some truths about being a full time blogger



Isn’t it awesome that we live in an age where absolutely anyone could start a blog, an online jewellery shop, magazine, YouTube channel, clothing company or whatever and potentially turn that into a job? Thanks to the internet we’ve opened up a ton of homegrown careers all by young, creative and talented people. I think it’s easy to forget that all these types of opportunities simply weren’t around when our parents were around and not to mention our grandparents. It's new and exciting, but also comes with a new set of challenges to overcome.

Being an entrepreneur or freelance in any industry is a challenge no matter if it's new media or plumbing. I think the majority of people if given the chance would love to be their own boss. Then again all my friends think I just sit around all day in my onesie twiddling my thumbs all day dancing to Fleetwood Mac... Well, sometimes. None the less the reality of working full time for yourself is hard. Often it comes with risks and can be incredibly demanding. But on the other hand it can be the most exciting and liberating career moves. There is also no rule book when it comes to trail blazing a brand new career for yourself and there are so many things you learn along the way.

Today I thought I’d share with you some of the things I've learnt about the not so great part of being part of the young self employed revolution.

Money Money Money.
When you’re working for yourself, you will find the money one of your main concerns. You’re responsible for it all.  From getting the sales, drumming up business and the output. Be prepared not to be paid sometimes. Seriously. Ive been waiting on a hefty invoice of a well known phone brand that I have worked with over Fashion Week since February 2014. Numerous emails and even a phone call (or ten)  and nothing. I’ll keep pestering away, but who knows if it’ll come through. Often some months all my invoices will come in and others none do. Although it’s pretty awesome fuelling your own earnings -the single most frustrating thing not knowing how much income you’ll be expecting and having no constant salary to fall back on.

Flexibility & Freedom
Being freelance is so liberating when it comes to having freedom and flexibility. You have no one to tell you and you rarely have deadlines and can work any time of the day you want.  But sometimes I’ll work from the second I wake up till the second I fall asleep at my laptop others I’ll work for a few hours a day. Having my own daily timetable means I can manage my time in the best way for me. I like being able to turn down projects and pick ones I do want to do, rather than things being lumped on me.

The Fear
I rarely take time off because I’m always constantly thinking about my blog.  I know it's silly, but this is my job and I need to keep it ticking over as there is no one else here to do it. I can’t think of a day in the last 5 years where I haven’t looked at some form of social media or reloaded my blog. I find switching off or going on holiday one of the hardest things to do because there is always something to be done. Even though I've been organised and pre-written posts to cover a holiday not being able to check on it’s progress worries me more than it should. Another thing I worry about being my own boss is that I have no “formal” skills (although I do have a degree in Graphic Design), I don’t get sick pay and I also worry that one day it could come crashing down around me.

Relationships
I’m so grateful that my friends and family now understand the risk I took to get to where I did today. I’d be lying if  I said my parents were  happy when I told them I packed in the day job to pursue this unknown career. While they are both supportive now, they did have their reservations. As my working hours are all over the place I find keeping my social life in check incredibly hard. I’ve come home from night outs early, turned down dates in favour of events and cancelled plans to edit videos. I’ve spent weekends holed up in my bedroom writing when I could have been living my life like the rest of my friends who do 9-5. Maintaining a social life is SO important when working for yourself, but it is incredibly hard in practice. Another thing to note is that because I don’t go into an office every day I often feel very isolated. 5 days a week my housemates aren’t in during the day so I have no one to talk to all day. There is no one to bounce ideas off or have lunch with. It’s surprisingly lonely even working within such a social industry.

Anyway those are a few of my home truths I learnt when I decided to take the leap into being self employed. Obviously my Buzzfeed style title says this is all about blogging but it applies for everyone who is self employed really. Saying that these things makes me realise that the positives do out weight all the negativity working for myself. I feel like I have one of the most rewarding and forfilling day jobs a girl could dream of and Im so blessed to be able to do the things I do!

69 comments

  1. All so true :)
    I am glad to hear someone that feeels the same about full time blogging!
    U are awesome by the way!

    www.OntoMyWardrobe.com

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  2. This is so true, I own my own online boutique and it's wonderful but so scary at times! What would happen if my server went down? What if I couldn't get it back up for a week or two? I'd have no income at all.

    It's also impossible to plan trips away any more, because someone needs to be here to run the business! I'm going away for the weekend in Jan and I need to make sure I leave late enough on the Friday to make a Post Office trip and get home early enough on the Monday to pack orders and make the last post!

    I couldn't imagine having any other job though, I'm so fortunate to be able to do the work I love. Plus my dad has MS and is pretty poorly, so it's nice that I can care for him as I work from home. It's great that in this day and age there are SO many opportunities for self employment.

    // Oh Dollymix

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  3. I think the instability element of blogging is so scary! But I love your blog and I'm so glad you decided to make it your full time job despite the risks involved xxx

    A Fashion Tale // UK Fashion & Lifestyle Blog

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  4. these sound so true and glad you've brought up a difficult topic as a lot of people think full time blogging i easy. i constantly think about my blog and i don't even do it full time!

    Rachel x
    Style Soup

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  5. Everything you've said is so true! So well said also x
    http://fashiononmyback.blogspot.co.uk/

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  6. How interesting - I had no clue that you had so many struggles in a job that looks so easy. Good thing that you're so amazing at it! :)

    Shaun Nolan // Shaunyland

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  7. I'm proud of you and your accomplishments. It is a risky business for sure...and you deserve all the success you have. It's obvious what a hard worker you truly are. I wish you felt you could take a break sometime. We'll miss you, but we want you rested! ;)

    xoxo
    Kelly
    www.dreaminlace.com

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  8. Great article.I really like the mature knowledge and wisdom you share.
    X
    Miri
    http://currentlywearing.com

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  9. It's an awesome job but like anything, it comes with a bad side !

    Sara,
    http://thecrimeofashion.blogspot.fr

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  10. Thank you so much for this post, Lily! I love your more in-depth posts - they really do give your readers a clearer picture of yourself (as if all your daily Youtube vids and blog posts didn't, ha!), but you know what I mean.

    I have plenty of friends who think blogging must be the easiest thing in the world. They have this idea that it's all about taking some photos of yourself looking pretty and then earning easy money from that. It frustrates me because even I, who is FAAAAR from being a full-time blogger, take ages for each blog post - it really isn't all about uploading a couple of photos and clicking "publish". I definitely admire you for being able to do this full time, especially the amount of content you produce daily, because lots of other full-time bloggers only do a couple of posts per week (not that it is bad in any way!).

    The Buzzfeed reference was also quite funny, especially because a few days ago I was thinking how all Buzzfeed and Upworthy posts I see being shared on Facebook have really eye-catching titles, and they have really managed to gather a larger audience thanks to this.

    Wooh, long comment! But I've decided to get better at giving feedback to my fave bloggers, rather than being a "silent follower" haha :) Have a nice evening! xo

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  11. I'm glad I don't have to write for a living, but doing it to stay alive is stressful enough sometimes.

    /Avy

    http://mymotherfuckedmickjagger.blogspot.com

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  12. HAhah so true especially the fear of getting days off :D
    makeupforlunch.blogspot.com

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  13. There will be negativities to every job but as long as the positives outweigh them it's all good!

    http://lux-rose.blogspot.co.uk/

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  14. Good blogpost. I think we all sometimes forget that being a fulltime blogger is not all about 'writing an article a day' and that's it. X!
    www.lemontierres.com

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  15. This kinda makes me glad blogging is just a hobby for me! I would love to do it full time, but the instability and not being sure of things really does scare me!
    Jodie xo // La Lune Song

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  16. I can imagine how people say blogging is not a job. Well, we live in the age where this is a proper job! Many years ago no one would even think about being a model as a profession, nowadays it's pretty normal. I've started my blog two months ago, it's just a hobby and I really do enjoy it but I can imagine how difficult it has to be to post everyday and still come up with new ideas. I like how honest you are Lilly to your readers, you are such an inspiration! Hugs from Czech Republic!

    www.taleofmissa.wordpress.com

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  17. I currently find it difficult working the day job, and then every free minute around that concentrating on blogging and youtube - and I just long for a day where I could just pack in the day job and focus on it full time. But it's always useful to read posts like this and maybe read things I hadn't thought of. I don't find it offputting, but it's just good to know stuff like this!

    www.gleepface.com | YouTube

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  18. Great post! Very good tips! x

    https://www.marjorievie.blogspot.com

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  19. This is such a good post, I've just finished a Masters Degree and am seriously considering being self-employed as in all honesty there aren't any jobs out there that excite me. It would be scary but I think I'm quite used to working at home and motivating myself because that's what I did at university.

    Who knows, I might just take the leap... x

    missalicered.blogspot.co.uk

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  20. This was such an interesting post on blogging. She is amazing.

    http://tahherah.blogspot.com/

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  21. Really great post, interesting to hear the other side of a full time blogging career. Although I blog for fun and it's not my job I do work from home for a wonderful charity and I totally get the isolation aspect of working from home. I know people tell me how good I've got it and trust me on a windy, freezing cold Monday morning I thank my lucky socks that I don't have to leave the house but you can get cabin fever! If you ever fancy a work lunch pop on down to Brighton! x

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  22. Very true! I am not self-employed but I can imagine the ups and downs x

    www.krystelcouture.com

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  23. These are all so true, I would love to be a full time blogger one day though! :)
    Marissa Jamie : Faithfully, Marissa ♡

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  24. Great post! It's so funny that people that don't blog have no clue how much time and effort goes into making blog posts - I mean, today I spent 5 hours on one little blog post! But I love it, hopefully I'll be able to make this my full time job one day x

    elín
    www.elinlikes.com

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  25. This was great to read Lily, I like seeing open and honest posts like this, especially showing the other side of things, not many people tend to discuss the bits we don't see and 'boring' things like taxes etc. It's refreshing to see you address this topic :D
    Keep up the great work!

    www.violetdaffodils.com
    xx

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  26. This is such a great and honest post. It's really refreshing to hear someone talking about the not so great parts alongside the great parts. I think it's all too easy for aspiring bloggers to forget how difficult it can actually be and I think everyone forgets at times that it is actually a full-time job that requires full-time work.

    Loved the post,
    Lucy x

    itslucyslook.blogspot.co.uk

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  27. Such a refreshing post Lily! Blogging can have its ups and downs but it's great to hear that you find it fulfilling. Thanks for sharing xx

    http://www.stripedlune.blogspot.com

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  28. I loved that you shared the not so glamorous side of blogging. I think a lot of people have the wrong idea about it as a career, and it's so refreshing to see someone point out the scary parts.

    nueyork.blogspot.com

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  29. I found this really helpful, I wish everyone could read this and realise how much work goes into being a blogger. I run my personal blog as well as working for a health and beauty company as their blogger and social media manager, and whilst my family are super supportive I'm not sure if they get how much time goes into being 'online'. There are constantly hundreds of new tweets flooding in as well as emails, PR info, blog posts that need to be scheduled etc, you're never 'done' at the end of the day as there's always something more you could do - I have to set myself a time that I'll finish and just close my laptop at that time, otherwise I'd just keep working. If one day I'm lucky enough to blog for myself personally and didn't have to log my hours and invoice a company, I'd definitely work from dusk til dawn. I really respect full-time bloggers and think they deserve more credit - it's a really difficult market to crack and so many hard hours go on 'behind the scenes'. More power to ya, Lily!

    Meg at Meg Says

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  30. I loved this post! You have covered some really good points that I think are extremely valid :)

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  31. This is so true. I work as a freelance writer & I'm trying to turn my blog into more of a magazine-style business so that I can pursue more writing-based options. The point you made about chasing up invoices, ahhh...Emailing editors & their accountants is all in a Monday morning.

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  32. Such a great post. I must say, I would absolutely kill to be a full time blogger. It's honestly the dream for me.

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  33. I completely agree with what you've said. I find the money and feeling isolated part the hardest but I wouldn't give it up for a regular full time job.

    Sarah | More Than Adored

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  34. I hope to one day live comfortably as a full time blogger. It seems like such an exhilarating career, but I'm glad to hear the points you've made as all I tend to hear is the positives. xx

    Emily ⎜ Daisy Locks

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  35. Love this post, so honest!

    www.yellowhats.net

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  36. The relationships part really touched a soft spot in my heart as I've lost a lot of friendships because of this.

    xo
    Maggie A
    www.lovemavin.com

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  37. thank you for sharing. this was so thoughtful and honest. keep doing what you love lily, you're amazing at it! xx

    www.myseoulinbkk.com

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  38. This was such a fascinating read, it must be really interesting to be a full-time blogger! Chasing payment from client though...that sounds awful.

    Tessa / Bramble & Thorn

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  39. Definitely agree with all these things. I can only communicate via the internet, but this is the best career starter I've had. And in regards to THAT company that owes you money, that's truly disgraceful and it should be bought to more attention!

    Lauren x
    Britton Loves | Lifestyle Food Fashion Beauty - www.brittonloves.blogspot.co.uk

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  40. Wise words lovely, a lot of it rings so true! I'm interested to know how you deal with the non payers - do you let it go after a point and never work with them again, or have you ever managed to resolves a dispute and have worked with them again? 👌😙 curiousaliceloves.wordpress.com

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  41. True, in not easy, when I started there were many people the did't understand (and I'm not already a full time blogger), but I love blogging so who cares?!


    New post onlb-lc fashion blog

    Join the GIWEAWAY

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  42. Amazing post and I totally agree with you ! xox

    Nadine
    http://www.theflamboyante.com/

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  43. great advice lily!!

    www.mandybajwa.blogspot.com

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  44. This was a really honest article and I loved reading it. I don't blog for work, I do it as a hobby and even that can be draining sometimes let alone do it as your work! I loved that you shared this with us!

    HMLovur

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  45. I do love your blog Lily! Big Melrose fan ♥ I love your honest and insightful blog posts
    Reinventing Neesha ♥

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  46. Great read, I find posts like this so important. I think a lot of people think it's easy money to dive into blogging and YouTube and don't actually realise how much work goes into it. It's important for those starting out to know the facts to not only avoid wasting their time if they're in it for the wrong reasons or to avoid disheartenment and disappointment when it doesn't take off as quick as they had assumed.
    Raffles Bizarre Blog

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  47. Such a great read...i recently started a blog and i have been really thinking about writing full time and eventually quitting my day job. i realize that i will not have the safety net that a day job provides but I honestly am ready to take a risk and do something i really love. Looking forward to the next post xx

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  48. i loved this! honestly it was so honest and informative :)

    check out my blog?
    http://www.georgianicolaou.co.uk

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  49. Brilliant post Lily, I don't think anyone understands the true hardship of blogging. As long as it remains fun, that's the main thing!

    Megan xo
    Thumbelina Lillie | UK Beauty & Fashion Blog

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  50. This is so interesting. I never knew the difficulties that online jobs came with. Thanks for letting us know xx

    http://tiffsner.blogspot.ca

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  51. Interesting post Lily. I'm currently trying to freelance as a stylist and finding it so difficult so completely understand. Very honest outlook on the topic.


    X

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  52. Interesting.. as a university student working as a blogger myself is not easy too, if I am honest.

    www.angerawrs.co.uk

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  53. Thank you for the share! It really does consume you mentally 24/7 and it's hard to take a break. Thanks for the share!

    x Sarah
    http://www.bohochiccafe.com

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  54. The isolation part is the bit that scares me about going it alone! I live in a city where I don't know many people which is lonely at times within itself but without somewhere to go 9-5 it would very isolating. (when I was a student freelance really appealed to me because I did a variety of things - including freelance social media work - alongside my degree and part time job but it feels different now).

    Morag x
    www.moadore.co.uk

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  56. I'm just about to become self-employed and I found this post incredibly reassuring and inspiring! thank you very much! :) xxx

    http://bigtown1.blogspot.co.uk/

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  57. Great post, most of these points I have not heard before. I do often think what will big bloggers do when it's all over. There might always be a place for f-t bloggers but you don't know what the future holds. It would be silly for this to stop anyone though!

    Amy at Amy & More

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  58. IT's not an easy job but I sure LOVE it!

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  59. There is always a part of me that considers full time blogging as a job once in a while, but I don't know if I could ever hack it. I still want a full-time regular job and all that comes with it - i.e. regular pay checks, stability, something to fall back on, the social aspect - but I am not sure. I do respect full-time bloggers though. To be able to turn a hobby into a full-time job is amazing! And it's great that a lot of full-time bloggers receive great opportunities as a result.

    Trends Style & Features
    http://trendsstyleandfeatures.blogspot.co.uk/

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  60. This is such an inspirational post. I lost my job a few months back and since then I've really struggled to find something else (I'm at Uni, so even though there's jobs out there nothing fits in with my Uni hours :() I decided to start blogging at the start of this year and I fully admire all the hard work people like yourself put in to making this your job. I'm finding it hard to find things to blog about at the minute :(

    I absolutely love blogging though and believe that hard work and determination will eventually pay off!

    Becca x | beccakeenanbb.wordpress.com

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  61. this is such a great post. i completely know where you are coming from, hopefully as the blogging world gets bigger and bigger you'll be able to take more time off and the pay will replicate the time spent working.

    www.slap-style.com

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