Photography & Edit: Juliette Carton
I published this post here in January where I answered very truthfully and candidly your questions about full time blogging. It’s been one of my most popular posts, so I thought I’d do a part two with even more of your questions answered. I’ve been blogging full time since late 2013, and I’ve learned a lot both about myself and the industry along the way. If you want to read part one, you can check that out here. For now let’s get stuck in to part two!
So, I do have a content schedule for both YouTube and blogging, but naturally it changes almost every day. Things are moved back, other things pop up, and some stuff is crossed off because it’s simply not right, or too timely. As you will have noticed, I had a 6 week gap on this blog with no content, and well, things like that happen. When you try and balance YouTube with a blog, and also Instagram (which is like having a second blog/channel!) naturally gaps occur. So while yes I plan very much ahead, constantly scribble ideas and try to lock in dates as much as possible – don’t beat yourself up over this if it doesn’t go to plan.
You never ever turn off. Never. I wish I could say I have weekends – I don’t, often weekends are worked harder than weekdays! I wish I could say I have a relaxing holiday – I’ve tried, but I never fully do as in my eyes *everything* is content, and well, you really never turn off. That is just part of having what I would truly consider a 24/7 job. I manage my time the best I can, but the reality is there really is no right or wrong answer to time management as a blogger. Some people work best in the morning, and some best in the evening. For me I just make a plan for each day every morning, and try to tick off the entire list, weaving content management around events, appointments and other life admin. Sometimes last minute things pop up, and you have to be relaxed in shifting plans around. For me I find the best way to manage my time is to do what works for me, and make a plan for the day I know I can achieve without beating myself up.
For me my management are at the cornerstone of my entire career, they are the rock and the behind the scenes support I need to be the best I can. They do all of my brand work, nothing that I do that is an ad is solo, all of it has gone via my management. They handle absolutely every single ad piece of content on all of my channels – and after years of not having that, I’d much rather have it this way. It’s really hard, very draining and difficult to outsource ad work and money yourself, and I know I would struggle to go back to doing that myself. The short answer is that I never had management before because I didn’t need it. I worked like a crazy lady behind the scenes to try and elevate my platform to get to the point where it needed management, and that’s where we’re at now. You don’t exclusively need management to get brand connections or brand work, but it’s easier, and much less stress on your shoulders to allow it to them. I am fundamentally a creator, an artist. By handing over the admin, the negotiation process and the outsourcing to them, I can focus all my time on creating and making the best art I can – which is competitive by itself in this current climate!
This is one of the things where as a career it’s definitely not for everyone. I had several different jobs, retail and office based before going full time, and it takes a while to adjust to the unsteady income. I struggled at first, because I was quite poor, and didn’t have any money to save behind me for the times when nothing came in. Those times were really tough. Four years down the line and I manage my money well, having worked hard to create that reserve of money for when quiet months come in. Absolutely every single blogger is different. I don’t approach brands or outsource any of my income, mine comes from the brands who approach my management or book me to DJ. For me, January & February are deathly quiet months, but I’ve just had an extremely busy May, June into July with non stop brand work. That’s just my personal brand, and if you were to outsource work, you may see different results, but it’s an adjustment I can’t lie and say is easy to get used to. I had a hefty tax bill to pay in January, which luckily I had saved for and then some extra, but even four years in I cried a few times filled with worry in Jan and Feb after getting 0 income for the month. It’s tough. I think some people will struggle but you have to learn to accept it’s a new way of living and the results are rewarding.
You’ve cheated here a little bit with a triple question whammy LindyC but I’ll let you off haha. I find my inspiration from all around, from the planet and from the internet. I look at current things happening, I look at outfits I like, and I browse the internet constantly for cool locations and hot new pop ups. Infact, this post was shot at the the Cafe du-jour, Palm Vaults, in Hackney. It’s very cute. Advice wise I would say not to expect the world to fall at your feet instantly, and not to compare yourself to anyone else immediately. Also not to copy other bloggers, because you won’t find success as an imitation, but rather as the authentic thing. Confidence wise well, it was just something that happened over time as I got used to being ‘a blogger’ and shooting things out and about. At the end of the day for me personally, I have blue hair, so people stare at me anyway. People staring wasn’t going to put me off living the life of my dreams and I haven’t let it since.
I don’t think stereotypes hinder unless you let them. Of course bloggers are expected to do a certain number of things, outfit posts at festivals for example or again yup see above, posing at the cafe before you eat the food, ridiculous really but all quite normal in blogger stereotypes. I don’t let them hinder me because I do everything on my terms. Sure, they’re both common things to do along with a whole load of other ‘blogger’ stuff, but I do them because I want to, and I wouldn’t if I didn’t want to. I enjoy sharing things with you especially lets say my outfit at a festival, because it’s so fun and enjoyable to share personal style on a platform like that. Sure, I get a ton of ridiculous looks and whispers as I stop mid crowd and face away from the main stage to have my photo taken, but really I don’t care. I don’t fully believe any blogger has to conform to any stereotype they don’t want to to be successful, not everyone lives on a white road in Kensington and therefore not everyone has to pose for outfit posts there. If you want to, do it on your own terms, make it your thing. But never ever feel like you have to. Nothing like that ever stopped me, anyway.
God this is such a tough question. The others I felt confident but this I still don’t think I really know the answer. I think I do prioritise YouTube over anything else, purely because it is one of the biggest platforms in the world right now. It’s essential to my business model to grow the YouTube channel and well that comes with a lot more work than possible for one person. I really try and balance my time evenly, but sometimes you know you have to focus on what is growing faster, what is more financially viable and what really is a better foundation. Everything I do is laying bricks for a foundation, skills I can apply to something else. If YouTube for me personally is the better place to lay those bricks I’ll be out there in the sun early morning covered in concrete slaving over the bricks. Heck, ill make the bricks from hand if I have to. I think you have to work out for you what is worth most of your time, and divide it up as such. I’m trying to get the balance better, always.
Well, it can get you down working all the time, and being quite lonely, but overall it’s a very positive job with very positive rewards. It’s the best job I’ve had in my life and I’m proud to say I created it myself. I motivate myself with the sheer excitement each day of knowing I have complete unrestrained freedom to create whatever art I feel like. Some days it’s a lookbook shot in Hollywood, and other days it’s a fashion haul, but it never stops being exciting and liberating for me, as someone with an overactive mind and a penchant for video creating.
Honestly this is the easiest question of all. Just start. Do it now. Register a WordPress or blogger account, write some words, take some photos and hit publish. You’ll soon work out if you enjoy it or if you don’t. Cost wise it can cost free, to as much as you want to spend. Use products and items you have, use your iPhone to shoot and use any computer at your disposal. I promise it’s not as nerve-wracking as people think. Just try!
Okay so that’s all for part two! If you have any more questions perhaps toward the end of the year at Christmas I can do a part three (wow didn’t think this would be that popular!)
Let me know what you think, if this was helpful and if you enjoyed reading it. Let me know in the comments if you’re a full time blogger, or heading to full time blogging and you agreed with or found something interesting in this post.