The Secret To Starting & Maintaining a Successful Blog

There are very few blogs that I read religiously (cause #aintnobodygottimeforthat) but I always stay up to date with Taylor Mobley’s fantastic blog, Blonde & Ambitious . First of all, Taylor could not have picked a better name for her blog. She is truly blonde and she is truly ambitious!

I met Taylor during college. I actually thought she was going to be one of my roommates but it turns out she just had the same exact name as the girl I actually ended up rooming with. When I’d gotten the list of who my roommates were going to be the next semester, I added Taylor on Facebook and we talked quite a bit. I was sort of bummed that I’d been talking to the wrong Taylor all along but I still ended up seeing her quite a bit. When I found out she had a blog, I wasn’t surprised. Taylor definitely comes off as that “go-getter” type; the “ambitious” type.

I was thrilled when Taylor agreed to answer some of my questions about her blog. I’ve been dying to know her tips and tricks for starting and maintaining a successful blog!

Although Taylor blogs about makeup and fashion and I have a hard time even putting makeup on or wearing anything but leggings, I think the basics of starting and maintaining a blog are similar for most lifestyle niches. Of course everyone will have a unique experience but as long as the passion is there and you’re willing to put in hard work, your hobbies really can eventually turn into a full-time job! How crazy exciting is that!?

Okay, enough with the introductions. Let’s get down to my interview with Taylor Mobley! You’re about to learn how and why she started her blog and how she became the successful blogger that she is today!

What made you want to start a blog? Did it start as a hobby or as a profession?

It was absolutely a HOBBY. I did not start my blog with the intention of turning it into a career – I didn’t even know you could DO that!! I started it because my husband wasn’t a good outlet to talk to about fashion and makeup. Not that he didn’t love that I loved it, but I just needed a space to share my knowledge and grow in my skills.

What are some of your passions in life and why did you decide to start blogging about them?

MAKEUP is my first and biggest passion. I love it. I’ve been doing makeup since I was 14 years old, in theaters and haunted houses and on myself. I love special effects makeup especially (Halloween is my favorite holiday). I also love fashion, and I wanted my blog to be a place girls could learn how to style the latest fashions modestly. I started blogging about them as a creative outlet.

How did you start making money from your blog?

I started making money when a company reached out to me and wanted me to do a sponsored post for them. I realized I could actually CHARGE for what I’m doing if I got good enough. So I researched anything and everything I could about it, bought a fancy camera and editing equiptment, hired a blog photographer for style shoots and started learning how to use Adobe illustrator to make pretty and pinnable images.

Do you blog as a full-time career? If so, when did you transition into this?

I do blog as my full-time career!! I transitioned about 8 months into starting my blog.

How did you stay motivated in the beginning days of your blog?

I tried (and did not always succeed) to remind myself DAILY it isn’t JUST a numbers game. Yes, 100,000 followers is awesome but if they aren’t genuinely engaged with your content, it isn’t worth it. Building your organic following (even if it feels slow) is more important. I would listen to podcasts (still do) and surrounded myself with other similar-sized bloggers to help push me through! I now am in a group of 5 SUPER close girls and I consider them some of my best friends. We all started blogging around the same time, have really similar follower sizes and can really be each other’s advocates.

How much time do you spend working on your blog daily? Have you had any issues with lack of time to blog? How have you learned to manage your time well?

I spend HOURS AND HOURS working on my blog. I would say I put in 40-50 hours a week. Luckily, I can spread that where I need to. Adam works late, so I often take time to myself in the morning to go to yoga or go to the temple because I know I can work well into the evening before my husband gets home. I can also plan for vacations and take the time off when I need to. There did come a point though where I had so much going on, I actually hired an intern to help me manage. She’s awesome. ☺

What has been the most challenging part of your blogging journey so far?

Trying not to compare myself to girls who have been doing this FAR longer than I have. I want to be all the way at the top already, and tend to compared myself to girls who have been doing this for five years, where I’ve only been doing it for a little over a year.

What has been the greatest thing about starting a blog?

The opportunity to work with brands and go on press trips!! My husband and I got to go to the Dominican Republic this year for an all-expense-paid press trip. It was amazing.

I’m personally an introvert which is one reason I enjoy blogging (because it doesn’t require much physical human interaction). I definitely see you as more of an extrovert, though. How do you utilize your skills as an extrovert while blogging and what would you recommend to introverts when it comes to collaborating and meeting new people?

It’s so funny you say this because I am totally an introvert. I don’t love being around people all the time, but I have absolutely GROWN by blogging. Because I often do events, host store openings, go to fashion shows, have brand calls, etc. I have to be extroverted. It has kind of forced me to jump out of my comfort zone and become more of a people person. When it comes to collaborating and meeting new people, I would always pep myself up before hand and remind myself what an incredibly opportunity it was to be able to do that collaboration and meet new people and if I wanted this to be successful, I need to be able to do it or find a new hobby.

What other skills do you think a blogger should have or acquire in order to be a successful blogger?

Thick skin. I’m not going to lie, I’ve gotten several really hurtful emails/comments over the past year and it hurts every time. But I have learned that it says SO much more about the other person than it says about me. I know my integrity, I know how I choose to run my business and I know that whatever they are saying about me probably isn’t true. If they choose to spend their time emailing hate to someone they don’t even know, that’s on them.

Is there anything you wish you’d known before you started blogging? Would you have done anything differently in the beginning?

Treat it like a business from the beginning. Have a tax spreadsheet, workout how you will pay yourself, make sure you pay taxes from the get-go, and even get an accountant if you want to be serious about this. You do not want to get behind if your blog suddenly explodes.

Which resources have you found that have helped you the most to become a successful blogger?

Pinterest has the answers to almost everything you need to know, but some stuff is going to be trial and error. There isn’t a formula for running a successful blog. I think the biggest thing is managing your social media strategy to reach the maximum number of eyes on your post that you possibly can, and pinterest has great tools on doing that.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

GOOD LUCK! I truly believe in this business, there is totally room for everyone at the top. ☺ I love what I do, but it is hard. You are always working from your phone, often companies are in different parts of the world so you have to be available all the time, and separation from work and home can be hard because they happen in the same place. It can be done, it just requires discipline. ☺

Author: Coral Allen

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