When it comes to blogging, I’m usually quite organised however this post is being written at 7.10pm on the day it’s due to go live. My university deadlines have pretty much taken over my life for the past two years, as my Journalism course is quite intense, however I’m proud to say that since July last year, I’ve blogged every other day, without fail and never missed a single one. For me, it wasn’t about proving anything to anyone or trying to boost my page-views with extra content, but ensuring that it was something I could feasibly do and put a professional head, while committing to a regular schedule. I figured, if I could do that – and build a ‘brand’, then perhaps I could consider it a potential career opportunity further down the line.
I’m in my final year and my dissertation deadline is looming. I’ve done 8000 words and I’ve got a further 2000 to go before I meet my word count, so the light is very much at the end of the tunnel but I’m piling the pressure on myself. I don’t like to complete things for the sake of it, as I’m a bit of a perfectionist, so I know I’ve still got a lot to do.
Anyway, the point of this post is that I’m having to make some very big decisions in the coming months. All my peers are finding jobs and organising interviews and I’m tapping away on my laptop, planning to head out into the working world, without a secure job. For my plan, is to blog full time and try and make a go of running my very own little business.
For me, blogging never started out as anything at all. I didn’t even know what the word blog was. I just wanted an outlet to write, online – where people could stumble upon my work if they had the desire too, but initially, I was a little reserved in promoting it. Writing has always been my escapism and at a further level, studying fashion photography during my A-Levels extended my creative passions even further, so I suppose having a place to document that was the next step.
But then, and I don’t even know how or where, my little place to write down my thoughts and opinions, became something else. Brands wanted to work together and I was swept up in a world I’d previously had no conception of. The blogging world rapidly developed into something everyone wanted to do. What started as something that people at school would snigger about, turned into a thing that people got in touch to ask about – and wanted to meet up for drinks to talk about. I still don’t know how to take the latter.
I guess my point is, blogging never started out as something I wanted to pursue as a career. I’ve always known I wanted to work for myself and build a business, but who knew a business could be created from writing about your own life? The opportunities that have been afforded to me since I’ve started have been incredible, but obviously attending amazing glitzy events and being sent new beauty launches don’t pay your rent – money is a huge factor. And worrying about whether it’s going to work for me in a market that’s already so saturated, is a scary thing.
As many of you might know, tonight marks the start of something rather exciting (which I suppose set off the train of thought for this post), as I am one of four bloggers starring in Transform’s new advertising campaign (which you can read all about here, if you fancy). The TV Advert comes out this evening (Monday 4th April) on ITVBe at 9.15pm, in the break of Real Housewives of Orange County. It will then be running until July (ish) on ITVBe, E! and E4, so if you spot me, do let me know over on Twitter! It will be hilarious (and rather odd) seeing myself on screen. I’m really proud to be sharing my decision to go under the knife and have surgery on my nose (full post here) because it was something I never realised until afterwards, was holding me back in all aspects of my life. I don’t know whether it will come across fully in the advert, as it’s only 30 seconds long, but there is a stigma surrounding surgery and women getting it because they’re ‘vain’ or want to look like a TOWIE extra. Young, professional and successful women undergo it for them, to improve their confidence rather than to impress anyone else. There shouldn’t be this automatic tie to vanity or celebrity culture. I have received so much support from you all – and I’m so unbelievably grateful, so thank you!
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Anyway (sorry for waffling on), I’m making some exciting plans for the future – and since you’ll all be a part of them, I thought I’d share them on here too.
It will all start in May. My dissertation deadline is the 20th May, although I’m hoping to have it handed in by the 13th at the very latest. This gives me enough time to move my stuff back home (I have a flat in Bournemouth, but I’m never there – bit of a waste of money, but hey ho, we live and learn) and pack for my first trip of the summer.
Mykonos : I’ll be flying to Mykonos in Greece on the 21st May, for a four day trip with my mum. I’m really looking forward to not only spending time with my mum without all the distractions that life throws, but also exploring a place that has been on my bucket list for so long. We’ll be staying at a gorgeous hotel on the cliff-face, with some of the prettiest beaches just a walk away. I’m sure, like Santorini, the island will be incredibly Instagram-able, so I apologise in advance for the Insta-spam.
I can’t believe I’ve just used that word.
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Jody Bell: Then, less than 24 hours after I’m back from Greece, I’m flying out to Spain for 5 days, for a photo shoot with designer Jody Bell. You may remember, I worked with her back in February (post here) and was so pleased with how the photos turned out. The team I worked with were so friendly and it was such a fun day, so to be invited to shoot with them again is such an honour. I feel like a bit of a fraud when brands ask me to participate in a photo shoot, as I feel like a lost lemon in a world of gorgeous girls and long-legged models however when you put that all to one side, it’s really fun to get interactive and creative and experiment with style. Working with designers, like the incredible Jody Bell, is something I’d never normally be able to do – so I make the most of every opportunity and thrive upon working with other creative individuals. It’s always nice to get tips from others in the industry – so I’m really looking forward to this trip. We’re going to be shooting during sun-rise, with some desert style backgrounds and also at sunset, potentially at the roof top pool of my hotel. I’ve never been away on a trip quite like this, so I’ll be snap-chatting and sharing the experience every step of the way.
JewelleryBox: When I get back from my travels, I’ll be throwing everything into my blog and event work. I’ve also taken on some work with a brand I’ve collaborated with for quite some time – JewelleryBox, assisting with their blogger outreach and PR strategy. In a world where income is so unpredictable (blogging is much like this), it helps to have a constant and a steady flow of work, so my collaboration with JewelleryBox is something I’m really excited about. I have previously worked in PR, during my gap year – where I managed the in-house strategy for a travel brand, so I can’t wait to implement the skills I have, as well as develop some new ones. I sound like I’m trying to sell myself to you on my CV now, I promise I’m not. But if you want to work with jewellerybox.co.uk and you’re a blogger, influencer or journalist, do feel free to get in touch, as I’d love to hear from you!
#BloggersBall: The #BloggersBall in June will be my main focus (it’s Saturday 18th) and something that has been in the works for quite awhile. It’s set to be an afternoon of pampering, music, dresses, cocktails, canapés, photo booths and a LOT of sweet treats and cupcakes, so I can’t wait to see months of preparation come together. I always get very anxious when it comes to my events, because I want everyone to leave feeling as though they’ve gained something from it. I appreciate lots of people are coming from afar (and not everyone is London local) so it’s very important to me that everyone who attends, enjoys themselves and feels that the journey was justified. I know I’ve been disappointed by events in the past and I’d never want anyone to feel that way leaving mine, so it’s on the back of my mind constantly.
Thailand: A day after the #BloggersBall wraps up, I’m flying off to Thailand for a couple of weeks, so again – be prepared for lots of Insta-spam. I’ve never been before but it’s somewhere I’ve been wanting to go forever, with my Pinterest boards full of their beautiful beaches and crystal clear water. It’s my boyfriend and I’s first proper holiday together – and although we’re staying in some incredible 5 star hotels throughout, we’re spreading our time across Bangkok, Phuket, Koh Phi Phi, Khanom and Koh Samui, so we’re doing lots of travelling and I’m sure we’ll be kept very busy! Although I’m sure it’s just as fun to go on a budget, for me – it was a graduation present and so I wanted to make sure I stayed in places I’d be comfortable in. Without sounding snobby (and I really hope this doesn’t come across this way), I’ve never been the kind of girl who could stay in a dormitory and ‘rough it’, as it makes me feel really uncomfortable – and in a country you’re not familiar in, there’s no point going if you’re not going to feel comfortable. I can’t wait to see a part of the world I’ve never explored before – and of course, take you all along with me.
Then, my travel plans for the summer slow down a little and it’s back to business. I want to draw up a 5 year business plan for my blog and map out my goals. Although I think it’s the kind of thing that you can really predict, I guess it helps to have some kind of direction, as up until now – it’s simply been a hobby. I never want it to feel too far away from ‘me’, though, as I personally love blogs where the blogger’s personality is injected into every part of it, so please don’t worry about the site turning into some marketing ploy or commercial black-hole. It will remain as is, just with me being able to dedicate more time to making it the way I want it.
Family and friends have asked what I’ll do if I don’t make it work and to be honest, I have worried about this to. No-body really knows what lays in store for the future of blogging, but I suppose that’s the fun of it. You can develop with it and continue to create content digitally for as long as you can. Then, who knows. I’ve never been much of a risk taker, but I’m taking a risk by dedicating the next year solely to my blog and seeing where things will go. Hopefully, without a degree to contend with, I’ll also be able to set up my YouTube Channel, which is something I’ve wanted to do for a very long time. I enjoy watching vlogs more than anything else, so I will probably upload a variety of those, rather than the more constructed, sit-down-chatty ones, however we shall see!
Apologies for the lack of direction with this post! But I just thought it would be interesting to update you with my plans for the blog – and invite you along on my journey! I still can’t believe anyone reads this – and it’s amazing to think that I’m at the point where I can make the choice to do what I enjoy, every single day. Blogging has never felt like a job to me, it’s just something I absolutely love. And for me, whether or not it works out – giving it a go is totally worth it.
What do you think of my plans for the upcoming months? Do you have any travel or career plans coming up?