My Blogging Timeline
I’ve been blogging since 2009. For the majority of this time my blogs have earned me a full-time income, whether intentionally or incidentally. Personally, I feel that my blogging journey and my attitude towards each blog I’ve ran over the years goes a little like this: the first ever blog I set up (a beauty blog) was a creative outlet. The next couple of blogs were full-time careers that I enjoyed but wasn’t emotionally attached to. Then in 2014 came Online Personal Stylist, which I still run full-time as my own business today. The years of blogging experience and past mistakes prior to this blog allowed me to launch Online Personal Stylist and start earning an income within just 6 short weeks! Launching Online Personal Stylist was as smooth and neat as is possible for launching a new blog. So, when people ask me about blogging full-time, I tend to think back to that transition phase at Online Personal Stylist rather than the first time I worked as a full-time, paid blogger back in 2010. I feel like I had a bit of a rehearsal beforehand when setting up Online Personal Stylist, but still that transition period from “new blogger” to “professional paid blogger” was quite a surreal experience. Today I want to give you an insight into my early days of working as a full-time blogger, both the very first time round in 2010 and again with Online Personal Stylist.
Working as a Blogger Back in 2010
When I started my blogging job back in 2010, I had just left my full-time position as a teacher to work for myself from home. In short, I literally left my teaching job on the Friday and on the Monday I opened up my laptop, ready to start my new business as a travel and lifestyle blogger. The idea of working from home appears quite simple at first glance. You just do your work but from home. However, there is quite a lot to consider, which can serve as disruptive to your day if you don’t put these boundaries into place at the first opportunity. For instance, what time will you schedule in lunch and what will you eat? Will you allow yourself coffee breaks all through the day or just at certain times? Secondly, explaining to people around me that I had work to do during the day was a challenge in itself. Friends and neighbours did not understand that I wasn’t available for coffee, company or to help out with favours throughout the day. I also found that although I woke up and would settle into my working day for about 9am, my working day didn’t really need to start until 11am. This was because the majority of my audience and clients were based in different time zones.
As I learned to adapt to my new working life, I chose to spend those first couple of hours in the morning exercising, before starting my working day around 11am and then finishing a little later at maybe 7pm. Another issue I faced was time management. We all learn business skills like marketing, sales, social media and money-making, but what did the average small business owner’s working day actually look like? I didn’t know anybody else who worked from home at that time, or at least not as a blogger or anything similar. I was totally lost and felt very much on my own with it all. Was I doing everything right or was I doing things completely wrong? Those first few weeks were strange in the same way that all new life events are. Luckily, I began to get the hang of things and I was able to focus on my blogging career and less on what I could be doing wrong, which made me feel more confident in my role. Sometimes your day will look very similar to somebody else you know in a similar profession. Other times your to-do list might look entirely different, which could cause you to doubt yourself. Over the years I've learned that very little of any aspect of my working or personal life resembles others'. As long as your strategy works for you that's all you need to concern yourself with!
Setting Up Online Personal Stylist
Just like when I set up my first ever blog back in 2009, I set up Online Personal Stylist because I craved a creative outlet. Only, unlike back in 2009 with “Luisa Boutique” (my amateur beauty blog on Blogger), this time I wanted to make money from my platform. I decided to set up a fashion blog, through which I could work with brands that love what I do and appreciate my work. I planned to offer my professional fashion styling and editorial services to brands and individuals that I enjoy working with. The plan wasn’t to launch Online Personal Stylist in a hurry. This time I was doing things differently. I wasn’t working with any company that came my way, but rather attracting clients who felt more like friends.
Looking back, it felt like it took a long time to launch Online Personal Stylist properly, when in actual fact it all happened surprisingly fast. That said, it wasn’t a process I wanted to rush. As is said, we have to go to work for a long time, so it’s important that we do a job we enjoy. This was my exact vision with Online Personal Stylist. Admittedly, by this point in my career, I had years of experience working from home and in the blogging industry too, which meant that I knew what needed to be done and what not to waste time on. I experimented with a couple of different monetisation strategies initially. Some worked, some did not.
Stepping into the role of full-time blogger this time round felt more positive, promising and rewarding. The trials and errors I’d endured in previous years put me on the right tracks, which made this launch feel more professional and simple. More importantly, running Online Personal Stylist has encouraged me to withhold the attitude of “doing what I want to do and not doing what I don’t want to do!” Naturally, I can’t dismiss every business-related task I don’t enjoy. On the other hand, if it’s a task or project that isn’t important and I don’t feel passionate about taking it on, I don’t.
My Blogging Life Today
Today I’m writing this blog as part of a 30 Day Blogging Challenge that I’ve decided to take on as a bit of fun and to pass self-isolation time. 400+ blog posts, a 35, 000 word blogging course and thousands of social media captions and e-newsletters later, I’m happy that I never gave up on my dreams of becoming a full-time blogger. I never really understood in the beginning what that looked like. I knew I wanted to run my own business, work as a blogger and be location independent. I never really pictured what the average working day would look like or even how this newfound freedom would make me feel. If you can visualise that then great! If not, then get started and figure it out as you go along! I am particularly grateful now more than ever that I chose to become a full-time blogger because I’m able to self-isolate easily and I am solely responsible for creating my own income online. If you’d like to know more about becoming a blogger, check out my blogging course here. Follow me on Instagram for daily updates and behind the scenes life at Online Personal Stylist.