This week, Broadcast Journalism grad Em Sheldon talks about how she turned her blog into a business and gives some great tips for students who want to get into blogging.
About my business:
I started Emtalks in 2012 as a way to get onto my University course, never in my wildest dreams did I expect for it to turn into my full time job. I called the admissions tutor at the University of Leeds two days before UCAS application and asked what I can do to get onto the course. He told me to start a blog. I started one and didn’t think anything of it, until I realised I was so passionate about blogging. After ten months I won Cosmopolitan’s best newcomer award, it was this moment when I realised this could be a business. I rebranded and focused on my quality. It’s only now, years on that I’m truly happy with my content, it was difficult to juggle University and blogging so I often found myself sacrificing my quality. Since then, I’ve gone on to collaborating with brands such as Clinique, asos, adidas, Nike, L’Oreal and many more. I recently won InStyle magazine’s top lifestyle blogger award.
On top of Emtalks, I launched LVNDR alongside my brother. We saw a gap in the market for beautiful, affordable and dainty jewelry. Women change their jewelry almost every day to match outfits and the affordability of our products means you can do that. Inspired by my travels, I was able to bring a collection of dainty but cute jewelry items to the market.
How the University helped me:
I had a lot of help from University, the SPARK team gave me sessions on speaking, which have enabled me to go on to do public speaking on media panels and for students. It was only after speaking to SPARK that I put a business plan and strategy plan together in order to grow my content and my quality. They enabled me to afford the constant travel to London that’s required of me too.
Some tips & advice:
If I started from scratch, I’d have started YouTube sooner. I was very late due to a lack of confidence.
My advice to people wanting to start a blog is to go for it, there’s room for us all on the internet and you are your niche! Just be you, keep writing and eventually the audience will come. Choose something you are passionate about and then go for it. You don’t need expensive equipment to blog, people are coming to you for your words after all. I do really enjoy beautiful photography though so if this is something you’d like to include, go for it. A blog doesn’t have to be about fashion, it could be about science, it could be about tech. I choose to write about everything I love, from fashion, to personal posts, to fitness. You don’t have to choose just one topic and there really are no rules with blogging, you can be completely yourself. I use blogger.com as my platform and find it really easy to use, many people opt for WordPress but I find it a little more difficult, it’s just what you’re used to. I do have a blog post on my blog with my top tips and tricks for blogging which hopefully any budding bloggers will find helpful: http://www.emtalks.co.uk/2016/03/tips-to-start-grow-blog-things-ive.html it has all my words of wisdom!
Feeling inspired to start your own business? Take a look at the resources we have at our SPARK page, and come and talk to us for further advice and guidance.