Becoming a blogger: Scarlett Dixon on making the jump from journalism to blogging
Scarlett Dixon is a 25-year-old blogger from London, who is perhaps better known online as ‘Scarlett London’. As the epitome of ‘Instagram goals’, Scarlett boasts over 70,000 followers on the platform, along with over 13,000 subscribers on YouTube, but it’s really her blog that kick-started her career.
Scarlett set up her blog in 2011, as an aspiring journalist looking for somewhere to showcase her work for future job opportunities but it wasn’t until she’d graduated university (with a First-Class Honours degree) and began interning at women’s magazines that she realised her blog could be more than just a hobby. ‘Magazines were going through a transitional period and there was a general unease about the future of them. It wasn’t the most pleasant environment to start working in and it definitely steered me towards my blog’, she says.
Having made the jump to blogging as her full-time career in 2017, Scarlett considers blogging to be ‘more of a lifestyle career than a traditional job, as you share lots of parts of your life as part of your blog – so the lines are pretty blurred in terms of ‘switching off’. A difficulty for Scarlett is her work/life balance – working for herself, it’s common that she feels guilty if she’s not doing something constantly, despite having frequent manically busy periods.
There’s no typical 9 to 5 day for Scarlett. Her career involves a lot of behind-the-scenes work – ‘Usually you’re working with brands (as your clients) who have a set brief to follow for each campaign. You have to put together a creative idea, essentially pitch it to them – and ensure it’s still on brief but fits with your audience. Then we plan shoots, find locations, edit et cetera. It’s all very varied and can be very busy and manic’.
Being a lifestyle blogger, Scarlett’s online content is heavily focussed around fashion, beauty and travel, amongst other topics – but she doesn’t feel pressured to keep up the image that she portrays online. In fact, her online style is typically what she would wear in her every day, offline life – ‘when I’m out and about with friends/family – I tend to wear the same kind of stuff I’m pictured in on my Instagram. The only difference is that I might not have my hair extensions in. I’ve always been a very low maintenance kind of person’, she says.
But things haven’t necessarily been easy in Scarlett’s blogging career – ‘I think dealing with online vitriol is probably the hardest thing I’ve had to deal with’. Within the last year, Scarlett has come under fire by online trolls who criticised her Instagram for being ‘fake’ – one tweet turned into criticism on a mass scale, through newspapers and national TV. As someone who describes herself as ‘a pretty sensitive person naturally’, Scarlett says ‘It was such a tough time, because thousands of people who have never met you are attacking your character and making wild, defamatory assumptions about you. I’ve pretty much read everything I possibly could about myself and feel I have a much thicker skin.’
The biggest lesson she’s learnt? ‘Just to go for it. There’s no time like the present and the best way to learn is through experimenting with different things. My blog didn’t start out looking like it did now – and no-one expects you to be perfect either. Don’t try and emulate anyone else, offer something unique and different. Think about what you are offering to your readers. You are your niche, so let everything that makes you you shine’.
So, what’s next? For one, she’s publishing a book in April – ‘it’s very exciting and has been in the pipeline for a little while now. I blog a lot about taboo subjects – such as chronic illness and digestive health, so all I can say is that it’s linked to that! Watch this space’. And that’s something she hopes to carry on with – writing is and has always been Scarlett’s main passion and she hopes to publish a fiction book in the future. If her current work is anything to go by, it’s certainly something to look forward to but, for now, you can find her work at scarlettlondon.com.