There are many reasons to consider starting a blog. For some, they want to share their personal stories while others are looking for a way to escape the 9 to 5. Whatever your reason, I’ve put together some tips on how to start a successful blog while working full time.
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Escaping the 9 to 5 Is Not Easy
Many of us have this dream: be your boss and do work that brings you joy. Breaking free of the paycheques and health benefits, however, is not easy to do. If you are thinking about starting a blog as a business, it doesn’t hurt to start while working full-time.
Blogs Take Time to Become Profitable
Depending on your site’s niche and how crowded the blog market is, it may take some time to get your blog to a place where you might consider doing it full-time. So getting organized and putting in the leg work while you are working full-time has excellent benefits.
Know What You are Getting Into
Understand the blogging business has a lot of elements. From the technical expertise of working in WordPress and troubleshooting website issues to understanding how to write blog posts that rank in Google, there is much to learn before you get started.
Create a Plan Staring Your Blog While Working Full-time
You are going to need a plan to pull this off. Remember, 8 hours of your day are at the office, and you will need time to get to and from work, run errands and have a life. That may not leave much time for your new passion.
Time Management While Working Full-Time
Your first challenge is going to be setting aside time to do all the things you have to. In the beginning, this will include learning skills, setting up your site and finally sitting down and writing posts.
You’ll need to look at your spare time and schedule in regular sessions to do these things. Evening and weekends may be the only time you have to play with, so make the most of it and remember to give yourself permission to breathe and have a life.
Use a goal-setting planner or printable worksheets to help you figure out your schedule. Map out where you will fit in time to do the tasks needed to build your blog.
Understand the Costs of Running a Blog
Like every business, you are going to have start-up costs. However, just because you have a regular paycheque does not mean you should invest without thinking. Understand the costs associated with setting up your site and the costs of running it. This budgeting is important because your first goal is going to be to make enough money to cover just the costs of running your business.
You won’t be able to quit your 9 to 5 job until your blog can pay its expenses but offer you a salary that covers your living expenses. Make sure you keep a spreadsheet of what you are spending money on when it comes to running your blog.
Take Time to Learn the Skills You Need
While you have a full-time job is time to learn everything you need to know about blogging. You’ll want to dive into topics which include:
- Learning how to set up your site
- The Wordpress Dashboard and Settings
- Structure of a perfect blog post
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for beginners
Consider blogging courses like Setting Up a New Blog, Search Engine Optimization, Pitching and Social Media Strategy.
Join Blog Networking Groups
You may find some of the blog networking groups overwhelming, primarily if you haven’t written a blog post or picked a blog name. That said, these blog networking groups have a lot of great information for new bloggers.
While you have the stability of your full-time job, you have a lot to learn from other bloggers about owning a blog and the tools and tips that you will find useful in building yours. Please don’t get to overwhelmed by all the chatter; stick to the new blog topics, which I discuss below.
Think Through Your Blog Name and Niche
Before you purchase that domain and hosting plan, make sure to do your research. My advice for clients is to pick a blog name where you can still find social media handles. So if your name is “myblogdream,” then make sure that name is available as a .com domain and on all social media channels.
It is always best to have the same social media handle across all platforms. I know you are starting, but you want “myblogdream” to be available on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram at the very least. When you purchase your domain, you’ll want to sign up for those handles immediately. Even if you don’t use them right away – protect your brand.
Create Your Blog Brand
Your blog will need a logo, but as a new blogger, you may want to use a free tool like Canva vs paying someone to create a logo for you. As you are just starting, you may not know where this blog heads or if you are going to stick with it. You can also invest a little in Canva Pro which will give you all the tools you need to really set up your brand look and feel, save templates and schedule social media.
A branding exercise for your website, including a more expensive WordPress theme, logos, fonts, and colours, maybe something you want to revisit after your commitment to your blog and are making enough to cover your start-up and running expenses.
Set up your Wordpress Site
When you’ve figured out what your blog will be about, you can purchase the domain and hosting plan. Set up the site security to pick a WordPress theme.
I Recommend the Following for Wordpress Themes
- Elegant Themes – DIVI Theme
- Purchase a Theme at Themeforest
Figure Out Your Blogging Process
I wish I had a system in place when I first started blogging. It won’t come right away, but creating a blog post needs to be streamlined if you are successful at blogging.
Elements of a blog post you will need to work on before you can press publish:
- Search keywords for your topic
- 500-1500 words of content, with subtitles
- Feature image, images for inside the post to break up the article and Pinterest images
- Grammarly is a great tool to use to check your post for errors
- Set up the post in Wordpress with appropriate heading tags, images, lists
- Use Yoast SEO to make sure you use Keywords correctly
Each post may take you a long time to finish when you start, but since you are building your blog while working full-time, this won’t matter much. Eventually, you will need to refine your content strategy.
How many posts are you publishing a week? How will you share on social media? These are all great things to work on while working full-time and while you are building your audience.
Some Final Words on Building a Successful Blog While Working Full Time
Building a blog has many elements, but the best advice I can give you is to start. Trying to make everything perfect at the start is going to frustrate you and slow you down.
When first starting, my best advice is to focus on the following for the first year.
- Proper site setup and security
- Consistent post publishing
- Start a social media strategy