A few years ago, if you had said to me, you are going to be a self-employed freelance writer, working for yourself, I might have thought, “Yeah, I can see that“. I quite like working on my own, I’m pretty good with deadlines, plus I love writing. I was also probably at a natural conclusion to my 12-year HR profession.
I am also a very driven person, thoroughly enjoy working from home and like being my own boss.
However, if you had said to me that my ‘brand’ would be based purely on me – then I would have laughed. Out loud.
But when you are a blogger and lifestyle freelance writer, then YOU are your brand. It’s usually all about you and your life and based on the things that matter to you. Which, can be a little weird and odd to comprehend at times.
When I started this blog over 2 years ago I had no idea that there was any monetary gain (or a career) to be had from it. Personally, I was simply looking for a hobby whilst on maternity leave with my baby twins and thought that I would ‘have a go’.
As the last 24 months have unfolded and my sideline has organically turned into my job, I have become far more aware of myself as the face of my brand. It is now something that I think about and work on. Recognising it has actually helped me to focus and channel my energy in the right direction.
It can, however, still be a major hang-up of mine at times. When new people ask me what I do for a living, instead of being proud, I sometimes feel embarrassed. Because in my head I am thinking that they’re thinking, “Who makes a living out of taking selfies?!”.
Maybe they are. But being proud of what you do is important because earning money from blogging and freelance writing takes hard work and dedication…and you don’t just ‘arrive there’ one day. Even though it can feel a rather strange career choice I cannot think of anything more creative, flexible, fun and perfectly placed for myself and my family right now.
But, how do I know what my brand is?
If you do decide to make blogging your job/an income then my top tip would be to identify what your ‘brand’ is – i.e. what is it about YOU that appeals to your audience? Which sounds pretty obvious but I know so many bloggers who just don’t know the answer!
Mine? Well I am a Mum of 4-year-old twins, living in a new-build family home. As well as being a Mum my passions are interiors and fashion. So I focus my blog on family style. It’s therefore predominately concentrated on modern and contemporary family living and because my emphasis is on family style my photographs and blog posts are reflective of that.
Play to your strengths
I’d consequently recommend that you play to your strengths and loves. So, if you adore baking then add plenty of recipes into your blog and master styling & photographing your food. If you take brilliant photographs then make the blog very visual and don’t spend ages on every post writing heaps of text; perhaps you could also add in tips on how to take superb photos. If you are good at crafts then create posts & videos of you making things. Or if you are very funny about the lighter side of parenting then direct your energy on your writing.
Remember though that you don’t have to be amazing/a master at everything, because none of us usually are!
Focus on what you’re good at or enjoy and put your heart into this. Your blog will develop as a result and be more attractive to those kinds of businesses and brands.
One thing that remains for me is the PURE enjoyment that I get from the process of blogging and writing. The passion that I have for it remains very strong and I believe that this is why I find the time to do it even when I am tired and feeling a bit fed up!
Blogging and vlogging is already widely showing that it can bring people great opportunity and prospects and lead to fulfilling big hopes and dreams. It’s a very exciting industry to be a part of.
Love, Jess x