretty quiet so I have brought my laptop to keep me entertained and to do some blogging) but I normally work any time from 5am to midnight and 9 times out 10 in 10 hour stints so I don’t really have as much time as I would like to blog.

    I have set it as a goal of mine that when I do get a day off or some spare time I am going to make sure I dedicate it to blogging as much as I can! 🙂

    Fab post lovely xxxx
    Rachel | http://www.rachelxblog.com

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