Freelancers: So What is it Exactly That You Do?

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If you’re a blogger, freelancer, or other online worker, you’ll be very familiar with hearing questions such as “so what is it exactly that you do?” and “is that a real job?”.

It can get frustrating- and I rarely tell people about my freelance and blogging work. In fact, it’s only recently that I’ve started to tell friends and family about it- and the reaction has been fantastic!

But I still feel awkward speaking about it with people I don’t know well, and the barrage of questions or doubts can be hard to deal with sometimes.

So, in this post I’m going to be looking at what exactly a freelancer does day by day- and why we feel nervous or questioned when we speak to others about what we do.

Of course, online freelance work can involve anything: from blogging to translation services, construction or art. However, as a blogger and freelance writer, this post will mainly focus on that- but these ideas, tips, and thoughts can be applied to other kinds of freelance work too!

“So, what exactly do you do?

What exactly you do as a freelancer or blogger will be different for everyone. For me, I work in an admin job in the morning, so I like to focus on my blogging and freelance content writing work in the afternoons. This means my day consists of 4 hours in a “regular” job, and then around 4 or 5 hours working on my blog and freelance work.

I also work some weekends when I have an extra bit of writing or social media work I need to finish off. At the moment, I’m in the position where the more work I do, the more it will be reflected in my income- which is the case for a lot of freelancers.

I usually spend around half an hour per day promoting my blog and freelance services via social media, and engaging with other bloggers. I spend the majority of my day writing content for my freelance clients, and I try to fit blogging in around this.

This could mean that some days I don’t do any blogging, and some days I focus on it as the main task. It just depends what work comes in, and how fast I complete it.

It’s hard to pin down exactly what freelancers and bloggers do from day to day, as it can differ depending on opportunities, quiet periods, and what kind of work you do.

But I love that! There’s so much variety, and no-one’s day to day routine as a freelancer will be quite the same.

“Is freelancing a real job?”

Yes! Blogging or freelancing is a real job, whatever form it takes. It can sometimes be harder for people to accept as a “job” maybe because we might spend a lot of time on social media, or maybe because it’s not a “traditional” career path.

But so much work goes into freelancing or blogging, and while I love it so much- it can be such hard work!

If you’re a blogger or freelance writer, you have to constantly put yourself out there on social media, communicate with clients, create amazing content and continue to find new gigs or sponsored posts for when you’ve completed all your work.

You need to keep up with blog writing and perfecting SEO, as well as keeping on top of any newsletters, giveaways, promotions, new posts, and submitting your tax information. You need to be constantly improving your DA, coming up with ideas, creating images, and taking photos.

You are a social media manager, an administrator, a writer, a marketing specialist, an SEO expert and a million other things that make up just one day in your work life.

So much work goes into blogging and freelancing, and I loved this post from Thomas all about loving your blog for that reason.

3 Tips to Tell People What You Do

Even though you know how much work you do every single day, and you know that you do a very real job- it can still be hard to tell other people what you do.

I’ve put together a few tips to tell people exactly what it is that you do, and a couple of ways to answer those frustrating questions!

Choose how to frame your job

If you want to tell someone what you do, and you’re having trouble formulating the words, come up with the perfect way to frame your job. Tell people you’re a freelance content writer, or a translator, or a blogger. Have in your head what you want to tell people, and stick to it.

I tend to just tell people I work in admin for the University, failing to mention that I have this side career that I am slowly building into something- and I want to change this!

Know your own worth

It can be hard if you feel criticised for your work, but you know how hard you work everyday. Know your own worth, and don’t feel the need to justify it to other people.

Not everyone has to understand to make your freelance work a real career!

Be confident!

Don’t shy away or hide because of dreaded questions- embrace them as someone just trying to understand, and be confident with your answers. Tell people exactly what it is you do, and explain it if they don’t quite understand.

Be proud of the work you put in each and everyday, and the many hats you have to wear to achieve your goals.

So freelancers, the next time someone asks what it is exactly that you do: tell them!

Are you a freelancer or blogger? How do you tell people what you do each day? What do you do in your day to day routine?

Let me know all your thoughts in the comments below 🙂

Happy reading x

46 thoughts

  1. It’s a good insight to blogger life and I hope to get there too. Being a full time blogger. I think the most accurate term for modern freelancers/bloggers etc is social meedia marketing managers. You just promote you instead of others.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this! The fact that every day could be a little different and you never know what’s coming sounds so interesting (although I imagine also stressful). Really enjoyed reading this, thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Good post. And thank you for sharing your tips. I’m also having a hard time to explain to people about my freelance job all this while. Reading your post makes me confident. And I love my freelance job very very very much!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I really appreciate you sharing this information. I see many crossovers between freelance and blogging and I admire all of you who are able to create income from it. Thanks for sharing! Wishing you all the best in 2022!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, there definitely are a lot of crossovers- that’s why my post kept using different words for freelancers or bloggers. Thank you so much for sharing and for your kind words. Have a lovely New Year x

      Like

  5. It makes me sad that some people don’t see blogging or freelancing as a ‘proper job’. Just because you’re passionate about your job doesn’t meant that you’re not working hard for it. Thanks for sharing this – I’m inspired to keep at it and make blogging my full time job 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s hard to believe at this time in our lives that these sort of questions are still being asked. Thank you so much for sharing this, I’ll defiantly be sharing this with friends and family as I know they’ll love and appreciate this post too. Xo

    Elle – ellegracedeveson.com

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks for sharing. I used to have a problem telling people what I do (maybe because I do so many things). Saying that I am a freelancer helped me because it includes most of what I do, including blogging, web design, social media management and business development for sole traders.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Great post Eleanor! It’s so rewarding making an income by doing what you love and creating a path for yourself. Although it’s not a “traditional” career, we’re happy and passionate about what we do. Blogging and freelancing takes a lot of work, like you said, you have to put yourself out there, amongst other things. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I struggle with this so much when people ask. The only way they seem to take it seriously is if I say ‘I make more than the job I left’, otherwise they seem to think I’m just faffing about and making pocket money.

    Corinne x

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I hadn’t really thought about this before. I’m not sure I could do freelance as a job because of the lack of job security and benefits. But your three tips are great suggestions for anyone who wants to work as a freelancer or do paid content on their own blog

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This is such a helpful post! I’ve just started freelance work and have already found it tricky to tell people, so I will definitely be using these tips! Thank you!

    Like

  12. Thank you for sharing this! Many people don’t understand freelancing or blogging so this would be a good post to refer them to. I would love to be a full time blogger; maybe in the near future!

    Like

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