Note from Sophie: Guess what? I’m getting married in less than a week! To celebrate, I’ve got something special for you — for more info, read to the end of this post by Alicia Rades.
People make it sound like being married to your career is a bad thing, but I beg to differ.
In our 3 years of marriage and 6 years as a couple, my husband and I have learned a thing or two about maintaining a healthy relationship. I’ve been at my freelance writing career nearly as long, and I’ve found that if you want to enjoy your career, you have to treat it much like you treat your spouse.
If you do that, your relationship with your job can be a positive one.
So maybe you aren’t ready to slip a ring on that finger just yet and say “I do” to the one you love, but if you’ve already committed to a life-long career of freelance blogging, here are a couple of ways to keep that relationship going strong.
1. Give blogging some space
Being “married to the job” comes with the idea that you’re obsessed or that you don’t have a life outside of it.
Let me tell you, I’m not obsessed with my husband. Sure, we love each other, but we don’t have to spend every waking second together. That’s something that actually makes our relationship work.
When looking at the different types of relationships, ours could best be described as vitalized. According to global relationship strategist Denyce Gartrell, this type of relationship looks like this:
- Partners enjoy spending time together.
- Partners share a common vision.
- Partners communicate about issues.
- Partners respect each other’s boundaries and allow them their individualism.
As a study in the The Family Journal shows, vitalized relationships have the lowest rates of divorce consideration and the highest rates of satisfaction.
It’s this type of relationship you want with your career, and that means allowing yourself individualism outside of it. A healthy marriage is not one where you’re inseparable, so don’t become obsessed with your career to a point where your relationship with it becomes a burden.
Here are just some ways to practice this point:
- Set a schedule for yourself. If you plan to work until 4 p.m. each day, shut down the computer at 4 p.m. Don’t let yourself get caught up in working all hours of the night.
- Pick up other hobbies. At points in my career, I’ve felt that freelance blogging was my hobby, so I thought I could work all hours of the day and be happy. I quickly realised that mindset left me little time for myself. You need something else in your life so you don’t start resenting your career.
- Take a vacation every now and then. Just because you don’t have paid vacation doesn’t mean you don’t deserve one. Take a little “me” time once or twice a year, and leave your laptop at home.
2. Evaluate your career frequently
Twice a month or so, my husband and I talk fairly deeply about our relationship. It’s not something we plan to do, but it’s something we do often, and I fully believe it helps keep our relationship strong.
We discuss things like:
- Where we’ve been
- What works for us
- What we need to change
- Where we’re headed
Do this with your career, too. Once a month, sit down and reflect on the previous month. What did you do right? What do you need to do differently this coming month? Have you achieved your goals? Is it time to set new ones? What’s the next step to accomplishing these goals?
Don’t be afraid to open a Word document and type it all out as if you were having a real conversation with your career. This will help keep you motivated, and in the future, it will help you see where you’ve been so you can stay on track with your goals.
3. Raise your rates
A 2012 study in Family Relations found that financial disagreements are the strongest predictor of divorce. Furthermore, research shows that individuals who make more than $50,000 per year are less likely to get divorced than those who make less than $25,000 per year, says Dr. William H. Doherty, a marriage scholar and therapist.
So, how do you keep from divorcing your freelance blogging career? You make sure you’re making enough money so that finances aren’t an issue.
How much, you ask? That all really depends. What annual income are you comfortable with? If what you’re making and what you’d like to make don’t match up, it’s time to raise your rates. (Or for some, perhaps focus more on finding a productivity schedule that allows you to take on more work.)
4. Find a niche you love
I know. It’s advice you’ve heard a million times, but how are you to build a healthy relationship with your blogging career if you don’t love it?
That’s not to say you should never step outside your comfort zone, but if the majority of your projects are on topics you love writing about, you’re less likely to become bitter toward your career.
So, how do you find your niche? Start by doing a little exploring. If you find that there’s a topic you really love writing about, head down that path. Otherwise, think about what you already know. Did you spend some time in college majoring in psychology? Why not become a lifestyle writer? Do you love sewing on the weekends? Write for craft blogs.
There’s no clear-cut formula for finding your niche, but you can’t claim a niche without putting any thought into it. If you’ve been freelancing for a while but hate the topics you’re writing about, you can always change your niche to one you love!
And if you choose an industry specialization that isn’t a money-maker? Don’t write it off completely. Part of having a great relationship is having fun, so don’t be afraid to indulge in topics you enjoy, even if you aren’t exclusive to those topics.
5. Don’t give blogging the silent treatment
Even if you love your job, some days it can be tempting to shut down the computer and say, “I’m done. I’m out.”
But studies show that the silent treatment can be emotionally and physically damaging in a relationship. Why would you do that to your career?
When times get tough in your career, don’t give it the silent treatment. Sit down at your computer and work through your problems. If it’s a bad client, break up with them, not your career. If it’s an issue with your goals, reevaluate them and outline new ones.
Yes, it’s okay to take time for yourself, but don’t give up on your career when it needs you—and you need it—the most.
To make it as a freelance blogger, you have to be as committed to your career as you are to your marriage, but you don’t have to let it smother you.
Want help to build a reliable income and find clients that let you love your job? Keep reading for a special message from Sophie Lizard. 😉
“Sophie’s Wedding” Special Offer!
That’s right, I’m getting married on Friday. It’s been an exciting (and exhausting) few months planning exactly the kind of wedding we wanted — informal, easy, and fun. I think we nailed it.
But I don’t want to leave you with nothing to do while I jet off on honeymoon. And I want to share my happiness with everyone. So I’ve decided to make all my freelance blogger training courses HALF PRICE for just a few days before I go!
If you know you need a little help to launch your freelance blogging career, or to hunt out those high-paying dream clients you’ll want to “marry”, now’s the time to do something about it. Sign up before 6:59pm Eastern / 11:59pm UK time on August 20th to get half price tuition.
For experienced freelancers & bloggers:
50% off The Freelance Blogger’s Client Hunting Masterclass