Two nights ago, I conducted a really fun video interview with Kayla, my staff writer and blog manager. (The video will be a part of my new course that I’m launching next month, www.GetPaidtoWriteforBlogs.com)
Anyway, Kayla and I were laughing while doing the video because Kayla posted a Facebook update about how she had no time to update her own blog.
It was funny because I felt the same way so I hired Kayla as a staff writer and blog manager, but because she did so much to help me and her other clients, she ran out of steam for her own blog! It’s just a vicious cycle.
It is also very normal.
Yep, this is a very, very common problem among freelancers. I know because I work with other freelance writers all the time and I coach them too. When other clients are paying the bills and your own blog is merely a portfolio or jumping off point, it seems like the smarter thing to do is to go where the paying work is.
However, I’ve realized over time that it’s a mistake. Over the last year I’ve really gone through some cycles with my own blog. The cycles mimic how busy things have been over here and adjusting to life as a family of 4 and not a family of 2. When I was tired and exhausted and it was 1:00 in the morning, I would always shut my computer off before writing my own blog post for the next day. After all, I’d made all my deadlines and finished all my work for my clients. I could let myself off the hook, right? Well, in retrospect, it was wrong.
You are your own client.
I’ve learned that to be a really successful freelancer and writer, it’s imperative that you use the same discipline for yourself that you use for your clients. You need to treat yourself with the same level of respect that you treat those who pay you. Don’t let your hard work go to the wayside. It’s precisely that hard work that got your writing noticed in the first place!
You also don’t want to alienate your audience. When you neglect your blog, comments start to drop, which has happened to me before as things have gotten busier. People will notice when you are not around as much, even if you think you are a small time blogger and no one is the wiser.
Since the Beans turned 1, I’ve made a concerted effort to schedule more posts right here on Budget Blonde and update the look of things around here. I allowed myself one year of getting used to twin motherhood and organizing my business and clients, and now that the first year is over, I’m back in the game.
I’ve upped my nanny to come 3x per week now and I’m working on more projects than ever. It feels so good to be back, to have nice images on the blog and to see some familiar faces again.
Now that I’m coaching other freelancers (which by the way a new coaching cycle starts Monday) I realize my problem is not unique. Lots of people are trying to balance their blogs with their full time work, freelance writing, families, and other responsibilities. I know it can be really hard to make time for it all. I see it all the time with my students and with myself. It’s very hard work to manage a blog and freelance writing clients all at the same time. Even if your friends and family think it’s a nice fun hobby, professional bloggers and writers know the discipline it takes to keep it all running smoothly.
My top tips
If this sounds like you, my advice is to take some time this week to make a nice editorial calendar, hire some help if you need it, go to Starbucks for 4 hours straight on Saturday and schedule all your posts for the month like I just did, and in general start to treat your blog like one of your clients. You’ll be so glad you did.
Consider working on your own blog like getting a little “me time” or connecting with an old friend, like it was in the early days when your blog was fun and new and didn’t seem like so much work! I can tell you from experience that it really does feel great to pay attention to the site that got my whole business started. I wish I would have done it sooner!
Do you have trouble balancing freelancing with your own blog?