I spotted this Confessions of a blogger tag when having a browse through bloglovin at the weekend and decided to give it a go... sometimes I feel like there's so much I could say about blogging and how it's changed over the years and all that. But then I decide to stick to talking about lipstick... but for this I thought it might be nice to do to throw in amongst the couple of other 'get to know me a bit better' posts I've been doing recently...
When did you start your blog?
I started my blog back in 2009, now over four years ago! Which is a little bit crazy to think! It was whilst I was working in a job that at times was amazing, but also had some very quiet periods, which made me feel a bit like I was lacking in inspiration and creativity. I initially started it as something I thought might help me change career direction - which it did, but not in the way I had initially planned!
Have you had any past online presence before (other blog, YouTube)?
Not really, I'd been on Facebook since 2004 and I was at a US University though if that counts! And this will probably sound really blonde, but when I first started I didn't totally realise there were lots of other beauty blogs out there!
Why did you start a blog?
As for the first point, I felt I wanted somewhere to get a bit creative and write - I knew I wanted to write about beauty over fashion as it was something I've always loved. Ever since I was 14 and spend my Saturday job wages on goodies from Boots.
When did you become serious about starting a blog?
I don't know, when did I!? I've always tried not to take it too seriously, at the end of the day it's a hobby and should be fun. I've always tried to post frequently too - so it's not like that changed over time. I guess the couple of bigger steps I took were to invest in a DSLR camera - which I'm so glad I did and to pay a bit of money for a blog redesign. On the camera front - you definitely don't need a DSLR to blog, but I do love the quality of the photos it produces and find it makes the visual part of the blog really straight forward. Over the years I've been blogging it's really moved from being all about the writing to all about the pictures - the DSLR makes that much easier for me! On the blog design, it was just an element that I knew I couldn't do to a decent level myself so was well worth investing in.
What was your first post?
My first post I called 'Starter for 10' and was a list of mini reviews of my top 10 favourite products at the time. You can read it HERE if you want a giggle...although saying that, a lot of the products I loved then are still firm favourites now!
What has been your biggest challenge about blogging?
For me it has to be juggling it with the rest of my life - I work full time and sometime keeping a balance between work/blogging/friends/family can be a real challenge. It's one of the main questions I'm asked is how I manage to juggle the two - and to be honest, it's just what I've always done. I've always worked full time alongside having the blog, so to me it's normal. But there can be weeks where it's a real effort to get the balance right - and not end up exhausted at the end of it all.
Where do you see your blog in one year?
That's a really good question, and I don't really know the answer. I get the feeling that over the next year there will be a lot of changes to the blogging world - with more and more bloggers going 'full time/professional', which I think will create more of a gap between those who blog as a hobby for fun and those that blog for a living. I don't necessarily know what that will mean for my blog, all I know is that I've always promised myself that when I stop enjoying it - I'll stop. I guess a year from now I'll also be in the last few months pre-wedding, so may be a little bit Bride-brain?! Although I'm hoping not to get sucked into Bridezilla land!
What is the most rewarding thing to you about blogging?
There are so, so many things about blogging that are rewarding - lovely comments on posts that you have put time and effort into, or emails from readers. Making new friends who are like-minded, obsessed with beauty. The lovely opportunities that come my way through the blog - like getting to go to Paris with Clarins or backstage at London Fashion Week. And of course, getting to try new beauty products - sometimes before they even hit shelves!
What is the most discouraging thing that happens to you?
I'm definitely one to shy away from any controversy or drama - I much prefer to just keep my head down and get on with things. But I have to be honest and say I really hate the bitchy side to the blogging world - sadly I guess it's unavoidable when you get a large group of girls and add in some competitiveness. But I really don't like that about the blogging world at all. It seems the Internet can bring out the best in some and the absolute worst in others. As much as I work hard to keep my blog growing at the end of the day it's beauty products, none of us are curing diseases or anything, I personally think it's important to try not to take it all too seriously.
What's your lasting inspiration or motivation?
Hmm, another tough one as I find it changes all the time. New products often really inspire me - they either give me a new idea for a photo lay out or they're just so pretty/exciting that it gives me that 'I must blog about this right now' feeling. Most recently that happened with the new Babyliss Pro Perfect Curl! Motivation has to be a harder one, as sometimes at the end of a long week at work, where I've already spent the whole day in front of a screen, the last thing I feel like doing is opening up the laptop and starting again - but there's always something that keeps me going. Partly it's the rewarding feeling you get when you read comments from readers. Sometimes it's just the feeling that you really want to maintain this thing you've worked for years to build - it varies. But as I said on the question about where I see my blog in a year, I have always said that when I stop enjoying it I will stop. That's what I do when the motivation dips - take a break, step back from it and don't put pressure on myself to blog just because I feel I have to.
Of course, there are also a couple of other bloggers that consistently inspire me, including:
Charlotte from Lipglossiping - a fab blog, amazing photos and the way she writes has made me giggle to myself many a time. The main thing I love about this blog though is how Charlotte has stuck totally true to herself over the years, with her style and voice being really consistently 'her', always 100% honest.
Milly from Pearls and Poodles - Milly is just a lovely person in every way. She has her own amazingly colourful style, which I love and wish I had her figure to pull it off! Her photos are always crystal clear and you can just hear the enthusiasm in her writing when she talks about products she likes. Oh, and I don't think I've ever known someone to change hair colour as much as look fab whatever shade she goes for!
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