Some weeks ago, I was at an event with a couple other Atlanta-based bloggers, and someone told me something that has since been on my mind, “We never see you around at these things!” she said, “But you’re out there, doing your own thing, and it’s really awesome.“
It was definitely a compliment; one that I was flattered to receive, but right after the overwhelming feelings of pride in my work started to subside, along came a HUGE pang of guilt. It’s true — these days I’ve started taking a more strategic approach to the events that I choose to spend my time driving out to, I wish I had a stronger personal network in and around the Atlanta creative world, and I definitely have a ton of overdue brunch and coffee dates I’ve had to put off for weeks… possibly even months? No bueno. I mean on one hand, I’m certainly not in the business of caring about other people’s perceptions of me, but on the other hand I’m very aware of the fact that being so absent from everything and everyone can have me missing out on great networking opportunities, and it can also make me seem a lot more stand-offish than I really am.
One of the most common questions that I get from you guys is how I manage to make blogging look so easy, especially while keeping a (very busy) full-time job #FirstWorldMillennialProblems My 9-to-5 is the main reason that I’m unable to be out and about as often as I wish I could be, and with my weekdays spent at work, that leaves my nights and weekends for blogging and content creation… and little to no free time in-between for fun times. Time management has been an ongoing challenge for me to keep up with my double life, but in my 4 years of blogging, I’ve definitely learned A LOT. Here are some tips I’ve learned to keep it all together and kick ass… both on- and off-line!
This year, I’ve had some months where I created and stuck to an editorial calendar with scheduled shoots and post dates… and then there were some months where I accidentally let things slide with no planning at all. I definitely noticed that when I didn’t have a plan to stick to, days slipped by so fast… and then all of the sudden, it was the end of the month, and I had only published like 2 blog posts in 4 weeks — whoops! I cannot recommend a content calendar enough, because it not only keeps me in line with what needs to be done, but it helps me make sure that there is purpose behind every moment that I’m working on content in the first place. HERE is the Google Sheets calendar template that I use!
I’m not the kind of blogger who posts 5 Instagrams a day, or 7 blog posts a week… even though I wish I had the time to! So because I publish content less frequently, I have to place a lot of importance on making sure that when I DO post, I’m creating the very best content that I can. For me, that means investing in great equipment, working with talented people who rock at what they do, and setting time aside to research, plan and style each shoot to create stories that truly reflect my personal brand. Because posting 2 amazing Instagram shots a week is WAY better than 10 crappy ones, right?
Setting goals for yourself is a great way to make sure that beyond staying consistent, you’re also looking for new ways to challenge yourself and push things forward beyond your current status quo. Some examples of goals that I’ve set for myself on a include: pitching at least ONE of my favorite brands for a collaboration project every month, posting to Instagram Stories and/or Snapchat at least once a day (I’m failing miserably at this, by the way ), updating my Media Kit and other marketing templates, and so much more. I think setting, and keeping to, goals is a great way to be able to summarize your growth and progress over a period of time… because there’s no better feeling of accomplishment than being able to check to-do items off your list!
Take a hint from your boss at your full-time job: it’s NEVER a bad idea to ask for or hire help when you need it! For the longest time, I thought that I could do everything myself… of course, it turns out that I can’t. I’m not great with numbers, so I started working with an accountant to manage my bookkeeping and taxes. I love web design but I’m definitely not a pro at it, so I started working with my friends at chloédigital to manage my website development and maintenance. Social media is fun, but as it started to become more of a “job” for me, I knew I needed someone to help me with it in a professional way, so I started working with social media consultant. And the list goes on…
By bringing on people who can concentrate on their area of expertise, I’ve been able to spend more time on the areas of my business that REALLY need my attention, and I feel like it’s made a really big difference in where Millennielle is today compared to where it was this time last year!
So there we have it! Those are my top 4 tips to managing my blog alongside a full-time, professional job. What do you guys think? If you have any questions about anything in particular, leave a comment below or hop over to my Q&A page and I’ll definitely get to answering your questions as they roll in!
A lot of people have asked me when I plan to give up my double-life and make the decision between full-time blogging or concentrating on my professional career. Honestly, I think that life is too short to limit myself to either right now, and I’m going to continue enjoying both for as long as I humanly can Why limit myself to one or the other, when I can (at least for now) comfortably do both?