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Full Time Blogging; The Raw Truth

My name is Ashleigh Dougherty. I am 22 with a degree in Photography, an alright blog which pays the bills and gets updated daily (usually); but I am unemployed and I don't know why.

I have never really known what I want to do with my life. I always felt the pressure growing up from older people around me constantly asking me what I will study at university and what job I hope to do afterwards. To be entirely honest, I wish I was still seven years old with the dream of being a vet or a supermarket checkout lady. Been there, done that. Ha! 


Photography was my main creative flair even before I launched my blog back in 2011. It was always something I felt I was good at and I seemed to get a lot of positive attention from people about the work I created. However, it was when I finished college and still didn't know what I wanted to do with my life that I realised I really didn't want "to be a photographer". The thought of working in a studio all day photographing people was not something that really appealed to me. Shocking, right? 

After finishing university last summer, all I had to concentrate on was my blog, photography and a little part time supermarket job. Yep, the inner seven year old in me would be proud! So, what did I do next? I started applying for fashion internships. I was lucky and landed myself a dream internship pretty quickly AND without an interview. This was the point that I knew what I wanted to do with my life. Without going into detail, it was an opportunity that threw me into the raw and bitchy pond of fashion. The snobbery, the constant judgement and the upkeep of having to impress about everyone I ever met! However, I was literally living any fashion intern's dream! I attended every LFW show, I was backstage meeting the teams and designers and I attended all of the A-lister after parties. However, only my travel was paid with the ever so slight promise of a paid job at the end. From this, I quit my retail job and even put my blog on the back burner. I had a new project to focus on! Sadly, it didn't work out and that's how I became unemployed.

So now, what did I have? I had my blog but I had neglected it ever so slightly. It was time to grasp what was right in front of me. I re-thought the content I was producing, got a brand new blog design (which I am bored of again), and began working harder to push my blog and brand as much as possible. Money wise; I had a bit of my university grant left over and some money saved so it was this that I was living on.

Fast forward 10 months, I am still out of a job and am just focusing on my blog. I would love to say that I am earning thousands, have a pretty and happy life that would make any Instagram feed look beautiful and a ton of blogging friends. Reality?? Well, I don't. It's a lonely life and I spend about 80% of my time on my own. 

Being a full time blogger means I am freelance and that means no guarantee of any kind of stable monthly income. Weekly Wagamamas, Topshop splurges and Starbucks caramel frapps are no more. The money I earn is enough to get by but not enough for any kind of luxury. There are so many things I want to do with my life and I can't. I want to go travelling, I want to pass my driving test and buy a car, I want to start saving for my own place. But, I can't. Not right now anyway.


I decided a few months ago to really think about where my life was going and take that scary leap onto the career ladder. The natural progression for the majority of bloggers is to move into digital marketing, public relations or social media. I have interned in all of these jobs before aswell as running a blog for 4 years so I thought it would be pretty easy to land myself a job in a swanky London office. I was wrong. 

I have had a handful of job interviews in agencies for digital marketing and social media roles but I haven't had any luck yet. However, I know competition is sky high and that you need to apply for a lot of companies before one sees any kind of potential in you and sends you that 'Congratulations! We want to employ you!' email. Maybe mine got lost in the junk folder? One could only hope.

Right now, I am trying not to worry too much about the whole job thing. Every day I look for new roles that have popped up over night and I try to apply for at least two jobs a day. However, right now I just want to be happy. This is probably the first summer EVER that I have felt completely content with my blog and where it is going. It is incredible to know that companies give a damn about what I have to say and my opinion and it is the best feeling in the world to know that there are people out there (YOU GUYS) who are currently reading this. (Two million brownie points if you made it this far).

I guess what I am trying to say is; I am fresh and bouncing with new ideas (also less naive), but I literally have no clue what I am doing. Every single day I wake up, get ready, answer emails, photograph products, write blog posts and completely wing my life. I am in control. I have no one to tell me what path to take or what to do next. I don't know where my life is heading at the moment and it often gets me down but then I remember a few positive things. I am healthy, I am happy and I have the support of my family and an amazing boyfriend. Anything else would just be a bonus right now.

5 comments

  1. I loved reading this post and how truthful you are about being a full time blogger. I currently work full time and blog on the side making no money from it, but it makes me happy. I would love to get money from my blog, but a full time blogger isn't on the cards for me any time soon

    www.collagemepretty.com

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  2. Anonymous29/3/16

    So out of interest? Do you pay rent? Like do you rent an apartment or are you just playing fashion blogger and relying on a mum/boyfriend to pay rent, bills and food? I think you're kidding yourself a little here. I'm not being nasty at all, but you're 'full time blog' isn't really a full time blog if it doesn't pay rent, council tax, bills etc.

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    1. Hi anonymous. Nice to know another rude comment from someone hiding behind no name. Well, if you was a regular and respectful reader of my blog, you'd know I live in London and London isn't cheap to live in on your own, single and at 23 years of old. I shouldn't REALLY have to justify myself here at all but I just thought I would shut down your judging people you don't know before one day it really bites you in the ass. I still live at home with my parents yes but YES I do pay rent and all of my own bills, food, travel myself. AGAIN, (clearly not a regular reader), I have my OWN puppy which I pay for MYSELF with the money that I earn from THIS blog. I don't have a boyfriend anymore so no I don't rely on one and I never have and never will. I have always and will always pay my own way. So, my "full time blog" really is a "full time blog", anonymous.

      Now goodbye and good riddance you judgemental internet troll. I'd have respect for you if you left a name. Never mind, hehe. Much love xx

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  3. I've just come across this post and I feel the need to comment. I think you're doing amazingly well. The fact you're earning any money from your blog clearly shows something; not just talent, but drive, creativity, and uniqueness. You should be proud of yourself.
    I didn't get a 'proper' job after university for two years. I worked at coffee shops/in retail because I didn't quite know what I wanted to do. And if I'm honest, I still don't. I don't think there's ANY rush, you should just do what makes you happy and know that 90% of graduates feel like this (the one's that don't are smug and annoying!). I hope you don't beat yourself up too much because you're clearly incredibly talented and I for one am inspired. Ignore 'anonymous' over here ^^^ and keep going! xxx

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    1. Hey Daisy, you have no idea how nice it was to read your comment. I've been feeling so low about myself over the past few weeks due to more job knock backs and just general life dragging me down in different areas. I often feel like I'm the only one in the world who feels or has felt like this so it's nice to see other people have/are and are getting through it too. Thank you so, so much <3

      Ashleigh
      xxx

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