In this blog post I will explain the story of Lylia Rose and how my business has evolved over the years. My name is not actually Lylia Rose, but Victoria Sully. Unless you've been with me from the beginning of my business journey then you may only associate this website with being a UK money blog and are wondering why on Earth it's called Lylia Rose!
I will explain why my money blog has such a bizarre name below.
Lylia Rose began as an online shop on Etsy!
My self-employed business called Lylia Rose was created whilst on my first maternity leave, after the arrival of my baby girl, Bella Rose in 2012. I started making handmade cards and jewellery whilst at home with my new baby to not only keep me busy, but I thought perhaps I could find a way to make money from home by selling my crafts and I also really wanted a hobby. I never really had a hobby or passion back then but I had a desire to be good at something, so I gave being crafty a go.
I already knew I didn't want to return to work and had an idea to become a childminder so I could be at home with Bella. Even better was the thought of running my business from home all by myself. (I did actually train to be a childminder when Bella turned one, but I never ended up pursuing it as I wanted to make a go of my online shop at the time which was quite popular back then).
I’d heard many great things about Etsy as a handmade selling platform, so thought I’d try to sell my crafty makes on their platform. This is where the name Lylia Rose first originated!
I spent ages searching for a store name using my name, my daughter's name and a mixture of both our names, but every combination was already taken! I tried so many name combinations for my Etsy shop and after getting quite frustrated in the process I decided to try my second favourite girl’s name at the time - Lylia.
Success! Lylia Rose was available.
It seemed well suited to what was a pretty handmade card shop and jewellery store. A pretty name for pretty things.
Of course, back then I had no idea how my business would evolve into a UK money blog and how the name would bear no relevance to my future business at all!
Lylia Rose first existed on social networking sites only
As I had no funds for my new venture, I made use of free social networking platforms Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to promote my crafty makes. I quickly became a social media networking addict, specify up to 13 hours on social media networking hours to promote my items! I found I was selling more items directly through my Facebook page rather than my Etsy store, so put all my time and effort into Facebook in the early days.
I soon started sourcing wholesale jewellery, scarves and other fashion accessories to sell alongside my own creations and quickly turned into a sole trader. These items proved very popular and I eventually stopped making and became an online retailer instead.
To be honest, I was never very good at making things. It was more assembling. I'd buy the different parts of the jewellery and assemble them. I never made jewellery from scratch! That passion turned out not to be for me, but since then I have definitely found a lot of hobbies I am very passionate about and have committed to (healthy living, running and blogging).
Facebook kept making changes to how posts are viewed, meaning small business pages like mine stopped being seen. I had 6000 likes on my page and sold items every day, but when they kept making algorithm changes only 10% or less would see my posts and my sales stopped!
My reach dropped so much that I had to try another way of selling my items. This is where lyliarose.com came from!
In 2013 the lyliarose.com website was born
Frustrated by social media and not being in control of it, I decided I needed my very own e-commerce website to sell my items. I set up this website in January 2013 with create.net and opened my first own online store and website.
It was here, in the shop section that I sold all scarves, jewellery, clothes, fashion accessories and housewares for a few years. I still networked on Twitter and Facebook, but I eventually gave up on my Facebook page as reach was so poor. I loved Twitter and was able to generate almost daily sales from taking part in the networking groups for a couple of years.
The thing was, I only got sales on my website from the people I interacted with on Twitter. Not that it was a bad thing, but I had assumed that by setting up my own website I would be found on search engines and not have to rely on social media for sales. Social media could change its rules or even disappear at any time, along with my business if I solely relied on it for my sales and therefore my income.
I naïvely thought I would get website traffic from Google just like that. Just set up a website and go! People would find me when they searched for a jewellery shop or scarf shop.
It was naïve as there are over 1.94 billion websites online. Well there was in January 2019 and so perhaps there are even more now! Assuming people would just find my brand new website just like that is a bit ridiculous!
So I started researching how to increase website traffic for some ideas of what to do. I literally had no search engine traffic and only had people visit my website via social media. The main advice I kept stumbling on was to start a blog.
I had a blog section available on my Create website, but I hadn't used it yet. I had no idea what to blog about and so I ignored the advice at first thinking it wasn't so relevant for an e-commerce store, but soon, in desperation of needing to improve my income if I wanted to really be self-employed, I decided to give this blogging a go.
How the Lylia Rose blog first started
By March 2013 I had read so much advice about increasing website traffic that suggested a blog that I had to give it a go. At first I assumed I would need to only blog about business related things for Lylia Rose and so I shared promotions on my blog, stories of how Lylia Rose had started, Twitter networking awards that I had won and so on. It was purely a business blog where I shared information about my shop business.
At the time I knew nothing about DA scores, search engine optimisation (SEO) or how to best compose a blog post. My blog posts were short and often less than 300 words, so they would never have even been picked up by Google or gained me any extra website traffic!
But at least I was trying and I was always keen to learn more and began researching blogging and even reading other blogs.
This was back in 2013 and I found a lot of fashion and lifestyle blogs. Many posted outfits of the day (OOTD) and this seemed like a good fit for my blog. I could post pictures of my daily outfits whilst also wearing one or two items from my store so I could promote them.
Beauty went with fashion nicely and so I became a fashion and beauty blog at first. However, I never felt very passionate about this niche for my blog. It was purely to try and sell more items from my online store. But, the biggest surprise is that I did become passionate about writing!
It probably wasn't such a big surprise as I'd loved to write as a youngster. I even wonder if I was destined to become a blogger. I used to love writing stories, poems and pretend magazines as a child. I even kept a diary for several years as a teenager. I loved doing essays and coursework at school! I'd just never thought about blogging as an adult which seems silly now as I always had a passion for writing.
Starting a lifestyle blog
My shop was doing OK and I started getting daily sales. It just wasn't very profitable after all the expenses, but I kept trying my best. I became pregnant with my second child and decided to take maternity leave. I planned on one year's worth of maternity leave, but after 8 months we needed me to start earning again, so I re-opened my online shop which I'd closed for my maternity and set about trying to sell again.
Things were good at first as it was before Christmas, but in the New Year things really calmed down. This was in 2016 and money was really tight so I quickly got a part time cleaning job to tide us over whilst I tried to build my shop back up again.
Whilst on maternity I had a lot of time to concentrate on my blog whilst my shop was closed. I had become a lifestyle blogger which I enjoyed a lot more than posting about fashion and beauty. I had a big overhaul of my blog, a couple of times, and deleted hundreds of blog posts that were just plain awful from the start of my blog journey.
I started blogging about my lifestyle and enjoyed it so much more. I became really passionate about blogging and loved it just as a hobby even if it didn't bring me website traffic to my online shop.
I started getting approached about sponsored blog posts, but I didn't really understand what they were and wanted my blog to be purely my own content. I didn't realise that I could actually write my own collaborative blog posts in my own words for payment! In fact, I didn't even really realise I could make money from my blog.
I'd installed Google Adsense on my website and only made a couple of pounds per month, so I just assumed websites needed millions of visitors per month to make any sort of proper income.
Beginning to make money from blogging in 2016
I soon began to realise that my shop wasn't picking up with sales like before my maternity leave and I also began to lose my passion for the shop. I didn't feel passionate about the products as I did when I started. I'd become more minimal in my lifestyle and didn't even wear jewellery or fashion accessories anymore.
I'd began to network and interact with other bloggers and stumbled across some bloggers online income reports. Oh my! I suddenly realised that other bloggers, like me, were making serious money from their blogs! I had around the same traffic levels, read their blog posts and realised my writing style was on the same level, so perhaps I could actually make money from my blog too.
Perhaps I'd been missing a trick all along!
I went back through my emails and reached out to those who had approached me about sponsored blog work previously.
Some replied and they were still interested so I gave it a go and was amazed that I could make money by doing what I loved - writing!
Having seen that other bloggers were making £1000-£2000 per month from blogging which was way more than my part-time job, I decided to go all out on blogging!
I stopped concentrating on my online shop, stopped replenishing the stock and began to join blogging networking groups, read as much advice about making money blogging as I could and started looking for paid blogging opportunities.
I changed my whole focus and strategy and immersed myself in the blogging community.
My website already had some good website traffic, a good DA score and other stats that were needed to apply for blogging opportunities. This is from where I'd been trying to build it up and promote it for three years so without knowing it I already had a good head start!
Very quickly I started making money from my blog and more than I was making per month from my part time job! By the end of 2016 I was making almost a full-time wage each month from blogging!
Going full-time with blogging in 2017
I made a decision in December 2016 to try and make a full-time income from my blog starting in January 2017. I totally went for it.
I searched for as many places as possible to find blog work and signed up for them all. I applied for every opportunity I found that was relevant to my lifestyle blog. I approached SEO companies and digital marketing companies. It worked and I was able to make a full-time income in 2017. I even left my part-time job in May 2017 once I realised my blogging income was sustainable.
It always concerned me that I might have a quiet month blogging, so I also started lots of other methods to make money from home such as matched betting, mystery shopping and more. I found as many ways to make money from home and online as I could, whilst also caring for my two young children and blogging!
I started to write about all these methods and gradually my blog's direction began to change.
Closing my e-commerce store in 2018
On 28th December 2018, after selling 4090 items through my Create website (and even more via Etsy and directly through social media) I decided to close my online shop.
I had not been restocking the shop for months on end and had dwindled the stock down to only a handful of pieces.
It was definitely the end of an era after six years of selling goods online, but blogging was taking over my life and a lot more profitable for me. It was my new passion and obsession!
I switched the shop off on my website and lyliarose.com became a blog only!
It's not totally the end of selling online as I sell our secondhand belongings on eBay and my husband makes handmade furniture, but for me personally I think it's the end of being an online retailer forever.
By 2019 Lylia Rose was a UK money blog
I began to write more and more about making money online from blogging, matched betting and all the other ways I discovered. I also found ways to save money such as using cash back apps and websites. I shared tips to save money and make money. This became a regular topic for my blog as well as a passion of mine.
By 2019 I decided to purely focus my Lylia Rose blog on money topics.
Lylia Rose's main topics are now making money online, blogging, working from home, self-employment, staying healthy as a busy work-at-home-mum, side hustles, saving money and family finance tips.
Many of my blog posts before 2019 cover a variety of topics and most of them will stay put on this blog.
Setting up more blogs for success
Having experienced the success of blogging on Lylia Rose for myself by being able to make a full-time income, it seemed sensible to me to start more blogs to see if I could do the same.
I started Healthy Vix in January 2018 to focus on all things healthy living and I began Travel Vixta in November 2018 to share my love of travel. I now have three blogs that focus on my three passions: making money online, healthy living and travel.
My husband also started his website in June 2017 called Wood Create and I took over the blog in 2018.
So now I write four blogs which are all profitable and have continued to make a full-time income from blogging ever since January 2017.
That's the story so far and brings us up to date with how Lylia Rose became a money blog and where that strange name came from!
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