Juggling a full time job and a part time blog can be difficult but it is worth it. Whether your goal is is to blog part time for a long time, blog part time for an income, or to work towards being a full time blogger, having set practices in order will be a game changer.
This post may contain affiliate links, please read my full disclosure here.
Hello friends. I’m taking a break from my usual food post to write a post about blogging, specifically part time blogging with a full time job. I’m super passionate about food but I’m also super passionate about blogging. Blogging has changed my life in the past few years more than I can imagine and I love taking the time to talk about it.
This isn’t the first time I’ve stepped away to blog about blogging as I did so in my 6 Realities of a new Food Blogger, which I wrote in 2016 a few months after I started by blog.
I’ve learned a ton over the years and wanted to start a place on the site where I provide tips, advice, and even action steps on blog growth.
If you’re interested in more blogging content, sign up for my blogging email list for updates.
Currently, as I write this, I’m working full time as an attorney and I blog part time on my evenings and weekends. Somehow, with a lot of prayer and strategy, I’ve been able to do both. In this post, I’ll tell you why I blog part time and tools and tips I use to make it happen.
Update: I left my job as an attorney April 2019 to blog full time.
Why blog part time?
I bet you’re wondering why in the world would I even blog part time? There are a few reasons why. I discussed them in detail on the Dishing with Delishes podcast. I would give it a listen if you like Podcast. But to sum it up here, I needed an outlet. Being an attorney, wife, and mother can become draining. Having an outlet to blog provided a balance I needed.
I also love to cook, so a food blog was just a natural fit. Over the years, I taught myself new cooking techniques, food photography, video creation, social media, and search engine optimization. All things necessary for blog growth.
I also make a full time income on my part time blog. Full time income is what you define it but to sum it up, I recently started earning more on my part time blog than I do on my full time job as an attorney. I didn’t start with the intention of making an income but that ended up happening naturally. Fact is, many bloggers are supporting their families and blogs with their blogging income, whether it’s full time or part time. I’m thankful that my blog is able to do this.
How much money can you make with a part time blog?
The sky is the limit! lol, in all seriousness, it will just depend. Mostly on traffic, how you monetize, and how many hours you put into it. My weekly hours can range from 5-15 hours per week and some weeks more than that depending on the season and quarter.
My traffic has ranged to as little as 100 views per month to over 500,000 page views as recent as January 2019. And once I put a strategy in place, I was able to achieve substantial growth in my blog.
Here’s my difference in just one year.
How does my part time blog make money?
Currently, my main source of income from my blog comes from two forms of income, ad revenue and affiliate links.
Ad Revenue – My current ad agency is Mediavine and they have really been a game changer for my blog growth and income. Not only have they helped me earn more than I ever dreamed of on my blog, they provide tips on how to grow your blog and give your readers the best experience when they visit. If you’re a blogger, whether it’s hobby, part time, or full time, I recommend checking out the Mediavine’s youtube channel. There’s a ton of helpful videos on how to grow your blog traffic. Once you reach 25,000 sessions per month, you can apply to join Mediavine.
Affiliate links – Here’s where I earn money by recommending brands, products, and services that I use and love. I get a commission when someoone clicks a link and makes a purchase. It’s a great way to make passive income while letting my readers know about some awesome products and services I use and love.
Additional forms of Income – Many part time bloggers also make income from sponsorships, brand colloborations, and product sales.
I also want to point out that you don’t have to have a ton of pageviews to make an income from a blog. There are many bloggers who make a good income from other monetization strategies.
How to work full time and blog part time
Ok, now that I’ve gotten that out the way, let’s get to the fun stuff. How in the world have I been able to manage all of this. Let me start by saying it is not easy. It takes time. It takes a plan. It takes work. I blogged off and on for two years before I found a method that worked for me. Here’s my recomendations:
Setting goals has helped me along the way with my blog. I set goals and then formulate a plan on how I would like to achieve those goals. I set the bar high, but not too high that it doesn’t feel like I can’t reach it.
My goals are always number based as well. For example, my current goal is 2 post a week, 400,000 pageviews a month consistently for 3 months, and 1 video a week.
Make a Schedule that’s realistic:
Having a consistent yet realistic schedule in life is essential to success. It’s ok to get off schedule (I do it quite often) but having an idea of what you will do.
Blogging takes a lot of work. I’d love to post 10 new recipes a week, but with life, a full time job, a family, and my weekly tv watching schedule, I just wouldn’t have time to do that. Create a schedule that accommodates what you can do. Only have time to post once a week? That’s fine, just make it the best darn post ever!
In order to ensure I stay on schedule, I use the Passion Planner to plan my weeks. The great thing about this planner is it not only has a weekly and monthly calender, but it has places to write my goals, reflect, and prioritize. This planner has become my best friend when it comes to creating a schedule.
I block off the times I’m at work and fill in the empty spaces to plan for blogging time. I also schedule specific task relates to my blog, such as keyword research, time to cook and photograph recipes, time to create videos, to write post, etc.
Organize your Blog
In addition to scheduling your day, you will need a place to keep everything organized for your blog. At my job, every time I’m assigned a case, all the information is stored in a nice dandy database. It helps our office know which cases are assigned to which attorneys, the type of case, the court date, etc. Having this database in place is essential for the organization of our office.
Your blog should have the same thing. I recommend Airtable for getting this done. Airtable is like Google Sheets on steroids. It allows you to organize content, add attachments, interlink files, and so much more.
Ask for help or hire help:
This was something that was hard for me to do initially. I’m so used to handling all parts of the blog myself that I didn’t know how to let some things go. Fact is, the bigger your blog grows, the more you will end up having to do to maintain and keep your blog growing. For hands on help, I rely on virtual assistants and my dear sweet husband.
Virtual Assistant– I’ve hired a few VAs and it has been such a relief. They have freed up some of the hands on things I need to do in related to blogging so I can focus on the fun stuff, like recipe development, photography, and video creation.
My Dear Sweet Husband – He helps me with the technical side of the blog. That includes updating plugins, wordpress, and some video editing.
Automate as much as you Can
Marketing your content is important when it comes to running your blog. In my schedule, I have times that I set aside to schedule my marketing efforts, such as pinning pins to Pinterest or sending emails to my list. I use or have used the following automation tools to help my blog.
Tailwind – Tailwind is a Pinterest scheduling program that allows you to schedule your content to Pinterest ahead of time. It also provides insights to your Pinterest profile so you know what pins and boards are performing best on your profile. There’s also a place in Tailwind, called Tailwind Tribes, where you can easily share other people’s pins. I set about aside about 20 minutes per week to check my Tailwind and schedule pins.
Mailchimp – Mailchimp is an email marketing tool that allows you to build an email list and schedule emails for your readers. The great thing about Mailchimp is that it is FREE for your first 2,000 subscribers. I used mailchimp to start my list and send out emails to my list when i started blogging. Mostly because it was FREE and it worked pretty well.
Convertkit – I now use convertkit for my email marketing. I made the switch once I decided I wanted to segment my list. My blog has a ton of different kind of recipes and I know some readers prefer one type of recipe over the other. Convertkit segments my list so I know that readers are only getting emails that interest them.
Don’t try to do everything with your limited time
This! This my friends is what I want to end with because I feel it has been monumental to my blog growth. I started this blog trying to do everything. I tried to master all the social media networks, post 5 times a week, grow my youtube channel, pitch to and work with sponsors I love…you name it, I tried to do it. However, all of those things take time to do and in reality, I just didn’t have the time to do it.
I suffered from burnout and just stopped.
But I came back, with a different focus. I focused on 3 social media accounts, focused on two main forms of revenue, post to my youtube account when I can, and did not pitch to sponsors.
Focusing on less gave me more time to master the things I did focus on and it allowed my traffic to grow, my stress levels to decrease, and the determination to continue part time blogging with a full time job.
Well, there you have it. I’ve loved writing this blogging post. If you’re interested in receiving more blog post about blogging, action steps to grow your blog, and much more, sign up below for my email list to get blog updates, tips on blogging and growing your food blog.