How I Turned A Hobby Blog Into £100k Of Income
Can we just take a moment for full transparency? Although we all know the power of a good clickbait title, I refuse to be one of those internet bods who claims to have made £100k in a day, without revealing they actually spent £99k on Facebook ads. That’s not inspiring to anyone apart from Mark Zuckerberg.
So, let me be real. I have just reached the milestone in my business of turning my blog into £100k income. I also launched my business in April 2018. This journey has taken me just over two years, but instead of comparing myself to those wow moments of hitting 6-figures in a week, I’m standing proud in my story and sharing how I turned a micro blog into something which has now generated over £100k.
You see, I was a hobby blogger. Someone who blogged for a passion alongside their full time job. In 2018 I faced redundancy and I made the decision to give myself 6 months to try and turn my corner of the internet into a profitable business. If it didn’t work, I would reluctantly apply for another 9-5 and I’d have least been able to say I tried.
If we’re talking metrics, I have 7500 followers on Instagram and get 20,000 hits a month on each of my websites (my first love was my interior design blog, Apartment Number 4). I don’t really understand SEO. I don’t have an agent. I’m not a big name. All in all, I’m a small fish in a big pond, I have a relatively small but trusting audience and I don’t hustle to the point of burn out.
But what I do have is a mindset that makes me believe nearly anything is possible (I’m still waiting for Idris Elba to come to his senses and marry me).
This shift is dramatically different to where I was in 2018. But from making the conscious decision to focus on personal development and picking myself up after every fall, I’ve been able to reach the milestone of turning my blog into £100k income.
All. On. My. Own. I did that. I did THAT.
Today I wanted to share some of the blocks I’ve had along the way and how I’ve switch that thinking around, in a bid to hopefully inspire you to start believing in yourself, consider your own resistance and understand how possible it is to create an income from doing something you love.
In this day and age of mass consumerism and the rise of the entrepreneur, so often we’re made to feel as if we should be making six figures super quickly in a business for it to be deemed successful, when truth be told, I felt successful when I paid rent of £550 from doing something I love.
I felt successful hitting my first £1k month. I feel successful now when someone messages to say that manifestation has changed their life after reading a blog post of mine. Success is what makes your heart feel content, so don’t ever get caught up in the narrative that you need to earn millions to create a happy life.
In my money mindset course, Abundance Academy, I created a bonus module called Calculating Your Dream Life, designed specifically to highlight that we don’t even need £3k a month, never mind 6-figures, to build a life of ease.
This seems like the perfect interlude into my first mindset shift, taking a look at how my financial outlook has changed during my first two years in business.
My mindset around money hasn’t always been at the level it’s at now. I speak openly in Abundance Academy about how much debt I had when I was in my 20s and how my beliefs around money were that, as soon as it came in my life, it would leave. I was in a constant state of lack, chasing my tail and not understanding that, although circumstances had some part to play, my mindset and the choices I was making, were the biggest negative factor.
The reason I took so long to actually make the jump from employment to working for myself (5 years too long) was because I genuinely believed I’d never be able to match my 9-5 salary. That belief was a stone-cold fact as far as I was concerned. However, that ‘fact’ I kept telling myself couldn’t have been further from the truth.
For the first 6 months of working for myself, I thought every month was a fluke. I was programmed to expect everything to come crashing down at any moment. But let me tell you, your mindset plays a huge part in how you adapt when the world throws a curveball.
During those first few months, I made a conscious effort to reprogram my thinking around money. I practiced daily. I embraced manifestation in my financial environment, the way I’d embraced it in every other area of my life.
The principals were still the same – be specific, ask the universe, put goodness back into the world, take inspired action towards my goals, and be grateful for all that I currently have – and soon, when I combined it with mindset work I was doing in other areas (self-worth, alignment and strategy, for example), I began to experience incremental shifts.
One of the biggest changes I made, was to get very specific about how much money I wanted to attract each month. Still now I write a cheque each month and sign it from the universe (download yours here) to set the intention of what I would like to attract.
The key is to not pick a figure so impossible you can never believe it happening, but to still dream so big it makes you excited – for example, my first cheque was for £1300. That felt like hitting that would be a huge achievement, and as opportunities to make that money started to arrive in weird and wonderful ways, I decided to increase the amount bit by bit, month by month, all the while still making sure I felt aligned to the intention.
As you do with any manifestation, each morning I got myself into the vibration of attracting that set amount by picturing how it would feel to see the money in my bank account. Some days I would have to physically force myself to smile, shifting my energy by dancing to high vibrational music or doing a shamanic tapping exercise before work, to get the day off to the best possible start.
Task: Get specific with how much you want to earn for July and set that intention with the universe – trust me, this is a powerful move.
A mindset shift that I work on with my coaching clients is having a possibilities mindset. I want you to allow yourself to dream big for a second. I want you to realise there is so much more in this world than what’s in your bubble of comfort. You are capable of so much more than you think.
Take a moment to open your mind and think about the possibilities of your business, blog or passion project right now. Our thoughts create our reality, right? So, why are we hiding our dreams away and playing small? I know – fear. But all fear is doing is trying to keep you safe. Sometimes you just have to take a risk and at least think bigger and dream bigger.
One of the biggest changes for me with a possibilities mindset was being able to see how I could diversify my income. Yes, I wrote a blog, but perhaps I could write blogs for other people? So, I set up a content creation service for interior design brands and pitched to online stores that had no visible blog. I pitched and pitched, until I had 10 clients on a retainer basis.
I also continued to practise my photography through tutorials online and offered my services to local homeware shops around the north to take their in-store images. They snapped (sorry) up the idea and I still have three of those clients on my books now.
Another way I diversified my income with a possibilities mindset was using all of my knowledge I’ve gained over the last 4 years learning about manifestation and the law of attraction and using it to teach others – and this where The Manifestation Collective entered.
On any given day I could be coaching, writing, styling either interiors or fashion, photographing, hosting a webinar, or designing. I have purposely created different revenue streams to keep my days varied and my income not so reliant on, say, one big client.
The whole point of this is to understand you do not necessarily need a university degree or standard qualification to build another arm of your business. OK, yes, perhaps if you want to become a brain surgeon, then a *little training would suffice, but if you have a skill set that could be utilised, don’t let the fact that you aren’t ‘technically qualified’ hold you back. I’m not a trained interior designer, but after people looking at Apartment Number 4 and emailing to ask for advice, I decided to try and build an e-design service so I could create moodboards and floorplans, learning how to use different programs through Youtube tutorials. Was it easy? No. Was it worth it? Yes.
Why NOT Me Mindset
Which leads nicely onto changing the narrative of “that could never be me?” to “why NOT me?”. At the very core, you are made of the same atoms as every other human on this planet, so why CAN’T it be you? Remove yourself from the victim mentality and start to realise just how important you are, here on earth. You weren’t a mistake. You are here for a reason, and the sooner you start to believe that you have every right to create the same opportunities and attract the same goodness into your life as someone else, the sooner you will feel truly aligned in your life and business.
I wrote a post recently on learning to listen to our intuition and it seemed to resonate with many of you. I pride myself on following my gut and keeping my integrity when it comes to making business decisions, but it wasn’t always that way. I found myself agreeing to jobs that I already dreaded, working with people who didn’t pay me on time, who didn’t pay me my worth, who didn’t respond to my emails, who didn’t have the same energy I did. And despite knowing, in my gut, that these were the wrong kind of clients to have, I stuck with them because I was still in a lack mindset of thinking I would never get a new client if I dropped the ones I didn’t enjoy working with.
Do you know what happened?
I started to consciously listen to my instinct and realise that the universe would always deliver with the best solution. So, I released those clients one by one and stayed strong in my decision. Was I in a fortunate position to do that? Yes, I was because I have savings to cover a month’s work, but I also knew that the energy needed to shift regardless. And shift it did, because as soon as I freed the space up for soulmate clients to enter my business – instead of chasing unpaid invoices – those soulmate clients arrived. If your intuition is telling you something, learnt to trust it.
I speak of alignment a lot in business and while I truly believe in the power of following your heart and focusing on what you feel pulled to do, as mentioned above, I’m also a huge advocate of forming a strategy mindset.
How many times as a business owner do you listen to podcasts, download freebies and attend webinars to then not actually implement anything you’ve learnt? We have all the knowledge but we don’t find the time to implement any of it.
I knew that if I wanted to increase my earnings to match the life I wanted to live, I had to get strategic and stop running my business as a hobby, floating along from one month to the next. So, I got a business-specific coach, I got colour-coded in my Google calendar and Trello, I work in 3-month periods of launches and marketing, I have an editorial calendar, I outsource when needed, and I continually brainstorm ways of reaching a new audience. I am running a business with purpose now.
I also cut down the noise from all of the different content creators I listened to and now only draw information from a handful of women at one time. You see, every solopreneur, coach, or brand owner will have a different way of working that suits them and when you listen to a whole host of opinions, you run the risk of feeling more confused and overwhelmed than ever. Cut back the noise and find “your people”. Right now, I’m fan girling Naomi M’Dudu, founder of The Lifestyle Edit and am focused on listening to her podcasts, attending her webinars, and most recently joining her group mastermind membership.
Another piece of advice I’d give you would be to start getting serious about what money-making opportunities could work in your business and create a strategy around those. Are you a copywriter? It’s amazing that you have freelance clients but if you want to increase your income, can you create an e-book or host mini coaching sessions for people just entering the industry? Could you hold consultations with brands who want to understand what their tone of voice should be. Could you host events with other business owners in different niches and create a one-stop shop for female founders just starting out? Again, it’s going back to that possibilities mindset and expanding your ideas bank of how to create revenue.
Side note: If you would ever like to talk 1:1 about your business and brainstorm ideas of how to reach more people, then just drop me a line – regular readers know I’m absolutely always happy to help.
I Am Worthy Mindset
I feel like this is an overarching theme running throughout, from welcoming more money into my life, to giving up clients that just weren’t the right fit. But knowing your worth when it comes to running a business is essential. I’m saying this as the woman who ran a blog for years charging £75 for a full blog post. A FULL BLOG POST. Yes, that was me.
Because no-one spoke about rates in the industry, I was clueless. And to be honest, I felt grateful to be getting any kind of payment for doing something I loved! How amazing was that?! This mindset changed in around 2014 when I started to become recognised for my writing and won a number of awards for my interior design blog. I had a platform and what I could offer brands was worth far more than £75.
So, I reached out to a number of bloggers and was honest – I didn’t know how much to charge and could they help me. And to my surprise, every single one was open and inviting of discussing money.
Armed with this new information, I made a list of all the achievements from my blog, reader demographics, and brands I’d previously worked with, and made a killer media kit (even if I do say so myself). I perfected my pitch email over and over again – a good pitch email, in my opinion, isn’t about what qualities YOU have, it’s about what you can do for the BRAND and how you can help THEM grow – and each time someone chose to work with me, my confidence would increase.
Six years on and I am working on this mindset all the time. I launched an offer, Soulful Business Group Coaching Program, just last week, which was my most expensive to date at £750. I absolutely know that program is worth every penny and more, but there was still a niggling voice of self-doubt that I had to acknowledge and release. That program sold out in less than 48 hours but imagine if I’d have listened to my ego telling me I was stupid to launch a premium service in such an uncertain economic climate, I wouldn’t be helping 20 amazing women right now create a business they feel truly aligned.
One massive change that helped me turn my blog into £100k of income was an action mindset. When I get an idea for a course, a post or something creative for my business, I like to think of this as a download from the universe and it’s my job to act on it or release it for someone else to work on. I tell the women I coach this over and over again. If you have an idea, take action towards making it a reality in some way and don’t be afraid to move on if it doesn’t work. There’s no harm in trying something and moving on if you’re not aligned! I have launched many a thing that hasn’t gone to plan, I’ve developed ideas that haven’t, in reality, been massive money makers and instead huge energy drainers. And I’ve most definitely written blog posts and put Instagram pictures out there that have absolutely flopped. The difference is, I’m not afraid to take action. Even if it doesn’t work out, who cares?!
Taking action doesn’t have to be a huge step either. An effective way of working towards our goals is to break things down into smaller bite size chunks, so we can build the momentum of ticking things of our to-do list.
Taking action doesn’t need to be overwhelming, but by doing something daily, you will start to reprogram your mind from believing “you never follow through with ideas”, into a mindset of moving forward step by step.
Task: If you have an idea for your business or passion project that you feel excited about right now, I want you to write it down and start to break it up into actionable chunks. And break it down even more. The list might be as long as your arm, but you could complete one task a day and be even closer to your goal that you are now, just dreaming about it.
This really is a case of leaving the best until last. Developing a gratitude mindset in business has helped me more than any other mindset shift I could have listed. You see, I became grateful for every email. Every enquiry. Every person who decided to work with me. Every person who bought a course from me. Every person who said NO, because this just meant Next Opportunity.
I make it a priority to write in my gratitude journal every night to say thank you for the people I’m working with. I thank the universe for giving me the opportunity to build this business. I thank the soulmate clients that come into my life and let me help them.
Having a gratitude mindset in your business can create such good energy, and while there will always be tough situations, and challenging people, don’t let yourself ever forget the amazing parts. There’s real power in being content with everything you have, to signal to the universe to deliver more of the good stuff.
I hope this post was useful in some way and while it was perhaps not the strategy style post some were expecting (it’s not my style to tell you how to run a business in such a cookie cutter way), these mindset shifts really will help you in looking at your business/brand/blog/passion project with fresh eyes. And with fresh eyes comes fresh exciting energy, attracting magic into your life and boosting your motivation and drive once again.