How to Grow a Spectacular Blog Even if You Have A Day Job

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People are often surprised to hear that I have a “day-job”

Yep, Pushing Social is my “second” job. After working eight hours, I come home, hang out with the family, and then write, plan, and scheme for several hours every night. I have been doing this for the last two years. As Pushing Social has grown so has my time commitment.

While attending Social Slam, I discovered that many people are Moonlight Bloggers. They split their time between a career that feeds their family and a blog that feeds their soul. Sometimes the two goals overlap and at other times they don’t. The common denominator is that everyone is working their tail off.

Since I’ve started Pushing Social, I’ve been filling a notebook with little tips and tricks I use to manage being both Peter Parker and Spiderman.

My grab bag of techniques is split between 5 Moonlight Blogger “Challenge” areas:

Time Management:

Moonlight Bloggers work hard all day from 7am to 11pm. Every minute is squeezed for maximum productivity and quality. I talked a little about how I manage my time in a recent post. I have a lot more that I want to share.

Productivity:

Getting Things Done, To-Do Lists, priority lists, I’ve tried them all. I’ve learned that productivity is blend of passion, energy, and focus. If you have all three then you will be productive. The trick is increasing your passion, energy, and focus and finding balance among all three.

Tools:

The right tool is a force multiplier that creates exponential value from one activity. I’ve tested, discarded, and implemented dozens of tools that make blogging easy and fun. It’s easy to get lost in the expanding jungle of apps, websites, and gadgets. I can help you navigate this jungle and find the tools that are best for you.

Creativity:

I’m “left-brained” to the core. I love language and logic. The challenge is that successful blogging is a mix of logic and imagination. Over the years, I’ve learned ways to hack into my right-brain when I need a burst of inspiration and creativity. I’ve also worked with right-brain savants that need ways to organize their fantastic creative powers. So I’ve reverse engineered my hacks to help creatives organize and implement their blogs.

Balance:

I’m not wired to be calm and balanced. I’m a classic Type-A professional that loves a shot of adrenaline with my morning coffee. On the other hand, frantic multitasking, creating chaos, and disorganization annoys the piss out of me. I’ve had to learn how to balance time management, productivity, tools, and creativity into a system that yields results quickly.

Here’s the deal. Up until now, I’ve been hoarding all of my tricks and tips to myself.

It’s time to share them with you.

The Moonlight Blogger Series:

For the next 5 weeks, I’ll show you what I’ve discovered. These posts will be a mixture of podcasts, blogs, and videos (when I find a quiet moment…tough to do with three boys).

I want to make this series as powerful and effective as possible, so I need your help. Take a moment to share two things with me:

  1. Which area you have the most trouble with and
  2. How much time you have to blog every day.

Your answers will help me zero in on the information that will be most helpful for you.

Let’s get started.

{Image credit: NotoriousJEN}

About Stan

Stan Smith is the Managing Director of Pushing Social a content marketing consultancy for aggressive, results-focused organizations.

30 thoughts on “How to Grow a Spectacular Blog Even if You Have A Day Job

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  3. Kelvin

    Don’t worry Stanford, mine doesn’t know either!

    Just wanted to stop by to let you know that even though this is just an intro, this post just keeps giving. Thanks!

  4. Malhar

    Stanford,

    Great post!!! Many of us have been Moonlight or Twilight Bloggers and I loved this post.

    I prefer to wake up early & write my post taking advantage of the eerie silence around and then I attend to some of the great twitter chats (they are early mornings in my part of the world) before going off to work. Keep my night usually free for the family.

    Am keen to hear about the tools you use though.

  5. Julie Corbett

    I’m eager to read your series about moonlight blogging, Stanford.

    To answer your questions:
    1. Staying focused at the end of the day (when I’m tired)
    2. About 2 hours (after my son is in bed)

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  7. Timo Kiander

    Stanford,

    Growing your blog and having a day job is doable. Although I don’t claim to have the biggest blog out there, I’m still able to work on it (2-3 hours per day) – even after having a day job, family and being an athlete who trains almost on a daily basis.

    One thing that made the biggest difference to my productivity was to hire a coach. He showed me the right areas to focusing on list building and guest posting.

    Also, creating systems out of everything and outsourcing at least part of your work will do wonders.

    Cheers,
    Timo

  8. Stanford Post author

    Two hours is what I have every day too. So I’m sure you will be able to use a lot of what I’ll be talking about.

  9. Stanford Post author

    I hear you. I plan to spend a lot of time talking about balance. It’s tricky.

  10. Stanford Post author

    Hey, I see a lot of folks in that position. Hopefully you’ll get some practical advice you can use.

  11. MaAnna

    Stanford, delighted to see you do this series. It will speak to the needs of a lot of my followers too. Will definitely be sharing. I’ve been a moonlight blogger for about three years now and finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel in terms of it becoming my single pursuit. But, also getting to the point where I have to go to work to pay the babysitter because I’ll eventually need to outsource the bulk of the admin tasks so I can focus entirely on helping clients and creating tutorials. Looking forward to seeing the tips and tricks you use to make it all work.

  12. Gregory

    Tools & balance. I’ve got a few good tools, but have gone through several that were not … for me.
    Balance – I know where I want to get with this, but sometimes it just overwhelms, reading other blogs, commenting, learning new tools and strategies. Get’s out of balance easily.

  13. Ute

    “I’ve learned that productivity is blend of passion, energy, and focus.”
    An awesome sentence that brings it right to the point. For me finding balance among the three is the hardest part.
    I’m a self employed web worker and can pretty much make my own schedule all the time. In my experience a tight schedule can raise similar problems as complete freedom… when it comes to energy and focus. Sometimes passion is bound to stay a mind game. ;)

    Looking forward to your series…

  14. silvia

    I have only about 2hours to blog per day and many many ideas that I would like to implement so the greatest challenge is prioritizing which idea or post should go first.

  15. Kelvin

    Oh man, you read my mind Stanford.

    My blog is an integral part of my business, and operating successfully means constant learning on the job. I have approximately 5 hours to work each day (depending on the day of course).

    The area I have the most trouble with is keeping up with everything. Signing up for great content from the copywriting world is nearly overwhelming.

    Thanks Stan, look forward to reading this!

  16. Ocha

    It says here to “speak your mind” and I ask you, which one, the left or the right. It seems that my right mind seems to be shrinking and the left is so overworked it is thinking of taking some time off.

    Yes, I’m sure there are many “moonlight” bloggers in front of the many computers all across the world just waiting for their right mind to show up.

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  18. Mike Hale

    Great stuff! I’m in the same situation. I sometimes have long term client projects that I need to be onsite for and do my blogging and social media work after hours.

    If I have an idea during the day I save it in Evernote to revisit later when I have the time!

  19. Alex Morask

    Awesome idea for a series!

    With school, work and various other clock robbers, I find the two hardest areas to keep consistent are:
    1. Creativity
    2. Productivity
    Although, I always try to be on the watch for the useful tools to make life simpler as well.

  20. Travis T

    This looks like a great series to tune into. I am a creative right-brainer, so my tough spots are focusing in, staying productive and nailing down a productive structure. To help myself become more disciplined, I want to try and schedule out an hour every day for blogging. I also appreciate finding better tools to use.
    Looking forward to where you go with this, Stan!

  21. Jeff Smith

    ‘The right tool is a force multiplier that creates exponential value from one activity’ – can I quote you? Would love to cite this message in an upcoming presentation I am doing on database tools.

  22. Liz Reusswig

    Can’t wait to read this series – Sounds like it will be great info for the busy person who wants to get started!!

  23. George

    Which area you have the most trouble with – Time Management / productivity

    How much time you have to blog every day – 1/2 hour. Seriously. Long commute and other responsibilities.

    Thanks. Looking forward to it.

  24. Crystal Wiebe

    I am so excited about this series.
    I’m a Moonlight Blogger and a dayjob blogger. Time Management is harder for the former (as in, how do I consistently find time to blog and still maintain relationships, order in the home, etc?) and Creativity can be challenging for the latter.
    Overall, I’m also interested in getting more advice on bringing something new to a topic that other bloggers have already discussed (or which you feel like you’ve blogged about ad nauseum yet is a topic you need to keep plumbing).

  25. Katie

    This sounds like it will be fun!
    1. Biggest area of trouble for me would be (feeling like) I can’t capture and hold the reader’s attention. I would love to hear advice on how to frame paragraphs and use wording to get people to come back.
    2. I have about an hour every day to do serious, fully committed writing.
    Looking forward to seeing what you have for us.

  26. Laura Click

    This is fantastic, Stan! Can’t wait to see what you’ve got up your sleeves. I wish I would have had this before I quit my job!

    But, even though I’m fulltime with my business now, finding time to blog is still a challenge. After spending two years blogging at night, I find that it’s been hard to break myself of that habit. It may be that I need to stick to that schedule, but I’m still trying to find my rhythm for what works best for me. I think creating a routine is important because it helps you stay on task. The challenge is finding the right time and then sticking to it. :)

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