Life as a Full-Time Fashion Blogger
I’ve been blogging since 2009 and have been a professional stylist since 2014. I love my job and I feel so blessed that I get to wake up each morning and do a job that I love. It all started out in the same way that many businesses do – a spark of imagination, a tiny idea, and a rough draft on a scrap piece of paper. With the right amount of motivation, self-discipline and passion for a particular topic, absolutely anybody can set-up their own successful online business. Although some of my projects require me to attend events and venture outdoors, most of my work can be done at home or wherever I choose – provided that I have a computer or mobile, an internet connection, and also a camera. After years spent travelling and working from coffee shops and the beach (more on that below), I now spend most of my time working from my at-home desk. There’s a lot to be said for having your own set work space and I feel that this has definitely helped to create some kind of balance between my work and personal life. Despite the fact that I usually work from home, I do like to have some form of variation in my day, but in general this is what an average day looks like for me.
A Day in the Life of a Professional Fashion Stylist and Blogger
7am = Wake-up. Yes, I used to wake up at 5am to go on a 5-10km run before settling into work for the day. These days I prefer to sleep in for a little longer and read something motivational instead. Now that I have little Minnie (my 4-year old canine companion), I get plenty of exercise through walking and taking care of her.
8.30am = First thing I do in the morning (relating to work) is that I check my emails. My email inbox, and social media inboxes for that matter, is insane. I’m not complaining. It’s actually a good thing. But it’s something that I need to keep on top of in order not to miss an important message or allow an email to get lost in the wilderness that is my inbox.
10.30am = By this time Minnie has woken up and is full of energy, so we go for a walk. I think it’s really refreshing being able to take a short break while getting some fresh air early on in the morning, after I’ve checked my emails but before I’ve got stuck into a serious task.
11am = Now I am back at my desk and ready to get started on the big projects that I have to complete for the day. These vary from day to day. Sometimes the biggest majority of my time is spent writing blog posts. Other days I spend a large amount of time taking pictures for my social media, for clients and for my blog posts. And on other occasions this would be the time when I start my client work: working on sponsored posts, collaborations, ambassadorships, or styling clients.
2.00pm = This is the time when I usually take a lunch break. Depending on how I’m feeling, how early I started working and the tasks I undertook on the given day, dictates how long the break will be. The fantastic thing about working for yourself is that you can allow yourself an hour off during the day to have lunch, do something recreational or catch up on a TV programme or podcast, which I personally find aids my productivity and creative juices.
2.30pm = In the summer time this might be the time when I’d shoot pictures for myself or clients because the lighting is great. However, in the winter this is not always the case. When I shoot photos in the winter months, I make sure that I complete the photo shoots before 4pm in the afternoon. Any later than this and the lighting is just too dark.
3.00pm = I like to work on client collaborations, email pitching and scheduling social media during the afternoon. It requires concentration that I don’t have in the evening, but not as much as the concentration and energy required to create content, which I assign to the mornings.
5.00pm = Having spent time on social media, chatting to clients and absorbing content from external sources, I often have a number of ideas for new content at this point in the day. So what I do is that I make notes and plan how those ideas can fit in to my business either now or at a later stage.
6.00pm = As the day comes to an end, I check my emails and reply before finishing work for the night. I try to aim to make sure that my inbox is empty and tended to before finishing work for the day because it allows me to “switch off” from work more easily. Additionally, I also plan what I have to do for the next working day at around this point so I feel organised and know what needs to be done the next time I return to my desk. And that’s it for the day!
Finding the Best Broadband Deals
If you’ve visited my Instagram account you will probably know that there are three things that are vital to the running of Online Personal Stylist. They are: Minnie, coffee and a stable internet connection. These days I work from my home office most of the time. I have a designated area where I can work, which I feel is really important. I have been a business owner for over 10 years now and it’s only been over the last few years that I have had my own proper office space. In the early years I travelled a lot and would work in internet cafes a lot of the time. This was great because it allowed me to experience life and really reap the benefits of being my own boss and being able to “work from wherever” as they say. While I am a firm believer in the popular social media saying: “all you need is WiFi and a dream”, you do need to make sure that the WiFi connection in question is stable. There’s nothing worse than your internet cutting out just as you’re about to press publish when writing a blog post. While you can’t be responsible for the WiFi in the coffee shops or on the beach if you decide to work outdoors or while travelling, it is crucial that you have a stable internet connection somewhere – ideally at home, to make blogging and running your own home business more manageable and convenient. There are many great broadband deals available now, such as the packages from Comcast Internet, so reliable internet doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. It isn’t about the cost of your internet connection, but about getting the right broadband deal for you. Another investment you might want to consider is insurance. As you invest in different business tools and better quality equipment, it might be a good idea to look into insuring against damage, loss or theft, or in case they need replacing. Again, consider what kind of insurance you need and shop around to secure the best deal that caters to your needs.
Creating Your Own Office Space
The way I've come to see blogging and freelancing - or the ability to work from wherever you choose, is that it is a convenient option if you work remotely. I love the fact that I can take my work with me if I travel. I don't have to miss out on travelling, special events or cool trips because I am not tied to a desk from 9 til 5. That being said, having my own dedicated work space makes life a lot easier! In the early years I used to work at my desk in my bedroom or at the kitchen table. For the past 5 years I've had my own in-home office space including a desk, draws and shelves just for my work stuff and I'd highly recommend you do the same if you plan to work from home. Initially, if you're not sure that you will be 100% happy being self-employed or working from home then it's better to work from the best possible area of your home - a comfortable and quiet area., but don't rush into spending out on equipment and furniture before you're sure. When creating your own home office space, consider what makes work enjoyable and comfortable for you personally. Do you find that you're happier and more productive working from a hard upright chair, or do you prefer fluffy rugs beneath your feet and softer, cosier furnishings? Radio or podcast on in the background or complete silence? Since the start of this year I've been applying the Swedish Hygge concept to my work space which has been helpful in creating a positive at-home work space.
How to Stay Organised as a Blogger
Running your own business is as exciting as it can be overwhelming. You wear many hats and bear full responsibility over absolutely everything. Despite what people think, blogging as a business requires a lot of hard work and there's always something that needs to be done. Staying organised as a blogger can feel increasingly difficult at times so it is important that you establish some kind of organisation system to aid you with managing your time and projects. Up until April 2017 I used individual pieces of paper to organise my to-do lists. My invoicing system was sophisticated but my daily to-do lists were not. I'd tried using virtual task management systems such as Trello, as well as the reminders app on my phone, but I prefer using written lists most of all. While everything always got completed and delivered on time too, having paper lists floating around everywhere became very overwhelming. So at the beginning of 2017 I made the wise decision to organise all of my to-do lists and notes into one specific notebook. This helped to organise my to-do lists and keep everything in one place but task lists and notes quickly got lost within the pages. I was forever flicking back and forth trying to find scribbles and notes I'd previously made. So in April 2017 I decided to start using the Bullet Journal method. As a bit of a stationary geek, I like to start my diaries at the beginning of the year (January 1st) so it did feel a little strange starting a new journal at the start of the second quarter of the year, but with the Bullet Journal it doesn't matter. I use my Bullet Journal for creating lists, charts, tracking systems and writing down random notes. It doesn't matter which system you use, but make sure you have some kind of structure in place to help you stay organised. You can read all about how I use my Bullet Journal for fashion blogging here.
How to Start a Blogging Business
Starting a blogging business is still possible in 2018 and beyond, provided that you treat your venture like a business. The reason that many people go wrong when setting up a blog and trying to earn money is that they underestimate how much work is involved. I've been blogging for 9 years and for half of this time blogging has been my full-time income. I have worked as a full-time fashion, travel and lifestyle blogger. I set up Online Personal Stylist - my most recent blog, in 2014 and managed to turn it into a full-time business in just 6 weeks! If you're serious about starting a blogging business, you need to treat your blog as a business. Growing your blog will require a lot of time, perseverance and hard work. You will need to have a niche in mind, have a passion for writing and producing content, and be able to plan ahead for the future while being focused on the present. When monetising your blog, I think it is important to have several possible monetisation ideas active but pour most of your energy into just one to give your blog the best chance at earning money. Most importantly, you really need to love blogging and the topic you blog about in order to succeed as a blogger.
I hope you enjoyed that little insight into my average working day at Online Personal Stylist! I’d love to hear what your average working day looks like!