The Mainline Blogger - A new Blog about my life on the railway.

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The Mainline Blogger - A new Blog about my life on the railway. 07/05/2024 at 09:59 #156222
chrisdmadd
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Mornign all!

After some interest from a few people of late Ive decided to invest some of my spare time in writing a BLOG on my day to day life on the railway.

Im new to blogging but ive been keen on doing it for some time so ive finally taken the plunge and started writing one about my life on the railway as a driver. Its set up to give those who are interested in the role some first hand experience of what its like, some of the day to day occurences, the challenges and the things I see as I travel up and down the country.

Ive chosen to go down the Patreon route for my BLOGs and invite anyone with a remote interest in what life as a train driver is like to come and join me on my journey up and down the ECML each day!

If youre interested please give it a try and as always feedback is most welcome.

patreon.com/TheMainlineBlogger

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The Mainline Blogger - A new Blog about my life on the railway. 07/05/2024 at 11:11 #156223
jonathanp
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Hmm. Patreon was created to enable artists and musicians to devote time and resources to their work and based on the idea that fans would want to reward creators for the work they are doing, rather than simply as a content purchasing platform.

Charging people to read text only posts about your job that you are being paid a considerable amount of money to do, doesn't seem like a great proposition to me, but who knows.

True, there are a lot self published railwayman memoirs out there which seems to do pretty well, but with those you would typically pay £5 or so for an entire lifetime's worth of memories running to hundreds of pages, not a couple of blog posts.

Last edited: 07/05/2024 at 11:14 by jonathanp
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The Mainline Blogger - A new Blog about my life on the railway. 07/05/2024 at 11:31 #156224
chrisdmadd
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jonathanp in post 156223 said:
Hmm. Patreon was created to enable artists and musicians to devote time and resources to their work and based on the idea that fans would want to reward creators for the work they are doing, rather than simply as a content purchasing platform.

Charging people to read text only posts about your job that you are being paid a considerable amount of money to do, doesn't seem like a great proposition to me, but who knows.

True, there are a lot self published railwayman memoirs out there which seems to do pretty well, but with those you would typically pay £5 or so for an entire lifetime's worth of memories running to hundreds of pages, not a couple of blog posts.
Thanks for your comments, I take them onboard and I thought my salary would come into it which I understand. However it does take a lot of time to write up the blogs and I know many do blogging for free I just felt that this being quite a niche area, I'd be able to charge a small fee (the cost of a beer or a coffe a month) for the work that I'm putting in out of my own time. I've also got my own personal financial reasons for charging a fee which I don't need to go into but that decision wasn't taken lightly.
It's trail and error and time will tell how it goes but I wanted the Simsig community to be the first place to trial the launch of the blog.
I don't know of many who are giving this insight to the modern railway from my role so hope it at least gains some interest!

Last edited: 07/05/2024 at 11:32 by chrisdmadd
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The Mainline Blogger - A new Blog about my life on the railway. 13/05/2024 at 14:02 #156259
greatkingrat
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The other issue is that at present there is no way for anybody to know whether the posts are interesting or not because they are all locked behind the paywall. Pretty much every Patreon etc, has at least some content freely available, then if people like the samples, they might be willing to pay for more. You need to get people interested first, then try and monetize it.
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The Mainline Blogger - A new Blog about my life on the railway. 14/05/2024 at 08:10 #156260
postal
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You will need to be careful about controlling any information that your employer may see as privileged or confidential. Your employment contract probably contains a clause about bringing your employer into disrepute which covers a multitude of sins.
“In life, there is always someone out there, who won’t like you, for whatever reason, don’t let the insecurities in their lives affect yours.” – Rashida Rowe
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The Mainline Blogger - A new Blog about my life on the railway. 14/05/2024 at 11:54 #156262
lazzer
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postal in post 156260 said:
You will need to be careful about controlling any information that your employer may see as privileged or confidential. Your employment contract probably contains a clause about bringing your employer into disrepute which covers a multitude of sins.
Maybe that's why he's hiding it behind a paywall ...

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The Mainline Blogger - A new Blog about my life on the railway. 14/05/2024 at 18:19 #156267
chrisdmadd
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postal in post 156260 said:
You will need to be careful about controlling any information that your employer may see as privileged or confidential. Your employment contract probably contains a clause about bringing your employer into disrepute which covers a multitude of sins.
I understand this and it did worry me a bit, which is sad because all i wanted to achieve was to write about what i get up to on a daily basis. Having found it so interesting reading a one before i joined the railway and thought it was a distant dream.
Ive hopefully covered myself by explaining the reason for the blog and what it contains in the 'about' section.

The reason for the subscription fee is mainly to cover the huge amount of time it takes to write these things. Some dont mind writing for free but I thought id try it this way. Maybe im doing it the wrong way round but time will tell.



About....

I'm a Train Driver in the UK with over a decade of experience in driving trains on various routes across the network.

My aim is to give an insight into a fascinating industry which some of you may already work in and be a part of, or to those of you who have never worked on the railway or maybe aspire to work on the railway one day.

This blog will hopefully give my subscribers a real insight into what day to day life is like as a mainline Train Driver in the UK.

First hand experiences written in detail, mixed in with stories and experiences I've encountered over the years. Plus you get the opportunity to ask questions and get information about this fascinating career directly from me. I'm open to assisting people who are budding Train Drivers and may help you fulfil that dream.

I hope you are excited to join me in my day to day life at work and follow me on my journey up and down the country on a very busy and interesting network.

Disclaimer - This blog has been set up as I know there's a lot of interest in the railway mainly from those who do not currently work in the industry, it's important to understand that in line with my companies IT policy I am unable and not willing to disclose any confidential information relating to anyone or any departments involved within the industry. I won't directly name the TOC I work for or post information that would be damaging to them, employees or suppliers.

In no way has this been set up to shine a bad light on the railway or the TOC that I work for. It has been set up to give a fair but mainly positive reflection on the job that I enjoy so much and will hopefully inspire the next generation of Drivers to apply or give a greater understanding of the role for those who may not choose to go down this career path. All of the information relating to these posts is written up when off duty and all workplace policies are adhered to at all times.

Any opinions expressed are solely my own and do not express the views or opinions of my employer

Last edited: 14/05/2024 at 18:20 by chrisdmadd
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The Mainline Blogger - A new Blog about my life on the railway. 14/05/2024 at 18:23 #156268
chrisdmadd
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greatkingrat in post 156259 said:
The other issue is that at present there is no way for anybody to know whether the posts are interesting or not because they are all locked behind the paywall. Pretty much every Patreon etc, has at least some content freely available, then if people like the samples, they might be willing to pay for more. You need to get people interested first, then try and monetize it.
Yeah I do understand your point and I've done that with the first one and maybe the first 3. Its all trial and error as I'm totally new to this. Thanks for highlighting that.

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The Mainline Blogger - A new Blog about my life on the railway. 14/05/2024 at 20:00 #156272
Steamer
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chrisdmadd in post 156267 said:
postal in post 156260 said:
You will need to be careful about controlling any information that your employer may see as privileged or confidential. Your employment contract probably contains a clause about bringing your employer into disrepute which covers a multitude of sins.
I understand this and it did worry me a bit, which is sad because all i wanted to achieve was to write about what i get up to on a daily basis. Having found it so interesting reading a one before i joined the railway and thought it was a distant dream.
Ive hopefully covered myself by explaining the reason for the blog and what it contains in the 'about' section.
It might be worth getting in touch with your company's media team and giving them a heads up/asking advice? There are quite a few twitter accounts and the like from front-line staff talking about their jobs, and they'd likely welcome a bit of positive PR for the industry, so I don't think it'd automatically be a problem. It would also help avoid any potential issues in future if you're open and get their input about boundaries up front.

"Don't stress/ relax/ let life roll off your backs./ Except for death and paying taxes/ everything in life.../ is only for now." (Avenue Q)
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The Mainline Blogger - A new Blog about my life on the railway. 16/05/2024 at 11:01 #156291
bill_gensheet
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Steamer in post 156272 said:


It might be worth getting in touch with your company's media team and giving them a heads up/asking advice? There are quite a few twitter accounts and the like from front-line staff talking about their jobs, and they'd likely welcome a bit of positive PR for the industry, so I don't think it'd automatically be a problem. It would also help avoid any potential issues in future if you're open and get their input about boundaries up front.

Indeed. It is 'paid employment' just like doing a few hours of bar work at the weekends and would fall foul of any half sensible employment contract, as well as the obvious internal issues.

Anyone who posts publicly about their work that I know has had their boundaries agreed beforehand. My fire cameras ebay/website/forum was agreed up front by my then employers, and is still limited to 'no compete' now I am an independent consultant for them (no biting of hands that feed !).

Bill

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The Mainline Blogger - A new Blog about my life on the railway. 16/05/2024 at 14:44 #156293
clive
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Also bear in mind that anything you receive for it counts as self-employed income and has to be declared on a tax return (though if the site charges you for hosting, that can be deducted from what you earn - this is not financial advice).
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The Mainline Blogger - A new Blog about my life on the railway. 17/05/2024 at 12:31 #156299
bill_gensheet
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clive in post 156293 said:
Also bear in mind that anything you receive for it counts as self-employed income and has to be declared on a tax return (though if the site charges you for hosting, that can be deducted from what you earn - this is not financial advice).
There is a low value exemption on this, the £1000 'trading allowance'. Up to £1000 is 'claimed' as unverified expenses regardless so effectively an untaxed amount. Saves HMRC dealing with someone who made £5 on eBay.

Not advice but this is the link I use:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/tax-free-allowances-on-property-and-trading-income

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The Mainline Blogger - A new Blog about my life on the railway. 18/05/2024 at 09:24 #156304
chrisdmadd
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Thanks for all of the input on this its much appreciated and I am taking your advice on board and considering the next steps! I certainly dont want to get in any trouble with work over it and cant see why it would be an issue given the nature of the posts but its best to ask the questions rather than be asked them later down the line!
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