– Wearing Dolly & Dotty Grace Vintage Dress in a size 24 –
On the 5th of June 2013, She Might Be Loved was born. It started for a number of reasons, I was down, depressed, I hated my life, I was working severely part time in retail, and I needed a hobby during what was meant to be just the one gap year before university. Little did I know I’d be declining my university place completely and registering as self employed just 18 months later.
For those of you who have been around for a while, you’ll know that I started working for myself pretty quickly and I wasn’t entirely prepared. I was in a car accident that has left me with chronic back pain, my retail job at the time couldn’t care less and basically made me go on sick leave telling me I wouldn’t be paid. I was angry at the time, but I’d thank them now. I decided to take the sick leave and that month I worked my hardest to freelance, blogging everyday, and working with my first client. That was the biggest payday I had ever had. I knew that I was determined and passionate enough to be a freelancer, I also knew that it was best for my health as I couldn’t stay awake for more than a couple hours at a time those first few months. I took a second month off due to the doctor’s recommendation and I talked about my past month and how I had been working, even she agreed that it sounded perfect for me. That second month I won Best Plus Size Fashion Blog at the Plus Size Awards. At the time I think I had done a handful of fashion posts, I didn’t know an awards even existed, and I was so shocked, proud, and over the moon to have been recognised for something that has changed my life. That lead to the craziest year to date.
2015 was incredible for me, I was modelling, being the face of a company, and a vintage clothing range, presenting web shows, organising catwalks, having a say on dress designs, sitting in on important meetings, and generally just embracing my new world and taking every opportunity that came my way. Doing so much had meant that I learnt a lot about how brands operate in the right ways, and how other brands exploit bloggers, and so I’ve made sure to share my experiences to help others. Obviously doing so much and my ever deteriorating health didn’t mix well, which mean 2016 was a lot quieter. I focussed on my content more and took a break from events. Instead I’ve talked about chronic pain more, and used my voice to raise awareness on invisible conditions.
The pace was a little too easy for me and so, I launched She Might Be Magazine towards the end of 2016. With the help of Daisy and Sophie, She Might Be Magazine is definitely the second best thing I’ve ever created. It’s been received so well in the blogging and plus size community, brands are supporting us, fellow bloggers, and our blog readers are expanding to the magazine too. Running a magazine is something that I’ve dreamed of for around 2 years and I’m so glad my friends and family gave me the push to finally make it happen. We post daily and everyone is welcome to submit and pitch to us, it’s so much fun editing posts, creating content around trending topics, and putting together pieces editorially different to what I’d put on my blog. It’s such a joy to do and even better than such amazing blogger babes and friends have supported me with it and joined in.
I can’t say I ever expected to be a freelancer, or a full time blogger, or the owner of an online magazine, who knows what’s next!
Whether you’ve been here from the start or joined a couple years down the line, I just want to say a massive thank you for enabling me to have a job as something I love and I’m so passionate about. Without the support of all of you reading, I would have never got here. And so, I thought it would be fun to look over some of my personal favourite posts that I’ve wrote over the years….
I think it’s definitely safe to say that I gained my brutally honest reputation after this post on Benefit in 2013, just two months after I started blogging. It wasn’t my first negative post, in fact that was around 6 posts in on a mascara that people were saying was ‘one of the best’, pft! I always laugh about seeing how bloggers always write positive things, and I really like that I don’t.
Obviously being the new and enthusiastic blogger, I read every single page of many websites and tried to learn everything I possible needed to know about blogging. Including SEO. Within 6 months I had gained a pagerank (the old DA) and that is quite impressive, if I do say so myself! At the time there were so many questions about SEO and what bloggers could do to improve it, so I wrote a very simple post, which still works to this day. I try to update it every year and recently I told the ladies at SMB Magazine that ‘DA is my bitch’, haha!
I’ve always loved Halloween but since blogging, I’ve really got into creating different makeup looks and upping them year after year. Halloween 2014 and 2015 were definitely my best and they were featured in Nation-wide press, as well as globally on the internet. Which obviously was quite crazy. I like to really get into Halloween, but my favourite is either Ursula (the 3rd year version) or my female Hades. But it’s a difficult choice and as I started looking through all the photos again, it’s become clear that I actually adore most of my looks! It takes several hours to create them, and they’re make me so happy to do.
After recent comments in the blogging world, I don’t think I need to say that I believe there’s room for everyone. I’ve said it for years, I’ve shown that I believe this, and I truly do help anyone who comes to me for advice on blogging. This post breaks down absolutely everything you need to know about sponsored posts, and what I think people should charge. I remember when I was new to blogging and asking someone what they charged was the most offensive thing you could do. It’s STILL a new industry, it’s still very difficult to be respected, and if one person is charging into the thousands, when another with the same figures are charging just hundreds, then I really do believe we should all be open and honest so that there’s more transparency and bloggers are respected at any size for their work.
At the end of a busy year, I had really saw the dark side of blogging and I wanted to do something about it. With the help of other bloggers sharing their experiences, I wrote one of my favourite posts, and I really do think that all bloggers should know that working for exposure doesn’t really get you much.
I wanted to keep up with this new style of content and so, I created a survey on the fit & quality of UK Plus Size Brands to help out fellow plus women. The response was amazing and the brands all wanted to know what their customers had to say about their sizing. It was super interesting to do and so much fun to create.
My bloggers working for exposure piece later lead onto a more personal account of all the times I had modelled for brands and when it was a good experience, and when it wasn’t. I’ve never been one to hide away from the Internet and I really do hope that by sharing all my experiences, good and bad, that I can help fellow bloggers not to have the same bad experiences that I have. There is a super important lesson to be learnt from this too, if you’re good at your own makeup, never let anyone else paint you, especially not when you’re meant to be representing YOU.
My Top 50 Tips for Growing Your Blog and Social Media Accounts!
Writing this roundup is making me feel so happy about how many of my posts including helping other people. All warm and fuzzy. But yeah, I was in a group chat with a lovely bunch of bloggers and we were talking about ways to grow your channels, so I thought I’d just write every way I could think of up into a blog post and out came this monster! It definitely needs updating with a couple Facebook groups, but for the most part, I think it’s super helpful.
We’re coming up to 3 years since my car accident now and having an invisible condition has opened my eyes SO much. I’ve learnt a new understand for disabilities, and for how shitty the world really can be when it comes to getting around if you’re not abled. I’m going to be doing a lot more on chronic pain and illnesses, as I really want to try and make a difference. One of the first bloggers I ever met, and now my dear friend, Faith and I will be working on something in the next few months too, so watch this space!
The past 4 years have been amazing, (and although I would definitely change my pain levels) I couldn’t ask for a more exciting life and more supportive friends and family.