Hope you all checked out my latest Youtube Video, where I share all the gadgets tools I use to make blogging easier as well as a little update on how Full-Time Blogging has been the last 9 months. I wanted to do a more in depth post here that anyone interested in Full-Time Blogging can refer to. As some of you may know, I left my Full-Time Job as a Doctor of Physical Therapy in November of 2018. I gave myself 3 months to try my hand at Full-Time Blogging and I know in my heart, I’ll be doing this forever– or as long as I can. I’m happy to have a degree that I can always fall back on but blogging is my passion and it’s afforded me the kind of life I’ve always wanted to live but was just to scared to try on my own. The universe works in mysterious ways. Here’s a few things I’ve learned from 9 months of Full-Time Blogging.
A Realistic Schedule Is Key
When I was thrust into Full-Time Blogging pretty unexpectedly, I panicked. I thought wow, I have so much more free-time… I should increase my content. Y’all I was posting 6 pieces of content a week! 3 Blog Posts, 2 Videos and 1 Newsletter. I kept it up for a good month before I realized I was working myself into the ground. I barely slept. I was so focused on work, I barely ate and I lost a whooping 10 pounds. I decided to work smarter, not harder and set a realistic schedule that allows me to put out more quality content at a pace that allows me to eat regularly and have a social life.
I still post 5 pieces of content a week (2 blog posts, 2 videos and a newsletter twice monthly) but I’ve delegated a lot of the work to other people. This has really helped me with my work life balance. You still have to make time to take care of yourself and all of your responsibilities. It’s so easy to want to be super creative and just push content out at warp speed because when you have a job and blog on the side, that kind of freedom is never within reach. A realistic schedule is paramount to your mental health and also to have time to replenish creativity. Work Smarter Not Harder!
Creating an Environment That Inspires Makes A World of Difference
Re-doing my home office/cloffice was the best $1800 I ever spent when I first went Full-Time Blogging. It gave me a space to create content and a definitive place in my home to do work. It’s helped with how I structure my day too since I’m not sitting in front of the television or laying in bed doing work. I need a lot of structure to feel creative and I love having a designated space to do my work. I also love that I can leave all my work in that space and do other things in other areas of my home to get away from it sometimes.
Money Will Always Be a Constant Stressor, Put it in the Back of Your Mind
The first 6 months of blogging, money was always at the forefront of my mind. I thought about it so much, it gave me tension jaw pain that I had to see a massage therapist to treat. Whenever I’m stressed the tension builds in my neck and jaw. Anywho, I’m just now getting used to not have a consistent paycheck. Yes, it took 9 months for me to get comfortable with sometimes not being paid for extended periods of time. I’ve learned how to budget, maintain savings and still not deprive myself.
Money will always be one of my stressors as a freelancer but the more I work the more I realize, the money will come. Literally, money just falls into my lap (or into my inbox), every single day. We just started the 3rd quarter of the year and I’ve already made in the past 2 months, what I made the entire year when I was blogging on the side last year. It’s been really amazing and I show up with a thankful and humble heart every day. Just know that if you do the work, the money will come. Trust me.
The Things You Do For Free are What Earns You Money In The Long Term
I’ve been blogging so long and utilizing SEO techniques that I rarely have to pitch to brands anymore. I still pitch monthly to keep my skills fresh and to reach out to brands I’ve always wanted to work with. But the majority of my income comes from brands who find me. That’s why I wouldn’t recommend Full-Time Blogging until you are already making enough money from collaborations to sustain your current lifestyle. It takes time to build up your portfolio of work from your website to your photos. Focus on the things you love. I post often to my blog and all of my social media channels. I could just wait to do those things only when I have a partnership but that’s not honing my creativity nor does it serve my audience. The relationship you have with your audience is what get’s you those brand paychecks in the end. Focus on what you’re passionate about and be consistent with that.
Know Your Worth and Then Add Tax (really don’t be a lil punk)
My rates go up every 5,000 followers I gain on Instagram. I use that as a bench mark because most brand collaborations are dependent on some content created for that platform. You can see a noticeable shift in engagement every 5K followers. My rate changes depending on the brand and what I think their budget is as well as how much work I have to do. I always break down my fees so brands know exactly why I am charging XYZ for something. For instance, if they want professional photos, I have a photographer whom I pay. So that fee is included. I have a set fee for Instagram Photos, Videos and Stories and I alway start high.
Higher than I think I will get. This leaves a little room for negotiation. Always have a minimum number before starting negotiations and never go less than that fee. It took me a long time to stop saying yes to every paid brand collaboration out of fear that I didn’t know when my next one would come. You will have to do that when you first start out. That’s just the nature of the game. But there will come a time when you will have more freedom to choose what you want to promote and that will be because you are consistently getting what you ask for. It’s funny how once that happens you don’t want to settle for less.
All in all I am loving my life as a Full-Time Blogger. I am happy and grateful and extremely fulfilled. I feel like this is what I was meant to do. Everyday is different and I love being able to create and make money doing what I love. Thanks for reading and for riding this ride with me. Make sure to check out the corresponding YouTube Video to this post! I’m also dropping gems on all the blogging tools I use to make blogging easier.