Smorgasbord Sundays: From Mary’s Desk – Some Things I Learned While Blogging (Part 1)

SwatchAndLearn.com Blogging Tips & TricksI may not be a blogging veteran who served time in the Nail Polish War and travelled the seven seas fighting for colour freedom. I don’t even have any cool badges or pins.

But after sticking with Swatch And Learn since July 25, 2010, I have learned a lot of valuable lessons that I feel are worth sharing.

I strongly believe that everyone can contribute. It doesn’t matter if you have very little blogging experience or even professional blogging experience – we can learn from each other and I have learned from others.

This is my contribution.

Today’s Smorgasbord Sundays post is a little different than my previous ones. Firstly, it’s way more text-heavy than picture-heavy. Secondly, there are lots of photos of my face. And thirdly, I have finally admitted to being The Cheshire Cat.

I will talk your ears off about jealousy, perseverance, and how to get over other common blogging hurdles. If you don’t want to listen, that’s okay – there’s no audio.

My intention is not to be preachy, and I swear to you that I wasn’t wearing a white collar while writing this. My goal is to share my thoughts and advice with you because I’m curious to see whether or not you feel the same way. Sometimes issues that bloggers face are swept under the rug, and that rug may be a little too small to conceal what has become the elephant in the room.

What I’ve Learned Along the Way

Swatch And Learn Mary Talks About Her Blogging Experience

Me sitting in my favourite chair

When Jealousy Rears Its Ugly Green Head, Offer It a Makeover

While you feel genuinely happy for other people’s success, at some point, jealousy can creep into your beauty box like last year’s fad. “Why can’t I be as popular as [insert name of your favourite beauty blogger here]?”

There are several ways that people measure success:

  • How many pageviews you get in a month
  • How many returning visitors you have
  • How happy you feel when you work on your blog

I don’t want to push blog statistics aside and say they’re meaningless. They’re very important to help you assess what visitors seem to like more, what requires improvement, and the progress you’ve made so far. (If you aren’t already utilizing Google Analytics, I highly recommend you do.)

The Bigger Picture of success (for me) hinges strongly on that last bullet point. If a blogger dreads publishing a post or constantly complains about having to photograph products, no matter how many people follow them on Twitter and no matter how many hits their blog has, I don’t consider them to be successful. Hating what you do is a terrible way to live.

Swatch And Learn Blogging Tips & Tricks

Me and my love for reviewing nail polish

As corny or as elementary as it sounds, I think that happiness is the true gauge of success. You’ve ‘made it’ when you feel good about what you’re doing.

Success doesn’t come overnight.

You often have to make plans with it years in advance, and even then, it’s like a stage diva that often arrives on its own schedule. (Sometimes it even demands extra sequins on its skin-tight dress.)

Unless you’ve secretly employed magical gnomes who have agreed to work in exchange for unlimited amounts of pumpkin pie (don’t ask how I’m privy to such details), then success requires hard work and persistence on your part.

Jealousy shows up on a moment’s notice.

It’s never far away, so it’s no wonder that it can be there in no-time flat!

Look at all the blogs you enjoy visiting. Someone (or even a group of people) spent time on the graphics, the layout, the content, and even just brainstorming ideas. They kept at it and promoted their blog for months and very likely, years, to get it where it is today.

If you want to have a successful blog, you have to be willing to put in the time and effort. You have to accept that when you first start blogging, it may feel like you’re talking with yourself and that nobody is listening. The beginning is sometimes very lonely, and you may have to be your own cheerleader. (If desired, the pom poms may be substituted with the nail polish of your choice.)

When Swatch And Learn first started, practically every published post had a whopping zero comments for months and visitor traffic was so low, you’d have a tough time limboing under it.

Swatch And Learn Blogging Experience & Suggestions

Me studying what others are doing

You have to keep pushing. In time, if you continuously work hard on delivering quality content, somebody will care enough to leave a comment and/or stop by again. But more importantly, you will care enough to continue growing as a blogger. When others see your passion, it’s more infectious than the common cold (and you won’t want to squash the symptoms with shiver-inducing cough syrup).

And if Jealousy is still nipping away at your heels like a fish pedi, flip it into something positive. Study your favourite blogs. See what other bloggers are doing that you’re not. Try to uncover patterns that may spawn original ideas for your own blog.

  • How are they using social media?
  • Who are they networking with?
  • What topics get more attention?
  • When & how often do they publish new posts?
  • Have they held a giveaway or other promotional event?

In an allergy-free nutshell, don’t let Jealousy eat away at you or give you hives. Instead of sulking about why you’re not as good as so-and-so, do something about it! Change something on your blog, incorporate a new feature, try something different, and dare to take risks. It has been said that being successful often means getting uncomfortable.

Being Green May Not Be Easy, but Having No Green Is Even Harder

When you visit any beauty blog, chances are that if you poke around long enough, you’ll feel The Itch. And I don’t mean an itch that can be treated with a medicated cream. The Itch is the impulse to go on a wild shopping spree and to buy what you want right away. (Beware! Online shopping can provide instant gratification, but also buyer’s remorse!)

“It’s so pretty!” or “It’s available only for a limited time!” are two things that The Itch whispers in your ear while you’re drooling on your keyboard. And with just a few clicks of the mouse, your limited-edition nail polish is on its way to its new loving mother.

Listen, I visit lots of beauty blogs and the temptation is always strong. I’m not saying that you need to resist all temptation. We’re human, after all. (Well, actually, I’m a cat.)

Swatch And Learn Save Your Money

My gangsta friend, Moose Biggz, straight ballin’

As a beauty blogger, you may feel the additional pressure to buy, swatch, and review the latest products for your readers. That is a slippery slope, and your wallet will be squealing in no time.

Try keeping your temptations in check. No matter how gorgeous something is, it’s never worth getting into debt over.

Here’s what I do:

Every time I see something that I like, I try to sleep on it. Oh, sure, I’m bouncing off the walls and the little kid inside me is urging me to just buy it, but I find that when I take at least a day to mull it over, a lot of times I end up squashing my desire to make an impulsive decision that I might regret.

Also, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I already have something similar that I can use?
  • How much use will I get out of it?
  • Is this something I want just because of all the hype?
  • Will I be able to purchase it later or do I really need to buy it right this moment?

Your answers will be very telling.

If you’ve looked around Swatch And Learn, you’ll see that while I do really enjoy featuring new products, I’ve also dipped into my collection and pulled out stuff I really liked that’s older.

Just because a nail polish isn’t from the latest or upcoming collection doesn’t mean that it isn’t worth sharing with your readers. Shopping your existing stash is a great way to revisit colours you love or even to try colours that you already have, but just didn’t get around to trying.

Even if a colour or product is no longer for sale, I still feel that writing about it has value. While people can’t buy it, there will be people out there who already own it and maybe it has been neglected. Your post may remind them to take it out for a spin again. And this saves not only you money, but also your readers’ money.

And finally…

Don’t Ignore the Elephant in the Room, Especially When It’s Pink

Pink Elephant

Me not ignoring Winky the Pink Elephant

I’ve touched upon some issues that I’ve been wanting to talk about for a while.

Oh wait! There is one more very important thing. If you don’t take any of the above advice, please take this last critical pointer: If all else fails, hire a human to do all the work for you so you can enjoy your catnip in peace as you read your fan mail. I was lucky enough to find one person who, like the magical gnomes I mentioned earlier, agreed to work for unlimited amounts of pumpkin pie.

SwatchAndLearn Blogging Tips & Tricks

Hand of my human blogging slave

This is the first installment of the From Mary’s Desk series. I’ll continue this another Sunday because I have lots more to share. It may not be next Sunday…because I still want to keep the Smorgasbord Sundays posts totally random, but keep your eyes peeled like a banana for the second part in a future post.

Important Mentions:

  • Website with rodent picture that I was looking at can be found here.
  • The 2 bottles of polish I was photographed with were OPI Mad as a Hatter (left) and OPI Absolutely Alice (right).
  • My human blogging slave was wearing China Glaze It’s Alive.

More From Mary’s Desk:

Would you like to read more posts like this? Did you find any of this helpful? Were you shocked to find out that I’m the Cheshire Cat or did you know it all along?

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63 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Sundays: From Mary’s Desk – Some Things I Learned While Blogging (Part 1)

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Sana!

      I’m really glad to hear that you found this helpful. It was a departure from my usual Smorgasbord Sundays post, so I wasn’t sure if readers would like this. But I have some really strong opinions about blogging that I needed to share. There will definitely be at least another post like this because there’s so much more that I still would like to cover. :)

      Reply
  1. Debi

    Greetings, Cheshire Cat!

    I’d always hoped to meet you but feared I’d have to go through the “Drink Me” bottle all the way first.
    :)

    Reply
    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Debi!

      Instead of the “Drink Me” bottle, there’s a whole table full of nail polish that says “Try Me”. And I’m sure that won’t frighten you. ;)

      Hehe, I was so nervous about finally spilling the beans about my true identity, but I’m glad that you don’t mind. :D

      Reply
  2. Carmela

    This couldn’t come at a better time. :) May I just add that it helps A LOT at the beginning to have a blogger friend whose support and encouragement often feels like a lifeline when those sad Google Analytics numbers pop up on the screen?

    Cheshire Cat, I wonder if I’ve gotten to know you or your blogging slave Mary? Words of wisdom, indeed! Can’t wait for the rest of the series! Happy Sunday! :D

    PS. Hammie says he is very interested in your philosophy and would like to discuss it more in private. Should I be worried?
    Carmela recently posted: Indulge without the Splurge: Thanksgiving Weekend 2011

    Reply
    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Carmela!

      Support and encouragement are vital for most bloggers. I may not have continued if I didn’t have such incredible readers who really care! (This is another issue that I really want to touch upon in my next installment of this series.)

      You’ve gotten to know me, the Cheshire Cat, but since fur gets in the way a lot, I’ve had no choice but to use Mary, my blogging slave, to swatch many of the products. Haircare, however, works wonders on my multicoloured fur. (It also helps that Mary has fingers to type. I’m dictating this to her now as I’m grooming myself. Don’t worry. I will reward her with several slices of pumpkin pie later.) ;)

      Tell Hammie that he can come visit me anytime. No, you shouldn’t be worried. I’m a pacifist and believe in being friends with everyone. “Friends, not food!” Hehe, to quote Finding Nemo. But pay no attention to what the sharks did after when they had a change of heart. *Hums to distract*

      Reply
    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Laura!

      No, you’re definitely not alone. Especially at the beginning, there’s a lot that you go through. Some of it creeps up slowly, and other parts whack you over the head. Even after blogging for over a year, I’m still experiencing new things that I’ll need to share with you all at some point. It’s good to talk about what we’re going through – not just positive, but all the insecurities and the struggles we face as bloggers. And when we address these publicly, we feel better knowing that others identify and maybe even have possible suggestions for dealing with these ‘problems’.

      P.S. Thanks for following! :)

      Reply
  3. Maribeth

    Loved this! I totally agree, 100% that you have to enjoy what you do, with anything in life. If it’s dragging you down, it’s not worth it. Luckily, I have (mostly) LOVED every second of blogging and that has made all of the difference. I started blogging basically to entertain myself after moving cross country and away from all of my friends and family, and once I started getting actual readers- whoa! That blew me away. To even have 1 other human reading what I wrote? Totally awesome! I like that you hit on jealousy…it’s something you can’t help but face. I find the times that I get green eyed are when I know I have been blogging as long as another blog, and their blog is *EXPLODING!* and mine is ho-humingly trudging along to the side :) I tell myself that I just need to keep in mind why I started and that everything else is a BONUS!
    Also, it’s SOOOOO hard not to buy every new thing in sight, but I learned that lesson very quickly….it’s just doesn’t make financial sense to do so. I stick with buying the polishes I love (not the entire collection, even though I want to!) and then I’m left with a collection I love.
    XoXo!
    Maribeth recently posted: Zoya *Jem* Nail Polish

    Reply
    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Maribeth!

      I know the feeling. The first time a real reader (not some spammer) left a genuine comment, I was jumping up and down inside…and, okay, outside, too. I couldn’t help it! And even now, my heart still flutters whenever I see a new comment. Makes it even more rewarding! :)

      That’s a good attitude you have about blogging – always remember why you started and to appreciate the good things that come along. :)

      Reply
    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Ashley!

      I’m so pleased that you found this useful, and I enjoy the fact that I’m still ‘learning the ropes’. Makes blogging exciting when you discover something new or learn how to deal with issues. Blogging is rewarding, but also poses challenges. And when you find some solutions for those challenges, it’s like another reward!

      Reply
  4. Nicole

    I tell ya, I can relate to all of these points! During my first polish blogging go round, I really got into the “I must have all of these new polishes, NOW!” and I also was really diligent about approaching companies. My whole point of view has changed, and I really am happy with what I’m doing now. I don’t often have the latest and greatest collections to show, but people still seem to enjoy what I’m doing – and that in turn gives me pleasure. I have definitely learned that it will be okay! Of course, that’s not to say that I don’t have instantaneous lemmings over new collections, and I do want some things that are LE, but I try not to beat myself up if I don’t have them or can’t get them right now.
    Again, in my previous go-round, I definitely dealt with the green eyed monster. People who had been blogging for less time than me “blowing up” and I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong. I feel like this time around I have alleviated that stress by really doing what I like, and not paying as much attention to the competitive side of things. It helps! I’m not saying I don’t get a huge pleasure of the increased comments or people following my blog, because I do.
    I love, love, love your attitude and your writing style!
    Nicole recently posted: With A Little Help From My Friends: GINGER!

    Reply
    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Nicole!

      It’s good that you’ve figured out what works best for you. When you enjoy doing something, it always shows, and people dig passion more than just “new”. (Heh, we’ve all fell victim to buying new stuff just because the packaging said “new and improved”…) Old polishes need love, too. ;)

      Thank you for leaving a comment and stroking my ego (:P). Seriously, on days when I’m feeling down, I’m going to re-read comments for a quick pick-me-up. My visitors are the best. I really feel like I’m surrounded by so many supportive people. It touches my heart so much! And it helps me put things into perspective. I’m not the best blogger, but the fact that at least some people enjoy my posts is more than enough for me! :D

      Reply
  5. Vivian

    This was a lovely post. It’s nice to get to know the actual blogger once in a while (even if it did turn out to be a sneaky cheshire :P). I was never a beauty blogger, but I was still very much into creating design/blogging and content based websites (from premade graphics to sharing recipes. lol recipes, what was I thinking when I was younger). I wish I had seen this post when I was younger because it would have saved me a lot of grief trying to always top another website. thanks for sharing your wisdom!

    Reply
    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Vivian!

      You know, I was really nervous about publishing this post because I wasn’t sure how it would be received. But I did it anyway. Sometimes bloggers just have to take risks, especially when they feel strongly about something and need to get it off their chest. And Cheshire Cats like myself have a lot to get off our chests…(mainly fur). :P

      Sharing recipes actually sounds like a lot of fun. I’m interested in learning how to make new dishes to incorporate into my rotation of trusty ones. Maybe one day you’ll start a recipe blog…and I’ll be there all the time, drooling.

      Do you cook a lot? Which are your favourite dishes?

      Reply
      1. Vivian

        I’m very glad you decided to publish this then! I really take an interest to your blog and I would love to see more personal posts like these. Sure, I come here mainly to see your swatches and reviews but I like reading who that blogger behind the computer screen is too!

        yes I love to cook! Especially odd recipes, I’m not a picky eater. Baked prunes wrapped in bacon was something I tried recently. It definitely tastes a lot better than it looks lol

        Reply
        1. Mary Post author

          Wow, I have never tried baked prunes wrapped in bacon. Never even heard of it! But I think a lot of things wrapped in bacon tend to taste great…haha! ;) Still haven’t tried chocolate-coated bacon, which I’ve heard is like dying and going to heaven.

          So, did you just experiment and come up with that recipe? Or did you see it somewhere and became curious to try it?

          Reply
            1. Mary Post author

              Did you make it yourself? I’ve only seen it sold once or twice at fancier grocery stores. It’s probably easier just to make it myself, right?

              Reply
  6. Amber

    Mary or should I say Cheshire :) I loved this post. I think it was great to read and reflect back on when I first started blogging. I will admit I had a bit of jealousy at first wondering why my blog wasnt good enough and I never got many views or comments. Over time I have realized thats silly to be jealous and do something about it!! I have improved on my writing and photo taking… also just putting more passion into my blog. I really believe this shows. If I am ever in a mood I dont feel like doing swatches, or writing I simply dont! I want untill I am in blogging mode and I always have a much better outcome. :) I always want blogging to be fun not a chore! Sorry for the novel :) lol

    Anyways great post and I cant wait to see pt 2! :D
    Amber recently posted: FOTD: Poison Cupcake

    Reply
      1. Mary Post author

        Hehe, that’s okay! I’ve been known to smile bomb almost all the time. It’s good that you’re feeling happy. :D x 1000000! Hehehe!

        Reply
    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Amber!

      It’s so good to hear that you recognized your jealousy and took action to try to change things to make you happier. Flipping something negative into something positive is a skill that not everyone has, and I really think it’s important. Life hands us lemons a lot. Some remain sour. Some make lemonade. And others incorporate them into tarts. Mmm…now I’m getting hungry!

      I can definitely see your passion in your blog, and you’re so creative with your eye looks! :)

      Reply
  7. Leah

    Loved the post! I actually started my blog and kept it private for a little bit because I just wanted to post what I thought about products I was trying, and then figured, why keep it to myself? I don’t get many comments, but I’m able to see page views and what people look at, so it’s nice to see that people are able to come in and find something that they were searching for. I’m glad you said what you did about being happy about what you are blogging. I think it can be easy to “appease the masses” when you aren’t really having a good time yourself, and then it all just seems like a lie. Thanks for sharing!
    Leah recently posted: ELF Nymph Dreams Brightening Eye Color Palette

    Reply
    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Leah!

      Thanks for contributing to the conversation! :) Yes, I agree, when people try to please everyone, oftentimes they end up pleasing no one, as the Aesop’s fable says. To please the majority, you probably have to water a lot down. It’s sad when I see that happen. When I look at a blog, I love to see a point of view (even if it’s not a popular one). Those are the ones that stand out the most to me.

      Reply
  8. Marta

    Mary.. .at this point you have my wrapped around your pretty-manicured finger and I will read ANYTHING you write! AND I read your posts like a pre-pubescent boy who stumbled upon some “mature picture book”: Late at night when it is quiet (kids in bed) and when I have a moment of privacy… I indulge in each sentence and breathe it all in ;) (not creepy… I’m not creepy I promise)
    I will tell you this, I still consider myself a ‘new’ blogger… wet behind the ears so to speak, and I really enjoyed this post. You literally touched on all the issues that a ‘new’ blogger would face/deal with/ struggle with. I award you with your very first pin “the bravery to share pin” and one other “cutest photos EVER” where the cat, uhem you, looks at the mice… SOOO CUTE!
    I remember my first few months of posting to be spam-infested, otherwise dead-like-the-desert in the comment section… I talked to myself and started to get annoyed with the echo. And then I reached out on Twitter, I wondered other blogs, left comments, stayed myself but dared to mingle… and then the comments started up :D
    I was also wrapped up in the online ordering… visited blogs, saw, needed, bought (and the vicious circle spun to fill my helmer… FULL)… NOW, I am less quick to buy, and I know it is ok to show colours over (because they are me.. .because blogging is about showing a piece of me that I’m comfortable sharing).
    ps… those gnomes you speak of? Where I can buy some? lol I could stock up on pumpkin pie ;)
    Marta recently posted: Funky Confetti and Glitter

    Reply
    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Marta!

      THANK YOU for saying all of that! I couldn’t stop smiling – my cheeks hurt now. I appreciate how you enjoy reading what I’ve written! And, YAY, now I can sport my first pins! Hehe, glad you got a kick out of that photo.

      I love your sense of humour: your joke about the mature picture book…haha! :P I never thought about it that way, but, haha, it really sounds like it!

      It’s really refreshing how you feature some colours more than once. It definitely shows your personality and, as a visitor, I get a better feel for the type of colours you like.

      P.S. I’ve heard that there’s only one gnome left who’s looking for work, but he needs to get his Social Insurance Number card first. The government is giving him such a hard time. Guess they’re not into magical creatures… ;)

      Reply
    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Marcia!

      Awww….that makes me feel so good to read that! I put in a lot of hard work and time on Swatch And Learn, so it’s incredibly rewarding to know that it’s not in vain. Glad you enjoyed it!

      I try to be nice and polite, but sometimes I can be a nasty little witch. Haha! :P (See Witch nail art post.)

      Reply
  9. Kimberly

    I’m new and I’ll take all the advice I can get my hands, eyes and ears on. :)

    Blogging, friends and air…..there is not limit to any of those. There is plenty for everyone. The jealousy bug hasn’t bitten me. I may be envious but jealousy never feels good.

    So, I’m a freshman hanging out the the pros to help me be a better blogger/person and I love the company of friends I’ve found. You, my dear, are in that group.

    Thanks for sharing your wisdom. :)
    Kimberly recently posted: Sunday A to Z of Me: Beauty Judy

    Reply
    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Kimberly!

      Yeah, jealousy is the worst. It’s so negative and can sometimes really consume a person. Not a healthy way to be at all, especially for a long time.

      I also consider you to be a friend. :) And it’s nice to be able to relate to you as a blogger, too.

      Reply
  10. sara

    love this! I’m somewhat new to blogging and just found your site. I love this post and can’t wait for the next one.

    Reply
    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Sara!

      Welcome to the wonderful world of blogging! :D Glad that you found some things I mentioned useful. Please share your blog link with me. I’d love to see it. You just have to check the box beside “CommentLuv” when you leave a comment. :)

      Reply
  11. Melissa

    I read this after reading part 2, but this was another great post! I think all people that consider starting a blog should take a look at it.

    I’ve never really been jealous of other blogs because I realize that they’ve worked hard to get to where they are. For me, it’s more like wishing my blog could be as great like theirs one day. I try not to get disheartened when I don’t get as many comments or views as I would hope, because I know my blog is still very young and all of that could change the more I work at it. A lot of the blogs I’ve come across have been doing it for years, and have earned it, so I don’t expect mine to blow up over night.

    Sometimes when I see posts about collection out at the time or popular colors, I almost feel out of the loop when I show a color that may have been released months ago, because by now everyone probably knows about it, but despite that, I still show it because it’s what I want to share and what I fee like wearing. I’m not going to go out and buy a whole collection just to stay relevant, even though that is important when blogging, but I’d much rather buy polishes because I really want them, rather then getting them so I can keep my blog in the loop. Most of the stuff I’ve been sharing on my blog, I just haven’t had the time to wear and even if it’s not the color that’s most talked about, I’m not going to toss it aside because of that. Lately, I’ve been trying to just buy colors that I absolutely want. I really don’t feel the need to buy every single color that comes out in each collection, unless it just happens to be that amazing.
    Melissa recently posted: Revlon Street Wear Witchy

    Reply
    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Melissa!

      Thanks for reading the first part. :) These are lengthy posts, so I appreciate you taking the time!

      Your attitude is very healthy. You have a positive AND realistic perspective to blogging, which will really help you get through the difficult beginning. (At least, for me, the beginning was the most challenging. I guess some people find maintaining a blog more challenging, though…)

      Haha, yeah, can you imagine if you went out and bought an entire collection just for blogging? I think you’d burn through your finances like crazy! (Although, I know you’d be really excited about the polishes…but being in debt is never worth it.) Plus, I totally agree with you about wearing what you like and posting about things that may not necessarily be the latest, but they’re what you like. If you like it, chances are that your passion will shine through in the post. And, as a reader, when I see that someone’s passionate, it makes me want to follow that blog because the blogger comes across as more authentic.

      Reply
  12. another Cristina

    Hi Cheshire Cat and slave,

    Thanks so much for the post, it’s definitely reassuring to read that even a great blog like this one once was as fledgling as mine!

    I definitely don’t feel jealousy towards other bloggers as far as how many followers/comments they have, but I do have reader envy. Basically, I started blogging for 2 reasons. 1) To discuss polish with people who are as interested in it as me, so that I can stop talking my friends’ ears off AND 2) to help other people with sharing what I know, whether that be pictures of a color or tips or news about a new collection or whatever. Anyway, the reason I want readers is so that I can help them as much as other bloggers have helped me. But I recognize that gaining readership is a gradual business and I can’t expect too much too soon, so I’m ok with how things are now.

    A few tips that have helped my blog so far are: email bloggers you admire and ask to join their blog roll. I’ve done this and everyone I’ve “met” has been super nice. Also, comment on other people’s blogs. It really doesn’t take much time and raises other readers’ awareness of you.

    As far as buying stuff from the newest collections, I definitely have been doing that recently, but it has very little to do with the blog stuff. For me, polish shopping is “retail therapy” and helps me feel better when a day has otherwise not gone great. Plus, I’ve bought a lot of polish recently as a “Christmas gift to myself.” However, when it comes right down to it, no polish or collection is worth getting into debt over, and I recognize and budget myself accordingly.

    Thanks for taking the time to write this post. As all the comments suggest, it really helps and reassures bloggers in all stages of their “careers” to read a frank discussion of common issues.

    BTW, I’m not surprised at all that you’re really the Cheshire cat-cats seem to be an integral part of many a polish bloggers’ experience, so the fact that they are really controlling the slaves who do the typing is no shock to me. :)
    another Cristina recently posted: Zoya offer update!

    Reply
    1. Mary Post author

      Hey another Cristina!

      Hehe, I love your sense of humour! Now that you mention it, you’re right. A lot of polish bloggers tend to have cats somewhere along the lines. It’s only a matter of time before they take over everything. ;) No industry is safe!

      Glad that you found this post helpful and encouraging. :) I still feel pretty wet behind the ears when it comes to blogging, but I think it’s because things change constantly. Sometimes you have to respond to the change (like in social media), but other times, you are the person implementing the changes. There’s a lot to work with, which makes blogging never dull for me.

      Your blogging tips are great ones, and I know that others will find them very useful, especially if they’re just starting out. (It can be very overwhelming at first, but everyone gets into their own groove nicely.)

      Oh…I have to go now. Sir Cheshire Cat rang his silver bell. I must go now and attend to his needs.

      - Slave

      Reply
  13. Karyn Kirke

    I won’t lie, I’m curious about your assistant. I enjoyed the tone of this post, but don’t really understand how Mary is compensated. Guess I don’t believe about the pumpkin pie :)

    Reply
  14. Rashmi

    The way you have explained in detail with pictures is very informative. Very few people share such information personally with other readers ( as far as I feel). Also few bloggers reply to the comments which makes us readers feel dejected as we may have askes a doubt or requested a product review. Atleast you have the patience to reply to our queries thats most commendable job.

    Reply
    1. Mary S. Post author

      Hey Rashmi!

      Aww, your comment is so sweet and thoughtful – you’ve definitely made my day brighter! Thank you for encouraging me. Every blogger needs that kind of support to motivate them to continue, especially on those days that are more challenging than others. I really appreciate it!

      Reply
  15. Patricia Casablanca

    Very informative! I will be reading the rest of the parts (2-4) that you have. I hope to start blogging too one day, but not until I have to stop working. I want to be able to have the time I’ll need to build it up, & to learn all I can about blogging.

    Reply
    1. Mary S. Post author

      Hey Patricia!

      Thank you very much for taking the time to read this and my other posts! :) It’s very rewarding to hear that you’ve found it helpful. (I need to write more in this series soon!)

      Reply
  16. Rachel Beltz

    I love the humor that you added to this guide xD (I think I lost it at the Cheshire cat gazing longingly into the picture of the mice!). This gives me hope for my baby blog (:

    Reply
    1. Mary S. Post author

      Hey Rachel!

      You have no idea how much your comment made me smile! :D Thank you very much!

      Wishing you all the best with your blog! :) Keep working hard at it, nurture it, and it’ll grow slowly, but surely with love.

      Reply
  17. Sonya Parks

    I truly appreciate the time and effort that goes into a blog. I have started a few… nails, weight loss journey and just can’t seem to get the energy to keep them going… oh well, I just wasn’t meant to blog. Keep up the great work :)

    Reply
    1. Mary S. Post author

      Hey Sonya!

      Thank you for your encouragement and thoughtful words! :) It means a lot to me because it actually does help keep me motivated to continue.

      As for your blogs, who knows? Maybe you’ll continue them at a later time.

      Reply
    1. Mary S. Post author

      Hey MO!

      Aww, thanks for checking out my posts! Please feel free to stop by again soon and leave another thoughtful and encouraging comment! :)

      Reply
  18. Neff815

    A.B.C.= Another Bad Creation. Your a wiz at what you do. I’ve followed you now for almost two years. Your advice and artistry is simple and easy to follow. Keep up the great work.

    Reply
  19. Melissa

    I love your blog and I have learned so much from reading it. I also love the Cheshire Cat that you have. Where did you find it at?

    Reply
  20. Gezina

    I always have problems with the sticking to it part of blogs. I’ve probably started at least 7 at various points in my life but it kind of dies out. One day I might start a blog but the chances are slim. However it’s good advice in your article and especially the buyer’s remorse part which I suffer a lot hahaha

    Reply
  21. Leslie S

    Great post! I often find jealousy rearing it’s ugly head and remind myself- I only do a Facebook page, not a blog. Bloggers put in way more work and time in than I do or even WANT to.

    Reply

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