I have been blogging in total for almost eight years but I only took the leap and registered as self employed back at the start of this year. It was something I had wanted to do for a while but never felt that I was ‘good’ enough to dedicate myself entirely to my blog. In the end, I kind of fell into it after deciding it would be too expensive to go back to my part time job in the events industry due to childcare costs for my youngest who recently turned two.
I bit the bullet and registered as self employed, deciding to just go for it. After all generally you regret things you didn’t do more than things you did. Self employment actually works really well for me as a mum. I am able to work flexible hours around looking after them, doing the school run and everyday errands and am able to attend parents evenings, plays and meetings with relative ease. Occasionally it can be a bit tricky if I have a deadline I am working to and Benjamin is poorly or clingy and I do feel extremely lonely at times not being part of a team but overall I have settled into self employment and enjoy it.
One of the main struggles most self employed people face is the lack of financial stability. It can be nerve wracking not knowing how much I will make from month to month and, if Ed wasn’t in a stable job, I don’t think it would be possible. I am really grateful that I am in a position where I can do something I love. I have worked hard to ensure I have a semi steady stream of work and have consistently made money each month since I registered as self employed.
I am fortunate to have an aunt who is an accountant and if I am unsure about anything I know I can ask her for advice. One of the main things I do is file my invoices by month on my laptop, this means that I can find a specific invoice quickly and easily and it should make my tax return a lot simpler when I come to doing it. I have also been putting aside a percentage of each payment I recieve into a savings account. Although I shouldn’t have to pay much tax to start with, I think it is a good practise to get used to and may even mean I can give myself a nice bonus at some point.
Something I learnt fairly quickly was a lot of companies operate 30 day payment terms. This means that if I send over an invoice in say November, I won’t get the money for it until December. This has meant that some months I have had a lot more payments than others but I try and think ahead and ensure I have work to fill any gaps and keep my income as steady as possible. I took on some additional freelance work earlier in the year and this was really helpful as it gave me a regular income alongside my other payments. It also gave me a little more human interaction as, although mainly based from home, the position meant working at events and having weekly meetings with the rest of the team. I would advise finding some freelance work to start with as it will give you that financial cushion to fall back on should the blog work be a little slow initially.
I have learnt to be more forthright and confident in my worth lately. It can be hard to discuss budget and ask for payment for work, but ultimately you are providing a service and deserve to get paid for the work you put in. I find it a lot easier to talk about payment these days, but it can be a little hard to get used to if you have blogged as a hobby for a long time. If you can, find other bloggers who are happy to talk through what they charge with you so you have a reasonable idea of what to expect and always remember that you are more than just a number when it comes to your blog and social media following. Mine isn’t the biggest by far, but I have a loyal and engaged following and I work hard on the content I produce and am proud of everything I write and put together.
Blogging for a living can be a little daunting, especially when it is still a relatively new concept and people can judge you if they don’t really understand the work that goes into writing and maintaining a blog and social media presence. It all makes it worthwhile though when you are able to work with brands you love and admire, even more so when you receive nice feedback from those brands. I recently had an email from a brand I have worked with a few times in the last year. They were praising me for my photography and strong work ethic and it felt amazing to be appreciated for all the effort I put into my blog.
As I go into a new year and my second year of self-employment, I’m sure the learning curve will continue but I am excited to see where 2019 takes me. Even Angels Fall sometimes feels like my fourth child and I can’t wait to see what’s next for my little corner of the internet!