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?

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