This is what I’ve learnt in my first month as a full-time blogger…

IMG_4587

Technically it’s been more like 6 weeks since I logged off my Metro emails for the last time, poured myself a glass of Prosecco and set about putting on a festive smokey eye that didn’t make me look like I’d been punched in the face by one of my haters. But then Christmas and watching Hannibal and eating Miniature Heroes got in the way and I gave myself some space from my blog and entering the bloggersphere as a full-time professional – and then came January and I was like ‘err I should probs get dressed today and maybe sit at the new computer I’ve just forked out a grand for (LOL JK, it’s on finance because HA) and do some work’. So here I am, a month on.

It’s been a funny old month, and it’s been as up and down and all over the place and exciting and painful as I expected it to be.

The first issue is that it gets to about 11am every single day and I can’t remember whether or not I’ve brushed my teeth. The second issue is that now that it’s my main source of income I’ve become a bit glued to my blog stats and every time they start to drop dangerously low I’m like SOMEONE GIVE ME A JOURNALISM JOB AGAIN, I’M RUBBISH AS A BLOGGER, SEND ALL THE HELP.

The thing I think I fail to notice, and a lot of the world does, is that blogging and journalism – especially feature writing – is essentially the same thing. Whereas a decade ago a feature would be 1,000 words of carefully researched content complete with a photo shoot and a handful of interviews, a feature now, online, is something like a list, or someone’s opinions on a subject, it is essentially anything that isn’t a news story. And so I guess what I am doing every day is creating my own online version of a magazine with more of a 2015 spin on it – it’s more honest, more real and less edited to be a glossy product that’ll make you all want to cry because you’re not skinny enough/can’t afford all the clothes/don’t earn a six figure salary.

When I go to events I still struggle to call myself a blogger because I’m scared that there’s still this stigma against bloggers in the industry – especially by journalists. I know this because I was one of those journalists – the type who go, eurghhhhh there’s so many bloggers here, they make me want to shrivel up and die.

Journalists hate bloggers because they’re jealous – bloggers are stealing all their readers, most of them haven’t done a year of interning for free, haven’t got a Journalism degree and so for some reason they believe that bloggers don’t deserve their success, that they haven’t worked until they feel they may just collapse in a heap of exhaustion, when actually, becoming a success in the blogging industry is just as hard, if not harder, than becoming a success in the journalism world.

So yeah, this month has been hard to adjust to. To admit that I’m a full-time blogger and be proud of it, I’m trying to say ‘Hannah Gale, blogger’ rather than ‘Hannah Gale, blogger and journalist’. Because I’m not, I’m not really doing any freelance journalist work, and although I see the two as something which in 2015 are pretty much exactly the same thing – creating words to make an income – the world seems to see them as something so totally unrelated to one another.

One of the biggest things I’ve noticed this month is how on to bloggers PRs are. I assumed I’d left my days of freebies and press trips behind in 2014 along with my PAYE and sick pay, but I was wrong 432785657 times over.

OK, so the high street fashion brands haven’t been emailing in their masses just yet, but I’ve been on more dreamy afternoon teas and been offered more beauty samples than I did when I was at LOOK.co.uk. Maybe the fact I went full-time was enough to convince people how serious I was, or maybe my blog is just starting to look more professional – either way, it’s good to feel a little bit important again, a bit like people care about getting featured on my blog and I love that.

Blogging is in no way about the freebies, or even about the money, but to me, being taken seriously by people in the industry signifies that I’m doing something right and that’s surely a positive?

This month I also learnt how fucking hard motivating yourself is. Mornings are the worst. Who wants to wake up and do work? I want to roll about in bed, drink some tea and then collapse on the sofa with Girls and Teen Mom 2 and Don’t Tell The Bride.

At uni I did most of my work in the evenings and that’s what I want to do with my blog, but I’m so desperate to stay on the same sleeping pattern as Chris (and the rest of the world), so I’m sort of bullying myself into working 9-5 from my computer, which sort of defeats the point of being my own boss but wah.

I say bullying because my blog doesn’t actually take 40 hours a week to maintain and it’s so difficult to tell yourself that you work to live, and not live to work, so if my blog is bringing in enough money but I’m not putting in as many hours as other people, then that’s entirely fine.

I’m working on a side project which hopefully I’ll talk more about this month or next month, but it too, requires a lot of self-motivation. So yeah, trying to eat healthily, go to the gym, do DIY, do my blog and work on my other thing is really testing my ability to push myself, which I guess is a good thing. It reminds me that I can do it, that I can do anything and everything that I want to do as long as I keep thinking about the rewards and how good I’ll feel once things are completed.

I tend to go into London once a week for meetings and shopping and press days (although this week it’s THREE TIMES, AH) and I love getting time out of the house to socialise with people in the industry. It’s not that I don’t love living in Ipswich, but not having that office atmosphere can often make you feel quite alone and isolated, so my weekly trip to London rectifies that and makes me feel part of a community.

I’ve also learnt that it’s possible for a day to go so quickly that you forget breakfast (uh huh, not just something celebs made up as an excuse to skip meals) because when you’re writing and answering emails and loving what you’re working on, time literally flies. And I love that, it makes Mondays far less intimidating.

I also tend to get dressed most days and shower and wear make-up and I paint my nails whilst working like A BLOODY LOT. I listen to Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift. I always have a candle lit on my desk and fresh flowers. I have become obsessed with stationery. I have started to watch vlogs and YouTube videos, and I’ve started to become obsessed with other bloggers the way a 15-year-old girl might.

But mostly I’ve learnt that having a full-time job for the rest of your life doesn’t have to be scary and daunting and exhuasting. I pretty much never get the overwhelming urge for afternoon naps the way I used to when I worked in an office, I get ten hours sleep a night and I don’t give a fuck, and sometimes I take myself off to the local Costa with a notebook and do some planning and sometimes it makes me feel mega emotional because life is good and life is easier and life is exciting and I literally have no idea where it’s going to take me next, but I know it’s going to be good.

Working hard and being the best version of yourself takes you to places that are better than your teenage self could have ever wished for, but it’s also totally OK to cut yourself some slack and take days off just because your mind fancies it. Life doesn’t stop being brilliant when you cut yourself some slack.

 

 

  • It’s so refreshing to see such an honest outlook of the life of a blogger. It’s great that you aren’t scared of discussing the financial and freebie aspects of having a blog (something which I’d love to be able to experience) you’re a fantastic blogger and you definitely made the right decision to trust your instincts and go full time. I hope this calms your stats related nerves today! Love and admiration from a fellow Ipswich born blogger x

  • Loved this Hannah, thanks for sharing! Although I’m not a full-time blogger myself, I found myself nodding along to so many things you wrote – notably the bits about motivation (ARGH) and taking yourself seriously as a blogger. It ain’t easy but I have no doubt you’ll adjust just fine! Best of luck!

  • Michelle

    Great post – love the insight you provide, into your life and career that so many other bloggers gloss over, making readers feel like they are just magically oh-so-successful and fabulous and us mere mortals will never get to that place. Also intrigued to hear about this upcoming project – best of luck with whatever it is!

  • Love this post, very interesting. Keep up the good work, you’re one of my favourite blogs to read and this has made my Monday morning more interesting :).

  • Very honest and refreshing post. I love your writing style, and your positivity is so refreshing in this post. I own a cafe, I love my work and life, and I could maybe earn a little more by being open 24/7 but what’s more important is building a life balance you fall in love with!

  • I love these sorts of posts – real honest reflections. I had a day where I second-guessed absolutely every decision I made so the whole confidence thing I told myself to work on for the new year clearly has been a bit of a sham! Tomorrow is a day to do it better, I suppose…It sounds like you’re going so well Hannah. I know the highs and lows will carry you along but mostly you’re able to hold your own sense of perspective and remember that every new subscriber, every press day, every new youtube vid is an achievement in itself – it doesn’t all have to happen in an instant ๐Ÿ™‚

  • This is all too true! I went full time with my blogging & design business about 3 months ago and all of the above about working from home, staying motivated, getting dressed & whatever else is just so spot on!

  • It’s this sort of integrity and honesty that makes you blog such a joy to read. It’s so refreshing to see a full time professional blogger telling it like it is. Fab post, as usual xxx

  • I love this post… It highlights the ups and downs of being a full time blogger.
    I’ve only been working on my little blog for about 5 months now.. but I think I know eventually – if I’m lucky enough – I would love for it to develop into a full time job.
    This has definitely reassured me that if I put the effort & work in it would be possible, whilst also letting me know that it’s okay to be in the office job I have right now & to not be scared about that ๐Ÿ™‚

    http://smallandblondex.blogspot.co.uk/

    xx

  • I love this post! You’re such an inspiration! xx

  • What an honest and inspiring post! It’s so interesting to hear how you have gone from journalism to a full-time blogger. Thanks for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

    http://www.mintnotion.com

  • I love your writing style – it has me smiling the whole way through! Thanks for being so honest!

    Abbie x

    http://www.flowersandthreadsxo.blogspot.com

  • LOVE this Hannah. You are exactly where I want to be and it’s encouraging to know you’re prepared to delve into the bad parts of full time blogging too rather than pretending that all you need to do is click your fingers like Sabrina and everything will be complete and ยฃ1000 will be in the bank.

    Hope 2015 is a mega success for you and hopefully I can join you at these fancy industry conferences one day (although I don’t drink Starbucks nor Costa…might have to bring a carton of Ribena – awk)

  • Such an interesting and honest post, thanks for sharing, Hannah! xx

  • Thanks for sharing. I only work from home one day a week but getting up, showering, dressed and eating breakfast are my musts if I want to get anything done. I light a candle too as it really helps me relax. I have fake flowers, but they count too, right?

    You’re such an amazing blogger and I love to read your posts each time. I can’t wait to hear about your new project.

    Debbie x http://www.hellodeborah.co.uk

  • Lucy

    This was such an interesting blogpost to read, been loving your blog at the moment!x

    Ooh La Luce | Fashion, Beauty, Lifestyle

  • Such an interesting point you’ve made about bloggers and journalists, I complerely agree! Congratulations on your first full time month, so glad it’s going well for you, and good luck with this coming month!
    Hannah x
    Hanniemc.co.uk

  • I’m going to have to echo the previous comments and say, I absolutely love this post. As a part time blogger, even I can relate to some of your struggles. Staying motivated, fighting stigma, etc. That’s also one of the reasons I also love your blog (even though I only recently found it – shame!), it’s so easy to relate to. it’s an honest look at blogging and life, and I appreciate your posts! I wish you the best on your full time blogging journey!

  • I hear you – been doing it for a few month myself and it is very tempting to sit in my yoga/gym gear all day… but on the plus side you can listen to music really loud and have awesome non packed lunch lunches:)

  • Heather

    Hannah your blog makes me smile every time I have a look!!! This post goes to prove you’ve made the right choice…please keep doing what you’re doing because its keeping the rest of us happy!!!!

  • This is really interesting to read, Hannah.

    Had to laugh at the ‘not sure if I’ve brushed my teeth’ comment. I’ve had that moment every day since I went on maternity leave last year.

    Jenna at Tinyfootsteps xx

  • “But mostly Iโ€™ve learnt that having a full-time job for the rest of your life doesnโ€™t have to be scary and daunting and exhuasting.”

    This. This exactly. This is why I am dying to be self-employed, whether it be through blogging or something else. Right now my full-time job is slowly draining the life out of me and I just can’t seem to figure out what I can realistically do instead. I shouldn’t be dreading going to work in the morning FFS.

    Even though it’s hard, you’re living the dream Hannah Gale, and for that I salute you. And envy you a teeny tiny bit. Hopefully I’ll be among your rank some day (soon, preferably).

    Keep it up!

    http://honeyandmay.com/

  • I’ve been talked into becoming a full-time editorial consultant, and only full-time because I’m barely into being 18 and am stuck in a horrible small town with no escape. I’ve been finished with school for over a month now, and have been keeping myself busy with authors who intend to self-publish, and a few have told me of my skills. It’s really daunting, and this post was great to read… to know I’m not alone in the “What on EARTH am I doing.” boat. I guess a lot of people are there, though, just not so many are open about it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Thanks for sharing! I’ll keep this in mind as I struggle onward. The publishing field, journalism or otherwise, really sucks and hates new things. So, it’s a struggle for all, but we’ll find our places soon enough. (:

  • It’s so lovely to hear you’re enjoying it and that you are honest that there are down times. Also, I love your writing, it’s really chatty and I like that.

    Kathryn
    nimblenote.blogspot.com

  • Thank you so much for such an honest and insightful post.
    I agree, a job should not be something designed to torture us and it makes me sad that in order to survive we have to do things we hate. Life is too short. So good on you for managing to break free of that.
    Keep writing, you are definitely my favourite blogger.
    xxx

  • interesting post…..thnanx for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Such an honest and lovely post. I came across your blog the other day and have been reading a few of your recent posts and I think you’re doing a great thing!

    Alicia xx

    alicia-alll.blogspot.co.uk

  • I loved this! You’re always so honest, it’s really refreshing! You’re also living my dream… someday I’d love to take the plunge and try to blog full-time. Someday.

    Chrissy x
    http://www.chrissylilly.com

  • Such a good post. I’ve been working for myself from home for about a year and a half now and so much resonates. It’s tough, it’s brilliant, it’s isolating and lots more….sounds like you’ve got it more figured out than I have already!

  • Your posts really give me such confidence for my own blogging, thank-you. You have a brilliant tone of voice and it’s so engaging!

    I completely agree with you about content for feature journalism not being that dissimilar to blogging – in some instances blogs have higher quality!


Recent Videos

Follow Me