Grab a cuppa gal pals this might be a chatty one (oh, and a biscuit too!)...
I was thinking on the train the other day (and FYI no, it didn’t hurt!), that I kind of sprung the #FMIFReLaunch on you guys and never really went into too much detail as to why I decided to relaunch. I wrote this very vague post here about a super exciting change that was on the horizon for FMIF but never elaborated too much. I was so incredibly caught up in organizing my wonderful team at the #FMIFReLaunch event that I hadn’t given it too much thought into explaining the process to you guys…
So, for me it all started on a trip to Barbados back at the end of July where I met the incredibly inspiring lady that is Laura Barlett; editor of House of Coco magazine and a woman that I’m so honoured to know call a friend (and a bad influence LOLZ). Laura started her magazine Urban Coco a few years back but 2 years ago it didn't quite work out how she'd planned, did she give up? Hell no! She spent some time thinking of what she could have done differently, working out how and where it hadn’t quite worked out. Regrouped her thoughts and ideas then came back a million times stronger with House of Coco; which FYI is now the 3rd biggest online travel magazine app and I’m so, so proud of everything she has achieved - #GIRLBOSS right there ladies!!
I’d been feeling a bit meh about FMIF for so long and I couldn’t put my finger on the reason why, I still don’t know if there ever was a reason. Last September when I turned my hobby into a job, it was the proudest moment of my working career so far, I was so giddy with exciting, bursting with creative energy and ideas. But fast forward one year and that wasn’t the case, and I’m not ashamed to admit that. The second that my hobby became my job, also came an extra added element of pressure, I had to make money to survive. I’d stripped my monthly income and whilst project work is always so exciting, it’s also stressful not knowing when your next payment will be coming from. Most companies can take up to 3 months to pay (I’ve waiting 6 months for a payment before!), so it’s hard to find the balance of keeping the cash flowing, accepting jobs you love but not over-doing the sponsored content as I still wanted my blog to be an overspill of my thoughts, a blog from one gal to the next! It’s hard to keep the sponsored/organic balance but I never wanted the sponsored content to step over the 50/50 mark so I was always conscious of that.
Once I met Laura, and we spent many a times floating about the pool in Sandals (strawberry daiquiri in hand no less!) and talking about where we saw our futures heading it really made me question; 'well, where is it heading?'. Blogging has always been a community that I’m so, so incredibly proud to be a part of; everyone is smashing it out of the park and there's bloggers know who are launching their own beauty ranges, turning their hand to TV presenting and writing books. Yet, whilst my heart is bursting with pride and admiration for them; it's never been a path that I envisioned myself taking. So, what now? I decided that I wanted to relaunch as more of a luxury online magazine, focusing heavily on travel and lifestyle, with editorial style content.
What does that mean for FMIF? Well, not that much has really changed, other than the fact that I now have a team of 7 incredible ladies working with me, you can meet my babe stations here! Even though I've expanded with a team of lovely ladies to shed light on their expertise and content, it will always be me. I'll be the one managing, and scheduling, tweeting you back or replying to your comment as it took me 5 years to build up relationships with brands and you wonderful readers and fellow bloggers and that's something I never wanted to loose! After a wee brain storming session with my girls yesterday, we've decided to make a couple of changes to FMIF… read on below!
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I felt like ever since we relaunched it was always going to be trial and error for the first few months, to establish what works and what doesn't, I've never had to manage a team before so that's also been a learning curve for me too! But, the main things are we've decided to scale down and post just four times per week at 9am still, we're even looking into a team photography class so we can up our game for you guys (how cute?!), I've also installed some new software for my posts so we can make our posts more detailed and professional, you'll understand more in the next few days as our posts start to roll out.
Opening up to you guys always feels like a massive weight was lifted from my shoulders, like having a good natter over a few vinos with the girls! As always, than you SO much for reading and for sticking by me (us!) - we're planning to produce a lot more travel content and if there's anything you'd like us to work/focus on then please leave a comment as your feedback is always taken on board!
Much love, as ever, Hayley xo
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