By Courtney Greatrex
Enterprising young men and women are right to ditch conventional jobs to carve careers online says Natasha Courtenay-Smith, the author of a new book, The Million Dollar Blog.
This week new research revealed the top five ‘dream’ jobs include writing, blogging and vlogging but few are actually successful in their quest to earn a living writing about what they love.
Mainly because they lose interest around the six month mark and expect instant fame and fortune.
Entrepreneur and digital strategist Natasha Courtenay-Smith, shares her insider knowledge on how you can turn your hobby into a money-spinning career in her new book The Million DollarBlog.
She explains how you can make your blog stand out from the crowd and how to get past the ‘critical first six months’ and start monetising your content. You also have to approach bloggingas a business, and not because it seems glamorous.
She said: “‘Traditionally people had to wait for things to happen: wait to be selected for a job, wait for a promotion.
“People find the idea of blogging so empowering as they can just do it from their own efforts without waiting for someone else. It’s incredible to think we live in a time when you can basically sit at home and with a good idea, a laptop, some grit and determination turn that into a business. Across the world people are carving out new lives for themselves this way.”
As well as sharing her insider knowledge and tips about how turn your hobby into a career, Natasha also interviews bloggers who are making six figure salaries from their bedrooms.
Owner of Rock n Roll Bride blog Kat Williams, 32, said: “The thing with blogging is theoretically anyone can do it, but to get past the critical first six months when you are getting no one reading it and pushing through, you have to have a unique vision and something different to say.”
Kat was working as a producer on a shopping channel before giving it up in 2011 to pursue her new career as a blogger.
Five years on, Rock N Roll Bride is one of the most popular wedding blogs in the world.
She started writing the blog while planning her own wedding, but after she got married carried on updating it as she loved it so much.
Now she garners around 350,000 visitors a month and has an impressive 50,000 Twitter followers, as well as her own print magazine and products.
Kat now earns a six figure salary from her blog.
She says: “I think you need to have a unique spin on something and you have to be passionate about your topic.”
Meanwhile, Coco Hamilton, 32, earns a living running her blog Coco&Co – a luxury fashion and lifestyle blogs which she runs from her Knightsbridge home.
“All of it evolved from my love of luxury brands and my experience working in in Saudi Arabia,” Coco explains.
She now has 50,000 social media followers and earns a six-figure salary from her blog, which is put together by her and a team of photographers and stylists.
“I monetised my blog using sponsored posts and affiliate advertising, and grows her huge following through social media,” she continues, “I always had the goal of earning a six-figure salary so I was very focused on my goal from the beginning. I worked back from that number, and worked out exactly what I needed to do. You really need to understand your figures.”
Food and lifestyle blogger Madeleine Shaw, has used her blog to publish two best selling books, launch a successful AP, and a food range in Harrods.
She has 250,000 followers on Instagram and gets more than 300,000 monthly visitors to her website.
Madeline started her blog after deciding she wanted to pursue a career in nutrition and hoped that the site could be a portal to getting clients.
Madeline, who used to work in a cafe said: “I learned everything on YouTube, from how to write a Tweet to how to upload an image onto a website.
“I made so many mistakes like uploading wrong images or spelling words wrong.
“But the great thing about being online is that when you make a mistake, you can change it quickly. People think my life is drinking mocha lattes and going out for smoothies, but it’s incredibly hard work. I’m a strong believer that the more you put in, the more you get out. And remember that everyone starts from nothing.’
Natasha Courtenay-Smith explains blogging is not always easy, but you can’t begin to learn until you start.
She said: “What is clear is that no successful blogger of the 50 or so I talked to for the book and all the answers before they started.
“You learn as you go along but you can’t begin to learn until you start.
The Million Dollar Book is out on September 26 and is available to pre-order on amazon.co.uk.