This Summer I noticed a change. A shift, if you will, from some of my favorite bloggers. It didn’t happen all at once, but I realized it all at the same time: Of the four main bloggers that I follow and have followed for years, THREE of them were now full time. Three of them had written long winded posts about their decisions to quit their full time jobs and pursue their passions. And these three even moved from NYC back to their home towns. The resemblance in their situations was uncanny, and it made me curious: did I miss out on something by not taking my blog seriously?
I’ve been on again, off again blogging since 2010, around the same amount of time as these successful ladies. But the biggest different between me and them is that I sort of sucked at it. It took me a while to find my niche. I tried for a while to be a beauty blogger, then a fashion blogger. I tried a lot of things. I was even on tumblr until just last year when I finally decided to stop being an idiot.
I never tried to make this blog more than what it was. In the very beginning this started because I was living with three boys and missed all things girly. It also helped me get back into coding. Eventually, this blog helped me land two internships in ecommerce at two fashion companies. Then I graduated from college and got my first full time job where my bosses more or less told me I shouldn’t continue to blog. So I stopped for about a year because obviously I was not going to jeopardize my new job. But I started up again when that job became draining; I desperately needed a creative outlet. Then I lost that job, which sucked. But I kept the blog going because I needed to be able to identify with something. “I’m a blogger” is a lot better than saying “I’m in between jobs” for your self esteem, you know?
Blogging, for me, has always just been a way for my to express myself online, and a way for me to control my online image. I never wanted it to be my main source of income, and I still sort of don’t. Here’s why:
- Once your hobby becomes your work, it’s a lot less fun. Most people will disagree with this, but anything that you do full time will eventually kind of suck. Somewhere after the “doing what I love” honeymoon fades away, the fun turns into work. For me, at least.
- I love my current job. Not a lot of people can say this, but I’m one of the lucky ones who can. A lot of the bloggers who went full time did not like their jobs. They were in 9-5s that did not let them truly utilize their talents and they did work that was not fulfilling and incredibly stifling. I have a career that revolves around my talents and is incredibly fulfilling in many ways. I have a boss that motivates me and is constantly pushing me to be better and to keep learning. Sure, work is hard and it’s work. It’s not always rainbows and butterflies, but at the end of the day I have a career that I am proud of and that I want to keep growing.
- I don’t want my content to suffer. Part of having my own damn blog is doing what I damn well please. I write about what I want, when I want. If someone sends me a product I will write about it if I like it. If I don’t have anything nice to say, I generally send it back. If I spend my own money to buy a product I will write about it whether I like it or not (see here and here). I take pride in the fact that I can be honest about these things. I don’t want my income to depend on positive reviews and promoting things just to promote them.
- You’re always on. You become your brand, which makes sense, but it doesn’t seem so easy. You have to worry about things being off-brand. If I want to instagram a picture of me doing yoga one day and a picture of my messy desk the next day I really don’t care if it’s on-brand or not. I have a lot of different hobbies, and I take pride in being my damn self.
- You get to choose your clients. In the beginning of a small business it’s hard to say no to people or brands that you don’t think you’ll mesh well with. I experienced this first hand and never turned down work when I was “in between jobs.” But thanks to the security of my full time job I now get to be selective: I only work with people and brands that I want to work with. I have that luxury. I know a lot of big bloggers also have this luxury, but I have it without having to wait.
It’s an unpopular opinion, I know. But I don’t want to be a Full Time Blogger. I commend those who do it, but for me I am incredibly happy where I am. I don’t need to leave my job to chase my dreams – I am pursuing everything I want to without giving up anything I currently have.