Ever wondered how people find the time to blog, particularly when they also have a full-time job, or how exactly they manage to juggle it all? This series is here to shed some light.
You guys loved meeting Shikha, a full-time GP and travel blogger, so next up we have Jodie.
Meet the Student
Jodie’s studies take up the bulk of her week and she has a few part-time jobs on the side, so it’s fair to say she has a full-time job made up of a few things! You might be wondering how she finds time to keep up her travel blog, The Little Backpacker, but somehow she does. Go Jodie!
Jodie has been kind enough to share a little insight into her world, so sit back and enjoy…
Q. Besides your blog, what do you do for a living?
I am a full-time student at Roehampton University studying to be a Primary School Teacher. As part of my course I under take a placement each year which ranges from six to twelve weeks where I am based in school. On top of this I also work part time nannying, babysitting and coaching rugby.
Q. Is your course or are any of your side jobs in any way related to travel?
No, although my qualification as a teacher will allow me to work abroad as a teacher either in a British school or teaching English as a foreign language. Being a teacher will also give me a large chunk of holiday time each year which I can use to squeeze in as much travel as possible for blog content.
Being a student also isn’t related, but it does give me those nice long summers where I can do lots of travelling/blogging.
Q. Do you think this is a perk or hindrance (in terms of your blog)?
From being on placement as a student I have found the workload as a teacher to be a bit of a hindrance. I’m constantly wanting to be writing an article for my blog but instead end up sorting lesson plans for the following day. As a student I don’t find it a hindrance as I can use the gaps in my timetable to sneak in some blogging time at random parts of the day.
Q. How many hours a week are taken up by your course and part-time jobs?
The course involves 33 hours of study a week, although this is split between seminars and personal study. I tend to go into university at least 4 days a week. However, I’m not sure I actually do 33 hours every week. I then work part time for 15 hours a week across three jobs. Typing that is making me wonder where I actually find the time to blog!
Q. How do you fit blogging in?
I find my weekends are most important for blogging and always curse when there won’t be enough time to at least write a post. Just last weekend that happened to me and I have then found myself staying up late in the evening writing, editing photos and scheduling social media updates.
I have set days which I post which helps to keep me motivated to produce a post for those days. If work at university isn’t too busy then I will sneak in an hour of blogging here and there too. I find it hardest to keep up with other blogs because I always prioritise creating content for my own.
Q. Would you ever swap your day job for one that has a travel connection or would you like to be a full-time blogger?
I have been thinking about this a lot recently, especially after having a summer away from university and attending blogger conferences. I really have no desire to be a full-time travel blogger or to work within the travel industry. My main aim is to be able to work abroad and live an expat life or at least have a job which allows me to travel enough that I always have new content for my blog.
Q. Does your employer and/or colleagues know about your blog?
Some of my friends at university know I have a blog and just think it sounds pretty cool. They always moan how they are jealous of me heading off on another trip and laugh about my lack of ability to stay in the UK.
A couple of my lecturers also know I run a blog and they loved the fact I have created my on vlogs. ICT is becoming a very important subject to teach to primary children so my knowledge of building and running a website could potentially be useful.
Q. How do you balance your annual leave allowance with travel for your blog, as well as personal holidays/breaks etc?
As a student I get a lot of holiday from studying but I then have to juggle taking time off from my part-time jobs. I don’t have a set amount of holiday because I am part time, however, any holiday I take is unpaid.
This past year I managed to fit in several weekend breaks and one five day break during the university term. The majority of these were press trips for my blog and I was just lucky I could fit them around my studies.
I then took four separate week breaks over the holidays. These were all personal holidays, but ones where I spent the whole time creating vlogs, updating social media and just generally being a ‘travel blogger’. I don’t remember the last time I went on a holiday and actually took a break from blogging on the go.
Q. Looking forward, where do you see your blog and job?
I honestly do not know what will happen once I am a qualified teacher. During my placements at university I have found it very hard to keep up with my blog and I’m not doing enough to create fresh content continuously. However, if I was living an expat life alongside teaching I would hope that everyday life would provide enough fresh content. Ideally I would love to be able to continue to do both, but only time will tell.
Q. Do you have any tips or words of inspiration for other people thinking about starting a blog even if they have a full-time job, particularly unrelated to their niche?
The blog you create needs to be about a topic that is your utter passion. You will be squeezing in blogging during those late nights, early mornings and down time from your job, so make sure it is something you love. I find because travel is my hobby, blogging is just an extension to that hobby and this makes it easier to find the time to blog.
Q. Are there any bloggers who also have full-time jobs that you love?
There are a lot more bloggers who have day jobs than you realise, some of my favourites are: Beverly at Pack Your Passport, Neil at Backpacks and Bunkbeds, Shikha at Why Waste Annual Leave, Emily at Grown Up Gap year and of course Char here at Taylor Hearts Travel.
Big thanks to Jodie for sharing a little insight into her blogging world and studies. What do you think? Do you have a blog and do you juggle it alongside a job? I’d love to hear your thoughts. X
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