How Lillian Babaian Took Her Blog From Hobby To Full-Time Business

Almost all blogs begin as hobbies. They're a great way for individuals to write about their thoughts and insight on the subjects they are passionate about in their spare time. Of course, we all know by now that blogging has the potential to become a career in and of itself!

Lillian Babaian, creator of the fashion, beauty, and lifestyle blog Studs And Sapphires, started her website while working in the fashion industry, but the side project she started as a way to share her own unique views on fashion and runway styles is now her main business.

Want to learn how Lillian turned her blog into a hit fashion and beauty destination? She'll be teaching us all her secrets on Saturday, August 12 at our next SIMPLY Session: "Becoming A Content Creator". Keep scrolling to get to know Lillian, then hear her full story on Saturday by getting your tickets HERE!

SIMPLY: What was your main goal when you started your blog Studs & Sapphires?
LILLIAN: When I first started Studs And Sapphires, I did not know what to expect. As an assistant designer for Guess, I loved what I did but simultaneously was looking for my own creative outlet. I was designing clothes for the customer and her perspective was not necessarily my own. I truly loved what I did, but I wanted to create a platform where I would be able to share my own inspirations and thoughts. Whether it was reviewing different runway shows at the time, showcasing jewelry and personal style, Studs and Sapphires quickly became my hobby. It was a fun pastime that allowed me to share what inspired me on the daily with whoever was open to listening.

How has that goal changed or evolved as your blog has grown?
As soon as the blog evolved, my goal and passion grew along with it. I put my whole heart into my blog two years ago when I realized it was time for me to break out on my own. I always wanted something to call my own, and this encouraged me to pursue my passion.

I always dreamt of becoming a designer, but after 9 years of being in the fashion industry, I realized my true passion was being an entrepreneur. Having a social media platform has encouraged me to break out of my shell, and I truly love sharing every part of my day and life with my readers. I am constantly brainstorming on what’s next, and I hope to continue to evolve my brand. Whether it’s my own clothing line, beauty product or something intangible, I am excited to see what the future holds.

You’ll be teaching our “Becoming A Content Creator” session on August 12. What are your tips on creating great original content?
What started off as a fun hobby has quickly developed into a journey I couldn’t be more thankful and excited for. I am still learning many techniques along the way, but I wanted to share my top three tips for bloggers and creating content.

Getting started is one of the most difficult parts of creating a blog. The key to a successful blog is to write about whatever topic you’re passionate about. Whether it’s food, travel, or fashion, ask yourself, "What topic can you consistently commit to writing about?" I first began focusing on accessories and high fashion research but quickly expanded into fashion and personal style. After re-launching my site, I chose to pursue beauty and dive deeply into tips, products, and tutorials.

The second key to success is consistency. At first, keeping an editorial calendar was one of my main struggles because with a full-time job, it was hard to create consistent content. I have spent many early mornings and late nights creating content, with many frustrations along the way, but I did not give up. Pick your niche and what you want to write about. For example, if beauty is your main focus, then you want to break it down to subcategories that you want to focus your content on. Is it tutorials? Is it informative product posts? Consistency will keep your readers interested and wanting to come back.

My last and main tip is to be unique and authentic to your style. If sarcastic humor or great photography is your niche, don’t be afraid to show it. Although blogging has become a saturated market, there is always room for anyone to grow and shine. I live by these two quotes: “It takes nothing to join the crowd. it takes everything to stand alone,” and “Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire."

How do you plan out and organize your blog content?
With a full website relaunch currently in the works, I have begun engaging with my audience through video content, such as Instagram Stories, and inquiring more about what my readers want to see. With many questions and topics, such as beauty tutorials to blogging advice, I have an editorial calendar that allows me to plan out and organize my content. I plan to incorporate a newsletter that will share questions and answers from readers. I plan one beauty post per week, one lifestyle topic, as well as one style related segment. Depending on the season, month and occasion, other topics will fall within the same categories and content.

Are there any types of blog posts or topics that you notice resonate really well with your readers?
I started off with fashion when I created Studs and Sapphires. As it’s now evolved and grown, beauty is definitely a strong topic that also resonates with my readers. Hair has always been a big part of who I am. I always like to say, “You’re never fully dressed without great hair.”

As my blog grows, what’s most important to me is that I stay authentic to myself. My readers have evolved with me and truly want to invest in lifestyle topics that are continuously evolving. Whether it’s tips to stay motivated or career advice or just a quick beauty tip, to me is it’s important to cover all facets of life.

In addition to written content, video is slowly becoming an avenue that is really resonating with my readers as well. It’s allowed me to connect with my audience on a more personal level, in which they have gotten the opportunity to see my personality more. Video content allows an influencer to take their connection past curated content and become more intimately connected with their readers.

What’s something surprising about being a blogger that others don’t always realize?
The most surprising part about being a blogger is that it’s an occupation that is continuously evolving. With social media playing a vital part in what we do, we are always striving to do more and are always the driving force behind the vehicle. My cousin once told me that it’s hard work to become successful but it takes even more to stay successful.

With influencers now considered as entrepreneurs, what most don’t always realize is that you are your own true boss. How successful your blog and social media presence can be truly relies on your own efforts. It takes dedication, patience, and genuine hard work at all times to become successful. The journey to become successful is what inspires me to tell my story and I hope to inspire others to tell theirs. Always dream big!

Want to learn all of Lillian's secrets to maintaining a successful blog? Join us at our next SIMPLY Session this Saturday at The Grove! Get your tickets HERE.

Fashion, InfluencerSIMPLY