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I always enjoy talking about self-employment related things on my blog because I know it’s a path that so many bloggers want to take eventually. Blogging has become such a recognized and worthwhile career, there’s no surprise that so many want a piece of the pie! But the blogging industry certainly isn’t for everyone and taking your blog full-time ISN’T all press trips, dreamy Instagram shots and getting paid for doing the bare minimum. Far from it.

Photo by Alexa Williams on Unsplash

Running a blog takes a lot of work, whether you’re self-employed or not, whether it’s your job or not. So taking that step to full-time or part-time isn’t a light decision to make. Like any career, you really need to want it, in order to do it and do it well.

I never in a million years thought that I’d be able to turn my blog into a career. Back when I was a little book blogger sharing reviews to like, 10 people. Who the heck would have expected my following to increase, my blog to grow to the extent it has and to eventually make an income from it? I certainly didn’t.

But it has. And it’s possible. I’m living proof of that. I didn’t set out to make this happen but somewhere along the line, believed in myself enough to realise that it could happen. And that was enough for me. I loved blogging that much that I put all of myself into it. And I’m so glad I did.

If this sounds like you, if you’re that person who’s sitting there who feels like it could happen for you, it absolutely can. Believe in yourself, honey! But first, here are some important things to consider when going self-employed:

Think about the why

If you want to become a self-employed blogger just because loads of other people are, that’s not a valid reason why you should. A business decision like this certainly shouldn’t be taken lightly so you’re going to have to establish your why and the reasons you want to become a self-employed blogger. Is it because you want to eventually take your blog full-time? Is it because you’re ready to quit your 9-5 and jump in head first?

It’s certainly NOT a quick money making scheme and it will take a lot of hard work and dedication to actually make it work. If you’re not prepared for that, then this could potentially be the wrong decision for you. Passion outweighs everything else here.

Are you earning money from your blog? You NEED to be registered as self employed

When we talk about a self employed blogger, we mean literally ANYONE who makes money through their blog. Even if blogging isn’t your job to any degree but you still work on sponsored posts every now and again, that money needs to be declared and you still need to be registered as self-employed. However you won’t pay tax until you earn more than £11,000 a year.

If the HMRC get an itch that you’re a business and you’re not declaring your earnings, then you might find yourself in some bother. So yes, you need to be registered if you earn money through your blog. Even if your blog ISN’T your job and you still consider it a hobby.

Consider income protection insurance

When you’re self employed with your blog, you don’t get sick pay. Or holiday pay. Or pay if/when something tragic happens that requires you to spend time away from work for a while. Any of these things are likely to happen to most of us, whether we’re self employed bloggers or not. We’re all going to get ill from time to time. Most of us take a holiday every now and again. And inevitably, shit happens.

Income Protection Insurance enables you to pay your bills on time and provide for yourself and your loved ones, should you fall ill and be unable to work. Where state benefits can and do change inline with government policy, this cover is a contract and a promise to you that won’t change and being unable to earn will be less of a worry when you know your wages are protected.

Are you prepared to deal with everything yourself?

Unless you have the money to hire an accountant which at present, I DO NOT, you’ll have to handle everything yourself. So the daily running of your blog and social channels will be your job of course but you’ll also have extra responsibilities, like registering as self-employed, filing your tax returns, paying National Insurance, keeping track of all your in-comings and various other boring AF jobs that you NEED to do because, well, it’s the law.

Can you handle irregular payments and potentially chasing late payments?

The perks of being employed is that you don’t have to worry where on when your wages are coming. They’re usually there, in your bank account, when expected. But that’s NOT the case with blogging full-time. You’ll likely have various income streams, which in itself is something you need to be able to keep on top of.

And on top of THAT, you also need to deal with contracts with brands and potential late payments which trust me… HAPPEN. In fact sometimes, you get ghosted entirely and don’t get paid at all. Which has happened to me 3 times in my blogging career. It’s infuriating but sadly something you might have to deal with.

How do you deal with loneliness?

If you struggle with loneliness, then definitely think about it CAREFULLY if you want to take your blog full-time. It’s a very isolating career. There have been days where I’ve not spoken a word out loud until 4/5 o’clock at night when the first person eventually gets home. Luckily I like quiet time to myself and need that quiet time to re-charge and work to the best of my ability. But some people don’t.

Related: 8 Reasons Why Working From Home Actually Sucks

Are you ready to not have a CLUE what to say to people when they ask you what you do for a living?

A bit of a lighthearted one to end on but it’s trueeeee. Oh my gosh, is it true. Even now, I still have no idea what to say to people when they ask me what I do. Of course it depends who asks. If it’s a younger person, I’ll probably tell them as they’re more likely to know and understand what blogging actually is. But most of the time, I end up waffling and making it worse.

It’s so weird and awkward. Sometimes I just say that I work in advertising because like, it’s not a COMPLETE lie but it is a little bit. So if I’ve ever told you I work in advertising… sorry. But I lied.

Are you registered as self-employed? Are you a full or part-time blogger? Do you have anything to add to this list? Let me know!

87 Comments

  1. You’re so right about all of this. I think some people think blogging is a breeze and that anyone can do it. In fact, we had an acquaintance tell us she’s going to spend a month walking across the UK (no idea why) and that she’ll “just set up a blog for money while I do it”… girl WHAT?!

  2. I would absolutely love to take my blog full-time one day! Thank you for all the tips, Jenny!

  3. This was a really interesting post to read. I’m nowhere near ready to be self employed but it was great to read about the pros and cons if I chose to in the future.

  4. This was really interesting to read! I think if you earn less that £1000 a year through it you don’t have to register as self employed xx

  5. Thanks for the tips! I’ve just started my blogging journey- as a side project while I’m bored in lockdown and I really enjoy sharing my travel experiences! Hopefully in the future I’ll be able to make this a full time thing! 💛

  6. Great entry – two things i would add.
    1. you need to have an accountability partner to keep you on track. Nothing like having a deadline and you have to tell someone why you didn’t meet it.
    2. What is your niche – yes it can organically change over time but just don’t think blogging about everything will create a following – be specific.

    I hope many of you enjoy blogging full time! I surly do!

    1. I wouldn’t necessarily agree with point 2. My blog saw the biggest growth when I did talk about everything. I don’t think a very specific niche is that important. Having an accountability partner can be helpful.

  7. Great post! It’s interesting to see what you have to consider when you’re thinking about becoming a full time blogger. I definitely enjoy the blogging side of things, and at the moment for me it is just a hobby. I am so used to working in an office full of people (although lockdown changed that) but I can imagine being a full time blogger you have many quiet days of being by yourself, but I also do enjoy my own company so I think it’d be something I could cope with.

    Chloe xx

      1. I’m having that issue too so I stopped completely! I’m curious what ad network you’re using now as I really want to display ads but I can’t figure out which one to use (you can DM me on twitter if you don’t want to publicly state here 😊) x

  8. Thanks for this information,am starting my journey and planning to be a full-time blogger and this will definitely work for me,as starter I need this information.

  9. I worked as a full-time blogger for 6 years, until I moved to Scotland. I can’t live in this country with the income I made in Romania, so I got a job at a factory. I wish I could go back to that life, but for now my English blog is not strong enough for me to afford it.
    I didn’t even know there was Income Protection Insurance. It seems to me that it is an extremely useful thing for bloggers around the world.

  10. It is always cool to see people going full time with their blogging careers! I’ve been thinking about ways to make money without going full time, but it is already hard maintaining a blog with another full time job. I love all of these considerations, especially to legally protect yourself! Most importantly, being mindful in case money doesn’t come in right away.

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

  11. These are also really important things to consider (especially registering as self-employed, I can’t believe how many people don’t realise that you have to!). I think one thing I’d add is be prepared with all of the learning that comes with it – there are so many different things you have to handle, as you’ve mentioned, but my CPD has gone through the roof since I started blogging! I so much more CPD than I do even in a full-time job.

  12. I found this post very interesting and also very honest. I only recently started blogging, but it is something I would do full time if I ever could. It’s helpful to hear what’s actually involved and some of the potential downsides. There really is a lot more to it than just writing! Thank you for sharing your experiences Jenny x

  13. A very interesting as it covers a lot more realistic aspects that I think many other breeze over x

  14. Another fantastic post, thank you. It really struck a nerve when you mentioned lonliness because I am a VERY social person and I feel anxious when I don’t talk to people for long, so that is certainly something I would have to take into consideration. I would always prefer to be in an office environment. But…..who I am I kidding, I am a LONG way off from making any money with my blog anyway. But that’s the dream! 🙂 X

  15. Jenny, these are all important things to think about when going full-time. It is my dream to someday be a full-time blogger.

    Also, I can relate to your last point so much. It’s so hard to explain to non-bloggers what blogging is lol. I recently shared my blog with family members and it was pretty awkward explaining to them what I do, haha.

  16. Great insights Jenny! I set myself up as self-employed even though I have a full time job because I still make money on the side and you’re right, it’s the law!!! On the plus side, my SO is an accountant, so I’m so lucky that he can help me do my tax returns!!!

  17. Love this! There’s so much that goes into blogging, more than people realise, especially when going self-employed. I always dread being asked what I do as a job as people just never get it and I always make such a mess of explaining it. I think unless it’s someone that does it themselves or works in social media, it’s always going to be hard one to explain xx

    Tiffany x http://www.foodandotherloves.co.uk

  18. I’ve been thinking of going self employed in the future. I’d like my blog to be my eventual source of income but I know it’s going to take a lot of time and patience but writing and blogging are things I really enjoy so I just need to keep at it. I didn’t know about income protection was a thing so this post has been very helpful. Thanks for creating another great blog post Jenny!

  19. So so so so so much to say on that last one. I had a family event in February and saw lots of people I hadn’t seen in about 10 years and I think I said something different to every single one of them. I usually tell a half truth and say something like social media because at least people have a vague idea what that is. It amazes me how many people still seem to think this is an easy way to make fast money! x

    Sophie

  20. These are some really interesting points – I never would have even thought to have to tell the tax office about the odd payment (luckily, I’ve only just started really) Great post for reflection x

    Paige // Paige Eades