How I Started My Blog and Went Full-Time

A few weeks ago, I posted to Instagram saying how grateful I am to have been blogging full-time for 2 years now and asked if you guys would be interested in hearing about my journey to get here. The response was overwhelming (in a good way), so today I’m sharing my story with power of Olay behind me. 

To give you a little bit of background, I started my blog back in 2013. I had just graduated college, opened a health and nutrition business, and was still lacking the creative outlet I knew I needed. Starting my blog was just for fun at the start, until I realized this industry was the perfect fit for me…. but that wasn’t until later. Bear with me while I paint the full picture…

It’s 2011, I am graduating college in 8 months and I just told my parents I no longer want to go to PA school, but instead I want to open my own business. After a few long talks and a lot of convincing on my part, I make the decision to open a storefront business across from my University. I am getting a degree in health & exercise science, have no business knowledge, and only a passion for wanting to get people healthy. I forego my parents’ graduation gift of a new car (I was on a full scholarship for soccer throughout college) and instead take the gift of a debt free business. I put in three years of VERY hard work running the business myself (with no paid employees) and by year three I am burnt out, both mentally and financially. I feel like I failed. I thought it turned out to be a huge success, here I am in debt and ready to sell the damn thing.

It’s 2016 now…I’ve sold the business and am living back in Dallas, working for an athletic apparel company as their marketing/social media director. I got this job mainly because of the following I had built on Instagram and my experience working with brands. At the time it was only 10,000 followers or so, but to me it was a lot and it gave me some street cred for a marketing/social media position. The job paid well and the lack of financial stress was such a relief after the grind of the past three years. Although it was a family owned company, it still feels like a corporate job at times; I worked in an office, my hours were 9-5, and I had an hour lunch break.

When I got home from the office, I went straight to work on my blog and often stayed up until 2 am working on blog content, emails, editing photos, etc. Then, I got up the next day and do the same thing all over again. I know this isn’t what I wanted to be doing long-term, but I also know it was necessary for me to get where I wanted to be.

Staying up until the wee hours of the morning is beginning to wear on me at times, but I was so excited and passionate about creating content for my blog that it didn’t feel like work to me (and still doesn’t to this day). While at my “corporate job,”I made the most of every tool I had access to and made sure I learned skills from other co-workers I knew would be valuable to me in the long run. If I didn’t know how to do something, I did one of three things; ask a coworker to teach me, Google it, or watch a tutorial on YouTube. During this time, I gained so much valuable experience in marketing/advertising/social media. Things such as learning how to use Photoshop, how to edit my own photos in Lightroom, how to operate a camera, how the clothing/ manufacturing business works, sourcing materials, production, etc. I learned how to be professional, how to conduct meetings, have conference calls, and to network like no other. And in the meantime, I am continuously working on my blog and pursuing it as much as time allows on the side.

I basically became obsessed with blogging and everything it entailed. Gradually, my blogging income has started to pick up and become much more consistent. I started getting paid opportunities, working with bigger brands, and learning how to negotiate what my time is worth. So, at this point, I’m having serious thoughts about what it would be like to blog full-time. What I once thought was impossible, now seemed more realistic! But in the back of my mind, I had a strong sense of fear. What if I take the leap to go full-time with my blog and then fail again like I did with my nutrition business? What if I quit my job and then have to beg for them to hire me back? What if blogging full-time isn’t as amazing as it seems?

This is when I had a serious talk with myself; your first attempt at owning a business was not a failure. You were 22-years-old, with zero business or job experience, and you worked your ass off. You helped A LOT of people get healthy and you made a difference in your community. You did all of that ON YOUR OWN. You gained more knowledge and entrepreneurial skills during those three years than you ever did in college and you are far more valuable now that those lessons have been learned.

So, I told myself, if I have two consecutive months where my blogging income matches my monthly paycheck, go for it. I didn’t have the whole blogging world figured out yet, but I knew with having the hours of 9-5 to additionally dedicate to my blog now, more time meant more room for opportunities.

Two years into my office job, I finally walked away and went full-time with my blog. I have now been blogging full-time for two years and have never looked back! Sure, it has been challenging at times just like it was the first time around, but it has been far more rewarding than I could’ve ever imagined. I certainly wouldn’t have made the leap a second time around without the encouragement of my amazing father and business mentor, my sweet mother who makes me feel like a style icon, my sister who let me live with her rent free right after I made the full-time move, and the most supportive fiancé, who has told me since day 1 that I can do this.

Most importantly I couldn’t have felt confident in making this decision without you guys. Thank you for allowing me to share my life journey with you and for trusting my input on fashion, beauty, and life. I am so grateful to be doing exactly what I love, and I don’t take a single day for granted.

XO.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Olay. The opinions and text are all mine.

1 Comment

  1. Ally rhodes

    07.24.18

    Hello! Im currently a sophomore in college about to start my junior year! I don’t know what path I want to take but I feel stuck. I am starting to take all science classes I’m not sure if I’m passionate enough for the medical field to be in the medical field but I feel like I’m too deep in to change now. I feel as if I can relate to your story. I am not a blogger because I wouldn’t call myself a strong writer but I kinda have this dream of mine where I work in fashion. I read about your journey and it’s very inspiring. I have always had a passion for clothes and makeup. I know very little about that world though. I also haven’t experienced that world completely yet because honestly I’m a broke college girl living at home still. I want to know what you would suggest about getting a jump start in this career. I honestly feel like I am behind compared to everyone else… even though I’m only 20….

    Reply

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