Tuesday, 15 November 2016

The Realities Of Being A Blogger And Having A Full Time Job


Being a full time blogger is seen as the ultimate goal. When you can finally live comfortably off your blog earnings, be able to pay rent, bills and still have money left over each month is what I feel most bloggers are striving for. Those who achieved that- high five!- it's an amazing achievement and I salute you. But what about us who are not full time bloggers? It doesn’t mean we don’t put any less effort into out blogs, but sometimes it just isn’t a viable option. I’ve read a good few posts recently about the realities of full time blogging, so I thought I’d offer another side. The realities of having a full time job and being a blogger, and what it’s really like. Hopefully it’ll be interesting to see, a little tongue in cheek, but also if I can pass on maybe some tips to lighten the load a little, then even better.

The reality is you never stop working.

If you start work at 8 or 9am, by the time you’ve got ready and travelled into your office, there really isn’t any time in the morning to do any blog work. Any sort of blog work will have to wait to lunch time- if you get one. So really blog work starts once you’ve got home after working 8 or more hours. When I worked in banking I wouldn’t get home till 9pm, but luckily now I work in Cloud Computing and I leave pretty much at 5, meaning I get home by 6pm. However as soon as I get home, it’s time to start job number 2; the blog. My home computer gets fired up and it’s time to respond to all the emails that have poured in, edit photos, write blog posts and catch up on social media. I’ll usually go to bed around midnight and then it starts all over again. I actually haven’t owned a TV in my entire adult life and to be honest I’m not sure when I’d watch it. I feel like I’m constantly working and you find that you end up working in the car, on the tube, I’ve even been known to send a sneaky few emails from the bath when I’ve remembered something!

You have to turn down many opportunities. 

Sadly, one of the hardest things is that your time is not fully your own. I’ve definitely noticed a trend for more and more events and opportunities to be on in the day time now. Where it used to be dinners, it’s now brunch. And I get it, more bloggers do do it full time, and if it means the PRs can do their events during the day rather than out of hours then it makes sense. But as a “out of hours blogger” I guess you could call me, it means so many things come into my inbox and I have to turn down. I’m limited by 25 days holiday, so you have to choose wise what you spend it on, plus, I’m actually contracting so if I take a day off, I loose my days wage. Which if I’m not being paid… but paying bloggers for their work is a whole other blog post. Trust me, when you see an amazing email entitled would you like to come to Thailand and you have to say no because practicality wise you need to earn that week’s wage to pay for your rent, really is a killer. The realities of adulthood eh?


You become amazing at multitasking

Some people work very well compartmentalising things, and working in silo chunks. For me that just doesn’t work. I juggle multiple things at once. I’ll flit between blog emails to work emails in the evening, switching from corporate tone to a chattier one. 

I probably could do things a better way to be honest with you and I’m certainly not saying the way I do it is the correct way. I seem to do many things at once, often eating whilst working, whilst dipping in and out of a book or even in a morning, eating and doing my makeup at once! I tend to not have a lot of time in the morning for breakfast as I start at 8am and it takes me an hour to get to work, and then an hour to get ready in the morning… and to be honest I’d rather have the sleep. I do know that eating something in the morning is important though. Which is why I’ve been popping a packet of belVita Breakfast biscuits in my bag. Now I’m not saying that biscuits should replace your scrambled eggs and green smoothies, but if you are someone who goes without breakfast, then they are perfect to get a little boost of energy from to get you through the morning. belVita are made from five wholegrains, they are a great source of fibre and vitamins B6, magnesium and iron too. I personally throw a packet in my bag for the tube or to eat at my desk. Or if I do pop open my laptop in the morning, I tend to eat at it too. 

Any object becomes your prop.

I guess this really applies to all bloggers, no matter if it’s your job, semi job, or just a hobby, but when you are short of time, unusual objects became props.

This weekend I knew I wasn’t doing much this week in terms of events as I had quite a lot of blog posts to write already so I like to clear my after work schedule every so often to make sure I have enough time to do the actual work. So this being the case, this weekend just gone I needed to shoot photos for the coming weeks Instagram post. I was fully busy Saturday with house things (I’m also in the process of house hunting too) so Sunday was my only day. I was trying to think up shoots, and when an idea came, I had a limited amount of time to get it done before the sun is gone and then it’s Monday and I’ve lost natural lighting. I’d love to be able to pop to the shops and go buy this prop and that, but nope, sometimes you just have to grab any item that will work. This shot here? Not really a table…


It’s a kitchen tray balanced on top of a 4 pack of toilet roll. Classy.


Weekends become the most productive for the blog

If you work full time and blog, then you’ll know that weekend become prime blogging time. Especially now that it’s dark outside of the 9-5, the only time you can shoot photos is during the weekend. It becomes a mad rush to cram in as many shoots in as possible, and then heaven forbid it starts to rain! Don’t get me started! When your friend calls and says do you want to go to lunch, you counter it with, can we go for dinner? #savethesunlight

Some people don’t see you as a serious blogger


I had a heard a few remarks over the last year from bloggers and brands/ PRs alike that allude to opinion that if you aren’t doing it full time, then you mustn’t be “big enough” (that term to describe bloggers rattles me no end). This simply isn’t the case. Now I’m not saying I’m a huge blogger, but for example I was doing the blog for a few months full time over summer and now am not as my circumstances changed. My boyfriend moved out of our flat, so immediately my rent doubled, and yes I don't make enough from the blog to cover my central London flat. But it certainly doesn't change the value of my blog or my readers. I put a huge amount of effort into my blog and social media channels, working every hour I can to fit both in. I have had one case in the past where someone didn't want to pay me for a a very standard sponsored blog post, because it wasn't my job. No. Just no.

If you are doing your blog full time then high five girl! It's a fantastic achievement, and I love seeing the blogging community grow and achieve. But if you are doing it along side a full time job, high five you too! It's tough, but hopefully you can see how much it's worth it. 

This post was sponsored by belVita. Whilst this is sponsored, I wasn't asked to write about being a blogger with a job, I had complete freedom to write about what I wanted. As always all views, words and images are my own.
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31 comments

  1. It worked!

    Fabulous post Laura. I've been going through the exact same thought process lately. The tray on the loo roll has just made my day!xx

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  2. Hahaha I love this post, especially the comment where anything becomes a prop!!
    ps - why have I never read your blog before!!!
    a life of a charlotte
    x

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  3. A lovely post Laura. I've had a blog for a while now, but have only recently started to publish regularly and engaging on social media more. I've seen a little improvement in my traffic, but as you say having a full time job and blogging means you never switch off.

    It's sometimes really tiring and there are days when I wish I could just sit on the sofa and chuck my phone out of the window, but you soon realize if you're not switched on all the time, the following decreases rapidly. The good thing is, most of us in full-time employment, blog because we love doing it and as such it feels less like a second job.

    Can't wait to read more :-) xxx

    Maya | londondamsel.co.uk

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  4. An excellent read, Laura!

    As a part time blogger I read this while nodding in agreement with many points. You're absolutely right, the work never stops but then it's the fact we all love blogging that keeps us going...

    Thanks for the great read :)

    Cheers

    Russell

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  5. Definetly agree! Couldn't have said it better! People just don't understand how insanely we try to work everything out at once. Wish us all luck!
    Cheers!
    www.ebrukaracar.com

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  6. Great post. The toilet roll made me laugh. I recently started a blog and am just learning to balance it all - a work in progress. N x

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  7. Such a good post to read! And I assumed you were already a FT blogger because of your amazing content etc! So go you girl. I've just started a FT 9-5 office job to get out of retail, and I'm loving the sense of freedom already. But being on a computer all day is kinda putting me off blogging when i get home! I suppose it's something that I'll overcome and find myself in some kinda routine! Fingers crossed eh. xxx

    Hannatalks

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  8. Lovely post Laura!

    I salute all big and small bloggers if they manage to update their blogs regularly and balance working/ travelling/social life/babies etc.
    I personally do not consider myself to be a 'big deal' however I manage to blog 4 times per week, study for a Ph.D and also work as a researcher at the University, which just doesn't make my life easy or relaxed! Of course I wish I could turn into a full time blogger, however someone has to bring the bread on the table ;)
    So funny PR people believe that you are a good/big deal blogger only if you do it full time, seriously? I put double the amount of work than someone who is just blogging, to maintain the pageviews flow and quality. That's shocking and to an extent insulting.

    Great post as ever!
    xx

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  9. Loved reading this post Laura! I went through a phase of waking up at 5am to cram in a couple of hours of blogging before work but now I've finding staying up later at night works better for me. Blogging while holding down a full time job really is tough but rewarding at the same time xx

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  10. Omg tbis is so true i have a full time job too and i can only find time to writte on my blog on the weekends

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  11. I find this one of the greatest challenges but what I also find is that it's my blog so I choose when I post. I can't feel pressure to post every how ever often when sometimes it's just impossible with a FT job. Thanks for posting this!

    Shannon // Shannonkara.com

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  12. I really relate to some of this, particularly the bit about having to turn events down. For me though, I've always seen my blog as a hobby so I don't adhere strictly to schedules or posts and that takes a lot of the pressure off.

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  13. The struggle is real Laura! Even though I don't work a full time 9-5 job per say anymore, I consult for multiple clients, teach yoga and try to get a few posts up a week. I know balancing priorities is a real achievement so hats off to you for doing both! Keep up the great work love!

    Phoebe / woodandluxe.com

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  14. I'm actually seeing myself while reading every word in this post!

    x

    mutzii || www.theshoenazi.com

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  15. This is a great post. Yes to all of this – my full time job is writing too which although is great as I love it, often it means the last thing I want to do when I get home is write more! As well as my blog I do other freelance writing projects which I often have to prioritise and that can mean my blog gets neglected a bit. The thing I'm struggling with a lot at the moment (aside from being too tired to write in the evenings) is finding the time to take photos to accompany blog posts. It's too dark before and after work so my only opportunity is at the weekends so I have to be really organised with my time.

    I find it quite difficult to stay on top of my emails too, which is stressful as I'm normally a very organised person!

    All this means the housework is getting quite neglected at the moment too...

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  16. I so relate to this! I know a few bloggers who are students or stay at home mum's and I'm so jealous of how much time they have. My job is really draining so when I get home in the evenings sometimes I just have no motivation left to write.

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  17. It's tougher than it sounds, blogging whilst working fulltime! I've recently picked up my professional study too (400 hours before mid-April) so am reluctantly planning on cutting my schedule down from 4/5 posts per week to 3/4. Glad to know I'm not the only one who works til around midnight blogging though!

    I also find it tough from a PR point of view, not so much from the events side, but even a product review or sponsored post. I recently got contacted about a fab opportunity, but had to work late that evening so didn't respond to the email for around 30 or so hours, though of course apologised for the delay. The response I got back was that I "clearly wasn't dedicated enough as she'd needed a same-day reply" - I was gutted at that!

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  18. This post is great! I work full time and blog (although mine is a lot smaller) and it's so hard to find time for everything. Weekends are definitely the most productive time for me, especially because the nights are darker so I can't take photos in the evenings. I really admire people, such as yourself, who maintain such amazing blogs whilst working full time. You're a Wonderwoman!

    Laura // Laura Wardrobe

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  19. Congrats for managing to balance both! Sometimes I find it super hard to balance my blog with my university stuff, can;t even imagine how it must be with an actual job!

    http://www.hey-blondie.com/blog/2016/10/25/all-along

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  20. This was such a great post and one which I feel like I could relate to an awful lot! Working full time and blogging is really difficult, and yes I always find it especially difficult during the winter time when their are less opportunities for photos! Also belvita used to be my ultimate go to during college as I barely had time for breakfast, but I stopped eating it, I am definitely tempted to start having them again! :)

    Heather Xx
    100waysto30.co.uk

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  21. Hi Laura, this is a really good perspective on the issue and I think more than one blogger can resonate. I particularly chuckled about the part where you have written emails from the bathroom. Yup, been there and done that. And YES, it is a job on top of your full time job. Fortunately or unfortunately, there are practically no opportunities for me in Japan to develop as a full time blogger, because it's not perceived as an alternative to advertising or promotion by local brands and there are no offers coming in from anywhere. This means, my blog earns $0 and I do have to work full time. Having said that, it doesn't mean in any way that I put less work in what I do, in fact it's more taxing on us, cause we have no time to relax. I love what I do though and that's what keeps me going. What I find most frustrating however, is that majority of non-bloggers do not comprehend how much time and effort and hard work goes into producing each post, and that blogging is actually a very time-consuming "hobby". I think many of my friends look at my blog as a diary of sorts where I jot down some ideas and it takes just 15 minutes of my day. Wrong, so wrong. :) xoxo, nano | www.travelwithnanob.com

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  22. Such a great post especially as at the moment I feel like I have a foot in both camps. Currently on redundancy I'm able to put off looking for full time work till the new year which means I'm 'technically' a full time blogger. That said it's hard as I'm so used to fitting in the blogging around work suddenly have to refocus how I manage my time is difficult.

    So true about 'not being serious'. Everyone is really supportive about me concentrating on the blog but they don't take it as seriously as if I were heading into an office every day.

    It has been great to be flexible in the day though as it's true it seems a lot of events are happening in the day.

    Victoria x
    FlorenceandMary.com

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  23. This was such a well written post and so fun to read. I'd love to hear more of your thoughts on blogging while working full time (that's me too!) and I'm definitely going to follow your blog. Loved this one line "When your friend calls and says do you want to go to lunch, you counter it with, can we go for dinner? #savethesunlight" SO TRUE. OR I schedule brunches with other bloggers so that we can get our shoots in and then run home to lounge in bed and watch Netflix.

    michenn

    michenn Chanel Slingbacks Review

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  24. This was so interesting to read - I'm so impressed with how much you manage to do with your blog around a full time job! I'd love to blog full time but I know I won't ever get to that point so I'm trying to just keep it very relaxed and just use it as a creative outlet - sometimes I can feel myself beginning to obsess so I try and take a little break and remind myself that it's just a hobby for me! xxx
    Lucy @ La Lingua | Life, Travel, Italy

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  25. Wow, this made me want to seriosuly step up my blogging game haha, sounds like you don't ever have time to just do you! Very impressive though and I hope your dreams of being a full time blogger come true! Love AP xo

    Andrea's Passions

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  26. I could not agree more with this post, blogging when you have a full time job is hard and I've recently started going to the gym 3 times a week. I'm always using any spare time I have researching for new posts or taking pictures in natural day light or thinking of ideas for what posts I can write next. Reading this just makes me want to work harder for my blog as it's something I really enjoy and actually love doing.

    Janay Andre
    x

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  27. Great post! It is so hard, I couldn't agree more. Especially now that it's getting dark much earlier and I leave for work at 8am and don't get home until 8pm, so the weekend really is the only time to take pictures. So nice to hear someone write about this side of things!xx
    franceskayleigh.com

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  28. Michelle (Daydreams and Pretty Things)23 November 2016 at 17:54

    Great post! I'm work part-time but it's shift work (nurse) and I have 5 children. Oh and we are also trying to renovate the house. I haven't been able to get at my blog for weeks now, and as a consequence no opportunities have come my way. But I guess you can't have it all!

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  29. A) You are super dedicated, I basically create content as my job, so my blog often takes a back seat because I feel I've used up all my creativity on my day job! and B) I'm eating belvita breakfast biscuits as I type this, I like the honey and nut ones :)

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  30. I know exactly how you feel. I recently find myself trying to use time outside of my working day in a more productive way (though it's certainly a struggle and my gym is certainly missing me!)

    Commuting to work? That's the perfect time to write a blog post draft. Sunny lunch break - prime photography time. The dreaded Sunday night blues... perfect time for editing pics!

    I loved the authenticity in this post and found myself both agreeing and chuckling as I read through this! Thanks for sharing Laura:)

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