SHOES: NEW LOOK
2018 is the year when so many of my favourite bloggers seem to be taking the plunge, handing in their notice and going into full-time blogging. It makes me so proud to see these people following their dreams to be creating content for themselves, but with that comes a pang of jealousy. The idealised version of working for yourself is something that I envy, as I scramble to take photos in the limited winter light.
It's essential to remember that I am envious of the unduly idealistic or even wistful perspective of blogging. The ability to take holidays whenever you feel like it, dropping £££ on a designer bag and prance around taking photos; I mean, who wouldn't want that? A sharp dose of reality was needed on my part. My friend Helen wrote a brilliant post (link here) on how it's not all insta-perfect.
My dream career still lies within psychology, but I can't say that that the concept of full-time blogging isn't often alluring, even though I make next to no money off my site. I do it mostly because being able to type and discuss my thoughts and feelings is something I've enjoyed doing for years now, and it's not something I plan on giving up easily.
Running a blog is hard work, even more so when you work around office hours. We're the photographers, the copywriters, the social media manager and the team of people who create incredible ideas - the side hustle is real people. But I don't want to take this full time, which begs the question, how do I manage my time better so I can do the things I want to do, and still create content?
Over the past few years, as more and more people have taken their blogs to the next level, I've tried to come up with some mental rules to allow myself not to feel like I'm missing out and stop me being a petty b*tch about it all.
First and foremost, I remind myself how hard blogging full time is, and I am, in fact, quite lazy. I love sitting around and doing nothing (in fact, I'd say it's one of my favourite things to do). Knowing that I'd have to sacrifice a lot of my own personal time when I'm not aiming to gain much out of it, bar an increase in followers, keeps me on the straight and narrow. This isn't my job, it won't ever be, and I'm happy with that. I need to ensure I don't burn myself out and keeping plenty of free time to enjoy everything else going on is essential.
Your blog is an extension of you, and making sure that you can write with your own voice is fundamental in making it feel less of a chore. Blogging shouldn't be a chore, it's a way to switch off from a hard days work; and while it can be hard to keep up with the editorial posts that are cropping up more often, it's all about you and your voice. Once blogging becomes difficult, it's time to take a step back. This isn't your job, you're not paying your bills with this, take a break and come back refreshed and ready to tackle it again.
From that, it's key to find a schedule that works around you. Right now, I'm aiming for one blog post a week. That means I can take a bulk lot of outfit photos with Helen every few weeks and be sorted for content for a while. There are never enough hours in the day for every aspect of blogging, but find what works for you and what content you like to read. If you haven't guessed thus far, I love me a good think piece paired with some outfit content. It's the type of blog posts that I'm drawn to and what I want to emulate. However, to write a good topic can often take a number of hours (or days, remember, I'm lazy), then editing photos and putting it all together isn't speedy. To me, once a week means I can create the kind of content I love, and if I whack in a bonus post then no one is going to complain, right!?
Don't compare yourself to those who are aiming to, or are, creating content full time. If you know, hands down, that isn't going to be you, then it's okay not to always be a "girl-boss". I'm currently writing this on a sick day from work (yes, my second cold in less than a month send help) because I actually have some time to collate my thoughts into one almighty post. But I know if today hadn't happened, it will have taken me a good week to come up with the rest of the content here. More and more I'm accepting that it doesn't matter, what matters is seven years down the line I'm still doing it. This has been one of my longest hobbies and I don't regret a second of it. I'm not here to keep up with the Joneses. I'm doing it out of sheer love of it.
And always, always, remember why you started. Use that as the fuel that will light the fire (hey, a Star Wars quote) that'll keep you going when it all feels pointless.
Do you have any tips for blogging when you don't want to go full time? I'd love to hear them!