In our second edition of A Day In The Life we’re introducing the lovely photographer Roxy Hutton of CityGirlSearching! Roxy is a prime example of how a business can bloom from filling a need in your life. She’s got some awesome biz tips to share – thanks for being here Roxy! x
Hello lovely Darling Design Co readers!
My name is Roxy and I am a South African blogger, photographer & stationery store owner currently living and teaching English in South Korea with my husband and rescue pup.
I have been blogging for over 5 years and am the lady behind the lifestyle blog, CityGirlSearching.
I initially started CityGirlSearching as a way to combine my passions for beauty, baking, blogging & travel, but in the last year it has grown into a resource hub for other bloggers and entrepreneurs.
I am so happy to be with you today and share with you a little behind the scenes of what I do and how I do it.
Currently, I am a full time ESL teacher, teaching English to Korean students. This is my day job and the job that allows me to fund my love for travel, Korean beauty products and Korean stationery. If you have yet to lay eyes on the darling Korean stationery creations, then never fear. I stock all sorts of pretty goodies in my stationery shop. I ‘needed’ to start a store of some kind because my own personal collection of stationery had grown to ridiculous proportions and my husband was threatening to give it away if I didn’t do something about it. And so, I decided to open a small online store to share my love for all things paper and pen.
My husband and I have been here in Korea for 3 years, and have loved our time here so much. If any of you have ever thought about the idea of traveling and teaching abroad I would say just do it! You’ll never regret it! South Korea is currently the highest paid teaching job in Asia, mainly due to the fact that your flight, apartment and health insurance are covered by the Korean Education Program. You simply pay your basic living costs (food, utilities) and the rest you can save (or spend on all the incredible clothing, stationery and beauty products).
My blog, CityGirlSearching is a space for me to share beauty reviews of tried and tested Korean beauty products, a space to share my travels in the form of photographs and travel guides and it has recently become a space to share what I have learned about blogging and business from my 5 years of being a blogger.
As I started blogging I realised that I needed to up my image game (my first year of blog images were mostly taken from Google and WeHeartIt…I had no idea about copyright when I first started blogging!) and so I knew I needing to start learning all I could about how to take my own beautiful photos.
As soon I started to improve my blog images I noticed a big growth in my blog, and friends and family started asking if I could take photographs of them. I started off slowly, not charging much, and have slowly grown my photography portfolio and business into what it is today. I didn’t start off with fancy equipment, I used a family member’s camera and kit lens but I started noticing that it was more about the person using the camera than the actual equipment. It has taken me about 3 years to get where I am with my photography and I am nowhere near done learning.
I now have a professional full frame camera and edit all my work in Adobe Lightroom & create all my blog graphics on Photoshop but I have so much more to learn. That is why I love blogging so much. It has connected me with so many wonderful people who love helping one another and who so openly share their knowledge.
CityGirlSearching in Korea
My weekdays start off with getting up nice and early to take my dog, Shadow for a walk. Living in Korea means snow in winter! We don’t have snow in South Africa so, even though it’s my third year here in Korea, I am still very much taken with the snow.
I’m at work by 08h30 and my day is filled with teaching English classes, and spending time working on drafting blog posts and brainstorming ideas for future posts. I also spend some time in the afternoons (while I am at work) scheduling posts for Twitter and Facebook using the awesome (and FREE!) Buffer app.
I’m home by 5pm and it’s straight to the couch for tea with my hubby before an afternoon drive to take Shadow out for his evening walk.
My weekends are a little different. I’m usually up early to take Shadow out, and it’s during this time that I plan out any blog photos that I want to take. If we have no travel plans for the weekend I make the most of the natural sunlight that comes in through our bedroom to create absolute chaos as I style and create my blog photos.
My favourite types of photographs to style are flat-lays for the beauty and stationery posts that I share on Instagram. I then spend the rest of the day editing photographs and creating blog post title images. I do the majority of my blog post writing at school (I find there are less distractions at work than at home) but I do most of the photo taking on the weekends when I am able to get the best light for my photographs.
Staying true to your passion
Many people ask me if & how I make money from my blog and this is what I tell them: I don’t actually make any actual money from my blog itself. I make money from the opportunities that have come out of having a blog. My photography business came about from a need to create better photos from my blog.
The money I make from reviewing beauty products (and the products I get sent to review) is only possible because I spent a long time growing my blog and creating beauty reviews. My beauty posts are some of the most popular posts on my blog and bring in the most traffic, but I don’t consider myself solely a beauty blogger because I love writing about so many other things too.
If you are on your blogging journey and unsure of what direction to take your blog, I would say don’t compromise on what you are passionate about. Even though beauty posts bring in the most traffic for my blog, I am just as passionate about dogs & travel and so continue to write travel guides and blog posts on owning a dog.
My advice to you is to continue to write about what makes you happy. The rest (money, traffic, blog comments etc) will follow. Stay true to yourself with your blog, don’t get pressured into blogging about what seems popular right now if doesn’t fit right with you. You are the soul and energy behind your blog and you are in control of where you want your blog to go.
If you have any questions about blogging, life in Korea, owning a rescue dog or traveling around Asia, please feel free to get on contact with me using one of the social links below. I LOVE hearing from people and offering help or advice in anyway I can.
Thanks for sharing your time with me today, and a huge thank you to Ellie for having me here on The Darling Design Co!
I hope to ‘meet’ you somewhere on the interweb friends! x
You can find out more about Roxy and her blog/business here: