Welcome to my real talk episodes series! I have wanted to start this series for a while and am excited that the day has finally come. This series will be a mixture of video and written posts where I’ll be talking about real life issues with my experience as a blogger, a woman, and running a business. This post, and future posts like it, are for you guys to ask me questions that I can answer. I want to be clear about what goes on behind the scenes as a blogger and what it takes to run this blog as more than just a hobby, but an actual business.
For my first episode, I wanted to take this opportunity to discuss how I make money as a blogger. I often have people ask me and I like to be upfront. Like all bloggers, I make money in a few different ways…
One of my main revenue sources are sponsored posts. This can be on my blog, social media, or both. A brand will send me a product or a complimentary service and I write about my experience on said product/service. I have a sponsored post every now and again. But trust me when I tell you that I would never accept a sponsorship from a brand unless I actually believed in their product/service. Too many bloggers are selling out these days and posting (in my opinion) too much sponsored content that it stops feeling organic. It’s taking away from the beauty of blogging. I turn down offers a lot based on either the brand not being a good fit for Laura Lily or not liking the product. Trust me, sometimes it’s really tough to say no especially when I have bills to pay just like everyone else. But I think of you all who read my blog and trust my opinions. I never want to be a sell out and I promise I never will be.
Another way blogs make money are through affiliate links. Basically, if you click on the link and buy that item I make a small percentage of the sale (2-20%.) Not every link on here is an affiliate, but a good amount of them are. Now some people may not like this idea, but think of it this way: It costs money to run a blog, and even more money for a good quality one. I pay my photographers to capture beautiful high-quality images, photo editing programs, website domain and hosting, gas to drive to different locations to take photos, and the clothes to feature in the blog posts. No blog post I ever publish on here is really free. So when you guys purchase something that I recommend, that small commission helps this blog run.
Most of the items I feature on Laura Lily I have bought myself. However, very now and again I am gifted items. A brand will gift in exchange for a feature on my blog and/or social media. I am very upfront with the brands I work with in letting them know that if the product does not work out or meet my standards I am not going to feature it. I have even offered to send items back. I used to tag items on the blog that were gifted to me. But I don’t want that to distract from the outfit itself because I would never wear something just because it was gifted.
Sometimes I “pull” (aka borrow) clothes from a brand to feature in photos and videos. These clothes are from showrooms and referred to as “samples.” Borrowing clothes instead of having to buy them helps a lot because 1) I get to showcase new items for you all and 2) allows me to invest in my business like buying a new camera lens. Of course I love to re-wear items I’ve bought in the past (hello my favorite purple suede jacket of all time.) But every now and then it is nice to have new things to style in our every changing world of fashion.
I hope that breaks it down a bit better for you. If you have any questions or would like to suggest a topic for me to discuss in my Real Talk series, please leave a comment below or email me at email@example.com. Again and always, thank you for supporting my blog and helping make my dream job a reality. It truly means the world to me.
Shop My Look
moto jacket: Zara (recent) | top + skirt: Express | bag: Aldo | sunglasses: Jessica Simpson | choker: Dainty Jewels
Photos by Tony Oberstar
“Florals… for spring. Groundbreaking”
That line gets me every time because it is SO TRUE. Yet I just can’t help but gravitate towards beautiful floral patterns when the small buds start to show on the trees! Spring is in the air and I’m ready to celebrate with flowers EVERYWHERE. As unique as this suit is I promise I’ll be getting plenty of use out of it. If the outfit looks slightly familiar it is because I’ve already worn it previously here.
This whole look was inspired by my friend Liz who wore a men’s floral suit on her blog here. That’s right, you read that clearly. A MEN’s floral suit straight from Asos. They have some great suit options. I’ve linked a few below. It is a bit surprising that they have more floral suits for men than women isn’t it? I guess those boys just have no fear in pulling off a head-to-toe floral look. Now that is anything but boring florals.
Shop My Look:
Photos by Azusa Takano
Every morning I have the task of picking out what to wear to my corporate job. Some days it is easier to roll out of bed and put on something fabulous. Other days, it’s not. My brain is too tired to think of stylish outfits or have time to look in a mirror to make sure I match. Here is a way to make sure you look sharp no matter how much sleep you get. Ready? Invest in these must have wear to work staples. No matter how to mix and match them you will always look polished!
The go-to top for work. Crisp, clean and tailored are the best. I always make sure I have a few white blouses washed, pressed and at the ready. You can never have too many white blouses: long sleeve, rolled cuff, sleeveless, button-up, etc. It’s nice to have a variety of styles to choose from. Lately, I’m loving anything with a tie neck like this one.
I love a classic structured tote for work like this one from Henri Bendel. It’s big enough to carry everything I need and super stylish with the textured navy leather and gold chain straps. Structured bags are better than slouchy bags because they keep everything nice and organized. Plus, a great work bag can always take an outfit to the next level.
Sure, it’s important to have a classic black pump. But don’t be afraid to have a pair with a little attitude! (As long as you can make it through the work day in them of course. ) I love a shoe with character like these Valentino Rockstuds, or these polka-dot pumps. They match with everything and yet they stand out all on their own.
I’ve always loved pencil skirts. They are classy and sophisticated. Just get one that is comfortable enough to sit in all day and has enough stretch. It’s nice to be able to tuck a shirt into it and have room to breath. To keep it work appropriate, just make sure the hem of the skirt is past your finger tips.
You can take an outfit from bland to glam with just a few accessories. My go to lately is my Chanel brooch. This little thing is so versatile? I have been pinning it everything: hats, scarves, tops, dresses, handbags, etc. It makes the whole outfit look more high-end!
Shop My Look:
Photos by Azusa Takano