In July 2016, I made the decision to try blogging. I literally had no idea what I was doing or why I was doing it. The children had been home with us for over a year, and I was planning on homeschooling them for another year, which was definitely causing me some anxiety. Being home with 2 school aged children 24/7?? What on earth could go wrong?? (Aside from me losing my sanity that is!) Almost a year later again and both of the children are now in school full time, and my little blog has started to slowly grow. So I’ve now got two choices. Go back to work as a teacher, or try to become a full time blogger. Even though I loved my 10 years teaching, I think that I’ve had enough of teaching for a while – so full time blogger it is!
I’ve definitely not taken this decision lightly – after all I do eventually want it to be able to pay my bills. So I’ve spent quite a long time thinking it through and making sure that I am investing in my blogging life. It can be so easy to try and do everything for free, but in reality free things can actually make more work! Also, I can’t think of many careers or hobbies where you can find satisfaction in it without putting in effort, both in time and financially. So, if you are considering whether to become a full time blogger, here are the things I’ve done so far to help me!
This has definitely been the trickiest part of my journey so far. It can be so hard to justify spending money without making money, but as that well known proverb says:
So far I have invested in:
- My own domain and going self-hosted. This was a much smaller investment than I had anticipated (a couple of pounds a month). The hardest part was taking the plunge and moving from wordpress.com to wordpress.org but now it’s done, it was one of the best things I did. I wrote a post about my trials and tribulations if you are interested to know how I got on – ‘Going Self Hosted: It Can’t Be That Hard…Can It?’
- When I began blogging, I would look at the graphics, infographics and opt ins that everyone else was producing in awe. I literally had no idea where to start – and I’m definitely NOT a creative type! This was until a lovely blogger pointed me in the direction of Canva. This is such an easy program to get to grips with, and I can now create pins, opt-in’s, headers and so much more within a few minutes. Although Canva is free, I decided to invest in their paid for service, Canva For Work, mainly because it allows me, at the touch of a button, to magically optimise my images for all social media outlets! It’s actually a little bit genuis and absolutely worth the few pounds a month!
- One of my most time saving investments has been in a scheduler for Twitter. When I first began, I realised that it is best to be ‘visible’ on Twitter even when you are not actually there. So I started scheduling my tweets in free services. However, it was taking AGES to copy and paste each tweet, set up timings and get it all organised! When I was pointed towards Social Oomph, oh my goodness did my life change! For just over the price of a couple of coffees a month, I can schedule as many tweets as I want at the touch of a button! It’s paid for itself immeasurably so far.
- By far my biggest investment, but the one that has made the biggest difference to my blog, has been investing in blogging courses. The courses I have undertaken so far have all been run by the wonderful Aby Moore over at You Baby Me Mummy. What she doesn’t know about blogging is probably not worth knowing! I’ve taken a brand work course, a blog accelerator course and have just signed up to her new course ‘Amp Up The Volume’, all to do with growing your blog! These courses have literally revolutionised my blog and blogging life. Aby even does free courses in her fabulous Facebook Group Mamapreneur Revolution.
Time is, I find, as precious as money. We all have so little time these days. The kids need ferrying from one place to another. Bills need to be paid, dinner needs to be cooked, food needs to be bought. It can feel as though we are on a rollercoaster that we just can’t get off of. That, for me, was the biggest thing I had to conquer if I was going to try to be a full time blogger. When I was home schooling the children, time was something I really struggled to find. I quickly realised that, if being a full time blogger was important to me, then I had to give up other things. So my evenings were designated to blogging, free time became blogging time, and I would use any free time I did have during the day to catch up on social media.
Things are a little different now though. The children are both in school so from 8.45am until 2.50pm, my time is finally my own. Easy then? Actually has been much harder than I had thought to get motivated and use my time wisely. For the first week when they were both at school, I ended up doing chores, watching random TV programmes and going shopping. Don’t get me wrong – it was lovely and exactly what I needed to do, but it wasn’t helping me to become a full time blogger.
So, I decided to get organised. I sorted out a desk, got the computer out of the garage and set up my own little space in the house. I’m also treating it as a proper job, so between the hours of 9am and noon and then 1pm to 3pm I am making sure that I invest my time in my blog. I thought it might be hard to do, but actually I’m having a great time doing something I love!
So that’s where I am as we speak. I have a business plan to help me know where I’m going, and daily tasks to get me there. I’m not even close to being a paid full time blogger at the moment, but actually that feels quite secondary to me. The best thing is that I feel I am taking steps to make our lives that little bit better, carving out a career that I’m enjoying, and doing my apprenticeship with enthusiasm and more than a little hope!
I’d love to know if you have taken steps to become a full time blogger, or if it is even something you’d love to do in the future!
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