One of the most common questions I get is how to build a following on social media in order to work (full-time) as a blogger and/or influencer. I have a ton of blog posts that go into my history of how I got started and social media tips in general, and just launched a free training video series about how to increase your numbers and make more money when negotiating with brands, but I thought it would be interesting to write a blog on the pros & cons of this job especially since I’ve worked both sides (corporate, as a RN and now self-employed as a blogger). Since it’s still a relatively new career, I think there there can be a lot of confusion and misconceptions on what the job is actually like and what it entails. Some of these pros & cons may be not be as obvious as others!
You get to be your own boss. This is kind of a double-edge sword as it definitely can have its downsides (as in YOU are the one responsible for everyone/the business) but I personally love it. I am pretty self-motivated and like being in charge of my own brand, projects, schedule etc.
You get to make your own schedule/your schedule is more flexible. You technically don’t need to worry about PTO or vacation days, because at the end of the day it’s up to you whether you work or not, and when you’re working as a blogger it’s usually pretty easy to get content when you travel (depending on your niche). So in general if something pops up–like a vacation, family event, emergency, etc. you don’t need to ask for time off and you can still work to some extent.
You have a creative outlet. Most bloggers and influencers start their brands because it’s what they enjoyed doing in their free time. That being said, having a job that is also a creative outlet can be really rewarding. It’s a way to express yourself, do what you love and also make a living.
You feel like you’re making an impact. I feel like this one may be surprising to some people. But there isn’t any better feeling than receiving a direct message from someone saying how much of a positive impact or influence you’ve had on their life. That is honestly one of my favorite parts of this job.
You can get the opportunity to travel to fun places. This can be dependent on your (blogging) niche, but as a result of my blog and IG I’ve gotten to travel to some really cool places for work. Sometimes it’s just a trip that Stephen and I can go on and create content for (like Hawaii), and other times I get to travel with a brand and group of other influencers. Of course sometimes the non-stop travel can be a little exhausting but overall it’s a huge blessing and a really fun part of the job!
You get to tryout new products. One of the benefits of this job is being able to try all sorts of different products! Whether a PR firm is gifting you a new product from a brand, or you’re collaborating with a brand and are getting free clothes/product on top of being paid, it’s definitely a cool part of the job. Plus, I love being able to sort through different brands/products and letting y’all know what is worth buying!
You don’t have a cap on your revenue/income. When it comes to this one, it’s definitely a double edged sword (see first one one the con list). But that’s part of having your own business. The upside is, if you’re successful there is no limit of how much money you can make. This can be super motivating because you feel like it’s up to you to grow your business, increase revenue each year, etc. It’s exciting that there is unlimited potential.
You don’t have a steady income/guaranteed salary. The other side of the revenue coin (no pun intended 😉 )…you are not guaranteed an income in this business (or any time you start your own business/are self-employed) which can obviously be very stressful. So yes, you have the potential to make a lot more money than a job based off salary, but it’s not necessarily easy to do this–it’s a risk! Being a blogger and/or influencer is a business and you have to treat it as such. Each month your income varies and unless you have long term contracts signed there is no guarantee what you’ll be bringing in.
No health insurance. Going off the previous point, without a salaried job, you have to pay for health insurance out of pocket, and this is EXPENSIVE and your insurance isn’t nearly as good. When I had insurance through the hospital my monthly payments and deductibles were barely anything and now I pay a shit ton each month. This is something I really had to think about before switching to PRN as a RN. You have to decide if what you’re making being self-employed makes up for paying for things like benefits out of pocket.
Pressure to be entertaining, provide value, be “available”. You have to always “be on”. This one can be really tough. For me, I love that I get to “live my life” as my job but that can also be tiring at times. You always feel like you have to be “on” –if you’re tired, in a bad mood, lacking creativity etc. it doesn’t matter. You still have to show up and provide the service people are coming to you for. You need to constantly provide value for people to stay interested and keep their attention. And sure you can take breaks here and there but that brings me to my next con/point.
If you aren’t working, you aren’t making money or growing your brand/business. So yeah you might say, well you don’t have to post everyday, you don’t have to show up on stories everyday. But posting content consistently is what eventually brings in an income. It allows you to make money from affiliate links, and posting content regularly is why brands want to partner/sponsor you. This is why it’s also smart to use your platform to create things like an online course, a product line, etc. so you can still have revenue coming in even if you aren’t “working” every single day.
Vacations/trips are never really just a vacation. So yes, traveling can be a fun part of the job but usually on trips you can never just relax. Especially on trips that are with a brand. You are usually up around 6am and don’t stop until 11pm/midnight. And again, whether you’re taking a personal trip or traveling with a brand, you need to be making content consistently because that is what your audience is coming to you for. Your job is to provide consistent value and again, that is also what is what is bringing in an income. After all, especially if you’re more of a lifestyle blogger, your job is to share your (everyday) life!
I will say as a side note, the longer I’ve done this, you feel a *little* more comfortable taking a day or two off here and there if you have long term contracts signed and/or your own products because income is a little more guaranteed. But I still have a really hard time taking a day off. I always think, if someone came across my IG for the first time today, would I be interesting enough, entertaining enough, or be providing enough value that they would want to stay?
You end up working 7 days a week/don’t have any designated time off. You don’t get PTO days, you don’t get weekends, you don’t get holidays. Again, it is really hard to turn off when your income is dependent on being “on” and your audience expects you to be consistently providing content and value.
Overall guys, I truly love this job! I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else and I am so grateful to you guys for giving me the opportunity to serve you and do what I love 🙂 Were any of these surprising to you or give you a new perspective on what working as a blogger and/or influencer is like? xx C