Justin Livingston's career has taken him through the world of branding and marketing at places like Bluefly and Amazon, to launching his own hugely popular fashion blog, Scout Sixteen. An esteemed Details Network and Fashion Indie contributor, we caught up with Justin to learn more about his transition from Mississippi farm boy to full time men's fashion blogger.
How did your blogging career begin?
Well, I was working in marketing and social media last year and it eventually became more of a chore than something I enjoyed. I was feeling like, 'Oh God, this isn’t what I want to do.' A friend told me to start a blog, and I was like ‘Eh, that’s not my thing.’ Even then, blogging was becoming kind of a zoo with too many people in the space.
Eventually through, I decided to try it out. At first I was just taking pictures of me and my friends out. Then people started asking what I was eating and wearing, they wanted more full body looks. And months later, that's what I'm doing all the time. 8 month in, Scout Sixteen took off way more than I ever thought it would. September of last year I started full time blogging.
Wow! That's a fast transition.
I started my blog May 2012 and September 2013 I left my job.
Why do you think your blog took off so quickly?
I live in New York City and I have access to so many things, but I also think I was doing something different in the space. This was prior to when people were blogging about casual-wear. No one I know wears suits every day. It helps that I was like, 'I’m going to do something a little bit different.'
It might also be because of my personality. When I do brand work, people are like, 'You’re so nice.' If you want repeat business, the brand is the customer and I’m not a very difficult person to get along with; it takes a lot to upset me. I’ve struck a balance of staying true to my style and the right brands. I’d rather work a part time job somewhere than have my passion project turn into a money pit. I've never pitched myself. I don’t have to convince anyone to work with me.
Is that the key to a successful blog?
My trick is that as my clout grew, and more well-known brands were working with me, there was a domino effect. It was one big snowball. Also, the people who find success in blogging start it as a passion project. My most important work has been the number of people I meet, brands, readers, reps, expanding my network even more, whether someone can do something for me not. I’m also really in tune with my writing style. People like that my personality comes through my posts.
Where do you see your blog going?
I'm starting to expand the content to do more with the home space, travel and some food and drink.
What is the best thing about blogging?
I think that one of the best parts about blogging in general is that in traditional jobs you have to work your way up the ladder rung by rung. With blogging, and the success that modern bloggers have found, you can jump from the first rung to the top rung in a second. Blogging accelerates your career goals.
How would you sum up your blogging career?
Best, rewarding thing I never knew I wanted to do.