*This post may contain affiliate links.
Currently Mom’s Balanced Life is a side hustle/passion. I am still juggling a full time out of the home job, two kids, two dogs and a husband! It has come to my attention, I might be a bit of a workaholic. I literally have to schedule almost every single free moment so I don’t fall behind somewhere.
I have compiled best tips for balancing a full time gig and creating a side hustle. I have found these work best for me, as I build up the Mom’s Balanced Life brand and still spend time with my family. If you are currently looking to build your own blog while working a full time job, as well as handling other life duties, keep reading and put these tips to your own test!
Dream it-Live it
Earlier this year, I took a quick little free mini course from Ruth Soukup over at Living Well Spending Less. It was her “Best Week Ever Boot Camp” and her first assignment to was; Dream Big .
I won’t deny the panic that began to creep into my brain as I processed this “assignment”. The idea of writing down BIG dreams; you know, those dreams that feel so far fetched and out of reach. I felt silly. However, I wrote them down and allowed myself the luxury of no boundaries to these dreams. We hardly allow ourselves to dream really big. However, as parents we tend to encourage our children to dream as big as possible, yet we as adults rarely grant ourselves the same permission.
Can you count how many times you didn’t do something for fear of the reaction from other people? I know from personal experience how many times I have talked myself out of something I genuinely desired, all because of fear. The fear lists were endless, fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of success.. you get it.
My ‘assignment’ from dreaming big helped me set up goals to move forward with my dreams. I am determined to make them a reality. The anxiety of trying new things and chasing a dream so far into the future can be discouraging, but give yourself a break, dream big and go after it!
This is where I (still) struggle the most. As I have mentioned, I still work outside of my home full time. I have a house full of crazy boys (who I love!) dogs, preparing food, grocery shopping, date night, and everything in between. I was having a difficult time being able to work here, pay attention to homework, school stories, and love on my kids. I was noticing things were taking a toll. I was losing sleep, time writing, and time with my very important people. Something had to give, I needed to prioritize and make the time for things that mattered.
Not the funnest part of creating but sacrifices have to happen. When I wrote How to Rock your Health and Fitness goals, I touched on sacrifices for your wellness goals. Same rules apply when chasing your business dreams. There are sacrifices that need to happen.I decided winging it wasn’t doing me any good. I would hope for the writing bug to strike at an opportune moment. I would tell myself I would work on a post after the kids went to bed but most nights I was so exhausted that I couldn’t keep my own eyes open after they went down. I began to work in the early mornings, then allow myself one hour of writing/designing when I got off work. Bath time with my son a has become the perfect time for social media moments. I take a couple of minutes to scroll through Instagram and Pinterest, then it’s kid time.
By far my biggest time saver was Tailwind, an amazing pin scheduler. I am finally using Pinterest to increase traffic flow and Tailwind does most of the work. Originally, I wasn’t going to use a pin scheduling program until I had hit six months of blogging. Tailwind has been a huge topic and was also part of the blogging course I mentioned below. Tailwind literally tripled my Pinterest following in less than a month. I used the free version first then signed up for a plan. You get 100 pins with their free trial version. I can plug in a few things on my phone and boom it’s done.
Using Instagram for networking has been fun, quick, and easy. I can comment on few photos and follow some fun conversation loops. I save the hard stuff for early mornings, weekends and on the nights where I can keep my eyes open. But I am determined to make this work. Winging it wasn’t paying off, scheduling and time management has been.
Get a Planner
To help with my time management, I did some digging into how some of the veteran bloggers make it look so easy. I noticed a trend with planners. They talk about planners as if life depended on it. Now I am not just winging it and working on my time management and scheduling I have begun to see the appeal of a planner.
I had a form of “sticker shock” when I began to notice just how many articles are written about using a planner for goals, business planning, blog topic storming and inspiration. As a new blogger and new to this time management thing, the need for a planner is so real. Currently, I am not sporting a planner. I am late arriving to this game. Check out my AWESOME (sarcasm!) old school note book. I do have my eye on one planner, designed specifically for bloggers by a blogger. I will be purchasing The Blog + Life Planner created by Allison Marshall over at Wonderlass.com. It will be my Valentine’s present to myself.
If you are looking into planners for your growing business there are a few different options you can go for. The option above, purchasing one from another blogger, Amazon has a wide selection of planners, one of my favorites is the Badass Blog Planner , as well as checking in with your local book store.
I want to monetize this blog which is why I do use affiliate marketing but I want to make sure there is a nice mix of inspiration, humor, parenting craziness and coping with life in general. I rounded up a couple of awesome planner articles from other bloggers, and their reasons for using a planner is a must in the blogging world. Even if it’s a basic notebook like mine!
Recently I took a blogging course BLOG BY NUMBER and loved it! I highly recommend this course if you are just beginning and need assistance with some of the basic technical stuff. The amount of detail and wonderful one on one help you get from Suzi is priceless. I was able to finally find a balance in building and growing my blog. The Blog By Number walks you step by step through the beginnings of blog making, including overviews with basic SEO, Pinterest,creating great graphics and more. Having this advantageous tool saved me so much time trying to figure out the blog business. A big thank you to Suzi Whitford from Start A Mom Blog for creating this course.
Follow my Blog Tips and Tricks Pinterest board, dedicated to learning all things blogging. There are plenty of free tips around the web, but I highly recommend taking a couple of courses from the established bloggers. They have years of experience and some great advice to offer.
Want to start your own blog? Set up your site with Blue Host. Your hosting purchase comes with free tools on their youtube channel, excellent customer service and great prices ($3.95 a month!) After you get setup with Blue Host here is a couple of great “How To’s” for beginners.
Start a Blog 2017 Right Way – Start a Mom Blog
Learn to Blog – Practical Mommy
Keep your eye on the prize
Last but not least, keep your eye on the prize. If you want this, you can make it happen. Chase those dreams.
If a long post doesn’t seem to be coming together the way you envision, create a fun quote for the blog post or find something that you are really passionate about and is easy to whip something up. Make sure it’s clean and to a standard that you would want to take the time to read. I took two weeks off from posting to really gather my thoughts, work on the back end of my blog and to find out what my prize was going to look like for me. Taking a break from creating content was a little bit of a risk, but I have been able to focus more on the content recently than I have in almost a month. All from taking a step back for a moment, looking at the big picture and regrouping.
Remember it takes time for things to grow. This blog is only a few months old. I was about to throw in the towel. Then I realized I hadn’t given this blog enough time to blossom. I am keeping my eye on the prize while still being realistic. It’s okay for things to take time.
If you are a mom like me and have other duties on your plate you know what your schedule looks like. You know where you can crunch in some extra time for your dreams and where you can rest. Take heart and push through obstacles. We all have our own balance and we all have our own way of doing things. I hope these tips help you!
What are your best balancing tricks? How do you build your vision?