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This Thing Called Blogging

I fell in love with blogging many years ago, and I don’t see myself every falling out of it. I have always been a lover of reading and writing, for as long as I can remember. And that is what blogging to me is really all about. Everything else is an add-on; social media, making money, receiving product samples, going to events, and the likes. But sometimes I find myself feeling very frustrated with this thing called Blogging.

I started Fashion and Style Police because I needed a creative outlet. I was stuck in a career I hated with a passion, and I saw no way out. Plus I wasn’t a very happy person at that point in my life, so blogging kept me sane.I wrote a bit about this in my How to Cash In as a Blogger.

After setting up the blog, I thought of monetising it at some point but was not my main focus back then.

 

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I am now a full-time blogger, freelance writer and PR. I work from home, and I need to make a full-time income from these jobs, so making money off the blog without selling out is now a main focus for me. I love my blog and I can’t see myself ever not loving it, but some days, especially these last couple of days, I have struggled to stay motivated. On these days, I have zero interest in blogging, and I have no desire to do any online related work.

Obviously as an online entrepreneur, I can’t afford to continue to have days like this because nothing would get done, and there will be no money in the bank.

 

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Some of the annoying emails I get, offering me $20 for a guest post, also make my bad days even worse. And I am beginning to get more and more of these cheeky emails, many with even no budget.

The truth of the matter is many people underestimate the amount of work it takes to run a blog. Most times, you have to be in it to fully understand it, so I try not to let such requests bother me. I just politely decline and move on. After all, they are probably only the messenger, but sometimes it does annoy me. I do blogger outreach, and I won’t dream of contacting a blogger without offering a form of compensation. And $20 is not a reasonable compensation. No blogger should be accepting that, even if you have a domain authority of 1.

But then again, I have great collaborations I am currently working on so it is not that bad. The pros of blogging outweigh the cons massively so it is really not an issue.

Do you blog? How are you finding it? If you don’t blog, do you enjoy blogs? What sort of blogs do you enjoy reading the most?

 

 

 

 

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3 Productivity Hacks for Online Entrepreneurs

Time is the most valuable commodity we living beings have. We all have the same amount of time everyday; 24 hours. Whether we are healthy or ill, tired or strong, rich or poor, young or old, we all have the same amount of hours each day, and none of us can buy time back. What we do with our time is what makes the difference in our lives. Since we can’t go back in time to make amends or do things right, we have to make sure we are maximising the most of our time every day regardless of our situation.

For us online entrepreneurs, managing our time and being as productive as possible is so important. Especially as most of us work alone and we are our own bosses.

 

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Many people wonder how I get “the time” to do all I do – juggling my twin toddlers pretty much by myself all day, and running my online projects. When I wrote my book – How to Cash In as a Blogger, many asked how I found the time for that. I found it so weird that I kept getting asking the same question over and over again. Well, when there is a will, there is a way, and there is always enough time to get done all that needs to be done.

Here are 3 productivity hacks that have worked for me in the past 5 years, you may work for you as well:

 

Guard your time

Now this is the first productivity hack I am mentioning for a reason, and that is because without having the time, you can’t get anything done. So you need to ensure you guard your time jealously.

In 24 hours, I need to sleep at least 7 hours so I don’t get grumpy, I need to eat my meals, I need to feed my family, I need to get my kids to pre school and get them back home in time, I need to write, I need to get blog work done, I need to attend to my freelance clients, and so on. So with all the various tasks that need to be done, I can’t afford to speak on the phone for hours, to be on Whatsapp chatting endlessly, watch all the series on TV or lie in bed all day. I need to guard my time.

Once you guard your time, you will find that you have more time than you thought you did.

 

Set a routine

Once your time has been guarded, then you need to set a clear routine so you know what needs to be done daily and in what order, leaving a bit of room for flexibility. Having a to-do list helps massively as well. I tend to be on top of my day when I stick to my to-do list.

The beauty of having a routine and to-do list is that you don’t need to think of what needs to be done because you know that already. It helps you become more efficient.

 

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Work hard

Many people say it is work smart and not hard. I tend to disagree with this many times depending on the situation. In order to be productive, you have to be hard-working. Yes you will need to work smart too but you will have to work hard first for your work smart to work for you.

Imagine if BeyoncΓ© was “working smart” from her days in Destiny’s Child? Do you think she would be where she is today? No I don’t think so. For you to relax on your hustle, you have to put in the work in the foundation days.

 

Do you have a productivity hack to share? Please drop it in the comment box below.

Thanks for reading.

 

 

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.

 

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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

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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 Β£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?