Working full time with blog on the side is pretty common for a lot of us. For some the blog is a side hustle, for others it’s a hobby but either way, our blog isn’t our main employment or our main source of income, if any income at all.
I’d be the biggest liar if I said I hadn’t thought about being a full time travel blogger. Being paid to travel the world all the time. Being my own Boss. Working from home. Sounds pretty cool hey?
I’d also be lying though if I said that being a full time travel blogger is my dream and what I’m working towards because although the idea does pop into my head sometimes, generally, I don’t know if I’d really want to. I follow it up with questions like:
Could I do it? How much work would it take? How much money would I earn? Would it be worth the risk? Would I actually enjoy it? Could I actually hold myself accountable to be my own Boss?
The term ‘Never say Never’ pops into my mind but that could apply both ways.
Right now, I’m happy working full time in a job that doesn’t relate to my blog and I’m happy blogging on the evenings and weekends. I’m happy that I’m in a position now where blogging is helping me support my travels but in no way funding them 100%, so here are a few reasons why I feel that way:
I can live in Central London on my own.
Ok, so I don’t live on my own in London because I’d have to be earning the big big bucks to do that, but I live in Zone 2 in a pretty central and nice area where I rent a room and my rent reflects that. In all honesty I don’t know many full time travel bloggers that live in Central London because it means that between £550-800, depending on your choice of location and room, needs to be paid in rent each month. Working for yourself and not knowing how much you’ll earn each month could make that a very scary prospect. Also for a travel blogger who would spend a lot of their time away from home it just wouldn’t make sense. If I was to be a full time blogger I’d definitely have to move back into my Mum’s house to start with and use that as a base so that I wasn’t paying rent but I’m 27 and I can’t be moving back home!
Also, as a 27 year old who isn’t from London I think that right now is my prime time to be living in London. Most of my friends live here, I can get to Europe and other places in the UK so easily, there’s endless amount of things to do and I’m able to keep up in the daily tube rush!
So I like that I have a full time job where I earn the same amount each month and therefore know I can pay my Central London rent each month without relying on anyone else. Although don’t get me wrong, once I’ve paid for my rent, tube, food etc it’s still quite hard, but that’s the London renting life and I’m happy with it for the time being.
I don’t have to hustle 24/7.
Working freelance or blogging full time is all about the hustle. I’ve enjoyed and do enjoy ‘hustling’, contacting brands and seeing how and if we can work together. Seeking out potential opportunities, making my blog grow into a business and brand that I am the boss of but I don’t think I could do that all the time and have what I earn rely on this.
I’ve done a few commission based jobs in the past, mainly whilst I lived in Australia and I hated them! I’m not a sales person, money motivates me to a degree but not hugely other than I need it to survive (and to save to travel with) so I just couldn’t imagine relying on myself to hustle all the time!
As I said above, I like that I know how much I’ll earn each month from my full time job. I don’t have any anxiety when I get into bed about whether I can pay my rent or not and if that makes me boring, or less successful and not a dreamer then, that’s ok with me!
I love Elle Croft’s post on Why I Hate the Hustle (and Other Thoughts on Being Busy).
I have 2 career’s.
The job that I work full time in doesn’t have anything to do with travel or blogging or social media and although I’m not high up the ladder career wise I know I am making the necessary steps up it. I work in Property for a big restaurant company and I’m learning a lot each day. I’m learning more about my role, about my colleagues roles, and more about how this business runs. I have always loved being in an office environment surrounded by lots of knowledge and experience that I can take on board.
At the same time though, I read blog posts, go to events like Traverse, and listen to podcasts (ok, just Wanderluce’s podcast but I love it) on blogging, social media & freelancing because I’m interested in all of this too. I want to keep upping my blogging game and I plan to start a blogging course soon. I also want to learn more about photography as I love taking photos but I realise that I’m not at all skilled in doing so.
This means that I’m learning a lot and learning a lot about 2 very different careers and pathways. Maybe one day the pathways will merge, maybe they won’t and I’ll continue up one and not the other, or maybe even none of them, but I like this because right now I feel like I have options for the future.
Travel can remain my passion.
Travel is my passion, there’s no doubt about that. I love going to new places, seeing new things, seeing different ways of life and meeting new people.
When travel becomes your full time job though, then travel becomes your work, it comes business and I don’t know how happy I’d be about that.
Making travel your work and getting paid to travel the world sounds like the dream doesn’t it? But I’ve read enough posts on ‘the reality of travelling full time’ & ‘the downside of being a full time blogger’ to know that it get’s exhausting (I also have mixed feelings about these posts). Having to produce content for every place you go, constantly take photos and be switched on on social media 24/7 instead of just enjoying where you are.
I have travelled full time for long periods of time (just travelling, not blogging), 4 months is my average trip time whenever I’ve done this and I know it can get exhausting. I remember being in Thailand at the start of 2016 and just wanting to go home rather than going to the Philippines.. I mean, that sounds crazy doesn’t it but I know first hand how ‘over travelling’ you can get.
I can deal with being ‘over travelling’ from my own trips because I know that they don’t and won’t last forever and soon I’ll be back to reality but I don’t think I’d like to become ‘over travelling’ because travel is now my job and I see it as work, because then, I would be over my passion.
‘For me, I’d travel whether I was blogging or not.’
I don’t rely on my blog to travel.
Plain and Simple, I started travelling wayyy before I got this slice of the internet and I know that I’d continue to travel without it too. I didn’t want to be a blogger and think, oh a travel blogger sounds fun, lets start travelling and see if I like it. I started travelling and then thought that actually it would be worth documenting my travels. From that thought, I created a blog and now I love that this blog is helping me travel more and encouraging me to travel more but I know if I had to give it up I’d still be seeing the world as much as I do now, because I’d still have a full time job and travel is my passion.
I can pick and choose.
I had an epiphany the other day that actually, us lot that work full time to pay our bills and have a blog on the side are actually the lucky ones because we can pick and choose what trips we work with brands on (if that’s what you’re doing with your blog, if not, it’s all good!).
If we get emailed about a destination or a trip doesn’t sound thrilling we can say no. If a company that we don’t believe in contacts, we can say no. If we get contacted about an amazing trip or experience but there’s no, or only little budget behind it, we can say YES because we’re not relying on brands to fund our living.
I know I’m not the only one.
Most bloggers I know, whether that’s virtually or now in real life, work full time with their blog on the side. Maybe that’s because we can relate to each other more and have built a friendship from that so we talk and engage more but I certainly know I’m not the only one trying to do this.
I love this community and there are so many helpful and inspiring posts out there written by amazing people to help me feel better about what I’m doing and to help me manage doing both things. A few of these are:
5 Things I do Every Weekend to Grow my Blog by Beverley from Pack Your Passport
Secrets Behind Running A Blog & Working Full Time by Aftab from Fresh & Fearless
How to Balance Blogging with a Full Time Job by Sophie from Sophie Cliff
We Need to Stop Calling Blogs ‘Brands’ by Kara from Heels in my Backpack
What you think, do you agree? Do you disagree? Let me know in the comments below or by tweeting me!