Creating her blog, lifeofelliegrace.com, in 2011, when she was just 16, Ellie Grace has now got over 8.7 thousand followers across her social media platforms, and has even worked with brands such as Soap and Glory and Rekorderlig.
Ellie Grace, 23-years-old, said: “It started off as a fashion blog, it was something creative, that wasn’t school uniform. My blog has just developed from there. It has become more of a lifestyle and beauty blog now.”
Based in Manchester, Ellie Grace grew up in Brunei, and moved back to the UK for university, in 2013. She graduated last year, with a first in Literature, from Salford University, and took this further by studying full-time for a masters, in Modern Literature and Criticism, at Manchester University.
With average temperatures in Brunei reaching 26 degrees, she found it pretty impossible to wear make-up, so Ellie Grace didn’t discover her love for beauty until she moved back to the UK. She said: “I used to watch make-up tutorials on YouTube all the time. My blog became more about beauty when I moved, as I could wear make-up a lot more. It led me to discovering skincare too.”
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Ellie Grace was first inspired to create her blog when The Blonde Salad blog became well-known. The Blonde Salad have since grown; they’ve reached 622 thousand followers across all their social media and have a net worth of $8 million. Despite its success, The Blonde Salad was created by millionaires, and the content it created involved designer things – things a normal, everyday girl wouldn’t have. Ellie Grace picked up on this, and created lifeofelliegrace.com to target the girls who couldn’t afford designer labels.
Currently, the majority of Ellie Grace’s readers are 18-24 years old females. Nearly a quarter of her readers are from Australia and Brunei, with the rest coming from the UK.
She said: “My blog is definitely targeted at the everyday girl, most people cannot afford designer labels all the time. It’s meant to be affordable, realistic and for the average person.”
Most bloggers suffer from ‘writer’s block,’ and Ellie Grace is no exception. With daylight time getting shorter in the winter, Ellie Grace struggled to take pictures for blog posts. However, Ellie Grace gets a lot of inspiration for blog posts from the people around her, such as friends.
— Life of Ellie Grace (@elliegdickinson) October 8, 2018
She said: “Lots of my friends know I have a blog. Sometimes, they’ll ask me a question. It sounds silly, but if I can’t say I’ve done a blog post on it, then it makes me think that I should maybe do a blog post on it.
“Sometimes blogging can seem so detached from reality, just because I’m interested in something, doesn’t mean that everyone else is. Sometimes I write about trends that I really like, or sometimes just something that will look good in a picture.
“Once, I did a millennial pink beauty edit, which was just all pink skincare products. It was just really fun.”
Regardless of her popularity online, Ellie Grace has never received any backlash from her blog. “The only thing that could been seen negatively about my blog was when I made a comment, on Twitter, about another blogger,” she says. “They were photoshopping their pictures. Nothing happened at first, but it got retweeted by someone with a bigger following. It didn’t come across nasty at all; it was never meant to be nasty.
“I want blogging to be real, if you’ve been to a place, then you shouldn’t have to photoshop yourself onto it.”
Being a blogger has helped Ellie Grace financially support herself at university – sponsored blog posts have given her extra income. However, Ellie Grace has decided to take on a career in the beauty industry, as a writer. She feels if she was to be financial reliant on her blog, then she would end up working with brands she wasn’t interested in, therefore compromising the quality and passion of her blog.
Blogging is still a fairly new concept, despite its popularity – Ellie Grace blames this on how the media is portraying blogging at the moment. “It has only recently become something that people make a career out of; it’s all very new,” she says.
“I think the media is not sure how to perceive it, especially how it is affecting aspects of the media, such as magazines, as most magazines have bloggers producing content for them now.”
She argues that the media doesn’t know how to react to when a blogger gets paid for advertisements, or doesn’t even know how the blogging industry works. “Ellie Goulding gets paid to advertise and even be on the adverts of Pantene, it is the same for bloggers, we get paid to advertise something” she says.
The Advertising Standards Authority have now said that blogs and vlogs, which contain paid adverts, now have to clearly state they contain an advert, which the creator has been paid for. This can be in any form that fits the creator’s content, just as long as it is very clear for the public to see that it’s an advert. Ellie Grace always has clear markings, which show which of her blog post are sponsored content.
Ellie Grace has always said no to working with brands if she feels they don’t fit into her blog, but some bloggers always say yes to working with every brand who offers sponsors content, which adds to the media’s confusion.
Tonight, we have some very special guests in Biza @WorldDutyFree 🛍 We’ll be hosting a beauty blogger event & welcoming @AnoushkaLoves, @IrenaDWorld, @Elliegdickinson, @sciencebeaut, @gingergirlsays, @edaowofashion, @freyafarrington & @WhatEmmaDid 💅💄 #JetSetBeauty pic.twitter.com/qIcuLmmOgR
— Manchester Airport (@manairport) September 26, 2018
Ellie Grace says: “There’s always going to be negative press, but I think in a couple of years, when the media and other people actually get it, and it transitions to a mainstream thing, instead of the niche thing that is now, then it will probably be slightly more positive.”
“When I got my first cheque for blogging, I originally thought wow, that’s a lot of money, but it wasn’t. For some bloggers, this will be the only income they’ll get for the whole month.
“When it came out how much Zoella was earning, it was hard to understand how freelancers make their money; it is not something that’s open. A doctor makes so much a year, and so does a lawyer, they are set figures. Whereas some freelance bloggers take jobs constantly, as they don’t know how much work they’ll get next month, which is where I think this negative press comes from.”
Ellie Grace hopes that despite the confusion of how the blogging industry works, the media starts to portray blogging as a positive thing, when people start recognising it more.
Blogging is something Ellie Grace loves to do, and it’s clear to see from her blog that it is a passion of hers. She hopes to continue her blogging in the future, despite taking on a full-time writing job after she graduates, and she certainly has the talent and passion to do so.
You can check out Ellie Grace’s blog, here.