These days, it’s really not unusual to have multiple jobs. In fact, in the creative industry, it’s probably more unusual if you don’t. Aside from the 'household name’ blogs, the majority of bloggers and influencers you follow have full-time jobs and careers too. Because there’s this little thing called RENT that sadly needs paying every month (except for those who look like adults on social media but actually still live with their parents), doesn’t wait for invoices to be approved, and in London especially, is rarely covered by the likes of affiliate links and the odd sponsored post. I think it’s fair to say that the majority of bloggers blog because they love it, rather than because it makes them a killing. Don’t get me wrong, it can be a good money-spinner, but it’s certainly not all marble kitchen worktops and Balenciaga shoes from the get-go. For me though, working as a full-time blogger is actually not the dream. Sure, I’d love to be able to travel more and have freedom there (and okay, I wouldn’t say no to more holiday funds), but I love my job and I love my career. And when I say career, I should really say careers, because I don’t only work as PR Manager at The Hoxton full time, I also freelance as a travel writer.
Because it’s oh so easy to compare yourself to others and yearn after the life of those who’ve ‘made it’ as full-time bloggers, I’m playing devil’s advocate and discussing why actually, it’s great that you work and blog part-time. Why?
Variety is a good thing. It’s good to leave the house in the morning and not come back until the evening. It’s good for your weekend to be different to your week. And it’s good to let your mind focus on different things and projects — a big one being your day job. Running a blog part-time alongside a career adds colour to your life, makes it interesting, probably brings in some perks and lets you voice your passions.
An obvious one: a salary. Some bloggers clearly smash it when it comes to raking in dough but there are plenty who don’t and a probably cutting things pretty fine when it comes to paying the rent. Or, more commonly, not paying rent because they’re living at home. It’s good to have the independent to financially support yourself, and if that means working full-time and keeping your blog going by working on it in the evening, then big up you.
Call me boring but I actually like to fit the social norm a bit. I like having a commute (even if I do moan when it rains on my cycle); I like working 9-6, Monday to Friday; and I like having an office. I like being able to complain about how the post office and bank are always shut by the time I can get to them, and feeling like a trooper when I remember my packed lunch.
Working from home can be lonely. You get up, you eat breakfast/ lunch by yourself, you spend all day at your computer, you might meet some PRs who you don’t really know, then you go to bed and do it all again. I’ve worked from home before and found it pretty isolating. Okay, freedom is nice, but there’s no office banter, no colleagues to chat to or share funny stories with, and no-one to eat lunch with.
And on that note, you learn great time management skills! You don’t have a whole day to get a post up, you’ve got a couple of hours max. When you have a career as well, you become clever with your time. You utilise before work, after work, lunch breaks, commutes for catching up on emails, taking pics, having meetings and such, scoring admiration in the process as you juggle all your life balls.
If you blog full-time, where’s the structure? When does the working day start and finish? When I worked from home briefly, everything just merged into one. Whilst blogging part-time and working full-time (and freelancing!) is a lot to fit in, at least there’s structure in my week.
As much as I love to blog and share a lot of social media, I can’t help but think if I was doing it full-time it would all get a bit self-involved. Looking at pictures of myself all day? Constantly thinking how X and Y will benefit me? Sure, it’s good to do that sometimes, but I love working for a contributing to a company too. I adore The Hoxton and have a vested interest in its success and my role in it. I love the company, I love the people, I love talking to people about it. If my life was just my blog, I can’t help but fear I’d get a bit egotistical.