The pros and cons of being a full-time blogger

No commuting, walking the dog whenever you want and using the gym at quiet times – is career blogging as perfect as it sounds? Our guest blogger Carole King, interior designer and author of Dear Designer blog, reveals all…

The pros and cons of being a full-time blogger

Sometimes I can’t quite believe I’ve been full-time blogging now for four years! I still have to pinch myself some mornings while I’m sitting in the garden with my breakfast, or enjoying one more cup of tea in my pj’s, instead of standing on a crowded Tube train.

But like every other career there are pros and cons and like every other ‘job’ there are good days and bad days, but on the whole I wouldn’t change a thing.

Carole King, Dear Designer blogger

Pros of being a full-time blogger

1. My time is my own. I set my own schedule and it can be as flexible as I like. No one is going to raise an eyebrow if I take a long lunch or decide to have a day off mid-week. BF [boyfriend] works shifts so sometimes it suits me to work into the evening, or all weekend sometimes, and then take time out during the week while he’s also not working.

2. I can choose only the projects I really want to work on. Obviously there’s some compromise here. I do have bills to pay after all. But on the whole it’s nice to choose the collaborations that are sympathetic to my own views and tastes and not have to do anything ‘just for the money’.

3. Working from home means I can multitask. I don’t have to wait until the weekend to get the washing done, and I don’t have to have time off to wait in for the TV repair man.

4. No commuting time means extra time for breakfast (see above), and time in the evenings to do some chores like watering the garden or just enjoying a bit of R&R before putting the dinner on.

5. I can also exercise during quiet times at the gym and take the dog for a walk at a time that suits me.

6. The blogging community is really supportive of each other. There’s nothing better than getting together at press shows or events, or just lunch, but we are also there for one another daily on email, Facebook and other social media too.

Career blogger Carole King's home office

Cons of being a full-time blogger

1. You have to be self-motivated. I don’t really find this a problem especially as I’m only really happy when I’m being creative, so the lines between work and leisure are blurred. Blogging started as a hobby, and if I never earned another penny doing it, I’d do it anyway.

2. It’s hard to switch off. Social media is constant, and when I’m not on the PC, I’m on the tablet or phone, so it’s impossible to ignore updates. The secret is to turn off alerts but that’s easier said than done. I’ve learned not to read emails after a certain time in the evening though. All too often you see one that you think you have to respond to straight away, when really, the morning is soon enough.

3. You have to be a proficient at a lot of things you took for granted when employed. There’s no IT person to fix things when they break, there’s no accounts department to do your billing for you, and you have to do your own tax returns!

4. I do miss the banter of an office environment. And you could, if not careful, become a recluse. You do have to push yourself sometimes to go to events even if it means a day away from the PC and a mountain of emails building up. It’s always worth the effort and can sometimes lead to new contacts and new opportunities.

5. You have to create your own opportunities. The best jobs are always the ones where you have been pro-active and have stepped a little bit out of your comfort zone.

6. You have to be prepared for an uncertain income. There are good months and bad months but I wouldn’t change it for the world…