Style and beauty blogging is so glamorous, right? You get free makeup and clothing and play dress-up and have photos of yourself taken all the time… you get into all the cool parties, and get free perks for having a blog, and everyone wants to be you- you’re the mega-popular ‘it girl’.
There are thousands of personal style blogs out there that make absolutely no money whatsoever. These are the girls/guys who either chose not to monetize their blogs, or more commonly, receive no financial gain due to a lack of experience, knowledge, posts, etc. Over half the people who start a blog quit within the first few months, let alone last the year, and that is the ‘want it now’ mentality that does not work with blogging. You have to last, and continue to provide quality content your readers want.
I started this blog in April 2013 while I was working as a manager of a tattoo shop [before my health went into a downward spiral and I had to leave]. Basically the goal was to take photos of my outfits because I was [and still am] always being asked what I’m wearing, and to start documenting my style as I grow older. I was using the Blogger platform and though I had been blogging for about a decade by then, style blogging was something I had no idea what I was doing then- just posting photos of my outfits and makeup, and started adding affiliate links soon enough, once I saw the potential in this.
It was a blind start, really. I had no idea what exactly I was getting myself into- all the time, dedication, and hard work that comes along with maintaining a blog, which was basically just a daily photo diary at that time.
Scaling the mountain:
It took a lot of effort to continue posting on what, at the time, was a thankless project. I started writing articles occasionally, gave up some of my makeup secrets, and, the most difficult part of all, made that overwhelming switch from Blogger to WordPress with the help of a friend.
It was at the end of that first year that I finally got my first brand deal- a Colgate campaign. Technically unpaid, however I received enough product to last the following two years.
It continued on like that for the next year, brand campaigns on occasion, still no real money being made.. however, there was a big payoff- I didn’t have to spend money on hair care products, makeup, etc. It kind of made up for itself.
In just a few short months, this blog will be 3 years old, and I have so many campaigns under my belt now, from small ones [such as Caress body wash] to more expensive brands [like Yves Saint Laurent and Marc Jacobs]. About half of the campaigns I do now are paid, plus product samples. Rates vary depending on the brand and the amount of money they have to spend on marketing/blog reviews. Some campaigns I seek out myself, but a lot of these brands are contacting me now, especially via my [thank you, Captain Obvious] contact page.
Don’t be mislead about the content of this article so far- I give back too, and make an active effort to be gracious and humble in my writing via my [usually] weekly #gratitude posts. The point of this mini project is, by making a list, I can physically see all the good things that happened that week, as well as other things that make me happy, thus avoiding the oh-so-common ‘human condition’ of remembering the bad things and ignoring the many hidden treasures this world has to offer. We, as people, need to learn how to stop seeking happiness in places other than where we are, and find that it is all around us, and continue the active effort of recognizing and repeating the process.
The days ahead:
Honestly, I have no idea what tomorrow has in store for me, and I am not going to waste time worrying about it. Live in the moment, enjoy that moment, and love yourself and the good people you keep around you. As long as you love what you’re doing, it will never seem like work- and it’s true. I love being a style blogger. I love making friends from all over the world. I love that people like my brand of weird, as well as admiring their own. And I’m honored that ‘mainstream’ companies want to employ me as a ‘tastemaker’, a model, etc.
I do know that the longer I blog, the more I accomplish, and the more money I make. It’s not remotely close to an hourly wage setup- there is no assurance of payment, it varies from day to day, week to week, month to month. However, I am doing better than the vast majority of style bloggers out there, simply because I’ve been in the game long enough. I kept at it, and keep on going. There is no finish line in sight right now, and I intend to keep on going for as long as I possibly can. This blog has been a blessing wearing the disguise of ‘hard work’.
Yeah, I’ve finally hit ‘dirty thirty’, but I’m not old yet. I’ve still got a long way to go. The point of the whole blogging ‘game’ is perseverance. Be real, be you, and don’t ever stop.
What is your experience in style blogging? Are you blogging for a living?