We all want to leave a year feeling we have learnt something along the way, right? Well we do, we want to feel a sense of accomplishment in some, any respect, and for us this definitely applies to our job, our very full time job of blogging together as sisters. We often get asked how long we have been blogging for, and the answer is that we have been full time for approx 18 months now (we started an instagram account 2 years ago but did it in the background for the first six months).
This year has been a whirlwind for us and in fact we were just discussing how it has been the quickest year of our working lives so far. Mainly we think, its down to the fact that, cheesy as it sounds, time flies when you’re having fun, and we love what we do. Of course there are ups and downs for everybody and thats life, it certainly hasn’t been an easy year although we may have made it look as though it was. Alice hasn’t been very well at all for quite a few months of this year, and as her sister I can say that she has been amazing at dealing with being unwell versus busy with work, having to take time out to recover and making it look seamless at the same time. Hopefully with the correct diet and lots of rest, she is now on the mend, but it has shown us that you have to take whatever life throws at you and do the best that you can do.
We have also had many incredible experiences this year, from heading to LA and Coachella, New York Fashion Week and so many fun experiences here in London, we do feel very lucky to be working in this amazing industry, where its definitely true that the more you put in, the more you get out of it.
So what has this year taught us? Lets get going:
1 YOU ARE UNIQUE AND THAT IS A GOOD THING
There is a lot of scope for comparison in this industry, and we often see people on social media worried about how they are “doing” and comparing themselves to others. The most important thing we have learnt from putting your style and self image out there on the internet is that it only works if you are true to yourself and your style. We follow people with millions of followers and love and appreciate their style of dressing, taking photos, caption writing, but this can all be appreciated without feeling you have to do/think/wear the same, I think its important to take inspiration from somany different places and for us that includes the many incredible Instagram accounts we follow whether they be art, travel, fashion, food, but the important part for you is to remain authentic to you and your style as that is when you’ll create your most magical content. For us, we like what we like, and we want to post content that reflects that as best they can.
2 YOU HAVE TO WORK VERY HARD TO GET SOMEWHERE
This might seem like an obvious thing to say, but there are comments made about bloggers sometimes that imply that there is a perception that hard work doesn’t factor in to blogging, that its the easy / glam life that rich girls are born in to. The reality is often the precise opposite, those at the very top of their glam-game have worked the hardest in the face of adversity to achieve the position they are in, yes there will be exceptions are there are in any walk of life, but broadly speaking, mostly it takes time, patience and diligence to grow a following and run a successful blogging business. Success doesn’t happen overnight and nor should it, it is all the more admirable to climb your way to were you want to be, but don’t forget, you can enjoy the ride too, there are lots of amazing moments to appreciate along the way!
3 YOU HAVE TO REALLY LOVE WHAT YOU DO
Why do I say that? Its obvious isn’t it, or is it? Many people don’t love what they do, I have friends (formerly also me) working in offices around the world and counting the minutes until 6pm when they can leave, having thought over their dinner / weekend plans in their head to distract themselves from the reality of their work. Working for yourself is a very different kettle of fish and your priorities shift from the clock watching mentality. Don’t get me wrong, In my former office job life I worked my ass off too despite resenting myself for sticking at it and my boss for piling the workload onto my desk that lead me to work overtime daily, but working for yourself lifts the fog of *what am I doing this for, how long am I going to be doing this for, why don’t I love my job, why don’t I have an end goal* to *I’m doing this for myself and I am going to make this work. My focus is clear, my work is fun, I am rising to the challenge of working for myself.* I think in the blogging industry since we are all effectively freelancers, you have to love love love doing it, otherwise the motivation you lack that is abundant in so many other creatives will lead you to drag your heels, not creating content, and not really treating it as a business. What I’m saying is that while your ship is sinking, others will be sailing, and you will be missing out on so many opportunities generated by hard graft. Of course, in a creative industry sometimes deadlines and stipulations on content can dampen the creative aspect of your work sometimes. We find that its important to take time to step back and remember why you wanted to start a blog in the first place, your key strengths, what ignites your creative fire and create some content for yourself that you feel proud of to take you back to where you felt most inspired.
4 IF SOMETHING IS BROKE, FIX IT AND CARRY ON
Embellishing on last few lines of point 3, there will be times when something you do really just doesn’t work. Whether its trying a new style of photography, outfit, or even the time of day you choose to post at, sometimes things don’t work for you and thats ok. The beauty of working for yourself in a creative industry is that you can choose, mould and shape your own path and this can be whatever you choose. If something hasn’t worked for you, admit it, and you can change it. You’ll be surprised how quickly you can get back on track too.
5 THERE IS A LOT OF ADMIN IN THIS AND ANY JOB / ORGANISATION IS KEY
Lets be real, if you are working in any job there is going to be an admin side to it, but if you are working for yourself it means you have got to be really grown up and take responsibility for your finances, including taxes, invoices, emails, liaising with brands, accounts departments, submitting a tax return (top tip, an accountant is a great investment…). There will be situations that you find awkward, you are not paid on time, etc, and honestly, you just have to manage it. Having worked for corporate firms before doing this job, as well as running our own brand Amelia Jane London, I was already very aware that often invoices do just seem to take forever to be paid and thats with a lot of chasing, but as freelancer / small business this can be frustrating especially when starting out, bills don’t pay themselves after all. The admin side can be hectic but its worth putting the time in to it if you want to take your job, and yourself, seriously, and the more you organise and sort out your day to day, travel, emails, events, the smoother your life and blog will be able to run. Organisation is key and planning ahead is super important. One thing we want to get better at for 2019 is booking travel in advance, its so much cheaper to do it that way and we have friends who book their travel to and from fashion month etc at the start of the year, saving huge amounts and feeling really on top of things from the get go.
So, thats it for now, I hope you took something form this post, we don’t often go into the nitty gritty of the blogging world as a job as much as this but thought it might be insightful. If you made it to the end and thought it was, please let us know, and if there are any topics you’d like us to cover in 2019, we would love to hear from you.
Love Olivia Xx