I am a ‘pro-blogger’. Yes, there, I said it. It feels a bit odd to declare it, truth be told, but after I went along to a brilliant session at Tots100 Blog Camp last month, ran by Penny and Becky, it’s been made concrete and clear in my mind and also made me comfortable to say it aloud. The Reading Residence is a blog that I am proud of.
I earn from being a blogger. I get to have great experiences with my family, review some fabulous products, and I accept sponsored content and ambassadorships, which all combine to mean that I am a pro-blogger.
It seems almost the wrong thing to say in so many circles. You say it to people who aren’t bloggers or really aware of all that it entails, and they don’t understand. It can be hard to explain. Or the other end of the spectrum, as I was actually chatting to someone the other day who asked me what I do now, and when I replied saying that I was a blogger, the response was ‘oh yes, but there’s not any money in that’. Really? You then say it to bloggers or readers and it can be perceived as a bad thing, or as ‘selling out’, which of course it is not, it’s simply getting paid for doing something that I truly love.
I want to make a living here. I love my little space here, it’s precious to me and I work hard on it. I can’t see how earning from it is a bad thing or in anyway a negative thing for my readers. For every paid piece that I share (always disclosed as such), you know there will also be a stack of others that week that are not. And I only accept sponsored and review work that I feel genuinely good and enthused about and feel fit here comfortably. Ambassadorship roles I consider very carefully before accepting. I only want to be aligned with brands that I honestly believe in and that I think are of interest to my readers. I write, I spend a lot of time dipping in and out of social media, I review, I attend events and I spend an increasing amount of time on emails and admin. This is my work, albeit part time whilst my son is still at home with me. So I am a pro-blogger, and it means something to me.
I had a career before the children, one where I had to be organised, make decisions, multi-task in a big way, manage a big team, and most importantly, build relationships. Whilst I’m sure that many of the skills that I developed there have been transferred over to my blog work, it is that last one that is key, I think. I enjoyed the social aspect, I wanted to cultivate and develop relationships, and as a leader, I worked hard to inspire. That wasn’t simply part of my job, it’s who I am. So here, in this teeny corner of the internet, I like to share learns, connect over stories, and maybe even once in a while inspire someone out there in some small way, too. That means something to me.
But the most important thing of all that pro-blogging gives me? I am here, I am at home with my children. Boo’s now started school, so I am there for the school runs, as well as the workshops, assemblies and plays. I am here with my 2 year old day in day out, watching him grow. He’ll begin at nursery in September, a couple of school days a week, and I like to know that I’m here should he need me. I’ll then be increasing my blogging work and I’m also resuming my OU degree studies (more on that soon).
Pro-blogging is a passion, a job that I love, a community where I have met so many wonderful people, and it means that I can work around my family. You just can’t beat that, can you?