Are you ready to be a full-time blogger?

If you are a fellow blogger, I’m sure this question would pop up in your mind at a certain point of time during your blogger-journey.

I too have contemplated one two many times if I should take a leap of faith , drop everything  and just go for it. By ‘everything’ I meant to include all these :-

  • Full-time job
  • Academic qualifications which you have struggled to achieve
  • Stability from a full-time job, especially financially
  • Potential disappointment from your family member
  • Negative judgments of others

Let me explain myself in detail.

Full-time job

If you are still a student, in particular a full-time one, this may not be applicable to you.

If you hold a full-time day job like me, this would be the first issue that you would most likely consider.

I understand there are many bloggers out there who are blogging full-time and has taken blogging up many notches, placing it on par with a full-time job.

They could have been earning tonnes previously in their full-time job or struggling to make ends meet, whatever the case may be, the question is…

Are you ready?

Well, I do know that I’m not and the reasons are pretty simple.

I may not earn tonnes from my full-time job but am drawing a comfortable pay for my age and circumstances (no concrete commitments such as kids and mortgage payments). Till date, ever since from the last exam paper of my degree course, I have been working for around 3 years or so.

3 years is not an appealing number for me to forgo everything and switch to blogging as a source of income. I feel that there are so much more to learn, especially so as I am an in-house legal counsel whose job scope covers myriads of areas.

3 years is definitely not enough. I feel that I had barely started out and I feel inadequate.

Well, that’s my perspective.

Because of that, I am not ready to give up my full-time job and switch to a full-time blogger.

Academic Qualifications

Okay, some of you may not agree with me on this as there have many cases that portrayed the irrelevance of academic qualifications and the jobs people hold.

Some law grads ended up in other jobs.

For example, although Adrian Pang graduated with a law degree, he did not practise but trained at the ARTTS International in Bubwith instead. He worked for a number of years in British theatre and television before returning to Singapore (Wikipedia).

Selena Tan, most notable as one of the famous Dim Sum Dollies, left her high paying job as a lawyer to pursue her interest in arts, although she started acting since 14.

I furthered my studies with a Masters for a reason, be it for career prospects or personal self-achievement, I don’t think it is that simple for me to just cast that aside and blog full-time.

I am still keen to witness how far my academic qualifications will take me in my legal career.

Thus, back to the inadequacy of 3 years of post-qualification experience.

Financial Stability

Putting aside retrenchment issues, similar to a sales commission-based job with no basic salary, a full-time blogger pretty much faces similar situation.

If you have no engagements (for paid advertorials), you basically have no income.

Sponsored items won’t evolve into dollar notes either.

So, back to the same question.

Are you ready, financially?

Potential disappointment from family members

This refers to parents in particular.

I don’t think that ‘leaving my legal career for a full-time blogger job’ gels very well together in the eyes of parents, my parents.

I dare not think much of their reactions should this day when I break such news to them, although it’s pretty obvious what their reactions would be.

Please don’t be mistaken. They are not stern parents but I’m just saying, they may not take this idea positively.

Negative judgments from others

In the Singapore context, bloggers do not belong to a job category.

What would you say if family members and friends ask what do you do for a living?

They may frown in dismay. Like this kid.

Some may not even know what a ‘blogger’ is, especially our older folks.

But I guess the most common question would be, “Huh? Can survive meh?”

Unless you belong to the top-notch bloggers such as XiaXue or BongQiuQiu who earns tonnes from paid advertorials and get sponsored awesome items from top brands (XX was sponsored a C-A-R!), you have to consider this hugggeeeee leap carefully.

If you have not made much of a name for yourself in the blogosphere, like yours truly (*sniffs*), or if you have a humble little blog, like yours truly again (*sniffs sniffs*), you may want to hold back your eager thoughts of becoming a full-time blogger.

How do bloggers receive sponsorship and exclusive event invitations?

I think this topic has got to be one of the many interesting ones which readers or potential bloggers/beginner bloggers are keen to know and this partly reads the life of a blogger.

As requested by some readers, I have decided to share a fair bit on getting sponsorship and receiving invitations from exclusive invitations.

Naturally, it is always a struggle when you just started out, trying to make a name in any industry and the blogosphere applies accordingly as well.

It is difficult and I am no XX, QQ or KK.

bloggers

I blog not only because of the perks but mainly because I love to write.

You can’t survive if you do not first have the passion as your interest would die off very quickly. Trust me on that.

Here are some ways and tips you may wish to consider if you are keen in enjoying the perks.

Be thick-skinned

I dislike mincing my words so when I said be thick-skinned, you really have to to possess that certain layer of thickness and approach others yourself directly.

This is especially true if you are just starting out, with no/minimal number of readership views.

You need to create awareness and draw attention to your blog. And it doesn’t stop there. How you keep readers interested and return to your blog is another matter all together. Perhaps I would leave that topic for another day.

Approaching established brands might fill your disappointment if you are barely starting out. These top companies usually engage PR/Media companies to handle their social media marketing business and of course, there are some silly ones which I have received before.

You can consider approaching smaller brands/companies but one way is to approach online shops and that are smaller ones/not so popular ones/just starting out like yourself.

However, bear in mind that these smaller ones may not be ready/have the capital to pay you for advertisements. Paid advertisements usually exist for established bloggers who have a stable amount of readership views.

My advice is that, don’t demand too much if you are just starting out. Whatever assignments that are appropriate and which you know you can complete without much hassle, take it.

$$$ can come in later.

You need to first create awareness of your blog. 

So ask, ask and ask.

Do consider PR firms as well. As the power of social media strengthens by the minute, there are several of them sprouting out.

Nevermind if you get rejected, at least you have made your little humble blog known.

Join blogger-management companies

Some companies that manage/advertise bloggers/involve in social media marketing such as MyFatPocket, GushCloud, NuffNang etc are good opportunities if you are seeking for more collaboration opportunities. As I have mentioned, companies do approach and outsource to such social media marketing companies to handle this portion of work for them, especially since they have the capital to do so.

Some of these social media marketing companies may require a certain level of popularity (based on your readership) before you may join as their panel of bloggers.

After you are in, your blog will be ‘managed’ by them at the back end and whatever advertorials/sponsorship/invitations would then be handled by them as well.

PR Skills

I must admit that I would need to brush up my own PR skills. I am not a social butterfly and I can appear aloof if you don’t know me. (Psst, it’s just that sometimes I’m too serious for my own good and either than that, I don’t really like to smile. But now with my ‘new’ smile, I hope that would motivate me to smile more and with more confidence).

But good for you if you are naturally vocal and sociable.

Once you receive invitations to events, extend your network further by chatting up with people. If you’re not that sociable, remember my first point.

As with any social event, the best and common method to reach out to more people is to exchange name cards.

Think connections, think networking.

Aftermath

Congrats! So you have received your first advertorial/sponsorship/invitation, what should be done thereafter?

Get your ass to it, complete within deadlines and basically, just do an awesome job!

Once you maintain such standard, clients would come back for more.

If you’d asked me, this is a no-brainer tip.

Nobody would want to continue engaging a blogger/generally and pay them if unsatisfactory work was produced, right?

Furthermore, I don’t know about you but the great sense of achievement you receive after putting in your best effort and the compliments you receive from clients on your commendable work, is really priceless.

GOOD LUCK!