Hello! It’s finally the weekend! Now, if you’re anything like me, the first week back at work for 2017 will have kicked the stuffing out of you – how did 4 days manage to feel like 8?! Anyway, I thought the best way to re-energise would be with another injection of New Year inspired #motivation.
As an explanation for new readers, I’ve decided to do a series with people who have successfully turned their hobbies into their careers to offer some New Year New You motivation.
Next up in the hot seat, is the glorious Alice Judge-Talbot. I’ve been nurturing a girl crush on Alice pretty much since I stumbled across her online. Her insta stories are up there with the best, and I basically want mostly everything about her life including her wardrobe, interiors and, um, children (…I may be taking it all too far).
Anyhow, Alice has made a riotous success of writing and blogging, which I personally find top notch #inspo and I hope you do too! Welcome, Alice!
So, first things first, what’s this hobby that you have and how/when did it start?
I started blogging when I was 15 and I bought my first computer with money I’d saved up waitressing at my local pub. The internet had just arrived (THE EXCITEMENT) and I lived deep in the Worcestershire countryside: at the time, Yahoo! chat rooms were a mega sophisticated way to connect to people outside of my little village.
I happened upon a couple of ‘web logs’ as they used to be called (web logs = blogs), found a couple of sites that were all about learning HTML and the rest was history. I taught myself this magical language by examining other website’s code and reading library books, designed websites using images of Courtney Love I’d scanned in from my issues of Kerrang and edited them using bootleg copies of Paint Shop Pro (the primitive version of Photoshop). I wrote about BOYS and had about five readers. It was great!
And when was it – or what was it – that made you decide you wanted to make it a source of income?
Fast forward about eight years and I worked in Digital Marketing. I became pregnant, freaked out and started a blog all about freaking out to connect with other young mums who’d also be freaking out. About a year after starting my ‘mummy blog’ (urgh, hate that term) I started getting approaches from brands, and it was another year from that when I was able to charge cold hard cash. Four years on and my blog generates about a half of my income, with the other half coming from Digital consultancy or writing gigs.
How did you go about doing it?
It’s been a very organic process and I’m lucky that, for the most part, the advertisers on my blog approach me with campaign ideas. If there’s something I think will be a good fit I go out and pitch for it, and I make sure I’m really thorough in terms of briefs and reporting; the blog/PR world is such a small one and people talk!
It’s also an industry that heavily relies on networking – both on and offline – so I attend as many events and make as many contacts as possible.
What setbacks did you face (if any?!) and what did you do to overcome them?
Cashflow was a big one at the beginning. I know the whole invoicing situation is a nightmare for most bloggers, as it is in many freelance industries. I’m lucky to have built up a bit of a buffer now, but it’s not unusual these days for some clients to have 90 day payment terms (OUCH). You can also be awaiting funds from a crazy amount of sources at once; at this moment I have invoices outstanding with 9 clients, something that can be tricky to stay on top of.
Do you feel you have made a success of it?
I count success as happiness, and I’m SO happy in what I do. So yeah, I reckon that’s a success!
I always get asked if people think I overshare and this is always something at the back of my mind – I write about my family, my kids and my relationships (or lack of relationships). But I have no regrets. If sharing my experiences of divorce, post-natal depression and single parenting help even one person then it’s all worth it.
Now, can you give me some words of motivational wisdom please!
What’s that famous quote? Do something you love and you’ll never work a day in your life? Yeah, that!! I found I spent my twenties trying to shoe-horn my likes into a job that I didn’t really like, but I’ve figured out it works better to create a job from your likes, if that makes sense. So, working out what you love to do and then going after a career that will satisfy that.