In 2008, I finished uni, returned to London to live with my parents in their new house and started a blog.
It was called ‘Annie Loves’ and it was about … things I loved.
I told stories, wrote about feminist issues, music, books I was reading, films I was watching.
There were lots of film reviews, as I had a LoveFilm subscription and received three DVDs every few days. I sat on my bed, watching back-to-back films, on my own.
The following year, when I started my journalism MA, the writing probably got a bit more serious, but I still used it like an online diary.
And I had a couple of hundred people reading each post.
Then I moved to Somerset, in 2010, and wrote about nature and the countryside and the chickens we kept in the garden.
I got into cooking, and shared photos of the jams I was making.
I got a job running an art gallery and music space, and blogged about that.
But then I decided to get a bit more serious.
So I deleted ‘Annie Loves’ and got this website – annieridout.com.
I continued to write reviews of art exhibitions and books but did less of the ‘here’s what happened today’-type posts.
While living in Clapton, in 2013, I went to India for Christmas.
And I found these lovely silk jumpsuits.
I had an idea for a business: importing jumpsuits that people could wear to festivals (back then, I went to a lot of summer festivals).
So I bought 30 and got the contact details for the factory that made them.
When I got home, I took these rather sombre and dark photos of myself modelling the jumpsuits (see above) and ordered labels saying ‘Annie Loves’.
I decided this would be my brand name.
But when I created a page on Facebook and tried to sell them, no one was interested.
It was January, and people weren’t thinking about what they wanted to wear to Glastonbury festival.
After giving it a few more tries, I gave up, defeated.
If I could go back, here’s what I would have done differently:
- Keep ‘Annie Loves’ blog going. The SEO would be splendid now.
- Use ‘Annie Loves’ blog to promote the jumpsuits.
- Create an online shop, on the blog.
- Open jumpsuit sales in March.
- Keep going, rather than give up.
Do you have a blog? If yes, is it an online journal or have you turned it into a business?