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. Just remember that with additional income comes additional responsibilities. I’m specifically referring to taxes.Thankfully there are plenty of programs that allow you to efile for free, as well as useful tools and calculators. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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