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  • The Wong Shop

    ‘Blogging isn’t a real job’

    ‘Blogging isn’t a real job.’

    A brave statement from an old colleague. They proceeded to tell me that they ‘work’, whereas I, ‘just blog.’ Coincidently, I’ve heard a lot of this ‘get a real job’ malarky recently.

    Okay, so, from the face of it, it probably looks like: I wake up when I want, lounge in my pants, take pictures of myself, fly to endless holidays and then write an article whenever it takes my fancy. I report to no one but myself, and I’m probably vain, loving myself too much as I took it upon myself to choose this path.

    To be transparent with you, growing up, I never aspired to become a ‘social media person.’. I grew up in traditional Asian culture; which means that unless you want to be ostracised, your career options are restricted to medicine, law or finance. Blogging has become a commercially viable business, and I have fallen head over heels in love with my uplifting little community. I wake up every morning doing what I love, so isn’t my choice a no-brainer?

    This post is dedicated to my fellow bloggers, who I wholeheartedly support.

    You ready?

    Many successful bloggers were in senior roles before blogging

    I was in a so-called ‘real job’ in Digital Marketing for five years before taking the plunge to start my own business. To blow my own trumpet, by the age of 22, I was managing eleven clients. By the age of 26, I managed multi-million pound budgets. At present, I’m so fortunate to be able to do this three months a year, part-time, as a consultant. Stating on her Instagram that that blogging ‘fulfils her even more’, Pilot Madeleine trained as a pilot but couldn’t find a job so her ridiculously dreamy travel blog was born. Margaret Zhang juggled blogging with her law degree before becoming one of the most successful Australian style bloggers today. British babe InTheFrow studied for her PhD and was a university lecturer before becoming one of the top lifestyle YouTubers. I met Cyran, from Corporate Style Story, who is a lawyer by day and a blogging bad-ass with the wardrobe to match. She’s smart, so lovely & I’m always so thrilled to meet powerful women who are passionate about what they do. Karla Itsines and The Body Coach were personal trainers, and now they’re worth millions, thanks to their fitness apps & snappy viral videos.

    Freelancing is very time-consuming.

    Want to see my average day when I’m not in my consultant job?

    Here’s an example of a loose chicken running around:

    8-9am: eat breakfast (usually tea, orange juice, scrambled egg sandwich or avocado toast or crumpets). Open PR mail. Answer flagged emails. Check Twitter.

    10am: Print & pack for eBay (usually 10+ parcels depending on trade). Leave for Post Office once complete.

    10-11am: Respond to Instagram comments on the bus/tube (usually 30+ I try & respond to everyone).

    11:30am: Arrive at the coffee shop. Answer brand collab emails, write up & send invoices, update my calendar & continue current blog post.

    2pm: Eat lunch (usually burrito, pasta or Pho but I don’t discriminate, I love all food).

    3pm: If I have a Model casting, leave for central London, otherwise, I stay in the coffee shop.

    4pm: Leave an hour slot open for a phone call with a PR agency, Model Agency, pitch or brand.

    6pm: Coffee Shop kicks me out or I leave my audition.

    7.15pm: Cheerleading, Barre, Yoga or Gym (I become so stressed without at least one fitness related session a week).

    9.15pm: Grab dinner & head home.

    10.30pm: Eat dinner & edit images, rehearse lines for any commercial auditions or watch TV.

    1am: Sleep

    A modelling job or press event can take a full or half day and throws this schedule off.

    You don’t just wake up and make money from a business

    Blogging has the reputation that it’s easy because you don’t have to go through a lengthy interview process to become a blogger; everyone can start a blog. In reality, these are the skills you need to form a successful, profit-making blog:

    – Writing
    – Website Management
    – HTML
    – Photography
    – Photoshop
    – Design
    – Innovation
    – Sales Negotiation
    – Marketing
    – Social Media
    – Research
    – Data Analysis
    – SEO
    – Networking
    – Budget Management

    I didn’t make any money during my first two years; this is the standard. I had to purchase, set-up and manage my domain, find a cracking web-template, liaise with clients & PR agencies and look after my lovely followers. Regardless of whether it’s working from home, in an office or opening a physical store, there is no way that you can create a successful business if you don’t graft. This applies to ALL businesses. The majority of blogs don’t make any income because it takes so long to earn a penny. If you want to be taken seriously and make a full-time salary from blogging, you have to work damn hard.

    Bloggers pay taxes & Influencers have made millions

    Blogging is a self-employed job. Self-Assesment tax returns are a tedious and lengthy process. As Bloggers can earn a decent salary, it makes sense that the government has made it mandatory to make us pay tax on it. It’s isn’t impossible to make millions from a blog. I mean, if you could quit your ‘real job’ with an average salary to become financially comfortable, you just would, wouldn’t you?!


    Change is happening

    I genuinely think that there are many inspirational blogs out there who don’t get the credit that they deserve.

    The comments I’ve seen are that we’re living in a generation of narcissistic, entitled, ego-centric & social-media-addicted youths. While that may be true of some people, you cannot paint everyone with the same brush.

    There will be so many people who have the potential to be doing what they love but instead, are working in a job that they hate because society tells us that we should be working for a corporation. Let’s face facts here; print is dying & digital is on the up (this is why big advertisers have budgets dedicated to influencers), sadly, not everyone has decided to accept this change, so the insecure online trolls criticise people who are making money out of non-traditional careers.

    Not everyone is suited to this lifestyle because there’s no stability. You have to be smart.

    I’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject. Are you creative and your friends keep dismissing your job? I want to hear from you.

    P.S these images are from an old shoot whereby I didn’t have a relevant blog post, but I felt this set was well suited. I love the vintage imagery, don’t you agree?

    Location: Sheffield, UK

    MAC Prep and Prime | M·A·C FOUNDATION | M.A.C Powder | MAC Eyeshadow in All That Glitters, Bronze, Brule and Copper | Plate | M.A.C Liquid Liner | Lancome Mascara | M.A.C EYE BROWS | MAC Blush in Animal Instincts | MAC Lip Pencil | MAC Lipstick in Crosswires and Dark Side |

    Styling and props: Natalie Armin
    Photographer: Craig Flemming
    Make Up: Laura Gingell


    The Wong Christmas Gift Guide 2017

    Okay, so, first of all, I’m very sorry. My 2017 Christmas gift guide is so Wong-ly & fashionably late (hehe). But, in all honesty, this pretty much suits my personality.

    Last year, you would have found me panicking in the middle of London’s Oxford Circus with the rest of London screaming, “what do they f*cking want…?!”.

    In the hope that you’ll find it useful, I’ve designed this post to give you inspiration on what to gift your loved ones. With the help of my friends & family, I’ve tried to cover the very best.

    Merry Christmas! Eat lots of yummy foods, spend and relish time with loved ones & enjoy the festivities. xxx

    The Tech-Savvy


    The Foodie


    The Homeowner



    The Traveller



    The Fitness Addict




    The Fashionista


    The Beauty Babes


    The Mini’s



    Mummy Wong’s Favourites


    Sister Wong’s Favourites


    Brother Wong’s Favourites

    Daddy Wong’s Favourites



    Don’t forget, many of us are fortunate to be able to give and receive gifts. Why not give back this Christmas? It’s been a cold winter for everyone but frightful for those with nowhere to go. Here’s how you can do your bit:

    • Donate to Shelter, as they help our homeless find somewhere to live and get back on their feet.
    • You can buy a gift at Save The Children who will give food, shelter & love to refugee children in Syria.
    • Why not support your local Present Appeal and donate new, unwrapped toys and gifts for children. Click here to find your nearest Salvation Army Centre.
    • Donate/buy dry food at your local food bank at your local supermarket.
    • Age UK needs volunteers to talk our elderly. Call in Time is a free telephone befriending service for matching volunteers with older people.

    Thanks for reading, let me know what you thought of my last-minute Christmas Gift Guide! Did I miss anything?

    Location: North Pole

    Photographer: Brendan Donnelly (Insta here)

    DunNars Foundation in Ceylan | Nars Concealer in Ginger | Urban Decay 3 | Loreal Liquid EyelinerLancome Mascara |


    The best 2017 Christmas Advent Calendars

    It’s nearly that time of year.

    CHRISTMAS IS COMING! *Ahem*, yes as you can tell, I cannot nearly contain my excitement.

    As a kid, one of my favourite things about Christmas was counting down the days with a daily sweet treat. But, as an adult, who can resist opening doors to gifts from your favourite brands which are relevant to your interests like luxury beauty, alcohol, and fitness?

    Lounge by the fire in your cosiest knitwear, with mince pies & hot chocolate at arms’ reach, I’ve got a cracking advent calendar roundup for you.

    Loccitane Classic Beauty Advent Calendar

    Spoil a loved one, or *ahem* treat yourself to a sumptuous pre-Christmas gift with the L’OCCITANE Christmas Beauty Advent Calendar which is filled with shampoos, soaps & eau de toilette. Illustrated by the renowned French artist Kanako, this set is a beautiful way to get excited about Christmas. Also check out their full range of Christmas gifts for women.

    Look Fantastic Advent Calendar 2017

    Housed in a decadent and decorated case complete with a mirror inside, I love this because you can reuse as vanity unit to store your beloved beauty treats and essentials.

    Charlotte Tilbury Advent Calendar 

    Calling all beauty babes, if you haven’t indulged in a Charlotte Tilbury goodie yet, then you’re missing out. A mix of full-sized and mini’s this one houses the best sellers wrapped up in a glamorous, gorgeous box.

    The Mankind Advent Calendar

    The only male grooming calendar that’s got you covered. Packed with 25 full-size products, this luxury men’s advent calendar will leave you feeling fresh for the festive season.

    CIATÉ Mini Month 2017 

    A must-have gift for any manicure-addict, 19 carefully packaged mini nail polish paint pots and one full-size beauty.

    The Beer Hawk Advent Calendar

    You have to get this for your beer fan friend. The Beer Hawk Advent Calendar is filled with Belgian classics, crafty cans, German brilliance and British beauties.

    Carluccio’s Advent Calendar

    This one is for my fellow foodies. Discover the flavours of Italy with this limited edition advent calendar.

    BlueBird Tea Advent Calendar 

    Tea lovers! Open the doors to festive limited edition tea bags like ‘Mrs Claus’ Raspberry Prosecco,’ Mince Pie + Spiced Clementine.

    Drinks by the Dram

    Proudly crafted and distributed by Maverick Drinks, Drinks By The Dram explores various alcoholic spirits from around the globe, all in dram size containers.

    That Boutique-y Gin Company Advent Calendar

    I’m laughing at the thought of drinking gin every day. Developed by some of the finest distillers, this gin is housed within a charming box.

    My Protein Advent Calendar

    This one is for the gym fanatics, enjoy Christmas & retain your fitness game. Get your protein fix with cocoa butter and whey protein. It’s suitable for vegetarians.

    Holland and Barret Advent

    Brands included in this beauty bonanza are Dr Organic, Dead Sea Spa Magik, Pure Potions, Naturint, Weleda, Faith In Nature, Facetox, Sukin, Yes To, Trilogy and Beauty Kitchen.


    Make your own

    Hate surprises? Buy a real advent calendar and fill them up with goodies that you know you will love. I’ve picked the best ones at my funky widget below.


    Do keep checking this page as I will be adding more over the weekend and let me know if you recommend any others!

    Happy shopping from The Wong Blog x

    Location: Christmas Calendar Central

    Photo: Big thank you to Not On The High Street for lovely your Christmas press day invite.

    Dungarees| Top | Shoes | Bracelet | Nars Foundation in Ceylan | Nars Concealer in Ginger | Urban Decay 3 | Loreal Liquid EyelinerLancome Mascara |


    Best Black Friday & Cyber Monday deals



    Is it just me or does Black Friday start earlier & earlier, each year?

    To mark this joyous occasion, I’m wearing all black err-thang coat and boots. Well, it’s my excuse for being fashionably late for this blog post, (hehe get it?).

    Last year, I gave you a roundup of the best deals here. The sales are similar this year; Selfridges is using the same code.

    Avoid the Olly Murs scrum party, stick the kettle on and get comfy. We’re going to bag to best deals in our PJ’s (if you need some new ones, use code FLASH20UK at Victoria Secret, you also get a free pair of fluffy slippers!).

    The big all-rounders

    Amazon | eBay (worth checking out the big brand outlets on these sites too)

    Selfridges up to 20% off with code: SELFCCE

    ASOS up to 20% off. Code: WIN20

    Debenhams up to 20% off

    John Lewis Price Match

    Very (up to 50% off!)

    Currys Black Tag Event

    Argos Black Friday


    Topshop | Topman

    Mark’s & Spencer (3 for 2 offers)

    New Look (up to 25% off)

    French Connection


    Urban Outfitters

    TM Lewin (20% off)

    Office (Code: SHINE)

    Clarks (BLACK20)




    Look Fantastic – save 20% on code LFCW20

    Boots (best fragrance deals)

    Superdrug (up to 60% off)

    The Body Shop (40% off code: 19806)

    Sephora (gift & receive)

    Cult Beauty (25% off Huda)

    Travel, Home & Experience Days

    Heals (for 10% off use code: BLACK10)

    Anthropologie (use code: itsyours for 20% off!)

    Homebase (price match)

    Etsy (I got a great chunky yarn from here)

    Paperchase (20% off)

    WHSmith (use code BLACK17 for 10% off)

    Kikki K (20% off)


    EasyHotel (3000 rooms for £9.99) | RyanAir Black Friday Sale

    TUI Holidays (various deals)

    Thomas Cook (use code BF200)

    Virgin Trains Seat Sale & get £5 off RailCard (code: BFDAY711)


    I need to roam around Old Bond Street more often. #London

    A post shared by Monica Wong (@thewongblog) on


    I know you’re desperate to run away from all this Black Friday madness, luckily there’s up to 25% off flights from British Airways.

    I’ll be posting and updating this page throughout the rest of the Cyber weekend.

    If you’ve got any deals to share, please comment below, I’d love to hear from you.

    Location: Black Friday Madness Land

    Photographer: Brendan Donnelly (Insta here)

    Dungarees| Top | Shoes | Bracelet | Nars Foundation in Ceylan | Nars Concealer in Ginger | Urban Decay 3 | Loreal Liquid EyelinerLancome Mascara |