Before Paul and I started dating he always used to post these super dramatic Facebook statuses about taking risks or else…They were directed at me. He was sending me cryptic messages that I should take a risk (date him) or else (die). He was very emo back then. Obviously those weren’t the words he used but now we joke about it anytime we assess risk–“people that don’t take risks DIE!” we proclaim all melodramatically to each other. Wondering what this has to do with this post? Well, it’s very relevant, I promise.
Transitioning into full-time blogging is much like leaving your boyfriend to date a different guy. What if you fail? What if I left something great for nothing? What if it’s not as great as it seems? Yeah, all valid questions; however, that’s not how life, or risk, works. Most big decisions aren’t exactly easy, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll stress about it before just biting the bullet and going for it.
When I decided to go full-time blogging I did it in baby steps. And I guess I should also mention that I didn’t exactly make the decision. Paul had to nudge me a bit before I realized I was kind of in limbo with my blog. I was spending so much time creating content while also working (creative consulting full time with close to 10 clients at one point) that I wasn’t actually growing or making any progress. My blog was stagnant. I had to make a decision: either I give it my all and see where it takes me or give it up entirely. It is too much work to just have on the side (the way I was doing it).
Below are my 4 tips for making the transition into full time blogging.
–Have a support system. Emotionally and financially. Because let’s be honest, if things don’t pick up, or if you don’t already monetize off your blog, shit can get scary. I’ve always had my own income so the thought of walking away from my steady, secure paycheck to something a bit more unknown was terrifying. Plus, being a blogger is expensive! You have to really map out your expenses / budget to understand what you’re in for. Photographers, clothing, props, travel, gas, website stuff…these are all necessary investments you’re making in yourself (the business).
Paul assured me that if I went for it 100% he had my back. If I didn’t make money at first it would be okay. Not forever (LOL), but for a while. He also provided me with endless emotional support–giving me a confidence boost when I needed it, talking through choices I had to make, taking my photos on vacation without rolling his eyes, and now he plays a very active role in my blogging business (and thinks he’s the creative director of all my content!). Without Paul there would be no blog, at least not what it is today. He is so proud of me and that emotional support is truly invaluable to me.
-Baby steps. As I mentioned, I transitioned from a traditional 9 – 5 a few years before pursuing my blogging career full-time. I was faced with an unfortunate situation and decided to turn it around. I began creative consulting for brands, and later started creating content for brands as well. I was very familiar with the freelance lifestyle and knew I could handle it. I have the discipline to be my own boss without being too distracted by the freedom. I have anxiety, after all.
Since I was already self-employed I started to slowly pull away from my business and focus more on the blog. I only allowed myself to work with clients that wouldn’t spread me too thin or drain my creativity. Eventually I reached a point when the blog was priority and you know what happened next.
-Be real with yourself. Social media is a very vocal space. You know if people are receptive to you / your content. Obviously if you’re at the infancy stage of blogging, you’re not going to have momentum right away (unless you’re super lucky), but after a few years you should have a rhythm that works for you AND your audience. Make sure you find it before jumping ship. Right before going full-time I was at a place where I felt confident in my content but wasn’t growing. Something had to happen, but what? Dedication.
-Make a master plan. After spending months researching (by trial & error) what engages my audience, I had to set a plan. Once I went full-time what exactly was I going to do? Since I can clearly produce content like I’m full-time while working, what will I do with all the rest of the time? For me, I decided to travel as much as possible. I wanted to diversify my content and see what my sweet spot was. I spent most of 2016 not at home. Each month I was headed somewhere. Not saying that’s the secret or anything, but for me it made sense. And while I did grow from it, it wasn’t just travel that was going to seal the deal for me. It was consistency, continuity, personality, etc.
I hope I’ve provided you with some value in today’s post. If you have any questions for me in regards to making the transition I’m happy to answer below in the comments!