Thursday, 3 March 2016

Shelly Says So is 1 Year old!

Today, 3rd March 2016, is the day my little fashion, beauty and lifestyle blog Shelly Says So, turns one year old. I literally cannot believe it has been a year since I published my first ever blog post (see HERE). At the risk of sounding like an auld wan, where is the time going?!

My first blog post - 3rd March 2015

Recalling the time I started my blog to now - 67 blog posts later - in hindsight there are a few things I know now that I wish I'd known back then - basically what I have learned about blogging.

Blogging is hard!
There are many misconceptions about blogging. I probably had a few of these before I started myself. One of these was the notion that it was "easy" - it is definitely not easy! Even for me - who just does it as a hobby - it is time consuming. I sometimes find it difficult to find time to write blog posts with uni work and general life stuff getting in the way. Makeup posts are somewhat easier to write about, but for posts relating to lifestyle issues like mental health awareness in May (see HERE) or my skinny shaming post a few weeks back (see HERE), a simple descriptive post just won't do and so the research that goes into it is immense.

Don't go blogging for the free stuff!
If you go into blogging purely because of the expectation you'll receive free stuff, then you shouldn't bother at all. In the year that I have been blogging, even though my average views per post are quite reasonable and I have a decent social media following, I have not received one free thing. This is a personal thing mostly: I don't feel like a blogger is really able to give a 100% honest review if they have been paid to do so. I don't necessarily like doing harsh reviews, but sometimes I feel like it's necessary and it's uncomfortable when bloggers rave about a product when it's so obviously shit. I have recently started to promote a company, but I bought an item from them to promote, I didn't actually receive the item for free.

R: Easter Sunday Outfit and Makeup of the Night - HERE

The blogger network is so super supportive!
I have been overwhelmed with how supportive fellow bloggers are worldwide. When you first start blogging, it sometimes can be scary putting your writing out there to essentially be judged, but the support is amazing both from male and female bloggers. A lot of the time the support is conveyed via social media but that doesn't make it any less value. Sometimes it's something like a simple comment of encouragement on your actual blog or a reply to your Facebook saying "thanks for the review, I'll have to try it out" that mean so much. Those are the things that encourages you to continue blogging.

Be prepared for the backlash!
The Internet is an amazing creation, there is no doubt about that. But when you're putting your writing out in a public arena, it's going to be judged. Sometimes that means that it won't be judged in the erm, nicest of ways. I can take constructive criticism, but I won't be OK with someone being abusive to me. In my home country Ireland, abortion is illegal even under medical circumstances which is something I thoroughly disagree with. I don't necessarily agree with abortion, but what I do disagree with is Irish women not been given a right to what happens to their own bodies and the fact that they have to travel to the UK, incurring more expenses and risks, in order to receive an abortion. I saw an interesting post by a fellow blogger on the subject and shared it to my Facebook blog page. Within hours, I had got an extremely abusive message to the page from a middle aged 'lady' who obviously took great delight in saying that I was basically promoting murder and I really shouldn't comment on Irish matters because I'm now living in the UK. It was one of those moments I questioned my future in blogging, but thanks to my friends and the wider blogging community, I realised that I wouldn't - and shouldn't - let someone's ignorant opinion stop me from doing something I really enjoy, and I'm still here, so I didn't.

Write about what YOU want to write about, always.
 One of the most important things you'll realise as a blogger is it's really important to write about things you want to write about it. For one, you'll find it easier to write about something if you really are passionate about it. This sounds so cheesy, but it's really important to be true to yourself - if you're writing about topics just to be scouted by some company to get some items for free, that's really not being you. Even though what I blog about may not get me a lot of views or the nicest of comments, it's far better that I publish what I want rather than something that's so obviously not me, but to be fair, that goes with pretty much everything I do in my life. I wear what I want to wear, I say what I want to say (not always possible). You are individual, so while it's nice to take inspiration from 'famous' bloggers and even 'regular' bloggers, you are not their copy. Your style and approach may be completely different, so just do your own thing!

Above: Clashing Prints Outfit of the Day - HERE

Some of my more popular blog posts:

  • My Skincare Routine - HERE
  • Blue Smoky Eye and Nude Lips Makeup Tutorial - HERE
  • 10 Products Under €10 - HERE
  • Review of 5 Penneys (Primark) makeup items - HERE
  • 20 Random Facts about Me - HERE
  • Spring Time Girly outfit - HERE
  • 5 Wardrobe Staples every Girl should Have - HERE
  • My Dip Dye and Hair Care Routine - HERE
  • Spring Time Outfit of the Day - Florals and Leather HERE
  • Caring For Dry Skin - HERE

I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has ever read my blog - it really does mean so much to me! Hope you all stick around for the years to come.

I also want to mention that due to undertaking a five-week placement for my course starting Monday, so therefore (because my degree comes first), I will be taking a break from blogging for that time. But don't worry - I have some really great blog posts lined up for you which I hope you'll check out in April when I'll be talking to you next.

Thank you for reading xxx

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