Chiara Ferragni, Aimee Song, Leandra Meddine are all names we constantly hear when we think of bloggers who have turned their then hobby to a lucrative profession (and quite honestly, new field). But what happens when you can't afford to live on just blogging, or what's more, you don't want to?
I started blogging in 2014 as a senior in college to showcase how I style my wardrobe. When I moved to New York and found my adjustment harder than I anticipated, I took a break and came back in full swing by the end of 2015. New York City is one of the best cities to kick-start any career; it also happens to be one of the most expensive cities to live in. The City can be tough, especially when most people work full-time in 9-to-5 jobs and can barely make ends meet. When starting off your career in such a hard climate, how do you balance your work, your passion projects and a social life? At what point does one of the three have to give?
Blogging to Build a Brand While Working Full-Time.
Wishing to be a full-time blogger is not a silly dream; I firmly believe I and anyone who really wants to can do it. However, market saturation has caused the blogging field to be a little bit slower to maneuver than when the OG bloggers began in the early 2000’s. There are so many articles out there that tell you to quit your job, travel and become a full-time blogger/entrepreneur. As a creative individual living in New York City with a full-time job I can tell you it’s not easy, but quitting can be one of the biggest mistakes you make as an entrepreneur!
I’ve been running a blog for two years now and have only recently (within the past 7 months) started to make it a priority without compromising my job. I wake up at 6:30am every morning, come home and from 7-midnight I am in full blogger mode. Weekends are typically devoted to my blog, however, I do make a conscious effort to relax and make time for my friends and social life (and Netflix, duh). Prioritizing, simplifying and delegating are the only way I can do it all. Some days I am exhausted, some days I do burn out, it’s going to happen; but, I’d rather be a little tired and know I’m working towards something.
My best piece of advice for keeping a good balance:
- Divide and conquer – Have a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly game plan. Brittany Xavier of Thrifts and Threads gives great blogging tips and has this amazing article on organization and productivity. She’s sincerely one of my favorite bloggers/entrepreneurs and you won’t believe how much her tips have really helped me stay organized!
- Think of this as more than a hobby – When I started thinking of Sitting Pretty Style as a business and brand rather than a pastime, my blog began to flourish. I became a better writer, my site looks more professional and I’m starting to get the kind of opportunities I would’ve only dreamed about had I not created this mindset.
- Carry a notebook with you – Seems silly, but I have a notebook with me everywhere I go. If you like to stay technologically savvy, iPhones will do; I prefer the feel of pen on paper. This is important for when the ideas start flowing. I write everything down from future posts to my daily tasks to the flow of my Instagram feed. It helps!
- Work is work – Learn to keep your work life and personal life separate. Each job needs your full attention and it’s not fair to you or those around you if you don’t.
- Make time for you – Go on dates, have girls’ night, explore your city and do all of the things you want to do. You need to make time for yourself, otherwise you’ll burn out.
Aside from truly enjoying my job, a practical reason is affordability as a twenty-something and a business owner (your blog is your business) to risk not having a steady income. It takes longer to do well on the internet these days and even if you don’t want to become a blogger, how many start-ups fail within the first few years? It takes years for a business to get off the ground and becoming an entrepreneur is no different. Having a full-time job eases the transition and for me, makes me excited about the day ahead because I have to things to look forward to.
Sitting Pretty Style is my baby and I want it to be everything I know it can be (and it will get there). In the meantime I will enjoy the journey of a publicist and see what life has in store for me.
How to Balance Blogging and an Acting Career with Katie Cassidy.
First, let me say I cannot believe I had the opportunity to interview Katie Cassidy. One minute I’m at work writing a pitch, the next minute I’m on a phone call with Arrow’s Katie Cassidy. As a publicist, I work with a lot of reporters, so hopefully I channeled them well and didn’t sound like a total fan girl.
Katie is an amazing actress who also happens to be the other half to the blog, Tomboy KC. I got to sit down with Katie on how she maintains a top blog while working on a hit TV show and still finding time to do amazing things like be a spokesperson for Fresh Step and their Hot-to-Adopt campaign.
Stephanie: How did you come up with the name “Tomboy KC” and the focus of your blog?
Katie: It first started with my best friend Lynsey [Eaton] who was a lawyer and before I started shooting Arrow. We bonded over Barney’s, shopping, fashion and she used to have her own blog. My style is pretty tomboy, hers more ladylike, we balanced each other out. We would help each other, switch clothing essentially swapping clothes, raiding each others closets. We realized this is something a lot of people could identify with. The name came about because of my style. The [blog] is all about being comfy in your skin; not so much about trends but rather what we think is cool and being comfortable with who you are and what you wear.
S: I love that you’re both an actress and a blogger! As a full-time publicist and blogger myself, it’s sometimes so hard to manage both. What’s the best piece of advice you can give to an aspiring blogger who also acts/works full time and may not want or be able to give up their full-time job?
K: I look at blogging as a hobby, you have to have time for yourself. My blog is a creative outlet that I get to do with my best friend! Between working I get a day that’s completely different where I get to brainstorm, write and escape.
S: Do you think working with a partner makes blogging easier?
K: 100%! Again, blogging for me is not necessarily a job; first we used to talk about all of these ideas, now we just write about them.
S: What do you consider is the most important part about having personal style?
K: Being comfortable within your own skin, having confidence; what you wear is a reflection of who you are. Confidence and the way you carry yourself.
S: What kind of opportunities have opened up for you as a blogger that you couldn’t have done before?
K: Being more a part of the fashion world. We got to collaborate and create reading glasses with glasses.com. I get to spend time on fashion, [attending] shows and learning a lot about designing. I learned about details and it taught me about incorporating this into the characters I portray. Wardrobe is a huge part of it, you have to know everything about your character, including what they would wear.
S: What are you 5 favorite fashion staples you can’t live without?
K: My leather jacket, boyfriend jeans, Equipment button down, Celine bag and my thigh highs, Christian Louboutin classic pumps and Converse.
They say if you do what you love you’ll never have to work a day in your life. I’m calling bull****; you’ll have to work, you’ll just enjoy it. Keep reaching for the moon, eventually you’ll get there. Until next time!