Taking blogging full-time is a big internet topic right now. In fact, it’s not just big in the world of blogging itself, but in terms of the real world in careers. Teenagers today are seeing bloggers making it big, and that’s not just those super-bloggers like Zoella. Your everyday person can turn blogging into a job nowadays. Just look at normal people who have set up an Instagram account, happen to have an eye for photography and some pretty things to show off and, boom! They’ve made it big.
Okay, it’s not really that easy for anyone – there’s always hard work going on behind the scenes. But blogging as a job and not just a hobby is now a viable career path.
Personally, this blog itself isn’t my job, though occasionally it does feel like one! I work full time in addition to running my blogs, and my job actually includes a lot of blogging and working with bloggers, and that’s definitely one route you can take. But today I’m talking about when you take it full time by yourself – running your own blogs and online channels from home and working for yourself, with yourself being your only income channel. There are a few things you need to consider.
1. How will you deal with your taxes?
I’m not sure everyone knows that bloggers have to pay tax on their income, but it’s income just like everyone else, so they do. Every bit of money that I get from blogging gets tracked in various spreadsheets. Every transaction that takes place has an invoice.
When you’re doing it part time and earning below certain thresholds, it’s not too difficult to manage, but if you’re taking blogging full time, that’s when it gets more serious. There are expenses that can be put against your taxes and there are sometimes complicated circumstances to deal with. It’s really important that once you start earning money from your blog, you have these all in order. I recommend checking out accountants who can help you to save you from any confusion with HMRC, especially if you’re taking it full time.
2. What financial state are you currently in?
Do you have a student loan? Are you paying off a mortgage or have other debts? Are you struggling to make ends meet as it is?
Blogging is not necessarily a stable job. Yes, you can keep doing freelance work on the sideline, but even that can be tricky. You might have a very good month then a not so great month. You might have a big invoice that’s not paid on time or your agency that owes you money might go bankrupt. If you’re not in a steady financial state, taking blogging full time might not be the best option. You’ll also want to think about things you might already have in a job such as a pension (check out FSB pension advice for help on this), health insurance or other office benefits aside from an hourly wage or salary.
3. Do you have a back up or sideline?
As I said, blogging isn’t the most stable income source ever, so many full time bloggers also offer other services too. You’ll find some answering surveys on sites like Prolific Academic in their free time, others run Etsy shops offering handmade products or vintage clothing, some do freelance content writing, photography, editing…the list goes on, some speak at events. Do you have the relevant skills needed to set up a sideline income for months when blogging income isn’t so great?
Failing that, what would you do if there was an emergency, such as a grievance or health issue that made you unable to work on your blog for a while. Do you have a partner with a steady income who can support you if times are difficult? Do you have savings in place or a passive source of income to tide you over until you’re back on your feet?
4. Would you actually like working for and by yourself?
A lot of people think that working from the comfort of their own sofa at home in their pyjamas would be the ideal lifestyle, but do you really have the mentality for that? Some find it hard to keep motivated if they’re not in an active working environment around others or if they don’t have a manager to keep them accountable, and you may not find out whether that’s you until you try it. You might think you’d welcome the peace and quiet of working at home, but would you find it boring or lonely?
5. Do you have a passion for it?
Probably should have been the first question! If you don’t really care all that much about what you’re blogging about or the blogging itself, you’re going to run into issues. How are you going to motivate yourself to keep going if you don’t want to do it?
I’ve made blogging sound a little bit doom and gloom here when actually it isn’t!! Just some advice from a seasoned blogger, even if I’m not full time, on some things to consider if you’re seriously thinking about taking blogging full time. Are there any questions you would add?