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