I'll be the first to admit I don't have this all figured out, but it's a question I've been asked on numerous occasions in some variation:
"How do you balance blogging with having a full-time job?"
To which, quite frankly, my answer is usually "How do people have children and work full-time?!" I know this is not even much of a comparison, but it's mostly to highlight that people do far more important things like raising human beings and still manage to also work full-time. I am just working and blogging, not working and doing something as impactful as child rearing.
All that said, I don't want to brush the question aside because I think this is something that can be applied to any type of "side hustle." How do people do it, and what are some tips that will help you start and maintain a blog or other hustle/hobby/project? Again, I'm no expert but here are a few things that have helped me run a blog while working full-time:
I Treat My Blog Like a Second Job
If you really want to get something off the ground, you have to give it the serious time and attention it deserves. And that's just what I did when I started my blog. Sometimes it means thinking of my blog as more of a responsibility than a hobby, but for me it helps me truly approach it as something to grow and work on and not neglect because I'm tired or don't feel like writing this week. I definitely have those moments where I just want to lay down and not do anything, but by treating my blog like a second job, I know I can't afford to be fickle about it, and so I'm not.
I Commit to a Realistic Schedule and Stick to It
When I started my blog, I was doing two to three posts a week and realized after four weeks that I just can't do that. I know it's important to post frequently, particularly when you're just getting started, but I just knew that I couldn't start with two or three posts and keep that up for long, not when I was working full-time and mentoring on the side, in addition to having a social life. I had to come to terms with the fact that once a week is the most realistic option for me, so that's what I commit to every week, even when traveling.
I Write Down Ideas Any and Everywhere in a Convenient Location
While some people walk around with a notebook and jot down their ideas, questions and random thoughts, I use my smartphone. My Notes app is incredibly valuable to me because it's where I keep blog post ideas and start to write my actual posts. Sometimes I transfer them to my laptop and continue writing there or sometimes I write the entire post on my phone and then upload it to my blog. It's the beauty and convenience of technology. Having this app enables me to add in my ideas at anytime and anywhere.
I Carve Out Time Separately
I know most people don't take public transportation, so this isn't something that's always applicable, but I like to carve out my commuting time and often some hours at night or on the weekends to focus on my blog. Some weeks are more hectic than others and I find myself with less time than I'd like, but I know if I really want to keep my blog going, I have to carve out the time and use it efficiently. It helps that I use the Notes app on my phone so often because I can pull it out and use it when I'm out running errands or waiting in a line and then switch to my laptop when I'm at home. But, in order to do that, I need to make the time.
I Don't Bite Off More Than I Can Chew
It would be great if I could post something every day, and for several months I gave some thought to finding regular contributors to help me push out daily content. I've also given thought to a video series, e-book and so many other ideas that naturally grow out of having a blog. But at this point in time, I can't take it on. Perhaps at a later time, I'll go down one or all of these paths but right now I know it would be biting off more than I can chew and I would burn out pretty quickly, so I'd rather keep it going as is for now.
These methods have all helped me keep this blog going for almost two and a half years, all while holding down a 9(ish) to 5(ish) job. It hasn't always been easy but, as cliché as it sounds, it's always been worth it.