How a blog got one domestic goddess a book deal…

Ever dreamt that your blog could become your full-time job – and it might be so good, that you’re commissioned to write a book to go with it? 51stqiDi3LL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_SX385_SY500_CR,0,0,385,500_SH20_OU02_

This is what happened to Cherry Menlove, whose blog about her West Sussex home has landed her a book deal.

Cherry began her blog in 2006 when she used to live in a two bed home in southeast London. Then, she tells the Sunday Times(£), she used to go out with her camera looking for inspirational things to photograph – at the same time she’d include a few lines on sanding and painting floorboards in her flat.

But today much of the inspriation for her blog comes from the family’s 1930s house in West Sussex. “It was ugly when we first saw it, but on the market for a good price,” she says.

She then embarked on a series of make-overs – detailed on her blog. These included a new kitchen, unearthing an art deco fireplace in a bedroom and transforming the back of the house into a baking school where she runs cupcake classes.

The result was beautiful photos and many readers clicking back on her blog for latest updates. She now has 2.4m hits a year and 5,500 fans on Facebook.

She says: “Readers of the blog always like the before and after shots. They’ll often comment on how they’ve been inspired to try something similar in the own homes.”

Meanwhile, she managed to get a literary agent who teamed her up with publishers Weidenfeld & Nicholson and her book, The Handmade Home recently went on sale.

Amanda Harris, Weindenfeld & Nicholson’s nonfiction publishing director, said: “She is very different from other bloggers. Her site provides the ‘how to’ promise of a beautiful, calm, feminine space and she delivers. I know lots of fans go to her blog just to see what’s happening in her life that day.”

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Alison Smith-Squire

Alison Smith-Squire is a writer, journalist and media agent selling exclusive real life stories to newspapers, magazines and TV. She owns the sell my story website, which was set up to help ordinary people sell their stories to the press.

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