HAVING someone follow you around when you go for coffee, browse for clothes or hike through the countryside would be a worry for most.

But not Monica Welburn - and she has 250,000 of them.

The Winchester blogger has thousands of fans all over the world who have tracked her rise from ambitious fashion student to a significant player in the industry's online circles.

Her website, The Elgin Avenue, started as an online diary but has become a full-time business, earning the 25-year-old a living from chronicling her favourite outfits, people and places. Some of her haunts will be familiar to Chronicle readers.

And quarter of a million people follow her posts on Pinterest, an online scrapbook forming part of the brand she has been developing for four-and-a-half years.

Raised in Ashbarn Cresent, Badger Farm by parents Eliana and Peter, Monica says fashion was always on the agenda in the Welburn household.

"My parents would say that all the kids would stop at the toy stores and I would drag them to the jewellery stores," she says, with a smile that suggests not all that much has changed. "When I was really little I became obsessed with making dresses for my dolls, so I used to stitch them to these little scraps of fabric."

Studying art at Kings' School and later Peter Symonds College after moving to Southampton, Monica eventually channelled her creative energies into a blog to escape her studies at the London College of Fashion.

"I was doing a degree at the time which I didn't feel very stimulated by, and I wanted to do something for myself - something where I could write a little bit more," she says.

"It was completely new to me and I started to look into it. I literally googled 'how to start a blog' and realised there were no barriers to entry.

"With a blog you have zero start-up costs.

"There was no investment at the beginning - I took all my photos on my iPhones, it was very basic. But what I found is that I just fell in love with it. I absolutely adored the rhythm of taking photos and writing every day."

For months The Elgin Avenue was a quasi-diary chronicling Monica's day-to-day life ("Probably no one was reading it"), but little by little her take on trends, tastes and West London cafes started to gather attention. At that time, the internet was democratic: everyone had a chance to get noticed.

Hampshire Chronicle:

And noticed she was - Monica won Marie Claire's Best Fashion Blog of the Year Award in 2012. Soon, interest was pouring in from brands, readers and, crucially, an agency which could mould the site into a successful business.

"They basically held my hand through the whole monetisation process," she said.

"I'm so grateful that they were there because as a blogger, it's really hard to know your worth. Especially at the beginning, you're just clueless."

The blog makes money through posts, events or films sponsored by big brands. It's paid Monica's bills for two years.

"I used to go to uni for my lectures, try and fit in press appointments in between, then I'd start a waitressing shift, then I'd get home and I'd blog and I'd just have no sleep," she says. "But I loved it. It was not that great for your health, and every now and then I'd crash, but that's why I feel so lucky to do it full time now."

Not everything went her way in the capital. Demoralised by the cost of London life, departure of university friends and unsteady income of an internet entrepreneur, she returned to Hampshire last year with long-time boyfriend and private hairdresser Oli.

She now works from their flat in West Street, Alresford.

"I found myself absolutely bowled over by how cosmopolitan it was," Monica says of her new surroundings.

"There's so much here," she says. "It's got a phenomenal wealth of boutiques, cafes, restaurants, hotels. It's such a cosmopolitan area."

Now local hangouts like Black White Red, Hannah's Bed and Breakfast and Alresford's Horse & Groom have been beamed to The Elgin Avenue's legion of followers as destinations for the stylish modern woman.

Monica thinks would-be bloggers can find their "aesthetic" anywhere in Britain - but Winchester feels the perfect fit for this hometown girl.

And so the Chronicle, considering an indoor photo shoot to escape the rain, suggests the Hambledon boutique in The Square might be up her street. We soon discover she has been friends with the owners for years - and Oli was in that morning, looking for trousers.

That, it seems, is the life.