Pro in A Year: How This Beauty Blogger Made Her Passion Into A Career
By: Taylor Davies

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From finance… to foundation? Lindsay Rogers envisions her blog, Belle Belle Beauty, like be a beauty blog for fashion people. “It’s not necessarily for the insane beauty junkie, but for someone who knows they’re looking for something specific – and I’m the place to go.”

Rogers started her foray into blogging by doing one-product-at-a-time reviews on Tumblr, and she’s one in a very small community of bloggers based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Her business background led her to develop a more scientific approach to reviews, and she prides herself on helping to dispel the stereotype that beauty bloggers only review what they get for free.

Whether it’s waiting a full three-to-six weeks to blog about skin products or guest blogging for Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf’s – she’s established a professional approach to her site and social media – that’s now her full-time job. From monetization to pitching and posting, we caught up with Rogers last week to get her best blogging advice.

How did you get into blogging, and beauty blogging specifically?

I was doing freelance consulting, building websites and social media platforms. Many clients were blogs or wanted to incorporate a blog into their online presence. I figured I needed to have one too, to better understand the platform. I’ve always been a product junkie, so it would naturally be a beauty blog! I wrote my first post two years ago. Also, my Tumblr sort of evolved as a street style blog and I spend time over there creating content as well. It is about 18 months old (su-perb.com).

Can you talk a little about your blog’s growth, and how this became your full-time gig?

I was working in finance, but had a passion for social media and wanted to do something more entrepreneurial and creative. I did some career counseling to make sure this was the right path and set up some planning so I could make the transition. And with my educational background, I felt confident I could do social media consulting and build websites on a freelance basis. Frankly, saving up a little nest egg is key. I made some (major) lifestyle changes to adjust for a much smaller budget.

My experience as an entrepreneur has been and probably always will be a 24/7 job. I am never “off.” But, as I spent more nights and weekends building my brand as a fashion and beauty editor, I could do less work as a consultant. As I invested more time on my own media channels, I saw my traffic grow. This growth has been very slow and very steady. I believe this is because I am consistently putting out content, on the blog and social media channels. I’ve had tremendous support from contacts via Twitter and conferences (As a non-New Yorker, Twitter has been a huge connector for me). I have connected with mentors, brands and retailers by networking on and off line. In my experience, it wasn’t just about writing and photos – you really have to put yourself out there.

What do you think it takes for a blogger to run their site (and additional elements like social media) as a business?

I have a finance background and went to law school. So I came to the table with some really great tools. I think you need to look at blogging like a job and make sure you have some accountability in place. As you grow, you need to set up an LLC (or other legal structure) along with accounting infrastructure (business accounts, business credit cards, invoices, and software like Quickbooks).

How do you monetize your site?

I have ads served by Lucky Magazine Style Collective. I use affiliate links through rewardStyle. I get paid to freelance (providing copy to other media outlets). I am currently exploring sponsored posts. My affiliate links appear sometimes on Pinterest, Tumblr and Pose. I have more fashion content in those outlets, making affiliate links more rewarding (being paid commission on $500 boots > $18 mascara).

What kind of strategy do you use to develop your content?

I don’t schedule posts out too far ahead (except when I travel). I feel that way I am most invested in what I have reviewed while I discuss it on twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. I only recommend fashion and beauty items that I love (or would love) to wear and use. I do have an editorial calendar, but I use it very loosely. I know this casual approach doesn’t work for everyone. But my perspective is: I recommend what I love using, in my personal life. The best way to do this is writing about what your favorite things are at that very moment – what foundation I reach for lately, what my skin care routine is that time of year, how I am getting the best hairstyle. I occasionally tweet out links to what I put on my wish list at Shopbop, Sephora, etc. Or what I recently purchased for a trip or big event. When my day is slow content-wise, I promote sales or announcements I’ve received via email on my Facebook or Twitter – those emails can be great fodder for social media engagement.

What advice would you give to beauty or lifestyle bloggers who are looking to become professionals?

Cultivate a relationship with an affiliate company, like rewardStyle or Fashion Traffic, and use affiliate links in multiple channels. Network yourself as much as possible. I have a TV appearance that is scheduled next week just because a colleague made an introduction yesterday. Constantly advertise your willingness to work with retailers and brands. Don’t be afraid of being told no – keep trying. Do not underprice your services. Be willing to work 24 hours a day. I am often writing, pinning, tweeting into the wee hours. Look at your life through an monetizing lens. Pin everything with affiliate links you loved on a recent shopping trip. Ask a local business if they would like to buy ad space while you are out running errands. Love a brand? Contact them as ask if you can be paid to create content for them. That being said, maintain your voice. If I love a product, store or experience but I was not compensated, I still post about it (frequently).

 

Comments

  1. This interview is very inspiring to me. I’m currently in Finance and want to make the transition to a permanent career path that’s more creative and involves social media -since that’s my educational background, as well. I’ve always known it can be done but what this interview has helped me see is that I just have to keep pushing and trying different things. But most of all, I have to hold fast and be true to my path and myself and eventually I’ll get there. Nothing worth while comes easy-right!
    I’m very inspired!

    • Tali says:

      I wish you tons of luck! I’m trying to do the same, leave current job for more creative path. Hope your way will be enjoyable and successful.

  2. Avatar of Madeline @stylemethrifty

    GREAT article! It’s fantastic to hear about real women who have turned their blogging hobby into a job — AND aren’t afraid to admit that it takes a lot of hard work. I’ve been a huge fan of Belle Belle Beauty/Lindsay after meeting her at LuckyFABB a year ago. She’s a breath of fresh air in the blogging world. Rock on, Lindsay!

  3. Avatar of TheAsiaMonique

    Fantastic article! This gives me different ways to approach my blogging techniques and to branch out from where I am at in corporate. Thank you for the inspirational read!

  4. Avatar of
    SDS says:

    Very interesting. I’ve enjoyed researching the different timelines of different people’s success!
    It kind of bothers me that I have friends who actually know me, who have never even gone to view my site one time, much less “like” it on facebook or twitter!?! UGH! However, if people who don’t even know me in New York and Beverly Hills want to follow, it helps me to stay motivated! Even if I am not successful, I totally ENJOY the publishing, writing and photography and more imprtantly…writing about what I love!

    Stephanie Dawn
    http://www.luxorlivingandstyle.com

    • Tali says:

      I feel what you’re saying! NONE of my friends reads my blog, my family is not interested. Moreover, they treat it as “waste of time”. I get far more support from people I hardly know or know online only, than those who are close to me. The only one who really supports me is my man, and it’s something I’m endlessly greatful for.
      I guess we just have to push and insist, and never give up.
      Wish you luck!

  5. Alyssa says:

    Loved this article! As someone who recently left the world of finance for fashion myself, it was great to read how others are making the transition!

  6. Avatar of Ari @ Creatively Sassy
    Ari says:

    This article has been incredibly inspiring for me. I’ve been trying to flip the switch to start monetizing mu blog and this has great tools on how to do it.

    http://Www.creativelysassy.Com

  7. Tali says:

    Great inspirational article, especially for someone who chickens out just like me, my ultimate dream to be a full-time blogger. Hope I will be able to do it soon!

  8. Maria says:

    Great article! I agree with all points – and yes, you have to work really hard to make it happen. I’m blogging for just over a year now and it is my full time job now. People often ask me – how did you do that? Same way as Lindsay – hard 24/7 work.

  9. Tania Poli says:

    It’s good advice but I’d rather have real figures. How many unique visitor per month does her blog have? What was the dynamic over last two years?

    How many visitors actually convert to buyers (click the links or monetise the blog in any other way)?

    I mean, It’s great story but facts ad figures always say better than anything else don’t they?

  10. Lea says:

    This is what we’re all hoping for, right? A way to turn this thing we love into something that means we don’t need to work for someone else. I can really appreciate the steps and advice that Lindsay has provided but can’t seem to get past what I feel is the initial hurdle – getting enough readership so that monetization becomes an option. I Tweet, FB, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr but still the growth for the blog has been slow. Perhaps it’s the content? Perhaps I’m not putting effort in the right place. I’m not giving up yet but I wonder how other people have moved past this hurdle.

  11. Lydie says:

    This article is so inspiring. I run a style/beauty blog and I feel discouraged sometimes because of the little traffic i get sometimes. thanks for all the pointers because i intend to go full-time. Thanks!!

  12. Demi says:

    It’s great to be able to network with other people who are interested in a more creative outlet. The key is persistance. Nothing will turn into gold overnight so don’t give up. I started working assisting a growing fashion blog and it’s amazing how much the editor worked to network and build the business. I am still working there and getting to reap the rewards of being there since day 1. Keep on and don’t give up. You’ve heard that success is just around the corner from the place where you decide to give up! Power through it really can happen to you as well.

  13. Mira Musank says:

    Lindsay Rogers’ advice and insights are very inspiring and truly worth noting. Creating relationships with affiliate companies and brands, as well as being socially active 24/7 are really what I need to do to bring my blog to the next level. Perhaps one day, I will have the courage to leave my day job and just focus on this passion of mine.

    Thank you so much for the post, have a great day!!
    Mira

  14. Avatar of KOOS
    KOOS says:

    The best interview I’ve read on IFB. Great post!

  15. Sabina says:

    I’m with Koos. All these tips are incredibly helpful–especially about actively attempting to network in person. Thanks IFB and Lindsay.

  16. EricaB says:

    Now if this could be titled “Tips for young, single bloggers” it would be PERFECT. But as a wife and mom, when I hear “Be willing to work 24 hours a day. I am often writing, pinning, tweeting into the wee hours. Look at your life through an monetizing lens”, my reaction is “yeahhhhh… no thanks.” It all sounds impressive until you break down the hourly rate when you’re working around the clock. (Case in point: http://www.frugal-mama.com/2012/09/why-i-am-dropping-the-business-side-of-blogging-my-truth-about-making-money-online/) I’d rather a job that lets me have a personal life after hours. Not to knock Lindsay’s hustle at all, though! As long as she’s happy, I’m happy for her.

  17. Avatar of dreameater
    dreameater says:

    It’s great reading an interview about someone who is really passionate about what they do. It’s also amazing that she was able to incorporate her own education background to really make it unique and to set herself apart from other blogs.

  18. This sound good but what has be the ROI? I have read about many professional bloggers but I am interested in learning more specific information about revenue. For her time is she profiting on her blog? What type of monthly income stream is she earning?

  19. Emily says:

    Thank you for this advice. I set up my blog a few weeks ago and I’m really enjoying it and loving the whole networking side of it too. Hopefully in time some success will come of something I truly enjoy!

  20. Avatar of Dazzlin Sana
    Dazzlin Sana says:

    Oh my God. This interview is so inspiring. It’s only my first day at this platform and I am already reading all these amazingly helpful things. Thank-you so much for sharing such insights for all of us, especially people like me who are only starting out at things. Now I am getting a whole lot perspective in how I’d be doing things in future.
    Thankyou.
    http://agirlsfancies.blogspot.com

  21. Hadn’t heard of Lucky Magazine Style Collective and RewardStyle, thanks!

    I only wish that Lucky Magazine Style Collective sign up page was a secure page (https) and not an http.

    Very inspiring!

  22. bharathi says:

    loved the interview.. it threw some light to new beauty bloggers way

  23. Tovah says:

    Really great post and so much to learn about.

    My problem is that I had to change servers as the one I was on couldn’t accomodate my pages any longer.

    From starting my blog almost 2 years ago, I steadily climbed 1,000 more views a month.

    Once I changed (with the help of an IT person), I’m lucky if I get 60 views a day,.

    I feel like I’m starting all over again and I’m not sure if it’s still worth it to keep going. It’s like writing a manuscript and losing all the pages and having to start again at the beginning.

  24. NAILgasmTV says:

    Fantastic read. The most helpful article I’ve read so far on how to really “make it” as a beauty/fashion blogger. Thanks for sharing your insights!

  25. Being a beauty blogger myself, I’m very inspired by this review. I had monetized a beauty blog pretty successfully a couple of years back, so believe you me, it’s very possible – but not very common that someone has the motivation or ingenuity to do it. Great stuff!

  26. Arvind says:

    Nice blog… i hope it will help many others..

  27. Sakurina says:

    Helpful and inspiring post! I just started to actively blog since last week. A hurdle for me is to share it with friends and family though. I kinda like it that people around me aren’t on my blog. It’s a bummer I miss out on the benefits of it. But I hope i’ll be able to make it in the future this way.
    http://skinnyminisakurina.blogspot.nl

  28. Hafija Afrin says:

    I like hear style and buity site’s. In this site’ s all is well and all article is so inspiring. I run a style/beauty blog and I feel discouraged sometimes because of the little traffic i get sometimes.

  29. Shelby says:

    I know this is an old post, but I just found it. This article is very inspiring and gave a lot of useful, honest tips that I feel a lot of bloggers are afraid to share.

    While blogging is a 24/7 job, it never, ever feels like work. That’s the best part.

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