They say when one door closes, another door opens—so when Taylor Sterling was laid off from her job as a financial services advisor, she decided to take the leap from blogging as a hobby to running one full-time. She launched her lifestyle site, Glitter Guide, in 2011—and little did she know, she’d create an empire over the next eight years. Taylor has amassed a following of 600k followers who come to GG for inspiring home tours, product reviews, and fashion roundups and stay for her honest, BFF-like demeanor.
Below, Taylor talks about what it’s like to build a brand that’s authentic in the age of Instagram.
You used to work in financial recruiting. How did you make the jump from the corporate world to blogging full-time?
The bad news is that I was laid off, but the good news is that I was looking for a way to quit so I could launch Glitter Guide and I was able to finally do that. It was a blessing in disguise.
You were one of the first lifestyle blogs in your space. How do you continue to stand out among so many resources for similar content?
It’s not always easy. I’m not going to life. I think it’s about staying focused on who you are, what you love and what you can offer. That way it’s true to its core. There are always going to be competitors that pop up in whatever field you’re in. It’s about concentrating on you and only you. It’s also about bouncing back from challenges and not giving up!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
I’m not sure there is one piece of advice that stands out, but after almost ten years of running my own business I know that it’s about your attitude and the choices you make. More than anything else, how you deal with challenges and your perseverance is what keeps you going and drives success.
In a world where likes and follower counts are so coveted, how do you stay authentic and true to yourself/your brand?
At Glitter Guide we have never paid for any traditional marketing or advertising. We also have never paid for followers or engagement. We actually are just starting to play around with social media promotions of content. We just stay hyper-focused on who we are as a team and who are readers are and just go with it. We have had plenty of flops and hard months with social media, but we just keep on going! We try not to focus on it too much.
Whose career really inspires you?
I recently met Morgane Sezalory of Sezane after years of knowing each other online. She was incredibly kind and generous with her time and knowledge even with how busy and successful she is. I loved that about her. She also has two small kids. So she’s Superwoman!
What advice do you have for other women who work from home? It can often feel lonely and isolating.
That is so true. You have to find a rhythm that works for you and your personality. For some people that may mean they are meant to work from home and that’s OK. For me, it’s about creating a daily schedule that helps me feel productive. I like to be routine and follow mine pretty strictly. Especially since I have two small kids and limited hours to get everything done personally and professionally. I also schedule face-to-face time with people I work with to connect and plan meetings and events in San Francisco to socialize.
If you weren’t working in content creation, what career path would you choose?
That’s so hard. I feel like content creation is what I excel at. However, I would play around with photography, art direction or maybe starting a small product-based company.
There are always going to be competitors that pop up in whatever field you’re in. It’s about concentrating on you and only you.
What keeps you up at night?
Not being able to provide for my family in a way that also makes me happy. I’m not really afraid of failure. I also know if I ever had to I would get out there and land a good job. The issue is would I be happy doing that? I would really hate to be unhappy in my work and schedule.
When you hit a bump or hurdle in your career, how do you find new roads + switch gears to find success?
I’ve dealt with my fair share of this over the years. I’m pretty conservative when it comes to my business. I’ve never taken out any loans, tried to get any kind of funding, or hired a large team. All of those things scare me. Not to say that they won’t ever happen, but I prefer to keep things smaller and more suited for my desired lifestyle. That said, I still have had hurdles to deal with. Heck, even that choice is a hurdle I deal with. As I have aged, I have gotten a lot better about not taking things to heart and not making everything so personal. If I know I’m doing my best and have the best intentions that is really all I need to keep going through the difficult times.
What are you most excited for in 2019?
2018 felt like the year of cleaning up. We created a lot of systems, goals, and now have a clear vision of who we are and what we want. That helps us know who is right on our team, if we’re on track with our editorial and really everything. Now that most of that has been sorted it’s about adding fresh people and things to the business that will help invigorate it!