This month we chat with Amber Fillerup Clark the founder of Barefoot Blonde and creator of Barefoot Blonde Hair. She’s sharing how she builther business and following of over 1 million (and counting), her newest venture and giving us a serious case of #hairgoals!
Can you tell us a little bit about your popular blog, Barefoot Blonde?
Barefoot Blonde is a place where I share my lifestyle and all things that go with it! Travel, fashion, beauty, occasional health and fitness. I love to just talk and share what is going on in my life and all of my thoughts.
How did you get started?
I started my blog as a way of sharing my summer in Fiji with my family. I knew I wouldn't be able to keep up with sending them all updates individually so I started my blog so they could see what I was up to!
When I got back, I kept going because I loved to document and journal. It is fun for me to look back on posts and reminisce on memories I may have forgotten otherwise.
What was 3 of the most challenging aspects of started an online business?
Being my own boss is often challenging! Working from home can be hard when Netflix is just a click away ;) just joking, but it can be difficult having so many distractions.
However, it is a blessing for me being a mom to be able to be available for my kids and work while they nap. It can also be difficult running a blog because you are putting yourself out there and not everyone is nice on the internet. It has given negative people looking to tear someone down such a loud voice. I have gotten good at pushing the delete button and not giving it a second thought.
What’s your go-to marketing strategy for building an audience?
I don't think I necessarily have a set marketing strategy for my blog. I try to keep photos high quality and keep content happy and uplifting since that is what I personally enjoy reading most. I just share life as it comes and I think that is what connects me with my readers -- they are seeing my real life and they can get to know me that way. :)
How did you decide on the brand name, Barefoot Blonde?
At the time I was always known for being barefoot. Even still today I love to be barefoot and I can't tell you how many times restaurants have said I can't come in because I am not wearing shoes haha. I knew I wanted blonde in the name since I was posting photos of my braids at the time. One day I was spitting out ideas with my sisters and roommates and this one just stuck.
Can you tell me a little bit more about how you get your audience base to what it is today of over a million followers! That’s incredible!
I wish I had a good answer for this but it honestly just all happened really naturally! I never anticipated any of this to happen and my audience has always just grown organically. My braids went viral quite a few times and that really helped build my audience and I think consistent posting, high quality images, and mixing things up definitely played a role as well. A lot of big beauty instagrammers would repost my photos and I always saw spikes in follower count when that would happen.
How do you balance work-life balance now that you have a family and a little one?
Hmm this is really tricky and I am still figuring this out! I spend my days with my kids and work during naps from 12-3 and then I usually turn a show on and will work from 7-midnight once they are in bed at night.
I am lucky they still take such along naps (play hard sleep hard ;) ) It can be really hard to balance though and I often feel guilty when I have to leave them to do a shoot or go to a meeting because I always wish I could be with them. But I also really love my job and I hope one day they are proud of what I have accomplished.
Does your work consist of a lot of travel? What is your favorite place you’ve ever been and why?
I don't have to travel for work often but I have always loved to travel and it definitely makes for better and more engaging content. I did a summer in France as a nanny and a summer in Fiji on a service trip when I was in college. It really sparked my interest in traveling and I feel really happy being in new places on adventures. Since having kids, my husband and I have enjoyed traveling even more. It is so exciting seeing new places together as a family. We loved Bora Bora, Greece, Hamilton Island, and Ireland. Those are some of our favorites but we have't been anywhere that I wouldn't go back to.
Was there a time in your early blogging days where you feared your blog wouldn’t take off? If so, what kept you going?
No, because I was never trying to get it to take off. I never thought it would be a job or anything - I genuinely did it because I loved it. And I still love it. I often find myself working in my free time because I love what I do so much. There are parts of it that I don't like but overall I really feel blessed to love what I do. At the beginning I did have a lot of friends make fun of me and some who stopped hanging out with me. I didn't really care and that was a time I found out who my true friends are. My husband, who was my boyfriend at the time, would always encourage me and let me know that it didn't matter what anyone thought. Still to this day the is the person reminding me to drown out the noise.
You launched your extension line, Barefoot Blonde Hair last November, congrats! Can you tell us a little more about it? Why did you choose to start this line? Can you give us any hints on things to come for the collection?
I started wearing hair extensions when I was 15! I know - super young. I always had thin hair so when I heard about them I was so intrigued and wanted to try them. I fell in love and have been wearing them since. I love to do new hairstyles but just didn't have enough hair to do them - so clip ins worked perfectly.
I wanted to have my own brand where I could have thick, quality hair that girls would love but at a good price point. It took a long time because I wanted them to be just perfect and I love our end product. I love to see girls faces when they get them put in for the first time and finally can see what it is like to have long and thick hair! Not all of us know what that is like ;) looking at you girls naturally thick hair!
What piece of advice would you give your best friend if she came to you wanting to start a content website to earn money?
When I started there weren't a ton of professional bloggers and no one was making money or if they were, no one knew about it. Today you have so many blogs you can look at and see what has worked for them and what hasn't. I think its good to come up with a business plan and set realistic goals for yourself. I like to set daily, weekly, and monthly goals as well as having a goal of where I want to be professionally at the end of a calendar year.
The goals could be anything from wanting to post 5 days a week, starting a new series, working with new companies, or maybe investing time into graphic design skills. Its really important to have a good web design and good photography. Only blog about what you are passionate about and remember that you don't have to do what someone else is doing - the more unique you are the more it will set you apart from others.