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Thanks to my fellow makeup junkie friend and long-time reader, Raven, for reminding me of my official blog anniversary yesterday. Woohoo, bring out the confetti and crack open the champagne, please! ‘Cos I find it a bit crazy that I’ve managed to keep up with this blog for two years — way longer than I expected. You know when they say, “begin with the end in mind“? Yeah, I didn’t have that for The Misty Mom at all.
I started blogging because when I left my job due to my delicate pregnancy, I found myself beyond bored with nothing to do at home. Being so used to the hustle and bustle of corporate life, I felt useless being idle. I wanted to get my hands dirty and do something productive.
A blog where I get to practice photography and writing (both areas I’m interesed in but lack in skill) seemed like the easiest and most chill idea then. I mean, how hard could blogging be, right?
1/ Blogging entails time
Lots of it.
Umm, I couldn’t have been more wrong! You don’t just “take photos” — you style the products, find the right lighting (sometimes you even wait for the optimum time to take them), swatch them on your arm, do a full makeup routine so you can show how it looks on your face, take 1000 photos just in case you can’t do a perfect shot in one go and crop-resize-color-correct – the whole-editing process.
For others, writing comes easy. But in any case, there are days you just can’t put into words what you feel and think about yet another tube of lipstick. And no matter how many cups of coffee (or beer or wine!) you take, everything that comes out just sounds crappy. I mean, I could publish that – but I realized I’m not the type that blogs for blogging’s sake. Sometimes it takes me 15 minutes to write 800 words, sometimes it takes me 3 hours to type out 300.
After writing, there’s the promoting. You tweet, instagram, pinterest and all these other social media tips and tricks to reach out to more readers. And since I personally love the conversations I have with readers, there is the religious replying to comments, tweets and asks. Not to mention commenting on other blogs as well. It’s a process I thoroughly and honestly enjoy — I just wish I could fix up a schedule or something to be able to do it all efficiently.
Also, not all bloggers must go through this process. I’m sure there are those who don’t feel the need to edit their photos or take 1000 photos — but all the same, beauty blogs entail a lot of work. It’s not all glamour and glitz. Sometimes, it’s just a fully made-up face with only pajamas on and second-day hair crying for a spritz of dry shampoo.
2/ You’d Want to Sit
With the Beauty Blogging Community
I think I would’ve stopped blogging a long time ago if not for the friendships formed and fostered through this blog. This is probably my favorite part of blogging. That by way of comments here or on each other’s sites, I’ve gotten to know a handful of beautiful, intelligent, kind-hearted makeup freaks just like me.
Those who struggle to put on eyeliner equally on both eyes, spend an hour applying eyeshadow on our hooded eyelids just to erase it altogether in the end, promise to go on a no-makeup buy only to haul out after the announcement, tweet each other when new makeup collections have arrived and feel tortured together. You know who you are, ladies! Got nothing but love for you guys. Thank you for the delightful, sometimes dangerous and enabling conversations!
The international beauty blogging community (the blogs I follow which I shall make a page of soon) is so supportive and encouraging of one another’s triumphs as well as mishaps. They are not clique-ish and exclusive, they will comment on your blogs and share their thoughts as much as they can even if you haven’t been commenting on theirs religiously, they will retweet your new posts and push you to finally put up that blog sale you’ve yapped on and on about for months now.
The local beauty blogging scene is equally and surprisingly as supportive. That’s in contrast to the local fashion blogging scene that has catfights and clique-ish ways here and there. I’ve met the pro beauty bloggers who’ve been doing this for 5-6 years now and can probably blog with their eyes closed — namely Liz of Project Vanity, Martha of The Beauty Junkee, Shen of Shensaddiction, Nikki of Askmewhats — and I have nothing but nice words to share about them.
You Put On Yourself Will Burn You Out
“You’ve to blog daily or at least five times a week to keep your stats up and not be forgotten”, “You have to blog about events right away”, “You have to tweet at least three times a day” — I don’t know how many of these I’ve read that made me think the day I put those to heart is the day my blog dies. I get that there are those who do it professionally and feel this pressure to always be on top.
But for those of us who just do this because we love doing this this in the first place, the pressure is rubbing off. And that’s on us. I don’t know how many blogs I’ve read that feel like going on a break because they feel burnt out not being able to keep up. This kind of pressure kills excitement and produces mediocre content. It feels heavy and you won’t be able to sleep through the night properly because you’re thinking, “Shit, I haven’t posted in two days”.
But then there is also the kind of pressure that makes diamonds — but that’s something I have yet to learn and master. So far, the pressure that creeps up on me is the debilitating, exhausting type.
And then there are these other things I’ve learned
4. Beauty blogging fuels my makeup consumption. In all honesty, I don’t aim to be a product pusher. I believe that my blog’s readers are smart and well-informed to know whether or not the product I talk about will work for them or not — and it’s entirely up to them to decide on their purchases. But ME on the other hand, dang it. I am so easily enabled!
5. When I’m not in the mood to blog, I shouldn’t force it. I’ve done this and I feel like completely deleting the post after reading it a week or so later because my laziness / sadness / depressed state comes out in the writing. I now always try to keep in mind that I’m only as good as my last blog post.
6. I’m beyond grateful for brands who believe in my blog. Even though I haven’t done this long enough to deserve all of it, I’m overwhelmed that I’ve been given the wonderful privilege of being sent a few PR products from brands I love. The best part is discovering new products and shades I wouldn’t normally go for and realizing that it doesn’t really look as bad on me as I thought. Case in point, orange lipstick.
7. I won’t make a ton of money in this blog business and I’m okay with that. It won’t hurt to earn some $$$ after we’ve spent a shit ton of it buying all these makeup, right? But I’ve learned that fully monetizing my blog is just not for me. First, because I will not let annoying ads ruin my blog layout. That’s non-negotiable. If your ad spans 600px in height, bye.
Also, I just can’t find it in me to accept anything that I won’t recommend or use myself. I also don’t want to clutter my blog posts with sponsored ads or press releases. Most of the PR products I’ve (and will) feature on this blog are from brands I already patronize and use — and those aren’t paid. Nor will I ever accept payments to write reviews on them.
8. I would probably be more efficient if I create some sort of editorial calendar. Or even start writing down lists. I have so much topics and other items I want to blog about, but the moment I sit down and think about what to post for the day — my mind goes blank. Even for this post, I’ve created an imaginary outline of what to include but now that I’m writing it, all of those have been wiped out.
9. Beauty jargon is fun. Before beauty blogging, MLBB, HG, SA, AHA, BHA, NC30/NW30, EOTD, LOTD, FOTD meant mumbo jumbo to me. But in the two years, I’ve learned so much that I’ve erased the past non-beauty related definitions of the following words: haul, swatch, dupe, primer, contour, highlight, Orgasm, Deep Throat. I also learned a few new terms in between like tightline and cut-crease.
10. I’ve never been as interested in candles, flowers and home decor. Well, candles mostly because I didn’t realize how calming and de-stressing they are, especially in a scent you grow accustomed to. But then it also makes for good props (as well as for ambient lighting) when taking blog photos – along with flowers and owl jars and whathaveyous.
11. A chunk of wood isn’t just a chunk of wood. It can make for a good blog photo background. Same goes for magazines, gift wrappers, furry rugs and jackets. I’d like to think being a beauty blogger has honed my photography “skills” — sadly to the point where I almost pee my pants seeing a white tabletop near a huge window with sun indirectly shining through. Consequently making me want to rip open my vanity kit, scatter them on the table and take photos.
12. That I’m now more than ever itching to go back to France. And plan my trip around visiting French pharmacies. I don’t even have to explain that. Deeply regret spending a semester there and only entered a walking-distance Sephora once and a pharmacy twice to buy medicine.
12. Beauty blogging had me brushing up on my math skills. You know, for calculating price per ounce and comparing it with other brands — just so I could justify my purchase for yet another hyped-up product I’m not even sure I like.
13. Don’t be afraid to let your real personality shine through your writing. Readers (like myself) come for the beautiful photos, clean layout and just the overall aesthetics — but we stay (and eventually come back) for the real person behind the blog who just like the rest of us applies eyeshadow better in one eye than the other and can’t resist the words limited and edition together.
Those and many more which I will have to make another post of because this has gotten too darn long already. But hey, it’s my blog anniversary, let me have this. Haha. Anyway, what I really want to say is THANK YOU to each and every one of you who’ve stumbled upon my blog and have kept on coming back! It wouldn’t have been as much fun blogging without your comments that I thoroughly enjoy going through.
Hugs and kisses, everyone!
I’d love to hear what you’ve learned from your own beauty blogging experiences, do share them below!
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