So with the advent of the New Year comes a new series here on the blog. After blogging for almost 6 years I wanted to find a way to document the ups and downs of life as a home and interiors blogger. I’d been thinking of this type of more personal, behind the scenes post for a while, and with the recent blogger/hotel debacle still fresh in many people’s minds, I thought it timely to kick this off. So, welcome to a behind the scenes look at Love Chic Living.
In this series, with one blog post towards the end of each month, I’m going to document not only homes and interiors news, but what life is like as a full-time blogger in the homes and interiors sector. I’m not a 22-year-old influencer (as many people believe all ‘influencers’ to be) – I’m a 48-year-old entrepreneur with a huge passion for my craft, a big love of all things home related, and a woman trying to carve a career and income in an industry that’s still new and evolving, and very often misunderstood. Hopefully this will give you more of an insight into an interior blogger’s world, a behind the scenes take if you will, on what great things I’ve seen and discovered, what I’ve been up to, recommendations I might have and both the high and low points. Let’s get going……
It’s been a great month for working with brands, and the collaborations have been hugely creative too. I was proud to have an interview on the Harvey Maria blog (they gifted the flooring for my kitchen and dining room makeovers), and I created some imagery and a blog post on Scandinavian interiors and plants for Interflora. I also wrote a piece for the npower blog on making those darn ugly boilers look better, which has just come out today.
I’m also helping a brand new interiors company get funding for their project, and if successful, look forward to helping them shape their home and interiors range as they develop their brand.
A shout out to the smaller companies too. Look out for Little Botanical for your beautifully potted houseplants and Monboy for bold and bright wall art (I’m going to giveaway one of their prints on Instagram next week, so come and see us there).
Finally I’m testing an iRobot Roomba vacuum over the next few weeks so should have a full review on the blog later in February.
I took 2 trips to London this month to visit a couple of different events:
Wayfair – had taken over a house and styled it with their products. High points for me were the kitchen/dining area and open plan living space.
Houzz – again took over an event space, a house in Soho and styled it with products from their vendors to create the Houzz of 2018. Another beautiful space where I really loved the bedroom and sitting room. (The house is open all of this week – w/c 29/1 to the public free of charge at 19 Greek Street, Soho.)
2018 has started well, and one of my key focuses is Instagram. It’s a platform I’ve often ignored, preferring to spend my time on Pinterest, but there is huge home and interiors inspiration there, and I know that businesses are all wanting to take advantage of it too. So in an effort to be more engaged, this month I launched a brand new hashtag, along with 4 amazing other interior bloggers. What does this mean? Well if you use Instagram, and like to share images of your home on there, tag them with #SUYHome (Show us Your Home) and I’ll get to see them. Plus many others using the hashtag could see them too.
We are also going to have prizes each month, and January was sponsored by the lovely Sweetpea and Willow with a £200 giftcard. If you use the hashtag, check out this post here for more details on how to be part of the giveaway.
My Pinterest blog has been a little quiet this month and I need to rectify that. In February I’ll be doing a few posts on the back to basics feature I started and updating the site a little. I’ve no plans to relaunch my Pinterest course currently but there are lots of useful free resources still there, and I’ll still be creating these over the coming months.
I have set up a Pinterest Account Management section of this business, and with a small team, run accounts for several businesses and bloggers. It’s going really well, and definitely something I’ll look to expand in the next 6 months.
The sales have been in full force of course, and I spotted some great bargains at both Matalan and Zara Home. Check them out if you’re still looking. Slowly but surely we see the release of new collections for SS18 for both high street and online retailers. Keep your eye on some of my favourites, Maisons du Monde (above), Dunelm and H&M Home.
This month saw the big reveal of the my kitchen makeover. It’s been months in the making (the makeover not the blog post!) and I’m thrilled with the results. Whilst it wasn’t a full new kitchen I did change-up LOTS about the original and as a result it feels completely brand new.
Income vs Expenses:
I’m not going to reveal my actual income, even though I know you’d probably like me too, but let’s just say January was a strong month. After a weaker Christmas it’s been much welcomed. February is looking exceptionally strong. One of the big issues with being a full-time blogger is the inconsistency in income, the ups and downs of revenue and a certain panic each month as you wonder how much work you’ll have coming in. It can wreck your self-esteem and make you doubt your ‘influence’ and worth. The key to success is to keep the faith, but it’s hard in a niche that struggles with finance budgets and has a wealth of bloggers and Instagrammers at its fingertips.
I run Love Chic Living as a limited company, and this month had to pay my personal tax (as many of us do) and it’s actually my business year-end too, so there’s a lot of accountancy chat happening. I’ve been keeping expenses to a minimum but did buy some new photography lights from Amazon. I talked a lot about this on Instagram, and can’t believe I waited so long invest in some – they were jut £50 and are hugely worthwhile purchase for interiors photography at this time of year.
Other monthly expenses include thinks like:
- Subscriptions to Canva, Teachable
- Convertkit emailer
- Payment to a course I purchased 4 months ago
What to Expect Next Month:
Currently there are a few collaborations already agreed, and I’m looking forward to working with both new and well established companies. I also have a huge job writing copy for a brand new interiors website. It’s a job we’ve been discussing for months and I’m proud to be creating the words for this exciting new brand. Watch this space for more, but suffice to say I need to get my head down and work like a trojan this month.
The Month in Review:
It’s been a positive month. I’ve seen and shared some interesting interiors and been inspired by new homes and designs on Instagram. Income has been good, and outgoings minimal, but it’s never great sorting out the taxes and I really dislike this area of the business (I’m not good at managing the finances and to be honest, preferred being a sole trader).
So, well done if you made it to the end of the post – thank you for reading! I’ll do another one of these towards the end of February, but is there anything else you’d like to know? This one is a bit of a brain dump, but I can tailor each month’s post to focus on a different area of my work and/or home interiors news if that’s more interesting. I look forward to your comments!