I’m back this week talking about blogging as a career with another guest blogger, this time with Leanne who blogs at A Slice of my Life Wales – a real parenting and lifestyle blog bought to you from the South Wales Valleys. Leanne is a first time mum to lively toddler called Aria and two fur babies, Kitty & Early Grey.
I’m asking all of my bloggers in this series the same questions in the hope that cumulatively, it will provide you guys with a detailed look at what the art of the possible really for blogging as a career and what the working life of a blogger really looks like. In my last post, we spoke with Harriet who talks about earning the big bucks so be sure to come back and check that out if you missed it.
So without further ado then, let’s meet Leanne and find out what life looks like as a professional blogger.
What was your job before you became a blogger?
I worked as an accounts assistant in a Solicitors firm for over ten years, once I had my daughter I decided that I wanted to escape from the long days in the office. I started with a few part time shop jobs and then landed the perfect job as an assistant in a photography studio.
Why did you decide to start a blog?
I’m not really sure to be honest! I’m one of these who just stumbles across things and ends up signing up to things without really thinking about, or even knowing, what they are! I had seen a challenge called Frugal February doing the rounds and decided to start a blog so that I could join in, I would use it as an online diary to motivate myself with both saving money and weight loss. Much to my surprise people started to follow me on Twitter and comment on my blog, I then looked at their blogs and realised that there was so much that you could do with a blog and went from there. I remember when a brand contacted me offering me some products from their £1 make-up range to review and I was so excited! I had no idea just what you could achieve with a blog.
At what point did you decide to give up your job for a career as a blogger and why?
After working in the photography studio for almost a year my blog started to get busier and busier, I could no longer cope with working part time, parenting and blogging, something had to go. At this point I had been consistently earning around £500 per month from both my blog and my job, and so I made the decision to leave my job and concentrate on my blog. Giving up my blog would have been silly as I have worked so hard on it for the past six years, and obviously giving up my daughter wasn’t an option so the job had to go, despite being perfect for me!
Can you describe a typical day in your life as a blogger please.
No two days are ever the same! I try not to work when I have Aria, but sometimes if I have urgent work or a lack of childcare I find myself sneakily replying to emails on my phone or popping Cbeebies on and turning my laptop on. I have childcare two days a week at the moment, I usually find myself working all day without a lunch break right through until the evening, I find that when I get into it I can’t stop. I aim to start the day by replying to emails, then publishing a blog post, setting up social shares and switching off for the day, but it never works like that! Sometimes I find that my emails never end, as soon as I reply to everyone I have another ten new emails. Sometimes a blog post takes me forever and a day to write. Sometimes I get caught up on socials and other times I just can’t think of the words to go with my blog posts. That isn’t even taking into account the time spent editing photos and vlogs!
What is the biggest challenge you face when relying on blogging as a career?
Uncertainty. The uncertainty of not knowing if I will earn enough to pay the bills for that month and also not knowing when this is going to come to an end. I like to think it will be my source of income for many years to come, but I am more than aware that I am may well have an ‘expiry date’.
Who is your biggest blogging influence and why.
I don’t have one particular influence, I talk to loads of bloggers who are seriously killing it, they are influencing so many people and earning a huge sum of money. Seeing other bloggers do so well as the biggest inspiration.
What is the best thing you have gained from choosing blogging as a career?
Being able to dedicate more time to my blog has meant that I can improve the quality of my posts as I get more time to photograph/film and write them. I am able to be flexible and take blogging trips without taking time off work, and, of course, I get to spend more time with my daughter.
What are the best and worst parts of your job now.
The worry and the pressure. The worry over not earning enough during quiet months and the pressure to perform well in rankings, increase page views, increase followers on socials, increase DA. There is constant pressure on you as a blogger and it is hard not to give into the numbers.
Do you have a plan for the future to expand your blog?
I am currently working on my YouTube which is a new(ish) venture for me. A lot of people are leaning towards videos nowadays and I do think that this is possibly going to be ‘the place to be’ in a few years. Other than that I haven’t really thought much about it, I just hope that I can carry on for as long as possible.
Top tip you would give a new blogger on starting out.
Don’t measure yourself on others success and don’t expect results overnight. Some bloggers take six months to build theirselves up, others take six years. Blogging certainly isn’t an easy way to earn loads of money.
It’s hard to say exactly what I earn from my blog as I have only been ‘full time’ blogging since the start of this year, for the past few months I have managed to earn over £1,000 – one month I actually made more than I did when working 8.30 – 5.30 Monday – Friday in a Solicitors which is fantastic!
Big thanks to Leanne for being so open and sharing her insight into blogging as a career. If you have any questions then just drop them in the comments box below.
Until next time