I have noticed a lot of articles and posts on social media and in the press lately about the rise in Mums who are seeking to change their jobs or start up something new online (perhaps starting a digital career or opening up a business), which is really exciting news. Because I truly believe that it’s never been easier to go for what you want and that Motherhood can actually be a point in your life to re-think and re-model your work goals and ambitions.
Being able to set up a website, social media account or blog online within minutes means that you can venture into a new industry and be communicating instantly with your audience. There’s also very little outlay and you don’t need a Masters degree in computer programming to get started.
I started blogging 2.5 years ago when the twins were toddlers. At that point I was a Stay-at-Home-Mum as I’d opted not to return to my former Human Resources career, after maternity leave. I ‘fell’ into blogging through a friends recommendation but I didn’t know anything about it. I definitely didn’t realise that people made money from it.
It was the passion for writing that drove me initially – as I’d always had a love for English – however, more creative elements then started to grab a hold of me. Such as photography, web design, style and branding. I didn’t have any training or experience in these but I quickly taught myself the basics.
I adored being a Stay-at-Home-Mum and I knew (at that point) that I didn’t want to return to HR. I did, however, miss the challenge of working, earning money and stretching my mind – and so blogging allowed me to do this.
Nowadays, I earn money from a few streams. My blog brings me an income mostly from sponsored posts, i.e. being paid to include links to other companies, or I get sent products to talk about. In addition to this I have a few freelance contracts too which include writing blog content and social media management, as well as other digital projects that crop up.
It is therefore now officially my new job & proving to be a great second source of income for our family. Plus it has brought us some amazing opportunities and experiences; I keep having to pinch myself when emails land in my inbox!
The only thing I would say to anyone who is looking to launch a new enterprise/start working in the digital industry is that it does require hard work and dedication, despite it looking pretty effortless by those people who really master at it. It doesn’t happen overnight and most definitely requires a lot of work behind the scenes. Personally, I have worked really hard to build up my own readership and social media following and do put in a lot of time during the week to meet all my deadlines. It’s also very ad-hoc work and the contracts that I work on are very short. It’s therefore hard to plan my long-term finances.
BUT…the beauty of the online world is that you can do it at 2am (if that’s the only time you have) or start it alongside another job until it starts to take off. You can also do it at home, alongside being a Mum and work it around your family – the flexibility is fantastic and a huge benefit.
The thing that I love the most about this digital industry though is that you never know what is coming next; it always keeps surprising me. It’s definitely the best ‘career move’ I ever made, even though I never thought that I would be doing something new in my late 30’s. Power to that.
Love, Jess x