When I went full-time as a blogger last June, I still couldn’t really explain to the average person (ie: anyone not a blogger) what it was I actually did as a job without an eyebrow raise or two.
And that was scary. I completely understood that the digital sphere was and still is, a very new industry.
There’s no precedent over what the future holds for it – and so it’s quite a risk quitting the day job and pouring all your focus into your very own online space.
But the scariness of a situation has never put me off. 7-year-old me was NOT going to give up a ride on the ghost train just because two little boys came off it crying, unconsolable even with the prospect of a new lightsaber.
Oh no, I was going to conquer whatever awaited for me inside.
We’ll leave out the part where I hid under my dress for the duration of the ride and left with a huge fake smile on my face.
Anyway, where were we? Blogging, yes.
So it’s a very new industry and while I finally feel like I’m finding my feet, there are a few things that are slightly unusual about this job that I thought was worth noting for anyone curious or considering blogging full time.
Of course, having run scarlettlondon.com since 2011 (6 years, where has the time gone) they aren’t things that have only just cropped up as a result of going full-time, as many of them were there all along.
But still, I thought it might be an interesting and maybe amusing read all the same.
So here goes…
Welcome to the world of the blogger.
- Your income probably will never be consistent. This is both exciting and frustrating all at the same time. While it’s super exciting to receive the pay cheque for a rather lucrative project (that you probably completed 60 days ago) and be very tempted to treat yourself to a mammoth ASOS order, you also have to bare in mind that it might be the only invoice you’re paid for that fortnight, so it has to last. I personally love the unpredictability (it keeps life exciting and all that) but when you’re a bit more grown up, with a mortgage, you do need to have a pot of savings for those (often frequent) rainy days.
- You’ll spend a lot of time doing emails. As fabulous and glamorous as blogging may look from the outset, outlook.com is where it’s really at. That’s where you’ll get those exciting emails come through offering you a spectacular opportunity you are super excited for, where you negotiate contracts, follow up on sample requests for shoots and liaise with PRs. Get practising with the touch typing!
- You’ll have to spend a lot of time explaining to people why you should get paid for your job. Which is odd and unnecessary but part and parcel of the job. Without sounding bitter and negative, there are still plenty of PR’s who insist that a £25 gift voucher for their website or a ‘goody bag’ is just as good as getting paid. As much as I’d love for our currency to be beauty products (because I’d be rich, rich, rich!) unfortunately the world doesn’t work like this. Even when you explain to them that you wouldn’t be able to pay your bills in such items, they still make you feel a teeny bit bad about it. Hmmm.
- And your parents will probably still be a bit confused about what you do. Although they’ve come around to the idea now, initially ‘blogger’ didn’t sound like the kind of career path that they’d envision I’d have. However, they’re very supportive of it now. My 9-year-old sister is probably the most supportive of my decision and announces at school on numerous occasions that her peers can either ‘get a job or start a blog’ when they’re older. How sweet!
- You can’t really get excited about an opportunity until it happens. In blogging, you get to do some incredible things. Opportunities that are beyond your wildest dreams seem to be available and there are a whole host of events, activities and trips throughout the year that I’m so grateful to have even been considered for. However, until the said thing is booked, you can’t really get your hopes up about it since on a number of occasions, I’ll receive the invite, confirm the dates and times and then hear no more after the initial correspondence.
- It happens with sponsored posts too. Following on from the ‘admin/email’ aspect, you do find that only 1 in 5 sponsored post opportunities actually materialise into something from the initial email correspondence.
- You will find yourself lost in a sea of Google tabs every January. And each will enquire about a number of mundane and confusing tax questions. ‘What is gross profit?’, ‘Submitting to HMRC’ and ‘Payment on account’ will join a number of other interesting questions that we definitely should have learnt the answer to at school. All those lessons on parallelograms and measuring angles DID NOT PREPARE ME FOR THIS!
- You’ll find yourself questioning whether you did the right thing in going full time and what will happen if blogging suddenly disappears. But then you watch everyone else on Facebook moaning about scraping the ice off their windscreens on dark and early mornings, while you’re snuggled in your pjs with your laptop and peppermint tea prepping for the day ahead, and realise that you’re totally girl-bossing this and are in complete control of your own career!
- Much of your time is devoted to chasing up invoices and trying to master the art of sounding both friendly and like you mean business. You wouldn’t be expected to wait 72 days to be for the shifts you did at Sainsbury’s. And yet, we still feel as though we need to tiptoe politely to ask whether they might be able to pay our invoice soon for the work we did almost half a year ago. Because we don’t want to burn the bridge with a client, but srsly, we need to pay our council tax.
- You’ll strike friendships with people you’d never normally meet IRL. As much as I love meeting new people the normal way (ie: in person), it’s so lovely getting to know someone online via the blogging world – and then developing a friendship when you bump into each other at every event. You have something in common already, so the conversation flows – but you’re probably also totally different people who would have never met if it wasn’t for blogging. And the mutual appreciation for all of the above brings you closer each time you chat.
- You’ll explore your deepest thoughts and become more reflective as a person. One of the things I adore about blogging is that you have an outlet to absolutely pour your thoughts and feelings into. Whether you actually press post is an entirely different story, but I really enjoy being able to put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard) rather than letting my thoughts manifest into something greater. The urge to create unique content also pushes you to talk about things you might not normally consider. It’s really healthy and cleansing to be able to be reflective like this.
Do you have any additions to add? Do you think you’d ever like to go full-time or keep it as a hobby?
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