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Saturday, 14 June 2014

Why There's No Such Thing As a Break in Full-Time Blogging (and How to Make Your Blog a Success)

Why There's No Such Thing As a Break in Full-Time Blogging (and How to Make Your Blog a Success)
In the last few months I've been contacted by quite a few bloggers to ask how I managed to go full time with my blog. There's no secret formula - I'm as surprised as anyone that I'm managing to make a living out of this unconventional profession. The first thing to realise? There's absolutely no such thing as a break in full time blogging. Anyone who blogs full time will tell you that there's always more Tweeting, Instagramming, Facebooking, commenting, writing, emailing or editing you could be doing. Always.

So how did I do it? Exactly a year ago I left the security of a full time job in sales and marketing (without another job to go to) after taking voluntary redundancy. I decided to go freelance after enjoying a break for a few weeks to consider my future - and it dawned on me that blogging was it. There were a few monetary factors that contributed to my being able to, and continue to, blog full time:

1. The redundancy money guaranteed me a financial buffer for a few months.
2. My husband works full time so the mortgage payments were reassuringly covered.
3. We took a long, hard look at our finances and budgeted more severely than we had done for many years (and saved a ton of money in the process).
4. I started freelancing as a content writer and doing social media for an agency for a certain number of hours a week which brings me some regular money I can rely on.

What I think is helping to make my blog a success:

1. I put in a LOT of hours. All day, most evenings, and weekends.
2. I time manage and schedule everything. My working day is planned out the night before, with a list of what I need to do and when, and my posts are scheduled up to a month in advance.
3. I read as much as I can about improving your blog - and put as much as I can into practice. I want to constantly learn new things.

A year on, I can say that it's all been absolutely worth it. It's hard to avoid getting stressed but I think there are ways to make a success of things without losing the plot. It's been more rewarding than any other job I've had - I may not be earning a fortune (far from it), but I do receive a great many benefits that I'm incredibly grateful for that would otherwise cost me a lot of money. I'll be honest and say that there are days I feel totally overwhelmed - but I wouldn't change what I'm doing for the world.


What have you done to make work wonderful? Share your stories on Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #makeworkwonderful or comment below!
I have written this post in collaboration with Twinings/Huffington Post. All content is original, however, and opinions are my own and 100% honest.

25 comments:

  1. Hi Catherine -- thanks for this post! Where do you read about improving your blog?

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    Replies
    1. A lot of the blogs I follow publish posts about ways to improve your blog (like the ones I do, for example); IFB is your number one place for posts of this kind so sign up to their newsletter and/or follow them on Bloglovin; finally, look for blogging tips on Pinterest - all my Pins about improving your blog are on one board: http://www.pinterest.com/notlamb/blogging-tips/

      Hope all that helps!

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  2. Congrats on all your hard work paying off! Your blog is great!

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  3. Hi Catherine, blogging takes a LOT of work I agree and you feel you have more to say and to do... It's my best job ever because it doesn't feel like work and I can do it from anywhere I am in the world.
    x Nina
    PS. Amazing Luisaviaroma.com $500 Gift Card Giveaway

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    Replies
    1. Yes I love the fact that it can be done anywhere in the world - but then in a way it's not so great because I'm on holiday right now and still working on my blog =oops=!

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  4. Great post!! I went full-time with my blogging and online businesses in January. It is awesome but so very time-consuming. I struggle with finding a balance between family and work, but I am learning. Like you said, I'm not making a fortune but I am matching what I made previously at my career in advertising. I can't complain since I am my own boss. ;)

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    Replies
    1. Good for you Lauren - I'm glad it's going well for you! x

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  5. Good post, Catherine; it's helpful to hear how it's become a full-time job. All your hard work shows. xox

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  6. Your blog is pure excitement! Keep at it :)

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  7. Thanks for the sharing!
    XO
    Jeanne
    http://fashionmusingsdiary.blogspot.fr

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  8. Even I am not a full-time blogger in terms of making a living of it, I very often feel I am full-time blogging considering the time and effort I spend in front of my laptop ;-) The monetary factors you have listed are most important and as I don't have any of these, the salary from my regular full-time job is essential.

    You know I admire you and the blogwork you are doing and you have always been such an inspiration!
    Hugs,
    Annette | Lady of Style

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  9. I'm a full-time blogger too and sometimes I think to myself "I just want to leave it"... Sometimes I feel so burned out and so out of sync, I have serious issues with blogging. But then I remember that this is something I love and that I've met so many nice people in here, it shouldn't be so stressful and keep at it :)
    Thank you for this post Catherine, it's great! :)

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  10. you can tell you work very hard, your blog is so wonderful x

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  11. Like a lot of things, it looks easy to do, but it takes a great effort, lot of practise and hours. No pain no gain. When you watch a ballet dancer, you think "that looks easy, I bet I can do that too". Hahaha. No way. When you see a well groomed, slender lady looking effortlessly elegant in nice clothes.... forget the effortless.
    You know why you love it so much? Because it is your creation. Just yours. And everybody loves their own creations. It is in human beings. And no boss to tell you what to do.
    Keep up the good work Catherine.
    Greetje

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  12. Oh yes I can relate to a lot of that! Blogging really is so rewarding though and I also try and keep improving what I do. What I've started to find is that I feel a bit isolated sometimes with working on my own, I could do with talking to more bloggers, I think I need to go to more blogging events probably!

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  13. So there aren't any more hours in the day when you blog full-time, dearest Catherine?! Darn it!! I'm already feeling that - between my blog and my full-time job - I really get no "breaks!!" Oh well...when you love what you do, it's not such a big deal anyways!! Fingers crossed that my opportunity will come one day, too (and happy to hear that I'm not missing out on some secret formula!!) ;)

    www.StyleIsMyPudding.com

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  14. This is SO true - there is no such thing as a break. Even before I was full-time as a blogger, it didn't stop. The hours were - and still are - huge but it's seriously the best job I've ever had and I wouldn't do it differently (first time visitor from Australia - found you via G+ - but I'll be back!)

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  15. I´m no fulltime-blogger but I invest a lot of time in my blog. My husband has a fulltime-job and I have only a "half-time-job". If I would say to my husband I will get a fulltime-blogger he would say: OK, try it!
    But time is no guarantee for a successfull blog, when you have no support and no cooperation requests. Without cooperations (and without a job) you can not finance such a blog. Without the latest fashionable trendy outfits and photos interest in the blog would fade quickly.

    Dana
    http://danalovesfashionandmusic.blogspot.de/

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  16. Interesting to read about the factors that have played a part in your choice, really nice to find out the 'reality'. My OH is self-employed in the arts, so alas, I'm the one that has to stay employed to cover the mortgage! Even though our joint income is about what the average UK salary for one person is, we have a fantastic quality of life. I work 4 days, so we get to spend long weekends together, and he's taught me to stop wasting money (well, I still have the shopping habit, but it's toned down a lot!). I do dream of one day being self-employed, but maybe that's something further down the road, once the OH has struck it big in the music industry!! Until then, I can dream and I can also work on improving my blog - I've already learnt such a lot from you, thank you for sharing all of your wonderful tips! You're doing a fab job, and it's great to hear that you're not jaded but do truly love what you do! P x

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  17. I'll definitely have a look at your blogging tips pinterest board. It's always good to try and improve yourself and the things you do.
    Rubi x
    The Den

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  18. I remember your post about you quitting your job and going into blogging full time. That's a year ago?! Time sure flew by so quickly. I can see that your blog definitely had grown and you've shared so much with us. In fact, I find that I'm learning so much from you these days. I'm starting to go into blogging full time and yes, what you said is true. There's no break as a full-time blogger but it sure is worth it. At times I do get frustrated with things that didn't turn out the way I wanted it but overall, it's all good =) What I do at times when things get a little challenging, I would take a break and just go for a short holiday. I'm surprise at what I came back with. Filled with fresh ideas.
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and pointers with us.

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  19. I agree, full time blogging takes a lot of work and tenacity but I love being my own boss and earning a great living doing something I love. Well done to you too, your blog (and you) are beautiful x

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  20. Thanks for this post Catherine. When our mining industry took a serious nose dive last year I took became redundant. Sadly, with our political problems and past, its been difficult as a white women to find employment and strangely too, the over 40's have an even harder time. I have made a little money over the past two months but have decided (between this and my photography) to really get to grips and improve my blog.

    Your suggestions and positive approach is comforting.

    Always enjoy your posts so much.

    Hugs
    Wendy

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  21. This is such a fantastic post- and blog!
    Many thanks for sharing
    Lottie

    http://beautysciencemagic.blogspot.co.uk/

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