How is blogging your job?

I have spoken a little about how blogging is my job over on the New Reader page but I will answer you in a little more detail here. I earn a small revenue from advertising but life is expensive and that would not be enough to make a living. I also partner with companies and brands to create content for their sites and on here. I only work with brands that have a good fit to maintain the integrity of the blog. Most of all Archie & The Rug works as my CV, what better way to show people what you do by simply showing them exactly what you do. Since starting the blog I have worked as a presenter on channel 4, live events and festivals. I have given talks, taught workshops and written for many online and print publications all over the world. A small selection of that work can be seen on my press and events page. I have recently teamed up with to create an online store that can be found on the right sidebar, it is updated regularly so do pop by. So I am a freelance writer and presenter with numerous income streams that have all stemmed from my blog.

What type of camera do you use? 

In the humble beginnings of Archie & The Rug I had an inexpensive point and shoot as I was late to the digital revolution, I am a camera Luddite at heart. I now use a Canon 60D with the kit lens, the f1.8 50mm and f2.8 100mm. For the photos I appear in I use a tripod and a remote, these are invaluable. If you have an issue with light, my Paris apartment is very dark so I use the tripod all the time for food photography. In my new house I will once again have space for a dark room, I am very excited about this. I use all of my old cameras, toy camera, (such as the Lomo Diana), Instax and thanks to the Impossible project my vintage Polaroid gets a regular outing too. In my mind film and digital serve a purpose.

Why is your blog called Archie & The Rug?

This is a simple one it is named after my two dogs. Archie and Sam aka The Rug as he was so fluffy that when he lay spread out in front of the fire he looked like a huge rug. Sadly Sam died a few years ago, I wrote about him in this post, time passes but as any dog owner will understand you never stop missing your friend.  

Why are you so open about your cancer?

When I first started this blog it was as an escape from my breast cancer, an online space where I could be the version of myself that was not ill. Over time my blog evolved from hobby to job and I began to engage with readers. I felt that I wanted to be honest and open with my readers and I also wanted to put a spot light on breast cancer in under 50s. The number of young women who have breast cancer is huge yet when I speak to people they are still surprised that I was diagnosed at 32. I feel that the if my talking about it encourages even one woman to start to check their breasts then sharing a scary and private part of my life is worth it.

Do you make all of the recipes up yourself?

Another simple one, yes I do. I love food and I love eating and I like to experiment with flavours. 

How do you decide what to put in your blog?

When I first started to hobby blog I wrote about everything that I felt was cool. Nights out listening to live music, restaurant reviews, new bed socks. Over time my blog became my job and I looked at posts in a more professional way and less of a stream of consciousness. An example of this is music, I liked to chat about music but I am not a music journalist I was just making small talk on the blog, the posts weren't popular so they no longer happen. In the reverse before the blog there were perhaps a dozen photographs of me, I hated being in pictures and had no confidence. I shared a couple of posts showing thrifted finds and they were hugely popular so I started to post about my somewhat questionable fashion sense more often. The blog is rooted in my life and is organic, for instance I have bought my forever home and it has so much renovation work required I have had a great time sharing the lessons I have learned with my readers. I have also started to post more about children and family since the birth of my perfect baby boy

I want to blog how do I get started?

We live globally we bloggers so I say there is room for all. First of all ask yourself why you want to blog? There are books and blogs out there that have titles telling you to quit your job and get rich in a year. Those are lies, you get that right? Blog about a subject or subjects that excite you that way when your stats are low you won't care because you love what you do.. Be inspired by others but don't copy, it is not cool, don't be that blogger. When I started my blog I had not even heard of html and now I can edit html and CSS, I designed and coded this entire blog by myself so you can do it without a techy friend or partner. 

I want to blog but I don't have a perfect life like you.

Okay this is not strictly a question but it comes up in emails often so I thought I would address it. This one I find laughable. No one has a perfect life, no one. I am divorced, re-married, battled cancer for four years and lost 9 babies before being blessed with Sebastian, I am estranged from my father and that is not the half of it when it comes to family issues. Sometimes I cry and fall apart about that stuff. Life is hard everyday but if I focus on that I would never get out of bed. I really try as often as I can to focus on all of the good things; getting a recipe just right, my baby smiling, hugging the dog. The blogging community would be a bit of a gloomy place if all we bloggers did was tell you about the bad stuff. Artists don't exhibit their failures so please don't read any blog and think we have perfect lives, don't look at our photographs without realizing their is a huge mess just out of shot.

I am always happy to answer emails and do so as quickly as possible. I have enjoyed giving you answers to the most frequently asked questions and will update this page as I need to.


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