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HOW & WHY I WENT FULL TIME AS A BLOGGER

HOW & WHY I WENT FULL TIME AS A BLOGGER

I have never been a 9-5 kinda gal. Until my last job (artist management in fashion photography) I could not hold down a job for more than 11 months. I’m not even joking. This doesn’t mean I’m a slacker. Some people were just not put on this earth to be “managed”. I’d just get this itch, you could call it, around the 10-month mark and I knew I would be moving on soon.

I wasn’t entirely sure what was wrong with me! Everyone else seemed to be content enough getting up at the same time everyday, doing the same commute and sitting at the same desk 5 days a week. Don’t get me wrong, each time I started a new job I was filled with all the normal feelings of excitement, ambition and happiness about all the new opportunities that would come my way and obviously a thirst to prove myself and excel in my new position.

After work drinks would be a great way to integrate and I’d be so happy when my colleagues and I became friends. However, like clockwork, as the 10th month would draw nearer on the calendar that similar feeling of discontent would start to niggle away at my brain. I’d try to ignore it but my resentment towards my work life would only manifest itself deeper until I no longer took any pleasure in accomplishing tasks in my job. Soon, turning up late became the norm and getting let off an hour early was no longer a small victory but a massive relief. Once again, I felt trapped in an unrewarding spiral of imprisonment, unappreciation and depression. Working 9-5 (in my opinion), is no way to make a living.

HOW & WHY I WENT FULL TIME AS A BLOGGERWhy working 9-5 for “the man upstairs” is an out-dated concept

In 2014 I tried freelancing at a giant online fashion retailer and was astounded at how much money I could make a day. It made me realise I needed to started contracting myself out on my own terms.

That phrase “9-5 is out-dated as they come. Nobody I know works 8 hours a day, everyday. More like a 10-hour day with some weekend emails in between. If you are doing this for a corporation then it’s only the man upstairs benefitting from your toil. I wanted a pay rise at my old company so I became this person. Covering maternity leave, working on the weekend, doing my bosses jobs without complaint and no extra compensation.

6 months later I found out I wasn’t getting a promotion or a pay rise. So it was middle finger in the air to them as I went back to doing expressly what was in my job description. They did not like that, I tell you. I was pulled up as slacker even though I was literally doing everything I was hired to do but that just wasn’t enough…

My point is many of us find ourselves going above and beyond for a company with little or no return. It sucks and I was finished with it. Time to take my skills elsewhere and cost them out at for a fair price.

HOW & WHY I WENT FULL TIME AS A BLOGGERPlanning to get out

If the above sounds familiar to you are most definitely NOT alone. In fact, our generation of centennials and millennials are breaking the workplace moulds. After graduating or interning we are increasingly opting for careers or jobs that no longer tie us to a desk, dismiss the fact we have lives outside of work and slots us into a nasty and out-dated form of hierarchical office bullshit.

After 2 years of squeezing in event launches at lunch and pr breakfasts before work I joined generation self-employed in October 2016 and went freelance making my own hours, appointments, projects and writing my own paycheques (best bit). Although to this day I regret not starting my blog and Youtube channel earlier (queue flashbacks of weeks written off at university due to hangovers) In 2014 I slowly but surely started to build my own escape route.

Growing was tough in an already saturated sea of influencers. If you’re a blogger, you’ll know this part takes years and there were moments when I honestly CBA anymore. But then I kept going back to it because I was enjoying creating content, I was seeing the traffic and followings grow slowly but surely and the quality of my work was getting better. Brands were interested in working with me, even though discussions of payment were few and far between I was getting noticed.

HOW & WHY I WENT FULL TIME AS A BLOGGERShould you go freelance?

I’m not encouraging everyone to start a blog in the hope that your too will find freedom from the monotony of 9-5, but I am assuming many of you reading this may already be bloggers and starting to earn a little income from it but still bank on that monthly paycheque from your job. Some of you may work in marketing/PR and know the inside out of how to market product and create a buzz about a brand through the most engaging channels. In which case, you are already on the road to the freelance life should you choose to take that path eventually.

What I am saying is if you hate your job start working towards your ticket out of there! Equip yourself with the tools and skills you need to become your own solo project. A freelancing and hireable entity, in demand in your own right. Start sniffing around people in your industry who are freelance and offer to help on their next project. Tons of my friends are taking extra courses; some in journalism, some at Google, to make themselves that more equipped for a solo venture should they decide to go it alone.

HOW & WHY I WENT FULL TIME AS A BLOGGERHow I did it

If you’re a blogger wanting to go FT then ask people. Before I took the plunge I asked a lot of people in my bloggersphere how they made a success of going FT and they all said the same thing. You take a leap of faith into the unknown and work your ass off for 6 months (give or take) and then you start to see the rewards. Most had savings to support them for a few months; some didn’t have anything (me). Some were luckier than others and sky rocketed others were more of a slow burn. Everyone hustled like a mofo and every one of these ladies is a success in their own right!

I worked at my blog for 2.5 years and my Youtube 2 years before I felt that I was in a position to give it a go. I truly thought after a month of full throttle freelance I’d be running back to the recruiters’ office with an updated CV and a big fat failure stamp on my forehead. The fact that didn’t happened was pretty much the most surprising and best thing ever.

I always knew that being my own boss would be something I needed to make happen in order to enjoy the rest of my life. Self-employment may not be for you and like my sisters, who love the companies they work for, they are much more content not having the pressures of chasing their next pay cheque.

HOW & WHY I WENT FULL TIME AS A BLOGGER4 months full time

It’s now been 4 months since I went full time as a Blogger, Youtuber and Influencer. Not everyday is enjoyable and easy but nothing worth having ever is! Like every job there is plenty of rough and some smooth but the difference now is I’m in charge and I’m in control of my own destiny. I do have pinch-me moments when I sign a contract with an amazing brand. Getting paid to create content I love is amazing and I’m not sure it’ll ever get old even as my rates and traffic increase.

There are some drawbacks. I never know how much I will be earning one month to the next. There are busy periods and quiet periods. There’s a lot of anxiety that surrounds making a living from being online, especially when your success is often judged on how many likes you get or products you sell. Any full time blogger will agree that it’s very difficult to switch off and give yourself a break too. The longest I’ve managed to go without working in the last 4 months was 1 single day and I definitely checked Instagram a few times.

I will never rest on my laurels from here on out. So when you go freelance or self-employed make sure whatever it is you are doing you fucking LOVE IT. Because that is now your bread and butter baby, so you need to make yourself the tastiest sandwich every damn day.

On the plus side I have never worked harder and been more satisfied and fulfilled than when I am working for myself. Honestly, most of the time it doesn’t even feel like work! At the end of a long day I am exhausted and tired and probably a little stressed if it’s been that sort of day but I never feel resentment only accomplishment. I broke the cycle!

HOW & WHY I WENT FULL TIME AS A BLOGGER

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I ASKED YOU GUYS IF THERE WAS ANYTHING YOU’D LIKE TO KNOW ABOUT BEING A BLOGGER OR GOING FULL TIME.

Q: Did your blog grow in spurts or gained immediate traction. Some blogs take years to get noticed. – @AnonBeauty_blog

A: Stylelobster.com definitely took years to get off the ground. In Feb 2017 I will be 3 years old, which isn’t that old in the grand scheme of blogging however I always started my blog with the hope and intention of making a business from it eventually so growth (for business) was at the forefront of my mind. Many people blog for themselves and don’t give a fudge how the blog looks, or maintain a constant photography style/aesthetic. That’s perfectly okay but in my opinion not a blog that has the best potential to get noticed by brands who will want to work with you. Ultimately brands want to work with blogs that read well and look good.

When I started out my photography was super amateur it brings tears to my eyes! But I researched and practised and invested in a nice camera so I could start turning out a level of content that eventually got me more traffic and noticed by brands. Obviously a nice looking blog is only skin deep! What’s on the inside counts as well and some blogs go viral after a couple of posts (mostly luck) some work away for years improving their SEO scores and climbing the google ranks by consistently putting out good content that tagged up right. It can be an up hill struggle but if you keep up the quality, quantity and consistency it’ll only be a matter of time!

Q: What gave you the final push to leave your job and go full time? – @dreamingxpretty

A: Honestly, the fact I had started to resent my working environment and no longer enjoying what I did. I was not happy. As I mention above this had happened to me plenty of times in the past but this time I had a lifeline (styleobster.com) that could potentially get me out of this loathsome cycle. I wasn’t making anything near what my salary was when I left my job and was fully banking on the fact now I could put all my time into blogging FT I’d be able to start getting paid work. This is exactly what happened.

Q: Do you have any tips/advice for smaller bloggers looking to get in with brands? – @zitaatkinson

A: It can be so frustrating when your blog aligns perfectly with a product or brand but you have no way of contacting them and asking about collaboration. I used to pester my PR friends for email addresses from their online databases, this helped me a lot. Some bloggers out there are fiercely protective over their contacts, which I understand. They worked hard to network and get these contacts and forge relationships. But it’s mostly because they are scared you will take work away from them. This happens to us all a lot and it sucks.

Think about a trade? I will happily give people a contact if they can trade one with me that I want in return. Also I’ve had loads of luck getting emails I need through the CONTACT button on brands pages’ on Instagram. Just drop them and email asking to be linked in with the pr dept or blogger contact for the brand!

Q: Was your goal always to end up full time blogging or did it accidentally happen.

A: When I started blogging in 2014 I always thought, “How cool would it be to do this full time”. The more I did it and the more feedback I got from what I was putting out the more I thought of it as a reality. 3 years later here we are!

Q: HOW do you get brands to send you products for review – @eflicciardello

A: I ask them. Don’t ask you don’t get. If they say no, that’s their prerogative but if you didn’t ask the question you’ll never know. Most of what I receive is not requested but I am on a brand mailing list so they automatically send me new launches for consideration. Sometimes I am working on a specific blog idea and that’s when I approach brands and request samples.

Q: How do you monetise your blog generate income and get free merch?

A: Most of my earnings comes through sponsored blogs and youtube videos. This is when a brand has seen my content and would like me to create something for their brand with my tone of voice and style. Affiliate links through sales is honestly a tiny portion of what I earn.

Q: Do you hire professional photographers or have you teamed up with some one / collaborated

A: I work with my photographer Kat for most sponsored videos or blogs as I factor in photographer fees when I quote a brand. I also self fund a few shoots and videos as I am still new and growing so I see it as reinvesting in my brand.

Q: Looking to grow my presence as a blogger but no idea how to do this any advice or experience would be much appreciated

A: This is a really difficult question that I’ll barely be able to skim the surface of in this blog. It’s really simple things that you are probably already doing. Posting regularly on your blog on the same day every week. Telling everyone on your social that you posted and linking them to the blog. Using the algorithms and analytics pages on your social media to know when your followers are online. This will tell you what the best posting times are. Keeping your content passionate and high quality always. And you need to ENGAGE with everyone who interacts with you and starting conversations on social with your followers so they are interested in what you have to say!

 


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  • Such an interesting post, being a full time definitely sounds less mysterious after this post, and I believe the most difficult part for me would definitely be this idea that you always have to be present on social media, somewhere!

    http://fannyanddailybeauty.com

    • Emily Valentine Parr

      Thanks for your comment lovely! Yes you’re right – that is definitely the most difficult part. I do not think it is maintainable forever… I will have to chill out eventually. that or burn out! you knOW what they say HUSTLE in your 20s chill in your 30s

  • Great post Emily! Really enjoyed it! 👍

    • Emily Valentine Parr

      Thanks girl xx

  • Such a good post Em, I currently work within PR/ social media and I really do love it. I feel lucky that I’m actually passionate about my job and I’m still able to blog, but it’s hard work keeping on top of both. I think something that annoys me and definitely holds me back is that I’m so out of the way, I live up north near Cheshire and getting to events and networking with other bloggers is near enough impossible! I’m planning on working as hard as I can this year to really try and make an impact and provide unique, useful content, although the blogging world is saturated I feel thankful that I’ve already been going at it a good few years! So excited to see what you get up to now you’re full time! x

    Jodie / jodiemelissa.com

    • Emily Valentine Parr

      Hi Jodie! Thanks for your comment.
      that is so lucky you enjoy both blogging and work! I agree though it is definitely like having 2 x ft jobs.
      I can sympathise. My family lived in bristol right now and when I quit they asked if I wanted to move home but I was determined not to because I felt it would be a massive regression. So i took the risk and stayed in london with my rent. I get envious of bloggers who are from london and have ever left home and can still grow their blogs without needing to make rent. but if this isnt your situation success when it comes tastes so much sweeter. Maybe set up loads of meeting over two days in london and come down and do back to back ones in a coffee shop?

      • Yeah it can get crazy sometimes! Ahh so interesting to know that, I can imagine it giving you so much more motivation to stay in London experiencing how much easier it is to be a blogger whilst living in the city. Glad you took the risk because clichem but life is too short and I’m soooo happy it’s paying off for you! Yeah that’s such a good idea, definitely not at that stage yet but something I’ll bare in mind in the future!

  • SamanthaSeries

    I’ve been looking forward to this post ever since you said you were working on it! I love blogging and while I am small potatoes in the world of blogging, I am hoping to grow it this year. I never really took it seriously until recently and I’m kicking myself for that. Like you, I am simply not cut out for a 9-5 job. I just can’t. I also live in Quebec, which is mostly French. It is so hard to find a decent job, especially as an Anglophone here. I am able to speak French but the idea of working 9-5 in French just kills me. So I am dreaming of working for myself… Thank you for such an inspiring and insightful post. xx

    • Emily Valentine Parr

      Ohh thats so lovely to hear 🙂
      well i hope this blog had advice you can utilise to make your dreams come true!
      You’ll never be good at something you dont enjoy either. There is no point.
      see you around the blog soon! x

  • What a great post. I am totally where you were before you took the plunge! And I am so excited for you along with being slightly envious! I love that you said that part about if you don’t ask, you don’t get. I struggle with that part, so it’s nice to be reminded. When you were first starting out did you feel intimidated at all by asking brands and having them say no? If so, how did you power through it to get where you are now?
    Thanks for such great content. And I can’t wait to see where you go now!

    • Emily Valentine Parr

      Hey Tori – How exciting for you! ahh yes, this does divide many bloggers but I’ve asked and not asked and honestly PR’s want you to be forth right with what you want as it gets them coverage and you the product you need to write you blog! as long as you are honest and professional always there is never any harm in reaching out.
      Honestly only a hand full of brand shave ever said no to me. Charlotte Tilbury being one of them….a brand I have done loads of work for and fits my aesthetic very well. we are working together now but in the beginning this was v frustrating for me. Many times when a brand says no it is the PR that is saying no. people move on and get new positions so try again in 6 months and you might get a yes. This is how I have started and stopped working with brands many times over – because the pr changed.

  • Holly Murphy

    This is such a great post! It’s so inspiring to see that it is possible to become a full time blogger as long as you work hard enough!:)

    http://www.statementundertones.blogspot.co.uk

    • Emily Valentine Parr

      Thanks Holly! so true…. If you love something and can get really good at it then the world is your oyster.

  • What an insightful post! I love your honesty about how you’ve always wanted to make a blog a business, some people wouldn’t admit to that! So pleased for you that you finally took the plunge and it worked out for the best xx

    • Emily Valentine Parr

      Thank you for your comment. Isn’t that the dream though? If you enjoy something enough and there is scope to monetise it why wouldn’t you! I pour my heart and soul into the work I create on the internet, it truly is the best job in the world and I am lucky to be fortunate to have created something that can earn me a living as well as doing what I enjoy most. xx

  • Kat

    Love this! So many amazing things yet to come for you & this blog, I’m absolutely sure <3 xxx

    • Emily Valentine Parr

      Thanks Kat! (my first SL team member!) hahaha

  • What a great insightful post. I love that you covered every single detail on becoming a full-time blogger. Thank you for writing an inspiring and helpful post.

    http://www.thestylepanorama.com

    • Emily Valentine Parr

      Thanks for your comment 🙂 glad you enjoyed it x

  • Congratulations on becoming a full-time digital media influencer, and thank you for this wonderful and insightful post. 🙂

    I’m like you when it comes to work. I am not cut out for the 9-5 way of working, I like being my own boss, I’ve never been able to hold down a job for long periods of time (despite having worked in loads of job) except for when I worked as a freelance writer in my gap year, and I don’t like the idea of working hard to make money for someone else (who doesn’t give a damn about me.) By nature I am an unconventional human being and I just can’t fit into the traditional way of doing things.

    Like yourself, I have worked in jobs where I have worked hard and tried my best, only to be devalued, disrespected, underappreciated, manipulated, messed around and completely shot down and spoken down to instead of being allowed to progress, thrive and grow. I’ve worked in jobs where I have felt downtrodden, miserable, trapped, demotivated, infantilized, and stuck in a rut, and I don’t want to feel that way anymore. I’ve worked in jobs where my confidence in my abilities has been completely undermined, and my strengths and talents have not been played to. I’ve worked in jobs where I’ve been expected to act like a mindless robot, and I’ve worked in jobs where having an opinion, being assertive, being proactive and showing initiative were completely frowned upon.

    After being treated badly while working for a marketing agency last year, I decided I had had enough, it was the final straw in a long line of rubbish jobs and terrible employers. I have always wanted to go freelance and go down the route of self-employment but I was scared to take the risk. However, now I am keen and more determined than ever to make my dream come true, especially because I cannot think of anything worse than sacrificing myself for the man upstairs.

    Chichi
    chichi-writes.blogspot.co.uk

    • Emily Valentine Parr

      Sounds like a lot of what you went through cross over to what I went through. I’m glad you made the decision to better your life now you just need to take a leap of faith. But of course make sure you know exactly what it is you will be doing as a freelancer and make sure you LOVE IT. Hard work never goes away but doing something you love always makes it easier and more enjoyable.

      • Thank you for your reply. It is interesting to read back my response. Since I posted that comment I have decided to become a freelance copywriter. I’ve managed to get a bit for work as a freelance copywriter as well 🙂 It’s not much and I can’t afford to become a full-time freelancer but I’ve got to start somewhere, and it’s great to work towards something that makes me happy instead of miserable and resentful.

        Chichi
        chichi-writes.blogspot.co.uk

  • So glad you decided to go full time! Love your blog

    Ellie
    http://www.petiteelliee.com

    • Emily Valentine Parr

      Thanks Ellie 🙂 x

  • This is so interesting and useful, so in depth! I love how you have covered everything – all of my questions – and I adore your blog and photography 😀 you go girl! xx

    elizabeth ♡ ”Ice Cream” whispers Clara
    (lets follow each other on bloglovin or instagram)

    • Emily Valentine Parr

      thanks for your lovely comment 🙂 means a lot to me xx

  • Loved this post babe. Your blog is honestly one of my favourite to read as I love your content and imagery. I am struggling managing my blog, YouTube and working full time. I am finally in a position to blog full time and be able to be in a good financial position but I have got so used to my salary too I would be dropping half of my earnings. But, then if I went full time I know I could expand my channels / blog more and do more of what I love so I am in a catch 22….need to make a decision this year I think and be brave! xx

    • Emily Valentine Parr

      Thanks Charlotte. You are so sweet. Honestly when people say stuff like this it’s the best feeling. Hope I can continue to entertain you for years to come!
      I had no idea you worked full time. Theamount you post I’d have thought you were ft blogger. Yeah that’s a risk I took but ended up being in a better financial position than I thought.

  • Hayley Rubery

    LOVE this post girl – so, so true about getting an ‘itch’ to do something else. I think that now I’ve worked for myself for 18 months, I’d really struggle to go back to a 9-5 job working for someone else!

    Hayley xo
    http://www.frockmeimfamous.com

    • Emily Valentine Parr

      Thanks Hayley !
      Omg tell me about it….I won’t lie sometimes the idea of leaving the work at work is appealing but I still wouldn’t change it for the world xx

  • Maj

    loved the read! full time isnt for me right now but i’ll take the leap of faith maybe in 2018 😘

    Maj
    @makeupinmanila
    http://www.makeupinmanila.com

    • Emily Valentine Parr

      Hi Maj – thanks for your comment. If I could say one thing I don’t think you’ll ever feel truly READY to go FT. It’s always scary but be bold! You only live once and YOU KNOW it will work out in the end! x

  • Congratulations on going FT! Your content is great and love reading your posts more and more. I’d love to blog full time. At the moment I’m focusing on my content and building a relationship with the blogging community. I’m envious of your tenacity and courage. Did you find approaching PR/brands tough at first? Do you feel like you have to tell them your ideas for content for them to consider sending you products? x

    • Emily Valentine Parr

      Hi Rachel – I think you’ve got the right idea. The only thing I initially found tough about approaching pr’s was not having the email address to do. If I do have an idea for a blog then yes I always explain my ideas behind requesting product if i am emailing them first – I’m sure it helps. Especially when you are requesting items of higher value x

  • Enjoyed every single word of your honesty! Well done for taking the jump, I’m so glad it’s paying off, not only for your blog goals but your happiness too!

    Being a blogger on the side and then working in marketing/social media for three beauty brands, I know how much of a tough gig it can be. I’m building up as much insider knowledge as I can so that one day (who knows) I can take the plunge and go FT! xx

    Emma
    Editionemmagrace – Lifestyle Blogger & Style Sharer

    • Emily Valentine Parr

      Hi Emma – thanks for your comment. Sounds like a good idea! My background in marketing pr and fashion definitely helped me make contacts and understand the other side of the business. Lots of bloggers dont know how to write an email correctly brands, I’m sure having this knowledge will help you lots. x

  • congrats on going full time babe. i walked right out of university, skipped my MA and wrestled a career out of my blog. i was painfully broke for a good few years, but that was back before blogging was an industry. one thing i have really learnt recently is follower count does not equate to how much money a site or influencer can generate. so much of income as a self-employed woman comes down to entrepreneurial skills rather than number of followers, size of thigh gap or quantity of chanel bags. many bloggers really lack the business skills it takes to hustle and so many of us smaller audience sites generate way more income. so dont ever get stuck in the popularity game, its all a farce. you can make as much as some of the super bloggers! besides your content is just so beautiful, i am in love.

    • Emily Valentine Parr

      AWESOME COMMENT! I literally want to screenshot that and tweet it everywhere. I often feel the pressure of having a smaller following but I honestly feel my rate card reflects my engagement and quality of content I produce. If someone doesn’t want to pay it thats fine because someone else will.
      Love you blog too and I’m so happy you like mine 🙂 xx

  • babe this is so inspirational! I’m currently considering the exact same thing and would love your advice!

    • can I also ask, what camera do you use?

      • Emily Valentine Parr

        thank you! happy to advise where I can xx this is shot wth a canon 6d

  • Primp Street

    Congrats on going full time! This post is so inspirational! I always felt the same in every job I had, before I went freelance, but I stayed in jobs for ages, just being really unhappy! I’m glad to hear that there is more people who feels/felt like this. Thought there was something wrong with me all those years! I’m glad that more people are moving towards making a living doing what makes them happy. 💋

    • Emily Valentine Parr

      Thank you. And thanks for your comment! You are okay defintely not alone. Just read all the other comments below! Make the steps you need to to move towards a freelance life xx

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