1 Year + 1 Day!

Yesterday my blog turned one!! 
When I first started my blog, I went to the sites of popular bloggers and copied their concepts. Looking at those styles and layouts, I thought that's what success must look like.

In the end I had a bunch of ads and basically a bunch of nonsense that had nothing to do with the reason I started blogging in the first place.  So I pared down, I experimented and I will continue to redesign as my craft of blogging evolves. 

I had a lot of fun looking back over the past year and seeing which posts were my most popular and how my style of writing & posting as well as blog layout has changed. I want to share with you what I learned about my blog & blogging in general over the past 12 months.  
Think of it as advice from your big sister.

Unclutter your blog!
I have ADD-like tendencies and when pump your blog full 
of as much BS and one can possibly fit in to that tiny space, I bail.
What are you trying to tell me? 
Are you reviewing makeup or are you turning into an eComm?
If it's not serving a purpose or telling your story, get rid of it.

Don't make me work to participate in your blog!
If you are afraid of crazy comments, approve them prior to public view.
Why do you make me take the extra step to verify I'm a human too?
It's redundant.  I want to comment.  If you make me work for it, I'm out.

I want to follow you!
But I don't have time to read your blog, right now.
I would like to follow and dash, only to return later.
But you insist on moving your followers list to the bottom, 
perhaps ensuring I'll read your blog.  
But I won't.  If I can't figure out how to follow you fast, I'll bail and never look back.

Adjust your widths!
If your pictures, posts or text runs off of the designated space, it looks sloppy.
Blogger makes it very easy to adjust the widths of your columns.
Find the adjustments under 'Design'.

Don't blind me!
It might look cool but it is hard to read; 
Black backgrounds with bright writing or script fonts that are too small.
Jessica Allison does it right!

Mute the music!
This isn't iTunes, it's a beauty blog.
I can't hear you or focus on what you're saying
because your beauty skills are competing with your editing skills.
Are you a makeup maven or a mini music mogul?

Limit SMS language.
Your space is not limited to 140 characters; Use all of the letters when spelling out words.

STOP, thief!
Per the Fair Use Act you have to give credit to the person who took the photo.
And by 'took the photo' I mean the person who actually shot the picture.
If you're going to use a stock photo company such as iStockphoto, pay for your pictures.  Copying those photos places an "X" watermark on top the image.
It's not amateur, it's lazy.

Be critical but don't criticize.
Describe to me why it didn't work for you, don't simply say it sucked.
Was it the vessel, the delivery system or the product itself didn't deliver on it's promise.

You are lying to yourself if you think everything is a 5 star product.
Unless of course you only post your 5 star favourites.
Tell me the truth.  You're not going to be 'blacklisted' because of it, you're going to be respected.  And who knows maybe your post will prompt changes within that product.

Clean your oopsies!
My #1 blog pet peeve is nail polish reviews.
You know the ones; where it looks like you painted your nails in the dark?
Then took pictures.  There's no excuse for having polish all over your fingers.
Truthfully, I find it disgusting.

Unless you're printing 35mm..
Reshoot that blurry picture.
Is that glitter? Sequin? No, the picture just looks like shit.
It shows you rushed, or didn't care, in your shoddy work.

I am not going to follow you just because you followed me.
Don't waste your time asking.
In the blogger community, it's considered rude.
Personally, I don't consider it rude, I just won't refollow.
Consider yourself warned.

 If they want you, they'll ask.
Don't whine or invite yourself.
Get involved and let your work speak first.
If they want you to try it, test it, write about it or be there;
They will invite you.
Unless of course it is an open testing call.
If you just can't help yourself then address the company off line.
Asking in front of the world will not get you an invite.
Handle yourself professionally.
I live in the city and I'm still not invited to Benefit Cosmetics events!!

In the end, remember:
It's your blog.
Listen to yourself.
What are you trying to say?
Figure that out and you will always have success! 

Image: pcdnews.com 

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