Photos by Kaye Ford
In October 2009, I opened up a Blogspot account and laid the foundations for what would eventually become an online record of my twenties and beyond. I won’t prattle on about how much the blogging community – now industry – has changed, I think that topic has been written about enough times. But what I did want to do today is to sit down and candidly talk about the incredible, indelible impact that blogging has had on my life.
Without getting corny on you guys, founding and running Daisybutter has changed my life. It has never been my full-time ‘job’ but that’s not to say I never will take it full-time, and yet it is genuinely the one constant in my life since I started it. The pages of this blog hold stories, memories and big shifting moments from my very first year as a BA (Hons) Writing Fashion and Culture undergraduate, my days as an intern, my first job, moving to a new country, grief, loss, love… It’s all here.
I still clearly remember my first week as an undergrad. One of our lecturers stated clearly that the print industry was slowing down and that we’d chosen to enter an incredibly competitive market. 100 of us sat in that room, a mix of emotions bubbling away. And it’s weird because looking back, I couldn’t honestly tell you that I had ever pictured myself working at a fashion magazine: it was definitely more of a pipe dream.
When I started writing Daisybutter, it was because I was struggling with having my voice diminished for the sake of meeting briefs at University. Writing without limits about whatever I fancied – my latest LUSH purchases, what happened at Uni that day, my favourite looks from LFW… – was cathartic and allowed me to use my voice how I wanted to at the time. I felt fulfilled creatively and, after a good five or six months, I began to see a slow trickle of readers. First it was one or two views a day, then 50, and then a year or so ago, we reached nine MILLION collective views.
Somehow, woven between these stories are little threads that connect me to you. I’m forever thankful, because I genuinely feel as though I have an army of friends with me whenever I open up my MacBook or turn on my phone. Social media has made such an indelible impact on my introversion. Sometimes I think back to those earliest days – I started out as a fashion/outfit blogger – and marvel at the opportunities that Daisybutter has afforded me. Long-term partnerships and ambassadorships with leading brands including Filofax, Nintendo and GLOSSYBOX. I’ve DJ’d for 7 For All Mankind, had a role as a digital ambassador for YSL Beauté, crowd-sourced interviews for adverts with BOSE, been an ambassador for Missguided and boohoo, partnered on first-look content with Nintendo, and much, much more.
All the while, I persevered at Uni, somehow attaining full marks in select modules(!!) including Fashion Forecasting, the Fashion Freelancer, Blogging and Magazine Design. 10 years later, all of that really comes as no surprise. Eventually, I fell into the world of copywriting. I produced copy for a big name high street fashion brand, climbing my way up into luxury fashion, and eventually made a bit of a breakthrough when I managed to convince my manager to let me work on some editorial content. Digital editorial became my jam and it’s where I continue to work and flourish today, outside of blogging. Without doubt, writing a blog indelibly altered my career plans, shifting me from print to digital in the most organic way possible.
In the background, I continued to write on Daisybutter, cultivating a devoted, passionate and intelligent community of young women. The opportunities continue to flock in and whilst it isn’t my full-time gig, they give me an edge in my actual full-time gig. Starting a blog in 2009 turned out to be one of the best things I could’ve done, deepening my knowledge first-hand of the digital industry and leading to me discovering that this is my space. Every part of my life has been touched my blogging. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Some of my closest friendships were formed through Daisybutter. We’d head to blogger events together, back in 2011, and we spend most of the day exchanging messages on WhatsApp these days, going on girls’ trips and eating our way around London. Most of the contacts in my phone are bloggers and whilst at first I felt embarrassed having more online friends and IRL ones, you guys are genuinely some of my best friends. I’m always over the moon to read emails from you after a long day and I always, always have time for you.
Financially, I wouldn’t have guessed that someday I’d be earning money from a blog that I shared LUSH hauls on. Affiliate links, sponsored posts, and all the rest of it did not exist when I began blogging. Nobody had become a career blogger, except from Tavi Gevinson, and I certainly did not aspire to become a full-time blogger. I’m still asked whether I would ever do so.
My answer? Never say never, although I’m not entirely planning on doing so.
Day to day, I don’t consider the ‘impact’ of blogging on my life because 10 years is a long time. I suppose the ebbs and flow of this industry have naturally woven their way into my days. I don’t bat an eyelid when capturing images to share on Instagram Stories, blocking out half-days of my weekends to shoot for my blog and Instagram, scribbling post ideas in a notebook when I’m out and about. Evenings may be dedicated to writing blog posts, but I’d hazard a guess that if I wasn’t blogging, I’d be writing something regardless. I’d be journaling (which I do as well!), writing a novel (I’m slowly formulating one!)… I’m creative at heart and always have been. Always will.
I’m not entirely sure how to wrap this post up! It’s hard to put into words (for once!) how grateful I am to my past self for setting up a Blogspot account after Uni that day. Michelle, you were a bloody psychic!
How has the world of blogging impacted you? I’d love to know, whether you’re solely a reader, solely a blogger or a mix of both like me.