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How to Balance Freelance Writing With Your Own Blog

  April 30

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Think it's tough having your own blog? Try having a blog, twins, and a full-time freelancing career! Here's how to balance it all!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.

Moving forward

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?

Think it's tough having your own blog? Try having a blog, twins, and a full-time freelancing career! Here's how to balance it all!

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16 responses to “How to Balance Freelance Writing With Your Own Blog

  1. I experienced the same thing. When I first started freelancing, I was posting 4 times a week on my blog. Things got super hard to balance for a while, with a number of health issues for the baby. Now that her second ear tube surgery seems to be a success, I’m getting the energy and motivation to “return” and I’ve started by focusing on my own blog. I started my blog for a reason. I don’t want it to languish while I chase other opportunities it may have afforded me. But eventually, there will be more freelancing added back in and andw balance made. I’ll meet the deadlines of clients, but my own work will be the priority.

  2. OMG! Totally agree. It is so easy to just follow the money and forget what got you there in the first place. So many people look to expand, including myself. However, if they just put that extra time into a good thing that they have already built, they would be better off in the long run.

  3. Thanks for the mention Cat! I really enjoyed our interview the other night, it was super fun. 🙂 You are so right, I still need to find time to make my blog a priority as I know that’s how my business got started and I don’t want to neglect it and end up losing current clients or potential new clients. Plus, I love my readers and don’t want them to feel neglected either. Sometimes I feel like no one reads my blog, but I know that’s not really the case because I love it when I get emails from readers telling me they liked my post or asking for advice. It’s a great feeling!

  4. Boy did you nail this post on the head.

    I like to think of some that Charlie Munger did when he was younger. Realizing that he was his own most important client, he sold himself his best hour during the day.

    He used that hour to read, pursue new interests, learn new skills…etc. Anything that would advance his own skill set.

    Same thinking applies here. Writing on your blog is a way to advance yourself, and it shouldn’t be shunned just because there are other things to do.

    You are always your own most important client.

  5. I experienced the same thing, and actually have a renewed energy to focus on my blog before picking up any additional freelance work. Glad I’m not alone in this!

  6. This is exactly me!! This past month, my freelance work has been busier than ever, so I neglected my blog. I’m not going to lie – it’s hard to manage both!! This post was great and just what I needed! (And a trip alone to Starbucks sounds like a vacation lol!!)

    Hope you have a great weekend, Cat!!

  7. I’m in Kayla’s position – I’ve been writing and doing VA tasks for so many others, I sadly don’t have as much time to focus on my own blog. Every time I think I’ll have a moment to write up a quick post, something else gets in the way. I 100% agree that you have to prioritize it, though. I wouldn’t be where I am today without my blog (and readers), and I feel incredibly guilty for neglecting it. I’ve been working on streamlining some tasks and outsourcing, so we’ll see. =)

  8. I love that I’m seeing this the day after I let the stress of my day job prevent me from publishing the post I had planned for my blog. I’m going to take this weekend to rework my editorial calendar and actually try to get ahead on my posts. Thanks for the motivation!

  9. I feel like this post was meant for me! I’ve felt the same way since I started freelancing but I’ve been making an effort to keep my blog updated at least once a week. You’re exactly right, the blog is what got me noticed in the first place, so making the blog better will hopefully equal more clients! Thanks for the reminder.

  10. I definitely buckled under this pressure this week! Like Jessica, i day job stress led to only doing what absolutely had to be done, and I wasn’t one of the clients that HAD to be handled. Hoping to get back on the horse again this week!

  11. I try to have a pretty robust editorial calendar and a number of posts written ahead of time. I don’t always succeed but I try. I love the following point that you made that working on your blog is like connecting with an old friend. Lovely.

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