Welcome to the Lylia Rose UK money and lifestyle blog. I'm Victoria Sully, a busy mum of two, wife, full-time blogger and online money-maker. I’m passionate about making money online, saving money, self-employment, healthy living and blogging. I’m on a personal mission to be healthier and wealthier! Thank you so much for joining me.
Running a business is hard work, but if it’s successful then it is so rewarding. There is no right or wrong way to run a modern brand, but there are certainly things you should consider to improve the way you take your company forward. There are a lot of factors and guides out there that will be specific to each type of business, but in this blog post we’ll take a look at the more general guidance which can be applied to most businesses that are growing.
Make sure you have the right financing
It is so important in the world of modern business to make sure you have the right kind of financing for the future. There are so many things that play a role in this, and it is important that you do what you can to boost your financial situation and come up with ideas that are going to allow you to keep the company growing.
For some this might mean getting funding in the form of a business loan or approaching investors about financing the company. For others it could be crowdfunding or even raising and investing the funds yourself. Make sure you have a proper business plan and are confident in your deliverables if you are looking to borrow money.
For smaller businesses and sole traders it could be as simple as saving a percentage of profits each month to reinvest back into the business once ready to expand.
Whatever your financial plans are, make sure they’re in place as cash is king. Your business will not be able to grow if it does not have cash available to enable this when needed.
Create a business blog
Starting a blog is a great way to draw more attention to your brand, as well as promoting you in the best possible way. A blog can set the tone for your business as well as give it a voice. Depending on your business type, it could become a wealth of invaluable information for your customers to improve their customer experience and journey. Blogging will also create more valuable content for your business website to help even more customers find you. Making full use of SEO is vital for taking a business blog forward and making the entire website and business a success.
The correct tools for the job
The right tools for the job are absolutely essential, and this could be anything from actual tools, to machinery and equipment. The right equipment will ensure your business runs smoothly and effectively day-to-day, allowing you to grow and expand. If your business is in a factory then you may want machinery like conveyor systems to help make everything easier for you. A home office will need furniture and IT equipment. A photography studio will need a good camera, tripods and lighting.
Having the correct tools for your trade is vital and saving money to invest in them is a smart decision to make from the offset. Sometimes it better to try out the equipment before you commit to an pricey purchase. I suggest reading the financial benefits of hiring equipment for your small business for more benefits of hiring equipment before buying it.
Legal protection is more important than ever for modern companies, especially when it comes to issues like cybercrime and data protection. If your business is expanding then getting legal protection is important to ensure you are doing things correctly and for any legal advice going forward. If you’re starting to hire employees, raising capital or requesting patents, then it’s a wise move to get a suitable and knowledgeable lawyer involved.
These are definitely important steps to consider as your business grows and expands.
It’s that time of year when we’re all feeling the pinch after Christmas and looking for ways to cut back, spend less and save as much money as possible. This can be particularly tricky when it’s also the darkest and coldest time of the year. We’re all using more energy than normal just to see and stay warm. There’s always lots of advice out there for lowering energy bills, but what if you’re on a pay-as-you-go tariff? Is it still possible for you to reduce your energy bills?
Years ago I used to be on a prepayment meter. I was only around 18 or 19 at the time, having moved out of home at age 17, and I had no idea about how to save money whilst using a prepayment meter. I didn’t even have the internet or a laptop as it was 15 years ago and smart phones didn’t exist. I was clueless about the ability to switch suppliers or how to save money when it came to my energy bills.
Luckily times have changed a great deal since then and thanks to the internet and smart technology, there are plenty of ways you can begin to save money on your energy bills if you are on a pay-as-you go tariff today.
What is a PAYG meter?
A prepayment or pay-as-you-go (PAYG) energy meter is exactly as it sounds. Rather than using energy and being billed afterwards for what you’ve used, you instead pay upfront for the energy. You’ll have a PAYG meter installed and you’ll need to top-up a card, key or online in advance of using the energy. Then once the energy runs low you’ll receive a warning and you’ll know it’s time to top up again. It’s a great way of tracking exactly what you’re spending on energy and you’ll be aware each week of how much you are using.
Tips on lowering your energy bill if you’re on a prepayment meter
Here are some actionable tips to help you reduce your energy bills if you’re on a PAYG meter:
1. Compare suppliers
Most energy companies will revise their tariffs once per year, which means you may no longer be on the cheapest tariff for your area after the year is up. It’s always advisable to check a comparison site each year to see which energy company is the best value for you. Don’t think you can’t switch suppliers just because you’re on a prepayment plan, or because you are renting. Most energy suppliers offer a prepayment tariff and if you are responsible for paying the energy bills then you have the right to choose a cheaper supplier. You should always compare different prepayment plans as it could save you hundreds each year!
2. Join Boost. Get up to £30 free credit.
If you switch to dedicated PAYG energy supplier Boost then you’ll get a free smart meter installation as well as up to £30 credit; £15 credit for gas and £15 credit for electric. To get your smart meter installation (& £30 free credit) you just need to click here to go to Boostand a code will be populated for you to save.
All you need to do is 1) sign up to Boost online 2) book a free smart meter installation 3) get installed before 30th April 2019 and they'll apply the credit!
Boost is a part of the trusted OVO energy brand so you know you are in good hands. Boost specialises in PAYG Energy, their whole focus is on giving customers the power to control their energy, the way they want. As part of the OVO group they do everything to ensure the best service possible for PAYG customers.
OVO has been recognised as the uSwitch Energy Supplier of the Year. They were also number one in the 2015 and 2016 Which? energy customer satisfaction surveys, so you can be sure you’re in good hands.
3. Claim your heating benefits
If you are of a certain age, claim certain benefits or meet certain criteria (such as being on a low income and having dependants) then you could qualify for some financial help towards your energy bills during the winter months.
If you were born on or before 5 November 1953 then you could get a ‘Winter Fuel Payment’ of between £100 and £300 to help you pay your heating bills.
There’s also the Warm Home Discount scheme which helps eligible people who are struggling with their energy bills. If you qualify you will receive a one-off £140 payment to go towards your electricity bill.
4. Reduce how much energy you use
Being on a prepayment meter means you are really aware of how much money you are spending on energy each week. Use this knowledge to your advantage to see where you can reduce energy. Here are a few tips to get you started:
Make sure you always switch off appliances when not in use instead of leaving them in standby mode.
Only boil enough water for your cup of tea, instead of boiling a full kettle of water.
Heat only the rooms you are using and not empty rooms.
Only wash a full load of laundry and turn the temperature down.
Eat more healthy plant-based and raw foods to reduce how much you use the oven.
Put on cosy socks and a jumper and cover yourself in a throw before turning the heating up.
Turn the thermostat down slightly, even by 1 degree.
Use draught excluders along the bottom of doors.
Turn off the ligthts when you leave a room.
Use energy-saving lightbulbs.
Hopefully this article will show you that it is possible to make some smarter and money-saving choices with a prepayment meter.
Welcome to my Money Making Blogger interview series where I interview bloggers who are making money from their blogs!
Read on to discover how they make money from blogging and the steps they took to monetize their blogs. Feel inspired and learn something new from this series. Also learn how many hours they spend on their blogs per week and what sort of income this provides.
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 more hours per week than I did in any full-time employed job - 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. Even us full time bloggers can learn from each other and inspire one another.
Tell us all about you and introduce your blog.
My name is Marc and I’m a personal finance blogger at VitalDollar.com. I’m 40 years old and I live in the United States with my wife and our two kids. I started VitalDollar.com in February of 2018 because I wanted to write about the personal finance lessons that I’ve learned over the years, and because I want to continue to learn more about finance. I write about topics related to saving money and making money, including a little bit about blogging.
How long have you been blogging and when did you begin to make money from your blog?
I started my first blog in 2007 and made some money within the first few months. I’ve been blogging full-time since 2008. That first blog grew pretty quickly and allowed me to leave my full-time job after about 1.5 years of working on the blog. I managed that blog until I sold in for $500,000 in 2013. After that, I had a few photography blogs, which I’ve also sold. In August of 2018, I sold my last photography blog for $216,000. After selling that photography blog, I’ve had more time to focus on Vital Dollar.
How much money do you make each month from blogging?
I’ve made a full-time income from blogging for the past 10+ years, but the numbers vary drastically. The main reason my income has big fluctuations is because I’ve sold several blogs over the years. When I sell one, I get a nice lump sum, but then my ongoing income drops since I no longer own the blog. I’ve been through this cycle a few times.
How do you make money blogging?
I’ve made money from banner ads, AdSense, affiliate programs, sponsored content, selling my own digital products, and membership. I’ve also done freelance writing for other blogs. My favourite methods are selling digital products and affiliate marketing. Advertising is probably my least favourite because the ads detract from the look of the site and take visitors away, but it can still be an effective method. Actually, almost all of my blogging revenue the first two years was from banner ads and AdSense.
I like selling digital products because the income potential is higher. If you have a successful product you can continue to sell it month after month and it becomes a somewhat passive source of income. I like affiliate marketing because there are opportunities in almost any niche, and because the pay-outs can be pretty high on certain products. Even if you create your own products, there are still going to be some complementary products or services that you could promote as an affiliate.
How did you prep your blog to make money?
The biggest thing was just getting traffic in the first place. If you’re monetizing the blog with ads (which was the case when I started my first blog), the main thing you need to focus on is just getting traffic.
With most of my blogs the past few years, I’ve been making money by selling my own digital products. To have success with that, I’ve had to find products that would be in demand from my audience, create a quality product, and then create a sales page and an offer that gets their attention.
The hardest part, in my opinion, is getting traffic in the early stage. Once you have some momentum it gets a lot easier, but starting from scratch takes a lot of work.
What are your aims for your blog in the future?
There are a ton of personal finance blogs, so my aim is to make Vital Dollar good enough that it really stands out. I’m trying to do that by writing in-depth content that is really practical, and not only teaches concepts, but shows people how they can take action and apply it to their own lives. I do hope and plan to increase my income by growing the traffic and by creating some of my own products.
Right now, my focus is on increasing traffic and building an email list. I make money through affiliate programs that are relevant to the articles I write, but my long-term plan is to create some digital products (probably courses) that I will sell from the blog.
If someone is brand new to blogging, what are the most important things to focus on if they want to monetize?
First, I think you need to decide which monetization methods fit best with your long-term goals. I don’t think you necessarily need to put all of that into practice right away, but it’s a good idea to at least know what you want to do in the future.
Next, it’s important to create a brand identity for your blog. What do you want to be known for? How are you going to stand out? What makes your blog unique? When you’re thinking about your brand identity, keep your monetization plans in mind.
For example, if you plan to create and sell a course on how to pay off debt, you should probably work to build your brand around debt payoff. Make yourself known as an expert on debt, and when you release that course you’ll have more success.
Can you think of 3 pros and 3 cons of blogging as a career choice?
Pros: 1) work from home, 2) work on something you enjoy, and 3) have a flexible schedule.
Cons: 1) difficulty with work/life balance, 2) the industry changes very quickly, so you need to adapt, and 3) friends and family won’t understand what you do.
What inspires you to blog and what is the best thing about blogging?
Honestly, my inspiration is mostly related to money and being able to provide for my family. For me, it’s a business. Even though I blog about subjects that I enjoy, it’s still work.
The best thing about blogging is the flexibility that it offers. I’ve been able to work from home for more than 10 years, which gives me more time around my family. Even though I work full-time hours, I have a lot of flexibility and can adjust my hours as needed, or take off whenever I decide.
Would you still blog even if you couldn’t make money doing it?
No, I wouldn’t. Blogging is what I do for a living, but there are many other things I would rather do with my time if I weren’t making money from it. As far as job is concerned, I love it. But not enough to dedicate hours to it if I had no hope of making money.
Do you think blogging is here to stay?
I think content is here to stay, but the formats may vary over time. So many companies use blogs for producing online content that it’s obviously a big part of daily life for many of us, and not going away anytime soon. But audio and video content are becoming increasingly popular. I think content creation will be here to stay, but it’s possible that written content will eventually lose popularity in favour of audio and video.
Thank you so much for taking part in my Money Making Blogger interview series and best of luck with your blog!
More helpful articles if you want to monetise your blog:
Almost every week I like to give back to my readers and blog supporters by giving away a £10 Amazon voucher! It's usually on a Wednesday, but simply check the giveaways tab regularly to see the newest prizes and giveaways. It takes only a few moments to enter and there are lots of entry options so you can choose the quickest or the options that you like best.
It's the ultimate prize as you can choose whatever you like with it. You can also pop along to my Giveaways section for lots more chances to win vouchers. I try to post a new giveaway once per week so do bookmark my website. I've had a few lucky entrants win more than once, so it is possible!
One of the entry options is to read another one of my blog posts. Here are some great suggestions. You can also discover my top blog posts in the footer of my website or visit my main blog page to read my latest blog posts. You can find an archive on the side bar to see all recent titles and lots of great blog posts in my menu about making and saving money.
The full terms and conditions are below, but simply enter using one or more of the entry methods in the Rafflecopter widget below and remember, if you win your delivery address must be in the UK. The entry options are really easy and range from following a Twitter account to reading a blog post.
When looking at your finances, it is often shocking to find out how much you spent on something over a year and if you had to pay that amount in one go it would seem too expensive. There are always ways you can cut back, and if you are trying to save money, then one way to do this is actually to spend more in the first place.
It may sound backward, but, for example, if you always buy cheap items, then chances are you probably have to buy them more than once and end up spending more money in the long run.
With that in mind, here are a few things you would be wise to invest in and ultimately save yourself time and money:
Invest in tools so you can repair instead of replace
Having a basic tool kit filled with the essentials enables you to fix items when they break. If you have a hammer, cordless power drill, wrench, screwdriver, and nails, etc. then you’ll be very grateful when it comes to times of need. Not only do you save on getting someone round to fix things, but you will also hold onto items longer and not waste money replacing them at the slightest knock.
Workout at home for free
Investing in a set of weights and a yoga mat is an excellent idea to save on a costly gym membership. There are plenty of free home workouts on the internet and in magazines, so whatever your goals are, you’ll be able to reach them in the comfort of your own home and by adding in a run outside if you need to up your cardio and don’t have space in your house.
Choose subscriptions that save money
Memberships and subscriptions are widely available now so depending on where you shop regularly; it could be worth getting a membership to save on delivery costs. If you regularly buy items from the same online store, such as Holland and Barrett, then they offer a discount for having a redelivery every four weeks, for example. An Amazon Prime membership saves a fortune on delivery costs if you use Amazon regularly and includes TV and music too.
Investing in yourself is something else you should consider. Taking preventative measures on your health and appearance can save you a fortune down the line. For example, going to the dentist adds up over time so going somewhere like www.swedishdental.com and spending a bit of money up front could save you many trips to the dentist in the future. Investing in healthy food now could help to protect your health in the future and prevent costly medical bills. Making investments in yourself and your health now could benefit you and your wallet down the line.
Pay more for quality items that last
Generally, investing in quality might seem expensive at first, but will be worth it. For example, good quality sofas, mattresses, business suits, and footwear can all last for many years, and if you look after your items then they could last you a lifetime, and you can’t put a price on that. As the saying goes – buy cheap, buy twice.
Use energy saving appliances
Investing in efficiency is equally important, so looking at making your home more energy-efficient with energy saving appliances might seem like a huge cost upfront but will save you so much money on utility bills and in the long run. If your home isn’t as efficient as it could be then you’re just wasting money for no good reason.
Insulate your home and pipes
Investing in insulation for your home will save you money long-term as you'll not be wasting energy. Not only can you insulate your walls and attic, but also your pipes. This will protect your pipes in the winter months and prevent them from freezing and bursting, causing expensive damage. Try an online retailer like pipelagging.com to find the correct insulating material for your pipes.
Choose a trusted tradesman, not the cheapest
As with buying goods, make sure that if you are hiring someone to do a job for you, whether that’s your car or in the home, then pick a trusted tradesman, even if it’s more expensive. Often people try to choose the cheapest labour going, but it’s not always the best idea. If you are going to pay for someone to do a job for you then make sure you get it done right. Cost isn’t always the most important factor. It is often worth paying more for high-quality services, just the same as it is with goods.
Be a conscious spender
And finally, the most significant way to spend and save at the same time is to buy only what you love and truly need. Being more conscious and thoughtful with spending will stop those impulse purchases or fast fashion buys that you really don’t need.
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