What I’ve Learned From Two Years of Blogging

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what I learned beauty blogging
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?
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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.
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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.
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3/The Pressure

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.
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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, MLBBHGSA, 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, swatchdupeprimer, 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.

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ETCETERA ETCETERA

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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45 Comments

  1. August 26, 2014 / 1:38 am

    FIRST! haha. Great post — congratulations on 2 years! I think you succinctly and eloquently discussed all the big points about blogging.

    And when you figure out a system for more efficient commenting/interaction, can you pass it along? Thanks Shari! Haha

    Quinn
    http://www.Desgettier.com

    • August 30, 2014 / 9:25 pm

      Thank you Quinn! 🙂 And yes, if I develop some sort of program/app, I shall share it with everyone HAHA. RIGHT.

  2. August 26, 2014 / 1:47 am

    Congratulation on 2 years Shari! You are one of the very very rare beauty bloggers that I had the luck to stumble upon who are so brutally honest and annoyingly funny! I love you and your ways! Mmuuaahh! You are the kind of person people look upto love, enjoy reading and follow! Way to go girl! you ROCK! 🙂 Heres to many many more years and much more success to you! All the best!

    Divya | TheConscienceFund

    • August 30, 2014 / 9:27 pm

      Awww Divvyyyy, your comment made me tear a little :’) Huhuhu. Thanks so much for the sweet and very motivating words! You do know your blog is one of my daily reads too right? Light, funny and just sends good vibes every time!! You can blog about cleaning the toilet — and I’d read it! Here’s to many more years for both of us!! 🙂

  3. August 26, 2014 / 2:19 am

    This was a great read. I recognize so much of myself in what you write. Blogging is SO time consuming, and I sometimes wonder how long I’ll be able to continue to do this. But I do love it. And clearly so do you. Congrats on your second blog anniversary, Shari! You’re doing awesome!

  4. Bellyhead
    August 26, 2014 / 2:25 am

    Happy Blog 2-versary, Shari! Love all these thoughts and your learnings over the two years. Here’s to many many more! <3

  5. August 26, 2014 / 2:38 am

    Hi Shari, I’ve been reading your blog, I do really enjoy it 🙂 but I think its the first time I’ve send you a comment. Firstly congratulation on the 2 years! What a great post, even though my blog is not a beauty one, I feel identified in so many ways. And its also true that if it weren’t for the fantastic people in the blogging community that I’ve gotten to know, I probably would have stopped blogging a while ago. I know it’s weird but I never realised that detail until I read it now here.
    I hope you enjoy more years of blogging!

  6. August 26, 2014 / 3:08 am

    Hey Shari, hurrah for your second blogoversary! You’ve got an amazing blog, and I think you’ll go the distance! Everyone has a different approach. There are really no hard and fast rules. As long as you’re having fun and making friends, it’s all that counts!

  7. August 26, 2014 / 4:10 am

    AYYY congrats on two years!! It’s also a bit humbling to have people comment on your blog when you haven’t been able to comment on theirs for an extended period–it just shows how much people care about you as a person, and its amazing. I’m also probably the least efficient in terms of responding to comments on my own blog + leaving comments on other people’s blogs, but keeping the conversation going/forging friendships is definitely as (if not, more) important as writing up a new post.

  8. August 26, 2014 / 5:12 am

    Congrats on two years!!! It’s so nice to read about all the things we learn individually as bloggers, it’s hard work yo! Haha! But so glad that you enjoy it!! I enjoy your blog so much, and while I’m a fairly new reader I have enjoyed reading new and old posts! 🙂

  9. August 26, 2014 / 5:31 am

    That is some amazing accomplishment Shari. You’ve built up a wonderful community of bloggers within 2 years and I totally understand why:) Keep doing what you’re doing and stay Shari:) Good luck for another 2….20…however many years you can stay passionate about it! Love all the things you’ve learnt and shared!

  10. August 26, 2014 / 5:50 am

    Wow, it’s a double celebration then. You and hubs + Blog! Yayy! I love this post so much, and I am your #1 fan! I admire the photos, posts, and you! More power, and don’t stop!

  11. August 26, 2014 / 6:10 am

    Congrats, such a nice post with wonderful photos. I had to laugh at swatch buddies part and I could relate to most of the things which you wrote down here. I enjoy your blog so much and hoping to many other anniversaries :-*

  12. jgpangi
    August 26, 2014 / 7:15 am

    No. 11 -.-‘

    I can’t believe you’ve only been blogging for two years! If you didn’t have photography skills before, you certainly have them now. Sometimes they just make me want to drop everything and go to a store, just so I can touch the shiny lipstick/nail polish/eyeshadow palette.

    Can I just say this post, like many of yours, lifts a weight of my chest? My n00b-ness about blogging scares me sometimes, so it’s a relief to know that there are people out there who have experienced these same anxieties and are now rocking the beauty blog world. Congratulations of your second anniversary, Shari!

  13. August 26, 2014 / 7:37 am

    Beautifully written post, Shari! I definitely arrived here because of your stunning photos, and while they still manage to take my breath away, what I love the most about your blog is YOU! I agree, the bblogger community is amazing. Everyone I’ve encountered has been beyond lovely, supportive, and have become true friends. It’s really incredible that beauty lovers from around the globe have managed to connect in such a huge way! Congratulations to you on your 2 year anniversary! Much love from the ATL! ❥❥❥

  14. anne0822
    August 26, 2014 / 7:51 am

    2 years already?! Wow! Congrats! 🙂

  15. August 26, 2014 / 10:04 am

    Congratulations for reaching 2 years, gurl!! More more more years to come (hopefully)! Ya know how much I love ya and yer blog <3

    PS. Nagulat pa ko when I saw my arm. I was like, "teka, kamay ko yun ah…pa'no napunta dito…" Then it hit me after like 30 seconds haha! Miss you (and Carson – hahahahaha!) :p

  16. August 26, 2014 / 10:17 am

    I started following themistymom this year but I am sure that the first time I stumbled upon your blog was last year through google. I thought you’ve been blogging for many years already. that was a surprise. happy anniversary and thank you for the wonderful posts and photos you’ve shared! you are totally a good addition to the beauty blogging community!

  17. Lily
    August 26, 2014 / 10:31 am

    Congratulations Shari on the 2 years. Here’s more to come 🙂

  18. Marjorie Gavan
    August 26, 2014 / 12:24 pm

    Weee! Bring out the champagne indeed. Happy anniversary to you girl!

  19. August 26, 2014 / 2:40 pm

    That’s a double celebration this month. Happy anniversary (again)! Hehe. Love your blog, and I couldn’t agree more with some of your sentiments. <3

  20. August 26, 2014 / 3:06 pm

    It was an absolute thrill to read this! And I wholeheartedly agree, especially on the “you have to post everyday blah blah”. I post whenever i have something to show or say.
    I love your blog, even though I’m not that into makeup, I see you as a genuine, thoughtful, funny person. You are amazing and I love reading your thoughts on various topics, makeup included! 😀

  21. August 26, 2014 / 3:29 pm

    What a great post! First of all: happy blog-birthday. You have an amazing blog, your pictures are beyond good and I love your writing. Your posts always make me giggle – that’s a good sign. Looking forward to the next two years, and more after that! Second of all: I think we’re on the same page blog-wise. So grateful for everything, but I refuse to let pressure ruin things and I’ve decided that monetising my blog just isn’t for me.

  22. August 26, 2014 / 6:05 pm

    Happy blog birthday, Shari! Yours is definitely one of my favorite finds of all time. 😀 I love reading about your makeup adventures and comparing our often varying experiences (lol NARS, Hourglass, etc). Here’s to more years of FUN beauty blogging. 🙂

  23. Raven Ang
    August 26, 2014 / 7:07 pm

    Happy (belated) anniversary!!! Hehe can”t believe I’ve been READING this blog for two years! So glad I stumbled upin this girly and hunble (blogging) abode. 🙂 Seeing that you made a new post makes me smile. Cuz I know that when I read your blog Imma laugh because of all your relatable and sarcastic situations. I hope that I can meet you guys soon! Unfortunately, #highschoolerprobs… Cheers to your blog! Many more years (and babies) to come!!!

  24. August 26, 2014 / 8:43 pm

    Happy blogversary Shari 🙂 You’re one of my favorite blogs and IDK why you apologize so much for blabbing, well I guess it doesn’t bore me because you’re so darn hilarious. NEVER CHANGE! Love you po forever :))

  25. Ty Phang
    August 26, 2014 / 8:53 pm

    I agree with you that blogging takes up a lot of time. I’m afraid I’ll have to give up blogging next year once I start my clinical years for my medical training. x

  26. August 27, 2014 / 12:56 am

    I took up beauty blogging too because I recently quit my beauty industry job to go to grad school and boy did I underestimate the amount of time it takes. But my fave part has to be the friends I’ve made along the way – the beauty community is amazingly supportive!

    Happy anniversary!

    xx Alyson
    The Beauty Vanity

  27. August 27, 2014 / 1:11 am

    huzzah for two years. i relate to more than a few of the points mentioned here :0

  28. August 27, 2014 / 1:13 am

    GREAT post ! I save it to read it calmly when my son’s not around XD !
    When it comes the time that someone says “orgasm” and you think Nars, you know you have really felt in deeply XD !
    Xoxo
    Michelle
    WondersReviews Recently Posted : [Boy’s Fall LookBook] Back To School w/ Ralph Lauren

  29. August 27, 2014 / 1:17 pm

    Cheers Shari! This has been a wonderful post. I found myself nodding to some of your points. But if there’s one thing I have to say, it’s this, I have never found an orange lipstick that works for me. Coral with some orange maybe but never a full-on orange shade. Haha. Btw, thank you for being an inspiration to newbies like me. Love you and your blog! *hugs*

  30. August 27, 2014 / 2:02 pm

    Congrats, Shari! 🙂 I can resonate with a lot of what you’ve said and it’s always refreshing to read blogs of people who don’t put on airs and who tell it like it is. Cut the crap, as they say haha 😀

  31. August 27, 2014 / 3:15 pm

    Happy blogiversary! 🙂 i completely get you with regards to being easily enabled lol! My list of things to check out/buy is probably a mile long! Lol!

  32. Betsy
    August 27, 2014 / 4:26 pm

    I’m out of words with this post !
    I really couldn’t agree more on everything you just said here :))
    I’m a newbie in this kind of interesting hobby and actually not yet sure about this journey.. but with a blogger like you around- It’s worth trying! I like your sincerity and humor, the way you talk to your readers, it seems we’re barkadas! lol

    HAPPY 2nd Anniversary Ms. Shari, Congrats on your achievements 🙂
    God Bless as always.

  33. Becoming Sleek
    August 27, 2014 / 7:25 pm

    Happy blogversary! Woo!~

  34. August 27, 2014 / 10:00 pm

    Aawww I love this post! And I certainly agree with everything you said. Hope to see you and meet you again! Oh and I hope to join your offline blog sale’s next run. 🙂 I have a couple of things I wanna sell na rin eh. See you!

  35. August 27, 2014 / 10:07 pm

    Congrats! I can relate to a lot of the same things in your article! Good luck and hope you keep up the blogging for a while! 🙂

  36. August 27, 2014 / 11:17 pm

    Happy blog birthday, Shari! This is such an interesting post to read and I most certainly agree with just about everything you mentioned. It is no surprising that the first thing you chose to talk about is how time-consuming it is to beauty blog! It was the first thing I talked about in my 1-year anniversary post as well. Holy cow who would have thought it would take this much to do one post!

    Here’s to many many more happy years to come! CHEERS!

  37. August 30, 2014 / 3:05 pm

    Happy blogoversary Shari!!! hope to see you arround in the blogosphere for a long time. loved reading this post and can relate to some things you wrote here. keep up the good work xxx

  38. GummyVision
    September 3, 2014 / 8:17 am

    Hey, Lady!!! 🙂 HUGS & Happy happy blog birthday to you!!! Absolutely loved reading your thoughts and found myself agreeing with pretty much everything. So happy to have met you, and I look forward to 2 or 20 more years – however much you’ll give us!! 🙂 xoxoxo

  39. September 5, 2014 / 9:30 pm

    Belated happy blogversary, The Misty Mom!!!! Hihihi I’m so glad I met you! I swear, I used to be a lurker here. Hope to see you in ze flesh SOON with the other beauty bloggers. 🙂 btw, may I know the shades of those MAC lippies? Hehe 🙂

  40. Sandra
    September 11, 2014 / 7:54 am

    Happy blogiversary! This post is the bomb, just like all the others. I hope you’ll stay around for a very long time. 🙂

  41. belle
    January 13, 2015 / 10:59 pm

    Love your blog space! came across this post just in time when I needed it the most.
    stuffedmind88.blogspot.com

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