There's a lot of glamour associated with being a full time blogger. Many people think it's all fast money, sponsored trips, and fabulous clothes (if only!). While being a full time fashion blogger is absolutely fun and exciting, it can also be really hard and really frustrating…especially when you're in the middle of a bad day. Or week. Or month.
I've been blogging full-time for the last two years, and early on I realized that there's a bit of stigma attached to bringing up any downsides to my job. A lot of that probably comes from people not really understanding what a blogger does. After all, you're likely not tweeting, or instagramming or pinning about the boring parts of your day. No one wants to see a Facebook status update about how you've just spent 15 hours updating your blog's internal links. But I think it's important, especially for bloggers considering the switch to fulltime, to have a peek “behind the curtain” so to speak. Because while being an entrepreneur is great, like any other career, there are definitely some less awesome aspects to it. Here are a few of the ones I learned when first starting out:
You're a full time blogger, but you actually won't spend most of your time blogging.
When your blog becomes your main source of income, writing turns into just one small part of your business. A lot of your day will be spent on items that have nothing to do with content, and that your readers will never see. You'll be sending out media kits, following up with potential sponsors, updating your website, handling accounting issues, managing your writers, monitoring your brand, working on your PR, and so forth and so on. Notice that doesn't even include time spent researching, writing, and editing new blog posts or time spent on “continuing education,” i.e. staying updated on current best practices happening with SEO and social media as well as keeping up with new blogs, brands, platforms, or products. And if there's a crisis, of any kind, it will completely eat up your time. Which brings me to the second issue…
When you're your own boss, you are to blame for both your successes and your failures.
When you're an employee of a company (assuming you're not a CEO or other top-level executive) you're responsible for only a small part of the business. Tasks are assigned to you and someone else is making the big decisions that guide the company, and ultimately determine its success or failure. If you're a full-time blogger, you're that “someone else.” And while the rewards of 100% responsibility can be amazing, so are the risks. Whether your blog succeeds or fails is completely dependent on you. No one else is to blame. No one else is at fault. And no one else can be held accountable.
Vacations are near-impossible, and you will have to constantly hustle, think creatively, and come up with ways to diversify your revenue streams.
Let's be real; you aren't going to make a living from Google Adsense. In fact, most of your revenue may not even come from advertising at all. You have to be comfortable pitching yourself and advocating for your brand, and you also have to be able to not take rejection personally. If that kind of uncertainty is a problem, then full-time blogging may not be a good fit for you. And while we're on the subject of money, remember that you'll have to invest some in your blog too. Whether it's a new website design, trademark protection, or traveling to key industry events, the saying that “you have to spend money to make money” is all too true.
Is it your goal to be a full-time blogger? What kinds of questions do you have about making it work? Or does it all just sound like too much hassle? Share your thoughts in the comments!