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.

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34 Comments

  1. July 31, 2017 / 4:00 pm

    Happy 4th blogaversary dear! I am blogging for 2 years now and same as you, I’m earning thru sponsored posts and brand collaborations. I find affiliate marketing too technical for me lols.

    • August 1, 2017 / 9:13 pm

      Affiliate marketing is definitely not for everyone but kudos to those who make it work.

  2. July 29, 2017 / 3:30 pm

    Thank you for this valuable information and I’m glad to know that things aren’t going to work as well for each of us. I can’t make affiliate marketing and blog ads work for me no matter how hard I try.

    • July 30, 2017 / 7:41 pm

      Exactly, not all blogging methods will work for all

  3. Anam Anam
    July 29, 2017 / 12:02 pm

    I am glad to see your progress. It is good to be honest and true to yourself and your blog. Stick to what brings you success and forget about the others (affiliate marketing)

    • July 30, 2017 / 7:42 pm

      Couldn’t have said it better myself, its important to stay true to yourself and your blog. There are so many temptations out there.

  4. Adaleta Avdic
    July 29, 2017 / 6:43 am

    How awesome congratulations on 4 years, that is amazing!

    • July 30, 2017 / 7:42 pm

      Thank you

  5. Blair Villanueva
    July 29, 2017 / 4:01 am

    Happy anniversary for your 4th year in blogging, that’s awesome! You have many years to come and enjoy that moment. Cheers for more projects!

    • July 30, 2017 / 7:43 pm

      Thanks Blair, can’t believe its been 4 years already

  6. Khushboo Motihar
    July 28, 2017 / 5:35 am

    Hey my blog recently turned 4 too and I feel the same way you do. Reading about your collaboration with Taj reminded me of my first sponsored post. I was so excited and proud of myself 🙂

    • July 30, 2017 / 7:44 pm

      OOOH congratulations to you too luv!
      The first collaboration will always be memorable and reminds you on your humble beginnings

  7. Emily Crawford Morton
    July 27, 2017 / 2:53 pm

    That’s awesome! Congratulations!

    • July 30, 2017 / 7:44 pm

      Thank you

  8. Heather Whoneedsacape
    July 27, 2017 / 2:06 pm

    Happy Blogaversary! 4 years is a long time – you should be so proud. I agree it takes a bit of time to figure out what works for you and your blog!

    • July 30, 2017 / 7:44 pm

      Thank you and yes it sure does, it certainly took me a while to figure out that affiliate marketing was not for me

  9. July 27, 2017 / 11:11 am

    You’ve done so well babe, and that’s amazing! 4 years of consistency is no easy feat. Affiliate marketing does seem too rather tough – although I haven’t looked at it in detail. I’m pretty sure i’ll be more open to sponsored posts! Might shoot you an email for some advice if that’s okay, and perhaps an intro to some of the PR people you’ve worked with.

    Congrats again! and very best wishes for the future. Xx

    KacheeTee.com

    • July 30, 2017 / 7:46 pm

      Thanks Kachee, definitely welcome to send me an email and happy to introduce you to PRs that I have worked with and are looking for bloggers to work with too.

  10. July 27, 2017 / 3:28 am

    Happy 4th Anniversary (Blogiversary) !!! That’s an amazing accomplishment, especially because you’ve created a business out of it! Congrats!

    • July 30, 2017 / 7:46 pm

      Thank you Jasmine, I am so proud of where I am now! I didnt think I would reach this far

  11. Jen At Dapperhouse
    July 27, 2017 / 3:00 am

    You are so awesome to share your tips and expert advice! Happy 4th anniversary and cheers to many more 🙂

    • August 1, 2017 / 9:14 pm

      Thank you so much Jen, that means a lot

  12. July 27, 2017 / 12:42 am

    Congratulations on reaching your fourth blogavesary. How exciting! I will be celebrating my sixth this September. Here’s to many more for both of us!

    • August 1, 2017 / 9:14 pm

      SIXTH!!! Oh wow, kudos to you and thank you

  13. July 26, 2017 / 7:03 pm

    You and I have had the same experiences in blogging. I have had little to no success with Affiliate marketing. I’m hoping to educate myself more with it, but I’m also not a pushy sales person, so like you said I believe people have interest already or they don’t.

    • August 1, 2017 / 9:15 pm

      I feel that those of us who are reluctant when it comes to pushing those sales wont find affiliate marketing our kind of cuppa tea. Thanks hun

  14. July 26, 2017 / 6:43 pm

    Congratulations on your 4 year blogaversary and what a lovely look back on the things you started with and where you now are.

    • August 1, 2017 / 9:15 pm

      Thank you, I feel its important to remember your roots but also look forward

  15. tara pittman
    July 26, 2017 / 5:47 pm

    I know what you mean about taxes. Last year I had to pay them but I also made money so it is ok.

    • August 1, 2017 / 9:15 pm

      Oh Taxes are the bane of blogging but if you make something decent they are not so bad

  16. Helene Bludman
    July 26, 2017 / 3:11 pm

    Happy blogaversary! Wishing you continued success with your blog.

    • August 1, 2017 / 9:15 pm

      Thank you so much Helene

  17. Cassie Liz
    July 26, 2017 / 10:33 am

    congratulations! 4 years of blogging is no easy feat and you have set up a wonderful community here! wishing you all the best for the next 4 years

    • August 1, 2017 / 9:16 pm

      Thank you so much Cassie, definitely not been easy but definitely worth it

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