How long have you been a blogger?
I’ve been blogging full time since 2016, but when I first started I was doing personal training alongside www.carlyneave.com as I needed to support myself financially. For those who want to go further back … I’ve had a hundred and one jobs growing up, never finding the thing that made me happy or made me stay, and it wasn’t until I started working for myself that I realised how important it was for me to build something that was mine, that I could grow and pour everything into. I also really needed my freedom of time. It’s all about your life values – do you value a secure income over freedom of time? Variety over growth? Or is it contribution? I follow a lot of Tony Robbin’s work and his 6 life needs make so much sense to me. You can have a look here if you’re interested in reading more.
Who takes your pictures?
My husband, generally. Although he’s not even slightly into photography so it’s very much a case of me framing the shot, and then running into it whilst he presses ‘click’! It’s taken us a fair few years to learn how to work quickly and calmly together taking photographs, but he’s super supportive and puts a lot of effort into what I am trying to capture – even if he rarely wants to feature!
Which cameras do you use?
I have been using the Lumix GH5 for the last few years, but I am planning on moving to Sony, specifically the alpha range. I first got the GH5 for its video capabilities as at the time I was trying to pursue Vlogging. However, as you can see from my channel, it doesn’t really exist! So in hindsight, I wish I had spent the money on a camera that was dedicated for photography instead of film. With that said, if I’ve learned anything from the courses I’ve done and people I’ve met along the way, it’s that you don’t need an incredible camera to start or be ‘good’. Too often we put things off in life because we don’t feel we have all the perfect tools right away. You need passion, you need perseverance and determination, and the rest will come!
I also have the DJI Mavic Pro Platinum and the DJI Osmo 2 gimble for mobile, which I absolutely love. Both of those products have given me a whole new dimension to the content I create. A piece of advice though … make sure you do a course on learning how to fly a drone before you start flying yours – they’re quick to do and not too expensive. I personally did mine at a place called Sanad Academy in Dubai. Knowing what I know now, I either would have broken the drone within a week or never really flown it to its true capabilities.
Do you make money from blogging?
It took me at least 2 years to have any form of regular income from blogging, but yes, now this work supports me as a full-time position. I work with brands I love and believe in to promote them in a huge variety of ways and this is what takes up a lot my time day-to-day; conceptualising concepts that best fit the briefs I’ve been sent so that the content I do create is of value to you, my readers, and is engaging and effective. Otherwise, there is no point for the brand and coupled with that you’ll likely unfollow me or stop reading my blogs! Much of my work in the last year has moved into the travel space so it’s not just about singular products but destinations and longer-term campaigns. I’m really fortunate but proud of this side of my work as it’s taken a long-time to build and I never promote anything with a lot of thought and passion gone into it.
How can I become a blogger?
I get asked this question a lot and I can understand why; on face value, it’s a great job. However, please don’t be fooled as it has it’s big disadvantages too. It can be a very lonely yet competitive space, where things happened unregulated and unfairly so first and foremost you have to make sure you start with a clear understanding as to why you’re doing it. It’s okay if that changes as you develop with time, mine certainly has, but ask yourself the questions;
It’s such a competitive market nowadays that it is important you bring something unique to the table.
Other than that, JUST WRITE! Honestly, embrace the zero-fear factor that I had when I first started. Everyone around me just thought I was trying yet another venture, something I’d be bored of shortly and of course I had no experience (writing or photography) so they just left me to it. The beauty of that was I had no fear, no judgements, I just did it. Slowly, slowly it grew.
I built my first website myself as didn’t have the money to pay a developer. I used the “Foodie Pro Theme” which cost circa $80 from recollection and then used YouTube to google how to build in plugins. I didn’t launch the website officially to friends and family until I had at least 4 posts in each section, and then I jumped on Facebook and asked everyone to like it. So get your website going, start writing valuable & relatable content and see how it develops. Last piece of advice, if you can get ahead in the video game then do … video content is proving far more popular and engaging and it will give you a head start on all the people who are creating the same static imagery content they have for the past few years.
Why / When did you move to Dubai?
I get asked this as much as anything else so want to add it in here! I am originally from Surrey in the UK but moved to Dubai at 21 for no other reason than I was just a bit stuck. I needed a big shift and change in my life as whilst I wasn’t sad or unhappy, I was so far from fulfilling my potential that something had to give, and however much I dressed it up as being fine comped to others in my life in similar situations, I just wanted more. It was incredibly scary to move – I had no friends or family there but it was the best decision I ever made. I’ve now been in Dubai for 5 years and come back to London 4-5 times a year to see family/friends and for work so I do regard my life as being quite a fluid base, especially now that travel has become such a huge part of my work and content. Jack and I will be moving back to Surrey at some point though – and I’m very excited for that!
I hope that helps answer a few questions but if there’s anything else you’d like to know then please comment below!