BY KAITLYN AGNEW
I consider myself lucky to maintain a blog that is up and running 5 days a week AND excel in a marketing position at my full-time job. Both roles give me freedom to exercise creativity but are both unique in their own way.
I am beginning my 7th year at a design agency that specializes in custom trade show displays and my 5th year writing for Sisters Marie, the lifestyle blog I co-manager with my sister-in-law, Lisa.
In my newest and surely most important role of my life, I am embarking on the wonderful journey to becoming a first-time Mom so a shift hangs in the balance. With this adventure underway, it is imperative I find a schedule that works best for me to maintain a healthy work-life-mind balance.
Balancing all of these commitments can take some time and patience but as long as you truly enjoy what you’re doing, all of the effort is worth it.
So, is it possible to work AND blog full time? The answer is YES and here are 3 tactics I use to help it all run smoothly:
Create Your Own Schedule
I’ve always been good at staying organized and when it comes incorporating the blog into my workweek, this is crucial. My office is open from 9:00am-5:00pm so with this general timeframe in mind, I try to work in blog content before or after which can sometimes mean some crazy wake up calls.
My Mom and I have started meeting for coffee one morning a week so she can not only help me shoot an outfit for the upcoming week (giving me necessary time to edit, write, etc.) but it also serves as a great way for the both of us to catch up and begin our days on a positive note.
Whether it’s taking a walk, going to yoga or having coffee with a loved one in the morning, this sets the tone for my day and as a blogger, I can often turn these activities into viable content.
Though, one side note. Living in the Midwest makes this kind of schedule much more difficult during Winter because it’s dark (and cold) both before and after work so there’s very little opportunity to take photos.
During these months, it’s imperative to utilize your weekend time in the best way possible.
Divide & Conquer
Sharing the blog with Lisa is not only special for us but it's also a huge asset in allowing us to provide consistent and authentic content.
Our partnership helps us uphold our busy schedules and provides our readers with a wider range of viewpoints and topics. Instead of running the blog all on my own and feeling pressure to crank out a certain number of posts each week, I can dedicate more time and effort into the ones I am writing in order to provide the best possible work.
Even if you don't have a blogging partner, there are many ways you can lighten your load including opening your blog to guest authors, meeting up with local bloggers to shoot photos or outsourcing some of the more tedious tasks (updating the site's design, theme, etc.).
Don't feel like you have to do it all on your own.
Consider it Your Creative Outlet
It’s all about perspective: If you think of your blog as another item on your to-do list, it can become more of a task rather than an enjoyable activity.
Remember why you started blogging in the first place. Maybe your full-time job wasn’t fulfilling enough in the creative department, maybe you were interested in advancing your writing skills or perhaps you found a great support network through your local online community.
All of these aspects are wonderful perks to being a blogger and they even out some of the stressful moments where you wonder if it’s become too much. I tend to look at blogging as “me time.” It is a space where I can create with no boundaries and write about things that have inspired me, with the goal of hopefully inspiring others.
It has granted me so much over the past five years: I have vastly improved my photography skills, worked as an ambassador for some amazing brands, and made many important connections, some of which led me to being a contributing writer for one of my favorite magazines. With that said, this tiny little .com space has opened so many doors for me and the memorable experiences I’ve had will last me a lifetime.
I sincerely hope the same for you, whether your blog remains a hobby or becomes a full-time career, it’s a fantastic way challenge yourself and to stay connected to so many people across the world.
Kaitlyn Agnew is the co-founder of Sisters Marie, a Midwest lifestyle blog created in partnership with her sister-in-law. Over the years, the sisters have joined forces with such well-known lifestyle brands as J.Jill, Express, Sole Society, Buy Buy Baby and Hormel Foods.
Together they cover everything from fashion trends to family adventures and all of life's special moments in between.