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).

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?!

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Fruiteatox 14 Day Trial *

Gym tips and tricks

Gym tips and tricks
Gym tips and tricks

Let me make this quite clear: I do not look like this when I go to the gym. Instead, imagine me bright red, no makeup, greasy/sweaty hair and a constant look of pure dispair on my face. There, now you're a little closer.

I'm sure we're all familiar with the usual Tumblr and Pinterest fitspiration pages (oh internet, you really are the source of all my insecurities) rights? Skinny girls, tight abs, tanned skin, not a drop of sweat in sight. Sure, those girls exist, and I'm completely aware that I'm naturally pretty tiny as it is - both in size and height - but let's face it, it's not the most realistic thing to aspire to when you've just started out at the gym.

Needless to say, I am in no way remotely knowledgable when it comes to the gym. Thankfully, Ollie knows one or two things when it comes to working out, so whenever I have any real questions I head over to him (or my good friend Google). But let me just put this out there - I am way more interested in my next burger consumption than my next gym trip. Extra cheese pls.

Anyway, enough about my love for carbs and hate for crunches, if you're remotely interested in reading about what gets me through a rigourous gym exercise then head on down! And if you want me to keep you all update with my gym happenings, just let me know!?

Make an angry playlist
It'll help you train harder and feel more motivated. I mean, are you really going to run your fastest when listening to the Frozen soundtrack? 

Wear something you don't look great in
My stomach is what I'm trying to work on, so I always make sure I train in a cropped top to remind myself of why I'm there in the first place!

Do lift weights
Trust me, it'll take a lot more than lifting a few weights to get huge arm muscles. I find I get the most results when I lift as opposed to just doing cardio, and I'm still no popeye!

Treat yourself afterwards
This doesn't exactly mean a massive cake or burger, but I always make sure I head to the gym straight after Uni. Then, when I'm done there I know I can head home and get straight into my PJs. And eat cake.

Leather jacket from Warehouse (cheaper here)
Sports bra from Calvin Klein (also here)
Grey sweats from Front Row Shop (similar here)
Leather BRYCEE sliders from Steve Madden (in black here)

A little life update

A little life update
A little life update
A little life update
A little life update

I feel like all I've worn these shorts a million times on the blog, which is why I've neglected in posting these pictures for so long. These were actually taken a few months ago when I was living London, and it's crazy to think how much has changed since that time. First up, hair length. Um, when did that happen? Looks like I'll be needing a cut some time soon. Secondly is all of the things you can't see that have changed. I'm now back in my birth-town with the boyfriend, two ridiculous kittens (one of which is dribbling on me as we speak) and a lizard, plus I've got a brand new business venture in the works too - all of which will be revealed on Thursday! Needless to say, I'm a pretty happy girl, which is why these cheesy-grin pictures seemed kind of fitting.

I can't believe we're over half way through the year already. Time flies..what's changed for you in the past six months?

Shirt from Forever 21 (even nicer one here)
Leather shorts from Front Row Shop (identical pair here)
Shoes from Steve Madden

Misfit Shine review

Misfit Shine Review

Keeping fit is hardly my forte, so when I don't have my boyfriend pestering me to get active I have my Misfit Shine. A Misfit what? I hear you say. Well imagine this - a stylish watch that not only tells the time (like any good watch should) but also tracks how many steps I've taken each day and how much sleep I get each night - kind of like that Sleep Cycle app but a lot more stylish and accurate. In fact, it's so accurate that I even know how many hours of deep sleep I'm getting - which definitely isn't enough, to say the least.

I'll be sure to keep you posted on how I get a long with this little fella - fingers crossed I'll be Miranda Kerr status by next week..

Shine from Misfit Wearables