Thursday, July 28, 2011

Blogging Revelations

I've been thinking a lot lately about the things I've learned throughout my blogging experience. I figured I'd share because I think some things are interesting. Be mindful this is my personal experience, this doesn't necessarily apply to everyone.

These are in no particular order. This isn't a rant or anything, just a very long ramble.

1. My beginning swatches were horrific. I had terrible cuticles, messy paint jobs, and blurry photos. That being said, you have to start somewhere. My swatches are still not perfect, but having a platform to practice swatching through this blog has definitely improved the way I do my nails.

2. I did not need every nail polish known to man. I think this behavior starts when you first start blogging. You have this impulsive rush, where you want anything and everything. You definitely do not need anything and everything to have a nail polish blog.

3. Giveaways can be a pain in the butt. I enjoy having giveaways, but they are extremely time consuming. You have to sort through and check entries, which can take hours. Plus, the longer you have a giveaway running the harder it gets. The more optional entries you have, the more work you have to do. I've definitely learned to shorten my giveaways because of that!

4. My initial concept of my blog never came to fruition, and that's completely fine. I think being a newbie blogger, you want to have some sort of hook that makes you different. I think I tried too hard. In the beginning I had little ideas for featured posts that really didn't work out. This made my blog more work than play. So, I gave up, and just posted what I wanted to.

5.  I have definitely changed my mind. Blogging has opened me up to a world of colors I would never touch. Can you believe I barely had any purples, blues, and greens? I was convinced all these colors looked terrible on me, but they don't. Now, these are some of my favorite colors.

6. Purging polish is good. This goes along with #2. When I first started blogging, I bought so much nail polish. It just starts to accumulate, and there is no possible way you're going to be able to swatch it all, wear it, and enjoy it. Plus, you end up with dupes, and colors you're asking yourself  "Why the hell did I buy this"? This was a good time for me to purge 300+ bottles. It feels good! Less is really more. Plus, you can truly enjoy your stash now since it's not so overwhelming.

7. My buying habits have changed. Once you've accumulated so much nail polish, it gets to the point where "you've been there, done that". Some stuff starts to all look the same, and when new collections come out there are colors you are 100% sure you have a dupe of in your stash. I've definitely become more selective. I find myself wanting way less, and I almost feel guilty because of it (i.e. China Glaze Metro). I have to think "how many of these polishes would I really wear outside swatching"?

8. My attitudes have changed. I have to admit when I first started blogging was very anti-high end nail polish. Now, I'm more middle of the road. I think the massive purge helped me to see a difference perspective. Sometimes it's nice to have one thing that is extra special than 10 things that are ordinary. I'll never be a regular high-end buyer, but I'll be willing to spend the money on one special polish I really love vs. 5 or 6 that I just kind of like. That being said, there are some high end polishes out there that are just flat out ugly. Chanel Quartz...gag!

9. Helmers are my best friend. I love my Helmers.

10. I prefer my nails short. In my earlier posts I never realized how long my nails were! They were very long. I think long nails look great on some people,but not so much me. You want to know why? They are definitely hard to maintain and shape. I'm too lazy to shape my nails :-/. I like my nubbins now, they're easier to maintain and take less work to shape!

11. Swatching takes forever. I do not think many people appreciate this who are not bloggers. Whenever I get new stuff, I put it in this blue basket in the area I do my nails. This accumulates over time, and I set aside a swatch-a-thon day. Swatching is ever so time consuming. I think that's why so many of us are so protective of our pictures. It takes a long time to swatch. It's not just painting the nails that is time consuming, so is the photography. I don't have the best camera so I take 10-20 pictures of one swatch just to make sure I get a decent picutre!

12. Commenters > followers. I think we all start out blogging with the hope we'll have lots of followers and be super popular. It is nice to have a large number of followers, but I'm not foolish to believe I have X number of people reading my blog every day. I'm also aware that probably without the giveaways that instead of the 1488 follows I have now I'd probably only have a few hundred at most. I appreciate the handful of people I have commenting on my blog much more. This is more rewarding and valuable to me than a number. *Edit* I think I may of said this wrong. I'm not saying I only appreciate people who comment on my blog. I was just trying to differentiate that having a smaller number of people reading/commenting and involved in my blog is more meaningful than having a high number of followers. I'm sorry if this came off badly, that wasn't my intention. I appreciate all of you who read this blog!

13. Sometimes people blog for the wrong reasons, and it can test your patience and your mouth. I've always been opinionated, and luckily for the most part I've been able to stifle my opinions. As a blogger, you have to be careful with what you say and how you say it. You don't want to stifle yourself entirely, but you don't want to alienate others and make them feel bad. Sure, there are bloggers out there who are in it for personal gain or other selfish reasons. I have no respect for those bloggers. It is so frustrating, and I've made some comments, that maybe I should not have. Do I think my comments are always wrong? Not at all, but do they always need to be said? Probably not. The Dalai Lama has said "Sometimes one creates a dynamic impression by saying something, and sometimes one creates as significant an impression by remaining silent." It's difficult, but you have to learn to brush it off. This is something I'm working on currently!

14. There will always be drama. I don't think anything in life is ever drama free. The blogging world has its share of drama. It can make a fun experience stressful and negative. There are many mob-mentality situations I see, that truly disgust me. In the end it's all beauty and nail polish. There are far more important things in the world to worry about. I have to step back, and remind myself of this sometimes.

15. Let it go and be yourself. I've enjoyed blogging the most when I honestly just stop caring. I post what I want and when I want. I say what I feel like saying, and somehow this all works. I don't try to be someone I'm not or the best there is out there. Blogging should be fun.

I think that's it for now. That's way more than I initially thought I'd have. Again, these are just personal to me. This is in no way a guide of how to blog or anything.  Sorry if this is so long. I'd love hear what some other bloggers revelations in the comments.

Happy Thursday!

85 comments:

  1. This is a really good post! Thanks for sharing your thoughts about this.  I am new to nail blogging and I found myself totally agreeing with some of the stuff you said that happens at the beginning.  It really puts things in perspective.  Thank you again

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  2. I am living and believing #15! I have one particular post that I'm sure has turned off alot of people and i thought about deleteing it-but I refuse to-its how I felt at the time I posted it and the post stands-I like your blog-and would hope that everyone blogged just because they enjoyed it-but I am a newbie and maybe havent run across some of the stuff you are talking about yet

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  3. I love your perspective. I haven't blogged for long, but I share many of your views. Thanks so much for your blog and you!

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  4. Very well thought out and written.  Bravo!

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  5. Very insightful! 

    On the topic of giveaways...I'm a relatively newbie with no plans to do "Enter this giveaway if you're a follwer giveaways" because I cherish my few followers knowing that they are also there strictly for love of the polish.  Other girls LOVE doing giveaways since it gives them the ability to reach so many more lacquerheads.

    I think the moral of the story should always be that bloggers must stay true to their goals, and never let the pressures of pleasing the masses get in the way of the priorites of "real life."

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  6. Wow! Really great post!! You are hitting so many points that run through my mind all the time!!

    The whole "I need every polish" part really hits home!

    So many wonderful points!!!

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  7. These are great things to say especially for new (or even experienced) bloggers out there. I completely get where you're coming from as a blogger myself. Excellent points!

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  8. I am pretty green to blogging, but I have to agree with many of your points.  Well written, it's nice to see your perspectives!

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  9. This is all very well said. I completely agree on the blogging experience at first. I know my blog started off with bad pictures and I was still trying to find which positions and what lighting worked for me. When it comes to drama, there really isn't much we can do, there will always be drama like you said, and I just choose to stay out of it as much as I can. I blog because I love it and I refuse to take it too seriously. I'm so glad you made this post, I pretty much agree with all of it. 

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  10. I have to agree 110% with everything you've said.   One big point I think people forget is that the blogs should be an outlet for creativity and for fun...  not to be a place to set yourself up for fame, monetary gain, or to somehow get ahead.  I think you said everything perfectly...couldn't have said it better myself

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  11. Agree 100%. I have nothing more to add to it. ♥

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  12. Well done, Steph!  Well stated and articulated.

    I found myself nodding along as I was reading - I totally relate to the needing every polish under the sun syndrome (hello Tronica....why oh why did I buy that whole collection)

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  13. Very insightful post and well written too.  I do see how I am learning from this experience of blogging, but I haven't been in it and seen the mob mentality too much.

    I feel that the blog you write is yours, and so no one else will be able to do what you can do, regardless if it is good, bad or indifferent.  This is why I blog, because I know my blog is not as good or popular as others, and if it is or not I don't care much.  The blog is for me to express myself and connect with friends. No one else could write MY BLOG.

     Drama not allowed.  That is why I moderate comments. 

    BTW please come enter my glitter giveaway!

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  14. Wildflower BeautyJuly 28, 2011 at 11:46 AM

    I couldn't agree more!

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  15. Hey Steph!
    Thanks for been honest, and true!
    I love your swatches, and the perfect pictures!
    Sorry that I end up not commenting but I from Brasil and english is not my first language...
    Is kind hard to express myself in another language....but I´m here:)
    I follow you by google reader, and always read your posts.

    xoxo

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  16. A great post!
    Take the opportunity to say "Hi!" to. I've read your blog forever but rarely write any comments. I guess I find it to timeconsuming to write in English and puts the time on commenting on Swedish blogs instead.
    I love your blog though, keep up!

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  17. LOVE this!  Everything is so true.  I laughed at #2 - I was so like that in the beginning, and I have a lot of things now that I just really don't need because I bought up everything I could in the beginning.  Now I rarely buy polish, because I have so many sitting around untried... I just buy what I really like!  And 15 is so true - I went through a slump in posting a couple of months ago, because I was getting frustrating with the blog and felt like I wasn't doing it for me anymore.  Now I do it for myself and I am enjoying it so much more lately!

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  18. This is such a great read. It really shows how much you can learn from blogging. I'm glad to see it has been such a positive experience for you!

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  19. This is really good advice for us newbies and I have already come to some of the conclusions here myself . 

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  20. Wow, so insightful. I am a fairly new blogger and reading this helped me alot. I too do not have the best cuticles right after painting, but I think I am getting better. I also thought about doing a giveaway to get more followers, but may put off on it since it seems so be more work than it is worth.

    Thanks a ton for this post!

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  21. Thanks for the post! I'm a new blogger and have just realized how much time it takes to swatch (not that I've done it a lot though). I think I have the #2 feeling right now. I want to get every polish! :)

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  22. This is a great post! I start my own nail blog a few months ago and am definitely experiencing some of these things right now. Glad to know that it's normal! =)

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  23. Oh my gosh, this is such a great post. Very, very insightful and well written. I am sure I missed your comment, but you strike me, always, as someone who holds herself very well. We all have opinions, we're human - but sometimes it's best if we step back and think about how we want to phrase things. I know from personal experience exactly how that is and I had to learn a huge lesson about it. I have to say that the philosophy I've adopted now in blogging is remarkably like yours and I'm so much more comfortable and happy with myself - and I'm having fun again! Thank you Stephanie.

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  24. This post was very nice to read, and I feel the same way about the most of these points. 
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts :)

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  25. Well written post, the only thing I do not believe in is getting better at swatching but posting the results anyway.. First get better, then start posting :). There are plenty of tips and tricks out there for clean up!

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  26. On commenting....I subscribe/RSS feed your blog so I do see everything (and I do read most posts!), but I don't comment much because I just don't have much to say! I mean, I don't think anyone else really cares whether I like a collection/polish or not (and I'm with you on the fall collections, most are meh, good for my wallet), so I just don't comment. But I do really appreciate your swatches because yes, they DO help me make decisions about what polishes I want to keep an eye out for. So thanks, and I'll keep on reading!

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  27. Haha, I know I totally understand that. I think I worded that part wrong. I appreciate all who read or are involved in my blog in some fashion. I was just trying to say that appreciate those people more than the follower number itself, since I know that group of people is less. Thank you for your kind comments! :)

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  28. I can understand everyone has their preference, that is why it's very easy to simply not follow a blog you don't like. I think we have to recognize that many people get into blogging like myself as a getaway and for fun. Sometimes there is a great personality or person behind those not-so-great swatches,and that's what attracts me to their blog. I know without this blog and my less than stellar swatches my life would be missing something special, so I'm glad I'm thankful for my mistakes because they only have made me better.

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  29. Thank you for listening!

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  30. Thank you so much. Honestly, I think you and I are very similar personality wise. I can sense that. We should talk more! :) That's the thing were are human, and I've had opinions, but I always try to back it up with honesty. I don't like something because it makes me feel ____.  It's easy to spew meanness and hate, but it takes a lot more to be honest. I'm not perfect, but I'm quick to take responsibility for my errors. I'm glad you've found happiness in the blogging now. :) I love your blog!

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  31. The dreaded #2, I've been there. It's always exciting to get into something new, and you want ot make sure you're on top of it. Just make sure really ask yourself is this something you really like and will use vs do I just want this for my blog?

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  32. I greatly appreciate this post and for one want to thank you for your honesty. I have a growing blog and I like learning from "veteran" blogger who have gone through the beginning stage. Thank you so much Steph (:

    I enjoy you blog so much!

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  33. Keep practicing! Like, I said you have to start somewhere, and the more blog you'll notice your improvement. It's a real treat to see how far you've come. Giveaways are great, I don't want to detract anyone from doing a giveaway, but it is time consuming. I think if you keep the simple and short-lived it's a lot easier.

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  34. Thanks! I figured many of us could relate on some of these points.

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  35. Thank you!

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  36. I'm glad so many people can relate to #2. It's crazy the stuff I used to buy! I'm glad you've been writing you for you now!

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  37. No worries! I'm glad you're a reader. I appreciate all my readers and commenters! :)

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  38. Thank you for a being a reader! I appreciate all my readers as well! I think my comment about commenters came off a bit wrong. I love all the people involved this blog in some way.

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  39. Exactly, I that's what speaks volumes though, is that is YOUR BLOG, but people love it in read it. There is something rewarding in the fact that people appreciate you for just being yourself. It's a great feeling, that I'm very grateful you and other readers for giving me.

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  40. Thank you! I think we're all guilty of that. I've purchased some of my most hated stuff based on the fact I was nail blogger, and felt I needed everything. Too much effort..I'm over it. :P

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  41. Thank you, Kitty! I love your screen name, my cat's unofficial name is "Kitty", it's the only thing she'll answer to.

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  42. Exactly! Thank you for your added thoughts. I totally agree.

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  43. I love your blog! I think your pictures are great! I think it's good to have a starting point though, if you did everything perfect from the start there isn't room for growth. Blogging may just be for fun, but is another outlet and opportunity to grow and learn as a person. Yeah, drama is everywhere, it's difficult when it seeps into the things you love, but you have to learn to separate yourself from it.

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  44. Thank you, Frankie!

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  45. Thank you!

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  46. I'm glad you could relate. These have been things milling in my head for awhile, it's nice to see we share similar thoughts and experiences.

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  47. Exactly. I think it's difficult sometimes being a new blogger because you want to fit in, you want to have a nice following, but like you said you have to stay true to your goals.

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  48. Thank you!

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  49. Exactly. There is no reason to spend time doing something you  feel obligated to do because you want to get to a certain level or be a certain way. Just enjoy it for what it is, and other people will love it too.

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  50. Thank you for reading! :)

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  51. That's another great point. I try to follow as many blogs as possible, but I don't have the time to comment all the time. I've had to scale down on blogs that don't update often or don't have content I can relate to for that reason.

    I totally understand, there are aspects of this that are frustrating, and you feel like you'll explode if you don't say something. I don't think my comment was bad or wrong. I think my comment was completely valid, but I let something bother me that shouldn't have.  I tried to be honest about it why that action bothered me as a blogger. It probably would of been better off if I didn't let it get to me, but I'm human it happens. :)

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  52. I'm glad you are! #15 is important!

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  53. You're welcome! Thank you for you reading!

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  54. It's nice to hear that my (older) friends like my new blog, because I want my newfound enthusiasm to show through! I know we'll email later, but I went through something before and I had to step back and say, what is really the best way for me to handle this situation? I could easily have handled it in a more volatile manner, but I'm relieved that at the time I handled it in a more professional manner and apologized to my readers for having to experience something like that on my blog. I totally agree with you in that we are similar in personality! I love the way you handle yourself. 

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  55. I actually appreciate seeing the progression of a blogger's skills getting better and better instead of just seeing quality photos from the get-go. I like to believe that people improve over time if they put in the effort, and seeing visual 'proof' just makes me really happy. :)
    - Mary

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  56. Here Here! Very well written post.

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  57. Agnieszka BoguckaJuly 28, 2011 at 6:22 PM

    Enough said, lass! Great job, it's really important message especially for absolute beggginers like me :> Keep on rocking, Steph! \m/

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  58. I agree Mary! It's nice to see. 

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  59. I really loved reading this, and can relate to quite a few of them. I think a lot of it is just the normal cycle of blog-life that we all go through (I especially found the over-buying this funny, because I was SO guilty of this when I first started blogging!). Thanks for this post!

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  60. Stephanie!!!!  I love your post!  I am one of those new bloggers!  2 1/2 month now I think, my first post was on Mothers Day.  And I have learned more from bloggers like you than anyone else.  8-10 months ago when I started polishing my nails again regularly and then started taking pics to post on Zoya's facebook and other places...OMG those mani's are horrible, my pics were horrible and even in this short time...both of those things have improved and I know will continue to improve.  More than anything, I'm learning to blog for the right reasons.  I started for the right reasons, got a little sidetracked and now I think I'm back on track.  If us new bloggers didn't have mentors and others like you, how else would we learn?  

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  61. Wow! I am amazed at such useful information about nail polish bloggers  and didn't know that swatches were that difficult, I mean I know they are hard, but not as difficult as I thought. You have such great insight and knwledge, I just became a new follower of your web blog, Thank you.

    Love,

    George :)

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  62. Hi Steph, I loved reading your thoughts! I agree blogging is such an evolutionary process - everything changes, from the quality of pictures, to the blog's vision, to your thoughts and even color preferences :)

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  63. Steph, I love this post! So well-written, informative, and timely. As a relatively new blogger, posts like this are so helpful. I've come to a few of these conclusions myself. I started my blog because doing my nails was a getaway when I needed a break from working and I didn't see many African American bloggers. I wanted to see polishes on a skin tone similar to mine and I figured it could be helpful to others. Its so easy to get caught up in details like followers, getting all of the latest collections, and trying to do what others are doing. I've learned that I do not like swatching just for the sake of it. I buy colors that I actually want to wear so if that means new collections are broken apart, then so be it. I can make this blog function however I'd like it and that makes me happy while keeping this fun. I never want this to feel like its a job. Many thanks to you for being so awesome at what you're doing while also staying true to yourself and letting your personality shine through. Ok..my short story is done...lol.

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  64. Very good post!and I find myself understanding u very well as I feel about these as I am a new blogger in how u use to feel when u started!this has help me understand what really is important and how not everyone was perfect when they first started!

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  65. Totally agree with you. I think I have to learn from you. I don't need all the polishes. I'm going to try to be more like you.

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  66. Thanks for this great and informative post, Steph!  I learned a lot from you:) I started out to have bad pictures and swatches too:) Everyone started to changed their blogging style bit bit over time but I believe that their passion won't change if they love blogging!

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  67. Micki(lacquer nirvana)July 28, 2011 at 10:59 PM

    Hi, thx for posting this. It is helpful to me cause i just started my own polish blog. I am doing it cause I love polish. You are so right the swatches are hard work and so are the pix. Mine have already gotten better.I dont know how some blogger can post 3 times a day or even everyday because it becomes another full time job and then its not fun.  I do have 1 question what is a helmer?

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  68. I like this post. :D A friend (from across the country) and I are about to start a polish blog, and stuff like this is handy to see.

    I did want to say though that I do read your blog at least a couple times a week and catch up, I'm just horrible about commenting on blogs. XD Sorry! But do know that you have a lot of silent readers who appreciate your blog and the time you put into it too!

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  69. PolishSis (Inge)July 29, 2011 at 2:47 AM

    Loved this post, I share most of your opinions especially the ones about not buying as much polish as I did before ( just looking at that topdrawer with unswatched polishes makes me a little scared to buy more ), and the one about: It's just nailpolish and beauty. Save the drama for something that really matters.
    Great read, should be required reading for all bloggers

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  70. Yep! I'm no longer only your follower. Now I'm YOUR FAN!!!
    If I ever come to Florida one day (dunno when that will happen, maybe next year? Maybe in 10 years?), I'd so much love to grab a cup of coffee with you and just sit down and chat...

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  71. Excellent post! As a newer blogger I definitely have to agree with a lot of the points your brought up. :-)

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  72. It seems that people are trying to figure out which post I'm talking about- it's titled "Revenge Lindsay Lohan Style" 

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  73. Great post.  Thanks for sharing! 

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  74. Great post. ^^ Especially #15 is so true!

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  75. i really loved this post so true!
    & not repedetive, alot of thoughtout well presented  info
    probably one of the best posts ive read all the way through(:
    thanks for taking the time to share this

    <3 BB 

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  76. so true :-D
    i feel like home among other addicts, that's the part i love the best...
    only you can understand my infatuation with some new color or nail design ;-D

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  77. I really recognize myself  in n2 :)

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  78. I just started a blog of my own and this post really helped. Thanks!

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