I’ve been freelancing for just over twelve months now, and running this blog as my full time job for around half that time – with this in mind, I thought I’d curate my thoughts on some of the key things I’ve learnt so far. These don’t necessarily have to be relevant to just the blogging industry either, most of them will be relatable to freelancers of all kinds…
Routine is essential – anyone who has experienced university will know the struggle of organising your time and keeping yourself motivated. It’s not easy forcing yourself into a routine at eighteen, and it doesn’t really get much easier at twenty five. Usually, I’m quite good at sitting down and getting through my To Do list, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t times when I feel like crying out for a extra pair of hands to help me with my workload, or just become completely overwhelmed with expectation that I want to hibernate under the duvet. You have to try and figure out a routine, a place to be productive, and really get the admin side of freelancing into some sort of regular motion. This is the best way to avoid any meltdowns – start it now, don’t put things off…
Be consistent – following on from the whole routine thing, consistency is key when it comes to social media and blogging. It’s important to take breaks as and when you need them, but to really build a loyal audience, I feel that it’s important to deliver content at a consistent rate. After all, these are people that have invested in their own personal time into you and your passion so that you’re able to support yourself from it – that alone keeps me from being lazy and not sticking to my posting schedule. There’s also no right way to blog either – once a week is just as consistent as everyday if that’s what works for you. Some prefer shorter posts, others longer, and all kinds of content offers something unique and reaches out to a different audience.
Know your worth – so many freelancers work all hours god sends to try and get their business off the ground and make a regular income for themselves. Knowing your worth is vital when it comes to creating figures for content and to avoid selling yourself short – this is something I have done many many times, especially when I first started out. I couldn’t really grasp the fact that in creating something I loved and that I was passionate about, I was essentially marketing said company free of charge. To me, it was always just about my love of fashion, and the people kind enough to engage with it. This mindset had to shift once it became my full time job, I was taking on too much for too little and felt that something had to give. I’ve learnt that if one brand isn’t willing to pay for your content, there will always be another opportunity around the corner that will have you covered. Freelancing can be a daunting way to live sometimes, but I’ve been fortunate enough to experience a bit of a snowball effect and be recognised for the effort that I put into my work. That’s not to say that people won’t try and take advantage of you though – so reminding yourself of the blood, sweat, and tears you put into working for yourself is always a welcome source of encouragement. That’s not to say that I don’t support independent brands and regularly create content that’s ‘just because’ – in fact, most of my Instagram is this way, and it takes a product/brand I really believe in for me to advertise it.
Some people might not get it – I find this a lot with more distant family members or friends, not everyone will really understand what it means to be a blogger. They might even belittle it to ‘posting the odd selfie’ and just getting free stuff all the time. In fact, I work way more hours now that I ever did at my 9-5, I work a lot of Friday nights and quite a few hours of the weekends too. It’s an extremely fast paced industry that’s changing all the time, so sometimes it feels like a juggling act trying to keep on top of everything. It also doesn’t really matter what others think of you in any sense of the matter – you just have to believe in your work ethic and do you.
Build connections – whether it’s with PR companies or brands themselves, it’s always wise to invest time in the people reaching out to you. Building connections means more regular work from the brands you love and a less passive income overall – which will be a huge relief when you have a few of those tumble weed weeks and stare blankly at your inbox. It might even be worth looking into new ventures that you can pursue on the side of blogging – at the moment, I wouldn’t have time to develop something new as I’m very much focused on just building my blog each week, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t want to achieve other things in the future. Whether it’s writing for a magazine or opening my own vintage shop – it’s always good to keep both your mind and options open.
You might feel lonely sometimes – and this is completely normal! I don’t mind my own company and feel that I’m not really one of those people that suffers from being alone too much. However, I do miss the general vibes and jokes that come with being surrounded by a group of people who are all in it together. There’s no one there to really give you a pat on the back or moan with over a cup of coffee – that’s why it’s essential mix up your working week. Work from cafe’s or libraries a few times a week if you can, or find other likeminded people to work alongside and bounce ideas off. I’d definitely like to look into renting a co working space in the future, but for now I’m just focused on moving so that I can have a proper adult office space.
Don’t be so hard on yourself, things don’t happen overnight – I personally dislike the term ‘overnight success’ as I think it diminishes all the work that person did previously before that ‘one important email’ or that ‘one significant job’ that flipped everything upside down. It’s something the media like to latch onto to glamorise a success story and trick people into thinking it’s easy. Nothing worth having comes easy and I have always strongly believed in that saying – no matter how overused or cliche it might sound. I was posting my outfits on Instagram for years before I even considered the significance of it – I worked retail job after retail job that I hated, I applied for fashion internships and was continually made to feel like I wasn’t good enough. I used all this frustration and channelled it into my blog – one day something just clicked and everything was focused in the direction of making it work. I did my day job, then rushed home to blog, I worked till all hours of the morning. I worked weekends, I grafted to the point where I didn’t have any money to socialise or have fun because every spare penny was spent on camera equipment or website fees. I literally put all my energy into it without really knowing where it would take me – I did it based off a feeling that clothing and writing was important to me in someway, and nobody was going to convince me otherwise…
Photography by Adriana
SHOP THE LOOK