I've learned a lot of things as we come to the end of my first year as a full time blogger. It's been 11 months since I quit working as a nurse and decided to make my blog my business. As you know, I was a reluctant entrepreneur . I've been bloggingfor almost 10 years now, but this year was the first year I decided to try to make a full-time income from it. With no full-time job to fall back on.
Let me be clear: If I hadn't been married to someone who had a full-time income that if necessary could support us on his own, I don't think I could have just quit cold turkey. I learned a lot of lessons these past 11 months and it hasn't all been pretty.
Here are 5 lessons From My First Year as a Full Time Blogger
1. You will work longer hours than you thought you would
My number one reason for doing this was so that I could have more flexibility to spend time with my family. I was working long hours with NO flexibility. That meant that if my son got sick or if my husband had to go out of town, or even if I just wanted a day off to go to the dr, it was a struggle. I thought that since I now worked for myself, I would be able to work when I want or however long or short I want and just roll with life beautifully.
There is a quote from Maya Angelou on my wall in my office that says:
Nothing will work unless you do.
This is the truth and nothing but the truth so help you, God. I could of course, not work that much. BUT I found that for the first year at least, there were a lot of systems I had to get in place so that I COULD be able to have that flexibility. I had to spend the time growing my brand and promoting my brand because it's a full-time job, not a hobby anymore. If I want to make full-time money, I must put in full-time work.
2. But Have some type of schedule
That being said, I learned that I needed structure. Office hours kept me from overworking and kept me from underworking. I STILL get up at 4 am Monday through Friday to start my day. Just like I did when I worked a full-time corporate job. But now, the main part of my day is over by 1 pm. I may answer emails, do a few things on Instagram and research a little, but the bulk of my day ( writing, promoting, pitching ) is done by 1. That works out perfectly to start dinner, do homework, catch up on housework and just hang out with my husband when he gets home.
3. Your second job is chasing your money
This is something no one tells you and the part that has been the hardest adjustment for me.
I miss getting paid every two weeks.
The hardest part for me has been the fact that just because you have it in writing that you will get paid 30 days from the time you submit your invoice does not mean you will get paid 30 days from the time you submit your invoice. People mail checks on the date you said it was due. People lose your invoices. People don't know what happened and you have to submit everything again. Systems break down and your invoice gets lost. People just are not organized and your money is not their priority.
It's the wild wild west out here.
So I spend a lot of time chasing down my money. This has been the bane of my existence this year and the one thing that almost made me go back and get a nursing job for the stability. Because how can you plan and have a budget if you can't guarantee when your money is coming? Which leads me to the 4th lesson I learned…
4.Have multiple streams of income..and plan ahead.
As a full-time blogger/entrepreneur this year, this was my main lesson. I needed to have other ways to make money other than just sponsored posts that require me to depend on others to pay me on time. I developed products that I could sell. I worked hard to increase my blog traffic so that I could make more ad revenue. I upped the way I use affiliate marketing to make extra income. I wrote a few posts for another website to make money. And I'm still looking for other streams of income. Because I learned the hard way that I can't put all of my eggs in one basket. My other lesson was that when I suddenly get paid more than my budget needed that month..put that money to the side. It's not the time to go crazy and buy all the things. I'm building my saving account for those months when I'm chasing my money.
5. It's worth it.
Every time my alarm goes off at 4 am, I thank God for the privilege of having the choice to do it. I've been able to take days off at a moments' notice because I'm sick, or because Pookah is sick. I've been able to decide to work at the coffee shop for the day if I want to. I've been able to travel, I've been able to change around my schedule and work in the evening instead of the day if something is going on. We've paid our bills, gone on vacation, and paid for emergencies ( new roof, air conditioning units anyone?) this year with the help of my income.
So those are the lessons I've learned in my first year as a full-time blogger. I has been the hardest thing I've ever done ( besides motherhood) but the most fun I've ever had. I might have waited until I was 41 to do it, but I'm proof that it's never to late to take a leap of faith and do what you love.
Any questions? Hit me up in the comments or on social!