The Truth About Being A Full-Time Blogger

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Sometimes blogging is overwhelming.

Sometimes it can put you in the sort of mood where you don’t feel capable of doing anything aside from drowning in duvets and blankets on the sofa watching things you don’t actually really like all that much on Netflix.

Blogging is the dream. It’s the career that a generation of pre-teens are going to grow up to aspire to. It’s the career that creates this illusion of glitter and happiness and glamour. It’s the career that also has this illusion of two hours of photo taking in the street, coffee dates and the odd bit of writing thrown in. It’s seen as this easy career. You can do it in bed in your pants on your own time. It’s a bit lazy. Anyone could do it. That most of us don’t actually do all that much, sometimes we jaunt off on two week free holidays because why the heck not. Sometimes we waste entire days playing games aimed at 8 year olds whilst the rest of you are slogging your guts in an office like a real grown up.

And yeah, SOMETIMES we do that shit because we can. Because we worked hard to get to a place where we can afford to waste days and do fancy things that look about 7845648736 times better on social media then they are in real life.

But you know what? Blogging is a fucking nightmare.

I get that as i’m writing this I’m coming across like a spoilt little rich girl, but honestly it’s not like that at all.

Sure, my blog’s a success – it’s not huge, but it’s getting good hits for something that’s only really a year old. My social media following is growing every day, as is my loyal fan base and it’s a fucking fantastic time to be working in this industry – the bloggersphere is booming. There has never been a more exciting time to be part of the community.

Companies are getting savvy with advertising. Thanks to Zoella making 2014 the year people over 25 took note of blogging and YouTube, everyone suddenly wants a slice. Everyone wants to promote their products via blogs. Screw magazines, they’re old news – it’s all about this new form of media the kids are living and breathing. It’s officially all about bloggers and vloggers. There’s money in something that there probably wasn’t all that much money in a couple of years ago. I get to make a decent out-of-London salary from just running this site and that is amazing.

I make most of my income from being signed to Handpicked Media, who put up skins and banners and help find companies who want sponsored posts on my site. But I’m not literally rolling in it. I’m not swimming in excess money and bringing home a six figure salary.

TBH I earned more living in London as a senior reporter for Metro.co.uk. But back then I also had less disposable income because London rent and transport is hella expensive (and so is all the Prosecco London insists that you drink every few days).

I still take on the odd bit of freelance journalism and content-writing work because relying too heavily on blogging terrifies me – what if everyone suddenly decides they don’t like HannahGale.co.uk, what if everyone decides they HATE blogs in general? Yeah, OK, it’s unlikely but it’s such a new career, there’s this constant level of uncertainty about how long it’s going to last and how long I can realistically generate an income from my brand.

I feel like a celebrity trying to cling onto fame or something.

The thing with being your own boss is that motivation is hard to come by. Seriously hard to come by. Mostly I just want to watch 16 And Pregnant and light candles and scan Bloglovin on my phone – because what my life really needs is more gluten free recipes and skincare routines and blah blah blogging blah.

And being the only one that has spare time in the day is dull. I wish I could motivate myself to work from the minute I wake up to the minute Chris gets home, but some days it just doesn’t come. Some days, a 10 hour shift at my iMac goes by in a few blinks, and sometimes I literally just feel trapped in my own brain. I try to write sentences, to form posts, but everything is so fucking stupid and bland and average and not worth reading, and so nothing gets done.

When I first started taking blogging seriously last summer, I had a few heavy hitters. A few of those blog posts that boasted over a million views, and if not a million, a good few hundred thousand views. The ones that people shared aggressively on their Facebook pages, the ones that had my Twitter followers going up one a minute, the ones that had my emails going through the roof. Those are the posts which probably sucked most of you in originally. But now? Now I can’t think of anything good and juicy and sassy and with the ability to go viral to save my life. I’ve forgotton how to go viral, to be funny, to be cool, to be fresh. I feel like I’ve lost my writing spark and it sucks.

It’s hard not to compare everything you do to everyone else in the blogging world. When I need to put up a post but the photos could be more in focus, or the backgrounds a bit shit, I genuinly sit here and worry that other people will think I’m not good enough. That I’m not enough to be a successful blogger and that hurts.

I want to be the best because we all love to be the best. And a lot of the time I feel like I’ve lost my creativity, my thirst for exciting and new content.

When my ‘17 Things Every Girl Needs To Remember At All Times‘ picked up serious momentum last year, I was lying in bed crying. My Twitter notifications were moving so quickly that I couldn’t keep up. So many strangers had such kind words and yet I couldn’t take them in, couldn’t absorb them, couldn’t feel on top of the world.

I was hyperventilating in bed and choking in tears because life.

I feel that I’m supposed to be super happy and feel super happy about where I am in my professional life right now, and I guess a lot of the time I do. But some of the time I don’t. Some days I miss knowing how much I’ll bring home at the end of the month, I miss office atmosphere, I miss being able to say I work for a global fashion or news orgamisation.

A lot of the time my only daily interation is Chris and Rudey, and sometimes that’s enough, but a lot of the time I feel like I’m drowning in cabin fever and that absolutely fucks up your creativity and your ability to be cool and relateable and interesting in words.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that being a blogger is seriously amazing, but it’s also seriously shit at times. I’m constantly being chased for content from brands because they sent me a £3 lipgloss, constantly thinking about myself and whether what I’m doing is good enough, and pretty lonely. I rely quite heavily on Twitter for chat and atmosphere during my woking day and I guess that’s a bit weird.

I wouldn’t change my job or my life for anything, but for every nice trip away or delicious dinner or glam event, there’s something shitty going on too. There’s a cruel blog comment, or someone’s tweeted a link to my work saying how shit and anti-feminist it is, or I’m just feeling anxious and hideous compared to every other fucking blogger.

Full time blogging is the most exciting and incredible thing in the world, but also the loneliest and the most self-obsessed and it scares me a little bit. Because I have absolutely no idea where it will take me or my mental health tomorrow, let alone next year.


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