I think there is this misconception that since I'm working from the home, I'm not actually working. But I feel there needs to be some clarification here. Mostly so in the future the next time I'm insulted when someone asks "are you even looking for work" I can just give them a link and walk away.
I finished my degree and immediately searched for work. For months, years even I searched in state, out of state and even outside of my field. I have done freelance graphics and even interior design projects for the past few years. But as far as the job market goes - let's be honest there aren't jobs out there. OK - there are jobs, but they are limited. I find myself in a position where I'm over qualified for most of the job postings or I'm under experienced. Remember that "Occupy" movement last summer/fall - Yes.. I fall into that 99% perfectly. I have piles of student loan debt and no way to pay it off. My credit is now shot - welcome to Michigan!
Freelance projects and unemployment kept me afloat first the first couple years, and of course a very supportive boyfriend. He saw me struggle through trying to find work - would come home and find me crying. Yes, people suggest leaving the masters off applications - but when they find out you did, you already have lied to them and what is your chance of getting the job? Welcome to my world.
I sat on our couch making money on side jobs and doing a bit here and there. But Week 99 of that unemployment was looming. What was I going to do? I started this blog as a way to vent initially then started to share deals, coupons and more. This blog was started because I have very little (to no) money at any point. Our household has turned into the quintessential one income household.
Now, when I first started blogging I had no idea where this would go. It was for me at first but started to grow. And my has it grown! We have over 20,000 readers on several outlets now (and I love each and every one of you!) Since this was started as a deal blog - I will not change that. I'm still cheap (and poor most the time), so when I find a great deal I will share it. Yes, we've grown to include recipes, articles, reviews and giveaways and much more. But we're still frugal, are we not? I wont compromise the intention of this blog as we go - I carefully choose who I work with to bring you deals. If a company/offer is not a good fit - you wont see it here. It's pretty simple.
But the concept that blogging is not a job infuriates me. It's not just finding the quickest deal and slapping it up here. Besides having to know coding, great deal sniffing noses, working as the go-between with a company and my readers and the countless hours I spend on here - it takes a passion. You can ask my boyfriend, there are nights he yells at me to put the computer away "Just one more matchup dear.. just one more post" I spend more than 40 hours a week working on this blog. Do I do it just to rant about my day? To say "I cleaned today I get a gold star!" no (although those do creep in occassionally).
My blog is a way for me to help support our household - I do make some money off of it. The conception that bloggers should and do work for free is wrong. I may have started this blog without knowing what I was going to do with it, but the truth is - I provide with it. I keep food on our tables, gas in my car and make sure we aren't wanting for things. Yes, I consider us still a single income household, but we're not squeaking pennies together to make it anymore. I do pay taxes on anything I make from freelance projects and from the blog- at a higher rate since I'm "self employed".
In my past 16 months of blogging, I've seen bloggers come and go who didn't have the passion in them to keep up with it. It's a lot of work, and can feel like it's taking over your life at times. I have a major blog "To Do" list this weekend to tackle. It is work, and you will find out quickly if it's for you or not.
I'm not standing in our living room palm out asking my boyfriend to open his wallet - I actually never ask for money from him. He will offer if it's something major and he knows I can't handle it at that point (tires need replaced etc) - but it is paid back as soon as possible. He comes home to a clean house, nutritious (and gluten free) dinner waiting, and lawn cared for. He does keep the roof over our head and I don't want him to have the extra stresses - the house is my domain (I'm biting my tongue as I type that - I NEVER thought I'd say those words).
While the last three plus years have turned me into a content house girl-friend (move over 1950's housewives, you have nothing on me). This doesn't mean I don't work! I just make my own schedule, pave my own path and find new ways to provide for my family.
So the next time someone asks me "Are you even looking for a job?" I will proudly say "No, I have one" as my boyfriend brags about my blog and what I do. Yes, I work in my pajamas some days. But there are others that I get more done before 10 am than anyone sitting in a cubicle.
I know that my job in unconventional, and some people just don't understand what I do. But that doesn't mean I'm sitting on the couch all day eating Bon-Bons like Peggy Bundy. I'm providing for my family. And the people who do understand what I do for a job are honestly jealous of what I do. Wouldn't you love to create your own path? Do things your way? Speak and have people actually listen?
We live in Detroit and together we're better off than most of the people in the area. Life threw us a curve ball and we're still making it. Honestly, I don't think I'd want it any other way!