8 Things I learnt from fellow bloggers

So this is new… but aside from some snootiness and competition (that we create for ourselves) the blogging world is one big ya-ya sisterhood. I’ve gotten such amazing support and I’ve learnt so much from people who I’m supposed to be in competition with that I recently had a warm and fuzzy moment and felt like sharing some wisdoms.

I’m sharing some things with you today that I’ve learnt from fellow bloggers – most of them are beauty bloggers like I am. Some of these wisdoms are profound, others are more practical. Some of these women have become good friends, others I haven’t met at all – either way, I owe these women loads for inspiring me, keeping me on track and unknowingly pushing me to better myself.

1. From Caroline Hirons I learnt that it’s ok to have a deep love for all things skincare, and that I should keep writing about it. For me skincare used to generate considerably less blog traffic than a new makeup collection or nail polish swatches, but I’ve stuck with it and now my skincare features are doing pretty well too. In other news I’ve also learnt that Mrs H and I are probably very closely related BECAUSE EYEBROW TWINS.

Caroline Hirons. Pic liberated from her blog.
Caroline Hirons. Pic liberated from her blog.

2. From Jane over at British Beauty Blogger I learnt that I write for my readers, not for brands and PR companies. Jane can be pretty brutal, and I love her for it. It’s surprisingly easy to turn into a people-pleasing robot, but fortunately I don’t mind swimming upstream – which is why some brands flat-out just won’t work with me. I refuse to write about products in a certain tone (heavens help us) and I can’t be convinced to say things I don’t want to.

3. Secondly, I learnt from Jane that there’s no need to be apologetic if you earn money off your blog. It’s bloody hard work and if someone wants to pay me for a campaign they’re running, I’m all ears.

Jane Cunningham, British Beauty Blogger.
Jane Cunningham, British Beauty Blogger.

4. From Jules and Camilla over at All Dolled Up I re-learnt that sharing the love is a good thing. They share the work of others generously and without expecting anything in return, and seeing that reminded me that supporting your fellow bloggers takes absolutely nothing away from you. I can’t be bothered to promote anything I don’t care for though (even if it’s the work of a friend) and I haven’t quite turned into a lean mean sharing machine – something must resonate with me before I click that button.

Camilla and Jules from All Dolled Up.
Camilla and Jules from All Dolled Up.

5. From Zaahirah (Complete Disbelief) I learnt pretty much everything I know about photography – the girl keeps me on my toes. For months I made her show me things on my camera every time we saw each other (we have the same camera, a Canon 650D) until I finally got the basics under the knee. Even now she’s still just a gmail chat away when I have burning photography or tech questions.

Zaahirah from Complete Disbelief.
Zaahirah from Complete Disbelief. And I don’t mean to brag or anything but I took this picture 😛

6. From Luzanne (Pink Peonies Blog) I learnt that it’s ok to make things look pretty. I used to be so caught up in my no-nonsense approach that I neglected the aesthetic side of things. I’ve watched her blog flourish and grow over the last couple of years, and it’s thanks to her that I started paying more attention to the visual aspects of my blog and videos.

Luzanne from Pink Peonies.
Luzanne from Pink Peonies.

From Leigh over at Lipgloss is my Life I’ve learnt a lot of things, but there are two big ones.

7. The first is to stick to my guns and say no when something has no value to me and/or my readers. I can horrify you with tales of the nightmarish things I’ve been asked to do ‘for exposure’. Don’t get me wrong, I did my fair share of ball-playing when I started out. But I now feel that I’ve built an audience that wants to read what I say, not what someone tells me to say.

8. The second is to not let your personality disappear in the chaos that is regular blogging. I have toned it down (if I look at very old blog posts I can’t decide whether I was really funny or if it just seems like I tried too hard), but it will always pop up when you least expect it. I can’t stress this enough – regurgitating press releases or copying someone else’s style is the fastest way to lose me as a reader.

Leigh from Lipgloss is my Life
Leigh from Lipgloss is my Life

On my own I figured out a couple of things too.

1. Press samples can be wonderful and special but no matter how big the bow on that box is, they’re not gifts or ‘spoils’. Far from it – they’re products that are supplied for consideration, and expectations are HIGH. Ironically I started out my blog wondering whether I’ll ever have enough products to write about, and now my product shelves are so full they make me break out in face-sweats.

2. Your community is really important. I never used to interact much with people who commented on my blog or tried striking up a conversation on Twitter. I’m not sure why, I just never found it important. I’ve learnt so much from them though – feedback is always a great way to see whether you’re on the right track, and getting to know my readers is pretty cool. I’m not sure what triggered the switch, but I now love interaction with readers and I try to chat to them as often as I can.

What have you learnt about blogging, and how did you learn it? I’d love some sage wisdom on a Monday afternoon…

C x

Please note that these pictures were all taken from the bloggers’ instagram accounts, twitter profiles or websites, so they do not belong to me.

 

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20 Comments

  1. Mar 23, 2015 / 12:56 PM

    I loved this post. I have been avoiding the bloggersphere as of late, because I find the bitchiness to get a bit much. I adore so many SA bloggers who inspire me on the daily basis. Leigh is especially great as I love her take on things, she says everything as it is. I often find myself giggling at her expressions and usually take note of a product when she says – whoah, this is pretty great! I agree about Luzanne, and envy how every single freakin’ picture looks so beautiful! I always wonder how many photos she takes before she settles and says, okay – this is the one. Man, she has an eye for beauty. Interaction is so important – when a blogger doesn’t respond to a genuine compliment the first time, cool… but when they make no effort to interact even if it’s just a simple, thank you – it comes off as a bit snobbish. Bloggers need to do more of this uplifting! Well done hun! Thoroughly enjoyed this post! xox

    • Chantelle Bester
      Author
      Mar 23, 2015 / 12:59 PM

      Thank you! And yes, so many good points x

  2. Mar 23, 2015 / 1:12 PM

    Thank you for including me – I feel honoured to be featured alongside these amazing bloggers, plus feel blessed to consider you a friend. #cheeseballmoment

    I’ve learnt a lot from you too, two of my faves are: How to pronounce “L’Occitane” and that cats can be quite cute sometimes! 😉

    • Chantelle Bester
      Author
      Mar 23, 2015 / 1:14 PM

      It’s a pleasure you cheeseball xx

  3. Mar 23, 2015 / 1:13 PM

    Darling i loved this post!!!! True words there xxx lots of love x kandy kane makeupx

    • Chantelle Bester
      Author
      Mar 23, 2015 / 1:40 PM

      Thank you x

  4. Mar 23, 2015 / 1:27 PM

    Wow, I adore this post. I really do hope that the negative light others shine on bloggers will be replaced by the beautiful words you’ve taken the time to put into this post. xoxo

    • Chantelle Bester
      Author
      Mar 23, 2015 / 1:40 PM

      Gosh, thank you for the kind words xx

  5. Mar 23, 2015 / 2:11 PM

    Anytime 🙂 Thanks so much for mentioning me here! I can’t tell you how much you’ve helped me too. Here’s to more years of mutual support 🙂

    • Chantelle Bester
      Author
      Mar 23, 2015 / 2:13 PM

      Cheers to that!

  6. Mar 23, 2015 / 8:25 PM

    What a great post! I think it’s so important for bloggers to support each other – the jealousy and bitchiness that exists in this industry is beyond ridiculous. One important thing that I’ve learnt during my years as a blogger is that there is a reader for everyone – so stop with the comparison and the bitterness already! I mean, isn’t it better that there’s a whole network of fantastic local bloggers so that brands and businesses become aware of the blogging community and take us seriously? If there were only a handful of us, we wouldn’t be as influential… there would be no industry!

    • Chantelle Bester
      Author
      Mar 24, 2015 / 9:12 PM

      Yes, yes and yes!

  7. Mar 24, 2015 / 8:12 AM

    Great post Chantelle! I love the idea of giving kudos to our fellow bloggers who have helped us along the way whether they knew it or not. This blogging thing can be hard, lonely work so it’s great to be able to give credit where it is due! Well done. Great idea!

    • Chantelle Bester
      Author
      Mar 24, 2015 / 10:24 AM

      Thank you Kathryn! I know a great bunch of bloggers that are always generous and helpful, I count myself lucky x

  8. Mar 24, 2015 / 3:21 PM

    Great post hun – I’ve learnt so much from fellow bloggers and I think its definitely important that we all share the love <3

    • Chantelle Bester
      Author
      Mar 24, 2015 / 3:23 PM

      Thanks Cassidy x

  9. Mar 26, 2015 / 11:03 PM

    I really really (really) loved this post. It’s all true. The one thing that stands out to me the most is “…….aside from some snootiness and competition (that we create for ourselves) the blogging world is one big ya-ya sisterhood. I’ve gotten such amazing support and I’ve learnt so much from people who I’m supposed to be in competition with ……”

    It really grates my carrot that blogging is so competitive. Especially people blogging about the same thing. There are a few of us who blog about the same thing and I really value their opinions, input and wisdom more than wether or not I am going to get invited to X before her or if she will get samples from Y and I won’t. I think we are all different enough and have our own styles that even if we were given exactly the same tools we would still create very different things. Therefore, they are not my competition, they are my ‘partners’ on this crazy journey. There is space for all of us because we are all different. I wish others would see it that way too. I deal with enough bitch in my real life, I don’t need it from fellow bloggers as well.

    So….LOVE this post. I also LOVE the other bloggers you mentioned (I may have a girl crush on Luzanne but shhhhh) Mostly, I love that you can share YOUR ‘spotlight’ with others.

    • Chantelle Bester
      Author
      Mar 27, 2015 / 8:59 AM

      Thank you for the very insightful comment (and lets not forget the compliments). Agreed, my fellow bloggers are (mostly) my partners in crime 🙂

  10. Apr 8, 2015 / 8:49 PM

    I really enjoyed this post. Thank you so much for sharing.

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