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Back in 2013 when I started blogging it was never about the money, it was about the friends, the content, the community and most importantly our passions for writing. When I wrote my first blog post about Barbie cupcakes (soz, this has long been deleted), I remember feeling cool, like I had my own space on the internet, it was like a step up from Tumblr as it felt like truly mine and although I am pretty sure my photos were taken on some next level brick, at the time I was made up with the post.
Fast forward to 2015 when blogging became an income for a lot of bloggers, the money was high and the stakes to become the next big thing were even higher. I was writing so much content just to keep up with the game, and I remember I ended up hating what my blog had become, I felt like I was just churning out rubbish four times a week and I decided to take a huge break. I wasn’t sure if I’d even come back. Having a blog and your own social media channels feels at times like you’re running your own little empire. Sometimes you create what is expected of a whole team with just you on your own. I have often considered, even now, going completely freelance to work on my content full time and not have another job alongside it. It would be so much harder than it is having it as an extra income like I do now, but it is something I’d love to one day be able to do.
I was always worried about what being alone all of the time would do to me as a lone worker in my house all day. I know Manchester which is not that far away from myself offers up Hot Desks which to work for a few weeks/months to be away from working at home would be ideal. Like Signature Works they offer networking and training events that can be hugely beneficial to your business. You can also use their office spaces for your own meetings which can be great when meeting clients. Plus water and beer on tap, doesn’t sound too bad right?
Being a freelancer I’ve learnt a lot about my own skill set, I’ve developed skills I didn’t even know I had until I was put to the test of using them. I’ve taught myself how to file a tax return, what expenses are and how to keep organised when it comes to my income. I’ve also found out my photography skills are improving with every single picture I take. You learn to be proud of the content you create and love getting your name out there. When I first started it was a bit like ‘my thing’ and the idea of anyone I knew in real life reading it made me want to die a little inside, I was so embarrassed. Now, I stand by my own work like no end and I am not afraid to shout about it.
Sadly, with all good, there is usually a bad. I’ve also found out that like pretty much everywhere in the world there are good people and bad people. People who are only out for themselves and those who only want the ‘free stuff’. It does put a bad name on all of us bloggers when there are people out there who are only looking for press samples or who take advantage of small businesses and their kind spirit. People become too big for their boots and forget those around them who helped them grow and this makes me sad to see. Like most things, you can fall from the top a lot quicker than it took you to climb up there in the first place.
So what has blogging taught me? Well, I am in my sixth year now and haven’t experienced much negativity during my time as a blogger. I’ve worked with some amazing brands and other creators and if you’d of told me this at the start of my blogging journey I would never have believed you. I’ve met people who I wouldn’t have without the passion of writing bringing us together, people who come from all over the world and all different walks of life. I have also found out that I am very indecisive which I didn’t believe before about myself and I like to change my style a lot. But that’s what makes me, who I am.
*This is a collaborative post, but all thoughts are my own as always*