Three years ago, when I first started Naturally Sassy I was training professionally as a ballet dancer and taking one on one coaching sessions to hone my skill. On breaks I’d check my phone and see my emails racking up, unable to do anything about them. I had unintentionally started a second full time job! I was dancing 8 hours a day, and by the time I got home, showered, had an Epsom salt bath and iced my ankle it seemed I was only just starting my day. I’d open up the computer and be flooded with emails, and alongside sewing pointe shoes I’d have to work on all the projects I’d agreed to. I absolutely thrived off the stress of juggling the two, but I hated not being able to devote myself to one entirely. I constantly felt pulled in two directions, and tried to make myself believe I could do it all.
A big moment for me was working on my Naturally Sassy Cookbook at the same time as flying across the world auditioning for ballet companies. I was severely injured at the time, so my day seemed to be an endless cycle of the same: From the studio to the physio, straight into the kitchen and finally to my desk. I’d recipe test for four or five hours before sitting at my laptop, editing the books copy for the rest of the evening. By the time I got any shut eye it was around 3am. Needless to say I felt like an absolute zombie!
The more severe my injury got, the more time I had off to grow my business and my Naturally Sassy Blog. I often used to cheer myself up in the knowledge that maybe my injury was there for a reason, to give me more time and space to build the brand. It took me a very long time to come to terms with giving up a career as a professional ballerina for my blog, not because I didn’t want to, but because the prospect of relying solely on yourself is bloody scary (and ridiculously exciting too).
I know so many people that follow my blog and my work may also be bloggers or passionate foodies. I thought I’d write a few tips that I’ve learnt throughout my journey on how to really know that it’s time to make your blog your business.
1) YOU’VE BUILT THE FOUNDATIONS
Of course before leaving your old job behind and plunging into the field of blogging you have to have built the fundamentals: A website, social channels, good relationships in the field and of course an abundance of quality content. Instead of writing about the foundations I’ve filmed a YouTube video about How To Start A Food Blog. If you haven’t watched yet have a look here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YugT6Ds7UOg
2) YOU HAVE A CLEAR SHORT TERM MISSION
It’s important for both your pocket and your piece of mind that you have a short term mission that you are already actively successful at doing. Be it running good cooking classes, popular supper clubs or a successful company collaboration whereby you may be getting paid for content for another companies website. Whatever it may be, there has to be a monetised project that you not only enjoy and believe in, but on a practical level you know works.
3) YOU’RE IMMERSED IN THE BLOGGING WORLD
When I first started food blogging it wasn’t nearly what it is now. I could reel off almost everybody’s blog name in the biz. Now, at least in London, blogging has never been bigger. Before venturing on this full time, really know the business inside out. Immerse yourself in the blogging world, go to every event, workshop and brand launch possible – Know your industry inside out and it’ll get to know you.
4) FIND SOMEONE THAT BELIEVES IN YOU
This can be a range of different people, but the best is an agency or management company – a team of people that you see eye to eye with and can help guide you in the direction you want to go. The blogging world can be a lonely place, bouncing ideas off people and talking to someone who has your best interest at heart is essential. This doesn’t have to be a professional relationship, my sister to this day is my best sounding board and everything I worry about I always ask her advice first. Know that somebody has your back!
5) SEE THE END GOAL
The longer term mission is the reason you want blogging to be your job. It’s because one day you want to write a cookbook, have a cafe or start a food line. Before I started Naturally Sassy full time I had already launched two long term missions (a food brand and cookbook). Whilst you don’t need your mission already in fruition before you start blogging full time, I do however believe you must have a really solid plan in place on how you are going to achieve the goal. It should be a pretty foolproof plan and one that means you always have that sassy glint in your eye, that reeks of determination. With this point covered you’ll have more direction, purpose and will see that your business can work.
Good luck on your ventures, whatever they may be.