‘What is your job?’
My main income comes through Anniebobs Boutique, I wrote a blog post a while ago What it’s like to quit your job to run your own business which covers pretty much everything you need to know about quitting your day job to run a creative business and I earn a bit of extra money through the blog (see below). I run the business on a Monday & Tuesday morning and most naptimes / evenings and because I’m working for myself I can take advantage of any decent weather we have and take the children out for the day – I just end up having to make the time up another day.
‘How did you come up with your website name?’
Annie is my daughter and Bob is my jack russell terrier and I was sat at home on maternity leave with just those two for company when I thought the name up, it kind of named itself! I know it’s a bit cutesy but I love it. Although I don’t know what Evan will think of it!
‘Do you have any tips for setting up a creative business, or for starting a lifestyle blog?’
I would say for both that you should just dive in and do it because you’ll soon realise if it’s for you or not. Etsy is a brilliant starting point for a creative business, it’s really cheap to set up a shop and easy to deal with the whole transaction. They even give you your own website through Pattern now. I left creating a website far too long so I’d definitely recommend doing that ASAP even if you don’t want to blog (which you really should, it’s improved my sales year-round) and my main recommendation would be to go self-hosted right away. I didn’t and it cost me a lot of time and hard work trying to move it over. I am no expert but google ‘setting up a self-hosted blog or website’ and you’ll find someone to guide you through it, that’s all I did.
Other than that, for the content side of things my advice would be to write something that you’d want to read and do it consistently. Also, don’t compare your website or Etsy sales to anyone else’s. They’ve probably been doing it longer than you and already have a following or a loyal customer base – a lot of my customers are repeat ones who will buy the personalised wedding dress hangers for every wedding they go to and some of those have turned into loyal readers of my blog. If you need to compare to someone, Etsy has a brilliant stats tool where you can compare your previous 7 days / 30 days / 1 years sales, so you can compete with your past self and try to continuously improve.
‘Do you accept samples/complimentary items for review and do you ever have sponsored content on this site?’
I do accept samples from PR agencies and companies, though I wouldn’t ever accept an item simply because it was free and will politely decline items that I feel are not a good fit for either me or my blog. I always make it clear in the blog post if I’ve been gifted something. Occasionally, I share content here that has been sponsored by, or created in collaboration with a certain brand or company but I am very selective about sponsored material so would only accept something if I knew it would work for my blog.
‘How can I work with you?’
Please get in touch through the Contact Me form here.