“I used to live a big life,” Corri McFadden tells me. In 2004, while still a recent grad, she opened a luxury consignment store in Chicago that eventually burgeoned into a multi-million dollar online business, EDropOff. By 2012, her Chanel-filled, Gucci-packed career landed her on VH1, where she starred in her own reality show, House of Consignment. From season premiere parties at the St James Hotel to a flurry of lifestyle press, McFadden had the world of high fashion in the Windy City wrapped around her finger. But when her daughter turned four last year, she decided to shutter EDropOff, leave Chicago’s hip Lincoln Park area, and move her family to the mountains of Aspen, Colorado.
The theme of McFadden’s approach to life is “owning it.” She had no qualms about claiming her seat as a pioneer in the luxury consignment game–and she was equally unapologetic about her decision to leave the world of retail all behind. “It’s what I needed to do,” she said. But for McFadden, as one business closed, another one opened. She realized there was an opportunity to monetize her personal lifestyle blog, CorriMcFadden.com, which at the time was drawing tens of thousands of visitors.
“I was living an 80-hour work week and milking my life away,” she says. “My blog became a safe haven, my creative diary. It was an escape from my company and it didn’t feel like work.” But there was no business model behind it.
When the reality TV cameras were off, she’d been running CorriMcFadden.com–a sort of behind-the-scenes reel of her life. After having her daughter, she renamed the blog , a hub where both she and little Zelda could create lifestyle content. It currently has 100,000 visitors, with 40,000 Pinterest followers, and 10,000 Instagram followers. While the blog title embodies fluff, she says the fact that her blog has signed on advertisers like eBay and Ace Hardware proves that Glitter and Bubbles has some serious gravity. The new blog also houses her new podcast, , which showcases her entrepreneurial chops. The rest of the sections focus on fashion, home, recipes and lifestyle inspo from the mother-daughter duo.
If you’re thinking about creating your own platform, here are Corri’s 10 tips for launching your own lifestyle blog.
1. Do not just collaborate with anyone or any advertiser.
It’s not just about making a dollar it’s about being true to a lifestyle.
2. Hire an SEO specialist.
SEO and keywords are everything.
3. Focus on making content valuable to readers.
Then you can build the type of traffic where advertisers will want to come to you with click-per-ads.
4. Work with a media-buying agency.
Paid advertising will consistently deliver traffic to your website. It takes time and expertise to do well, so do yourself a favor and find an agency.
5. Remember: nothing happens overnight.
Creating a niche and building organic traffic takes time and focus.
6. Instagram is important but Pinterest is a game-changer.
It can drive traffic to your site in ways that other social platforms cannot.
7. Work with a quality web designer.
The redesign for my site took a lengthy 7 months to create a custom website instead of settling for a plug-in template.
8. Pitch to brands you already love using.
If you find collaborations to be too burdensome then you’re not picking the right brands for you.
9. Put yourself out there.
You have to network the old school way. Do not expect opportunities to fall in your lap.