Ever wondered how bloggers keep themselves afloat and actually earn any money? Fancy starting a blog or taking yours to the next level? Listen to Megan’s story of how she went from full-time job to full-time blogger and self-employment at Wonderful You.
So, you’re a full-time blogger and part-time YouTuber. For those who haven’t quite dragged themselves into the 21st century, what does that actually mean? I write stuff, collaborate with brands and film videos!
Did you always know that you wanted to be a full-time blogger? Absolutely not. I didn’t even know that it was a thing until I’d been doing it for a while!
Did you go to university? Actually, no I didn’t. At school and then at college, I was always the girl who wasn’t quite sure what was next. I felt incredibly young and under qualified to decide what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I decided against university for a few reasons – I wasn’t sure what I wanted to study, I knew I wouldn’t fit in too well with the lifestyle it presented (I’m not a party go-er) – and lastly, I didn’t want to be in thousands of pounds worth of debt without being 100% sure on which subject I wanted to study.
What was your first job out of college? I worked for the Stroke Association, raising awareness for their fundraising campaigns. Initially, I just wanted a job as soon as possible to start earning money and this was the first thing that came up but it was a wonderfully rewarding company to work for. I stayed there for 3 years and made some life long friends as well as picked up invaluable skills to take with me into future roles.
How did you end up in your current role? I was flicking through Google, casually looking for a new hairstyle (I’d decided I wanted a swooping side fringe… because I was extremely cool) and I came across an image of a beautiful girl, clicked on her photo and it directed me to her ‘blog’. An array of beautiful images and passionate ramblings filled my screen and I had zero idea what it was. I found myself fascinated with reading about what this girl loved and checked back daily to see if she’d posted anything new. The lady behind this blog was Zoe Sugg, the absolute dreamboat who is the mastermind behind Zoella. I read her site for a few months and then decided I wanted to give it a go, too. And well, I did.
What do you love most about working for yourself? Gahh, I couldn’t possibly pick one thing! The flexibility is amazing – being able to work any hour I need to but also being able to take Monday morning off to visit my nan and take her to the shops makes me feel incredibly lucky. The opportunities to work with some of my favourite brands, the wonderful people, the independence I feel – it’s just the best job in the world.
Any downsides? What doesn’t have its downsides? There’s no such thing as a day off with what I do – every moment is an opportunity to capture content and the internet never sleeps. I wouldn’t say it’s a negative because I truly love it, but managing the expectations I have of myself can sometimes be quite difficult.
What has been the hardest thing about getting to your current position? To be truthful, doing what I do has never been difficult because I enjoy it so much. But actually, I never would’ve described myself as a natural entrepreneur before – and so learning to see my blog as a job and running a business single-handedly, that’s been the tricky part.
Has your job turned out to be what you expected? If I’m honest, I still don’t really know what I expect from it… having only been full-time for a year I feel like I’m only just finding my feet. Every day brings something new and so I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to know what to expect!
What does a typical day at the office look like for you? Do you use a work space? I do! To be honest, I do really struggle with this side of things. A year or so ago I separated from my ex and moved back in with my parents to try and save money to buy on my own (yay adult-ing!). And whilst it’s an incredibly fortunate situation to be in, and I’m very grateful, I do feel quite unsettle. I do have a desk in my bedroom, though, which is where I work on the days I’m at home – it’s not ideal but it does the job!! Office days are few and far between, but when I do have one it’ll involve writing blog posts, editing videos, responding to emails and catching up with any other admin.
Is there ever a ‘right time’ to become a full-time blogger? I don’t think so. And I guess any blogger would reiterate the same – that it’s personal circumstances. For me, it was about doing it at a time where I didn’t have too much responsibility to contend with. Being self-employed can be a scary position to be in – I find myself worrying about money even when there’s enough coming in! I think that’s purely because it’s quite unpredictable and there’s not really a stable or guaranteed level of income. I do believe that everyone just knows when it’s the right time for them, though, and it’s 100% the best decision I ever made.
What do you think makes a great/successful blog? Blogging has become a saturated market and it can feel a little dog-eat-dog with so many carbon copies out there, all doing very similar things. For me, my favourite blogs are the ones with a true voice – like yours, Olivia. The ones who forget about the numbers and the advantages and simply do it because they feel passionately about what they have to say – that’s captivating, that’s success.
Do you think there is a career path to becoming a full-time blogger? I really don’t – and I already feel the ‘full-time blogger’ title is moving into something entirely different. Social platforms are taking over the digital world, and you don’t necessarily have to have a blog in order to be full-time within the social arena anymore. The only thing I think is key, is to have had some work experience before going anything alone – I only feel like I can do it because of the years I have strapped under my belt in the 9-5 world.
If you could do anything other than what you do now, what would it be? Ah, this is such a good question!! Like I said before – I’ve never had a burning desire to do one thing in particular but I would’ve really loved to have done something with my singing.
What’s the best way to make a good impression in your industry? Get involved. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there, speak your mind and meet new people. I think the main attraction to bloggers is their approachability, that ‘Sarah with 300,000 followers’ could be your big sister, even though you see her as somewhat famous, is pretty cool. There’s a level of trust there that you don’t have in many other industries and it’s so refreshing and lovely. Maintaining that is key and I think that starts with getting to know other bloggers, too.
What do you think are the 3 main qualities a person needs to be a successful full-time blogger? Honesty, honesty, honesty. I really don’t think you need anything else other than to be yourself. It kinda bums me out that it’s become such a huge deal, such a sought after title, that people forget what it’s about. All blogging is, is a bunch of people talking about their passions – if you’re genuine, that will take you further than anything else.
And finally, what one piece of practical career advice would you give to your younger self? Believe in yourself – it’s a massive cliche but my god is it true. I’ve been and continue to be, incredibly hard on myself; but if I’d had just that little more self-belief when I was younger I’d be even ballsier than I am now. We really are our biggest obstacle – you don’t need to go to university, you don’t need to know everything right now. Just know you’re capable of really great things. Things that you’ll look back on and be immensely proud of.
If you would like to get in touch with Megan or read her beautiful blog, you can find her over here.