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.