Tomorrow marks one year since I wrote my first blog post on Will Work For Makeup and I honestly can't even believe it. I'm so excited that I couldn't stop myself from posting about it a day early :) I never had any real hobbies before blogging, and activities I enjoyed mainly consisted of fat kid hobbies like eating ice cream and watching tv (with the occasional shopping to get in some exercise, of course!).
In the months leading up to March 2010, I began watching makeup videos on YouTube, mainly from Panacea81 and Kandee Johnson. That led me to Kandee's blog and from there, I somehow stumbled across a handful of other great beauty blogs like Temptalia, The Beauty Look Book, and Too Much Blush. I got into a routine of checking these few blogs daily until one day (March 22, 2010 to be exact!) when I thought, while on a break from studying, "I like makeup. I put makeup on my face often. I should start my own blog." And so it began.
It took me all of about 3 minutes of brainstorming before coming up with my blog's name. I didn't used to spend nearly as much on makeup as I do now, but at the time, I still thought it was too much. Basically, I envisioned myself years down the road, broke and homeless from irresponsible makeup spending habits *knock on wood*, with my entire makeup collection in tow in a
stolen borrowed grocery store shopping cart, holding a cardboard sign that read, "WILL WORK FOR MAKEUP." Very plausible.
My itty bitty blog started off with zero followers like they all do and I often wondered if anyone would ever find my blog and/or care enough to read it. Still, I enjoyed taking photos and writing about makeup I was wearing and buying, so I continued to blog despite not having followers and rarely receiving any comments.
I began finding more and more amazing beauty blogs to follow and between school and work and volunteering at my local hospital, I made the time to indulge in my newly found hobby. As much effort as I put into writing my own blog, I also made an effort to keep up with other people's blogs and comment regularly (Mind you, I wasn't following nearly as many blogs as I am now. I still try - I promise!).
Now here's the point in the story where I make a tiny confession: Yes, I used to leave my blog url at the end of my comments. *GASP!* I was a blogging newbie and had no idea that it was so frowned upon - but, in my defense, my comments were always genuine, thoughtful, and on-topic with the post...meaning, I NEVER left tacky, spam-like comments like, "Cool!" and that's it, and then conveniently drop in my blog url at the end. I stopped doing it altogether after about a month (still continued to comment, though) because even though I still wasn't aware of how much it probably annoyed those poor bloggers, I just felt really cheeky and kind of tacky every time I did it.
I think people slowly started finding my blog from nice comments I was leaving on their blog or on blogs that they read. I think this because it's often how I find other people's blogs as well. See, it pays to engage in the beauty blogging communty! Eventually, I started discovering my blogging mojo, what I liked to blog about, etc. and decided that basically, my main goal with my blog was to write the type of beauty blog that I would like to read! Simple as that. I hoped that people would like it too but if not, that was fine with me because at the end of the day, it was something I was proud of.
Sometime last Summer, I opened up a Twitter account and it started off much like my blog did - slow and boring. Not very many people talked to me and honestly, I didn't know what to say. I didn't really get what Twitter was all about yet. Eventually, I began to talk to other bloggers more and got to know them on a more personal level that I didn't get from just reading their blogs. I also found that it was an easier way to communicate with my readers because I could very quickly and easily respond to any questions or comments they had with a simple click of the 'reply' button (although, I also make an honest attempt to never neglect questions and comments left on my blog either). Twitter allowed me to enjoy blogging even more because I became more involved in the community, made tons of new friends, and as I got to know other bloggers and discover new blogs, they also got to know me and my blog.
I know that a lot of people blog solely for the comments and to see an increase in their number of blog followers (I can't say I don't get excited every time someone decides to click the 'Follow' button!), but I think it's important to remember that it's always a matter of quality over quantity. You can have 20,000 followers because you gave away $1 million worth of makeup and your giveaway rules indicated that they would receive 500 extra entries for blogging about your giveaway, liking you on Facebook, leaving you comments on your posts, and telling all of their first and second cousins about your giveaway, but I can promise you that most of those 20,000 followers don't give a crap about your blog and will likely never be back after the giveaway winner is announced. I speak from experience, people. If you're going to have a giveaway to thank your followers, make sure it is just that. Thank them - don't lure them in.
Be grateful for the 50 followers (or however many) you have, because they actually enjoy and appreciate your blog and chose to follow it on their own accord. Keep the 'No One Even Reads My Blog' and 'No One Cares About My Blog' Rants to a minimum because as long as your follower number isn't zero, obviously someone cares so don't take them for granted.
Remember, if you involve yourself in the beauty blogging community and write an interesting blog with quality in content and photos, you will never need to advertise your blog to find readers because your blog will speak for itself. That's the truth.
Moral of the
obnoxiously long story is:
- Blogging is much more rewarding and fun when you do it for the right reasons.
- Engage yourself in the beauty blogging community and don't just be absorbed in your own blog.
- Twitter is a great way to get to know people (but not if you spam them with your blog links! Just because it's Twitter does not make it any more acceptable than when you do it in blog comments).
- Write the type of blog you'd like to read and be happy and grateful when someone decides to follow your blog because they enjoy reading it.
- Thank you SO much to all of you guys for sticking around and for all the wonderful comments you've left and here's to Will Work For Makeup's 2nd year!
[All photos from weheartit.com]