The Reality of Being a Full Time Blogger
Do you know how many are out there trying their hardest to become a full time blogger? So many paint this beautiful picture that being a full time blogger is the most wonderful thing in the world. That this job brings complete happiness and more! You know, they aren’t wrong. In fact I am so thankful and grateful everyday that I have a job that allows me to create my own schedule and live life on my terms! It’s a great job to have! BUT, just like any other job it has it’s battles. It’s not luxurious at all times.
I feel like not many open up and talk about the struggles faced when you choose to become a full time blogger. I am not sharing these struggles to discourage anyone by any means! I am simply sharing these struggles because I am open and honest. If you are dealing with these same issues, maybe this will help you feel not so alone. IN FACT, you don’t even need to be a full time blogger to have these struggles. I dealt with some of these struggles before I even went full time!
Something to note, I have always struggled with anxiety and it makes simple things a lot harder. I wrote about my recent struggle with anxiety here. I thought that blogging was a cure for my anxiety but I was wrong. The truth is, my anxiety is never going away. No matter how hard I try, it’s here. I just have to learn different ways to manage it. Anways….
What is the reality of blogging full time? Here are some of my own personal struggles.
Fear of the Unknown
I recently went full time blogging the beginning of this year. Before my blog, I used to be a full time waitress. Now I blog full time and waitress on the weekends. I have lived on my own since I was 18 years old so dealing with money and bills has been my reality for a while. I have my fair share of debt to pay so I have always worked hard to keep my income consistently coming. Financial security is important to me. There is no scarier feeling than not knowing if you have the funds to buy groceries for the week or pay your bills.
As a waitress my income was never consistent, so I knew how to budget and manage an inconsistent income, which is kind of a blessing in disguise! When you first become a full time blogger the money is inconsistent! You could make $7,000 one month and $3,000 the next. It really all depends! There are highs and there are lows especially in the beginning! You don’t want to jump in it head first because it is scary and you don’t want to drown!!!! At the beginning of each month I am super excited and ready to hustle but I won’t lie, not knowing how much I am going to make that month is pretty intimidating.
This is how a typical month of income source looks like for me…
One source of income for me is my Pinterest services. I have some clients that have been with me for months and I know usually the next month they will still be with me, BUT I have others who only want my help for a month or two. (which is fine!! but it’s an example of how things can be inconsistent)
My courses that I sell are usually consistent in sales each month BUT, I have to work hard on a promotion strategy to get them seen and sold. Selling a course is tough! Even if your course is affordable, you need a trusting audience who believes that what you are selling is going to be worth it. Then you need to get eyes on that course. It’s a lot of marketing strategies and testimonies. Some months sell better than others. A lot depends on how I choose to market my course that month. If I didn’t put strategy into it, I can’t say the course would sell itself.
Affiliate marketing is up and down! Some months I get more sales than others. Again, it’s all about marketing strategy and building an audience that trusts your opinion enough to purchase what you are suggesting!
As you are still growing your business and adventuring through your full time blogging journey, you will see fluctuations in income. It will seem scary and it can cause anxiety.
I like to think of my blog as any other job… You have to work your way up especially when it comes to your income. You are constantly learning something new and growing! The more you grow and learn in your field, the more your income will rise. You prove your worth constantly as a blogger through your dedication, value of content, determination, and ability to want to learn strategies to help you continue your success.
Before deciding to jump into full time blogging I highly recommend this:
I tried to have a savings account that was 2 months worth of my bills before I decided to stop working full time as a waitress. I still have it saved as back up in case something were to go wrong. Having that security can help make the beginning of your full time journey feel a lot less intimidating! But, my anxiety is always there.
Related: How to save your first $1,000
Another struggle of mine is addiction…
Yes, addiction is real and guess what, you can be addicted to ANYTHING. When you are a blogger (especially full time) you become addicted to your job. At least I am… This means that you NEVER give yourself a damn break.
Let me paint a picture of what my daily tasks look like:
- Daily management of my Facebook community of over 30,000. I try to make sure I am constantly engaging, approving posts, creating daily threads, answering questions that members have, and just being a supportive admin!
- I manage 2 Instagram accounts EllDuclos & BossGirlBloggers which are my two Instagram accounts. Growing an Instagram account is a lot of work! It sounds silly but when it’s part of your full time job, you want to continue to grow and reach a larger audience! In order to do so you have to have a social media strategy. You have to ENGAGE your life away! You also need to try and come up with daily content to post to keep it going!
- I also manage 5 Pinterest accounts daily and sometimes up to 8! PLUS MY OWN! If you didn’t know, I am a Pinterest strategic manager and anyone who knows a thing or two about growing Pinterest accounts (Pinterest marketing), knows it’s a lot of work! You are constantly creating pins, scheduling pins and my strategy also includes daily manual pinning.
- I am also an active “tweeter”, I recently fell in love with twitter! I wasn’t using it much before, but now I am and it’s become one of my top sources of blog traffic! I love twitter and I do engage on there quite often which is just another task added to this list!
- I also try and stay active on my own Facebook account and Facebook Biz page.
- & then of course, my blog that I am constantly creating new content for and marketing.
These are my daily tasks, and if you aren’t huge into blogging or social media then this will sound silly and you might be thinking hmm.. how is this work?
BUUUT, when you are blogging full time and social media is your JOB (weird to grasp, I know) this all becomes hours upon hours of work. As a full time blogger it is ideal for me to stay active on all social media platforms. I’m not saying you have to be active on all social media platforms, but I choose to be.
People ask me how many hours a day I am working on my blog/business etc.
I kid you not, I work from morning to night … EVEN WHEN I AM TRYING TO SLEEP MY BRAIN IS THINKING ABOUT CONTENT CREATION.
The thing is, I love what I do! I love to create content, I love social media marketing and I love engaging with people all around the world! I LOVE IT… and I am addicted to it. I can’t put my phone down, my computer is always open, and I am always wanting to create MORE.
Then I have people telling me “work smarter not harder” … Girl I know! I would love to! But most of those strategies involve $$$$ which unfortunately I don’t have. I wish I could afford Facebook marketing so I didn’t need to CONSTANTLY feel the need to engage and be present. I would love to be able to afford a social media manager etc. BUT, at this very moment I can’t invest in it. I hope to do so further down the line.
But here’s the truth:
I am only human. I got myself into debt before I was financially stable and I am working hard to pay it off. I have other goals too, like buying a house, getting married, and having kids. I need to save all the money I can. So at this point in time… I hustle to make the money I can until I can afford to outsource my tasks. I have to be realistic with myself and take it one step at a time. There is nothing wrong with that.
BACK TO THE REALITY OF MY UNHEALTHY ADDICTION. THE SOURCE OF IT ALL:
My anxiety & fear. I am not trying to use my anxiety as an excuse but, it’s my reality. I feel that if I take time away from my platforms and my content creation, I will fall behind. I fear that my audience will disappear (even though I know they understand) It’s anxiety.
I have spent so many hours, days and all my energy to get to where I am in this moment, the fear of losing it all scares the sh*t out of me. I am trying to get better at it. I really am. But I do overwhelm myself…I tend to take on every opportunity that comes my way. I refuse to say no to a client. I fear that if I say no, I might miss out on something great! Obviously this is not smart at all. Most nights lately have been spent trying to stop my heart from skipping beats. I swear my blood pressure is at an all time high! I sit there trying to catch my breath because my mind is exhausted. It’s telling me to take a damn break!!!
SO…Here’s what I have been trying to do:
- I try to set timers for each task I need to do. This helps make sure that I am not getting sucked into one platform.
- I also try my best to put my phone down and not look at it for 60 mins every 2 hours or so.
- I make sure that after 9pm I am focusing my attention away from my phone. It’s relaxation time.
- I have been listening/watching this video that I found. It calms and relaxes my mind.
- Breathing techniques have also been a MUST
- I have been trying to socialize more often and not feel guilty for taking a break from my blog and business.
I used to find myself telling my friends I couldn’t hangout and they’d ask me why, as if I didn’t really have much to do. But as an entrepreneur, you are always working. Especially in the beginning if you work alone!
Sometimes I forget to give myself credit for all that I have accomplished so far. I know I am not the only one who forgets to pat themselves on the back. It’s important to give yourself credit! Celebrate every win, big or small! Be proud of yourself, there is nothing wrong with that!
Comparison as a blogger
This is by far the toughest! We are constantly comparing our lives to others, especially when it comes to the lives of those who we don’t know personally.
I will be the first to admit that I have looked at another blogger before who seems way better off than me, and I have said to myself, “What am I doing wrong? Why am I not where she is? How does she have all of these followers, yet I can’t seem to grow no matter how hard I try? It doesn’t make sense?”
I have looked at someone else’s life through social media and have said things to myself like, “Wow, her life looks perfect. She’s always traveling! What a dream, I wish I could afford that! Look at her beautiful house, ugh my house is so underwhelming, I want more than this. I dream of a life like hers.”
I AM GUILTY. I COMPARE MY LIFE TO OTHERS MORE OFTEN THAN I SHOULD.
But this is what I am learning:
You are only seeing what they WANT you to see. Instagram is a highlight reel of the BEST parts of someone’s life. There are very few out there who want you to see their struggles. Everyone wants to appear so STRONG, POSITIVE, and WELL OFF on the outside. But is that necessarily their truth? No… Everyone has there struggles. Whether they choose to show you or not is up to them. We shouldn’t be ashamed of our struggles because they make us who we are today. You could be the richest person in the world and still struggle. We all struggle in our own ways.
I might want their life because it looks so grand, but that doesn’t mean that it actually is! Instagram is an edited version of our lives. It’s not our truth.
Instead of feeling down about where I am in my life, I start to praise myself. I tell myself, “You may not own your own house yet but you are able to live on your own!” or “You may not be a six figure blogger but you can pay your bills!”
What we need to remember is: We may not be exactly where we want to be yet, but we are taking the steps in the right direction. Trust the timing of your life.
Instead of thinking about everything that you WANT, give credit to yourself for getting everything that you have so far. You are always working on being a better version of yourself. That’s all that matters. Don’t try to be a better version of someone else.
STAY IN YOUR OWN LANE and keep making yourself proud!
Stop trying to be PERFECT
In the beginning of my blogging journey, the strive to be perfect was real. I was always afraid to share a post because I felt like it wasn’t good enough. I made myself go crazy over trying to make sure it was all edited perfectly and that no mistakes could be spotted.
Until one day I started to cringe at the thought of creating a blog post. All the editing and wanting it to be so damn perfect really got to me. I would type out the post and save it to my drafts and then never look back… No post felt worthy enough to be published. That’s when I realized SCREW BEING PERFECT. Some of my most popular posts are also my most imperfect posts!
I find that my audience actually loves my imperfections. I became more relatable once I stopped trying to be “perfect”… to be honest perfection is not who I am! My house is never tidy, I am scattered brained most of the time, and my socks NEVER match. I am the most imperfect person out there. I make mistakes, and I have typos. Don’t get me wrong, I care about my grammar but I know I am not perfect! I still get messages about typos. Sh*t happens. I am that blogger that the grammar police complain about!
Once you stop trying to be perfect your truth comes out and that’s what people love! I still proofread so don’t yell at me please! I am just saying, don’t stress every little detail because that’s when blogging becomes a pain in the a**!
Related: How I turned My Blog Into a Career
Last but not least, Loneliness
If you don’t have a group of blogging friends by your side, it can get very lonely. My friends and family don’t know what my job really entails. When I tell them I am working they practically giggle and think I must be joking, because how is blogging a job? The truth is… blogging full time is more work than I can even begin to describe. I’ve said this before and I will say it again, blogging has taught me so many skills that I will forever be grateful for.
What have I learned so far?:
Content marketing, social media marketing, affiliate marketing, research & strategy, google analytics, search engine optimization, photography & editing, writing & editing, managing, time management, decision making, networking, discipline, html, graphic design, email marketing, multi-tasking, and so so much more!
In order to turn your blog into a full time income, it takes HARD WORK.
It can be lonely when everyone around you thinks that you aren’t putting in long hour work weeks. You feel like no one understands.
I have been trying to network more and find bloggers who are local to me because having a friend that understands your struggles, helps make the journey feel a little more acceptable. I do have friends and family who support me, but there are a good amount who don’t. I don’t think they take my job seriously but that’s okay. If it pays the bills, it’s a job in my book.
I know this post was a bit “depressing” but there is a bright side to it! Every job comes with struggles! That’s just life. But blogging does have a lot of perks.
I will even list them out for you!:
- The ability to create your own schedule and be your own boss
- The ability to work from wherever you want ‘
- The blogging community is so welcoming and I am so thankful for all the friendships I have made.
- The ability to inspire others, there’s no better feeling than knowing you have inspired or helped someone in some way!
- The ability to do what you LOVE! If you love writing and sharing, then there is no better feeling than being able to do that everyday!
So even when you feel at your lowest with your blog and your journey, just think about how far you’ve come since the beginning… and how many lives you will touch if you keep going! It’s worth it all in the end. I am so thankful for my job that even through the struggles, there is so much to be grateful for.