The Highs & Lows of the Self Employed World 2016

Happy new year everyone. I hope you all are having an amazing start to the year. I am currently down with flu (booo) but I am getting better. I have been under a lot of stress lately so I guess that is the reason for my body shutting down.

 

dubai-image

 

We had an amazing time in Dubai, it was the best holiday ever and the kids had so much fun. But everything went wrong when we landed at Gatwick Airport. I stupidly picked up the wrong luggage (it was the exact size and design as mine and even had the same padlock), and someone else picked mine, and I didn’t realise until I got to the hotel room. I could open the box because it was the same padlock (can you imagine the coincidence, the same box and padlock on the same flight) but as soon as I opened it, I realised it wasn’t mine.

This has never happened to me before so I was in a very bad state. I usually tag my boxes but this box was a new one; a Tripp flowery black and red design, so I thought it was unique enough, well I thought wrong.

We had to make the long trip back to Gatwick twice the next day to pick up my box and to drop the wrong box. It was a very stressful period as you can imagine, all valuables were in there, but I am thankful the lady that picked my box was honest (she took it back to the airport and kindly sorted out a leakage in my box), and I am also thankful we were still in London. Imagine if we were back home in Cheshire, that would have been horrid.

The good thing is it would never happen to me again, I will always tag my bags boldly whenever I travel so I don’t pick a wrong box and no one picks mine.

 

Anyways back to the highs & lows of the self-employed world in 2016. I wrote a similar post in 2015, and it was nice to read it a year after.

There are so many highs and lows, so I will try to focus on a few to keep it brief.

 

The Highs

 

Writing a book

PRO_Vertical_3D_version

 

I wrote an eBook last year – How to Cash In as a Blogger. It was released February 2016, and it is a dream come true. I always wanted to write a book and I am happy I got to fulfil this dream last year. This is the first of many books to come.

It is currently available exclusively on Amazon for £3.44 and free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers. It is a great book for new bloggers or bloggers trying to monetize their blogs, so do have a read if you have not done so already. And if you have read it, pretty please leave me a review on Amazon, I need those reviews like I need air.

 

Freelancing

I took the freelance industry by storm in 2016 and grew my portfolio. I currently do PR and Blogger Outreach for 5 brands and I am hoping to double this figure this 2017. I also do freelance writing for a few websites and I plan to grow my freelance writing business this year.

 

Fashion and Style Police turned 4

Fashion and Style Police turned 4 last October, and it is great to see how much the blog has grown. It has over 40,000 combined followers now, and I still have to pinch myself every now and again to be sure I am not dreaming. This blog has opened many doors for me and I am super grateful to everyone who reads, shares and comments. You guys are the real deal!

 

The Lows

 

Chasing Payments

This has always been an issue and it still is but hopefully I will be able to manage this situation better this 2017.

 

Unprofessional Bloggers

While doing blogger outreach for brands, I have had the opportunity to work with hundreds of bloggers. I have worked with so many lovely bloggers, and I can’t wait to work with them this year, but I have also had the misfortune of working with some unprofessional bloggers. These select few are giving bloggers a bad name.

The ones that stop communicating with you as soon as they receive the review products, and they never write a post. The rude and entitled ones that believe their blog is the best thing since sliced bread. The lazy ones that take weeks, and sometimes months to post but you can see them on social media chatting all day. I can go on and on.

The good thing is my little black book is growing and I will never work with such bloggers again. But it is a shame that these bloggers are giving the entire industry a bad name.

 

Burn Out

Last year was incredibly busy. It was so hard for me to juggle the blog and freelance jobs at the same time but I did somehow. The last quarter was the busiest, and I struggled to get it all done before the holidays but I got there in the end.

This year I am going to take more time off work to avoid losing my mind.

 

Overall, 2016 was fabulous and 2017 is even going to be more fabulous. I am so looking forward to it.

How was your 2016?

 

 

Product Review: T444Z Hair Food & Argan Oil Therapy Conditoner

t444z-hair-food-image

 

You should all know by now that I am transitioning to natural hair. My hair journey has been topsy turvy for weeks now, but I am glad to say it is growing nicely and looking very healthy. I promised to share some of the amazing hair products I have been using, so here is a product review post featuring 2 of them – T444Z Hair Food and Argan Oil Therapy Conditioner. I have used both made in the UK products for months now and I am well impressed but before I tell you all about them, here is what T444Z has to say about the Hair Food product:

T444Z offers a holistic approach to improve a person’s hair. It is a plant-based product that was developed from natural ingredients extracted from the trees deep from the forests of Africa. In the interest of keeping it organic, T444Z has limited the use of preservatives.

Use T444Z for massive hair growth, volume and thickness. It also repairs hair lines, stops balding, dandruff, scalp dryness, itchiness and hair loss.

 

t444z-hair-food-picture

 

Here are my thoughts:

PROS

  1. My hair became thicker, longer and healthier since I started using this hair food.
  2. It relieves the itchiness on my scalp.
  3. It has restored my hair-line.

CONS

  1. It is quite pricey at £16.99 but it is money well spent in my books.
  2. It has a strong minty smell.

Overall, I recommend this T444Z Hair Food to anyone struggling with hair loss, dandruff or itchiness. I have bought it a few times now and I would keep buying this product because it does the job. I bought this product on eBay, and I know it is readily available online ad in shops so have a look around. A quick Google search will put you on the right path.

 

t444z-argan-oil-conditioner-image

 

I had both the T444Z Shampoo and Conditioner but I ran out of the Shampoo some weeks ago and forgot to take a picture, so I will tell you all about that Detox Shampoo another day. Here is what T444Z has to say about this product:

The Argan Oil Therapy Conditioner is specially formulated to lock in moisture and seal the hair without weighing it down. The enriched conditioner increases the hair vitality, lustre and shine.

I used this product after shampooing. I divide my hair into 4 sections and massage the conditioner in, leaving in for 20 minutes (under a shower cap), then wash off. I did use only the conditioner once, in my first attempt to co-wash and I didn’t like the way my hair felt so I won’t do that again.

Here are my thoughts on this conditioner:

PROS

  1. It leaves my hair feeling soft and looking shiny.
  2. My hair feels very clean and conditioned.
  3. I like the packaging.
  4. I like the fragrance of the conditioner.
  5. I have noticed a massive difference in the length and thickness of my hair since I started using this conditioner, a few months ago.
  6. It is quite affordable at £18.74 for the Detox Shampoo (which is also very fab, cleans the hair beautifully) and the Argan Oil Therapy Conditioner. It is also readily available online and in stores. I got mine from Amazon.

I recommend these products. They fulfil all promises and worth every penny. Try them, your hair will thank you later.

 

 

 

 

5 Ways to Make Money Online

laptop-image

 

I’ve been into freelancing for some time now. I must say that it is quite a lucrative business. However, it does have its ups and downs.
I know that there are a lot of people who want to launch their online businesses. It makes me really happy to know that more and more people want to take control of their finances and embrace the laptop lifestyle – working from the comfort of their homes, or anywhere they decide to work from.
To open your eyes to the endless possibilities of making money online, I’ve put together a list of money-making avenues you can try your hands on. The good news is that you can combine a number of them to help increase your streams of income. I do all on this list except one, and I am considering venturing into that by 2017. Here they are:
Blogging
A blog is one of the most popular platforms on which you can make money online. The truth is that a blog on its own cannot generate money. It is what you set up on your blog or how you use your blog that will make money for you. And that is the reason many bloggers make lots of money from blogging, and many make nothing.

There are many ways you can make money from your blog. Some of the most popular are:
•    Selling advert spaces on your blog. You can give out certain portions on your blog to advertisers to advertise their products, services or events. You can also sign up to an ad network like Google Adsense or WordAds; they connect you to businesses whose ads you can run on your blog. This method usually requires to you have high traffic for it to give a considerable amount of income. I make a few dollars from my WordAds every month
•    Be an affiliate to products where you can share a link of the products on your blog and get a commission for every person who buys the product through your link. This is also another popular way of making money from your blog. There are many affiliate networks available and many bloggers make quite a huge amount from this but I am yet to make any significant amount from affiliate links. It is just a few dollars I make from this method.
•    Have a membership platform where your readers can pay a monthly or yearly fee to gain access to premium content that you don’t share on your blog.  This works for certain blogs.
•    Sell eBooks, courses or tools that your readers will find useful. You all know about my eBook – How to Cash In as a Blogger available on Amazon for £3.44 but free to read on Kindle Unlimited. I am yet to get rich on this book but it does bring some income.
•    Write sponsored posts for businesses that want you to write a piece about their product or service. I make majority of my blog income from sponsored posts.
Freelance Digital Public Relations (PR)
Freelance Digital PR professionals play the unique role of promoting businesses or creating publicity for their client’s brand or event. Freelance PRs are paid to write press releases, pitch letters and help network with the right people to help promote their clients through online media. If you have a marketing or PR background, good online networking circle or are good at making connections with people, and you are good at pitching and managing your time, then this is a great way of making money online and building a portfolio. Majority of my online income comes from here.
Freelance Writing
If you’re great at writing then freelancing writing may be the right way to go. Freelance writers are always in high demand as more and more people outsource content writing. I am on and off with my freelance writing, I have neglected that part of my online business for months. I am hoping to step up my game soon.
Sell items on eBay
If you’re interested in selling physical products, then this option may interest you. eBay is an “online shop” where you can sell almost anything – jewelry, bags, shoes, clothes, and many more. I have neglected my eBay shop for months now. I just don’t have the time to run it the way I should. I am hoping to sell some more before the end of the year. I just need to find the time to actually list the items.
Vlogging
If you have a considerable number of viewers or subscribers to your YouTube channel, you can make money through vlogging by allowing ads to run during your video. And you can make money through sponsored reviews and mentions as well. I am yet to venture into the world of YouTube, it sounds really complicated (I know it’s not) and is way out of my comfort zone. I like to write and I am good at it (how cocky), not sure about vlogging but we will have to wait and see.

 

How do you make money online? Are there other tried and tested ways to make money online? Do share.