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).

Giveaway: Happy Plugs Gold Headphones

Cocochic Happy Plugs Giveaway Competition

Fridays are nice, aren't they? But do you know what makes them better? A little freebie. Now I'd love to be able to give you all a little present to say thank you (both in general, and for getting me to 2000 followers on Bloglovin', you crazy kids) but to do that I might not be able to eat or pay rent for a good few months. Saying that, I want you all to know how much I appreciate you guys stopping by to read my thangs every so often, so for no real reason at all I've decided to surprise one of your with a pair of my favourite Happy Plugs headphones. They make music have pretty sounds, they're great quality and blah blah blah blah - basically they just look really good, I love them and I think one of you lovely people will like them too! Here's how to enter:

Leave a comment below telling me..

- Your first name
- Your email address
- Your favourite song of the moment

You can come back and comment once a day to up your chances of winning, so be sure to check back daily! This cheeky competition will end in ten days time (05.04.15) - good luck!


Fruiteatox Review

Fruiteatox+Tea+Tox+Detox+Health+Fitness

As a lot of you will know from my last health and fitness post, I've been doing a spot of carb-free dieting lately (although my friends Ben and Jerry beg to differ at this moment in time). Now how about a little back story? I've been drinking tea excessively for years. Two sugars, a glug of milk, then about ten more cups after the first one. Since going on this diet I've managed to cut out my black tea consumption all together, and instead I've become obsessed with all things herbal.

I was given the chance to try the Fruiteatox 14 day trial a few weeks ago, and even though I see everyone raving about how wonderful their teas are on Instagram, I've never really given in to the hype. I've tried a few different brands but I've never gotten past the second day - they all tasted that bad. This however? I actually miss drinking it for the taste, not just what it did for my body.

The idea behind it is that you drink the Daytox Lemon once a day - preferably in the morning. It tastes beyond amazing and has a real kick of sweet lemon at the end, which made me wish I was able to drink more than just one cup a day (#teaproblems). As for the Sleeptox Orange, you're meant to drink this little sucker every other day, as it contains Senna - a light laxative - which thankfully didn't effect me all that much. Moving on..

In terms of weight loss, this wasn't something I was overly looking to do on a big scale. Instead I was jut looking to lose a bit of bloating and sort my skin out, which has been playing up for what seems like forever. The end result? Well, I'm bloated now considering I just ate my way through an entire pot of Cookie Dough, but despite my lactose intolerance my stomach's never really looked flatter!

Of course I have been doing the no-carb diet as of late, which helps a lot in terms of de-bloating, and I've also been going to the gym three times a week as well, but I really did notice a huge difference once I actually started this whole tea-drinking thang. My skin's pretty much back to it's usual state, too!

At £19.99 for the two week detox, it's not the cheapest thing in the world for just a few bags of tea, but I'd definitely recommend it if you're looking to shift a few pounds or de-bloat without any real commitment. It's actually the main thing that's helped me transition from overly sugary tea to more natural remedies, which will help keep that tummy pouch at bay!

Do you guys think you'll ever try a tea-tox?!

----------------------------------

Fruiteatox 14 Day Trial *

Why I'm not going to London Fashion Week (and why that's okay)

Cocochic+Outfit+Forever21+LFW
Cocochic+Outfit+Forever21+LFW
Cocochic+Outfit+Forever21+LFW
Cocochic+Outfit+Forever21+LFW
Cocochic+Outfit+Forever21+LFW

I've been sitting at my computer screen all day, scrolling through Twitter and getting serious LFW FOMO as I watch pretty much every other blogger in the world get street styled and/or snap pictures from some sort of front row seat.

I've been going to London Fashion Week for years now - sometimes for 'work' (I never like to call blogging that), sometimes for pleasure, and sometimes just to say hello to a few old faces that live across the pond. I've experienced both the glamorous, backstage side of things as well as the side that results in swollen ankles and a lot of lost patience, and - whilst I'm still amazed and thankful for all of the opportunities I've been given through blogging - I no longer feel 'worthy' of stepping foot in Somerset House any more. Not for the time being, at least.

It's no news to anyone that blogging is a pretty vain hobby. I mean, we take pictures of ourselves daily, promote ourselves like it's going out of fashion (lol @ pun) and spend far too much money on things that barely last a season. But that's just what fashion is: materialistic, and I'm guilty as charged.

For the past few years we've all noticed a big shift in the way that the fashion crowds act during Fashion Month - just look back on the Suzie Menkes article from a few years back. Every season, more and more people seem to be registering for press passes (again, guilty) and now the cobbled streets of Somerset House have practically become a runway in themselves, filled with people over-dressing and 'peacocking' just for the sake of a few features on Stockholm Streetstyle or Vogue.com. No worries there at all - I mean a girl (or guy)'s gotta eat - but it's just not something I feel comfortable doing anymore.

I feel like blogging is a really strange direction for me. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely adore it, but I'm definitely not the sort of person that can take selfies in public or pretend to be inspired by every designer out there. In fact, the general journey of how I actually got to this point is a bit of a blur if I'm honest (much like this blog post..woops). I tend to feel more like an outsider at these invite-only events than anything else. The fashion parties are always filled with the most beautiful people that all seem to get on so well, so naturally, and then there's me sitting at the cupcake table scoffing my face with everything and anything covered in some sort of butter cream icing. Sounds terrible..right? I won't lie and say that I don't enjoy it, but last time I checked that wasn't what Fashion Week was all about.

In fact, if I'm honest I'm not overly sure what Fashion Week has ever been about - for me personally, anyway. The only thing that I know is that it no longer seems like the place for me at this moment in time. I can't say this is the end of my wild cake-eating LFW adventures, but this season I'm finding comfort in the fact that I can snuggle up in my PJs with a hot chocolate as opposed to clomping around London in high heels. And just like that, it appears as though I've aged approximately fifty years.

Let me know what you think about the London Fashion Week hype? Did I make the right decision? Or should I hop on a train right this second? Mm, cake.

----------------------------------

Forever 21 Leopard Faux Fur Coat
Les Plus Dores Black Tee
Monki Wrap Around Culottes
Daniel 'Doriago' Boots


Mid Town Deli & Cafe

Cocochic+Mid+Town+Cafe+Coffee+Shop
Cocochic+Mid+Town+Cafe+Coffee+Shop
Cocochic+Mid+Town+Cafe+Coffee+Shop
Cocochic+Mid+Town+Cafe+Coffee+Shop

Working from home definitely has its perks, but spending four hundred hours sat in front of a bright computer screen is enough to turn any one crazy - just ask my boyfriend. When I first moved to the area I spent the majority of my time tapping away in Starbucks, chugging an impressive amount of Caramel Macchiatos whilst simultaneously draining my bank account. And even though I still love Starbucks for their sweet treats (don't even get me started on Egg Nog Lattes..) I've found a brand new gem in the centre of town that keeps me caffeinated and does wonders for an interior snob like yours truly. 

Good coffee shops in Cornwall are few and far between, so when I came across Mid Town Deli & Cafe I practically put a down-payment on my favourite seat there. In fact, that's probably the best idea I've had all day. 

Recently I've found myself marking my territory (metaphorically speaking) in my new creative hub once a week, just so that I can get out of the house and experience actual human contact every once in a while. The coffee is beyond good, especially the Vanilla Spiced Latte, but it's the general atmosphere that keeps me coming back. Despite it being right in the middle of town (hence the name) it never seems to be over-crowded, making it the place for essay writing and blog posting. Wouldn't it be perfect if I was writing this blog post whilst sitting on one of those industrial stools, looking out at the world, latte in hand? Let's pretend that's exactly how it is. I mean, I'm not at all sitting in Ollie's tee with a green face mask on. Not a chance..

3 King Street, TR1 2RA, Truro, Cornwall