Finding Time To Blog: Is Blogging A ‘Real’ Job?

It’s a question that several people who know me in real life have asked and it’s also one I’ve asked other bloggers out of desperation.

“How do you find the time to fit it all in?”

I know that from the outside, blogging is seen by some as a bit of a cop out. Surely bloggers are just in it for the freebies? I’ve heard a million times that “blogging is easy and that bloggers are only in it for the free stuff.”

Which brings me to ask: Is blogging a ‘real job’?

Some would definitely argue that it isn’t.

However, now that I have been blogging for 4 years, admittedly with a few hiatus periods, I can safely say that it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to keep a semi-successful blog running.

For some, blogging is a full time job. For others it’s a part time job, a bit of extra cash or just something they do because they are passionate about writing and enjoy putting their little mark on the Internet. For us “mummy bloggers”, a term I passionately dislike, we have to factor in things like our day jobs, our families, our friends, the housework, playdates, school runs and more.

The Extra Workload

Some bloggers do the school run, go to work, pick up their children and feed/bathe/entertain them, put them to bed and then begin their second job – blogging. It is hard work and, if you are producing content that is supplementing your monthly income, sometimes leaves very little time for your relationship and friendships.

Finding the time to blog and is blogging a 'real' job? https://lukeosaurusandme.co.uk

So the question that I get asked and have asked so many times before is quite justifiable! I only wish I had a good enough answer for it.

Currently, I find that my “work window” is between 9:30am and 2pm. I must leave the house at 2 in order to collect Luke from school and in that 4 and a half hour gap, I have to earn a wage, look after a baby and remember to eat. Of course, it is my own choice to be a blogger, but in a way that argument is basically saying that it is my own choice to be a stay at home parent who also wants to have some financial independence, or at least contribute more to the household costs and bills.

I often hear the phrase “work smarter” floating around my social media channels, especially in parenting blogger Facebook groups.

The theory is pretty sound: plan your content and set up some good routines through your week to ensure that you are making the most out of the time you have. Examples include having one day of photography, another day just for writing, emailing, commenting etc. The problem for me is that I don’t have ‘a day’. Taking photos takes up a huge chunk of my day, especially if I am being a good girl and using the DSLR instead of my iPhone. It’s not just taking the photos; it is editing them, compressing them, uploading them and alt tagging them. The point I am trying to make is that, yes, you could do this in a day and it would make the next week or two of blog posts easier to publish, but you really need the whole day.

My plight isn’t exactly an uncommon one. Those parenting bloggers all have families of their own to work around as well as other commitments. As it is a question that I get asked by people who do not blog, I thought I would ask a few blogging buddies what they thought the solution to creating good quality content regularly was.

I asked people to tell me how they fit blogging in around their lifestyle and if they struggle to get everything done on time and here’s what some of them had to say.

I manage to run all my blogs by having a strict time table and shutting off social media when I work PLUS I get up one hour before everyone else each morning https://www.eatsimply.co.uk

I’m terrible with this, but I’ve now got an office out in the garden, and being out there means I’m not distracted as much. I work a 9-5, as I would in full time employment, then I walk away. I won’t work over the weekend – family time – but I will do social media in the evenings, once the kids are in bed. Small steps, but I’ve enjoyed week 1! www.packthepjs.com

I work once the kids are in bed. I’m in the process of trying to organise my time better by setting myself daily, weekly and monthly tasks. www.theincidentalparent.com

I’m still trying to get my head around organising some time. Blog posts take me anywhere between 2-5 hours to write, so it’s really hard to write a few posts a night to schedule. I struggle during the day with two little ones and with all the cleaning I have to do once they’re in bed. I’d love to be able to find some time to schedule some posts etc. http://crazytotsandme.com

My 3 are all at school so I fit in a couple of hours in the mornings and occasionally after I’ve picked them up from school. I juggle it with my VA work which takes priority at the moment so I’m hoping to try and get into more of a routine. Www.kippersandcurtains.com

I have 3 kids with only 1 in full time school so I only manage to do anything in the day on the days my 3 year old is at preschool and if the baby naps. The rest I have to do in the evenings, but I’m usually exhausted so get a lot less done than I’d like! Https://missmanypennies.com

I don’t put any pressure on myself and put my family and other job first, the blog follows. Without the pressure I feel the blog is more successful because it just flows naturally when I really do have the time to do it. This allows me to be more effective as I’m not rushing or feeling guilty about family or other work commitments. https://muminthemoment.com/

I literally get up at 4:30am every single morning to have a good few hours of blog time first thing. Then I’ve dropped a Monday in work so that day has a few more hours for it. You do need to take yourself off to be productive. https://Isablog.co.uk

I’m really limited at the moment as my eldest gets up at 5am and I rarely get both kids to sleep before 8pm (plus I’m up in the night with them) so on the days my eldest goes to preschool I do blog stuff when my youngest naps (usually 1-2 hrs). Social media I do as and when throughout the day. Sometimes if I’m up in the night and have a blog idea I’ll write it in my notes on my phone…in fact most of my posts start there as I am so limited in terms of time to sit at my laptop! Www.arthurwears.com

It looks to me like I’m not the only one who struggles with managing a blog and family life. There is definitely a pattern among bloggers, especially those with children, whereby squeezing in extra hours of ‘blog work’ has to be done either first thing in the morning, or late at night.

Finding the time to blog and is blogging a 'real' job? https://lukeosaurusandme.co.uk

It doesn’t surprise me to hear about bloggers sacrificing sleep in order to fit everything in each day.

If only there were more hours in the day for us to get everything sorted in! I have known bloggers to start their work day at 4am – running on 5 or 6 hours of sleep. The thought of sitting at my computer at 4am fills me with dread! I’d definitely rather be sleeping, however, if you want to commit yourself fully to blogging and monetising your writing, it seems that it is the only way to move forward without sacrificing family or relationships.

So I have to, once again, point out the phrase I used earlier which grates with me so much: “blogging is easy and bloggers are only in it for the free stuff.”

Having blogged for 4 years now and watched other bloggers emerge and take the internet by storm, I can say that blogging definitely IS a real job and a bloody hard one at that.

Nothing is free. Writing posts can take anywhere from half an hour to two hours for me. Taking photos can consume an entire day – then you need to edit them! Another hour is spent inserting them and optimising your posts SEO before finally promoting the post across 4 or 5 social media platforms.

Finding the time to blog and is blogging a 'real' job? https://lukeosaurusandme.co.uk

So next time you see an #ad or #spon, don’t think “oh, that was half an hour work and they got a day out for free”, because that’s not true. Yes, that person got a day out for their family. But they had to spend it photographing and remembering details, before coming home and waking up at the crack of dawn to put it all down into words for you to read and judge them on.

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Finding the time to blog and is blogging a 'real' job? https://lukeosaurusandme.co.uk

27 Comments

  1. January 14, 2019 / 7:46 pm

    This is such an interesting thing to think about. The difference is that blogging is not like any other hobby – it takes so much more. Now I really wonder what do people do in their free time if they don’t have a blog? Haha!
    Fashion and Frappes recently posted…New Year, New BlogMy Profile

  2. January 15, 2019 / 12:04 pm

    It’s so true that nothing is free! As someone who is now a full time blogger and mother I find it hard to balance it all, which surely says it all? How can anything be free when we are all putting so many hours in? It is all certainly worth it though 🙂

  3. January 15, 2019 / 12:21 pm

    as of September both of my children are now in school so makes it much easier to get it done in the day, but I love the flexibility of it, so if there are other things, I can always work in the evening. I do some copywriting as well, but other than that, blogging is how i make my money 🙂
    Rebecca | aaubLOG recently posted…Potential Life-Changing Decisions For 2019My Profile

  4. January 15, 2019 / 12:56 pm

    Blogging is all consuming. You never really switch off from it and most of us are in “work mode” seven days a week. It is no way easy, but it is great to be able to work from home.

  5. January 15, 2019 / 1:01 pm

    I rarely stop these days. I blog on top of 2 other jobs. Firstly my VA work, this takes main priority as I have deadlines to meet for my clients, a fit my blog work in around this. Plus 3 lunchtimes a week I work the lunch duty at school.
    So in a typical day I will get the kids up and ready for school, take the dog out, start any VA work that I may have been sent and get any blog posts scheduled plus social media. I will then eat and walk tot he school, my shift is an hour and 15 minutes. I finish at 1.30 and walk a mile home. In the 30 minutes I am home I continue with any work I can before walking back to the school to pick the kids up.
    I do feel very lucky that I have my blog and that I earn from it, I have been blogging for 4 years and the first 2 I didn’t make money from it, I just enjoyed it. Now it is part of my income I feel I have to push daily to keep it fresh.
    Sarah Stockley recently posted…How to effortlessly achieve a minimalist interiorMy Profile

  6. January 15, 2019 / 1:02 pm

    I certainly find it a struggle to fit everything in – there is just so much to be done all the time! Although I do other jobs around blogging, it is definitely a job in itself!

  7. January 16, 2019 / 1:19 am

    This post really resonates with me. I blog full time and do a small amount of freelance writing too and I’m always busy doing something or other. I recently had someone approach me regarding writing 1,200 word blog posts for a client (very technical and not my area of specialty so would take a lot of research). I quoted around £120 per piece and even that was cheap, I thought. I received a sarky response back telling me my rates are too high and the last blogger did it all for £35 a post – that’s SEO, writing the post AND building backlinks to it. What an absolute joke! People do not appreciate the amount of time that goes into blogging. I’d love to see this was just some dodgy Gmail contact but it was someone who works in my coworking office. *sigh*

  8. January 16, 2019 / 10:14 am

    I blog for a living – to make a living. It’s far from easy, can be massively overwhelming at times, but it allows me to be present for my kids, do school runs and still pay the bills.

  9. January 16, 2019 / 1:24 pm

    I find it stressful trying to concentrate solidly on blogging work. It could be a main job for me but it’s such hard work I really admire anyone who does it as a career.

  10. January 16, 2019 / 1:55 pm

    Great post! It really winds me up the way bloggers get treated. No-one can imagine the amount of work that goes into it until they actually do it.
    Sonia recently posted…Sudbury Hall – DerbyshireMy Profile

  11. January 16, 2019 / 4:43 pm

    I work 20 hours a week in another job and must admit that I am finding trying to blog on top of that hard, and it feels like I am never on top of things. I would actually like to write a book and blog full time, but we shall see. It is about being organised and planning, I find. Some very helpful thing you do that might help me.
    Thanks for sharing

  12. January 16, 2019 / 7:26 pm

    It’s such hard work & drives me nuts people who put it down. It’s a job! We work hard! I tend to get up early so I can work on mine as I am not an evening person! I fall asleep lol

  13. January 16, 2019 / 8:53 pm

    All of this! Blogging is not easy and NOTHING is for free. Blog posts take me several hours to write as I write about travel so need to include info in my posts which means research. Pictures take hours to edit as you’ve said and then blog graphics and pins need to be made before a post can be made ready for publication. That’s after all the SEO you need to do as well. I find people generally have no idea how much work goes into just one post!

  14. January 16, 2019 / 9:18 pm

    I loved this post! The whole time I was just saying “yes, true, I agree”! I love reading posts like these! It also gives me motivation to change up the way I use my time!
    Caitylis

  15. Susan B
    January 17, 2019 / 3:30 pm

    Bravo to all bloggers! I thoroughly enjoy dipping into blogs as often as possible. Initially it was for competitions but now it is mainly for entertainment and enlightenment. I’m often touched by the candour and fabulous family pics, too.

  16. January 17, 2019 / 5:45 pm

    I’ve put a lot of time into my blog and I know so many bloggers do the same! It’s not always about writing posts either, emails, photos, designing your blog… It’s all hard work. It’s not easy to get free stuff either! You have to have the contacts, appeal for the product on your blog, and the dedication to write about it. Blogging is definitely a real job. Well done, your blog is fantastic and great work on it! xx
    Olivia jade recently posted…Junkyard Golf Club Manchester ReviewMy Profile

  17. January 18, 2019 / 9:13 am

    I always describe blogging as the best hobby I could have, but in all honesty I probably spend more hours on it than on my actually full-time job! x

  18. January 18, 2019 / 1:17 pm

    This is a really interesting post, I am only a casual blogger but would like to become better at it. I even find it hard to keep up with everything but I usually do it in the evenings or during my daughters time at school.
    Viki Marden recently posted…Gelli Baff and others ReviewMy Profile

  19. January 18, 2019 / 4:56 pm

    When people here the word Blogger they think it is an easy job or not a job at all, that it is all about writing a post and hitting publish, but there is a lot more that goes into it, and finding time to work around a busy family is hard. I often find it easier to work in the evenings x

  20. January 19, 2019 / 2:13 pm

    Blogging absolutely is a “real job”. People have misconceptions about it being money for nothing but it’s not at all and requires hard work, lots of organisation and lots of patience! And don’t get me started on companies that expect bloggers to bite their hand off all for a sample of nothing!!

  21. January 21, 2019 / 10:03 am

    Blogging does take a huge amount of time and effort and I don’t think a lot a people actually realise that. I find I have to make sure I have a schedule of what I need to get done when, otherwise I’d never fit it all in 😉

  22. January 21, 2019 / 4:54 pm

    I have been blogging for 5yrs now and it is very difficult to fit it around my job and the kids. So it has really been a hobby which gets the time when I have it. This naturally leads to fits and starts with my content but I’m determined not to let the the blog feel like ‘work’ even though I earn a small sporadic amount from it.
    Amy – All abOut a Mummy recently posted…What I’m Watching… January 2019My Profile

  23. January 22, 2019 / 10:19 am

    Great post and so true. I literally don’t stop. I work 30 hours part time, mum to 2 and I blog. It’s often exhausting but I love it x

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