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  1. Deciding to start your own business is an exciting and nerve wracking moment.  Perhaps you’ve a hobby that you can turn into a money making venture, you want to start monetising your blog or there’s a home business idea you’ve been dreaming of for years and you’re ready to make it a reality.  I’ve been self-employed and running my own small business called Lylia Rose from home since 2012. In this blog post I’ll share seven things to do at the beginning of your starting a business journey.

    There are lots of things to think about when setting up your own business for the first time.  I’m no stranger to this process as my husband has started his own business recently and I also set up my own second website.  The beginning process is one I am familiar with.  We would also like to set up another travel related website, but we are stuck on deciding a name!

    In no particular order here are the first seven things to think about, create or design when setting up your own business:

    7 things to do when starting your own business

    Image

    The name

    The first thing you need to do is decide on a business name.  This can either be the easiest process or the hardest!  Sometimes you know instantly what you want to call your business and if it’s not a taken name then away you go.  However, if every name you think of already exists as a business then it can become more of a challenge.  Mind map and brainstorm until you come up with a perfect name.  Don’t settle for anything you are not 100% sure of.   Also think about the longevity of the business name.  There are many bloggers who call their blogs something like Baby Isla’s Mummy only to go on to have lots more children and after a year Isla isn’t a baby anymore.  Try to think of a name that can represent your business as it evolves into the future.  Once you have the name sorted then you can design the perfect logo.  You’ll also want to check your proposed business name is available as a domain and on the social media accounts you plan to use.

    Business cards

    No doubt you’ll want to tell lots of people all about your new business venture and if interested they’ll want to know your new business name and website details.  Most people will forget what they’re told, so it’s handy to have some business cards in your wallet ready to give to those inquisitive people.  Then there’s no danger of them forgetting and you could instantly have a new fan, supporter or even customer.  Professional business cards are easy to make using an online printing company like HelloPrint UK where you can upload your own designs and logos.  Give some extra cards to your friends and family to pass on and news of your new venture will soon spread.

    Website

    In the modern age it’s so important to have an online presence.  Your customers will be searching online to find a company just like yours and if you’re not there, you can’t be found.  It’s a great place to showcase a portfolio, take bookings or even to sell products depending on your business model.  Setting up a website is easy than ever nowadays with plenty of free templates available even for those of us who have no idea about coding whatsoever.  For a monthly or annual fee you’ll be able to get a slightly better website with more functionality and customer service to guide you through the process.  You can even hire a web developer to design your website from scratch if preferred.

    Related read: How to CREATE your own website (who I use)

    Social media accounts

    As well as being found by your website, customers will want to see you have a social presence too on some or all of the social media websites available today.  If all of them is too overwhelming (and time consuming) then just pick around three that you can focus your time and energy on.  I use Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.  All three have very different purposes, but they mean my customers and followers can see what I’m up to and contact me via these channels if preferred.  It can give your business a more personal feel and some insight into the person who runs the business and a peek behind the scenes.

    Domain email

    When you have your website set up you’ll want to set up a business email that’s linked to your domain.  This means your email address will be something like hello@yourbusinessname.com.  If you only have one domain you can set up a free account with Zoho who will talk you through setting up a custom domain email address.  I use them for both my Create and Wordpress websites and the process was pretty straightforward.  If you get stuck they have an online chat team who can assist.  Of course you could go for something like yourbusinessname@yahoo.com but I don’t think it looks as professional as your own domain email.  Seeing as you can set this up at no extra cost, it’s definitely worth doing.

    Branding

    Once you’ve got a name and logo then you’ll want to think about your branding.  This may start with the logo and the choice of colours you use.  Think of the colours you want to use for your brand and use them throughout your website, marketing materials, graphics, social media and email signatures.  Consistent branding will enable your business to be recognised and appear more professional.  This is the same with the fonts you decide to use.  Have a main text font and then choose an accent font.  Your brand voice is your businesses personality and this should also be consistent allowing consumers to trust you, recognise you and rely on you.

    Tax

    The scariest sounding thing of all, but believe me it’s not that bad.  You will need to register with HMRC as self-employed if you are starting a money making business.  No matter if you are only going to make 1p or even a loss in your first year, you still need to register.  If you already have an employed job, you still need to register.  You will need to declare all your business incomings and expenditure for tax purposes, even if you don’t meet the personal threshold and have nothing to pay.  It still needs to be declared.  There are so many helpful guides on the HMRC website that explain everything and this is a great starting point: https://www.gov.uk/working-for-yourself

    Starting your own business is so exciting.  Good luck!

     

    What to read next

    5 tried and tested ways to make money as a UK stay at home mum
    Make money from your blog with Awin affiliate marketing
    10 careers you can do from home
    The 5 ways I made £30000 money from home in 2017/2018

     

     7 things to do when starting your own business

  2. Welcome to my latest giveaway!  Today I have a blog giveaway to win a £40 promo code to spend on items of your choice at StickerYou.  Read on to find out all about this wonderful prize and how you can enter.

    Create custom stickers and labels for home, kids and business!

    Blog Giveaway – Win a £50 promo code for StickerYou.com

    ‘StickerYou Inc. provides the best platform in the world to create custom products that make you stick!’

    Who are StickerYou?

    StickerYou.com is a website that enables you to design your own custom stickers for both home and business.  You can order from as little as one bespoke sticker to hundreds or even thousands.  The options are endless with single die cut shaped stickers, to whole sheets of stickers.  You can choose any shape, size and quantity.

    For your business 

    These are the perfect way to promote your business or blog.  They even have business card stickers!  Being an online seller I regularly order my logo on small circle stickers to stick on the seal of mailing bags with customer orders.  They have ideas for all sorts of businesses from adding your logo to coffee cups, jars, walls, doors, cars and all sorts with vinyl decals, badges, patches and other materials available too.  It’s not just stickers!

    At home 

    They also have so many options for stickers to use at home and for kids including name labels to stick on lunchboxes, water bottles and other belongings.  They also have stick-on clothing tab labels which are strong enough to go through the wash and don’t require any ironing!  We always have a stash of these stickers at home with the kids names on so we can just grab and stick if the kids get new uniform or a take something from home into school one day.

    The prize

    The winner will receive a £40 promo code and can choose anything from the StickerYou website. 

    Enter here:

    The full terms and conditions are below and in the Rafflecopter widget.  Check out my Giveaways section for more amazing prizes.

    Good luck!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Please pin me:

    Blog Giveaway – Win a £40 promo code for StickerYou.com

    Term and Conditions:

    • There will be one winner
    • The prize is £40 to spend at www.stickeryou.com
    • The prize must be claimed within 28 days of the first winner's notification email being sent.
    • There is no cash alternative
    • There is no limit on the number of entries per person, follow the instructions to enable multiple entries
    • Winners will be notified within 28 days
    • The winner must claim their prize within 28 days or it will be forfeited
    • All entries must be received by the date and time specified
    • The winner will be picked at random by Rafflecopter & notified by email
    • Giveaways are open to the UK only

     

    More fab blog posts to read next:

    The top 3 ways I made money from home in 2017
    Get paid to test websites from home (£5 per 20 minutes)
    Get paid doing simple tasks from your phone with Streetbees
    I’ve made £300 tax free cash from home in 2 weeks and you can too

     

     

  3. When it comes to money, you always want to know that you’re doing well with it. Although it is common for you to find that you go through tough times with your money, you don’t have to live that way forever. Maybe right now you’re not doing so well financially and you’re desperate to find a way to turn that around? Or maybe you’re doing okay, but you still want to make sure that you really change your financial situation for the better? Well, then it’s time to make the money you do have work a little bit harder. And not only can you use some great online money making ideas to help you here, but you should also look to get a bit smarter with your money too.

    Want To Make Your Money Work Harder Read This

     

    1. Get To Know Compound Interest

    So the first thing that you want to do, is to make sure that you get to know all about compound interest. When it comes to debt, compound interest is your worst nightmare. It essentially costs you more money for borrowing the same amount, the longer you take to pay it back. But when we’re thinking in terms of savings, compound interest is your very best friend. It allows you to build up more and more money, because the interest is earning on itself! So even if you only have a small amount to put away today, over time, it could be really worth something.  It's something I've only just learnt about and I'm keen to learn more.

     

    2. Start Trading

    Alongside the idea of committing to saving, you may even want to consider trading. Now, a lot of the time, people will think that they just can’t start investing online because they have no idea how to do it. But everyone has to start everywhere - right? Just make sure that you start off slowly, that you do your research on new terminology like calls vs puts and just take your time. Don’t go all in, but find your feet with trading, and over time, you may find that it really pays off for you.  If, like me, you are pretty clueless when it comes to trading perhaps just start by investing in some stocks and shares and leaving them to grow for years.  Your bank will probably offer a stocks and shares savings account and they'll invest for you.  Just remember your capital is at risk so make sure you do your research and choose a reputable company to invest in.  Your workplace may even have a share scheme you can benefit from with discounted share purchase prices.

     

    3. Try Online Tactics

    Next up, there's the idea of making money quickly online. The thing with saving is, you do have to be patient. Even trading can be better over time. But there are things you can do online, like matched betting, surveys, freelancing and more to get your cash pool stacked up instantly.

    See some of the ways I make money online here:

    The top 3 ways I made money from home in 2017
    Get paid to test websites from home (£5 per 20 minutes)
    Get paid doing simple tasks from your phone with Streetbees
    I’ve made £300 tax free cash from home in 2 weeks and you can too

     

    4. Start Affiliate Marketing

    Then there’s also affiliate marketing. This is something that you can do with a blog, or even just using a social media platform. So read up on how you can earn money with affiliates and get started.

    Read who I use here: Make money from your blog with Awin affiliate marketing

     

    5. Be Smart With How You Spend

    Finally, you’re then also going to want to make sure that you’re being a little bit smarter about how you spend too. When you think about your money working harder for you, you can often forget about holding onto what you have. While you may not want to be incredibly frugal and really cut back on everything, you do need to make sure that you’re not wasting money or throwing it away. If you just think a little more careful when you spend, then your money will automatically be working harder.

     

    Want To Make Your Money Work Harder_ Read This

    Collaboration

  4. I’ve had no end of dentist and orthodontic appointments recently.  After having my peg tooth extracted last Monday, I then had both an orthodontist and dentist appointment last Wednesday!  I’ve only just got round to sharing my update of what happened at those appointments.  It’s been a busy working week and I was away camping at the weekend.  Time is flying by!  I’ll have another orthodontic appointment today too!

    Welcome to my latest Braces at 30 blog post where I share my experience of wearing a brace as an adult with updates from each appointment.  I had my braces fitted when I was 30 years old.  I’m now 32 and wore braces for 28 months in total having had the lower set removed last week!  Below I share what happened at my latest appointment.

    Here’s my last update if you missed it: Braces at 30 | Peg tooth extraction | 28 Months

    My latest braces at 30 update – No more braces after 28 months (but lots more dental work)

    I am finally BRACE FREE after a whopping 28 months!  Seeing as I was originally told 18-24 months and we assumed the 24 months was being over cautious, it surprisingly went well over this by four months!

    What a journey it's been and there is still up to 9 months left until I'm finished!!

    Here I am with the top clear Essix retainer on with one false tooth in the retainer to one side of my front top teeth and some composite to mask the other missing tooth on the other side!  From a distance you can't really notice it at all.  Close up it looks blooming awful!

    NO MORE BRACES AFTER 28 MONTHS (BUT ITS NOT OVER YET) - orthodontics at 30

     

    And here is without my retainer on!  AAAAAAGH!  PIRATE!!  The bottom teeth with brace finally off after 28 months.  You can see the black triangles I need to have filled with composite bonding which I explain below.

    Getting there!  Some temporary solutions coming up for missing teeth, then proper false teeth in 6-9 months and I can't wait!

    NO MORE BRACES AFTER 28 MONTHS (BUT ITS NOT OVER YET) - orthodontics at 30

     

    Here's the retainer I'm hopefully only wearing for another week or so until I get the metal one:

    Braces at 30 - Bottom brace off, permanent bonded retainer on and two missi

     

    My orthodontist appointment

    I spent one hour in the orthodontists chair whilst we looked at my teeth, removed the bottom braces, cleaned the glue off the bottom and a pesky bit that had been left on the top for a couple of months.  The glue removal is pretty horrid!  It’s removed with some whizzing mini power tool type thing that must sand it off really quickly.  It seemed to take ages to get every last bit and I hate that feeling of something scratching on my teeth like that!

    I also had a permanent bonded retainer added to my bottom teeth.  This is a strip of wire attached to the back of the front six teeth which will remain in place indefinitely.  It’s meant to be permanent, but of course something might pull it off one day.  My brace never came off so I’m hoping this will stay in place too.  It means I don’t have to wear a retainer in the day time on the bottom teeth.  I just have this all the time, then wear a clear Essix retainer at night. I wear that every night at first, for around three months, then part time at night forever more to maintain the new position of the teeth.

    After adding the bonded retainer we took moulds for both my upper and lower teeth.  As well as a mould of how I bite together.  This is for the clear Essix retainer which will go on the bottom and a new Hawley retainer that will go on the top.  I will have tried all three retainers then, so I’ll have to do a comparison of them on the blog!  As I’ve had a second tooth out at the top and now have both lateral incisors missing, I need a new retainer with two false teeth inserted.  The dentist just popped some temporary filling into my existing plastic retainer.  I really hate this plastic retainer so fancied trying the metal one.  I’ll only have to wear that one in the evenings as I will be getting my denture soon.  I’ll just have to wear the upper metal retainer in the day times also for one week exactly.

    My dentist appointment

    Later the same day I went to see my dentist.  He checked my gum where I’d had the peg tooth extracted two days before and it all seems to be healing well.  The temporary filling he’d put in my retainer had fallen down the plug hole, so he redid this and etched the sides of the retainer so hopefully it’s a stronger bond.  It was just a temporary solution until I get my metal retainer and also a denture.

    I had a scale and polish on my bottom front teeth as they were disgusting where the brace had been taken off that morning!  Lots of calculus had built up in my front bottom teeth near the gums and also where I have gaps.  Yes I still have gaps!!

    I have some black triangles at the bottom of my front teeth which are so annoying!  I was hoping to close all gaps and whilst the large gaps have closed and the teeth have come together, the sides of my teeth are worn away and not straight so it creates these black triangular holes.  I usually get a build-up of tartar down there so I really don’t want the teeth to wear away any more.  I’m going to ask if I can have cosmetic bonding on these teeth to cover these gaps and prevent the teeth from wearing away anymore and prevent tartar build up.

    Before having the scale and polish I couldn’t even see the gaps, but afterwards as there must have been such a build-up of calculus, there they were!

    My teeth felt super clean afterwards which was great.

    We then took moulds of both rows of teeth in order to make a denture for my top teeth which will give me two temporary false teeth for now that I can eat with and wear in the day.  I’m able to wear this denture all day long and just sleep in the retainer at night.

    Then in 6-9 months’ time my gum will have healed from the latest tooth extraction and I can arrange my permanent false teeth.  At that point I plan on having my teeth whitened, fill  the black triangles with cosmetic bonding and having two bridges with permanent false teeth (well they may last 7-10 years, or hopefully 20 as some people claim!).  I may either have a Maryland style bridge or the traditional bridge, but we’ll see nearer the time which is recommended.

    Bye-bye brace

    Though it’s certainly not over yet and I don’t feel a big relief as I have two missing teeth at the front top, I look like a pirate, I am glad the brace is off!  My mouth already feels lighter and cleaner, so much cleaner!  No longer are bits of food getting stuck all over my teeth when I eat!

    I am glad to be rid of the brace and pleased I’m on the home run to great looking teeth and a smile I am no longer embarrassed of.

    Tonight I will be picking up both of my new retainers from the orthodontist, Essix for the bottom and Hawley for the top.  In one week my denture should be ready to collect from the dentist!  I am most excited about the denture as it means I can eat with two false teeth in place.  At the moment I have to eat with two missing teeth and so I’m only eating in front of hubby and kids, or no one!

    My latest braces at 30 update – No more braces after 28 months (but its no

  5. Welcome to my Money Making Blogger interview series where I will interview bloggers who are making money from their blogs! 

    A new post every Monday at 12pm from a money making blogger sharing their experience and advice.

    I've been a full time blogger officially since May 2017.  For one year before this I made a part time wage from my blog and worked a part time job.  I started blogging in April 2013 and never even realised I could make a real living from my blog and thought it was just a hobby.  So for the first three years I didn't make any money from my blog.

    Before properly monetizing my blog I did have a few opportunities land in my inbox which I politely declined as I wasn't really sure what they were.  Then I stumbled upon some blogger income reports and realised there was some real money to be made.  I’ve never looked back and I started collaborating with brands and putting a value on my time and worth, instead of accepting unpaid collaborations.  I now make a full time living from my blog and I want you to realise you can do this too, if you want to. 

    I get to write every day and make money by doing what I love.  It’s amazing and still amazes me each day, even two years into making money from my website.  It’s not without a lot of hard work though, so don’t be fooled into thinking you simply set up a website and voila, income starts rolling in.  If only!  I work 30-40 hours per week currently and my blog is my life!

    In this series I am going to interview other bloggers who also make money from their blogs to hopefully inspire people to start a blog if they wish or to make that leap to monetizing content.  I also find it so interesting to learn what other bloggers are up to and even us full time bloggers can learn from each other and inspire one another.

    Money making blogger interview with Justine of www.girlgonedreamer.co.uk

    Hello, please introduce yourself and your money making blog.

    Hello I'm Justine and I earn my second income from www.girlgonedreamer.co.uk

    How long have you been blogging for?

    3 years

    When did you begin to monetize?

    I was approached by a PR firm in February last year, they wanted me to write a sponsored post. Once the post was published I received positive feedback from both the client and the PR people which then gave me the confidence to do more.

    What sort of income do you make from your blog each month? Pocket money, part time, full time or feel free to share the figure.

    I can't give an accurate figure as it really does vary month by month, however I will say that I definitely earn a substantial part time income from it. It's helping to pay off my debt.

    What steps did you take in the beginning to monetize your blog?

    Once I was initially approached and I realised it was something I could do, I started putting out weekly tweets to see if I could generate more interest. I'd also look at opportunities on both Twitter and Facebook blog groups and I'd apply to any and everything.

    How do you make money from your blog?

    From sponsored posts and advertising.

    Has it been an easy process?

    It's been an altogether enjoyable process, definitely not easy though. In fact it's been rather challenging at times - more so when I've been sleep deprived with deadlines looming. That said, I believe that hard work and consistency pays off. Being able to earn money doing something I love is quite the achievement.

    What are the top three ways you make money from your blog?

    Sponsored posts, hosting pre-written content and advertising. I've yet to get to grips with affiliate marketing.

    What is your favourite way to make money from your blog?

    Definitely writing my own (sponsored) posts. I've been writing ever since I learned how to at the grand old age of five or six. I simply love getting creative.

    How much do you really work on your blog?  Be honest.

    Honestly? The only time I don't is when I'm at my day job. And even then I'm often scribbling notes onto post it's if I get an idea. I also check my emails in my lunch break. I allow myself one evening off each week to watch TV, usually Greys Anatomy or Suits. Every other evening I switch the laptop on as soon as I get in and I work up until bedtime which is usually between eleven and half one depending on my workload. I also give myself a day off at weekends. It's pretty full on at the moment.

    What are your aims for your blog in the future?

    I'd like to re-introduce book reviews as they used to be very popular. Potentially more style type posts too although time will tell. Other than that and trying affiliate marketing it'll be more of the same. I do have many other career aspirations which could launch off the back of GirlGoneDreamers success but for now my lips are sealed.

    If someone is totally new to blogging, what would you advise they concentrate on to help make their blog a money making success?

    I always tell newbie bloggers to firstly write what they are passionate about, don't force it and don't try to be something that you're not. Also never compare yourself to other bloggers. It can be soul destroying. Other than that, the key is to write engaging and valuable content, and by valuable I mean be of value to the reader i.e. answer a question/teach them something. Consistency is important too as is putting yourself out there. It's a heavily saturated market so you need to really network and utilise your social media. If you do all the above then chances are you'll get noticed eventually, but don't be afraid to also apply for as many opportunities as you can.

    Are there any drawbacks to running a money making blog?

    I'm not going to lie, I hate the faff and anxiety that comes with self assessment and tax. It's why I'd put off being self employed for years, fear of doing it wrong etc. But it's not that bad, there's plenty of people you can ask for help. Other than that the only drawback is the chasing clients for money when they don't pay on time. Comes with the territory though and most clients are great.

    What’s the best thing about blogging for an income?

    That I'm being paid to do something I love. It's also really great because it's helping me to pay off my debts.

    Would you blog even if you couldn’t make money doing it?

    For sure! I blogged for two years before I made any money and to be honest it was a real surprise when I was first approached to write a sponsored post. I simply love it!

    Do you think blogging is here to stay?

    Honestly no I don't, I think people will get bored eventually and will want something fresh and newer, it's human nature to get fed up after a while.

     

    Thank you so much for taking part in my Money Making Blogger interview series and best of luck with your blog!

     

    Helpful articles if you want to monetise your blog:
    Make money from your blog with Awin affiliate marketing
    Make money from your blog without Google ads 
    4 ways to find paid blog opportunities
    How I save hours every week scheduling tweets with Social Oomph
    How to improve your domain authority (DA)
    The 5 ways I made £30000 money from home in 2017/2018
    5 tried and tested ways to make money as a UK stay at home mum

    Do you make money from your blog?  Would you like to take part?   Click here for the interview questions.

    Money making blogger interview with Justine of www.girlgonedreamer.co.uk