When I'm stuck behind the office desk, fluorescent lighting shining down as opposed to the sunshine I can see bathing the car park through the box window to my left, I often get to thinking about what it would be like to be my own boss.
Over the last twelve months, I have both worked for and made friends with some of the most inspirational people when it comes to making something from nothing and following an idea - a dream, a passion, through to the point where it is no longer a dream but a reality - a lifestyle. This is now something that I hope to achieve for myself one day, though how I am going to do this is something I have yet to explore the possibility of in any real depth.
The key to success when it comes to running your own business, is undoubtedly having an interest in what it is you are pursuing. And it is for this reason, that if I were to take the leap into self employment, blogging would without doubt be the way I would like to go. But is being a full time blogger really an available option for most of us? Is it a viable 'choice' or, is it just an element of luck that enables a small portion of bloggers to turn what starts out as a hobby into a profession?
I don't want to sound like I am being dismissive when I refer to it as being down to 'luck' either - of course I realise that these people work hard for years in order to gain a true 'following' and for their work to be noticed. As with those people whose dream it is to break into a career within journalism, it is often a long, hard road before their true potential is recognised - but is there a trick to getting spotted?
How Do You Earn Money Blogging?
Apart from the obvious - sponsored posts, advertising etc... What are the main ways in which bloggers manage to earn a crust? I may well be missing something here, but advertising in particular seems to me to be quite a hard thing to grasp and to employ successfully (and this comes from someone who has spent twelve months working for one of the UK's leading affiliate marketing networks). How do you successfully advertise without littering your blog or making it feel like you are pushing products down your reader's throats? And furthermore, when it comes to programs to join - which are the best, how do you get accepted and more importantly how do you utilise them to your full advantage?
How Much Do You Earn?
It's a question that often gets skirted around, partly because I suppose there is no clear answer in this case - everything depends upon individual circumstances. However, I don't see why it should appear as being such a taboo subject within the blogging world. Any other profession that you want to research on the web, will normally have a pretty clear pay structure available for you to view - because as we all know, money isn't everything, however, it undoubtedly plays a part in the decisions of individuals to follow particular career paths.
I would never expect individuals to divulge their financial particulars when it comes to money earned, but I believe that basic expectations should be made more widely available for those considering a career move, so that they are able to weigh up the pros and cons more accurately.
Is the 'Lifestyle' All it's Cracked Up to be?
I think as much as we try not to, we all tend to base our vision of what it would be like to be a full time beauty blogger, on some of the stereotypes that have arisen. Surrounded by masses of samples in our immaculate home office space complete with iMac and carefully placed bunch of perfect peonies. It's an image that I have, on more than one occasion, allowed myself to be seduced by - but does it really work like that?
Of course, I am under no illusion. The hours that go into writing, taking photographs, not to mention coming up with original ideas for the content that you are producing, means that blogging is by no means an easy option when compared to your every day nine to five office job. However, I would like to hear from some of the career ladies/gentlemen turned full time bloggers, as to why it is they prefer it to latter? What exactly are the benefits? Apart from that is, the obvious ability to choose and to control (at least to some extent), the hours of work that you put in.
I have to say, that personally, the invites to glamorous press days and the like (as lovely as they may be), have never been the most enticing aspect of what blogging may be able to provide me with, and so where this side of things is concerned I have little interest. The prospect of being sat with a cup of tea, a notepad and being faced with nothing but a blank screen does however, appeal much more to me and is what I imagine when I see myself doing this on a full time basis.
The real attraction, is the fact that I would be working for myself, sat at my desk on a daily basis feeling inspired by the fact that 'today I can write about anything I want to write about'. That there would be no constraints surrounding the subject matter I was addressing, it would simply be something that I felt passionate about. And I think unless you are extremely lucky in life, then to discover a job that allows you to do this on a daily basis is a rare find indeed.
I would be intrigued to know the thoughts of both bloggers like myself who enjoy writing posts simply for the enjoyment that it provides but who at the same time would like to take it to the next level and also of those who have already made the transition into full time blogging (not to say that they don't receive just as much enjoyment from it!).
So please feel free to spread the word - share and get the conversation flowing! :) It would be great if together we could create a clearer picture of what turning our passion into a career might entail.
Thanks for reading!