What Do You Actually Do All Day?!

“I am self employed and I work from home.”

Be ready for a RANT. Here is what I do.. and if you want to know HOW I earn actual ££ read “how I earn money from blogging (a quick overview)”.

I have to say, it is a great place to be. I am can choose what to do and when to do it. I can be SUPER flexible. I can arrange my week, so that I can help out on on school trips of be there if my kids get sick. I am my own boss. I get to work the hours that I want. And guess what, I earn MORE than I used to before having kids and being in traditional full time employment and I possibly (though I am not sure) work less hours.

what-do-you-do-all-day

It is REALLY important that I add that bragging bit about my income.

Why? Why do I have to “show off”? Why do I have to brag?

Well basically, because “no one” seems to get or understand exactly what I do. They all say “wow, how nice for you”… and then proceed to treat me as if I, well, as if I don’t work. I am always the first to get asked to help out with a friend’s child care (I don’t mind, really I don’t, I like to help out), I am more likely to get asked by school to volunteer for something like going on a trip (again, I don’t mind, I WANT to be there for my kids), I am more likely to get asked “why don’t we meet for lunch” (I love seeing my family and friends for lunch, really I do… but meeting for lunch, usually means “half a day off work” by the time I have traveled there and back, a half day that I have to catch up on somewhere later – usually the evening).

And no one EVER asked me or says to me “my goodness, how DO you cope with all those school holidays?” because, well they assume that I am “just there”.

When you put a financial figure on it. People suddenly perk up and say: Oh wow, you have like a REAL job.

Yes I do. And currently my real job is paying for our loft conversion. Last year, my real job helped reduce our mortgage significantly. Next year, it may even pay it off fully.

Anyway. I digress. So what DO I DO all day.

  • Like other office based workers, I answer emails (tons of them.. I get so many queries of “can you help me with this” or “can you help me with that” or “do you want to buy my services” or “do you want to work for me for free”).
  • Like other office based workers, I have a fair amount of admin to do (writing and sending invoices, checking my accounts to see that said invoices have been paid, chasing payments, keeping track and monitoring my expenses, keeping my files tidy and ahem OFF my desk top)
  • Like other office based workers, I have planning to do (what topics of interest are coming up in the next few months,  how can I improve results (more content, better SEO), how can improve my SEO and drive more traffic, how do I plan for the kids’ holidays and “getting ahead”)
  • And then I have “to do what I do”

What Do I DO?

I run a craft website called Red Ted Art – Easy Crafts for Kids – and associated social media channels – YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter. With some dabbling in snapchap, G+ and tumblr. I also write here (Life At The Zoo), Fun Crafts Kids and at Theatre Books and Movies.

I also write articles either specifically about crafts or about blogging or about social media for “3rd parties”. Sometimes I speak at conferences. Sometimes I “attend events”. Sometimes I meet with 3rd parties to discuss opportunities. Sometimes I go to YouTube HQ for courses and events and programs.

But my day to day… though superficially trivial (making kids crafts, writing on facebook), brings in the bread and butter. You know, the one paying for my loft conversion.

So when I say I have had a busy day, I have probably:

  • create 1-2 new crafts
  • created 1-2 new craft VIDEOS
  • edited and uploaded these videos
  • created “thumbnail” photos for these videos and edited them
  • tidy up after the craft session and find somewhere to store all my crafts (Ok, i admit, this doesn’t happen often enough)
  • written 1-2 blog post either about this new craft or an old one or on a different topic entirely
  • written an article of some sorts for a 3rd party (this may include the taking and editing of photos)
  • scheduled 15-25 things to “say and share on Facebook” (I tell you, this takes forever) – for those who don’t know – Facebook is a BEAST and if you don’t share content on their regularly the Facebook algorithms penalises you and let less and less people access the content they actually signed up for)
  • shared a new photo on instagram and hung around a little to interact with other IGers (aka “building a community”)
  • popped into 3-4 Facebook groups to either moderate them, add information or again “interact with fellow bloggers” (aka info sharing on latest issues and trends, exchanging of help, networking.. in short community building but on a “professional” level)
  • if I have time, invested a little in my Pinterest and Twitter audience (pinning, tweeting, liking, repinning, retweeting, making new connections etc)

Anyway, I know it is all a bit random. Earning a living off the internet is both mind boggling and truly amazing. But it also takes TIME. So like everyone who is earning a living – be it self employed or employed by a 3rd party – I really am busy.

No one questions an Asset Manager or an Accountant or PA as to “what they actually do all day”. No one assumes that they have tons of free time to jump in and help out when the need is great. No one person’s job is more worthy than another (ok nurses, firefighters, doctors and teachers clearly are more worthy.. but still, YKWIM).

So please don’t assume that I do either. I work. I may be self employed, but I get busy too. Don’t make assumptions about my free time. 

RANT OVER.

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