I remember the first time I told my friends and family I was going to quit my job and start blogging … it didn’t really have the ground breaking effect of “I’ve just been made partner at work”. One year on though and opinions have really changed. I dare to say that in a career perspective, I have gone from being the black sheep of the family to the one who has a lot to talk about, and that’s all because of Lean Living Girl.
So how did I get here and is blogging really a career?!
Ask me that question 2 years ago and I would have had very little clue as to what a blog actually was, it’s purpose and an even fainter idea that it’s something you could make money from. I left senior school and went straight to University with one goal – to get out into the working world as soon as I could. That happened far more quickly than planned when I left University after 2 terms (sorry parents!) with a job offer in post-production. That lasted about 3 months, (you can see the pattern starting to appear) and my next few jobs that follow all lasted less than a year, with a small stint (and I do mean stint) in a programme with my girlfriend known as Made in Chelsea. Safe to say my super successful career wasn’t painting the prettiest of prospects!
One thing stayed true however, I wasn’t worried. I was young and I knew what I wanted my life to look like … that’s the power of having a goal … even though I hadn’t quite figured out how to get there, I could clearly picture where I’d end up. Fast forward to a few years later (21 years old) and I decided Dubai was the right next step. I had some independence to learn and a new perspective on life to achieve. I joined a fantastic PR agency which opened my eyes to the world of blogging. I was meeting people who were doing exactly what they loved every single day – and making a living out of it. I got curious, learned more about it and 6 months into the job I decided it was my turn – and I hadn’t been so sure of anything before.
“I never wanted a desk job, I never wanted a 9-5, I did always want to be successful but on my own terms, building something for me and not building something for someone else.”
The funny thing is now I can happily work from 7am to 11pm and love every minute of it.
Fitness is another passion of mine alongside cooking, so I spent £2,500 on an advanced PT course and I started to learn about blog development. I built up content, recipe after recipe (at that time the blog was called Carly’s Kitchen and was going to be purely food focused) until I had enough on there that I felt comfortable to show the world (or rather my grandparents and siblings).
Fast forward one year and the blog was renamed Lean Living Girl (I wanted much more of a healthy/balanced lifestyle blog rather than just food) and it’s doing better than it ever has before – and fingers crossed with still so much more to grow.
So that’s how I got here … but how do you make money?
You can make money through brand collaborations. Partnering up with specific brands that want to engage and attract your audience. So for me … that falls into a few sections but mainly the healthy lifestyle, wellness and fitness with a bit of travel. In terms of money earning potential, fashion is WAY above any other area you could fall into, but fashion is not my passion (possibly rhyming is) and as my father always said to me … do what you enjoy and the money will follow, and he was right.
Brands are all interested in different things, some want social media coverage, some blog posts, some interviews but it’s been really important for me to only work with best quality brands that I love, believe in, and would personally use. The amount you charge is dependant on how many followers and visitors you get to each platform.
From blogs that are well-written, you can also get asked to contribute to magazines which is a great way to guarantee an income on a monthly basis – you don’t always know where the next collaboration is coming from.
The golden rule of only promoting brands you love is the single most important one to carry with you through blogging. Otherwise you lose your identity and value as a blogger. I’m going to write a blog this week on the “5 Steps to earning money from your blog” so sign up to my newsletter now to get it as soon as it comes!
So now I am doing what I love and as a result, earning more than I did in the corporate world – but even if I wasn’t I would still be writing this today. I don’t believe it’s complete luck that somewhere in that decision to have the courage to choose a new path I met my incredible fiancÃ©, who has been the number one advocate of the blog from day one. He diligently proof reads almost all of my posts, just because he wants to.
If there’s one thing you take away from this post I hope it’s this;
Life is short, and enjoyment and love of what we do should be the ultimate goal to work towards rather than money. That will follow. We owe too much to ourselves to spend 9 hours a day doing something that doesn’t make us the happiest we could be.
Did you enjoy this career post? Have you had a similar experience where you’ve made a huge life change and now things are going in the right direction for you? Is there any advice you’d like to share with others? We’d love to know, comment below :)
Hello and welcome! I'm Carly, originally from London but currently enjoying a little adventure in Dubai. A travel and wellness blogger exploring the world one step at a time. Think fabulous food at undiscovered gems, unique destinations, skin care obsessions and so much more. This is my life, I hope you enjoy the ride!