Back in October, I took the plunge into the world of full time blogging and whilst it's the dream job in some senses, it does come with its downfalls too - just like any job does. With more and more bloggers turning their hobby into a career, I thought it'd be nice to share my experiences so far and any advice I have for those of you thinking about taking the plunge into blogging as a career.
For me personally, the decision came after being unhappy at two jobs and feeling like I had no time to do what I really loved to do which is writing my blog, planning my social media content and getting creative with my photography. I'm not going to lie, it's something I had to think long and hard about as leaving a secure full time job is a big risk to take - especially when you have rent and bills to pay every month. However, after feeling miserable for a couple of months, I decided my happiness should come first so I made the decision to hand my notice in and I haven't looked back since.
Below I've outlined what I feel are the pros and cons of working for myself and being a full time blogger! Everyone has different experiences and thoughts on this so these are just mine. Hopefully you can relate to a few of them if you're a full time blogger yourself or it will help you out in making a decision if it's something you're considering doing.
Having more time to do what I love
As mentioned above, when I was working full time, I was really struggling to dedicate time to my blog. Don't get me wrong, I managed, but it was hard. Most of my evenings and weekends would be spent blogging which meant I'd miss out on quality time to spend with my boyfriend, family and friends. Now I'm doing this full time, I can plan my days and work around social events or date nights with my boyfriend and not have to worry that I haven't wrote a post or taken any imagery for my social media accounts.
Being my own boss
I'm definitely an independent person who likes to do things at my own pace so this would have to be one of my favourite things about working for myself. The fact I don't have anyone to answer to other than myself is such a great feeling and helps keep my stress and anxiety at bay. In previous jobs I've been shot down or punished for having an opinion or thinking outside the box which seems ridiculous but some employers don't like people who are willing to voice their opinion and treat their employees like robots rather than human beings with feelings. Perhaps I've just had bad experiences but it's so refreshing to not have that kind of negativity in my life anymore and to be able to do things when and how I want.
Working in my PJ's with no makeup on
Oh this is just the best! Being able to get out of bed, make myself breakfast and sit on the sofa in my PJ's with no makeup on is amazing! For example, I'm currently typing this in my bright Pink checked pyjamas with a cappuccino and Loose Women on the TV - much better than being stuck in an office I say! This does have its downside too which I'll talk about in the 'cons' section of this post but for the most part, I love being able to work in the comfort of my own home.
Flexible working hours
Another great thing about working for myself is that the hours I work are completely flexible as I'm the one who calls the shots. So that means if I want to treat myself to a lie in, I can. If I want to pop out for lunch with a friend, I can. Or if I want to book a last minute holiday, I can do it without worrying about booking the time off work. It's a great feeling as it means I can do so much more with my time - for example, since going full time, it's been so much easier for me to attend blogger events as they're often mid-week and when I was working full time, I just couldn't get the time off. However, just because my hours are flexible it doesn't mean I don't put the hours in - I can often still be on my laptop at 10pm at night writing blog posts and I'm constantly glued to my phone updating social media. Bloggers aren't lying when they say it's a seven day week job!
I have to mention this as after all, when we go full time as bloggers, we have to be earning enough money to survive each month. Before going full time, I'd do the odd bit of paid work here and there but due to time restraints, there was a lot of opportunities I missed out on and a lot of sponsored work I had to turn down as I just couldn't physically fit it all in. However, now I'm blogging full time, I'm open to working on more collaborations and have more time to attend meetings, discuss work over phone calls and attend events - all of which open up more opportunities.
It gets lonely
As much as I love working from home, one of the downsides would definitely have to be loneliness. I'm quite lucky in the respect I freelance for a fashion brand twice a week which means I get to go to their offices and actually interact with people which is something I do miss on the days I'm on my own all day. Don't get me wrong, sometimes being on my own is a great thing as it means I have less distractions but I am a very sociable person who likes to be around other people so it can get a bit lonely. When it gets to around 3/4pm, I'm so ready for my boyfriend to get home from work!
There's more pressure
This is definitely something I've noticed since going full time and it would have to be the worst thing about it for me. I feel like doing blogging as a full time job brings a lot of expectations - I feel like everything needs to be ten times better now than it did when it was a hobby alongside my full time job. I feel like my imagery needs to be better, I need to post more often, I need to be on Twitter 24/7, I need to attend every event I'm invited to, I need to be doing something interesting ALL THE TIME etc, etc, etc - the list goes on guys. I know these are mostly just pressures I put onto myself but I do think people expect more from you when you're blogging full time. I'll be honest, I'm never going to be the blogger who posts every single day or tweets the link to my new post ten times a day - I've never done it before and don't intent to do it now, even if it would help my blog to grow or come across as more 'professional' to my readers and brands. I think a lot of people presume you should be on the ball constantly if it's your full time job but for me, I need those days where I'm not so active to plan my content, shoot imagery, catch up on emails or even just to relax and have a bit of time to myself away from the internet. That might not be the smartest move but that's how I like to work - it stops everything from getting too much as it's very easy to become too consumed by blogging. I guess everyone is different and I should remember that and not let the pressure get to me too much.
Money isn't guaranteed
I had to include this as I think every full time blogger has the same worries when it comes to money. Now don't get me wrong, I wouldn't have made the decision to go full time as a blogger if I didn't think I could make a decent living from it as I need money to pay my bills at the end of the day. However, unlike your typical 9-5 job, money isn't guaranteed and I don't get a set amount of money paid into my bank each month. Some months are better than others, some weeks pass by and no opportunities come along and other weeks, my inbox is overflowing with exciting opportunities. I can sometimes be waiting months and months for an invoice to be paid which can make managing my monthly finances pretty difficult and it's definitely hard to feel financially secure when you're a full time blogger as you just never know what's around the corner. However, the plus side to that would be that it keeps me on my toes and encourages me to work hard too so it's not all bad.
Fears for the future
Much like the point above, I often have fears that blogging won't be around for much longer and that something new will come along that means bloggers aren't needed anymore. At the moment, bloggers earn a living from brand collaborations but what if brands don't want to work with bloggers anymore? What if a new and improved form of advertising their products to thousands of people comes along? What if people get bored of my content and don't want to read my blog or follow my social media anymore? I know it's a lot of 'what if's' but when you're doing this as a job, it's a big worry. Let's face it, blogging isn't a conventional job like being a doctor, teacher or lawyer is - those kind of jobs will always but around but will blogging? I mean I know I can always go back to full time employment if I want to but it would be nice to have a feeling of security about what the future holds career wise.
It requires serious motivation
As much as working for myself is brilliant in so many respects, it also requires serious motivation. When you don't have anybody to answer to, it's very easy to have thoughts like 'oh, that can wait', 'I'll just watch one more episode of that TV show on Netflix' or 'I'll just have a quick nap' (yep, naps become more regular too - guilty!). Now I'm not saying this happens all the time as I wouldn't be writing this post now if that was the case but sometimes, working for yourself does make it easier to slack than it would be if you were in an office environment as lets face it, there's always going to be more distractions in the comfort of your own home. It probably doesn't help I don't currently have a proper office to work in so I often find myself sat on the sofa which isn't the most productive place to work after all. However, I'm moving into my very first house soon (more on the in another post as I'm super excited) and already have plans to turn one of the spare bedrooms into a pretty and productive work space which I'm hoping will make me feel way more motivated to get things done more efficiently.
So there we have it - my pros and cons of full time blogging and working from home! I hope this post has been useful for some of you and I'd love to hear your thoughts on the points I've made. Do you agree with any of them or is there anything else you'd add if you also blog full time or work from home?!