Sunday, February 28, 2016

Blogging with a Full Time Job // How I Do it and You Can do it too

Free Blog Planner
Reading about blog planning, organization and post scheduling is something I really like. It is always great to learn new tips, tricks and discoveries either from bigger or smaller/new bloggers.
So, following what I love to read, I decided to write about my own tips and simple things that work for me as a part-time blogger with a crazy full time job. This will be a long post so grab a cup of tea/coffee or smoothie, sit back, read and relax.

Being a nurse and having completely different shifts every week is hard work specially when you want to have a blog and take it very serious like I do.
Photographing, writing and even having ideas for good blog posts takes a lot of time - time that I, sometimes, struggle to have if I don't plan everything ahead and am not organized.
One thing that has really helped me with blogging while having a full time job was having a planner. Being a new blogger, I did not want to spend a lot of money in one of those beautiful planners as I did not know if I would use it or not for a long time.
While doing my google research for a good blog planner, I found the best one that I am absolutely in love and it really motivates me to blog everyday. It is perfect as it has everything you would want and much more.
My blog planner is from Designer Blogs and you can get it here: Ultimate Blog Planner Kit. It has a lot of different pages (24 to be more certain) that will help you "brainstorm post ideas, plan your weekly posts, set yearly & monthly goals, track yearly & monthly stats, etc...".
It is basically the perfect blog planner for who wants to improve their blog content, scheduling, traffic, you name it.

Blog Planning and Organization
Has said, this blog planner has a lot of different pages/sections - a total of 24. Some of them are still not appropriate for me to use as I would not have anything to fill them in with. So, I went through all the 24 and selected the ones that I would get more use of and that would be helpful and beneficial to me. And those are:
. Username & Passwords | This is were I keep all my log in details for several websites - blog related or not (online shopping, affiliate programs, etc).
. Notes | These are basically blank pages where you can write anything! I normally have all the dates of Twitter Chats for Bloggers in the first page and if I have anything to take notes - like blogging tips or advises that I might read - here is where I would put them.
. Yearly Goals | Well this is something I never thought I would really use or even have goals to set but I do and I love it. It actually motivates me even more to be a better blogger. I only have one goal at the moment but I will be adding more as I go. There is also a section to write your strategies to reach that goal and that is also very good. Love it.
. Monthly Goals | This section goes along the same line as the Yearly Goals. You basically set monthly goals and strategies and there is also a section to take notes of your social media traffic (that actually also exists in the yearly goals too). It is amazing to tick a monthly goal - I did that when I reached 40 followers on Bloglovin. That was one of my goals for this month of February.
I started with 13 followers on the 23rd of January. It is now the 28th of February and I have 48 followers. Setting up a goal really helped me working for it in a much more intense way.

Free Weekly Blog Planner
 . Post Topic Brainstorming | I have always had notebooks where I would write blog ideas but then I would just not use it because I would write anything there and it was just too confusing. With this section of this blog planner, I can divide my ideas into subjects: beauty, lifestyle and fashion and this just keeps everything more organized and also when I plan my posts, I make sure I keep rotating between the three.
. Monthly Blog Calendar | Here is where I write all my monthly posts. Basically it is just the title of the post and once it is published, I tick it (as seen on the photo above). 
I publish every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday and if I can, there is always an extra post on Sunday (like this one). Again, this helps me maintaining a regular post schedule and I love that.
. To Do List | This is another one I absolutely love. It is a page with two columns where you can write anything you have to do. I normally divide into "Photograph" and "Write" so I will have a list of things I still have to take photos of and write posts about. It helps me keep track of everything I have to do so I don't forget a thing. Love it (how many times have I said "love it" in this post?)
. Weekly Planner | Uhhh, I love this bit. It completely has changed the way I write and plan my posts. I don't forget a thing - tags, SEO, links, spell check, post promotion, everything (see photo below). It has space for three posts although you can really just add another page if you write more than three times per week.

So this is my blog planner and it is my big secret for being so organized and blog as a full time nurse. Every idea and task is there and that is what makes everything run so smoothly.
Free Monthly Blog Planner
Now, talking about how I do things and the order I do them, there is no big secret or trick. I normally plan ahead my ideas of posts for the week - I already have my posts planed for the week ahead (basically, just the titles and nothing else). Now what I do is, on my next day off I photograph everything I have to and also edit them straight away. To edit my photos I use Adobe Photoshop Lightroom (I can do a more detailed post about that if you want to).
After that, I start writing the posts when I have more time. Again, when I have days off, I basically work all day on my blog but I can never write all the three/four posts of the week in only one day. I just see when I am working at the hospital and according to my days off I plan when to write my posts.
On the day before the post goes live, I always do the following things:
. Spell check
. Add ALT Text to the Images
. Add the TAGS/Categories
. Schedule the social media where I share the blog post

When all of this is done, I schedule the post for the according day, at 9:30 am and that is all the hard work done. Something that I also do everyday at night, is reading and commenting the blogs I follow or any new blogs. I love doing that!

Looking at final result of my post is so rewarding and enthusiastic! Publishing a post is more than just writing a few lines. Creating a new post takes a lot, I mean a LOT, of work and commitment. Blogging is not as easy has everyone thinks so if you want to take this seriously, you need to put your heart and soul into it.
I hope you really like this post and that it helps you in some way. Blogging is really a passion to me and I am working hard on improving day by day. It is a lot of work but if you really want and are passionate about it, you can do it for sure!

Don't forget to follow me on my social media for moral support and also to keep up with all my new posts! Just click on my social media icons and feel free to follow.
Go ahead and download the blog planner, I am sure it will help you as much as it helps me!



  1. This planner seems to be amazing!! If I didn't have one already, I'd download it for sure! I always have to write everything down: Twitter chats, blogpost ideas, dates for blogposts to go up! Everything! Some people keep everything on their phone but I do prefer having a real and paper planner as it makes me feel a lot more organised! :)
    I'm a very curious person so I really need to ask: as you're a nurse and you work in shifts, when do you get to know what shifts you'll be doing? Every week/month? I'm sorry if this is a weird question!! Xx

  2. It can be so difficult to compete with full time bloggers when you have a job along side your blog, these are some really great tips that I might use to get more organised
    The Lipstick, The Girl and Her Wardrobe

  3. I have this planner too, I don't think I could function without it! I highly recommend it to others thinking about downloading it.

    I also download a lot of free resources from a lot of different blogs I find on pinterest to create the ultimate blog planner!

    Lovely post, it will sure help a lot of people!

    Chloe |

  4. It is not weird at all! We normally have a few weeks in advance . For example now I have 3 weeks of shifts (until the week of the 14th March). So it is not bad and I have time to plan things for my blog :D i

  5. This is a very interesting post as you see a lot of similar ones from full time bloggers! I'm a uni student so blogging can be hard to fit in, the planner idea is great x

  6. Marcelle Fabia at chicbalance.Monday, February 29, 2016

    Great post, thanks :)

  7. I noticed many love using planners for blogging schedule but I haven't written anything for so long that I feel absolutely weird with my own handwriting. LOL! I enter my schedule into my Macbook calendar and sync it with my iPhone and place alerts to remind me what's going up the next day.

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

  8. This planner sounds like such a good one! I'm juggling a full time job as well so it's always helpful when I'm much more organized. Saves me so much worry and panicking! xo

  9. I tried using my phone but it just didn't work. With this planner I am much more on top of things and I have kept a regular blog schedule for a full month. Something that before didn't happen

  10. I can imagine blogging is really tough when you work shift patterns! I completely agree that planning is key - I always plan my posts weeks ahead and keep good lists xx

    Jasmine Talks Beauty

  11. To do lists and planning is definitely the key for a good blogging schedule.

  12. Fledgling blogger with a full-time job here! You're absolutely right, the blogging itself isn't nearly as much of a challenge when you stay organized and plan ahead.

    I have to admit, I clicked the link to your planner expecting to see a reasonable price-tag — so imagine my excitement when I saw that it's free! Thanks so much for the recommendation! I'm currently using an Erin Condren planner for everything (blog, life, and work), but I love the structure of this one. Maybe it's time to take the next step!

    Hillary |

  13. I think it's great to be goal oriented from the start...that's a really helpful tip!

    Characters & Carry-ons