18th February 2009.
That’s the day I (on a whim) did a bit of googling and decided to set up a blog. It sounds strange, but I didn’t even really know what a blog was. I just thought of it as a quick and easy way to start my own website. That was my original idea, sort of an ‘online magazine’. I started to take an approach to writing about it as if it was a magazine, with a fairly generic tone of voice and anonymous writer behind it. Beauty Junkie London seemed like a good name at the time, for some reason my brain stuck on that three-word title/name (something like ‘American Girl in Paris’ or something that kept whizzing around my head so came up with my own equivalent that fit me perfectly at the time). I started writing about the products I had, loved and wanted. I used (gasp) stock images and not my own photos and just wrote. That was what started me wanting to blog – writing. Yes, this was in a world before Instagram was even a figment of our imagination, if you can believe blogging even goes back that far.
In the 2009 to probably around 2012/13 blogging was something that was a bit awkward to describe. You spend time chatting to other people about make-up online? Weird… then you take photos and write about it? Weirder… Trying to properly explain my hobby to friends or family was usually simplified as ‘I sort of run a website thing about make-up’. It seemed to at least be clear enough they understand. In this time the ‘perks’ started to come. From being sent packages, to invited to events. Occasionally in the later years starting to meet up with PR people or brand people one on one. Money, was few and far between but maybe a few £100 a year would come in from the blog at best. The first ever sponsored post I did was about a car – the Fiat 500 actually – which is funny, as it’s the car I drive now! I remember being paid I think £50 for that post back in January 2010. In the time from 18th Feb 2009 to Jan 2010 I had been invited to join my first blog network. Again, I was very naive and had no idea what that really entailed in terms of advertising/contracts/CPM or ad revenue. I just thought it sounded like a good club to be part of and might get invited to some fun experiences along the way. I know, I eye roll at myself how clueless I was.
It pretty much goes without saying that blogging has changed a LOT in the last eight years. I’m not going to lament the ‘good old days’ too much – yes, it’s very different now. Some differences are great, some not so great. But that’s the nature of change!
But fast forward over the past eight years and where are we now.
18th February 2017.
In the middle of London Fashion Week, where I’m spending my time working with two big name brands covering the shows. I’ve been a ‘professional blogger’ (i.e. worked for myself) for the past three years and overall, things are in a good place overall. I have some challenges and things I would like to change, but this post isn’t about that. It’s more of a look back at how far I’ve come. Sure, a tad self indulgent. But if there’s one thing about blogging it has to be that self indulgence is allowed?!
I had NO idea that back in 2009/10 when I was just starting this thing out that it would be a major driving force in my life. I had no idea that that day I had a bored moment and decided to register that blogspot address that it would mean so much to my life. I’m sitting here writing this post in my office. A space that (when tidy) is a bit of an Instagram dream. It’s something I decided on each and every detail and very much my happy place. I’ve been able to travel to places I had no idea I’d ever visit and have experiences I could have only dreamed of. All thanks to that whim moment where this all started. I have a collection of beauty products that would rival a smaller Space NK store or Boots. As much as I try to be all minimalist, I just love products too much to ever properly downsize.
But above all the self indulgent highlight reel stuff I want to say a thank you. Thank you to everyone who takes the time to read this blog or chat on all the various social media platforms. I may not be the biggest or the best out there. But I don’t care about that. I never have. I started something eight years ago, found a passion and have kept it going. If it wasn’t for people deciding to click on/like/read/share my ramblings and photos, I probably wouldn’t still be here doing what I do. This blog has allowed me to build and live a life that I love – not without it’s grumbles, that’s normal – but I am SO eternally grateful for everything in the last eight years bringing me to this point.
I’m interested to see what’s coming next. Like day one, I had no idea then so I won’t pretend to know now!