Monday, September 25, 2017

Me and blogging - 7 years on!

Today marks my 7 year blogging anniversary!  So not only am I an aul one in actual years, but I'm an aul wan in blogging years too!  I think I say this every year my blogging anniversary comes around - I cant believe I'm still around and doing it and still love it as much as I do. I've had my wobbles, but thanks to surrounding myself with some really positive inspirational women, I'm more focused than I've been in years.

Over the last year or so, I've spent a long time wondering what my niche is and who I blog for and I got me some thoughts.  Comparing yourself to others is a pain in the hoop and we're all told not to do it, and yet we do.  Well I do sometimes.  There are tonnes of the gorgeous younger ridey bloggers here in Ireland and then there's me.  Older, overweight, never gets her eyeshadow to look like theirs, goes on Snapchat wearing a fleece and a hun bun with no makeup and yet here I am.  Still plodding along.  And then it hit me.  I write for me.  And for those of you like me.  Not everyone has perfect hair and skin and if you do, that's great, if you don't, that's great too!  I write for those who might be lacking in a bit of self confidence like I do and try to make makeup and beauty a bit more accessible.  I write for those standing in Boots wondering which mascara to pick up and I write for those who might have €20 and want to treat themselves to something.  I write for you guys.  I put up a short post on Facebook the other night chatting about this and had so many lovely messages, but one stuck in my head and got me.  Jen Sherlock said "You're one of us" and that's the crux of it.  So thanks Jen for saying that!

I'm a one bridie show.  I take my own photos, I edit them, I write the posts, I film the videos, I edit the videos, I do the social meeja, I reply to commnents and private snaps and DMs on Instagram and I do it all outside of a full time job.  I want to do more though.  I always feel like I'm not doing enough which can leave me feeling overwhelmed, but sure that's life.  And if you know me in real life, you'll know that I'm incredibly hard on myself, have issues with self confidence and self belief, but I'm getting better!

Because there are literally hundreds of beauty bloggers out there now, trying to be different and stand out is harder than ever.  And I've also noticed myself that people are reading less and less, relying on social media to ask questions on what products I recommend.  But the way I see it, if Snapchat and Instagram and Facebook were to disappear or my accounts got hacked or deleted, I'd still have my blog!  And it's so handy having a place with reviews that I can direct people to because I can only give so much information in a response on Snapchat or Instagram.

In case you're ever curious, this is what you get from me when it comes to blogging and to be honest, it's what I look for in the blogs I read.

- I don't filter my photos.  With makeup photos on my face, the most I'll ever do to them is lighten them and slightly alter the saturation, only so that the colours show up true to life.  These things don't always translate in photos and if I'm recommending an eyeshadow palette, I want to show it accurately.

- I test stuff out.  I'm all for doing a show and tell when I buy or get sent bits to let you know things are out and because it can take me a while to get through everything in my office.  But I only recommend things that I've tried out properly.  When it comes to skincare, I usually products a month of testing before recommending them with the exception of things like masks and cleansers.  I pretty much know right away if they're going to work for my skin.

- When it comes to sponsored work, I'm so particular about what I take on.  If I was to take on every paid job that came my way, I'd be able to do this full time, but I'm not going to put my name to everything and anything for a few quid.  I've made no secret of the fact that I'd love to turn this into a job, but I have to do it my way.  I also declare everything in the name of transparency and because I want you to make an informed decision about whether to read or not.  What I will say is that I give my sponsored work and non sponsored work my everything.

- Negative reviews. There are some products that work great for me and there are some that don't and there are some that make me feel meh.  In each review I write, I try to be as fair and balanced as possible and over on my Youtube channel, I've filmed a few disappointing products videos for the craic.  They're much more fun to film compared to writing a blog post, so I'm going to keep doing that!

What's going to happen in the next 12 months?
There's going to be more content from me lads.  I'm not going to give anything away because I want to show you rather than tell you.  I've lots up my sleeves and am going to do my absolute best to give you amazing content, while being honest and transparent and having the craic!

Thank you to everyone who reads the blog, watches me talk shite on Youtube and Snapchat, who interacts with me on Instagram and Facebook.  You're all fab!  I've loved my blogging journey so far and can't wait to see what the next 12 months has in store for me!

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