Friday, 12 April 2013

DREAMS UNWIND, LOVE'S A STATE OF MIND.



I've been blogging for seven months now and wanted to do a bit of a reflections/what I've learnt/where I want to go next type of post.


SAD FACE.
Lately, more and more people seem to be using my blog as a platform to advertise their own blog and it's making me a little cross. I am a firm believer in  us girls supporting each other on here and I absolutely love the fact that this is done through button swapping, paid advertising and so on, but I'm getting a bit fed up of impersonal comments, totally unrelated to my posts or even blog from people simply telling my readers to go and look at their blog because they're new and are trying to gain followers. I have worked hard to get my little blog to where it is today, and in all honesty, this type of things makes me feel really used. I'm all for people leaving comments with their blog links at the bottom, even when they follow the main body of their comment with 'please can you look at my blog' because I really do love to discover new little blogs and so this is something I really appreciate, it's just when people make zero effort with you and your blog and expect to reap the benefits regardless. Usually, I play it cool and just reply with 'sure I'll pop over' but I've now made the executive decision to remove any comments like this. I know it's tricky starting out in this community when you feel like you're talking to yourself but you'll get there if you want it enough and put enough into it. I was exactly there seven months ago and it never ceases to amaze me how much support I have received since then, but the lesson to be learnt here is that the girls in this community are so great and so supportive so long as you don't take the biscuit. You get out what you put in after all.

HAPPY FACE.
I have so much to be happy about in relation to my blog. Firstly, the support I have received has been absolutely insane. I cannot even picture 1300 people, let alone begin to get my head around the fact that this is the amount of people currently following my blog through GFC, and not forgetting the girls from over at the Bloglovin' station either. Wow.
Another amazing thing for me is the doors my blog has opened for me. I have been so fortunate in that I have had opportunities to work with a small number of companies. It's crazy. I live in the middle of nowhere and rarely leave my little house in the middle of my field. To think that companies from around the country have found me, it's absolutely mind blowing.
My favourite part of blogging by far is definitely, here comes the cheese, the people I have been able to meet. I think everyone says that but it's the absolute truth. I think it's hard to understand unless you actually blog yourself. You find people that are so much like you that it's scary. People you would otherwise never have had the opportunity to meet. People who become your real life friends (Jane, I'm talking about you!).

CONFUSED FACE.
So what does my blogging future have instore for me? I don't know. All I know is that blogging makes me happy and I don't ever want the happiness that I get from it to go away.
I have been considering a name change for me and my little blog- 'lettherebelaura.com'. What do you think? I'm undecided but I feel as though it's a little more grown up? Perhaps I will see the year out with 'L is for Ladybird' and make that decision when the time comes round for me to repurchase my domain name.
I'm hoping to do something much different with my layout too so if there are any blog designers who fancy working their magic, I would love to hear their business proposals.
I'm also hoping to do a FAQ page. I have a few questions that I get asked frequently so I thought that a page including these would be helpful for new readers. If you do have any questions, please leave them below, or email them to me, and if it warrants enough attention to be included in a FAQ, I'll pop it in. Otherwise, I'll reply directly anyway.

A LESSON LEARNED.
I have learnt that online presence does not have to be based on nastiness and negativity. I have not had Facebook for a number of years now and am not on Twitter either due to the negativity that surrounds those social media platforms. I know that a lot of attitudes may be 'take the rough with the smooth' and that 'social media is a great tool and is worth any negativity' but for me, I'd prefer not to be exposed to that. The blogging community, I have found, could not be further away from this negativity. It has the most positive atmosphere floating around. It just feels like everyone cares about eachother and that they are genuinely supportive of eachother too. It's such a great boost to self esteem, having people tell you that they appreciate any reviews you have done, like your outfits, make up, hair and so on and the best part? It feels like those comments come from a good place.
I have also learned the importance of checking spam emails- often emails end up in there without good reason from fellow bloggers, companies, etc. so keep on top of your emails and leave no mailbox stone unturned.
Get relevant Google (or equivalent) gadgets; Google Analytics in particular. The statistics that this provides can be invaluable sometimes so it's always good to have them on hand.
Lables- tag everything to optimise search results. People looking for a review on a particular product may just stumble upon your blog.
Domain names are a good thing to have. For me, I decided to get one because it looked all snazzy and posh, but I guess everyone has their own reasons. I had an absolute nightmare setting mine up though so patience is key. It will be worth it in the end.
Letting your personality shine through your posts is so important in my eyes. It separates you from everyone else and for me, really makes or breaks a blog. Detailed reviews are all well and good but a quirky personality is what grabs me.

So, I think that's everything. What do you think about reflection style posts?

40 comments:

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'hey everyone, come look at my blog' will be deleted. thank you all for your lovely, genuine comments; they make me smile, lots.