One Year of Blogging Full Time: A Year-Long Diary

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

blogging full time truths peexo blog
After graduating from university in July 2017 I didn't know what the future would hold but I knew I wanted to give blogging a proper go. I decided to take the plunge and go full time to see whether it was something I could seriously consider as my sole source of income in the future. Since September 2017, I have been updating this blog post monthly - or thereabouts - with ramblings from each month sharing how I'm feeling, what I've worked on and just basically how things have been going throughout my first year of blogging full time.

In July, I secured a year long collaboration which definitely helped me make the decision to blog full time. Although not the best pay, I knew it was money that would be coming in monthly which felt like a security blanket. With that said, in August I went to Portugal for just over 3 weeks and things weren't looking too good but I kept telling myself I've just graduated and I'm on holiday so I can take a break hoping that it would help relieve some stress and things would get better when I really started blogging full time. Which leads us to September, when I started taking things seriously...


September 2017

I'm back in London. I'm lucky that my parents are London-based so I have moved back home (because London house/flat prices are ridiculous) making blogging full time a much more feasible option because I can easily get to events, go to meetings and shoot new content with ease. With that said, this month has been a really disheartening month. I've been consistently losing followers on Instagram - and have been over the past three months - I feel like I'm not getting nearly as much work as I would like and to put it bluntly, I'm not making as much money as I would like.

I feel like I've just taken the plunge and everything is going wrong, my Instagram followers are falling, my inbox is practically empty and I'm struggling to create content. My lack of content creation comes from feeling like what I've been doing isn't good enough. I've tried to counter this by giving myself more time to create and share content but this led to me posting twice on my blog throughout the whole month which is shocking! In my 4 years of blogging I have never blogged so little. Things need to change.


October 2017

I gave myself a kick up the butt at the start of October, it's been a month where things seem to have turned around and have started looking up again. You won't believe this but I went to a pumpkin patch for the first time ever, shared a photo on Instagram, and that was it, that was my Instagram woes gone! I still can't believe it myself, could the secret to the Instagram algorithm be a pumpkin patch?! You have to see it to believe it, see the photo that changed my Instagram woes here (it's currently my most liked photo of all time!) Since then, I've somehow managed to begin growing a bit more consistently on Instagram which is honestly such a relief. I know we all say it shouldn't be about the numbers, and I agree it shouldn't be, but after taking a huge risk it really was the last thing that I wanted to be happening. I'm glad that after four long months, things have finally turned around *touch wood*.

I've been getting some more work, feel so much happier with my content and towards the end of the month secured one of my biggest collaborations to date with Primark (if you've been following my blog for a while then you'll know how much of a Primark fan I am so this is an amazing achievement for me!) 


November 2017

Nothing sticks out to me in November, it was another ok month. Some up's and plenty of down's. Admittedly I have little to say because I forgot to write an update this month and looking back, I can't really remember much.


December 2017

I've enjoyed creating content this month, I love the Christmas period. I particularly love working on gift guides as I find them so much fun! I filmed gift guides and little else for my YouTube channel admittedly which sort of threw me off and it has taken me a while to get back in to the swing of filming videos but December is one of those months where there is so much content available because of vlogmas so I don't feel too bad about it. Plus, it's Christmas! So we're allowed to slack a little bit.

With that said, I worked on a few campaigns which were really fun including a gifting blog post with Monsoon combining both my love for fashion as well as gifting - a perfect match. I also went on my first shoot with a brand as a model (I'm using that term very loosely here) for The Body Shop's Christmas range which was so much fun to work on!


January 2018

Another slow month, it has taken me a while to get back in to gear following the Christmas and New Year's slump. I was also sick during the first week of year which wasn't any fun at all! I slowly started working on new content for both my blog and YouTube as well as constantly snapping away for Instagram.

January 27th also marked my fourth blog birthday, it's still so surreal to think that I started my blog four whole years ago (I started in my first year of university if you're wondering) and now it's my job. I set myself a goal of hitting 30k followers on Instagram by the new year which didn't quite happen but I wasn't too far off as by the end of the month I managed to hit 30k! I'm honestly so happy to have reached this milestone, although small to some, it was one of my goals and I'm just so happy to have reached it albeit a month later than I had hoped.

Oh, and I paid my tax return. That wasn't fun.


February 2018

This month has been hard, after January appeared to go on forever, February has managed to fly by. I don't think I did anything major. I just tried to stay active by attending events and booking meetings with brands and PR's. I haven't been doing amazingly well, I feel like my inbox is at a stand-still again. I'm getting a few sponsored collaborations here and there but mostly gifting. Nonetheless, I'm trying to focus on my content rather than dwell on sponsorships.

I don't want this blog post to basically be me worrying about not earning enough money but when you go full time it's a really important factor you need to consider. If I can't support myself with this job in the future then am I just wasting my time trying to pursue blogging as a career? That's not to say if I'm not earning money I won't blog, that's clearly not the case as I have always shared content consistently and the majority of my content isn't sponsored. It just means that as a young adult, hoping to get on the property ladder and be able to support myself, it's a very important aspect to consider when taking a risk like this.


March 2018

I mean, March has been the month of constant rain! I can't quite believe how much the weather has had an impact on me this month. The constant downpour made it so difficult to shoot new content and as a result, I became somewhat inconsistent across most of my social media apart from Instagram. Instagram has been my favourite platform recently despite its ever changing ways, I'm so proud of my content at the moment and how I've grown - it isn't always about the numbers but it definitely gives me such a boost knowing that people are interested in my content.

My blog has taken a backseat which I'm really sad about actually, I think we're currently faced with a period of uncertainty with regards to blogs in general so I've definitely neglected mine but I'm going to actively try to change this. I think it's really important to set yourself realistic goals and as I want to try and focus more time and effort into my blog, I'm going to reduce my videos on YouTube. It's not a drastic change but I've decided to continue uploading on Sunday's and fortnightly on Wednesday's as that gives me roughly two less videos a month meaning I can spend that time working on my blog. I want to find a happy medium next month in terms of my content: when and where I upload as well as how often I share new content that I love.


April 2018

Maria started a full time job this month and honestly, I'm a little distraught. Maria has been my friend since primary school and when I started my blog in 2014, she was the person I called to help me take photos (she had a DSLR at the time and I didn't). I genuinely don't think I would be doing this full time today without her help, it feels like the end of an era. No more weekly shoots with her is something I'm still coming to terms with and just generally trying to adjust to life without Maria - it feels like a break up!

Despite this, I've been working much harder on my blog and have been sharing new content twice weekly which seems to be working well for me at the moment. I would say that I feel like a new blogger again though. I haven't been receiving many, if any, comments on my blog posts which is disheartening admittedly but I think this is down to comparing it to other platforms - like Instagram - where it's so easy to leave a quick comment. I just want to keep at it and I probably need to focus on promoting my content more because at the moment, once I hit publish I pretty much just let it fizzle out on the internet when I should be actively sharing and promoting it.

In less exciting news, the 2017/18 tax year ended on April 5th and so I've spent quite a bit of this month trying to get my accounts in order. The last thing I want is to be completely overwhelmed at the last minute - I had a few days where I just wanted to cry into my excel sheets. Tax return, accounting and everything inbetween is so overwhelming!


May 2018

This month has been good! I feel quite content which rarely happens - I always find something to complain about/worry over but May has been good.

I've been on a couple of trips this month, a long weekend in Portugal visiting family and then a few days in Tenerife for the opening of a new hotel: Iberostar Sábila. Whilst I enjoyed being away, I've struggled with Instagram quite a bit this month, just sort of trying to keep up with it and everything else going on. Over the last few months I was happy with my Instagram routine but since being away that's kind of been thrown out the window and it has taken me longer than I had hoped to get back into the swing of things and I'll admit, I'm kind of already dreading being away throughout the majority of August (another trip to Portugal) because I know it will throw me off my game again.

But Instagram woes aside, this month I achieved some really great things, notably a two-page spread in LOOK Magazine which is definitely a career highlight for me! Despite being bitter sweet, seeing the magazine come to a close a mere two weeks later, it's an enormous achievement for me. It's scary how things that we've known our whole lives can just fizzle out but it leaves behind so many good memories.


June 2018

This month I've tried to work a little harder on my blog but I just end up feeling uninspired and subsequently by the end of the month, I'm back at square one. I shared three blog posts this month (which makes it hard to believe that I once used to share new blog posts 5 times a week!) With that said, three is an improvement from last month.. so that's a positive I guess. The blogging world is so different now that I don't really know where I fit in. I used to share my outfits and a little bit about why I put that outfit together, links to the items etc. but now that just feels so basic and most of this is easily accessible via Instagram and LikeToKnow.it. I want to find a niche that I feel confident with to get back in the swing of things... it's just taking longer than I had hoped.

Instead, I decided to focus on something else this month: my YouTube channel (peexo vlogs). I would say I've been relatively consistent with my channel by sharing frequent uploads but I wanted to work on more content and try to boost my subscribers. So I brought back twice weekly uploads and set out to upload haul videos every Sunday and something else fashion, beauty or lifestyle related on Wednesday's. I've really enjoyed this schedule actually, it has helped me avoid getting stuck in a rut because I know every Sunday I'll share a haul video (the hardest part about that is choosing where to shop and what to buy) and still allows me to be creative with my second video of the week. I think it's been going down well too which is always good!


July 2018

I hit 40k on Instagram!! This was one of the goals I set myself for 2018 and I couldn't be more proud to have achieved it 6 months in (I set myself career goals at the start of the year which I don't like to share as I feel the risk of failure becomes far too high but it's such a good feeling to tick those goals off of the list!)

I've been thinking about migrating from Blogger to Wordpress quite a lot recently but I'm pretty reluctant to. I know there are many benefits to being on Wordpress, including the ability to be more creative, but moving to a new platform is so scary! Having to pay to self-host monthly, on top of what I already pay for my domain, is my main concern if I'm being honest and judging by how infrequently I've been blogging (no posts this month, a new low for me...) I just don't know whether now is the right time to move. After all, Blogger is a perfectly fine platform for a blog and I've been on Blogger since I started so I know how to navigate it. Not to mention the fact I will lose all my old comments which does make me a little bit sad! A move to Wordpress just doesn't feel right at the moment.


August 2018

August is my summer holiday month, for as long as I can remember my parents and I have been going to Portugal every summer to spend time with family and this year is no exception. I'm pretty fortunate being a full-time blogger as this allows me to take 3 and a half weeks off without having to ask my boss which is such a luxury in itself. However, it's my first time being away from home for such a long time as self-employed and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous about it. I set myself a few goals including: weekly vlogs, a blog post once a week and at least daily Instagram snaps - slightly less than my usual twice daily uploads but I figured it is meant to be a holiday after all.

And well, that was at the start of the month. Fast forward to the end of August and I have produced zilch.

August is such a tricky month for me and honestly, it feels a bit like deja-vu. I feel like I'm back to where I was and how I felt when I first started these diary entries which isn't where I want to be. Despite being genuinely pleased with how far I've come, these moments (or months) of self-doubt are so hard to deal with and make me rethink everything!


September 2018

A year since going self-employed! It actually feels a bit surreal to say it's been a full year. September has had its ups and downs, as every month has to be completely honest. It's one of those months where I feel like not much stands out to me - it has mostly consisted of me trying to get back on track post-holiday (which has been so hard). This month I've actually had quite a few proposed collaborations fall through which has definitely had an impact on me and my work mentality. I know these things happen and it has happened to me many times before but for some reason, it seems like this month has consisted of one campaign falling through after another.

So instead of dwelling on the negatives of the month, I've tried to refocus my energy into content creation across my social media including my Instagram, blog and YouTube.


Today

Which brings us to today. Before hitting publish I read through this whole post (just to proof read - I didn't want to make any changes as like I said, for me this was like a monthly diary entry and I wanted to keep it as real as possible) I can't quite believe the up's and down's. It feels a bit surreal to think that back in February I was so disheartened by the Instagram algorithm but a couple of months later I was on cloud 9. This really helps put things into perspective for me - a year is a long time and things change frequently. Sometimes it's hard to remember that what is bad today could all change for the better tomorrow.

I'm so pleased I took the time each month to update this post. It's quite reassuring to look back on and read through my highs and lows, knowing that if I'm feeling down, things will most likely turn around.

4 comments:

  1. Congratulations on a full year of full-time blogging! I love reading your blog and seeing what you shoot and post :) xx

    Jessie | allthingsbeautiful-x

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    1. Thank you Jessie! I'm so thankful for you taking the time to comment on my posts so frequently, it really means the world! X

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  2. It's sad to see the demise of blogs, especially if their successor is to be Instagram. I personally got bored of Instagram over a year ago and deleted my account - it seemed to be just selfies and adverts. I wonder how many people who like a photo actually really look at it like they do with a blog? Most seem to scroll through at speed, liking on autopilot.
    I must say I have missed your previously regular blog posts this year. I’m not sure how it happened but I spent a rainy afternoon last week reading lots of your posts from 2014, I was loving your outfits, most looked great even four years later, plus your short well written posts. You also seemed to average around three posts per week back then which must have been a challenge with a full time university course and precious little sponsorship. It would be a shame to lose this archive if you were to move to a new blog platform.
    Thinking about YouTube, have you considered making weekly vlogs? These would be interesting as we know very little about your life and vlogging would open up your channel to a different genre of viewer.
    All the best for the next year, hope it will be a good one for you x

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    1. I'm so surprised you deleted Instagram, it seems to be the only platform everybody is on right now! It's definitely easier to scroll through and like photos on Instagram but I think captions are also becoming more lengthy to convey the story behind the photo, although I don't think it replaces a blog at all.
      One thing I've struggled with is the lack of acknowledgement (for lack of a better word), sometimes it feels like I'm writing to nobody as the engagement I receive on my blog is nowhere near as much as I receive on Instagram. So I've transferred a lot of my energy to Instagram content instead but I really do miss blogging! I also think sharing, and writing, about an outfit isn't good enough anymore - especially when it seems like everyone else is handing out baskets of knowledge in their blog posts whilst all I want to talk about is the fact my boots match perfectly with my sweater - it just doesn't seem good enough anymore. Would you believe there was a time I shared new blog posts 5 times a week!! I have no idea how I ever managed that to be honest!
      I definitely have thought about vlogging but my life really isn't that interesting to vlog about.. I always attempt to on holiday but end up failing miserably. I want to get into it slowly but I'm just not sure that's the path for me at the moment, perhaps in the future.
      Thank you so much for your comment Holly, it's so nice to read other people's thoughts. I appreciate you taking the time to reach out. Wishing you the best for 2019 too! X

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