My Journey: From Blogger to Business Owner
When I started my blog a few years ago, I had no goals for it, no intentions of turning it into something bigger, I honestly was just in need of a creative outlet where I can share what I enjoyed - fashion. From a job that bored me to tears, my blog was my personal space where I could put my talents and skills to use.
I began with a blog that shared fashion and styling tips under a different website name then eventually transitioned to a personal style blog and The Daileigh was born.
Being consistent, willing to learn and improve to a lot of discipline is what eventually lead to the growth of my brand and quitting my 9 to 5.
When I began blogging, I had a 9 to 5 which meant my free time went towards blogging, creating content and shooting looks. When I got home from work, I was blogging. On the weekends, I’d spend full days shooting looks and the next day editing to lining up blog posts.
When you’re first starting out, it can seem a little discouraging - no one really knows about you, you don’t have a ton of people flocking to your website, if any, and it seems like no one cares what you’re doing or sharing because it’s not leading to the results that you’re hoping for.
Let's be real for a minute, when you’re starting out, that's exactly how it can be but that should in no way make you want to give up. It’s your job to stick it out and give people a reason to know who you are… being consistent.
Setting up a schedule where I could create my content ahead of time and juggle my then full-time 9 to 5 helped out a lot, I gave up plenty of my weekends, sacrificed time with friends so I could focus on my blog.
It takes time to build an audience and gain a loyal following, being consistent and having a plan is what keeps you on track towards your goal. So, even though I didn’t have a large following, I stuck with it. Instagram wasn’t even around when I began blogging!
Then things started to pick up..
I was accepted into the Lucky Magazine blogger network (and back then, that was HUGE!)
Magazines began reaching out to me so I could be featured in their publications or in online features
H&M reached out to me wanting to partner up
Target reached out to me wanting to collaborate not just for a one-time thing but a couple months partnership and send me on an all-expenses paid trip to New York Fashion Week
And this whole time, I’m thinking I’m blogging to myself, a few friends and my family. Note to self: you never know who is watching you.
I didn’t have thousands of followers, back then, Instagram was fairly new, not too many were you using it and I wasn’t that active on other social media platforms - mainly my website. Another note to self: you don’t need millions of followers for a brand to be interested in you or to start making money.
I basically grew my blog without social media.
Once I realized people actually are tuning into my posts and saw the opportunities that could come, I got serious. Once I saw that you could make a living off of this, things took a turn for me and I buckled my ass down.
I started out on Blogger which was awesome because it was super easy to use but very limiting.
I was ready to take my site up a notch and knew I couldn’t do that on Blogger so I moved to Wordpress, gave my site a face lift and rebranded myself.
From then on out I have been able to grow my blog, just by doing something I loved, opportunities were coming in, I started collecting money from my side hustle (because I still had my 9 to 5), started building relationships and new friends and then I saw another opportunity and seized it.
EXPANDING AND GROWING
Being able to share my personal style and love for fashion attracted an audience of like-minded women from all over the globe. Styling women was something I always wanted to do and would dabble with it from time to time, but having a growing audience I saw a need that women struggled with and created an opportunity.
The Daileigh brand expanded.. I began hosting online webinars teaching women different topics of fashion. I’ve had women from Japan, Canada, Australia, Poland, Ghana, Abu Dhabi, Nigeria, France, New Zealand, US to the UK take part in my courses. Within a matter of months of launching my style webinars, I had made my yearly salary from a previous job in just a few months.
I had no idea I had a global reach and from there the lightbulb went off and I knew I could turn my side hustle into my full-time business.
PUTTING MY PLAN TO WORK
You can’t have a goal without a master plan, knowing that I could actually leave my 9 to 5 behind, that became my #1 focus. My social life became non-existent, I wasn’t doing my best at keeping in touch with friends.. I was focused and only cared about work (selfish, maybe? But sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do). Is it necessary to grow your brand? Not really, you can definitely juggle both but at this time, I was laser focused and ready to unleash.
Besides continuing to blog consistently, hosting more and more webinars, continuing to build relationships with brands, create new collaborations, hustling to networking.. I began to make more money than I was making at my 9 to 5.
I knew I could quit my job, but the fear kept me there. When you quit, you’re on your own. It’s up to you to put food on the table, pay your bills and maintain your lifestyle - that all falls on you now. No more bi-weekly paychecks coming in knowing exactly what you’re making each month, that comes to end. So, I stayed. I was ready but too scared to take that leap.
A few months passed by and I still had my 9 to 5 and was still blogging and making money with it. I had no idea when I was going to muster up the courage and ditch my 9 to 5 so I set a goal month on when I would pull the trigger and put in my two weeks.
Well, that goal date came way earlier than expected. Why? Because my 9 to 5 started to play around with my paycheck and what I was making. And I don’t play when it comes to my money.
On June 26, 2014, I went into my boss’ office and said, “Today is going to be my last day.” And from then on out, I was officially on my own.
ON MY OWN.
Everything happens for a reason, right? That was meant to happen, it was time for me to really take The Daileigh brand and grow it.
Throughout the next few months, I continued to work with brands, host webinars, grow my audience and page views and expanded again..
- I launched my styling and consulting company
- Launched my digital collection of fashion and style eBooks
With a combination of everything I was doing, I was collecting money from:
(1) Monetizing my site
(3) Online shop (eBook collection)
And was able to start racking in 5 figures a month.
None of this would be possible if I did not begin blogging. Now how crazy does that sound?!
It has never been easy, there have been plenty of up’s and down’s, it has taken A LOT of work but it is definitely possible. I can happily say, I created the lifestyle I’m living. I knew I could never settle for being unhappy or being complacent collecting that 9 to 5 paycheck because I was miserable. I took something I was passionate about and turned it into my career.
And now a days, you see a lot of women being able to make this happen.. Because of their blog and the opportunities that comes along with it.
BUILDING MY EMPIRE.
In 2017 more things started to happen..
(1) I started taking on clients where I help women build their brand step-by-step. There are so many moving parts that goes along with building your brand and growing your online presence, things that Google can’t give you answers on. How to start a blog was a frequently asked question I’d always receive from my readers and there never was a simple answer because there is so much that goes into it - it’s not just taking outfit pics and posting on social media, that’s not even half of it.
(2) I launched the first ever website, TheDaileighEDIT.com that delivers weekly fashion and style content helping women dress for their age. There are many websites that provide fashion help but I would never see anything that caters to certain ages and how to put together outfits and still be stylish at any age. So, enter in The Daileigh EDIT. Full details on this website: here.
As you can see blogging has opened the door to absolutely everything I'm doing now. I’ve been able to create my dream job and wanted to help others do the same. Blogging has been one of my best decisions. Just to think, everything I’m doing now is all because I decided to start a blog.
YOU CAN DO IT TOO.
If you’re just starting out, in the process of launching or already have a website, I have created what I like to call a roadmap to fashion blogging in my online course, Launch Your Fashion Website.
From being exactly where you’re at now and understanding the struggle of designing your website, creating content and growing your audience, I lay it out for you step-by-step.
If you’re going to start blogging, you might as well, go at it the right way because you never know who is watching and you can for sure turn this into your full-time.. If you want it.
From how to layout your site, how to capture photography that’ll sell that heck out of your style and content, diversifying and monetizing your content to growing your audience, I am giving you the perspective of a fashion blogger turned business owner.
I’ve been there. I’ve done it. And I am still learning.
If you’re looking for a more hands-on approach to building out, developing and growing your blog, brand and/or online business, check out my brand development services: here.
WHERE TO BEGIN
Before you can begin building your website and online presence, you first need to know what your brand is, how to position yourself and understanding your audience. I have a workbook that’ll walk you through this - HERE. You need to be clear on your direction and how you want to present yourself to the world.. before you present yourself to the world. It’s never too late to fine tune your brand, I was blogging and rebranded when I transitioned to Wordpress, so no biggie if you’re stuck, definitely check out my workbook (there is a one-on-one with me) so we’ll definitely work through it together.
Next, if you’re looking to take your blog to the next level, enroll in my online course, Launch Your Fashion Website. The topics covered:
- Designing and laying out your Wordpress website (themes pre-selected and included!)
- Capturing photography that sells
- Four elements of photography as a fashion blogger
- Diversifying your photography
- Diversifying your content (outfit posts/personal style is not your only option)
- Monetizing your content
- Monetizing your social media
- Growing your audience
- How to use your social media platforms plus other platforms to market yourself and grow your brand
Your roadmap to launching is included within this course!
Or, for my one-one-one help (P.S. I handle all of the tech setup then teach you how to do it), below are some of the services available:
- WordPress setup
- Coming soon page setup
- Online store setup
- Email list building strategy + automation
- Content creation
- Social media automation
- Lead magnet strategy
- Product/service marketing