The Transition to “Work From Home”

by Emily Steers on 06/01/2012

I’m sure you can tell by the fact that I have a blog devoted to it, but really: I love being at home.

I like people, and I like having a job, and I love the stability that comes from traditional employment. Right now, I have a pretty sweet gig, in that I work in a very casual home office, creating awesome editorial for a radio show. I never thought I’d work in radio, but it’s a surprisingly good fit for what I like to do.

But here’s the rub: I have the itch to really, really try to make my blogging (and freelance writing) what I do IRL.

David and I do have daily conversations about how badly we want to have me work from home. David already does, and his stress levels have lessened significantly, I think. I also feel as though I miss out on a lot of “family” time since I’m out of the house 45+ hours per week. (Yes, I get that our family is only two humans and two quadrupeds, but … I miss those furballs when I’m not home.)

I run ads on my blog (feel free to click them anytime, you guys!) but they rarely bring in more than $10 a month. I average somewhere around $6 from those suckers, and… since that’s not even enough for a latte, I need to find other ways to pad my wallet. ┬áIt’s not exactly cheap to live in LA. Cost of living is… obscene, for lack of a better term, and we can’t really move.

Of course, now’s not a great time to be a writer. As I’m typing this, this article got tweeted: GOOD magazine has apparently laid off its editorial staff. This country holds very little value for writers; creatives in general, I think. Sometimes I feel like all traditional forms of employment– you know, the stuff that involves apprenticing, learning a craft, and working hard to become a journeyman, which is how I would look at most creative/maker careers– are gone.

So, I implore you, dear readers: a little advice, or a little bit of salve for the wounds would be nice!

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

misty June 1, 2012 at 5:45 PM

It is so hard, and at the end of the day it sometimes feels like freelancing requires more work because of having to find a market and put yourself out there. I just dismissed what we called my “latte pay”, (ads) because at the end of the day we wouldn’t miss what they brought in and I found it it to look even more reputable to have a clean, adless blog. (i can not tell you HOW MANY emails I got referencing the ads on my blog, etc…)
i think ads can be great. You totally nailed it though- writing is HARD and we are not appreciated or even taken very seriously, typically. I wish I had something amazing to tell you…


Ada June 2, 2012 at 6:04 AM

I’ve been freelancing for four years now and it’s been a great way to supplement my income, but I’ve yet to pull enough in to go to it full time. It’s a time consuming process to build relationships with editors and get the clips you need to be really respected by the industry. I do think the world will always need good writers and I think freelancers may have an advantage in this day and age. If you’re looking for a full-time print writing job; forget it, but the editors who remain at print publications do need writers to produce content . . . enter the freelancer.

Since you have an Etsy shop now, have you considered selling your own ad spaces to other bloggers and Etsy owners? Seems like that would generate more of profit than BlogHer. I like the opportunities available through BlogHer, but I haven’t found the ads to be terribly profitable either.


Jen @ Lita's World June 3, 2012 at 8:07 AM

Oh I hope you do get to work at home!!

My hours at work are still cut, and though I miss the money, I think I like being home more hours much better – the adjustment has been made and I think many of my co-workers feel the same.

I was able to swing being at home all the time as a freelance graphic designer here when the economy was much better – but because I don’t really like doing all the “business” side of being a freelancer, I found I do like it much better being in an office.

I know a few people who work as freelance writers and all I can say is don’t give up…building your connections now can only pay off in the future :)


emily June 3, 2012 at 1:46 PM

i’m excited that it seems as though i have a few projects coming through in the next few days, so that’s nice! i just need to learn how to hustle to keep them coming.


Katelyn Benton June 12, 2012 at 8:45 AM

How’s your SEO for your site? Max may be able to help you rank higher for certain search terms which may increase your ad revenue. If ever you want to chat about it over Metro or Maxwell’s, let us know!


emily June 12, 2012 at 2:11 PM

i understand the concepts of SEO, not sure if i get the execution! i’d love to take you guys out to brunch and get some knowledge on!


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