So you’re thinking about becoming a full time blogger?
I always used to think that to be a full time blogger or social media influencer, you had to have hundreds of thousands of followers. But now, in this day and age with how the digital world has grown it’s actually possible to blog full time when you’re still on the smaller end of the spectrum. ‘Small’ influencers have power these days, if your engagement is good and the views are rolling in then you are already halfway there. Sure, you won’t get paid as well as someone with a following of two hundred thousand, and you won’t be put on a plane to Paris every month to celebrate the latest mascara launch, but you can make enough to live comfortably. I am walking proof that it’s possible to blog full time without a huge following, my prices started out fairly low and have gradually increased as my following has. Some brands pay you based on following (which is completely understandable as that’s just how advertising works) but surprisingly there are a lot that are willing to pay for the quality of the content you produce and your engagement which of course is very important too! If you put the effort into the content you create, not only will it attract brands but it will attract more people to want to read and engage with your content anyway.
Be ready to put your all into it…
There are no short cuts to becoming a full time blogger, if you have no passion, commitment or patience then blogging probably isn’t for you. There really is no easy option to getting to the stage where you can earn a decent monthly wage (unless you go viral or something) from being a blogger, whilst it’s a dream job for many including myself, you generally have to put so much into it to get something out. For the past three years I have blogged consistently with no breaks, and last year I started to realise my worth and began to earn money from it. At the beginning of this year, the money then became more than good enough for it to become my full time job (more on that here) and so my full time blogger journey began. It has never been easy for me, and it still isn’t easy now. Excluding being a mum, I basically put my life into blogging and whilst that’s totally okay with me as I love what I do – it’s still really hard! Blogging is a job that you just can’t really stop, I’m constantly searching for new products to write about, if I go somewhere I’m forever on the look out for the perfect shot for the gram… it never seems to end. I’m incredibly passionate about what I do, I love writing and reviewing things and photography is my second most favourite thing in the world so taking photos 24/7 is A-Okay with me but it doesn’t stop it from kinda taking over my life.
It probably is my own fault as I just let it, I could easily give myself working hours and not work outside of them if I chose to… but I feel like my content would suffer if I did that. My mind is just on a creative spin constantly looking for my next piece! Now to get back to the point… being a full time blogger isn’t just working 9-5 during the week like your average full time job, it really is full time, all time. If you want to go places, you have to be prepared for that. I’m sure there’s bloggers out there far more organised than I am who make sure they give themselves days off, but I don’t think you can get to that stage immediately whilst you’re building up your contact list and making sure you have a steady income. Throughout the past few weeks whilst I’ve been making sure the money keeps rolling in, I’ve been scouting the web for brands to contact, sending constant emails out as well as replying to emails, pitching and discussing potential collaborations. Networking is so important in this job role as it’s the PR’s who are going to secure you the work to pay the bills.
If you don’t ask you won’t get…
One of the first steps (after the whole networking stuff) to going full time is by actually charging brands for the content that they ask you to produce. I hear so many bloggers saying how they just don’t ask for budget, and if you don’t ask – you won’t get. The majority of PR’s won’t email you offering budget, sure some ask for your media kit or your rate card but most of them will see if you’ll accept gifting only first as they only have so much budget to hand out and want to stretch it as far as they can! The amount of times that I’ve accepted a collaboration without asking for budget (because I’ve been so excited about the brand) and then later found out they’ve paid bloggers with way less following than me… it’s not great but it’s my own fault for not asking really isn’t it?! I’ve learnt my lesson since and I ask pretty much all brands for budget now, of course not all of them have it or want to pay me, but at least if I ask then all the cards are on the table. Once I know if they have budget for me or not, I can decide how I want to go ahead with the collaboration, and if I’m prepared to work for just the products. Sometimes if you turn down a brand with no budget, they will keep you in mind for a later date or some even scan your blog again and decide that you’re worth finding some budget for. It can go either way, but just never feel too shy to ask a brand if they have a budget for a paid collab, because you won’t get anywhere if you don’t. All it takes is a quick “thanks for getting in touch, I’m really interested in working with you, do you have a budget for this campaign?” and that’s it. Short, sweet and to the point without wasting their time if you end up not being interested in working with them. You have to accept that you’ll never get paid for everything you do in blogging, and you need to be firm with brands who ask for too much. So many try and take advantage of us smaller bloggers but your collaboration is a business transaction and you need to make them aware of what you’re prepared to do and come to a mutual agreement. A bit of negotiation never hurt anyone either!
Full time blogging isn’t just blogging…
I would advise not to rely solely on sponsored blog posts to bring the money in – I take on so many different types of clients when it comes to paid work. I’ve done product photography for brands, I’ve written content for other websites, I’ve done instagram ads that are completely separate from my blog… I’ve even been paid just to sign up to an app and invite some friends without even promoting it! Whilst earning money from blog posts is fab, blogging can open so many other doors and lead to all kinds of new opportunities that you might never have found otherwise. If you really want to earn enough money to live on then you have to be prepared to do other forms of work and the opps are endless in this industry! Writing and photography is just where it starts, a lot of people (like I used to do) create things like blog headers and graphics or offer advertising in their sidebars which can top up your income at the end of the month.
Are you ready?
My last bit of advice is to make sure you’re financially stable before quitting your job and committing to blogging full time. I personally made sure I’d built up a client list and knew what I was doing before I made the commitment and it’s the best way to go about it as you’re not thrown completely in the deep end and therefore you won’t be stressed out about money and where & how to find work. You need to be fully prepared for it as some months can be so slow. During the slow months you usually have to root for work harder than usual if you want to keep the ££ flowing so you need to be prepared to tackle those months with a clear mind. If you just end up getting stressed about money, it’s not going to be helpful and you probably won’t look in the right places or pitch very well to brands, so try and avoid that situation if you can!
I hope these tips helped anyone that’s thinking about going full time with blogging, now or even in the future. So many bloggers are making the commitment now so don’t be scared, if you feel like you’re in the position to do it then follow your dreams! 🙂