I was recently asked if I was returning to work after having my youngest son and I told the person (who will remain anonymous) that in fact I’m not returning to work but instead I’m going to stay at home and work for myself as a self-employed blogger and freelance writer whilst looking after my little boy and being more present for my eldest. Cue an unsure face from the person I was talking to and me instantly feeling like I had to defend my decision. You see, blogging has come a very long way in the ten (yes, ten years) that I’ve been doing it. It no longer is a case of writing a bunch of words on the laptop and finding a pretty photograph to stick in the middle of them. It is so much more than that these days where to be a ‘successful’ blogger you need to be a jack of all ‘blogging’ trades.
I write ‘successful’ as it is a term that means so much to so many different people. Success could be working with your favourite brand, making four figures plus every single month, being ranked as the most influential blogger by a network, having 125k followers on instagram. It has such a varied meaning to each and every blogger I know.
If you’re wondering, to me ‘being successful’ means paying my share of the family funds each month via this blog and other work as I stay at home and raise my boys without feeling all the mum guilt as I have in the past.
I digress. To be a blogger in these modern times, you need to be more than ‘just’ a blogger. You need to be able to take professional and stylish photographs, you need to be able to market yourself to PR firms and agencies and sell yourself and your blog. You need to be able to understand the data, work out Google Analytics and interpret why Mary down the road googled you last Tuesday! You need to be able to work out Pinterest tribes, Instagram algorithms and most recently, the ASA and CAP guidelines for advertising so that you don’t mislead your audience. There is so much more to blogging in 2019 than there ever was so why are we still not being taken seriously.
It annoyed me a little but then I realised that to the outside world, blogging is just words on a screen or pretty photographs on an instagram feed. They would never realise how much work goes into the behind the scenes of it all. It’s an ever-evolving industry that I happen to find myself in, I’m learning something new every single and I can’t wait to see where it takes me in the future.
Who knows how long I’ll do this for, but as a hobby that has grown into a passion, there’s no way I’ll give up this dream to work from home any time soon. So I’ll defend my position as ‘just a blogger’ role for as long as I have too.