Just three months after starting her blog, Mister Weekender, Jaharn Giles quit her job.
But how did it all start? Jaharn says she started up Mister Weekender for her nearest and dearest as a space to read and keep up with her nomadic lifestyle. One day, Jaharn’s father called to say that Mister Weekender had made him and her mum want to travel more. It was then that Jaharn knew she was on to something good.
Jaharn was working full-time in fashion PR at the time of Mister Weekender’s launch in 2013, and she left the security of her job after being approached by travel brands for paid work.
“It was a really scary decision as I didn’t have huge sums of money in my savings to back me up in case something went wrong,” Jaharn admits.
“The best advice my parents gave me was to take educated risks, that I’ll be working harder than I ever have before, and that while there’ll be ups and downs, I’ll never be happier because I am working for myself and doing what I love.”
And so, armed with a suitcase full of adventures, Jaharn took the plunge. She can safely say that she’ll never work the 9 to 5 daily grind ever again.
Jaharn puts the success of her blog down to a gap in the market and weekends of content creation whilst her friends were out brunching, lunching and drinking.
“There were already many established fashion, beauty and lifestyle blogs,” Jaharn says. “Some would blog here and there about travel, but they weren’t offering quality content such as where they were staying, how they got there and what there was to see and do. This used to annoy me, and it still does. I was hungry for the detail of their travels.”
Jaharn wanted to create a space that focused on everything travel, from guides, tips and advice to beautiful photography.
“I also think my career in public relations helped as I have previously worked with bloggers, so I knew what it was like on both sides,” she says.
Drawing inspiration from the places she explores, the people she meets and her amazing community, Jaharn says its crucial to be yourself when starting a blog.
“There is only one of you in the world, so embrace it. Bring out your inner weird, laugh at yourself, give advice and share the lows as much as you do the highs because this make you more approachable and real.”
Jaharn has even met like-minded bloggers through Mister Weekender, one of whom she plans to travel with to Greece in a couple of months.
She stresses the importance of adding value with free advice, tips and opinions when starting a blog.
“Ask yourself, ‘What difference am I making? How am I going to help someone today? What value can I add to my community?’” she says.
Mister Weekender has now evolved to include posts about blogging, social media and work-life balance for creatives, professionals and bloggers. Despite all her success and hard work, Jaharn says it’s important not to get caught up in the world of social media.
“There is a whole world out there to enjoy!”
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