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How Blogging Became my Career

  • May 3, 2016
  • By Carly Neave

Lean living Girl

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.

Lean living girl

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 fiancé, 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 :)

LLG x 

By Carly Neave, May 3, 2016 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!
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15 Comments
  • Louise Watsham
    January 12, 2017

    I absolutely love the final paragraph of this blog post, and couldn’t agree more!

    I went to Uni with Jack and I have just come across your blog. Congratulations on marrying such a lovely man, may there be many years of happiness ahead of you both. x

    • Lean Living Girl
      January 12, 2017

      Thanks so much Louise, that’s really kind! (Wish I knew him back in those days!).

      Always appreciate the support so glad you enjoyed the read :) xxx

  • Sophie
    June 3, 2016

    Hey Carly,

    I grew up in Dubai but am a Londonder. I’ve just finished four years at King’s and have literally just started working on my blog from semi-fulltime to fulltime. It’s a bit daunting and I’m finding a lot of companies just want you to collaborate for free. Do you have any advice for this and how to stand your grounds/justify your budgets?

    Loving the website,
    If you wanted to reply p rsonally my email is
    thefabulousfoodieblog@gmail.com

    Sophie

    http://www.thefabulousfoodieblog.com

    • Lean Living Girl
      June 3, 2016

      Hey Sophie,

      Big congrats on the move to full-time blogging, that’s great! I’ve had a look at your blog, it’s fab – the reviews are especially insightful and The Bumpkin is one of my favourite places :)

      My advice on the above is two fold. First of all doing collaborations for free is very much part of starting to blog and building relationships with the PR companies and brands. Even if the social numbers are there, it’s kind’ve of a partnership to start with …you support them and they support you. So don’t feel discouraged by that, really try to embrace it and show as much support for brands you believe in a you can.

      Secondly, unfortunately (or fortunately because it’s a great market to be in!) London is especially competitive so brands will probably only start considering paid collaborations when you get to really competitive social numbers. Your figures are great and we’re pretty close but just that little bit more can make a big difference.

      Finally, food related blog aren’t like fashion blogs which get the opportunity for paid collaborations more frequently. My best advice is to really chose an angle you want to go down with the blog, with a specific target audience. It means when brands are trying to work out who they want to collaborate with – they will chose you because you are right in their niche.

      Keep at it and let me know if I can help anymore!

      Carly x

      • Sophie Middleton
        June 3, 2016

        Thank you so much for that advice. It’s genuinely very insightful and also very helpful to someone blogging in London!

        Keep in touch,

        Sophie x

        (I’m sorry I didn’t recognise you from your stint in Made in Chelsea! I haven’t been keeping up :p)

  • Laura
    May 11, 2016

    “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.”

    This is really inspirational thank you.

    I am 29 I spent 4 years training to be a primary school teacher which I really enjoyed, I got married last August one of the happiest times of my life but since I started teaching in September I have never been so unhappy. I feel if I quit now I will be letting myself down and everyone that has supported me but then as you say I owe it to myself to to do something that makes me happy. The hard part though is I don’t know what does. Like you I am a big lover of food but I am no chef and I have no knowledge of what is and isn’t good. I guess though you won’t know if you don’t teach yourself and I think I’m going to start there. Thank you for sharing your life experience and I am so happy I came across you blog.
    Best wishes x

    • Lean Living Girl
      May 12, 2016

      Hi Laura,

      Thanks so much for your comment, it’s so nice to hear the words are ringing true. Sometimes, one thing can be exactly what we want in life and then time passes and we realise it’s no longer for us … people will admire you more for taking a step in the right direction as opposed to staying where you are because that’s what seems the right thing to do. You have a passion for food, so explore all the options available to you … maybe it’s blogging, maybe it’s food development, maybe it’s helping others find their feet in a healthy lifestyle. But one thing’s for sure, it’s never too late to change (especially in your case!) so just think of the future and ask yourself what you want your life to look like.

      I hope that helps!

      Carly xxx

  • Hannah Rankine
    May 4, 2016

    Fab… So proud of you and happy your hard work is paying off.

    I need to be more brave! Thanks for reminding me.

    😘

  • Jordan
    May 4, 2016

    Carly, as usual your writing is witty, engaging and so brutally honest. Wish I had the courage to do what you have done, and love reading your blog. So very proud of you xxx

  • Georgia
    May 3, 2016

    Such a great and inspirational read Carls!! Keep up the amazing job, this is so helpful for people that would would love to be doing what you are doing! Can’t wait for the next article! :):)

  • Ieuan
    May 3, 2016

    A very inspiring post to read on the Tuesday after a bank holiday weekend when the last thing I want to do is deal with the usual 9-5 issues. Keep blogging Carly!! :) xxx

Carly Neave

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!

About Me
Hi, I'm Carly!
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!
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