Ariel Lin was first discovered in a Taiwanese variety show Guess Guess Guess and was the champion of the pretty subway girl contest in the show. She was immediately paired with Mike He in the television drama series Love Contract. After appearing in several television roles in Taiwanese dramas and three films during the early 2000s, she rose to fame in 2005 for her role as Yuan Xiangqin in It Started With a Kiss. Ariel was also praised for her work in Tokyo Juliet (2004) as Lin Laisui with Wu Chun and Simon Yam. Her performance in The Legend of the Condor Heroes (2008) as Huang Rong brought her increased popularity in Mainland China. In October 2008, she won the 43rd Golden Bell Awards for Best Leading Actress in a Television Series for They Kiss Again. In 2008, she reunited with Joe Cheng, her co-star for It Started With a Kiss and They Kiss Again, in Love or Bread.
As a singer, Lin has recorded a number of songs since the mid-2000s, many of which are featured in her television series.
In May 2009, she signed a three-year, three-album contract with Avex Taiwan. Her first album, titled Blissful Encounter, was released on 10 July 2009. The first music video of the first lead track "甜蜜花園" [Sweet Garden] was released in mid-June and music video for the second lead track "螢火蟲" [Firefly], was released in early July. It features appearances by Donghae and Choi Siwon of the Korean group Super Junior.