I tripled my blog traffic in 2 weeks (without selling my body)

How to triple blog traffic more followers

Blogging isn't all about numbers - let's just get that little nugget out of the way. But no one can deny the joy that comes with visitor growth going up, up, and up. It's like crack, but you know, the good, non-illegal sort of crack. Uhh. Don't do drugs kids. Drugs are bad. 

So for the past few weeks I've been doing things a little differently on the old blog, and in that time I've seen my traffic (along with my unique visitors) triple. Once, it even quadrupled for a few days. Okay, I'm showing off a little here, but hey, I'm pretty excited about it!

I think transparency with bloggers is seriously importantly - especially with so many blogs now working with different companies and brands. By now, I hope you all recognise me as a pretty open person. If you can see my granny pants through a pair of white trousers, I'll be the first to point it out, so when I'm sitting here bragging about all the new people I've got rocking up to my blog, you should know that I'm going to spill all my secrets to you guys. Let's face it, it's pretty damn annoying when people don't give you the full picture. Agreed? Agreed. So here it is, the full pictures (or at least as much of a full picture as I can give you without publishing a novel the size of War and Peace).

So about my stats. I used to get around 250 Unique Visitors each day, meaning 250 lovely individuals strolled on over to my blog on the daily (ps. thank you). Now? I'm getting anywhere from 650 to 1100 a day. Now unless there's some unknown naked picture of me foliating around Google, bringing all of these people to this blog to laugh and mock at me, I'd say it's down to all the things I've been doing differently lately. Normally I'd ramble about every point in twenty different paragraphs, but chances are you came here because the title caught your eye, so I'll get straight to it.

Choose an eye catching title

If in fact the reason you came here was because of the title of this post, then yay (!) - it works! Keywords are important when it comes to choosing your title, because more often than not they're the things people will be searching/looking for when browsing on the internet. The words 'tripled' 'blog' and 'traffic' are three beautiful words that are probably going to intrigue anyone, whether their traffic consists of 10 Unique Visitors a day, or 10,000. People always want more.

Be informative and have a purpose

Not only do people want more, but they also want information. This isn't to say you should make 'how to' posts every second of the day (although, go ahead if you're up to the challenge!) but I have noticed that actually having a point to a blog post really helps. Sure, some people can get away with just talking about their day in a post, but I find visitors stick around longer when there's something in it for them. Whether that's blogging advice, beauty hacks or when a sale is on - it's all down to you. One thing I do like to do however, is make as much of my content 'evergreen' which basically means it's always useful no matter what the season/year/situation. Kinda like this post, really.

Post as much as possible (within reason)

Chances are, the more you post, the more people will be inclined to stop by your site - you know, just incase you've published something new that day! I'd like to post every day, but right now University is telling me otherwise, so instead I just post as often as I can. This isn't to say you should just post a picture of your cat every four minutes to generate traffic (you know, unless that's what you're audience are after..I'm game) - ideally you should still be posting quality content, only more often.

Traffic comes from humans, talk to them

It's easy to forget that these numbers that happen on Google Analytics are actually real life, breathing, walking, people. Unless they're those spammy robot things..ignore them. Whenever people comment I always try to message back as often as possible. It can be difficult to stay on top of comments as and when they come, so I like to try and put aside twenty minutes a few nights a week to reply to different people. If they took the time to comment, comment back! Not everyone will do it, but if you reply to someone chances are they'll click back to see what you said. Hello, one extra page view - but most importantly, hello brand new actually living internet friend!

Share the love (and your blog posts)

This is probably the main thing that's helped me during the past few weeks - and some of you may well have noticed. Normally, when I posted something online I'd simply tweet about it once and maybe promote it on Facebook if I felt productive. Now? It's a whole new ball game. Obviously no one wants links shoved in their face 24/7, but at the end of the day who doesn't love a bit of self promotion? I like to promote my 'evergreen' posts on rotation. I find they tend to be the posts that get the most views, and since they never really go out of style it doesn't really matter if I promote it three weeks from now! Stumbleupon is also good for lazy promotion.

Divulge in a spot of SEO

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is like your least favourite grandparent that you dread to see...but they give you chocolate when you do see them. Basically, when you put the effort into SEO you're bound to reap some sort of benefit. I've been doing this a lot more lately and it's boring as hell, but seriously helpful. I'll be doing a more in-depth post on SEO soon enough (I even went to the library to STUDY SEO????) so stayed tuned for that bad boy!

Hope this helped! Share any of your tips in the comments, because it's nice to be nice ;)

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UK Fashion Blog


The reason behind why I started blogging

UK fashion blog - Why I started blogging
UK fashion blog - Why I started blogging

Hello world. Remember me? I was that girl that posted on this blog like a psychopath...then suddenly stopped for a little while. Apparently, my University course head teacher queen-of-schools person didn't consider the fact that I might want to actually post pictures of myself on the internet during my studies. So yeah, the past few days have been spent with me painstakingly typing out a case study filled with words I'm not even sure I know the meaning of. But hey, they sound good.

Anyway, it's been a little while since I've been blogging on my lonesome (for those late to the party/AKA my blog, I was on a network a few months back) and I like to think I've gotten back into the swing of things. Do not correct me if I'm wrong, just allow me to feel good about this for five seconds please.

So yeah, before the big move to this website I was starting to feel a little 'worked' by blogging. I mean sure, luckily blogging is pretty much my full-time job, but can I really call it that? It takes a lot of effort, planning and time (and obviously a genius brain, ahem) but I'm hardly a nueroscientist or super-smart academic. Realistically, I write things on the internet, take photos of things I like and get my boyfriend to take photos of me whilst all other inhabitants of my city look at me like a crazy person. I'm going off on one of those tangents I like to go on again, so I'll stop here.

Long story short, during the past few days I've seriously missed blogging - something that I haven't really felt for a while. I've missed typing nonsense on the internet in hopes that someone will read it and potentially laugh/emulate with what I have to say. And that in itself has made me realise that my original reason for blogging has changed completely.

I'll say something you've probably all thought at least once when looking through my pictures. Sometimes I dress weird. Not weird in a sort of 'oh that girl is so cool and different and individual' but more along the lines of being that girl in primary school that showed up on non-school-uniform day wearing a black and yellow Spice Girl mini dress that advertised my stomach without a care in the world. Uh yeah, I did that. Multiple times. I digress. What I'm really trying to say is that hey, I'm pretty much just an average girl (don't you hate it when internet people say that?) that's not a super model in the making, or one of those super cool fitness girls you see on Instagram, or someone with loads of money that can make you wish you were me. Nope. I'm pretty much just a born and bred country girl that ever so slightly detests overly social situations, with a fairly decent broadband speed and a wardrobe filled with things that aren't exactly the norm in 'countryside' terms. I mean really though, why don't more people wear fluffy leopard print coats these days?

So let's rewind (and let's also take a second to come to terms with a fact that this is yet another overly long post from yours truly. Sorry not sorry). I started a blog because everyone else looked cool doing it. That's it. When I was younger I wasn't exactly my number one fan, so starting a blog that - from the outside world - just looks like a website filled with photos of myself, may seem a little vain. Who knows, maybe that's exactly what it was! But meh (and I don't use that word/sound effect lightly) it was just what I was doing at the time. Copying others because I couldn't quite figure out my own little path in life *emotional music*.

But seriously, I started my blog because everyone else was doing it. It was the 'cool' thing to do and hey, all of the big bloggers just looked like they had the best life ever, so evidently if I just took a few pics of myself on an old Coolpix camera I'm bound to be snapped up by Louis Vuitton any second (side note: still waiting on that email, LV). But alas, that is still yet to happen. But you know what has happened? It's all in the title my babies. After all this time blogging and not knowing exactly why I was doing it, I've finally figured it out. And it's honestly the most insanely wild thing you'll hear all day. Ready? Okay. I started blogging because I like to write.

Woah. Journalism student. Girl that writes (wait let me count) eight paragraphs and counting on one blog post!? This girl likes writing!? I told you, it's a doosey. But that's literally it. I like sharing things with people - not because my life is so incredibly glamourous (seriously, I have hair removal cream on my upper lip right this second) or because I have any real wisdom to share, but because I just like taking words out of my mouth and putting them onto paper - or in this case, a blog.

I'll be the first to say it - I'M SOCIALLY AWKWARD! Which is so damn ironic because hey, that's what blogs are built around now - being social. I've spent so much of my real life being semi-quiet about life in general, and I've spent so long blogging about what I'm wearing that I've cracked. I need to talk, a lot. Okay scrap that. I need to talk in my head a lot, and then type it so the whole world can see what I'm thinking. Logical Steph, logical.

I'm not a fantastical traveller, nor am I a super chic style icon (god how I wish I could just change my blog name to 'normal person' - but I'm guessing that URL is probably taken and/or costs  bomb). At the end of the day - like I said above - I'm just a semi-boring girl that dresses slightly different to the other people in my street, with a lot of stuff to say but no real guts to say it in person. Oh, actually I think I summed that up pretty well. I am in fact, just a keyboard warrior - you know, minus the abuse. Okay that was a bad analogy. But I do feel pretty sorry for how many times I pound my keyboard a minute. 

But let's face it, if I can write this much in twenty minutes, just be glad I don't spill my guts in person 24/7. I'd never shut up.

What was the reason you started blogging?

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TRIWA sunglasses *
Chicwish backless sweater *
ASOS leather trousers
Forever 21 mules *
Forever 21 trio bag *

UK fashion beauty blog

The A to Z guide to blogging terminology you need to know

SEO blogging tips UK blogger
SEO blogging tips UK fashion blog
SEO blogging tips UK fashion blog

You know what? I like this style of post - it makes a change from just talking about my outfit and stuff. I'd love to have a fancy story to tell you about my day, but hey, who needs a twelve paragraph-long blog post on how many episodes of Breaking Bad I re-watched on Netflix today? I mean I could do that, if you really wanted, but right now I feel like I have something ever so slightly more useful to discuss: blogger terminology. Not just acronyms for Thank God It's Friday (TGIF, FYI) but more technical things like Domain Authority and SEO. Exciting stuff, right!? Trust me, it all becomes a little addictive once you get into it.

Affiliate marketing: This is one of the ways bloggers can make a little bit of money on their site, by using a special link that directs to a shop of sorts. If someone clicks it, or buys something using that link (in a period of time) that blogger can earn a commission!

Alt text: This is generally something that helps Google understand your image better, and can be applied to an image via HTML (see below) using the coding <img alt="...">. In short, the purpose of this tag is to describe the image so that Google can read it, and categorise it should your image not show up properly. I also like to name my files when saving, to help my good friend Googs (we're on nickname terms now) that little bit more.

Anchor text: These are the words use when creating a link. For example if I cheekily link you to my last outfit post, the anchor text here is the word 'outfit'. The best anchor text to use in terms of SEO (see below) are words that relate to the page you're linking to. So you know, try not to link to your favourite pair of shoes using the words 'these r r8 gd'..it's probably not going to work out amazingly.

Blogroll: This is usually where people link to their friend's blogs or their favourite blogs. You can see my blogroll here for an example. It's just a nice way to share the love!

Bounce rate: This is the percentage of people came to your blog and only viewed one page. It's not the most important thing in the world, but generally, the lower the better.

Captcha: AKA those really annoying numbers/letters that you get asked to copy when trying to write a comment or entering different details onto a website. It's a way of the internet making sure we're human. FYI, I am.

Conversion rate: This is the percentage of visitors who actually do something on your page, such as signing up for a newsletter or downloading an app.

CSS: For me, CSS is like the uglier, nastier sister of HTML. I hate it. But, it is useful to get to grips with. CSS is an acronym for Cascading Style Sheets, which is just a fancy way of describing the look and format of a document - AKA a website. It's my least favourite thing.

Domain Authority: Also known as DA, this is essentially the new Page Rank, which Google no longer takes into account. Domain Authority is based on age, popularity and size of the domain name/URL. The higher the number, the better. You can check your Domain Authority here.

Favicon: See that little star in the web address bar? That's my favicon. People often have a logo or recognisable image for their brand - I chose a star because it looks pretty.

Hyperlink: Hyperlink is just a fancy word for your bog standard link. It's just clickable content that usually directs you to another page or website.

HTML: I'm one of those really annoying people that love HTML, yet I hate that evil thing called CSS. HTML is short for Hyper Text Markup Language, and it's the standard coding that most/all websites are built upon. It does everything from make text bold to making random pictures fly around your screen. All the fun.

Meta Description: Ever seen this when uploading a new page or blog post? It's good to fill in if you can. A good description (approx. two sentences or so) should contain targetted keywords and phrases that will bring more people to your site. Yay!

Meta Tags: You guessed it! They're pretty similar to the above, only it's a combination of meta titles, descriptions and keywords. It helps provide information about your website/blog to search engines, meaning you'll get categorised a lot better.

Nofollow links: This does what it says on the tin. Nofollow links tell search engines not to take note of the link you're using. Your link is still completely valid, only you won't pass on any SEO to the site you're linking out to. If you're getting paid to link out to someone, keep it nofollow.

PPC: Is short for Pay Per Click. This is something I like to use as it ensures a few pennies come in (and I really am talking pennies) each day for me. It's usually a link or add that pays the publisher every time someone clicks on it. Shopstyle are a good example of this!

Permalink: A permalink is the link to specific posts. So it would be something like www.cocochicblog.co.uk/this-is-a-permalink. Got it? Good.

Rate card: This can be either a webpage or a document you keep to yourself, but it's a little card/page that outlines different prices for advertising/sponsored posts etc. I wrote a little bit about how much to charge for blog posts here (shameless plug yolo).

Responsive design: This is actually something Google are now paying attention to. A responsive design is something that works on a variety of different devices. If it's responsive, your site will change itself to suit something like an iPad or iPhone.

RSS: Another acronym! This one's short for Really Short Syndication, and it's basically a way that people can subscribe to your blog/posts so that they can stay on top of whatever you're churning out!

SEO: Ah, Search Engine Optimisation! We have a bit of a love/hate relationship here. SEO consists of a variety of techniques used to increase the amount of traffic to a website by having a high ranking placement on the likes of Google, Bing etc. Good SEO = being higher up on a search engine. And that means? Lots of good stuff.

Aaaaaand breathe. Okay. So for any of you that just wanted to find out what I was wearing, sorry for all the text (and scroll down for the outfit details), but either way I hope this helped out a few of you. I'm bound to have missed something/got something wrong somewhere, so feel free to pick me up on it!

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Superdry X Timothy Everest town coat *
Forever 21 white tee *
French Connection white trousers *
Superga leather trainers *

UK Fashion Blog

How to easily edit blog / outfit photos (with pictures!)

How to edit blog pictures easily

I'm going to tell you all something that will shock you right to your core. I'm not actually perfect and airbrushed in real life *GASPS* ! Just let that sink in for a minute, okay?

I'm the first person to admit that I Photoshop my images. Obviously it's a personal preference - some people like to show the real them in their images..I'm the sort of girl that likes to show the real me..just with a slightly better white balance and less under eye circles. But again, that's my choice! Feel free to ignore my advice on this topic completely, or even pick and choose different bits that apply to you, but here's how I make my photos what I would call internet-friendly. I mean hell, looking back on those old Bebo and Myspace pictures I wish I'd have read my own blog post on this sooner. (I also wish I maybe didn't dye my hair pink and pierce my face several times, but that's a different story). Okay, onto the editing process!

So first off I guess it's probably useful for me to tell you what I use to shoot and edit. For all of my photos I use the Canon 6D, and for outfit pictures we've just started using a combination of a Canon 100mm Macro lens and a Canon 24-105mm L lens. Basically two lenses that give that really nice blurry background effect that we all love. For editing, I mostly use Photoshop, but I'll dabble in a bit of Lightroom here and there (you can buy the Adobe Suite from around £8 per month if you're a student here).

[Left image is a RAW file, image on the right is standard JPEG]

More recently (as in the last few photos on here) I've started editing my photos in RAW, and oh my how I've seen a difference in the way these photos look afterwards! At a glance the two images above (both unedited) may look pretty similar, but when it comes to editing the one on the left is a serious dream. Now obviously being able to edit in RAW depends on the camera you have (a lot of DSLRs will have the option to use RAW) , but the general idea behind RAW is that the image is completely unprocessed and essentially as 'natural as possible'. JPEGs are still a great file, and I always use it for my lesser-edited images, but when it comes to something like outfit posts I always go for RAW as it allows me to edit pretty much anything I want, without losing the photo quality.

How to easily edit blog pictures

So here's how everything looks when I open up my RAW file in Photoshop. The first thing I come across is this little Adobe editor, that allows me to make any quick changes such as contrasts and blacks and whites. With JPEG, I was always just editing the brightness and contrast of my images, but since discovering this little tool I've been able to pinpoint exactly which bits (for example the white on my t-shirt) I want to brighten or darken, without actually altering any of the pixels in the photos. 

How to easily edit blog pictures

Here's how everything looks when I do a bit of editing - instantly a lot better, right? Now of course this is where you can go ahead and play with your photos in different ways. Personally, I love to really up the contrast of my pictures and sharpen them ever so slightly with the clarity bar, but the numbers/amounts always change depending on the image. Everything is still completely as it was in the image before, just with slightly enhanced colours, etc. Then, I click 'open image' button to er, open my image into Photoshop itself (groundbreaking!).

How to easily edit blog pictures

Ah yes, here I am slightly larger, looking a lot better (and less grey) than the original photo, but still with a few too many shadows under my eyes and redness on my face. Okay, okay, I probably look fine, but hey, I'm a girl and I like to pick faults in myself, so let's get rid of these apparent faults with my favourite thing ever: the airbrush tool.

How to easily edit blog pictures

Aaaand apparently in this picture I've decided to Photoshop a monocle onto my face. Heh. Just kidding..but I do like to get up close and personal when it comes to airbrushing. The secret is to do it ever so slightly - unless you're going for that 2D all-over-beige face that's obviously so on trend. It's late and I'm getting giddy. BE PROFESSIONAL STEPH! Okay, I'm back.

When using the airbrushing tool (also known as the paintbrush tool) I always make sure I use the eyedropper tool to match the colour I want. So when it comes to getting rid of dark circles I either select the eyedropper (ALT l) or hold the ALT button when using the paintbrush and select the colour closest to where I want to recolour. If that makes sense? For example, when getting rid of slight dark circles I'll eye drop the colour closest to the dark circles, that's not actually the dark colour (unless I'm looking to add more dark circles? Could happen!). One thing I always like to do is make sure my opacity is pretty low, to make sure it doesn't look obvious. I usually use around 20% opacity (found at the top of the screen) and just build up as I go. Also make sure you put the 'hardness' of your brush fairly low, otherwise you'll just end up with perfectly round, skin-coloured circles all over your face. Again, each to their own though.

I'll do this for anywhere that needs a bit of touching up - usually things like spots and dark circles though. I always like to go back to my original picture to compare the two as I edit, just to make sure I'm not going over board. Now onto the clone tool..

How to easily edit blog pictures

The iron is my least favourite friend, making the clone tool my best. The clone tool kind of works exactly like the paintbrush, only instead of mimicking colour it'll mimic the entire area you've chosen. To make it obvious for you, I decided to close a bit of my hair, which you can see is now on my stomach! So chic. 

As you can see in the image above, I'm not exactly a pro when it comes to ironing out the creases in my close (in fact, it would help if I actually owned an iron..) so to make the photo look a little more polished I've decided to edit the lines out ever so slightly. Not enough to make it look like I'm wearing a perfectly flat top, but just enough so it doesn't look too obvious. Think of it as keeping it really...50% of the time. Ahem.

So again, keep the opacity and brush hardness down low to keep things looking natural, and build up over time. The clone tool takes a little bit of practise, but after a few minutes you should get the idea of it! It would confuse you all a lot more if I tried to explain how to use it in more depth, but just think of it as another airbrush tool, only you copy areas of the picture as opposed to just colours. As always, feel free to shoot me a message if you're ever confused!

How to easily edit blog pictures

And I'm done! I decided to lighten up the background ever so slightly (personal preferences again) but otherwise I think it's turned out pretty well for what only take a few minutes. In fact, it's taken me a lot longer to explain how to do this than actually do it, so don't be put off by the size of this post! Think of it as just a few easy steps. As always, feel free to go ahead and edit however much of the photo you'd like, but if I could throw one piece of advice your way it would be to do it gradually. Here's the before and after if you want to be nosey..

Hope this helped some of you! The same rules generally apply if you're just using JPEG, only you won't get the same Adobe pop up as I did at the beginning. Photoshop is one of those programmes that can be used in 5 million different ways (I'm not exaggerating either) so what might work best for me may be completely different for you lovely lot, but I hope this helped all the same. Failing that, at least you got to see a COMPLETELY UNEDITED PHOTO OF ME!!!!11 Oh internet.

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What are your photo editing secrets?!


How to become a full-time blogger

how-to-become-a-full-time-blogger-tips

Aloha ladies and gentlemen! So today's post is both a Tip Tuesday as well as a bit of a personal anecdote. Last week during the FBL chat there was a load of talk about how to make it as a full-time blogging - and by make it, I'm talking money. 

So first up let me just tackle this entire thing head on: blogging is my hobby, and I really, really love it, but I'm also lucky enough to say it's become my full-time job that pays the bills and keeps me going every month. I'm in no way jetting off to Cannes every other week (or ever, if I'm honest) but it helps me pay my bills and live fairly comfortably for a girl my age. Okay, that's the painful bit over.

Rewind back to a few years ago when I was very unhappily working as a counter manager in a department store. I'll be honest, I've never been good with holding down a job, purely because I get so bored, so very quickly, so finding another suitable job at that time was high on my to-do list. 

I began blogging properly (I was on Tumblr for ages) just over two years ago. I started it for fun - just like we all do - and after my first few months of tapping away I got my first paid opportunity. £20 for a sidebar ad. I'm rich! Was pretty much my first thought. I mean, the idea of being paid even a penny for blogging was my idea of a good time, so - even though the proposed amount wasn't even going to cover a weeks food shop - £20 sounded pretty great to me.

With that came a lot of curiosity. How were bloggers being paid? How could I do it myself? It wasn't as straight forward as I first hoped. After weeks of looking into it, as if by chance I got offered a 3-month advertising contract with a company that offered me £150 a month for a sidebar. Remember how excited I got over the £20? This was like winning the lottery.

I got talking to this PR guy for a while - just general chit chat - and after telling him about my hate for my job, and how I was hoping to venture into monetising my blog, he kindly passed my link around to a few of his friends working in different sectors. In fact, that one random guy that barely even knew me was probably the push that got this entire 'blogging career' (lol) started. So thank you, if you just so happen to be reading this!

Anyway, after a few weeks of working my ass off on monetising different parts of my blog, I finally managed to hit an amount that came fairly close to my monthly earnings from my actual job (it wasn't a highly paid job, FYI). It was at that time that it finally dawned on me that maybe, just maybe (and it was huge bloody maybe) I could earn a similar amount from my blog than my other 'real life' job. At this point it's probably a good time to mention that I still lived at home with my Ma, so rent was a little cheaper than it is now.

Now this is probably the most important part of this entire story (and well done if you're still reading). I've always been the sort of girl that likes to save rather than spend, so I had a little bit of money in the bank put away for a 'rainy day', or rather a day-when-i-decide-to-quit-my-job-for-the-internet day. It had gotten to the point where I was really, really hating retail - as I'm sure some of you can relate, so one evening I decided to just work out how long I could survive without work, in terms of finances. The verdict? Four months, give or take.

So here's me thinking about throwing this job away (that I worked pretty hard to get!) all for the sake of blogging. It was just an idea. But then, ohhhhh then, it was a week before my 20th birthday - which I had booked off work - when my manager decided to tell me I was going to have to work that day. I've never been overly fussed about birthdays, and to be honest I wouldn't normally care about that sort of thing, but for some reason this day was different, and so after work that day I drove home and began typing out my resignation letter. Gulp.

So there I was one week later, working on my birthday, and instead of thinking about cake (my usual birthday thoughts) I was shaking with nerves due to the fact that I was thinking about resigning from my job - my crappy, but oh so secure job - that same day. After a while, the thought kinda passed, but then another individual that I have to oddly thank walked in. The customer from HELL! In short, she was the person that gave me the final push to run upstairs and have 'the talk' with my boss. Ten minutes later, it was official - due to the beauty of owed holiday my 20th birthday would forever be known as the day I went full-time.

I won't lie. Money did become a worry. I know that I was lucky to still be living with my Mum, but sometimes it did get to the stage where I was worried I wouldn't be able to pay her the rent. I sold (a lot) of things on eBay, did a lot of random one-off jobs here and there, went without all of those takeaways and cinema tickets we take for granted, and somehow within those two years I still haven't had a 'real job' to this day. 

Well, it feels pretty damn weird having typed out a chunk of my life like that, and I feel a little lame for admitting it but hey, I'm actually pretty proud of myself come to think of it. I won't lie and say it was a magical process - in fact, sometimes it really kind of sucked - but when it came down to it I guess it helped me realise exactly what mattered more to be: having money or doing what I love. I know what I'd rather be doing..

Hope this has helped some of you in some shape or form! To save you from re-reading this over and over again, here are most of the tips in a nutshell:

Community, not numbers

So we all know the more followers you have, the more you're likely to make money from your blog, but that doesn't mean it's the only way to make money. I started out with a very small following that kept coming back for more (engagement, for all you techies) which brands seemed to love. It's still the same way now. There are more of you, sure, but it's the fact that you're all real people and not robots that makes brands interested in working with me. Same goes for you guys!

It's not just about blogging

Remember when I said I did paid guest posts for other people/companies? They never once made their way to my site. Even now I'll do a lot of outside work that never really gets shown on my blog. In fact, probably around half of my payments come from doing freelance.

Keep it relative

This is actually a post I'm planning on doing next week (so stay tuned!) but one thing I can't stress enough is to keep your work relative to what you do. I could easily accept a £30 sponsored post from a company trying to promote dentures, but I'm not sure that's something you guys want to see, so I don't. It's so much better to wait for the good opportunities, rather than just taking anything that comes your way. Let me know what you think on this though!

Be financially stable

This isn't a must, but I think it's really smart to make sure you have a back up incase - whether that's a bit of money in the bank or just someone you can count on incase you fall on your face. I chose to go full-time when my blog wasn't financially stable, so I made sure the rest of my life was in the mean time!

Prepare yourself

This probably goes without saying, but if you're like me when you're just starting out (i.e. you don't already have $$$$ coming into the bank) then you're going to need to be prepared to work a lot. It sounds silly when internet people say that, doesn't it? But trust me, a lot of emailing, liaising and emailing can be really mentally draining, so make sure you're ready! If you're determined enough, it can be done.

I've not come from a rich family, and I've never been super well-off (I'm still not now), so if I managed to do this then I really don't see why some of your can't too. If your birthdays coming up soon, and you hate your job like I hated mine, you know what to do. (I'm kidding..I think).