Last week saw the launch of ‘The Blend Sessions’, a new pop up bar by Chivas Regal located in the Old Truman Brewery, London. Visitors will be invited to sample some cocktails in the whisky bar and to discover the art of blending.
Throughout the duration of ‘The Blend Sessions’, Chivas Regal will be hosting a series of live discussions where cultural creative’s will be exploring the blend of skills and the collaborative spirit needed for a modern success story.
This all got me thinking about how my own story started off and how I have had to blend together my skills as well as learn from my peers to create a successful blog.
Blogging is one of the best jobs in the world (in my opinion anyway). It gives you an opportunity to speak and explore a topic or things that you love and to share them with a wide online audience from across the globe. But what does being a blogger actually entail? What do we do on a day-to-day basis? Where do we learn our skills? How do we make money? These are just some of the questions that people ask me when I tell people my job.
How I started my blog
When I first started my blog about 4 years ago I was pretty clueless in all honesty about the entire thing. I knew little of the software I needed to use to produce my job, I hardly knew how to operate a camera (still not entirely sure that I do that well) and I wasn’t the most creative of writers. A friend of mine, Paula had just started lifestyle blog for women and she inspired me to start a blog project of my own. A few months on and The Everyday Man was born.
The skills a blogger needs
I quickly learned that being a ‘blogger’ was much more than just that. The job of a blogger is actually a blend of many different roles and disciplines; it’s a lot more than just writing/blogging. I am pretty much self-taught and spent hours and day and weeks initially reading online forums, watching tutorials on YouTube and asking others for help in developing my new skills.
Blogging is a blend of photography, writing, admin, social media managing, accounts, consultancy and a lot more that I have probably forgotten off of the top of my head. You need to seamlessly be able to blend all of skills as you multi-task your way through the day, not avoiding one aspect or giving another too much of your time. If some of those areas are not your strongpoint then there is no harm in collaborating with others and share your skills be it with other bloggers or professionals.
Every day becomes a school day and I often find myself looking towards other bloggers and/or creative for help. The great thing about this field is that everyone seems to be happy to be help. It’s a great community. Especially when it comes to photography (not my strong point) I have had some great pointers and tips from my mates like The Discerning Man and Lucie Kerley.
On top of all of that you need to be creative. You need to keep your content and ideas fresh and try to stand out in a very saturated market. A lot of my inspiration comes from my love of travel and the new places and people it introduces me too.
None of that is easy but it is all good fun and something that I love to do, so I cherish the opportunity.
Managing my time
When you work from home/for yourself managing your time effectively is crucial. It can be tempting to use excuses to avoid doing work and on the flip it’s easy to get sucked in so that it overtakes your life, you need to work out a good balance for yourself.
I don’t work a 9 to 5 but I do work more than my fair share of hours each day often into the evening and even the wee small hours. Let’s face it how relevant are ‘traditional’ working hours to any of us nowadays?
Being freelance is a gift as you can ultimately find a structure that works for you whether it’s sticking to a set schedule or being a little more fluid. A truly modern way of working that allows for a better work/life balance.
Now that you have heard the story of my blogging blend and how I make it work, you can also discover how whisky is blended with the ‘Art of Blending’ pop up by Chivas Regal at the Truman Brewery with ‘The Blend’, a whisky bar and blending academy where you can make your own Scotch whisky under the guidance of the experts.
At The Blend event you will learn about the heritage, history and origins of whisky in the hour-long session and taste samples from Speyside, Islay, the Highlands and Lowlands. You will also get the chance to craft up you own bespoke blende whisky to take home with you.
The Blend pop-up is at the Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane, E1 6QR and an hour long Art Of Blending experience costs £15.
Get your tickets here.
Discloure: This post is written in collaboration with Chivas Regal