What is it exactly that you do?
A question I get asked a lot these days. It used to frustrate me but as you can image, I’ve heard it over and over that at this point I just think it’s kind of funny.
Family dinners are always a goodie and don’t come without a zillion questions and confused stares as to what my day job entails (i.e.; …will it last? are you making money? what do you do again?). Even my 89 YO grandpa tried his v best to wrap his head around this thing called blogging, as I sit there for an hour trying to explain all the layers that are my business. There’s A LOT more to it than you see on Instagram.
I usually keep it pretty positive and don’t care to share when people are being rude, but I recently got a few snarky comments on IG to the effect of….”for your Instagram handle, you sure don’t seem to be doing much ‘work’ –what is it you do exactly” (?! that question). Soooooo, I thought I’d take the opportunity to answer of few FAQ regarding my career for those who might have asked themselves the same question.
First off, let me clarify that these days you don’t need to be “qualified” to do much. Social media and the internet have made viable job opportunities possible from the comfort of your own home. Sounds easy, right?
What is your job? I run a lifestyle website [www.theworkinggirl.ca] where I share outfits I wear, products I love and trust, shopping guides (to the best sales all year), quick + healthy recipes, home decor solutions and more. I believe in living life to the fullest — without going overboard or over budget. So, I’ve dedicated this space to sharing my tips and personal experiences, life hacks and recommendations.
What was your job before blogging? I think it’s important to note that my first two years of blogging happened while I had another job. I think it’s a common belief that most people can just start blogging and become an instant overnight success. Not the case. I mean, sure this definitely has happened to some but for most, it’s a hard, steady grind to really make a name for yourself. A lot of times you gotta do what you gotta do to pay the bills and often that means working a side gig to pay rent while laying the groundwork for your blog/brand.
I was working f/t at an Advertising Agency in Vancouver when I had decided to launch my website on the side (rebranded from a past university project) back in 2014. I spent two years working tirelessly to learn as much as I could and build up my posts and content (annnnd….find my voice, learn my writing style, learn what I’m naturally attracted to, tweak my site, hone in on my aesthetic and bring it all to life). It’s taken me, honestly until this year to really really hone into my unique personal style and aesthetic. When you are young(er) and naive it’s easy to feel influenced by other peoples style or choices but over the years with age and wisdom I’ve found what speaks to me.
I could go on and on about all the other not-so-glam jobs I had to do in order to reach this point. I spent over 10 years in Marketing/Advertising (after earning my Business degree) because it’s always fascinated me and being creative is something that I could never compromise on when it came to choosing a career.
How do you make money? This blog is my livelihood. It’s how I earn a living and contribute to our family and household. So when it comes to making money, what you see is what you get with me. You will NEVER see me promoting something I haven’t tried or aren’t loving. I’m not out to make a quick buck in hopes of overnight Instagram success (Instagram is only a small part of my business). I am tirelessly focused on the bigger picture for my brand and that means keeping true to my values and choices despite how much money is at stake.
I make a living by working with brands and companies on different projects, sponsored posts or campaign extensions of their current traditional advertising. I make money doing the same thing I was doing before blogging, the difference is that now I work for myself and I get to have total creative freedom and call all shots on who I work with and how we execute.
Also important to note: I turn down thousands of dollars every month on campaigns that do not align with my business. Nobody sees all the products that I don’t share because they just didn’t hit the mark. I am extremely selective about what brands I work with and what I’m sharing so if you do see something that is sponsored, know that a lot of time, energy and consideration went into that decision.
There is a lot of controversy surrounding sponsored posts and Instagram ads, so if you are ever unclear or have any questions I’m more than happy to answer them directly. Send me a DM!
Before I wrap this up, I should also note that by no means do I think I’ve ‘made it’. In my opinion I’ve still got so much further to go. I know it’s not going to be easy peasy and there will be (large) roadblocks along the way, but that’s kind of why I love it so much. It’s a never ending challenge and a true test to my tenacity, drive and vision. For all those things I am excited to see where it goes from here. Promise to share along the way. xoxo
If you have any other burning questions for me or have something that I should add to my next FAQ I’m all ears and waiting for your DM’s!
Images by: Melissa Skoda