Many people first start their blog as a creative outlet while still working full-time, and once they realize they can actually make money blogging or even make passive income blogging they start to wonder how they too can grow their own blog while working full-time.
I’ll be upfront – it’s a lot of work. I was doing full-time client work when I first began this blog and it’s definitely manageable with some good (read: great) time-management skills!
So let’s dive right into how you can grow a profitable blog while working full-time.
If you want to make money blogging, self-hosting isn’t negotiable.
You need to be self-hosting if you want to grow a profitable blog. If you’re blogging just for fun then you don’t need to self-host but here are some reasons why self-hosting is necessary to make money blogging:
- self-hosting allows you to put ads on your blog
- self-hosting gives you 100% ownership of your content (you don’t own your content if you aren’t self-hosting)
- brands will be more inclined to work with a blog that appears legit and has their own domain
- you can earn from affiliate income (lots of affiliate networks will not approve blogs that aren’t self-hosted)
- you can view precise analytic information (in order to turn your blog into a business you’ll need access to your analytics. You can’t grow a website if you have no idea how many visitors you are getting each day)
- you’ll get approved for more influencer platforms (these platforms require access to your analytics so if you aren’t self-hosting you won’t be able to provide that and won’t get approved)
I recommend you host your blog through Bluehost! Their hosting is not only reliable and fast, but their support is incredible.
They will also help you transfer everything over from your existing blog onto their platform so you don’t have to worry about anything technical when switching over.
As a web designer, I’ve worked with many hosts and Bluehost is the only one I’d recommend.
MAKE AN EDITORIAL CALENDAR
Your first step is to sit down and plan. You’re going to need to plan this out.
Because those who fail to plan, plan to fail.
I’m not here to throw cliches your way, but it’s true!
When planning your content out, make sure you stick to something that you’ll be able to accomplish. Don’t plan to write 5 blog posts per week if you don’t think you’ll have time to write 5 per week.
If you are working full-time, I’d aim for 1 great post to start. If you find that is easy to achieve, start adding more onto your plate. But it’s better to start off slow rather than burn yourself out!
Remember: it’s always better to write a one wonderful blog post that a handful of mediocre blog posts.
One way I’ve found that helps me write content when I’m really busy is to pick a theme for the month and write several posts around one topic.
Not only does this help me to come up with article ideas, but it also helps me write faster and cuts down on the time I need to spend researching.
WRITE YOUR BLOG POSTS
Now that you have a plan, it’s time to write. You’re obviously going to want to schedule your writing time for a day when you aren’t going to be preoccupied with your full-time job or anything else.
In other words, pick a day that will be easy for you to remain focused.
This will differ from person to person. I personally love to write at night, but you might find it easier to get up before work to get some work done or work over the weekend.
You’ll need to find a couple of hours each week where you’ll be motivated to write, and dedicate those chunks of time to your blog.
Write these times down so you don’t forget them and make sure to stick with your schedule.
If you’re currently only blogging when you feel like it, you probably feel overwhelmed and like you aren’t getting enough done. By blocking out your time, your not only treating your blog like a job, you’re allowing yourself to stay focused and actually get your tasks done.
Pro tip: I’ve found that blog batching is the best way to write more content in less time. With blog batching, you are essentially blocking off chunks of time and dedicating each time chunk to a specific task.
Batching has been proven to increase productivity and I’ve detailed exactly how you can implement your own blog batching strategy!
OPTIMIZE YOUR BLOG FOR SEARCH
Having a good grasp on search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial for bloggers.
SEO is a way to drive organic traffic to your blog posts through search engines. In other words, you are getting free traffic on auto-pilot to your blog.
If you are busy working full-time, learning to drive traffic on auto-pilot over to your website is incredibly important!
To optimize your blog posts for SEO, you are going to want to add in keywords to each post so that Google and other search engines know where to place it in the search results.
For example, if you are writing a post on “gardening tips for beginners” your keyword would be “gardening tips for beginners”.
You should include that keyword throughout your post.
PROMOTE YOUR BLOG POSTS
After you’ve written your blog post, the next step is to promote it.
Blog promotion is something that is often heavily ignored. I get it; nobody really likes self-promotion. It can feel so uncomfortable but the truth is, it’s going to be really hard for people to find your content if you aren’t promoting it!
80% of your time should be spent promoting your blog post while the other 20% is writing it. So if you take an hour to write your blog post, you should be spending 48 minutes promoting it.
Raise your hand if you aren’t spending that kind of time promoting your content (girl, at one point my hand was raised). I didn’t know you should spend so much time promoting your posts.
I used to send a Tweet out, post it to my Facebook page and that was that.
But that doesn’t actually get your posts seen by the right audience!
If you are working full-time, you might not think you can find the time for any extra promotion. But if you spend 10 minutes a day promoting your blog posts, you’ll be able to get a great amount of promotion in!
You can easily spend a portion of your lunch hour and dedicate it to blog-promotion and be well on your way.
I’ve put together a list of 11 free ways to promote your blog, but here are a few ways to get you started:
- Facebook groups
- Yahoo Answers
- Google Plus
- Email list
- Paid ads
AUTOMATE CERTAIN TASKS
If you’re working full-time, all of this might feel like it’s just too much. Which is why I recommend automating as much as possible.
To schedule all your social media content, Buffer has a free plan where you can schedule up to 10 posts at a time. If you’re on a budget, I highly recommend setting aside one day each week to schedule all 10 social posts throughout the week.
You can also schedule as many tweets and Facebook posts as you’d like through Twitter and Facebook themselves.
If you use Pinterest, Tailwind is one of the best investment you could make to schedule all your pins. Some days, I sit down and schedule months worth of pins all at once. This isn’t possible with Buffer’s free plan above! If you use my referral link for Tailwind, you can get your first month free to try.
ASK FOR HELP
Having a good blog mentor can help you narrow your focus and turn your blog into something that can one day replace your current full-time job.
A blog mentor or coach can give you a fresh perspective on what your blog is currently doing awesome, what you should be doing more of and where you can improve!
DON’T GIVE UP
Following the above tips will definitely help you grow a profitable blog while working full-time, but there will still be days when you feel unmotivated and frustrated – and that’s ok!
There’s a ton of different ways you can stay on track after you’ve lost motivation. Remember: you can only do so much and if you feel you need a break, take one!
It’s definitely possible to grow a profitable blog while working full-time, but requires lots of planning and setting aside chunks of time to work on your content and promote it!
I recommend getting some type of planner and blocking out chunks of time to get your tasks done!
By treating your blog like a job, you will be setting yourself up for massive success!
Do you work full time while blogging? Tell us your time-management tips below!