In the latest in this series, Sophie from Sophie’s Suitcase shares what it’s like to work in PR and to have a travel blog. Her job isn’t related to travel, so it’s perhaps not as easy as you might think.
Sophie’s blog started in 2010 and she hasn’t looked back since. Her blog recently won ‘Best for Travel’ at the Cosmo Blog Awards 2015 – very exciting!
Anyway, read on to find out Sophie’s secrets to managing both roles.
Q. Besides your blog, what job do you do for a living?
I work as a full time PR account executive for a creative agency in Cambridge and I work in the science, technology and healthcare sectors, occasionally working with FMCG brands. I graduated from university in Nottingham with a degree in International Relations and Communications and I knew instantly that PR was the career that would be perfect for me and my personality. I love my job and I love the challenge that it brings.
Q. Is your day job in any way related to travel?
It is in no way related to travel but that is fine with me as I enjoy working in a variety of industries with my full time job and then working across the travel industry with my blog.
Q. Do you think this is a perk or hindrance
I believe the experience I am gaining as a PR account executive is a massive help to my blogging. It helps me see both sides of the blogging outreach sphere and I am also passing on skills from both sides to the other. Both help me learn new skills and improve my current skills.
Q. How many hours a week do you work on your day job?
I work full time 37.5 hours a week and then spend about 15-20 hours a week managing my blog.
Q. How do you fit blogging in around your day job?
Of course I often find it hard to find the time to manage my blog, whether it is writing blog posts, taking photos, updating my social media or networking. I don’t always want to go from computer screen at work to computer screen at home but over time I have found systems that work well for me and they mean I can manage my blogging around my full time job. I spend most of my time blogging at the weekend, as opposed to week nights.
Q. How do you balance your annual leave allowance with travel for your blog, as well as personal holidays/breaks etc?
I get the standard holiday allowance and I use my days off wisely. This year I have spent my time off to go off on weekend breaks across Europe and the UK. I have been to Berlin, a log cabin retreat in the woods, a birthday surprise in Bath, a summer holiday to Malaga, a girl’s weekend to Brighton, a weekend in Birmingham, lots of trips to London and quiet weekends in Cambridge. I use my time wisely!
Q. Looking forward, where do you see your blog and job?
I have been thinking about this recently but I don’t think I would enjoy being a full time blogger. I love working full time, working with colleagues and the social aspect that comes with it. Being a full time blogger doesn’t appeal to me at the moment and therefore my goal for the future is to simply grow my blog alongside my career but for my blog to hopefully provide me with more opportunities in the next few years through blogger collaborations and press trips to incredible locations.
Q. Do you have any tips or words of inspiration for other people thinking about starting a blog even though they have a full-time job, particularly unrelated to their niche?
A blog really needs be something you love and adore spending time doing as it is ultimately a really big commitment. Blogging isn’t for the faint hearted, you need to be able to manage multiple jobs, keep a constant to do list, spend early mornings writing and late nights tweeting. I love blogging because it is simply an extensive of my love for travel and therefore writing about my travels doesn’t seem like hard work. But it’s also a steep learning curve so be willing to learn new skills. TOP TIP: Get networking, often it is who you know, not what you know!
Q. Are there any bloggers that you love?
I love so many other bloggers and regularly follow their travels. My favourites are Monica at The Travel Hack, Neil at Backpacks and Bunkbeds, Melissa at Footsteps on the Globe, Tara at Where is Tara? And it’s more lifestyle, but Hannah from Hannah Gale. Oh and of course Char at Taylor Hearts Travel as you are the perfect example at how to juggle a blog and a full time job.
Big thanks to Sophie for sharing her insights!
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