Thursday Chats: Blogging as a Full-Time Job

Last week, I watched Samantha Ravndahl’s Q&A video where she talks about the “influencer” industry and her job as a content creator, and some of the things she said really made me think. The topic of this Thursday Chats blog post is a result of her video, which is rare because I wrote it in a week. Normally it takes me a few weeks to gather my thoughts together coherently enough for a Thursday Chats blog post! 😆

Most of you probably know that blogging is a hobby for me. I’ve always had a 9-5 job, and that won’t stop anytime soon. I totally understand why people quit their jobs to blog full-time, and I totally support it, but it’s just not something that fits into my life plans. Some of the reasons why I prefer to blog as a hobby rather than do it full time:

  1. I like the steady income a full-time job provides and the lifestyle that income provides. It’s not to say that I wouldn’t make money if I started blogging full-time, but it would take a while to start getting steady income. Also, I could make a lot less than what I make now, or I could make a lot more. In terms of finances, I’m more comfortable where I am now rather than taking a risk.
  2. I enjoy the challenge. Work can be really frustrating, both in terms of the actual duties and the politics of working in an office setting. However, I ultimately enjoy the challenge and the satisfaction from reaching my work goals, completing projects, getting feedback from my manager, etc. As introverted as I am, I would also miss the adult interaction and the relationship I have with coworkers that I’m close with. I feel like I would enjoy working from home for the first two months, but I’d get pretty lonely after a while.
  3. I’ve worked hard in my career to get to where I am. I spent another two years after university getting my designation, and then working within the company to get to where I am today, and I feel like I still have room to grow. I know life goals can change, but if I stopped working, I feel like I would be wasting all of the time and effort I spent building my career.

As many reasons as there are for me to stay at my full-time job and blog in my free time, there are just as many reasons for someone to quit their full-time job to create social media content. It offers flexibility, the possibility to be able to make more than you ever could at a “normal” job, and you’d be doing something you’re passionate about. While I like my job, I wouldn’t say I’m passionate about it.

For a lot of content creators who blog or make videos full time,  a lot of their followers see it as their jobs. I’ve noticed once in a while in YouTube coments that some viewers get upset when the YouTubers deviate from their upload schedule by missing an upload. I honestly couldn’t tell you a single YouTuber’s upload schedule, but I know it matters a lot to some loyal followers. Should we hold YouTubers accountable for keeping up with their schedule?

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One could argue that since content creation is their full-time job, their schedule is basically their work deadlines, and therefore they need to stay on schedule. In a traditional workplace, there would be consequences if someone missed a deadline. In that sense, I can definitely understand why people get upset when content creators are late with their videos or blog posts. At the same time, I’ve always seen content creator jobs as a more casual career – blogs and YouTube videos are entertainment for me and aren’t necessities. Yes, viewers/followers/subscribers are technically the “customers” and should be kept happy, but content creators technically answer to themselves. If I miss a deadline at work, it may affect my coworkers or up the chain; if I miss a deadline as a content creator, it affects only my own growth and opportunities. I personally don’t care if people miss posting a blog or a video, but I can understand why other people do care.

Another point I found it interesting was how Sam said she probably would not have gotten “work done” on herself if she wasn’t in the beauty industry. It’s honestly pretty sad that there’s a pressure to look a certain way because of her job – no one should have to feel like that. It’s one thing to get eyelash extensions, or microblading, etc., but to get Botox or lip injections seems extreme when it’s not something she would have wanted for herself if not for her job. It’s easy for us “normal people” to say that content creators don’t have to give in to that pressure, but in an industry where looks matter and you’re on camera all the time, it’s unfortunate that influencers feel like they all have to have the same look in order to make it big – big lips, a small nose, no wrinkles. In this sense, I definitely wouldn’t want to be in the industry.

I’ve seen a lot of criticism about content creators not using their platform to talk about things that “matter” such as social or political issues. Sam mentioned that at one point, she had started talking about things she cared about, but it got to the point where followers would ask her “why haven’t you talked about this yet, or this, or this?” because there was just too much going on the the world, and it got too overwhelming for her. It was like a lightbulb went off in my head after hearing her say this. I had also wondered how influencers don’t use their power to…well, influence their followers on important world issues, but after her explanation, I can totally understand why content creators don’t really mention them. They’re not Stephen Colbert, they’re beauty bloggers who talk about beauty and fashion – it’s hard for them to talk about school shootings, religious conflicts, and equality issues (for example) but not address other equally important topics.

Sam also mentions in her video how she worries about what she would do once the content creator wave ends, as she has no skills that she can apply to any other type of job. This is a legit concern if they still want to work just for the sake of working – other than video editing and makeup application, they may not have skills that can help them in a traditional workplace. However, in terms of finances, I feel like they shouldn’t even have to work. If the big creators really make as much as Sam says they do (at least several hundred thousand a year) – they wouldn’t even have to worry about working after the bubble pops if they used their money right. They make the same amount of money in a year that most people might make in 5-10 years. In a three-year timespan, they’ve made as much as someone who has worked for 15-30 years. There is no way they would be short on cash if they were good with their finances. I could be wrong, though. It’s a big risk to put all of your eggs into the content creation basket, but the rewards may be worth it.

Sam brought up a lot of good points about being a full time “influencer” that really made me do some reflecting. What do you think about blogging as a full time job – are you a full-time blogger, or do you want to do it, and why or why not? Should followers keep content creators accountable for making deadlines? Should they talk about things that “matter”, or try to diversify their skills so that they can find jobs if “influencer” is no longer a job 10 years from now?

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20 thoughts on “Thursday Chats: Blogging as a Full-Time Job

  1. What an interesting topic! Like you, I would keep blogging as a hobby too. I love writing and making content but it takes so much time that I appreciate it more when I actually do it out of my free time with a full-time job. The social aspect (or lack of) is a huge aspect that affects every part of your wellbeing that I think that point alone, is enough to sway me from not pursuing blogging as a full-time job.

    As an introvert, I realised it was really important to put myself in a social setting as much as possible and to interact with different kinds of people. Weirdly enough, I feed off that. The sad thing about blogging is that it’s mostly a one-man job and whilst there are blogger events to go to, video con or whatever, most of the time you are alone. It’s no wonder anxiety is no stranger to YouTubers if I need to be blunt.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s true, you do appreciate it a lot more when you’re only doing it as a hobby. Plus, I feel like when I start to take anything too seriously (like if I were to blog full time) it stops becoming fun and starts feeling like work.

      Hmm, I never really thought about anxiety being a result of YouTubers working alone most of the time, but that’s an interesting thought!

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  2. This is why I plan on keeping blogging as a hobby. If I did it for a living I’d get burned out pretty quickly. Plus the wave of being a full time content creator will eventually end. Then what? I feel a lot of the bigger YouTubers have lost touch with reality. They make so much money now they live in s bubble and only associate with those in the same bubble. And they’re buying big, expensive houses and luxury cars, luxury handbags & clothes… it’s a life of excess for them but one day the gravy train is going to run out. Plus I’ve heard a lot of the big YouTubers aren’t as nice as they appear on camera. Have you heard about the drama with Bunny (Grav3yardgirl) and Starbucks? Oh boy.

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    • I feel the same way about being burned out on full-time blogging. It’s easy to say “I’ll never live that excessively or lose touch with reality” until you have that kind of money, I think. You just have so much of it you end up buying expensive stuff you don’t need, although I do hope some of them are using it wisely – investing it or whatever.

      I haven’t heard what happened with Bunny and Starbucks! What happened?

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      • OMG… where to start? Well I’m sure you know about how Bunny has talked about her anxiety issues. And you probably know she’s a Starbucks addict. Apparently she goes to Starbucks 4 times a day. What?

        Now, Starbucks has a policy if you’re a gold level rewards member, you can get free refills on tea and brewed coffee during that same visit, meaning you have to be at the store the whole time to get free refills. If you’re not a gold level rewards member, refills on tea & brewed coffee is like 50¢.

        Well, Bunny wants as little interaction out in public as possible (because of her social anxiety issues, or so she says), so she goes through the drive thru and the baristas were giving her free refills of her drinks through the drive thru… basically giving her special treatment because of who she is.

        Well, earlier this month, that Starbucks location informed her they can no longer give her free refills through the drive thru anymore and she apparently had a fit about it. She recorded a rant video on her secondary YT channel about it and said she was going to call the district manager of Starbucks to complain about this “sudden change in policy”. Uhhh, this has ALWAYS been the policy. She was getting special treatment and now she’s not going to get that special treatment anymore, so she’s acting like a spoiled brat about it. I heard she took the rant video down from her other channel but she’s been getting backlash about it regardless. I unsubscribed from her probably around a year ago because she seemed to really be losing touch with reality and her videos got so ridiculous and stupid. Like spending thousands of dollars on mystery boxes off ebay and then complaining when she got scammed. She gets Guy Tang fly to her house in Texas to do her hair (and apparently she lives in some huge mansion now and drives a Tesla… no idea if the Tesla part is true, but she did buy a HUGE house (her bedroom closet is bigger than my living room, if that’s any indication). It just got too over the top for me and I was done.

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        • Oh my gosh, how ridiculous! The fact that they were making allowances for her when she was getting refills through the drive-through was already more than they needed to do. I suppose when you suddenly have so much money that you don’t even know what to do with AND you never go out in public, you just become so far removed from reality and the “real world”.

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  3. Interesting topic; I agree I would never quit a full-time job to pursue blogging or Youtubing full-time. When you first start out it seems so appealing and glamorous but I’ve noticed that the ones that do this tend to burn out and lack motivation for it after a while. I think when it becomes your sole source of income it’s not fun anymore and there’s literally no escape from the constant criticism and expectations from your subscribers. The only exception that I know of who do it full-time and seem to have stayed true to who she is is Emily Noel (and I don’t know for sure if she actually quit her broadcasting job to pursue YouTube?).

    It’s going to be interesting to see where all our fave Youtubers and Bloggers are 5 years from now!

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    • Yeah Emily did quit her tv job several years ago to do YouTube full time. Plus now she’s married and has 2 kids. She’s one of the VERY few YouTubers I still trust because she never does sponsored content and said she never will. Her videos are all so thought out and interesting to watch. She really does her research about products she reviews and uses them for a good amount of time before reviewing instead of doing a first impressions like everyone else and then never following up on it. She’s turned down being paid to hype of products and I respect her so much for that. I did see she’s got a collab with Makeup Revolution coming out soon (Makeup Revolution announced it today& I’m sure she’ll be announcing it herself on her channel soon).

      And then on the other end of it… oh look Morphe is doing yet ANOTHER collab with Jaclyn Hill. This time it’s a brush set that apparently Jaclyn has said she’s been working on “for years”. Years? For brushes? Yeah ok girl. Just like you spent “years” on your Morphe palette that was most likely done by Crown Brush via private label just like every other Morphe palette. Not even kidding… Crown Brush came out with a palette this summer that is IDENTICAL to Jaclyn’s (and costs MUCH less as they usually have it on sale). Sorry I’m ranting.

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      • In regards to your comment about Emily – do you think maybe the fact that she doesn’t do sponsored videos/doesn’t always talk about hyped-up products has hindered her growth? Yes, she continues to grow, but at a much, much slower pace than other YouTubers. It’s unfortunate, because she is so trustworthy.

        Ugh, Jaclyn Hill. Although I don’t follow her, I’m happy for her success, but none of her products appeal to me.

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        • I’ll bet that’s exactly why Emily’s growth is so slow. And from what I know she’s ok with that because at the end of the day, she’s not a sellout and has the respect of the subscribers she has.

          I used to follow Jaclyn but I unsubbed from her at least a year ago because she was coming off as so fake and she’s a total hypocrite. She keeps calling herself a “certified makeup artist” yet she hadn’t taken on clients for several years. She’s gotten very materialistic. Now she’s getting divorced said she wasn’t going to talk about it or Jon (her husband), and in a video she made last week, all this word vomit came out saying she hadn’t been in love with him for years and a bunch of other stuff. What?! Apparently earlier this year she & Jon made a video of them talking about how great their marriage is and how in love they were with each other… it was obviously all one big lie.

          And I’m sure you’ve heard all the drama surrounding Laura Lee now because of those old tweets and her BS “apology” video. Boxycharm is no longer going to work with her, Morphe is in the process of removing all mention of her from their site and stores & Ulta officially stated they’re not moving forward with launching her line at their stores & online. Thinking her YT career might be over.

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          • I’m glad she’s fine with it, but it’s a little sad to me – the honest, thorough reviewers should be the ones making more money, not the ones who do sponsored videos and reviews like “I love it because it’s good” haha.

            Yikes, Jaclyn Hill sounds like a hot mess! You should never air your dirty laundry online no matter what happened in their relationship. On the flip side, I’m sure Jon has a lot to say about her, too 😛

            I actually haven’t heard the Laura Lee drama (don’t follow any of the YouTubers in that group), but I just looked it up. It’s painfully ironic that they tweeted that message about Jeffree Star’s past, only to be burned by their own past…lol. Pot calling the kettle black! I also heard that ColourPop took their collab with her off their website. It’s really too bad.

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            • Oh ColourPop did take it down? Just another strike against her. Gabriel Zamora came out with an apology video as well but his sounds a hell of a lot more honest and sincere than Laura’s did. He even apologized to Jeffree in it. Now I’m not the biggest fan of Jeffree but he has apologized several times for his past actions and it does seem like he’s learned and has grown from it. Even RuPaul lets him have booths at DragCon for his business. And you know Mama Ru don’t take no crap from anyone. Hopefully this whole fiasco takes a bunch of these big YTers down a few pegs and makes them realize they’re not untouchable and that they’ll be held accountable for their actions.

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    • I agree that full-time blogging/YouTubing would use its appeal after a while – plus it’s not “fun” anymore when it becomes your job. You’re right, Emily really is the only one that stayed true to her roots! But then, I feel like her growth has been a lot slower than other YouTubers, and maybe that’s BECAUSE she hasn’t “sold out”?

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  4. I think it’s totally ridiculous when people complain about Youtuber’s not keeping to their upload schedule. Like is that seriously something to complain about? Kathleen Lights is constantly apologizing for missing uploads, and I’m over here like, why??? I think the viewers are getting too entitled.
    Now, I as a blogger have been pretty careful to not establish any sort of regular schedule because I don’t want to be held to anything. Life happens, and I don’t want to feel like I HAVE to blog when I don’t want to. I don’t want it to become a chore. So on the other hand, I do understand that it is annoying when people establish a schedule and then don’t stick to it. Really, they shouldn’t have established a schedule at all. But I think viewers should just let that go… There are a ton of other videos to watch, so go watch them!!

    With Sam and getting enhancements done, I agree, that is too bad. But I wonder what amount of that comes from the pressure to look a certain way, and what amount comes from an increase in exposure to that lifestyle, and enhancements as an option. As a “regular person”, I don’t have any exposure to enhancements like that, because I don’t have friends that do it, I don’t live in an area where it is popular, I don’t have older friends who are more likely to do it. So I wonder if it is all from pressure to look a certain way, or merely because she would have never thought about it because she never came across it, until now.

    Side note, I freaking love watching Samantha. Her personality is hilarious, I just love the way she talks. One of my favourite Youtuber’s right now 🙂

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    • When I first started blogging, I was posting every day for awhile. That got tiring. So I changed my schedule to Mon-Wed-Fri. Kept it up for awhile and got burned out on that too. Now I just say “new posts every week” and just get a post up sometime during that given week. Might be Monday, might be Thursday. It’s much easier on me as there’s less pressure.

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    • I don’t really understand why followers get mad either, when there’s so many other videos to watch. LOL Kathleen Lights definitely comes to mind when it comes to apologizing for missing uploads. I wonder if it’s easier to get more subscribers when you have an upload schedule – it’s the only reason I can think of why YouTubers would do that to themselves. I 100% agree with you on it being best to not have a schedule, so that, BUT at the same time, you and I both do this as hobbies so it’s less…serious? for lack of a better word.

      Hmm, you bring up a really good point about cosmetic surgeries! To be honest, it’s probably at least a little of both.

      I only started watching Samantha recently, but I’ve really been enjoying her videos, too!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh jeez. You really made me think. I’m kind of in the same boat where I worked really hard after getting my degree to get to where I am today in my career, in my field. I used to hate the 9-5 work day, but now I’m realizing that I’m able to plan around it in my life outside of work which is why I now prefer it. Plus obviously, steady flow of income.

    With my own brand, I find that if I think about it as a job, rather than a hobby like I started it out to be, I get burnt out way too quickly, and sometimes will even end up publishing content I’m not 100% happy with just to have new content on my channel / blog.

    So when I look at it like that, although it would be a dream to make it full-time, I can’t see myself happier than how I’m doing it now.

    Camille Co | Beauty, Lifestyle, Travel, Tech Blog
    http://misscam.co

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