What I Learned After Three Weeks of Full-Time Blogging

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Full-time blogging is a big commitment with major rewards. I have been thinking about doing it since I began looking at my blog as more of business that I am passionate about, instead of just a hobby.  In being a high school teacher, I get summers off. And like many teachers, I consider getting a summer job over the summer to bring in additional income. Earlier this year, I was searching for remote jobs to work from home or small office jobs in my area that wouldn’t require many hours during the week, but then I realized, there is no need to for me to get a part-time job. Instead, I decided to take on full-time blogging to see if this is something that I would be interested in doing long-term.

There are many people who have asked me whether I have considered blogging full-time instead of teaching. I have gone back and forth with the idea for a very long time. I love my blog. It is my passion. But I also love teaching. My students growth is what I get up for each and every day. There is so much I would have to give up if I went into full-time blogging, but on the other hand, there is so much I could gain. To keep it simple, I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place.

SHOP THE LOOK: 

In thinking about full-time blogging, I also began to think of the risk factor that it would take going into business for myself. For the past month or so, I have been following the blog-help posts from one of my favorite bloggers – Not Jess Fashion – to learn how she makes it as a full-time blogger, and her strategy is absolutely amazing and she is doing great things.

This blog is doing phenomenal things with me still having a full-time job, and I can only imagine what I could do if I committed to  it full-time, but I also know there would be struggle. So, with this summer off, I decided to take the plunge and give full-time blogging a trial run to see if this would be something I would be interested in pursuing.

I’m currently three weeks in to full-time blogging, and so far, this is what I learned.

There is so much I can do full-time blogging that have been doing that I wasn’t

I am able to manage my blog while working my full-time teaching job. I have been successfully doing it for the past two years. Now, I will say that I wasn’t doing everything that I wanted to be doing all the time, but I was happy with where my blog was and the steady growth that I was achieving. But since I started full-time blogging, I have been creating more elements, taking on my appointments, receiving more collaboration requests, and working to network a lot better than I originally was.

As this time has gone by, I have been able to communicate with brands, PR companies, and connect with other bloggers which has been big for the organic growth of my blog.

I have also been able to reflect on what I have been doing and put a little more effort into the behind the scenes aspects of my blog such as SEO, editing, and research. There is so much that goes into maintaining a blog and creating content. And I won’t sit here and say that I thought my content was absolutely horrible, but I also won’t say that it was the best that it could be. There are just so many technical aspects behind a blog that I was aware of, but never really had the time to sit down and figure them out. Even now, as I am working more on building my SEO, I have realized that my blog is doing a lot better because I am committing more time towards it.

Originally, I thought that full-time blogging would be me waking up whenever I felt and working from time to time based on how much time I felt like putting in that day. But I was very wrong, I have been working a steady 8 hours every day and giving myself a lunch break (as crazy as that sounds).

There is just so much that needs to be done and that can be done, and it is hard to admit that I wasn’t doing as much as I could have been prior to this moment.

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I’ll have to put together my own benefit plan

One thing that has to be recognized about full-time blogging is that with you being your own boss, you also have to establish benefits for yourself as well as benefits for any of the workers that you may bring on to your team. Healthcare and a retirement plan are some aspects that some younger people may take for granted, but it can backfire on your life plan as you grow older.

Now, as a married woman, I could go on my husband’s health care plan, but I can’t absorb his retirement. And God forbid that anything ever were to happen with him at his job, what would be do then?

I sat down and tried to put together a health care package for myself and even talked to my mom who works in the financial business about putting together a 401k that would be attached to my business. It was hard. There was a lot of paperwork, and a lot of questions that needed to be answered about possibilities for the future. And then at that point, there was a lot of money being taken out of the static income that I would be making at this point. I began to get more appreciative of the benefit package I have at my teaching job and though to myself how I give major props to those who full-time blog and are in business with this significant other. They are doing this on their own and also employ other people.

It was just too much for me.

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Brands & PR companies love talking to you and making a connection

In the past two weeks, I have communicated with a lot more people in relation to partnerships and collaborations that I ever have, and it wasn’t just through email.

During the school year, most of the time I can only communicate through email because I have no access to my phone during the day. Brands and PR companies would have to get in contact with me through email and vice-versa. Though the email system is absolutely amazing and most of the communication is still done through email, the intimate touch of having  a phone call, Skype meeting, or even better, meeting in person provides you with a lot more opportunities to make those connections and share who you are as a blogger and what you can offer.

Additionally, there have been quite a few times that I have sent an email and gotten no response. Then I follow-up with another email, and still nothing. I would think that the PR company or brand is just too busy or my pitch was not the best that it could be and I would give up. But since I have been able to follow-up with phone calls, I have realized that sometimes my email is not reaching them directly, getting stuck in spam, or they have every intention of emailing me back but have been bogged down with a variety of other projects going and it just has slipped through the cracks. By following up with that phone call, they can see that I am very interested in their brand and the partnership, and instead of having a back and forth through email, we can settle projects right there and then.

And through the in-person meetings I have been able to go to, I am not only hearing about upcoming partnerships that I could be a part of, I am learning more about what happens on the brand/PR side and can have a conversation about what influencer side can do better to make working with brands and PR companies more seamless.

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