Tips to launch a blog successfully (while working full-time)
While many of us are happily blogging full-time, others are just getting started or have been struggling to sustain it while working a traditional job.
Growing a business while working a full-time job can be relatively easy, as long as you outsource a lot of the work. However, there are often tasks that only you can handle properly, depending on your market and your goals.
Let’s look at some practical ways to launch a blog successfully while simultaneously working a full-time job.
Get Ahead Whenever Possible
I always try to do certain things in advance, even if I normally follow a strict to-do list.
This mainly includes getting small tasks out of the way, such as looking up title ideas or images for my next blog post. Other “easy” tasks may consist of answering emails or researching a potential new feature for the blog.
Try to work on minor things while watching your favorite TV shows, depending on how well you can concentrate and multi-task.
Obey Your Calendar or To-Do List
As I said earlier, I tend to follow a routine as much as possible. However, life isn’t always predictable. One day you may need to work late or take your kid to the doctor, among other unforeseen responsibilities.
That said, you should still have (at least) certain things written down in an editorial calendar or an ongoing to-do list.
Having your tasks written down will help keep you on track to a greater extent, as these would essentially hold you more accountable. This is perhaps one of the most overlooked ways to launch a blog successfully while managing other responsibilities.
I know, I know… it’s not always fun to deviate from the norm. You may be used to having lunch outdoors with your colleagues, or you probably enjoy three hours of TV after work…
The question is: How serious about blogging are you? Will this be merely a side business, or are you planning to live off of it in the future? If you’re planning for the latter, then you already know where I’m going with this…
The beautiful thing about compromising is that, ironically, you have a lot of control and flexibility. You’re not limiting yourself, but rather rearranging your schedule to suit your needs.
Can you cut back on TV by 30 minutes? Can you have lunch at your desk twice a week and work on the blog?
Case in point: Find a way to have your cake and eat it too. Your personal life doesn’t need to suffer if you compromise just a little every now and then.
Play it Wisely
You may occasionally hear people say that you must publish frequently for your blog thrive. You may also be encouraged to join every social network under the sun.
None of this is necessarily true.
If your content is sufficiently helpful and the niche is relatively narrow, you can get away with posting new content once a week or even twice per month.
There are simply too many factors to consider, so a universal answer to “how frequently” you post doesn’t necessarily fit everyone.
Maybe you send some content to your newsletter subscribers in between blog posts or spend a lot of time sharing your existing content, for example…
In such case(s), you are effectively keeping your audience equally engaged while gaining new followers, which definitely warrants the ability to publish less frequently.
Likewise, I suggest you only maintain one or two social networks at a time. Keeping your followers happy takes a lot of time and effort, as you need to do much more than merely posting links all day long.
Takeaway: Lessen or remove unnecessary things if you want to successfully manage a full-time job and your blog long-term.
Make Things Easier
Thankfully, we live in an era where much of our blogging work can be automated or streamlined in some way. Here are a few examples of things to consider:
Manage social media wisely: Use platforms like Hootsuite to schedule new updates on multiple networks, all at once. This is key to helping you launch a blog successfully, as your audience can ultimately make or break your success.
Even if you refuse to outsource most tasks, consider handing off certain things to help free up your schedule. These may include maintaining your social media accounts, or the creation of newsletter content. Fiverr and Freelancer are great places to find virtual assistants.
Adapt certain posts that take considerably less time to publish (click here for some great examples). While you shouldn’t depend on these too much, it doesn’t hurt to rely on them on occasion.
Do you run a membership site or sell a product? Publish a detailed FAQ page answering the most frequent questions to avoid receiving endless emails from interested readers.
Do you accept blog contributors? Provide detailed guidelines and allow registrations, thus enabling them to post new content themselves.
Being picky is perhaps the best way to manage your job and blog successfully.
Too many people emailing you about a sponsored post? Remember you don’t always have to accept them, unless they are truly beneficial.
Your friends want you to socialize as much as you did during your teenage years? Satisfy them to some degree, but don’t be afraid to decline their offers every now and then.
Friends and family are especially bad when it comes to questioning your online business, which is why so many people interrupt without a care. Again, don’t ne afraid of setting some boundaries for a while, at least until your business becomes more sustainable.
Always Learn Something New
There is always a new way to accomplish blogging tasks more efficiently. For example, maybe you didn’t know about scheduling posts or using image plugins to insert photos straight into your posts until recently…
Always look to learn something new, as this will help you manage the blog and your job much more effectively over time.
Are you looking to start your own blog and eventually quit the nine-to-five lifestyle? For those who have already succeeded, what did you do to launch a blog successfully while working? Let us know how you’re doing so far in the comments section below.