I feel as though my life is a bit of a circus show sometimes. I’m constantly juggling different projects and due dates and balancing being a university student with having a social life, family, and hobbies, including blogging.
I’ve come to enjoy the circus, though. I’ve been blogging as a full-time student for almost ten months now and I can easily tell you it’s not as simple as it looks. I’ve never changed how my life works; if anything, I’ve only ever learnt how to manage the chaos a little better – this included learning how to balance my education with my hobby of blogging.
For me, the main aspects of my life include family & friends, university, blogging and my health. In order to keep these parts of my life ordered and under control, I use a planner. I would be absolutely lost without my planner. It holds birthdays, due dates, important events and appointments, as well as my editorial schedule, blog stats, class information and required readings. If you’re a new blogger, I’d highly recommend using a binder style planner like the Filofax or Kikki K planners where you can customise them to suit your needs. You can purchase school planners and blog planner insert from Etsy or print your own using free printables.
I’d also highly recommend using an editorial planner. The only time I feel like I’m consistent with my blogging is when I have my posts planned out for the month ahead using an editorial calendar. There are so many different ways you could do this but I use the most straightforward and simple method. As I get blog post ideas, I list them in the notes section of my planner. Then at the end of the month, I’ll put together my editorial calendar for the month ahead by simply figuring out how often I want to post each week and scheduling those posts down in the monthly view of my blog planner.
This links to my next tip, plan ahead. I work a week or two ahead. I draft, edit, photograph and schedule my posts a week or two ahead of when they are to be posting. It’s kind of the only method I’ve found that keeps me on top of blogging and completely sane. I’m not the kinda gal who can sit and write a single post 15 minutes before it’s uploaded. It causes too much unnecessary stress, especially in the middle of the semester and more often than not, if I don’t work ahead, I just don’t post. Trust me, working ahead is a total game changer when posting regularly on a blog.
The one thing I’ve only just started doing, that I wish I had learnt to do earlier is to have two or three completed blog posts ready to go as a bit of a backup. Think of it as an emergency post – you’ve come across unforeseen circumstances or an assignment took way longer than expected, you’ll have a few posts ready to go if you need them. This way you’re blog doesn’t go stagnant and you’ll feel less guilt and stress over prioritising school over your blog.
My final tip is simple. Remember your priorities. Yes, your blog is important but at the end of the day, your education is more important. Taking the semester off or not posting on social media for a few days in order to get your work done is more important than possibly failing a class. Don’t feel guilty or worried because you’re letting people down when you don’t post for a fortnight. This is your life and your blog, you need to make sure you do what feels right for you.
Those are my tips for balancing being a full-time university student and blogging. If you have a blog, let me know in the comments below what your tips are for balancing having a blog with your real-life commitments! I’d love to hear your advice!