Monday, 10 November 2014

Thinking of becoming a professional blogger? Read this!


woman on train in mad trousers

I describe myself as a professional blogger. I write for money and other incentives - I am registered as "madmumof7" with HMRC and I spend many hours pretty much 7 days a week creating content both personal and paid for to publish on my little corner of the inter web.

I love it!

I took this picture on my way to Mumsnet's Blogfest on Saturday on yet another train into the Capital.  I thought it summed up my profession in a way - my shoe choice for instance! (gotta have comfy shoes if you are traipsing round London or standing for hours at an event)

My trousers? Well I used to live in jeans but blogging professionally is a funny thing. I always think traditional workwear is too formal but feel uncomfortable much of the time meeting representatives of big brands, who themselves are generally wearing office wear, in jeans.

Luckily blogging is a creative profession so I can get away with articles of clothing like these mad trousers which are both comfy, stretchy to make room for all the cake which is generally offered, and hide any train seat grubbiness or accidental coffee spillages.

The train - symbolic of my life which involves much more travel than I had anticipated. I'm getting to know that tube network quite well now!

blogger madmumof7 "working" with Ade Edmondson and morris dancers

selfie with bloggers at Birmingham Blogcamp

madmumof7 selfie on railway platform

Photographs - so many photographs! Selfies, silliness, product closeups, posing with products and of course the moving version - making videos for my YouTube channel which more and more brands ask for to promote their product, event or service. This sees me toddling back from school run, doing my makeup and hair then standing in my home talking to myself in an enthusiastic and hopefully entertaining and informative manner. I wonder what the neighbours make of it.....

I have had so many magic moments in the past two years (approaching my 2nd Blogoversary very soon!) that I wanted to share in case anyone out there is thinking of taking the plunge.

Here are my top tips:

Register as self employed with HMRC as soon as you are offered money or incentives for writing. It's quick and easy.

If you think your income is going to be less than £5,885 (nov 2014) you can opt out of paying National Insurance payments - again it's a simple form to complete.

Inform Child Tax Credit of your status but remember it's OK to declare an anticipated income of £0. The figure you declare is profit AFTER expenses- there are online guides as to what you can claim but it does include proportional parts of your household bills like internet, heating and light, train tickets, fuel expenses etc.

Only work for brands you genuinely feel you can support. Your posts still have to have your voice, and most importantly be honest. If you have a problem with a product or service, contact the brand PR first to give them chance to sort it out.

Most of all ENJOY IT! I write early in the morning, and during the day and sometimes late at night but I write when I want to, when it's convenient and still get to go shopping with my friends, attend sharing assembly and go back to bed on bad days leaving the laptop in its bag.

And on days like Saturday I get to meet up with other lovely bloggers, have a laugh or a moan about our experiences and drink gin. What's not to love?



 photo 93142f35-6d39-479f-b3de-d94dbca68162_zps58499252.jpg

22 comments:

  1. I love blogging and I feel I'm learning all the time. I've been brave and I'm going to BrutMums live next year! I'm hoping to learn a lot and meet some nice new friends. Hope you had a fab time

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll be at Britmums too- there are butterflies to help you feel at home and lots of Facebook pages where you can chat with other delegates before the event

      Delete
  2. Some great tips for bloggers who are just starting out, it's definitely a great way to gain memories that will last a lifetime. I hope you had a great time at Blogfest! Popping in from Magic Moments.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great tips Afra, so important to love what you're writing. I'm heading towards my two year anniversary too but still haven't quite made the leap into making money out of it :) #WhatstheStory

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I make pocket money more than actual money but we notice the difference - it also means I can buy presents for my husband out of MY money

      Delete
  4. Love the trousers tips. I know what you mean about wanting not to feel too scruffy when meeting people in suits, but wanting to be comfy too for travelling.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I will be sad when the current mad trouser look is out of fashion

      Delete
  5. Aww this is what I am aiming for but I think I am not yet ready. Thanks for the wonderful tips =) #MagicMoments

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well don;t be scared of HMRC when you feel ready. They have been so helpful and there are lots of guides online from bloggers much more experienced in tax than me!

      Delete
  6. Great tips here and happy 2 year blogiversary to you. Hope you had a good time at Blogfest

    ReplyDelete
  7. You know what, I never think to describe myself as a professional blogger but you're right. . . I get paid to do it and it consumes my life!
    Look forward to seeing you again soon x
    #MagicMoments

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Marvellous! See you soon fellow professional blogger.

      Delete
  8. Great tips, Afra. You make it sound so easy! #MagicMoments

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thankyou - wait for the panicked post at tax return time!

      Delete
  9. I am going down the professional blogger path this year, thank you so much for this post, so many good tips. Looking forward to meeting you in person at the next blogging event! #MagicMoments

    ReplyDelete
  10. awww Afra i love this post and i adore that photo of us! .. what a journey its been lovely ... here is to the next 2 years and for everything to come

    thanks for linking up with #MagicMoments

    ReplyDelete
  11. Great post Afra, sounds like blogging has brought you lots of happiness. I especially agree with the point you've made about only working with brands you can support. I've turned down many a review/sponsored post because it wouldbt be a good fit for my blog. I think it's really important to always stay true to your core beliefs. Hope to meet you at Brit Mums in June!

    ReplyDelete

I'd love feedback- but keep it clean and kind.