What ‘Pro-Blogging’ Means To Me

I am a ‘pro-blogger’. Yes, there, I said it. It feels a bit odd to declare it, truth be told, but after I went along to a brilliant session at Tots100 Blog Camp last month, ran by Penny and Becky, it’s been made concrete and clear in my mind and also made me comfortable to say it aloud. The Reading Residence is a blog that I am proud of.

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I earn from being a blogger. I get to have great experiences with my family, review some fabulous products, and I accept sponsored content and ambassadorships, which all combine to mean that I am a pro-blogger.

It seems almost the wrong thing to say in so many circles. You say it to people who aren’t bloggers or really aware of all that it entails, and they don’t understand. It can be hard to explain. Or the other end of the spectrum, as I was actually chatting to someone the other day who asked me what I do now, and when I replied saying that I was a blogger, the response was ‘oh yes, but there’s not any money in that’. Really? You then say it to bloggers or readers and it can be perceived as a bad thing, or as ‘selling out’, which of course it is not, it’s simply getting paid for doing something that I truly love.

I want to make a living here. I love my little space here, it’s precious to me and I work hard on it. I can’t see how earning from it is a bad thing or in anyway a negative thing for my readers. For every paid piece that I share (always disclosed as such), you know there will also be a stack of others that week that are not. And I only accept sponsored and review work that I feel genuinely good and enthused about and feel fit here comfortably. Ambassadorship roles I consider very carefully before accepting. I only want to be aligned with brands that I honestly believe in and that I think are of interest to my readers. I write, I spend a lot of time dipping in and out of social media, I review, I attend events and I spend an increasing amount of time on emails and admin. This is my work, albeit part time whilst my son is still at home with me. So I am a pro-blogger, and it means something to me.

I had a career before the children, one where I had to be organised, make decisions, multi-task in a big way, manage a big team, and most importantly, build relationships. Whilst I’m sure that many of the skills that I developed there have been transferred over to my blog work, it is that last one that is key, I think. I enjoyed the social aspect, I wanted to cultivate and develop relationships, and as a leader, I worked hard to inspire. That wasn’t simply part of my job, it’s who I am. So here, in this teeny corner of the internet, I like to share learns, connect over stories, and maybe even once in a while inspire someone out there in some small way, too. That means something to me.

But the most important thing of all that pro-blogging gives me? I am here, I am at home with my children. Boo’s now started school, so I am there for the school runs, as well as the workshops, assemblies and plays. I am here with my 2 year old day in day out, watching him grow. He’ll begin at nursery in September, a couple of school days a week, and I like to know that I’m here should he need me. I’ll then be increasing my blogging work and I’m also resuming my OU degree studies (more on that soon).

Pro-blogging is a passion, a job that I love, a community where I have met so many wonderful people,  and it means that I can work around my family. You just can’t beat that, can you?

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71 thoughts on “What ‘Pro-Blogging’ Means To Me”

  1. Good for you, I think that is a very positive message and like you so many stay at home parents are able to do so from blogging which is amazing. You should be proud, you have achieved a lot.

  2. I always feel a little sad when I hear or read “selling out” in relation to blogging opportunities I think it’s a shame…..like you say why not celebrate being able to make some money out of doing what you love, and if that’s blogging, great!!

    Really enjoyed this post! X

  3. You are an inspiration! I think it is brilliant that you are managing to make a living from what you love. Anyone who dismisses that either doesn’t understand or is jealous xx

  4. someone asked me for my favourite bloggers and I said you – your blog is always so real, so true to you & you get a general vibe about your life through your blog and the content is always relevant so you’re picking very well!
    You have gotten to where you are from your own hard work and I think it’s admirable xx

    1. Oh, Beth, thank you so much. So sweet of you to say, and nice to know that I come through in all of my posts! Thanks, lovely lady x

  5. Yep this is pretty much me too. I have got to the point where I’m sick of seeing other bloggers moaning about reviews/sponsored posts then totally side tracking when they are offered an op. This is my way of being here for the boys too xx

  6. Your passion for blogging shines through in this post Jocelyn and I agree it’s something to be proud of and a lot more work than many suspect, uses skills you’ve learnt throughout your life and gives you the work life balance you want. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that x

    1. Thank you, Stephanie, good to know that my passion for it all shines through. It is hard work, but a labour of love x

  7. I remember we had this conversation at BlogCamp, Jocelyn. I too had thought until that session that ‘pro blogging’ wasn’t for me, but of course like all things blogging (and things in life in general) it’s how you interpret them according to what it means to you. It’s fab that blogging has given you so many great opportunities, and enables you to be with your children. Blogging is also my passion, and I love the community. Great post xxx

    1. We did indeed, it was a great session. The community is a wonderful thing to be a part of, and it’s a great way of life x

  8. I think it’s amazing, what you’ve achieved since starting Jocelyn. You are such a professional through and through, and apart from anything else you help so many new bloggers too, which in my eyes makes you a true pro! I’ve no doubt that The Reading Residence will be around for many years to come. 🙂 xx

    1. Ah, thank you, Emma. I love helping new bloggers, especially when it’s people like yourself, as look at you now – I love your blog! I do hope so, I can’t imagine life without it now x

  9. Amelia Winship

    This is great !I have a Personal blog on WordPress Thelifeofme30SomethingMotherofthree I love writing it for myself didn’t know you could be a problogger as a career how do you get to be one? Thanks for writing x

    1. Thank you. I guess the short answer is by blogging quality posts regularly and getting your content read by a decent-sized audience. Of course, quite a lot goes into that! I’ve a Blogging Tips category full of tips and posts that may help, and I’ll be writing more on pro-blogging soon, so watch this space…

  10. I’m always slightly envious of bloggers who’ve managed to get their blog to the standard that attracts attention from brands. It takes a lot of work and organisation and is something I can only aspire to at some stage. It’s so hard for me as a bit of a tech-duffer to work out how to do it for my blog; I’m currently reading as many advice posts as I can so I can gain an understanding of how to do it. I suspect I need to get really organised and spend far more time working on my blog than I do at the moment. So enjoy the fruits of your hard work and carry on inspiring all your loyal readers!

    1. Thanks, Jo. I’ve stacks of tips here, too, so do delve into the posts and feel free to ask me anything at all. In truth, it does come to a lot of time, work and organisation, yes!

  11. I do admire what you do on your blog and know how much hard work you do on your blog – it does show Wish I had the same drive! Maybe I should find the words first and then find the drive next? Oh and in case I haven’t mentioned, love the new look of the blog! Xx

    1. Thank you. Yes, you need to get those words back first, and maybe your drive will come with that! Thank you very much, I fancied a change x

  12. This is a great post! I know exactly what you mean about telling people that you are a blogger. I am not a pro-blogger but may be one day and there are a lot of misconceptions over what ‘pro-blogger’ means. I used to work in marketing and PR and I loved it, however since having children I love being a mum and being around for my little ones. I got into blogging to write (which I love), to kept my mind active, to make sure I have my toes still dipped into the social media scene and so that maybe one day I could set up work from home. Thank you for such a nice read this morning! xx

    1. Thanks very much. Sounds like you started for many of the same reasons I did. The very best of luck with your blog, it’s a lovely passion to have x

  13. You should be proud to call yourself a pro-blogger. It’s funny how even fellow bloggers’ views on that label vary widely, isn’t it? To some it’s aspirational, to others something to be frowned upon as ‘selling out’, as you say. I’m not sure why it has to be either: horses for courses, surely?

    I made my own decision a couple of years ago to accept a commission to write 10 posts a month for a newspaper website, which provides a secondary income that I refer to as ‘pocket money’ (which I have saved up to buy myself a shiny new iMac and other ‘toys’). It means I can keep my own blogs free from adverts and I accept very little paid content or reviews from PRs – I pick and choose what ‘fits’. Does that make me a pro-blogger? I suppose so. I don’t really care what other people think. Doing lots of reviews and competitions isn’t anything I’d ever want to do, but I have no problem whatsoever with bloggers doing it. Or earning a living from it. The world’s big enough for all of us, isn’t it?

    The most important thing is surely the fact that it allows you to spend more time with your family while still earning money. I really don’t understand why anyone could think that is a bad thing!

    1. It is funny how fellow bloggers view it, all so very differently. As you say, though, the world’s big enough for us to each do as we want, and how can there be criticisms if it allows for family time? Sounds like you’ve got a great pro-blogging balance, too. Good for us!

    1. Ah, thanks, Jenni. I do love it and the freedom and flexibility that it brings is so precious to me. Lovely to have you reading, thank you 🙂 x

  14. You have done so well for yourself with your blog. Being able to stay at home with your children is absolutely wonderful. Blogging is something I love too. Not many people get to get paid for a job they truly love. Good luck with your studies 🙂

    1. Thank you. It is great to do this as I enjoy every moment of it, and being at home is so important to me. Thank you 🙂

  15. No you can’t beat that at all! And well done you! Of course you should be proud of all your efforts and the hard work that you’ve clearly put in to making this Blog successful. It’s easy to apologise for our success, which often seems to be a trait of women, as others around us are either unknowledgeable about how to got your success or jealous!. I don’t think you’ve sold out at all because your Blog is very real, very informative and very chatty and it’s something that I can only aspire to! Enjoy the success xx

  16. Good for you! 🙂 You should be rightfully very proud of your hard work. I wish I was half as organised or inspired as you. You deserve all the wondderful opportunities that you get. Well done on your Tots score xx

    1. Thank you! I do like to be organised and enjoy every aspect, and it is paying off. Thanks, can’t believe it!

  17. Well done you Jocelyn! I think that it’s great and you should be rightly proud. Blogging, while oodles of fun, is hard graft and takes time and effort. It’s a great thing to be a pro blogger!

  18. Firstly congrats on the big Tots score. Shows all the hard work’s paid off.

    Good for you for deciding what you want to do and going pro. For me I’m unlikely to ever be fully pro, although I act professionally, and get opportunities, it would never pay anything near my day job. I love blogging so much more than what I’m doing now,and for those it suits, good for them. That’s what’s great about blogging, you can do what works for you. Mind you, the time I spend blogging and working around the blog, is the time I spend in my day job!

    1. Thanks very much. Yes, I love it’s versatility like that, too. It can be what you want it to be. Oh, I can well imagine the hours you put in and well done on your Tots score, too.

  19. Very succinctly put – Your post sums up everything I feel and love about being a blogger. I’ve only ever had one person stick their noses up when I told them that I am a blogger but they are an idiot so I would expect it from them. I love your part about being ‘aligned with brands that you believe in’ x

  20. Yay, I’m totally with you Jocelyn. I know how hard you work on this blog and it shows in great content. Why on earth shouldn’t you be proud of that. You’re right, it does come with connotations for many people depending upon their outlook, background or experience. But that could be said of much in this life i suppose. I can’t quite believe that it was only a couple of years ago that we were talking about your decision to give blogging a try! 🙂

  21. This is a fab post, and yes you should be proud you pro blog with style. I have been blogging for just over a year and I cant believe the joy and wonderful experiences it has brought our family. I love it and good luck to anyone that is able to make it as a pro xx

    1. Thanks, Sarah. I love my blog and all that it involves so being able to make it into more is just brilliant. Glad you’re enjoying it so much, too x

  22. A big well done on your Tots 100 rating! I think it’s fantastic that you’re a pro-blogger. I’ve only been blogging since last autumn, but I’m amazed at how time consuming it all is (in a good way!). To get to the point you’re at now clearly takes a lot of hard work and dedication!

    1. Thank you, can’t believe it! It does take up a lot of time and can really get a hold on you, can’t it? Yep, I’ve put a few hours in 😉 x

  23. Great post. I am a pro-blogger too – I am also a freelance journalist and as well as all the responses you mentioned above, there are divided opinions among my fellow journalists too. Some positive, some not so positive. I try my best to ignore the critics but it does get difficult when you are having to justify what you do. Most people are supportive though – so just listen to them! x

  24. I loved reading this post. You are so right to be proud. Your blog is such an inspiration, to me and I am sure many others. I dream of one day being able to have my blog as my primary income. I like to think once schooldays are here, it could be a possibility xx

    1. Thanks, Sian, lovely of you to say. That’s a great goal to have, I’m sure you’ll be able to make it work, too x

  25. Lovely post. Being a pro-blogger is something you should be proud of – you are making a living doing something you love whilst being able to be at home with the children. Love your blog and you always have a great balance between paid posts and non-paid posts 🙂

    1. Thanks, Louise. And thanks for that feedback, too. I do try to strike a balance, so good to know it’s working! x

  26. It was really good to read this piece. I don’t understand why people don’t think of blogging as a job that pays, let alone question why it shouldn’t. After all, writers get paid for their books and blogs require writing, good writing if they want their following to keep following. So, I for one appreciated that you wrote this.

    As a new blogger myself, I am wondering if you can tell me – is Bloglovin worth signing up for? I get what it does in reading up on it, but to me it seems it would add more work rather than be a useful tool. (I use commun.it for Twitter and thus far can’t see the benefit.) However, I noticed that a lot of people use it, so am curious if in fact it is an assistance, rather than a hinderance?

    1. Thank you. I’d definitely recommend Bloglovin. I use it just for a way of keeping all of my favourite blogs in one place, as I follow them there and then catch up on my feed when I get a chance to. It doesn’t add anything at all in terms of my time or hinder me in any way.

  27. I think secretly a lot of people would love to make money and earn from blogging, or at least review nice things. So we need to say it more and be more honest! There are people (like me) are doing it as a hobby, but still – when I earn from it, it is a HUGE bonus! But I won’t lie – making a bit more is always nice! It’s good to read such a refreshing post on this and congrats to you and your wonderful blog Jess xx

  28. Hi Jocelyn – great post 🙂 I hope to be in a position to earn an income as a blogger one day. I love working on my blog and am really proud of it, so it must be wonderful to be able to make it a career too. Good for you!

  29. So wonderful to be able to work around your family. I suppose people will always have opinions, won’t they. You’ve worked hard to get your blog to where it is now and I’m pleased for you that you’re earning from it. Why not? Shall a women not enjoy the fruit of her labours? Wishing you growth from strength to strength. #OddsocksandlollipopsTopTenFavouriteBlogPosts

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