• Blogging Tips for the 9 to 5

    August 25, 2009

    BLOG

    As you may know, in addition to blogging and freelance writing, I work full-time. I also have a looong commute, which takes anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour depending on how crappy the T is that day. So, I receive lots of questions asking me how I am able to fit it all in. And, to be honest, I don’t have much free time, but I love blogging, so I make sure it’s part of my day. Here are some of my tips that help me balance a full-time job with blogging 2-3 times a day.

    Before Work

    • Wake up 30 minutes earlier to blog
    • Prepare (or mentally plan) your breakfast the night before
    • Snap photos of your lunch (and snacks) when you photograph your breakfast

    Your Commute

    (If you take public transportation)

    • If you have a laptop or a mini laptop/notebook, blog on your commute. Use Windows Live Writer or Ecto if you don’t have access to Wi-Fi.
    • Use your phone (iPhone, Blackberry, etc.) to read blogs on your commute
    • Brainstorm ideas for your your next post and start a list
    • Read magazines, books, etc. or listen to podcasts to inspire your next blog post
    • Create a blog To Do list for later

    Your Lunch Break

    • Utilize your lunch break to blog
    • Respond to emails and comments
    • Read blogs
    • Comment and participate in the blog community
    • Explore new cafes, restaurants, shops, etc. to use as new blog post material
    • Use Twitter, Facebook, and other modes of social media to market your blog

    Non-Work Hours

    • Prepare posts, giveaways, etc. ahead of time to publish during the work week
    • Ask for guest bloggers to contribute posts
    • Streamline your weeknights as much as possible

    What are your blogging tips?


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    { 46 comments… read them below or add one }

    Nicole August 25, 2009 at 4:03 pm

    Great tips, Tina! You’ve definitely streamlined your process and have it down to an exact science. Thank you for sharing – they were so helpful!

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    Lizzy August 25, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    Amazing tips Tina!!! thanks alot girl! :)

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    Danielle August 25, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    Great tips. Althought I’m not sure I can wake up early, I enjoy my time in bed a little too much!

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    Elsa August 25, 2009 at 4:29 pm

    So helpful! I just started my blog, so this will come in handy. Thanks!

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    Stephanie August 25, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    great write-up, just started my blog and am def tryin’ to balance it all – but like you said, if you really love doing it then you find creative ways to make it happen :) thanks for the great post!

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    brandi August 25, 2009 at 4:35 pm

    All of these are great, and a lot of them are ones I do, too! I think you just have to find what works for you – and it IS hard having an 8-5 job with a 30 minute minimum commute every day, twice a day. But I love it too :)

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    Dori August 25, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    Great tips! I don’t think I can ever be as devoted as you unless it became my job or part of my job or something that helped my job. And I still owe you a long lost guest post. Sigh… been so busy haven’t even had time to do many of my own!

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    Traci August 25, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    Tina! I don’t have a blog but I am truly amazed by how well you manage your time and fit it all in. And your blog is always so great and full of great ideas. Thanks for sharing !

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    MelissaNibbles August 25, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    Thank you for this post Tina. I just started my blog and was surprised to find out just how much work being a blogger really is. I’m lucky in that I have a lot of free time at work and am allowed to use my personal computer there. I get paid to be at my job and blog at the same time!
    I started a binder to store ideas for posts, restaurant reviews, recipes, workouts, etc…I think it’ll be a good resource to turn to when I have writer’s block.

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    Madison August 25, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    That schedule is insanity. Thank you for sharing so much of your time with your readers. We are a lucky bunch!

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    Hallie (Healthy Twists) August 25, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    Thanks for posting this! I really struggle with the “time to blog” thing, especially since I don’t blog my daily eats. I am always trying to think of ways to make my blog better! I think trying to plan out posts in my head beforehand, helps me.

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    Amanda (modernation) August 25, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    These are great tips. I don’t blog about everything I eat and write more general posts, so I try to plan ahead. If I have an idea for a post I write it and schedule it to post on another day. Some weeks I have so much to say and have several posts written and scheduled at the beginning of the week. Having a head start really helps me feel less pressured to get a post up.

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    Lynn (The Actors Diet) August 25, 2009 at 5:15 pm

    great tips! i am a blogging newbie, and b/c my “real job” has no schedule or predictability, find that the blogging gives me something structured and dependable.

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    Mellissa August 25, 2009 at 5:15 pm

    Great tips! I set up one of my posts the night before in Live Writer and then do a dinner post if I am home. It is hard to fit it all in!

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    Leianna August 25, 2009 at 5:19 pm

    So interesting, never thought of some of those, thanks!

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    Valerie (College Girl Eats) August 25, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    What a great post, Tina! I’m really going to incorporate these tips into my daily routine. I just started my blog, but it’s still summer so I’m hoping that I can keep blogging once my classes start in the next few weeks! Thanks so much!

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    Linda August 25, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    It goes to show how a little preparation and organization can help maximize one’s time. Very useful tips. And good work with keeping your blog relevant and fun.

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    Ryan @ Greens for Good August 25, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    Thank you so much for your tips! I struggle with trying to balance everything that I do and this will really help!

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    Penny August 25, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    Wow, I love this. Thanks for sharing.

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    Brea August 25, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    Thanks for the tips! I’m 2 months in to my own blog, so I’m still a newbie. Any help I can get is appreciated :)

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    Lucy August 25, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    Hi Tina — wonderful tips here! It’s so funny — I was just earlier today trying to muster up the courage to email some of my favorite blogs (yours included, of course) to ask just this question: how do you integrate blogging (which I’m completely new to) into a busy life? When do you take pictures/upload files/draft responses/etc? Your tips here are a great place to get started, so thank you so much! I’m brand new to the blog scene and really enjoying getting to know people like yourself through this medium — it’s wonderful to be able to connect to others who are working on health and the practice of daily life in similar ways as me. Thanks for your writing and keep it up — xo, Luc.

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    angieinatlanta August 25, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    Great tips!

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    lesley August 25, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    Great tips! : )

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    Priyanka August 25, 2009 at 8:55 pm

    Thank you very much for sharing the tips they are great!

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    Jenna August 25, 2009 at 8:58 pm

    Great tips Tina! Especially for me, since I just started my blog. I am learning how much time it does take up, but I LOVE it. I don’t know how you do it all though, it is pretty impressive :)

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    Lauren August 25, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    Great tips!

    I usually write my posts over my lunch and then email them to myself. At the end of the day, when I am ready to publish, I just edit what I wrote from lunch to include the rest of the evening. Since I usually know what I will be making for dinner, I include this in my lunch write up but I just edit the changes I make along the way. Works like a charm!

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    Eat Chic August 25, 2009 at 9:19 pm

    These are some great tips! I don’t have a 9-5 job but starting back up with school is just as hectic! I have been trying to devise a plan to organize my time and priorities and these tips are definetly helpful, thanks!

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    Stephanie August 25, 2009 at 10:10 pm

    How great is that farmer’s mket, looks fab!!! Glad you had a better day today :)

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    Courtney August 25, 2009 at 11:00 pm

    Awesome tips! Thanks so much for posting this, as a newish blogger this is very appreciated!
    And that gingery drink looks so good for a hot summer day.
    Courtney
    Adventures in Tri-ing

    Reply

    Tracie (@hollafoodzone) August 25, 2009 at 11:41 pm

    Although my hollafoodzone blog is new, I have been blogging about my field (education) for quite awhile – like you, outside the hours of my regular job. One time saver that works for me is to download a lot of my professional reading into mp3 files (Audible or iTunes) onto my iPhone. I listen to it on my walks, and whenever a passage sparks an idea, I jot it into the notepad app on my phone while I walk.

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    Caroline August 25, 2009 at 11:53 pm

    Great blogging tips! One of the ways that I stay on top of things is to plan out meals for the week, so that I have interesting photos to share and avoid having a hummus sandwich 7 days a week!

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    Sandhiya August 26, 2009 at 9:36 am

    1) Make it Easy: I only use my iPhone to take pictures, makes it so much easy.
    2) 9 to 5 people: My blog is a hobby only and targeted towards 9 to 5 working people .. especially on how to make impromptu but filling snacks at work, comming up with creative workouts before work etc.. I am now doing a segment on Dance DVD’s only..
    3) Context Sensitive: We are currently moving from one location to another and hence currently I blog a lot on the Good Bye moments – which lets me take lunch time excursions & my readers enjoy those!!

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    Mallory August 26, 2009 at 10:58 am

    Hi Tina!

    I love your blog! I was especially happy once I found out that you work 9-5 in a field that is particularly close to my heart! I am currently a recruiter for a university. But in the next year or two I plan to return to school for my Master’s in Higher Ed Admin. (I would love to chat with you more about this!) I am 23 and just graduated from college, I needed a break from school!

    I am hoping to start my own blog soon and I know your tips will be very helpful!

    I have a question for you: I noticed you drink coffee almost everyday of the week…how do you keep your teeth so white?! Your smile is beautiful and I feel like if I drink one cup of coffee one day, my teeth instantly turn yellow?! What do you do?? Brush all the time??? ;)

    Thanks!

    Reply

    Tina August 26, 2009 at 11:07 am

    @Mallory: Yep, I brush 3 times a day!

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    Sarah August 26, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    Thank you so much for the tips! I do have a hard time balancing my work life with my blog life and by the weekend I feel too tired to keep it up sometimes. Your tips help a lot, if this is what I really want to do, I gotta make it happen ;-)

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    TorontoGirloutWest August 26, 2009 at 8:06 pm

    You now I always used to have a hard time fitting in blogging. I couldn’t understand why it would take an hour to blog about my day. Then one day I tried the fiance’s computer and realized on his the pics uploaded instantly. So I got angry at my computer and didn’t blog for a while. LOL

    Just this weekend I got an iPhone and it has revolutionized my life!!!! I blog and catch up on the go. Plus after I finish blogging I quickly delete the pictures! Love it!!

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    cassie March 29, 2010 at 10:46 pm

    I just wanted to say that found this post and as a “newbie” blogger the advice you provided is super helpful.. i have a very demanding job which is probably 9-9PM, on a good day, but my heart is really into blogging but it’s hard.. but i’m trying to find some balance.. so thank you very much for this inspiring post..

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    FoodFitnessLife August 6, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    Found your site and wanted to thank you for the tips. We are in the process of launching our website and working a full time job sure isn’t easy! Looking forward to reading more, follow us on twitter!

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    Lisa September 27, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    I blog during breaks and lunch. It’s a lot easier to do it during the day then at night.

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    kim September 27, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    Thanks for these tips. I love social media and twitter and now have a data plan for my phone and keep up a lot more. I keep using a post-it note on my desk to jot down blog post ideas (the ones that I write that require thought and research) and not just writing what’s in my head at the moment.

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    Courtney@foodnfashionlife.wordpress.com September 28, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    Thanks for yet another awesome idea. I never would have discovered ecto!

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    Jayme April 29, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    Thanks Tina, those tips are great! I’ve recently started blogging, and I love it!! It really resonated with me when you said “blog for yourself”. Couldnt agree more. I’ve been reading your blog for a while now, and can tell that you are so passionate about what you write about. Its a joy to read.

    Take care!

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    Indrani May 12, 2011 at 3:35 am

    Tina… Thank you! I bumped into your blog through an article in Prevention magazine. And am really glad I did so :) these tips are really useful for a fitness enthusiast who is learning the ropes of blogging, working full time in a day job, incorporating healthy balance and trying to achieve fitness goals.. I also maintain a health scrapbook as a hobby. It helps to keep me motivated.

    Thank YOU for these incredible tips. As a newbie to blogging, I love this entire section!

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    Juju June 23, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    Hi Tina!
    I’m glad that you re-posted this on your new blog post. I’ve only recently found out about your blog, and being a new blogger, and full time student/wifey, it gets hard to try can manage everything! Thanks for the great tips! I never knew what windows live writer was until you posted it!! =]

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    Glenneth January 2, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    Thanks for the tips. I struggle to do 1 post per day, but hope to get to the point of 2 posts per day this year.

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    Dana May 15, 2013 at 9:53 am

    love this! thanks :)

    Reply

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