‘Blogging isn’t a real job’

‘Blogging isn’t a real job.’

A brave statement from an old colleague. They proceeded to tell me that they ‘work’, whereas I, ‘just blog.’ Coincidently, I’ve heard a lot of this ‘get a real job’ malarky recently.

Okay, so, from the face of it, it probably looks like: I wake up when I want, lounge in my pants, take pictures of myself, fly to endless holidays and then write an article whenever it takes my fancy. I report to no one but myself, and I’m probably vain, loving myself too much as I took it upon myself to choose this path.

To be transparent with you, growing up, I never aspired to become a ‘social media person.’. I grew up in traditional Asian culture; which means that unless you want to be ostracised, your career options are restricted to medicine, law or finance. Blogging has become a commercially viable business, and I have fallen head over heels in love with my uplifting little community. I wake up every morning doing what I love, so isn’t my choice a no-brainer?

This post is dedicated to my fellow bloggers, who I wholeheartedly support.

You ready?

Many successful bloggers were in senior roles before blogging

I was in a so-called ‘real job’ in Digital Marketing for five years before taking the plunge to start my own business. To blow my own trumpet, by the age of 22, I was managing eleven clients. By the age of 26, I managed multi-million pound budgets. At present, I’m so fortunate to be able to do this three months a year, part-time, as a consultant. Stating on her Instagram that that blogging ‘fulfils her even more’, Pilot Madeleine trained as a pilot but couldn’t find a job so her ridiculously dreamy travel blog was born. Margaret Zhang juggled blogging with her law degree before becoming one of the most successful Australian style bloggers today. British babe InTheFrow studied for her PhD and was a university lecturer before becoming one of the top lifestyle YouTubers. I met Cyran, from Corporate Style Story, who is a lawyer by day and a blogging bad-ass with the wardrobe to match. She’s smart, so lovely & I’m always so thrilled to meet powerful women who are passionate about what they do. Karla Itsines and The Body Coach were personal trainers, and now they’re worth millions, thanks to their fitness apps & snappy viral videos.

Freelancing is very time-consuming.

Want to see my average day when I’m not in my consultant job?

Here’s an example of a loose chicken running around:

8-9am: eat breakfast (usually tea, orange juice, scrambled egg sandwich or avocado toast or crumpets). Open PR mail. Answer flagged emails. Check Twitter.

10am: Print & pack for eBay (usually 10+ parcels depending on trade). Leave for Post Office once complete.

10-11am: Respond to Instagram comments on the bus/tube (usually 30+ I try & respond to everyone).

11:30am: Arrive at the coffee shop. Answer brand collab emails, write up & send invoices, update my calendar & continue current blog post.

2pm: Eat lunch (usually burrito, pasta or Pho but I don’t discriminate, I love all food).

3pm: If I have a Model casting, leave for central London, otherwise, I stay in the coffee shop.

4pm: Leave an hour slot open for a phone call with a PR agency, Model Agency, pitch or brand.

6pm: Coffee Shop kicks me out or I leave my audition.

7.15pm: Cheerleading, Barre, Yoga or Gym (I become so stressed without at least one fitness related session a week).

9.15pm: Grab dinner & head home.

10.30pm: Eat dinner & edit images, rehearse lines for any commercial auditions or watch TV.

1am: Sleep

A modelling job or press event can take a full or half day and throws this schedule off.

You don’t just wake up and make money from a business

Blogging has the reputation that it’s easy because you don’t have to go through a lengthy interview process to become a blogger; everyone can start a blog. In reality, these are the skills you need to form a successful, profit-making blog:

– Writing
– Website Management
– HTML
– Photography
– Photoshop
– Design
– Innovation
– Sales Negotiation
– Marketing
– Social Media
– Research
– Data Analysis
– SEO
– Networking
– Budget Management

I didn’t make any money during my first two years; this is the standard. I had to purchase, set-up and manage my domain, find a cracking web-template, liaise with clients & PR agencies and look after my lovely followers. Regardless of whether it’s working from home, in an office or opening a physical store, there is no way that you can create a successful business if you don’t graft. This applies to ALL businesses. The majority of blogs don’t make any income because it takes so long to earn a penny. If you want to be taken seriously and make a full-time salary from blogging, you have to work damn hard.

Bloggers pay taxes & Influencers have made millions

Blogging is a self-employed job. Self-Assesment tax returns are a tedious and lengthy process. As Bloggers can earn a decent salary, it makes sense that the government has made it mandatory to make us pay tax on it. It’s isn’t impossible to make millions from a blog. I mean, if you could quit your ‘real job’ with an average salary to become financially comfortable, you just would, wouldn’t you?!

Change is happening

I genuinely think that there are many inspirational blogs out there who don’t get the credit that they deserve.

The comments I’ve seen are that we’re living in a generation of narcissistic, entitled, ego-centric & social-media-addicted youths. While that may be true of some people, you cannot paint everyone with the same brush.

There will be so many people who have the potential to be doing what they love but instead, are working in a job that they hate because society tells us that we should be working for a corporation. Let’s face facts here; print is dying & digital is on the up (this is why big advertisers have budgets dedicated to influencers), sadly, not everyone has decided to accept this change, so the insecure online trolls criticise people who are making money out of non-traditional careers.

Not everyone is suited to this lifestyle because there’s no stability. You have to be smart.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject. Are you creative and your friends keep dismissing your job? I want to hear from you.

P.S these images are from an old shoot whereby I didn’t have a relevant blog post, but I felt this set was well suited. I love the vintage imagery, don’t you agree?

Location: Sheffield, UK

MAC Prep and Prime | M·A·C FOUNDATION | M.A.C Powder | MAC Eyeshadow in All That Glitters, Bronze, Brule and Copper | Plate | M.A.C Liquid Liner | Lancome Mascara | M.A.C EYE BROWS | MAC Blush in Animal Instincts | MAC Lip Pencil | MAC Lipstick in Crosswires and Dark Side |

Credits:
Styling and props: Natalie Armin
Photographer: Craig Flemming
Make Up: Laura Gingell

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