After last nights #bbloggers chat I came away feeling rather lucky and inspired to part of this community, I really do see blogging as my little support network. As there were so many people talking last night about how and why they got started with blogging I thought I would write a little post about why I started blogging.
I started playing around and dabbling in the world of blogging about a year ago, my first site was hosted on Wordpress because that's what I thought all blogs were hosted on at the time. I started because firstly I love to write, always have ever since being at school, that's partly why I chose a career in PR and marketing and it's a lot more fun than being an English teacher (in my opinion). I also thought it would help me with my job, keep my writing skills fresh and the creative juices flowing. However I wasn't really sure what to write about, I started off writing about family stuff but it just didn't keep me interested so why would it interest anyone else? Although I love my family and my little girls are my world, I am after all a girlie girl first and foremost, and it just proves that there is no point starting a blog just for the sake of it or to jump on the bandwagon. You need to believe in and be passionate about what you write about.
I hate the term 'Yummy Mummy' it suggests that all you have going on and the only defining characteristic you have is that you are a Mum, that manages to get up in the morning brush you hair and get dressed. Like that is some sort of achievement, believe me I know it is stressful being a Mum and yes you might not look your best everyday but you also don't need a medal every time you make a bit of effort. After all you should be making the effort for yourself, to make you feel good not to fit into some sort of Mummy stereotype.
Phew rant over, and long story short 'Mummy' blogging wasn't for me. It was a while before I got the urge to start again, after I had to do a lot more work with bloggers for my job. When anyone mentioned beauty bloggers to me before I thought it was all about well to do socialites blogging about high end products that they'd been 'gifted' by PR companies. I didn't realise that there was also a huge community of bloggers out there that were just normal girls like me blogging about everyday products that they bought themselves because they genuinely had a love and a passion for cosmetics, fashion and generally making the most of themselves.
It took me a little while of reading a LOT of blogs before I had the courage to start my own, I thought who the feck would want to read about what I had to say? This all stems from a sever lack of self confidence and self belief. I was always the girl at school, college and university that during group work would get talked over and when I put ideas forward they were dismissed until someone with more confidence and a much louder 'voice' repeated them pretty much word for word, then of course it was the best idea since the Internet. I think this is why I enjoy writing so much, because it doesn't matter how loud your voice is or how popular you are, if you write with confidence then people will read!
When I first started I would check my stats about every half an hour like a maniac, and I could not believe that even one person was reading about what I had to say. I was even more amazed that these were people that I didn't know, they weren't my friends or my Mum being supportive and giving it a quick glance, they were people that had stumbled across my blog and were actually interested. I can not tell you how amazing that feeling was, and unless you are a blogger yourself I don't think you will ever really understand. It might sound a bit daft to other people that something as simple as another human having a quick flick through my blog to see what I think about my new nail polish would have such an effect. Well it does! When I got my first follower I literally nearly fell of my chair and when I was nominated for the Liebster Award by Laurie, from Life Envy I felt like I'd been nominated for an Oscar. Daft I know, but it's lovely when you get the appreciation from your peers that you haven't had much before now.
Although my friends are lovely (they wouldn't be my friends if they weren't) it's not really normal to sit around saying how great you all are, unless your those sort of girls who actually don't like each other very much and over compensate on the love to hide this fact. We all know girls like that and we all went to school with more than a few of them. When I started my blog I think some of my friends were genuinely surprised that I had it in me, although I am confident and quite loud in my group of friends, I am always seen as a bit of a joker and perhaps not as 'deep' (if a girl who talks about make up and clothes can be seen as deep) as I am. A few of them have commented that it doesn't sound like me when they read my blog, but I think I am more me. I write what I think when I can't always say what I think and I write they way I speak in my head, which I don't always do out loud.
It is all still very new to me and I am still learning and finding new things everyday, I think I still need to find my niche but at the moment I am loving every minute of it. I really feel like I am part of something and what I say matters, if I have influenced even one person to go out and try the products that I write about or I help someone feel a little bit better about themselves then that's enough for me. Just the fact people even read the thing is a bonus and it means that it's not a waste of time after all. I think that my self confidence has grown massively since I started blogging and I am willing to put myself in social situations that would have previously seen a no go, if it helps me with my blog.
After reading all of the lovely tweets last night it was comforting to see that I am not alone and it's amazing how many girls feel the same as me. Beauty blogging is not all about girls who 'love' themselves and want to rub it in other girls faces, it's about girls who share a passion for something that just so happens to make them look as nice on the outside as they are on the inside : ) Ahhhhh que the violins....
If you are thinking of starting a blog and it's for the right reasons, not just to jump on the bandwagon and get free stuff then go for it. But make sure you blog about something that matters to you, because believe me the free stuff doesn't just land on your doorstep the minute your blog goes live, so if that's why you're doing it then don't bother! Also it can be a very expensive hobby, regardless of what you are blogging about whether it be beauty, music or family etc. My husband has started to notice that my make up collection has grown considerably since starting my blog so I think I best put myself on a little spending ban, well at least until the New Year : )