Like the majority of bloggers out there I blog while holding down a (very full on) full time job. I tell people blogging is my hobby, but let’s be realistic it’s more than a hobby. I easily spend 17 hours + a week on it and I’m lucky enough to earn some money from it, so I’m not sure if that still sits in hobby territory.
I’ve seen quite a few posts about what it’s like to be a full time blogger, so I thought I’d give my experience of what it’s like to be a blogger while holding down a full time job.
I can’t tell you the amount of awesome events I have to turn down every week due to work. Through my job I travel all over the country and I can be working really late so it’s impossible for me to get to London in time. I know there’s a lot of bloggers who don’t live in London so have to take holiday leave just to be able to attend an event – and with only 20 odd days holiday a year they soon run out!
I feel awful consistently telling PR’s I can’t make events especially when I feel so honoured to have been invited in the first place. If any PRs are reading this please don’t think us full time workers are brushing you off and giving you excuses – we would genuinely love to come but our work does have to come first.
Another issue with events is I quite often get asked to events the week they are happening or even worse – the day of the event! Now if you’re a full time blogger and you’re already at one event in London you may be able to spare some time to pop along to another one, but for people like myself who have a full time job it just ain’t gonna happen!
Gimme A Chance
I know what it’s like to work in an office environment where you are sat behind a desk with the constant influx of emails that come pouring in. We spend hours every day toing and froing with emails to colleagues and third parties. With the popularity of emails rising the expectations of how quickly you receive a reply back is higher than ever before.
If blogging was my full time job I would give the emails I receive the priority they deserve and they would be responded too very quickly – just as my work emails are now. However when I already have a full time job and a very hectic life sometimes emails can go a few days without a reply. So when I get emails such as “Hi Leah just checking you received my email below and what your thoughts were?” the day after sending me an email, I’m like “hold on a sec love, give me a chance”. Obviously I don’t reply that, but it’s what I’m screaming inside. I do try and explain that I work a full time job and always apologise for my “late” reply but I’m not sure everyone always gets it.
Can’t React To Campaigns Quickly
To this day I still get so chuffed when a brand wants to work with me. I sit there in amazement and stare at the email for a while. However, now more than ever before I’m being asked to do things that are above and beyond a blog post with some photography – it may be to film a video, attend an event or go on location somewhere, all of which form part of the campaign. This is great and I get so excited by these sort of collaborations but again as I work full time I need notice. The PRs usually say they will come back to firm things up and once they do, my diary is booked and I have to decline the collab which is heartbreaking 🙁
Werk, Werk, Werk
Like I say although Blogging is my “hobby” I do have deadlines to meet and a constant pressure to create content, so much so that it now feels like a job. So if I’m not doing my full time work, I’m doing blogging work. My life feels like that Ri Ri song that no one knows the words to… work, work, work… My working life feels endless and I for a good 2 years I have struggled with a work/life balance. When I say struggled, I mean no balance has existed.
Nothing Is Instant
My only opportunity to do any photography is at weekends – in the summertime when we have sunlight for longer there is also some time, but to be fair I work most evenings so it’s really only the weekend for me. All my photography has to be done in a big photo sess and stored up and used over a period of weeks. For makeup and beauty related photography it doesn’t really matter but it really bugs me when it comes to fashion. I see so many bloggers sharing what they are wearing that day, or maybe only a day or two ago, yet my fashion photography could have been something I wore 4 weeks ago when I had chance to go and shoot it at the weekend! It’s especially annoys me when I buy some clothes that I decide I want some photos of, but by the time I manage to book a shoot in at a weekend and publish the photos the seasons have moved on and I’m showing summer clothes in autumn! Some fashion blogger I am!! haha
Following on from my point above really, but as I feel like blogging is now a (semi-part-time) job for me, I constantly feel guilty that I’m not putting in enough hours into it. I feel guilt for not putting out a blog post for 2 weeks, or for interacting on Twitter or attending events and so much more. As I’m someone who gives 110% to anything they do, I find it so frustrating that I can’t put everything I want to into blogging. All of the things I can’t do, I want to, but I just don’t have the time and I feel incredible guilty about.
As I never want to leave my job and become a full time blogger it’s quite disheartening to know these issues will always exist for me but I wanted to share my thoughts with you all as I’m sure lots of you are also in this position.
What I’m Wearing
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