The Hustler Handbook

I stumbled upon Clumps of Mascara one evening while perusing a list of the “Top Female Bloggers You Need to Be Reading Right Now” (I know… I like lists) and I instantly felt like I was having a conversation with a good friend.

I just knew I had to reach out to her and get to know her better because 1) I love mascara, and 2) she wrote an amazing piece about priorities that really spoke to me even though I'm not a mom.

Brittany is fresh, honest, hilarious, gorgeous – and not afraid to say what you're thinking.

She also built her own brand, business and WordPress site from scratch – the woman is amazing. Check out my interview with Brittany below!

The Hustler Handbook

When did you start your blog, and why did you create it?

I started Clumps of Mascara back in the summer of 2007. I had just graduated from college and moved from Florida to Los Angeles. I was on a trek to “find myself” but uh…I still haven't found myself but I did find my passion for blogging so…yay?

What do you feel makes your audience/readers special?

Because they're loyal! I'd be lying if I said I didn't care about numbers in terms of readership at one point but I've been blogging so long that I've discovered that quality truly trumps quantity. I would much rather have a group of 10 readers who comment and email me just to say “hey” than have 10,000 readers who I can't really connect with.

Has anything surprised you about starting a blog/website?

That the blogosphere can be supportive! I was always under the impression that it's a dog eat dog world out there and that I have to figure out everythiiiiiing on my own. Not true. I have been so fortunate to come across so many supportive blogger groups.

Did you create your own website or hire it out? Do you use WordPress?

Uh…both, I think. I use WordPress and between my husband and I, we do everything ourselves. Although truthfully, I have vowed to be more hands on with the techie parts of maintaining a blog.

What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about starting their own business?

Just do it. There are a billion reasons why it'll be difficult or seem impossible. But even masters were beginners at some point.

If you could go back in time and do something differently, what would you do and why?

I wouldn't do anything differently. I mean, I probably would have never gone to college because now I'm paying back student loans for a degree that I've never even used but while nutty, the experiences that I had and people that I met all turned out to be beneficial to what I'm doing now.

How fast did your audience grow? How many visitors/subscribers do you have?

Not fast at all. I literally had 2 people reading my blog when it was 2 years old. My Mom and my youngest sister. I started blogging before social media was a HUGE thing. Twitter was quiet, there was no Instagram or Google+ and Facebook pages didn't exist. I recently relaunched and I'm not even sure how many visitors I have now. My numbers dropped significantly when I went on a hiatus. But of course those same few that have been supporting me since day 1 are still there. 🙂

Is this your only job? Did you launch your business while working another job?

Heavens no. I can never only have 1 source of employment. That's against the rules in the Hustler Handbook. I also work as a social media manager and have about a dozen clients. And yep, I have always worked while running my blog/business.

Do you have an email list? If so, did you start it when you launched?

I just started it a week ago! I'm so excited about it. My first newsletter goes out as soon as I finish this email!

How do you promote your site?

I don't as much anymore. Mainly because I've gotten lazy and also because I feel like I'm a veteran in the game and I don't really feel like I need to promote. I do the occasional postings on social media but I no longer go into overdrive trying to promote. I'd rather create. 🙂

Do you earn money from your site, and if so, how? Affiliate marketing, ads, products, etc.? Did you intend to earn from it when you launched?

I never intended to make money. I still don't, for the most part. Well, okay…that's a lie. I would like to make a lil' somethin' somethin' but organically and not so much through a ton of sponsored posts and ads.

I believe that bloggers need to take their blogs offline to be financially successful. And by that I mean..go outside of your blog. Sell something. Provide a service. Do more than just blog. Yes, there are a few millionaire bloggers, but that's not the norm for most of us.

For me, I'm finding that a good chunk of money can be made through providing people a service, a book, thoughts and ideas. I'm still working on fleshing out those ideas, though so stay tuned…

Who are your favorite bloggers right now? 

I've always loved Caitlin of Healthy Tipping Point. We Got Kidz, The Black Snob and Makeup and Beauty Blog. There really are SO many.

Be sure to check out Brittany and be sure to sign up for her mailing list at, follow her on Twitter and learn everything there is to know about mascara here.