Happy {Belated} 4th Blogavesary {A July Dreamer}

July 8 2013, I woke up with the urge to start the blog after chatting with my sister a couple of nights before. I had just moved from Cambridge to Newbury after getting my first graduate job 3 days after university. Life all of a sudden become serious, strange and I was alone in an unfamiliar place. I left behind all my friends and family and knew no one in the new town. Quickly I become friends with my new housemate and new colleagues at work but still needed an outlet. The morning of July 8th after my birthday weekend I wrote my first ever post, a rant about today’s kids.

The intention was never to build this blog into a business but 4 years on I can say it’s slightly that. I went from ranting about life, sharing my passions to continuing to share my passions and make money from it. Was it a weird transition, someone paying me to do what I am already doing? Yes it was weird but extra income is always welcome everywhere. Whilst the fourth year blogavesary was over 2 weeks ago, I still wanted to share what the last four years have been.

First Product review { Taj ~ Aloe Vera Water – cost of item £1.25 each} 

After blogging for about 7 months Taj reached out to me and asked if I could review their aloe Vera water. Though I wasn’t familiar with the brand I knew all about the Aloe Vera water from a friend. I was super excited (till this day) my first company collaboration. The items might have been cheap but definitely amazing and an opening for many others. I spent almost all of 2014 reviewing different products from sonic face brushes to tripod stands. It was so overwhelming that I decided that year to always dedicate a post to sponsors. The first two in the series where in November and December of 2014.

Recent Product Review {Fuüm Mattress – cost of item £550}

Fast forward four wonderful and at times trying years and I am reviewing the likes of memory foam mattresses. This is the second time I reviewed a memory foam mattress, the first was a Leesa Mattress. To say I was gobmasked the first time round and even more so the second would be an understatement. Never in my life did I ever think I would be reviewing a £500+ mattress on the blog.

First Sponsored post {Weddingshe ~$40}

I remember the day I received my first Sponsored post offer, I couldn’t think of anything else. For me it was a total shock for a company to reach out to me and actually pay me to write an article. What I didn’t know was that opportunity would open a can of worms I didn’t think about like paying taxes. I don’t mind paying taxes but just didn’t think blog money was taxable 🙈🙈🙈.

Recent Sponsored post {Five ways to combat tired skin ~ £80}

Sponsored opportunities come in number of forms, PR or a brand can reach out and ask to collaborate. Collaboration could be content provision (they write) or request for blog feature (you write). I have a mixture of post every single month and it’s exciting. Fellow bloggers ask me how PRs and companies reach out to me, majority is {online} word of mouth. When companies reach out to me it’s because they already have an idea of what they want and either they google or use blogger databases. I have worked with some PR firms since 2015 and each month they reach out on behalf of their clients. It’s a great feeling being entrusted by the brand or company to feature their product on my website and share my honest opinion.

What has worked for me and what hasn’t!!

Blogging is different for everyone and we all attract different people and most have specific niches. What has worked for me has not worked for others and might not work for you or even me at different stage. An example of what hasn’t worked for me has been affiliate marketing and blog ads. I am sure you’ve read many bloggers share tips on how they make £££ from affiliate marketing. For me that’s flogging a dead horse because it well and truly not worked for me. I don’t feel as though my blog is a place that’s catered for encouraging people to buy whatever I advertise on the blog. For me I feel if readers buy items I talk about it’s because they were going to buy it anyway but needed the final push.

What has worked for me is being contacted for sponsored posts and product reviews sharing my honest opinions. As I mentioned above, {online} word of mouth changed many things for me. I worked with a couple PR couples who introduced me to a dozen of their friends. Then I have collaborations where the company or brand reaches out after googling for a blogger and it’s me. It’s truly empowering when companies and brands reach out for collaborations, but remember being cocky doesn’t help.

The last four years have been truly incredible and I am excited to see what the next four years hold for A July Dreamer.