Blogger & teacher: On how I combine my job with my blog

Sunday, funday and the day on which I sometimes like to write a more personal blog. Even though I post daily, blogging is not my day job. It’s just a hobby that I thoroughly enjoy. In ‘real life’ I’m an English teacher, teaching communication skills to Dutch college students. It’s a 32 hour job and it being education, I usually make more hours than my contract stipulates. Yet, I post daily blogs without fail most of the time. Here’s 5 tips on how I combine the two.

Picture taking: essential to my blog

1.) Prioritize

Blogging can take up quite a bit of time. By prioritizing what is truly important and factoring in how much time you have left to do other things, is essential. I always blog from home and sometimes write 2 – 3 blogs at a time over the weekend to have some nights a week off. I did the same for my trip last summer: I wrote 25 blog posts in advance so I wouldn’t have to write blog posts while I was away. Pretty much what I do, is that I factor in about 30 mins – 60 minutes for each blog post and see when I can do it. Some blog posts takes less time than others, so some nights I spend much more time blogging than others. But at the end of the day, my teaching job always comes first.

2.) Work in advance

My main reason why I can put something up every day, is because I have a complete folder system on my laptop with blog ideas. Some folders are empty (indicated by a dash, pushing them to the top of the list), others have already been filled with pictures and are ready to go. Pretty much, what I’ll do when I have an idea for a blog is create a folder on my computer. Then when I have time, usually on days off, the weekend, or during holidays, I will gather all the ideas I have and spend a few hours taking pictures or making posts more concrete. Sometimes all I’ll have to do is take a few pictures of a product on my face or I can just start writing the blog post. Just to give you an idea: I have a total of just over 450 folders with blog ideas, 75% of them already filled with pictures and ready for posting.

3.) Work with a schedule

The minute I started working with a schedule, my blogging life became a lot easier to combine with an actual job. I know what I am roughly going to write about and I simply pick 7 blog ideas from my pile of blog ideas every week. All I need to do is add a few pictures here or there, edit the pictures, put them in a blog post and write the actual text. The process of editing the pictures to the writing of a post takes me anything from 15 minutes to 2 hours depending on how long the blog posts ends up being. Beauty reviews are the most time consuming, whereas a recipe usually takes around 25 minutes.

4.) Don’t strive for perfection

I blog because I have fun doing it. Not because I am trying to be the most creative and original blogger out there. Seeing I only have limited time available to fill up this space, I do not strive for the best content out there. However, I want it to be good enough so the reviews make sense and are useful. I believe the power of blogs isn’t how beautiful everything looks, you can buy magazines for that type of content in my opinion. No, I read blogs because they are created by ‘real’ people, and reviews are based on real opinions of people who actually tried out the products. That is why I don’t want my blog to be 100% perfect, but good enough so you can get something out of it.

5.) Don’t over-complicate things

Finally, I try to keep things simple on here. With that I mean my topic choices. My blog topics are frivolous to say the least. I mean, make up and fashion aren’t live changing subjects, but they are topics I enjoy. And that is a conscious choice. After a long day at work, I cannot be bothered to write a well-researched piece on language, teaching, world politics, issues I care about, or the meaning of life. It’s not that I don’t engage with that type of content, I just don’t have the time and mind space to wrap my head around these topic enough to write a blog about it that is concise and makes sense.

How do you combine your blog?
Also, let me know in a comment below if you would like to see my blog ideas ‘filing system’.

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