Tips The Secrets of Blogging Tag

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I saw this tag on Kate Spitz's blog and I though it was interesting, so here we go:

1. When did you start blogging and why?
I started almost four years ago on 21.9.2010, which is my name day if you know what that is (it's a sort of a holiday for all people sharing the same name or a variation of it. In my case it's Saint Matthew's day, or Matej in Slovene. Mateja is obviously the female version). It's the second most important day to me after my birthday and I usually even bake a cake, hahaha. I've been a beauty enthusiast for years and posted a lot of swatches on different forums and websites, so I decided to gather it all together in one place and the blog was born. There is also another, much darker reason, of which I'm not prepared to speak of yet, but it was the tipping point which nudged me to finally create a blog after months of toying with the idea. It was probably one of the best decisions I made so far.

2. How many people in "real life" know about your blog?
Not a lot. I keep it private to avoid strange looks and judgemental comments for doing something I imagine a lot of people consider shallow and trivial, even though it's clear it gives me immense pleasure. My family knows, as do a limited number of my friends, but since I hit that million views my mom has been spreading the word about my blog like there is not tomorrow - I'm not sure I like that as I prefer it when someone more or less stumbles upon my blog because they are genuinely interested in cosmetics and beauty.

3. What are your favourite posts to read?
There are so many, but obviously beauty related posts. Anything about hair gets me excited, favourites, budget choices, lip product swatches and new ins. But honestly, I read so many things and I save my favourite posts either on Pinterest or Bloglovin'.

4. List a blog you have discovered recently.
Feel Bella. I think she started following me first through Bloglovin' and that's how I found her (yes, I always check out the blogs of my followers, but it does bother me if you "pressure me" into checking it out, I prefer to find them myself). I just really like her content, she basically has a blog that is just up my alley and she deserves a lot more attention. I immediately put her on my favourite blogs list when I found her that's how impressed I was.

Another recent discovery that I love is Minnebelle who has fantastic photos and reviews. She immediately became a source of inspiration to me.
5. Which posts are you most proud of?
A lot of them - well, those from about a year and a half ago on. I put a lot of work into a post - taking millions of pictures, selecting the best ones, editing them, then of course writing reviews and rereading the text at least five times to avoid spelling errors, etc. Actually, I love going through old posts, I'm truly happy with how it looks, but my favourites would be My Tips for Dealing with Dry Hair and How to Curl Stubborn and Difficult-to-Curl Lashes

6. What advice would you give to future bloggers?
Do not concern yourself with numbers, don't look at the statistic all the time or if anyone commented every five seconds. Write about what you like and when you want. Don't expect many press samples. I get so many e-mails asking me how to get press samples and if that's why you're starting out blogging, you're doing it for the wrong reasons. Honestly I refuse 80% of offered products and mostly accept only ones from Slovene companies because I want to help them. 
Ok, I'll give you some real tips now: 
- Do nice pictures. I don't mean you need an expensive camera and a set up, I take pictures with my phone (Galaxy S2) in a very amateur set up and they are fine. Do edit them by adjusting levels, brightness, vibrancy and colours if needed, lighter pictures look so much better. 
- Please post big pictures. It's so difficult to see the products from small pictures on my huge screen. It is 2014 after all. 
- Widen your blog layout and add buttons or widgets where to follow you on an easily visible place. I suggest you add your blog on Bloglovin', it's the easiest way to follow someone.
- You don't need to purchase a template. Everything about how to edit it or create your own is online, you just have to google stuff. I suggest you have a nice, clean and simple design rather than something ornate.
- Another very important thing - use spell check. Seriously. I can't tell you how many times I've seen the most basic spelling errors (the past tense of pay is paid, not payed. Ok people?). Chrome has a built-in spell check, just go to Settings (expanded version) - Languages - Language settings and set it to whichever language you write in. Also consider googling phrases that you're not certain about and those who want a more advanced level of language in their posts should try using a thesaurus as well as a collocations dictionary. Forgive me for being a grammar nazi, I'm very aware that I'm not perfect myself, but I read through my posts at least five times before posting to avoid errors.
 - Please try to avoid doing a one-picture-plus-a-bit-of-text reviews of products (at least when makeup is concerned). The beauty community got so lazy lately and there is a slew of such blogs, but I'm someone who wants to know details about a product, see swatches and see how a product actually looks on a human (I think lipstick swatches on paper are just the worst). 
- This is just a suggestion, but I write my posts in OneNote, where I write my impressions and notes about products, see how the pictures look before uploading them on the blog, then from that draft do a full review or a post. I almost never write a post that I intend to post right away, rather I read what I wrote again the next day or later, so it's easier to spot mistakes or I might add/remove something.
- And one last thing - be patient. You won't be a successful blogger overnight. Hell, I've been blogging for four years and I don't consider myself successful - I don't mind that at all.

If you like this tag, I encourage you do to it, but specifically I tag:

Have a great day!
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