I Went From Bud­get­ing To FULL-TIME Blog­ger

These days Em Shel­don, 22, runs her suc­cess­ful blog emtalks.co.uk – but she started out with noth­ing

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Iwas your typ­i­cal broke stu­dent un­til re­cently. I was study­ing at the Univer­sity of Leeds and was plan­ning on a ca­reer in TV. I was liv­ing on next to noth­ing with a very low loan that didn’t even cover my ac­com­mo­da­tion and I worked ev­ery spare hour in a shop to cover my ex­penses.

I’d be­gan blog­ging orig­i­nally as a way to get onto my course. But my sec­ond year I was more broke than ever, so would spend evenings work­ing on my fash­ion, fit­ness and beauty blog. Slowly it started to take off, with more and more brands send­ing me prod­ucts to fea­ture. On my tight bud­get it was a bless­ing. Get­ting free make-up was in­cred­i­ble as

it’s what I wanted to spend my wages on any­way.

Peo­ple seem to think that blog­ging is easy but ac­tu­ally it’s chal­leng­ing and you have to be re­ally self-mo­ti­vated. Plus, trolling can be re­ally bad and you have to learn to deal with that.

To­wards the end of my third year, it was get­ting in­creas­ingly hard to jug­gle my stud­ies with my site. I was barely sleep­ing and I only just made it through my fi­nal year, which took its toll on my health. But the hard work was worth it when, in 2012, the in­dus­try fi­nally started to take no­tice and I won my first ma­jor award.

Blog­ging for me is a bril­liant way to en­gage with like-minded peo­ple and share top­ics I’m pas­sion­ate about. I re­alised I was mak­ing more money from blog­ging than I was at my part-time job, so one day, af­ter an­other ex­haust­ing 24 hours, I handed in my no­tice.

Money-wise, earn­ings started to come in af­ter I hit 10,000 in­di­vid­ual read­ers per month and brands would ask to col­lab­o­rate with me on spon­sor­ships and brand deals, which was all very ex­cit­ing and still is to this day.

When I left univer­sity, I de­cided to pause my TV pre­sen­ter dreams and in­stead con­tin­ued to write.

I’ve never been hap­pier. I’ve met the best friends through blog­ging and have had some life-chang­ing ex­pe­ri­ences – walk­ing the red car­pet with Ge­orge Clooney at the BAFTAS was a high­light.

I didn’t go into this with a busi­ness plan, I went into it with a pas­sion. If you’re pas­sion­ate about some­thing and you want it enough, it will come. You have to work hard and be your­self. You are your niche!

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