Let’s talk about Blogging!


I’ve been blogging for a while now and have only just realised that I’ve never actually blogged about blogging despite receiving quite a lot of questions on the subject matter regularly in my Instagram DMs. I wanted to write down everything I’ve learned so far, mistakes I’ve made, how I started out and give any advice to budding bloggers.

How I started

I initially started a Tumblr blog back in Feb 2011, I’d been with my then boyfriend and now husband for a few months and he decided to set up a Tumblr for himself to blog about entrepreneurialism and a few days after did the same for me after I caught fomo. I’d been yapping on about wanting to set up a blog for what felt like ages but I had always felt overwhelmed. Having someone make the decision and set one up for me was the perfect push. I only re blogged Tumblr sequel photos and wrote amateur product reviews and the odd political rambling but I loved having a creating space that I could spend time on whilst at Uni. Fast forward 3 or 4 years later and that same boyfriend/husband upgraded his blog to WordPress and someone got fomo again. He spent a whole day setting up my first proper grown up WordPress blog and I was so excited to be on a self hosted domain with a fancy layout that I pored myself into writing random posts and getting my mum to take outfit photos of me outside our front door. Fast forward two months and I was incredibly fortunate to be at a dinner and seated next to the editor in chief of Conde Naste’s Wired magazine. I told him I’d just started a blog and as he’d just put Tanya Burr on the cover he was intrigued and had a look at my incredibly amateur posts there and then on his phone. He only had two pieces of advice for me, the first was “post daily” and the second was “start YouTube”. I didn’t start YouTube straight away (but I wish that I had) but from that moment I posted every. single. Day for almost two years straight without a break.  I was in the midst of my uni finals but still found time to knock out a quick blog post in the morning before heading to the library and after I somehow blagged a 2.1 in politics and International Relations I decided to take my blogging more seriously and eventually invested in a proper camera (Canon DSLR 500d).

Brands, PRs and freebies.

This side came really naturally. I was interning for a beauty brand after Uni and was posting religiously on my blog (which back then was predominantly beauty) and I was tweeting away and trying to form connections with the rest of the blogging world via Twitter when I had a tweet from a PR company asking for my email. An invitation to a press day followed soon after and one of the brands they looked after was Bumble and Bumble. I was over the moon excited. I went along and met other bloggers and formed even more contacts and was then sent a giant box of products the next day to try out, I couldn’t believe my luck! I avidly tried everything and wrote in depth reviews as a thank you to the PR, I was so grateful! 

It all pretty much snowballed from there, around 4 months after setting up my WordPress. I then partook in my first LFW a few months after and met even more blogger friends and the rest really is history. Shortly after that I joined RewardStyle where I was able to monetise my content, although I wasn’t getting any sponsored work yet. I receive messages constantly from bloggers asking how I get so many freebies and get invited to so many events, even messages from girls with bigger numbers than mine. The key isn’t to seek out the freebies, but to find a common ground. When reaching out to a brand show how you’ve either already bought and styled their clothes (if fashion) or dedicate a beauty post to a brand who you hope to work with in a paid capacity. Even now, if there’s a particular label or brand I want to reach out to I ensure to buy/feature them first before sending out that cold email as it will always be better received. Organic content is always more attractive to both the reader and the brand and in turn the blogger. It also helps if you’re with a platform like RewardStyle or ShopStyle as you can show the brand how well they convert for you to pique their interest. I know brands like MAC received hundreds of cold emails a week from girls with an empty blog and a shopping list of products they want. If you are blogging simply for the freebies there really isn’t going to be longevity. For me, it’s always been about producing content that truly excites me and that’s the surest way to know that it will hopefully inspire/excite readers/followers too! So my key takeaway for getting out there and working with brands would be – focus on you and your blog first, get some incredible content that you are proud of (cross channel), network and engage with fellow bloggers and brands on social media and then eventually you’ll start being invited to events or at the very least be added to press release send outs which is a step in the right direction.  Remember, as a blogger that you are a brand yourself so it’s important to represent yourself to the best of your ability. Don’t go on Twitter tirades, don’t insult your followers when replying to constructive criticism, be graceful and dignified.

Blogging Regrets

Oh I have a few. I wish I’d taken my YouTube seriously from day one and not got put off by mean comments or the feeling of putting myself out there too much. I’m both an extrovert and an introvert so really struggled with how much of myself to put on YouTube, and at the time when I first started the girls getting big were only doing so by being really OTT and sharing TMI details about their life which I just didn’t want to do. I felt a bit formal in comparison and didn’t feel like I gelled with the platform so I somewhat pulled back. I feel like my YT content still has a lot of work to be done on it but I do truly love Instagram. Even though my numbers aren’t massive I’m proud of my engagement levels and proud to have mainly women my age and a tad older following and engaging with my content. It’s important not to get caught up in numbers, some girls can have hundreds of thousands of followers but not be converting, and others can have less than 30k and be on fire and collaborating with brands such as CHANEL and Net a Porter. Don’t let numbers be the be all and end all.

Another regret I have are some of the friendships I made over the years. I definitely got over excited about the blogging community and threw myself head first into blogger friendships which probably weren’t the healthiest. I now of course have a few blogger friends but my “real” friends are those not in the industry and to be honest my family are my number 1. I don’t like to play the game of fake friendships for followers, it just seems so false and only ever ends in tears when the relationship runs its course. If I’m going to be friends with someone (blogger or not) it’s because I truly get on with that individual.

Paid Content

Going to a wedding/seated dinner where you’re next to someone who innocently asks “blogging? Ooh, how does that erm work?”. It’s so tedious to answer but I appreciate it is still a fairly new field and people are genuinely interested in how bloggers/vloggers/influencers monetise. I monetise in two ways, the first is through use of affiliate links – so when I do swipe ups in my stories for example or when I leave links at the bottom of blog posts/videos then I receive a very small commission if you were to buy through my link, similar in a way to a shop assistant. I always ensure the items I’m linking are either ones I own and love or ones that I am truly lusting after and planning to buy. I know my follower’s tastes are in line with my own so I keep my links relevant and don’t go link happy just for the sake of a few extra ££. Secondly I work on sponsored content with brands on bigger projects. This comes in peaks and troughs. At the end of the last calendar year I had 10 sponsored contracts to fit into 1.5 months, but each one was in line with my personal brand. However I then had a quieter period (Jan/Feb/March) which has now just heated up again with a few paid projects which will be up in the next few weeks. They’re usually always with brands that I already use and love or are a brand I feel my audience could relate to. I try to never sell out just to buy an extra piece of furniture for my baby’s nursery (although it can be tempting, nurseries are expensive!), just last week I turned down two paid projects which were both over four figures. It was hard to say no to essentially a brand new nursery, but I knew that long term it would cheapen my brand. Remember this when starting out, £100/£500/£2000 just isn’t worth it long term if you lose the trust of your audience. It’s usually the big lifestyle brands such as beverage/car/food brands that have the most budget to throw at digital influencers so be very wary when going down that path and constantly re evaluate your own brand. 

Content is King

Remember those three words! Your content is a direct representation of your brand and you should only be posting content that you’re proud of. I cringe looking back at some of my old blog posts/videos/instagrams which I chucked up just to have “something” to post. I later realised that quality truly is better than quantity. However, with the Instagram algorithm and the crop of new content creators popping up daily it is important to stick to a schedule. With Instagram I aim for 5/6 days a week to upload. I used to post three times daily, but that was when there was the old chronological feed. Three times daily now could potentially be over kill if my followers saw all those posts one after the other in their time lines. I’m incredibly selective with what I post but like to keep it real and authentic. I’ve never been a fan of shooting 5/6 looks in one day then posting throughout the week. I’d rather post a mirror selfie of an actual outfit I’ve worn out than a “fake” outfit on a high res DSLR. It just doesn’t gel well with me and doesn’t feel real. It might make more work for me long term as I need to take photos daily but I much prefer the finished outcome. I shoot 20% of my Instagram on an iPhone X and 80% on the epic Google Pixl 2 XL which has the best camera on a phone ever! I also have a Sony RX 100v which I used to use for Instagram but now I’m considering selling.

My days of posting daily on here are long gone, people just don’t read blogs as much. Instead I prefer to post once a week if I can but sometimes I can let a month go by without updating here. Ditto with YT, once a week is my goal but realistically alongside creating paid campaigns and doing the admin that goes hand in hand with that (invoice hell, tax hell), staying on top of emails, negotiating fees, replying to comments and going to all the fun events/meetings to keep up appearances it’s hard to find the time. I typically do all big content creation like YouTube videos and sponsored campaign shoots on the weekends as that’s when I know I don’t have any meetings or events to get myself ready for. With a 6 month bump the getting ready part takes a tad longer than before and halfway through blow drying my hair I usually am ready to crawl back into bed! I am actually going to look into finding someone to help me part time from September/October once I’m more settled with my baby, to work closely with me and help with video editing/photo taking/emails and admin so I can continue creating content and actually up my content post baby, so stay tuned for updates on my Insta if that sounds like something you’d be interested in!

Do let me know if there are any points that I haven’t covered and I hope you enjoyed my first foray into blogging about blogging! Happy Thursday!



  1. May 4, 2018 / 2:17 pm

    Such an interesting article Tijan! As always, I love your openness and honesty. X

  2. May 6, 2018 / 2:07 pm

    This was so good to read how your journey has come along so far. Thank you for sharing. Am off to check out your YouTube now.
    xx Jenelle

  3. May 6, 2018 / 11:52 pm

    This was such a well written, detailed post. I’m so interested in tips and experiences from other bloggers, but I often find many posts like this to be a bit basic and obvious. You touched on new topics though and I really felt your honesty in telling your story. Thank you so much for sharing.



  4. May 29, 2018 / 7:16 pm

    Such a well written post .. love your blog and insta

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *