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How To Juggle A Day Job + Freelance Work + A Blog + Life

Looking for freelancing tips? Or side hustle advice? The truth is: it's hard to do it all and there isn't really a magic solution. But these self-employment tips will help! Click through to learn 9 ways to make working for yourself easier

Dear Sarah,

I am right now working on my own website and trying to cobble together a little freelance writing business. I was just wondering if you could speak to HOW YOU DO ALL THE THINGS? And HOW YOU DID ALL THOSE THINGS WHILE ALSO WORKING FULL-TIME?  I frequently look over my To Do List and there’s like eleventy jillion things on it. I mean, writing that list is exhausting enough. And then DOING it? And THEN trying to get clients to find me, let alone HIRE ME?!
– Lauren

Oh, girl.  I hear you.  For those of you who don’t know, when I first started Yes and Yes, I worked full time as an ESL teacher. Back then I taught, blogged seven days a week, and took freelance clients. Now I ‘just’ blog seven days a week and take freelance clients.  It’s way easier.

How to juggle a day job, freelance work, and everything else.

1. Opt for quality over quantity

You probably knew that already, right? But it bears repeating.

It’s better to have two amazing freelance clients, who are a joy to work with, whose work you can proudly include in your portfolio than 10 clients who hassle you.

It’s better to write one perfectly optimized, SEO-ed, lead-generating post per week than five “I just need to get something up!” posts. It’s better to learn how to navigate one or two social media platforms really, really well – rather than fumbling your way through all of them.

If you're looking for permission to do less and to do it well, this is it. Click To Tweet

2. Write less, promote more

I blog seven days a week because I have So Many Things To Talk About, but you totally don’t need to! Create an editorial calendar (Tuesday and Thursdays at 6 am, for example) and stick to it. Write two great blog posts each week and then promote the sweet bejesus out of them.

Because of how we use social media, it’s possible to tweet about something seven times over the course of a week without anyone really noticing or getting annoyed.  I would suggest writing different tweets each time or using different images for Facebook updates.  This will keep things fresh and attract different people.

3. Stop writing everything on your blog yourself

On Yes and Yes, I have four post series that I don’t write myself – True Story interviews, Real Life Style Icons, Mini Travel Guides, and the occasional guest post.

On this blog, I host bring in experts to write about topics I know nothing about.  These posts cross pollinate my readers with my guest posters’ readers, bring in fresh content, and save me tons and tons of time.

4. Schedule everything

Devote a few hours at the beginning of the month to scheduling. Take yourself on a DIY writing retreat and write all your content for the coming month. Schedule client invoices.

Use Hootsuite to schedule Twitter and Facebook updates.  Use Boomerang to schedule emails.  I love being able to schedule things months into the future and then forget about them!Life changing.

5. Lovingly and diplomatically establish boundaries

If you live with roommates or have a partner, make sure they understand what you’re trying to accomplish with your freelance career.  Don’t let them guilt trip you into a night out when you’ve got a deadline.  Don’t tolerate any “You’re no fuuuuuunnn!” BS.

Before you sign a client, share your ‘collaboration guidelines.’  If you’re months into a professional relationship that’s not working, take a look at these great scripts that will help get things back on track. 

6. Get seriously productive

Make lists, use the Pomodoro technique, download Leechblock.  Turn off your phone and gchat.  If you remember an important task and it’ll take less than five minutes, just do it now.  It’s worth freeing up that brain space so you can stop thinking “Oh, right!  I have to remember to send a follow-up email to that editor!”

7. Realize you’ll have to make sacrifices

Know that in order to make this happen, you’ll have to miss some parties.  You might have to pull some all-nighters.  Maybe you’ll have to give up your $5 coffees.

For the first two years of Yes and Yes, I spent every lunch hour, every weekday, networking with other bloggers.  That’s 45 minutes a day, 5 days a week, for 2 years.   If my math is right, that’s 375 hours that I did NOT spend picnicing in the park or trying the good Thai place down the street. But now I get to picnic all I want!

8. Cut a few corners now and then

You’re going to be really busy getting your career going.  That doesn’t mean you should drop out of the rest of your life, but it does mean you might have to cut some corners.  Buy something at the deli to bring to the potluck, buy gift cards in bulk for Christmas, buy a case of wine so you won’t have to stop at the liquor store every time you’re invited to a dinner party.  Resist the urge to drink all the wine yourself.

9. Remember that you have a life outside of work – and your work will probably suffer if you drop out of your life

As busy as you are, make time for your friends, family, and partner. Get outside. Unplug. Go to art galleries and concerts and costume parties and stupid movies.  If you don’t give yourself a chance to recharge, you won’t have any energy to take over the world.

How do you guys juggle it all?  Any apps/platforms/techniques I’m missing?

P.S. How to be healthy even if you sit all day

photo by Oliver Thomas Klein // cc

Real Life Style Icon: LuAnne of ‘Weesha’s World’

This is one of many Real Life Style Icon interviews in which we talk to smart, funny, stylish ladies.  And then befriend them so they’ll lend us clothing.


Name:
LuAnne D’Souza
Age: 26
Location: Dubai, U.A.E
Online haunts: blog // twitter // facebook

 

Three reasons that you’re awesome:
I am proof that contrary to popular opinion, fat does not equal to ugly.
I have my own sense of style and tend to do my own thing no matter what other people think.
I know that above all else, it’s heart that matters the most so I try to be the best human being I can be.

What are you wearing right now, as you type this?
An elephant print kaftan from Sri Lanka, it’s perfect for crazy Dubai summers!

What is the last item of clothing you bought?
My most recent purchase was my first pair of Jeffrey Campbells, they were on sale at Solestruck and I’ve wanted a pair for ages but they were always out of my budget. They’re the Perfect Spikes, I’ve been daydreaming about the outfits I can wear with them!

What is the item of clothing you love most at the moment?
I’m very emotionally attached to this frilled wrap skirt my mom got me from Dorothy Perkins when I was 16. It’s bright red and somehow manages to fit me through all my weight fluctuations. It is still a stylish piece 10 years later. I’ve worn it for a lot of memorable occasions and I always feel amazing every time I wear it.

Tell us about a favorite childhood memory about your clothes.
I cringe at all the clothes from my childhood! I only found my sense of
style when I started high school, everything before that was my mom’s
taste. I do have some fun memories of prancing around the house in my
mom’s high heels when I was a kid, I also used to secretly try all her
costume jewelry like those big clip on earrings from the 90s.

What is your best thrifting score?
We don’t have thrift stores in Dubai! How sad is that?

Could you tell us your top three style tricks/DIYs?
I stick to a colour palette consisting of a maximum of three colours or it’s too much. That is just my personal opinion.
Confidence is everything! I’m always being told I wear outfits that a lot of plus size girls would not wear, I know I can rock almost anything because it all depends on your style, not your size.
Style is self expression so have fun with it! I love wearing clothes that make me feel awesome, even if other people don’t always get it.

Thanks so much for sharing, LuAnne!

Real Life Style Icon: Lisa of ‘Respect The Shoes’

This is one of many Real Life Style Icon interviews in which we talk to clever, funny, fashionable women.  And then we distract them with something shiny (or some cheese) and raid their closets.

 

Name: Lisa
Age: I am almost twenty-FAUX!
Location: Georgia
Online haunts:  blog // facebook // pinterest

Three reasons that you’re awesome:
Oh gosh, so many things to list (haha!)  Here’s some random awesomeness:
1) I’ve got the personality of Gumby – I’m pretty easy-going and ready for anything!
2) I actually enjoy cooking, especially prep work. You want someone to chop the veggies or stir the sauce, I got it.

3) I have a black belt in Google kung fu; I can look up pretty much everything.

 

What are you wearing right now, as you type this?
Denim shirt, madras shorts, flip flops – I am all about comfort in my off-hours.

What is the last item of clothing you bought?
My
first pair of Jack Rogers thong sandals found on sale and in bright
pink! I admit, they are not that comfy, but I’ll make them work.

What is the item of clothing you most covet at the moment?
The Alexander Wang rocco satchel with the studded bottom – in tan or black with the gold studs. It’s been out for a few years now and I’m too cheap to bite – but I still lust for it!

Tell us about a favorite childhood memory about your clothes.
My
parents totally created my childhood tomboy persona!  I remember a
family portrait when I was about four with a mop of short curly hair,
wearing denim overalls, a rainbow-striped long-sleeve polo and white
tennies. For some reason, that outfit made me feel awesome!

What is your best thrifting score?
Does Ebay count? Because that’s as close to successful thrifting that I’ve ever gotten. I’ve scored tons of previous season Anthropologie and J.Crew items for cheap on there, loads with the tags still on them.

Could you tell us your top three style tricks/DIYs?
I don’t know if these are “tricks” per se, but when I put together ensembles, I consider gingham and stripes to be neutrals, so it lends to a lot of interesting combinations. I am also all about pattern-mixing as long as the pieces are in the same color family and there’s only one dominant pattern. And when in doubt, belt it – sounds simple, and it is, but belting has helped me create the waistline I don’t have. As for DIY – I wish!

Thanks so much for sharing, Lisa!

Real Life Style Icon: Franceta of Frantic Dreams

This is one of many Real Life Style Icon interviews in which we talk to smart, funny, painfully cute fashion bloggers. And then we distract them with shiny things and raid their closets. 

Name: Franceta Johnson
Age: 20
Location: Toronto, ON.
Online haunts: blog // tumblr // twitter // instragram
Three reasons that you’re awesome:
I
am an amazingly tall Amazon (6’5″ to be exact!) I’m ridiculously
creative when I’m not being completely lazy, and if I am determined to
do something, it WILL be done!
What are you wearing right now, as you type this?
Black velvet tights, a over-sized black knit sweater, red lipstick and about two pounds of gold jewellery.

What is the last item of clothing you bought? 
I
took a break half way through writing this and bought a black pair of
woven, lace-up sandals. But that would fall under accessories.  The last clothing item I bought was a white, sleeveless turtle neck crop top. Sounds terrifying but it’s not, I promise!
What is the item of clothing you most covet at the moment?
Again, not “clothing” but my neon yellow Cambridge satchel. Obsessed!

Tell us about a favorite childhood memory about your clothes.
My
favorite clothing memory would have to be Halloween, every single year.
I loved all the cheap costume jewellery and the ridiculous make-up. I
went from being a bride, to a princess, to being the wicked witch of the
west for five years straight.
What is your best thrifting score?
A Levi’s denim jacket for $6! Best, day, EVER!
Could you tell us your top three style tricks/DIYs?
1. Safety-pins, Rit-dye, rubber cement, hot glue and loose glitter in any color, save lives; Stock up!
2. Invest in key pieces that you will wear with everything, they seriously will last you a lifetime.
3. You can never wear “too much” black. Never.


Thanks so much for sharing, Franceta!

Real Life Style Icon: James Nord of Highlighted Life

This is one of many Real Life Style Icon interviews, in which we talk to funny, smart, painfully cute fashion blogger who we all want to befriend. And then steal their clothes. 

And now we’re branching out into dudes!  Say hello to James of Highlighted Life!

Name: James Nord
Age: 27
Location: New York’s Lower East Side
Online haunts: blog // twitter

 

 

Three reasons that you’re awesome:
I don’t know about awesome but I think I am made mostly of big hair, a need to be better and a wandering mind.

What are you wearing right now, as you type this?
J.
Lindeberg Wax Coated Jeans, Michael Andrew’s Bespoke Shirt, Pink Ascot
(vintage), Black Leather Hook Bracelet from Miansai, J. Lindeberg Wool
Blazer, Moscot Glenn Glasses.

What is the last item of clothing you bought?
A plaid suit from Penguin.

What is the item of clothing you most covet at the moment?

I am waiting for this new J. Lindeberg jacket to go on sale.

 

Tell us about a favorite childhood memory about your clothes.

My
mother always pushed my brother’s and I to be different and even better
a little strange. This sometimes worked out really well (bow ties and
tweed blazers to a 4th grade concert) and sometimes turned out
absolutely horribly (pleather pants to homecoming in high school).
Whatever it was her unwavering support of my eccentricities made birthed
the confidence I still wear today.

 

What is your best thrifting score?
Not much
of a thrifter, the suit lapels are always too wide for my taste, I do
have a soft spot for vintage Playboys and Haper’s Baazar


Could you tell us your top three style tricks/DIYs?
Never wear boring socks, tailor it and overdress.

Thanks for sharing, James!

Real Life Style Icon: Rocquelle of ‘Consider Me Lovely’

This is one of many Real Life Style Icon interviews, in which we talk to funny, smart, painfully cute ladies who we all want to befriend. And then steal their clothes. 

Name: Rocquelle Porch
Age: 26
Location:Houston, TX
Online haunts: blog // twitter

Three reasons that you’re awesome:
God made me, I’m very comfortable in my own skin and I live in life’s positivity

 

What are you wearing right now, as you type this?
Dark flared jeans, a peach and coral striped t-shirt, and gold vintage earrings

What is the last item of clothing you bought? 

Do shoes count as clothing?  Because I just ordered sequin pumps from Amazon instead of hitting the Black Friday sales! 

What is the item of clothing you most covet at the moment?
A faux fox fur jacket from ASOS, as though it will get (or stay) cold enough for that in Houston!

 

 

Tell us about a favorite childhood memory about your clothes.  
I
don’t really have one particular favorite memory about my clothes
growing up, as I have always been a girlie girl obsessed with clothes
and outfits.  However, I recall being consumed with those plastic Barbie
heels with the feathers that they sell on the toy aisle, and I would
prance around my granny’s house in them all Summer long, especially when
her friends came over (my hips would twist a bit more when they came) in their cute dresses for coffee and soap opera watching :-).

 

What is your best thrifting score?

It
wasn’t mine, but it was for me.  My best friend found a pair of
Salvatore Ferragamo pants for me while out thrifting in Atlanta, that I
simply adore! My favorite personal thrifted find was a pair of teal midi
length culottes; they are so perfect for color blocking!

 

Could you share your top three style tricks/DIYs?
1. A belt works wonders on any outfit.
2. Every outfit should have at least two colors.  It makes life and dressing more interesting!
3.
DIY manis can be your best accessory.  I polish my nails once, maybe
twice, a week, and even when I through on jeans and a t-shirt to go
grocery shopping, my nails help make my look special!
Thanks for stopping by, Racquelle!