This is a guest contribution from Michelle Schroeder-Gardner of Making Sense of Cents.
In August of 2011, I started Making Sense of Cents while working my full-time job. I didn’t have much time to spend on it, as I was working full-time and working towards my Finance MBA, but I used every little minute of extra time that I had so that I could create a successful blog.
Now, I’m a full-time blogger and earn around $100,000 a month through my blog, and it was all because I learned how to start a blog on the side of my full-time job.
After quitting my job to focus solely on my blog, I am now able to travel full-time with my husband, I have a flexible schedule, I’m my own boss, I get to help thousands of people improve their finances each month, and more.
And, like I said, it all started five years ago on the side my full-time job.
As you can tell, I absolutely love blogging.
If I wouldn’t have started my blog, I don’t know where I would be right now.
Even when I was blogging on the side while in a full-time job, I was still able to earn $10,000 a month in income from my blog, and while it was tough, it was well worth it.
Now, you may be thinking about starting a blog but you may also be hesitant. After all, your life is probably already pretty busy. Between your full-time job, possibly raising a family, growing relationships, and more, you may feel like you don’t have any extra time to blog.
Well, I’m here to tell you that you probably do have the time to learn how to start a blog – you just have to know what to do in order to find that time.
How To Make Time To Grow A Successful Blog When You Have A Full-Time Job
Today’s post will teach you exactly how to find the time to blog on the side – it’s time that you already have! To manage your time better with your blogging tasks, I recommend reading Darren’s blog post 7 Tips for Busy Bloggers on Finding Time to Blog.
How bad do you want it?
Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day. What you do with your time is up to you, but you may be wasting time throughout the day. Let’s find that wasted time so that you can spend it on your blog instead.
First off, you need to want to blog if you’re going to do it on the side of your full-time job.
Some people may not want it as badly, and that’s fine. However, excuses won’t help you. So, if you really want to create a blog, then you will have to reclaim that time in your day.
It’s as simple as that.
Just think about it: What do you think you could do with an extra 10 hours, or even more, each week?
Be realistic about the amount of time you have
Like I said above, everyone has the same 24 hours in a day, but some may be more limited with their time than others. I understand that various situations can make a person quite busy. In the end, though, you always need to be honest with yourself about how much time you have in order to blog on the side.
This is because you don’t want to become stressed by working yourself too hard, forget about what actually matters in life, negatively impact your work, and so on.
However, you need to get past thinking that spending time on your blog will negatively impact your life, and I don’t want you to use the above as your excuse if it’s not a real reason.
Most people have extra time in their days but don’t realize it. The average person feels extremely busy but there’s probably a lot of ways that they waste time each and every day.
Due to this, for one week, I recommend keeping track of the time you spend on different things in your life and see how much time you waste.
If you’re like most people, then I’m sure that you’ll find you are wasting a lot of time!
Wake up earlier
Instead of hitting the snooze button over and over again, you should just wake up earlier and spend anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour (or more!) on your blog. This can be a great way to answer any emails, schedule blog and social media posts, and so on. You may even be able to crank out an entire article with this time.
Back when I worked at my full-time job and blogged on the side, I would usually wake up one to two hours before I had to start getting ready for work. I would use this time to work on my blog, which included replying to emails, brainstorming ideas, managing my blog, and more.
Sure, waking up early was tiring on certain days, but I wanted to run a successful blog, and it worked.
If you’re not a morning person, you can always try to fit in time before you go to bed. I would usually even work on my blog for a few hours before I went to bed.
If you worked on your blog one hour each day before you went to work and one hour before you went to bed, you would have an extra 10 hours each week for your blog.
Eliminate time wasters from your life
Do you know how much time you waste each day? If you complete the task I recommended earlier, where you track all of your time for one whole week, I’m sure you’ll easily find several hours.
I want you to take a second and think about how much time you waste watching TV or by spending time on something like Facebook.
According to Neilsen statistics, the average person in the U.S. spends over 30 hours each week watching TV and movies. And, it doesn’t end there. According to AdWeek, adults spend over 10 hours a week on their personal social media accounts.
That’s 40 hours right there that you could spend on your blog if you only eliminated these time wasters from your life completely. Even if you just reclaimed half of this wasted time, you would have 20 whole hours!
Short gaps are your friend
Have you ever thought about all the short gaps in your day and what you do with them?
To be more efficient with your time, you should use these short gaps of time on your blog.
Short gaps include time before you have a meeting or a phone call, a gap before you pick up your children from school, time while you’re waiting for food to cook, and so on.
Did you know that the average person spends 12 days per year looking for things they can’t find?
Yes, 55% of consumers stated that they would save anywhere from 16 to 60 minutes a day if they were organized.
That’s a few hours each week right there for your blog.
Strategically use your lunch time
Just like what was discussed in ProBlogger’s blog post How to Make Time for Blogging During Your Lunch Break, a lot of your blogging tasks can be completed during your lunch break if you use your lunch time wisely.
When I had my day job, my lunch time was almost always used for my blog. I would often bring my lunch to work, which allowed me to save money on food and to use that whole hour on Making Sense of Cents.
Right there, that’s five hours every week for side hustles, just by using your lunch hour.
Take vacation days to work on your blog
How many vacation days do you get at your job? What if you started using them for your blog?
This can be a great way to dedicate a full day to your blog. Doing this every now and then can help make managing both your full-time job and your blog a little more relaxing because you won’t be running around all day trying to manage both.
And trust me, this works! I would often use vacation days at my full-time job so that I could work on my blog.
Trying this option can be a great idea. Plus, if you have paid vacation days, it’s even better because you are getting paid to work on your blog!
Outsource certain tasks
Your blog doesn’t need you for every little task in order to be successful.
So that you can use your time more wisely, you may want to hire out certain tasks that don’t need you to complete them. You may want to think about hiring out tasks related to technical management, editing, social media, and so on.
To take this further, you can even outsource tasks in your life as well, especially if you find more value in working on your blog. Tasks to outsource could include mowing the lawn, car or home maintenance, and so on.
Find ways to make passive income through your blog
Yes, you can make somewhat passive income through your blog. Doing this can make blogging a little more enjoyable and relaxing because you won’t be trying to actively make income all day long through your blog.
Passive income ideas include display advertising, affiliate marketing, and so on.
I am a huge fan of affiliate marketing, because it allows me to earn income while I’m sleeping, on a hike, working on other projects, etc.
Finding ways to make passive income through your blog can make it much more manageable to earn blog income while also working a full-time job.
Putting all of this time together
As you can see, there are many things you can do in order to find the time in your day to run a successful blog on the side of your full-time job.
Whether you can only find 10 hours a week by applying these tips or if you can find 50, I’m sure everyone can find some time in their day.
What can you do in order to find more time for your blog?
Michelle Schroeder-Gardner is the founder and writer at Making Sense of Cents. On her blog, she helps readers learn how to make extra money, save money, and reach their dream life. She currently earns $100,000 a month through her blog and affiliate marketing course, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. Michelle and her husband sold their house in 2015 and currently travel full-time in an RV with their two dogs.