The BIG Interview > Inside the Profitable World of Professional Blogging

Tami Briesies 4 years ago

As you may already know, #teamInternet has come on leaps and bounds in the last few years. YouTube has exploded worldwide and the idea of being a ‘Youtuber’ is now a career goal and a sought after ambition for men, women and even children across the country.

Everybody dreams of working for themselves, and becoming a full time Vlogger/Blogger is a sight that is seen a lot more often now than any other time.

But it is also an immature market and one where regulation is beginning to lap at the feet of those making money from it. Only this month the Competition and Markets Authority stepped in to begin controlling how bloggers manage reviews and endorsements.

The move is undoubtedly the thin end of the wedge for further legislation to bring the ‘blogosphere’ in line with the wider world as it becomes more and more powerful.

So, what better place to look for our next Big Interview than inside the minds of two successful bloggers? We spoke to professional bloggers Joey London and Megan Gilbride about their journey to online success, taking their hobby full time and what the future holds in a more tightly regulated world

Joey London – The Seasoned Pro.

Joey London is a blogger on the rise. With over 36K followers on Twitter and Instagram combined, he’s managed to amass an audience for predominantly males to share style tips for a market that is slightly less saturated. With a view to expand his business to YouTube in the coming months and with a portfolio of clientele including the likes of Dune, Reiss, H&M, Nike and Forever 21, things are on the up for Joseph Clough.

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Who inspired you to start blogging?

I was never really inspired by in terms of actually starting it – it kind of just happened! My girlfriend helped me push through to actually do it though!

Would you ever transition to YouTube?

…Very likely! You might just see a video from me in the next month!

How did you build your following through your blog?

Oh that’s a difficult one – I suppose it’s just consistency, always putting out fairly good quality material and getting out there! By that I mean attending events, etc.!

When you did you decide to go full time?

It kind of just happened, really! Last June, I was let go from my part time job and it just fell into place. I was forced to work harder to be able to make a living and haven’t looked back since.

Do you think there was a specific moment that you thought ‘yes, my channel and blog can be successful’?

As soon as I started making revenue, it made me think, ‘yeah, I could actually do this full time, and dedicate my whole self to it. I could get a decent amount coming in monthly.’

What are the biggest challenges about being a blogger?

I’d definitely have to stay trying to stay healthy at the moment! There are a LOT of events to go to, to market myself but events mean free alcohol and free food the majority of the time. Definitely the enemy of my healthy lifestyle and what I promote on my blog!

What is the best thing about blogging full time?

Although my schedule can be very hectic, I also am able to move things around if necessary. The face that I have the choice and control over what is essentially my little business is very comforting.

How do you feel about the competitiveness in blogging? Does it make you feel bad/does it motivate you?

Honestly, I love it. It keeps me going and motivated to keep producing great content.

How do you find working with brands and PRs? Do you feel confident enough to negotiate with brands without an agency/contracts?

It’s normally not a problem. I’m always wary when there no contracts involved no. I like to know what is happening!

Do you think YouTube will expand bigger than it already has?

Oh, hopefully! I would love it to, but I guess there’s no telling – anything could happen – it’s big business!

What tips would you give to someone starting out?

I think there really isn’t a right or wrong way to blog. I wouldn’t say I’m super successful, but I’m happy in what I’m doing so if you’re about what you’re passionate about, and you’re concentrating on you, and what makes you happy then that’s going to be the thing that makes you stand out.

I think if you do what everyone else is doing, and you’re spending too much time worrying about that then it’s never going to be from your heart or what you’re passionate about – it’ll definitely show. Just doing you is the best thing you can in blogging. Or any job really.


Megan Gilbride – The Pro-Blogger Freshman.

Megan recently decided that her managerial role wasn’t for her and transitioned to blogging and vlogging full time. With over 21,000 subscribers on her channel and working with incredible brands such as H&M, Olay and Schwarzkopf, Megan has turned her blogging dream into reality.

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Who inspired you to start blogging?

I hate this story because I feel like it’s really cliché!! I was on Google, maybe about 3-4 years ago and I was searching for hairstyles. I wanted a sweeping fringe because I was obviously really cool, so I typed this particular style into Google and this girl’s blog came up and I clicked on it.

It was Zoella’s blog and I was like ‘oh okay!’ and I’d never heard of blogging before, and I kind of found myself scrolling through her page everyday for about a month, and I thought ‘actually, I’ll give it a go’ because it seemed quite fun and we were interested in similar things, so I thought why not? So I did.

When did you decide to transition to YouTube?

I did YouTube almost immediately, so I started my blog and only wrote my blog maybe for a couple of weeks, maybe a month? And then I thought, ‘I’m going to do YouTube too.’

My first video was really rubbish quality; I had a really awful camera that didn’t film well at all. I think it was a Monthly Favourites video!

How did you build your following through your blog?

From the beginning, until this day, the biggest source of traffic for my blog is through Twitter. So I found that just constantly being on there and pushing posts on that was the best way to build myself into the community.

There was a blogger’s chat… I think it was bbloggers chat, and I used to take part in that every weekend, and then at the end of every chat I’d add my link and I read loads of blogs and followed blogs that I liked, and that was kind of the main way of integrating myself into the community.

Why did you decide to go blogging full time?

I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, from a young age. I didn’t go to university or anything and I kind of felt a bit lost? I feel like there’s a lot of pressure to know what you want and I dipped my toes in a lot of things and I didn’t really know.

I started my blog and it was going so well, and my circumstances changed which meant I could afford to take a risk. And so I thought why not? I thought, if it doesn’t work out, I could just find another job.

The job that I was in – I mean, it was a nice job, but it didn’t really fulfil me the way that blogging did so I thought let’s give it a go, if it doesn’t work out, I can always do something else.

Do you think there was a specific moment that you thought ‘yes, my channel and blog can be successful’?

I don’t feel like it is?! I feel like it’s just my thing that I do, and I feel really lucky that I can make even a little bit of money from it. It’s the best community ever, and everyone is so supportive and it kind of feels like – and this sounds so cheesy – but we’re succeeding together?!

So it doesn’t really feel like MY success, it’s everybody who’s apart of it? It doesn’t really feel like it’s my job, it’s just something really fun that I can do, I don’t know if that means it’s successful, but it’s just something I really love doing.

What are the biggest challenges about being a full time blogger/vlogger?

I would say the most challenging thing would be probably trying to run a business full time, because I feel like people look at blogging as you’re simply writing posts, and filming videos, and putting them on the internet and tweeting about it, and actually it’s so much more than that.

You’re essentially running a one-man band for something that would take a team full of people in a regular business. So being able to take organic content and doing what you want to do, but also being able to manage your expectations in what you want to achieve in the time that you’ve got. It’s hard, but it is achievable.

What is the best thing about blogging full time?

Probably having the freedom and being able to work on what you want to. So instead of having to work to work in an office job 9-5 and using any other brainpower I’ve got left, it just means I’ve got creative freedom all day, everyday. It’s much easier to plan out days and get the content that you want to.

How do you feel about the competitiveness in blogging? Does it make you feel bad/does it motivate you?

I don’t like to engage too much in the competitiveness of it and I feel like it’s becoming more of an apparent thing and more of a problem for people.

I think the harder you work and busier you are, the less time you’ll have to focus on what other people are doing. It’s totally normal to look at what other people are doing and feel, ‘I want that too’ or ‘I don’t want that, I want something similar’ I think that’s healthy, to feel a bit of jealousy, but it’s how you channel it, so if you put it in a positive spin, so ‘what do I need to do to achieve it’ so I feel like it shouldn’t be a thing to put us down.

It should be something that if someone’s doing better and it’s what you want to do, it should be something to push you forward rather than drag you down.

How do you find working with brands and PRs?

I haven’t had any awful experiences. I think with any project, I’m extremely grateful, and so grateful for that relationship. But I think, as a community, it’s always super pressured and fast. Brands come to you specifically because they like your content, and I think a lot of the time that’s compromised because of the time constraints that brands and PRs put on people.

I’m not sure whether that’s to do with the brands or the PRs or the communication between the two. Sometimes I feel like a middle man can – as in, the PRs- can be a bit of a hindrance because it just takes a lot longer to communicate things but I think it’s a great thing, but I think the appreciation for the hard work that we, as bloggers have to do, isn’t always there.

I don’t think people are aware of how long things take? So for example, giving me a project and a day to turn it around is just not feasible, I think we kind of lack in that area sometimes. But in general, I think it’s pretty great!

Do you feel confident enough to negotiate with brands without an agency/contracts?

That is a really good question. You know, that is definitely a super challenging part about being a blogger. I think as bloggers, typically, we’re not really businesswomen, or men. We’re more of the view that it’s a hobby and then it could become more. It’s really difficult to say, ‘I’m worth this much’ because you’re not selling a product, you’re selling yourself. So putting a price on that is quite difficult, especially if you’re a rounded person.

It’s like, ‘well actually I don’t think I’m worth anything in particular.’ But it’s being able to establish what I provide as a service is worth X amount, and I think I as a person, I personally don’t feel too confident approaching brands when they say to me ‘how much for this.’ I find that really difficult.

I don’t have a management team or anything but I do have people I talk to on a regular basis, that I go to for advice, so if I do get a project in from another agency, and they say to me ‘what would your fee be’ and I have no idea how to price it, I speak to them about it.

So, I think once you’ve had a regular income for a certain type of work, for example, being charged for a video, it’s really important to stick with it. You really need to think of it as a business - it is hard, but I think that is where having management would be beneficial, but you’ve obviously got to let go of how involved you are of it because they take a little bit of that responsibility and not everyone is comfortable with that. So I’d say I’m in the middle, but I’m getting there!

Do you think YouTube will expand bigger than it already has?

Oh my goodness, can it!? I feel like it’s the biggest thing ever! I feel like it’s taking over the world, and it’s in its peak at the minute. I feel like it can continue for a lot longer. It’s a new thing and I mean for people like Zoe, who has 9 million subscribers… 9 million people in the world know who she is but then there’s another however many million people who have no idea, but that is becoming less and less and people are starting to accept blogging and YouTube as a thing that is actually happening and it’s a good thing.

So, I think, yes it probably will get bigger – I don’t know how but I think as it becomes more socially accepted, it is going to become a bigger thing because more people will be more accustomed to it. It’s constantly growing with technology and I feel YouTube is always one step ahead in terms of moving forward.

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