Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Talk it Out Tuesday: Gaining Readership

*Let me preface this by saying, I am not anti-giveaway. I have had my share of giveaways, and I enjoy having them. In fact, I will be having a giveaway soon. My goal is not to eradicate giveaways with these posts, but rather look at other options to gain readership. 

The thing that trips me up lately is how many posts I'm seeing on Facebook and Twitter from new bloggers that say something like the following "Once I hit 100 followers (or whatever number) I will have a giveaway!". I even had people post things like that on my Facebook page, when I asked for people to share their blog links. It seems to be the new trend that some new bloggers are offering giveaway incentives so people will follow their blog.

I think what these newbie bloggers are missing is the real joy and rewarding experience blogging is when you gain your readers without the incentives and the promise of prizes. Blogs seems to be so giveaway driven lately, that perhaps some people do not know any other methods to gain readership. Instant gratification from a ton of likes or blog followers may feel good at first, but in the long run you may be lacking the substance from your readers and the blogging experience you may of originally planned on.

Here are some of the things I have recognized to be helpful in gaining readers outside of giveaways. None of these are quick fixes or will you get a large number of people fast, but if you're into the blogging thing for the long haul these will be beneficial and rewarding to you as your grow as a blogger.



1. Consistency- When you want to start a blog, figure out how it will fit into your life. Blogging will have to be put on your "to-do" list if you want to attract people towards you blog. People like to follow blogs that are consistent in their posting. This does not mean you have to post every single day, but a few times a week would be best. This may mean you have to cut out time in your life to blog or schedule posts in advance. The main thing is to find a schedule that works for you, and to stick to it. Long hiatuses or infrequent posts are one of the main reasons I do not follow blogs or unfollow them.

2. Personality- There is more to a nail polish blog than showing a picture of your nails and telling us what color it is. You have to spice it up, and it doesn't have to be anything big. All you have to do is to put yourself in your posts. If you're silly, be silly! If you're geeky, be geeky! If you have some little story to share about a polish, share your story. If you hate something, tell us how much you hate it! I let go of any hesitation in my posts, and just be my normal geeky self. This has been the biggest benefit to blogging for me because people get to know me, and I've found out people like me even if I'm weird and silly. They'll want to read your blog because you're so approachable, and they can relate to you. Keep it real though! Don't fake it, let go and be yourself!

3. Identity- Honestly, I hate the word "follower", it makes a blogger sound as if they're some celebrity or cult leader haha. I prefer readers. I never have assumed I am better than the people who read my blog. I'm an equal to them. I shop in the same stores, and hunt for the same nail polishes they do. I think people may see bloggers as a person of authority, but I do not see myself that way. I see myself as a friend sharing information with my other friends. Modesty and humility go a long way, even if your blog reaches 4,000 readers. Remember who you are and your role.

4. Engagement- No, I do not mean marry your readers. I mean engage with them! Your readers want to be appreciated and heard. Whether it be on Facebook, Twitter, or your blog ask your readers questions on occasion. You can ask them specific questions about products they like or just ask them what they had for lunch. It doesn't matter, but involve them in your world. You can also try to incorporate them in your blog. I do it with "Share With You Sunday", where people can share their links or pictures of their manicures. I genuinely like to know the thoughts of my readers, and enjoy seeing their creations. It's a win-win!

5. Originality- We all can review nail polish colors, but sometimes we need to separate ourselves from the pack. I do not do nail art. I do not have some awesome nail polish talent, so I rely on my personality to keep me relevant. I also came up with weekly or bi-weekly posts that vary up my routine. I have "Talk it Out Tuesday", "Bottle Spam Saturday". and "Share With You Sunday". These posts are different from my typical posts. This offers something different for my readers, and provides me with more opportunities to engage with them. You can have your own weekly themed posts or your blog can be focused on your talents (i.e. nail art, stamping, or etc). I see other bloggers do some of those 30 day or 10 day challenges or do weekly series. There are tons of options!

6. Integrity- Be up front with your readers. Disclose everything you need to disclose  (i.e. endorsements, paid ads, and product reviews). I know it can be difficult to review something honestly when it is provided to you. I had this experience with Butter London. I put off reviewing their top coat and base coat forever since it was sent to me for free. I had terrible luck with it, and I felt badly that I did not have anything positive to say about it, but I posted my honest review anyways. I have not heard from Butter London again, and I do not expect to, but being honest with my readers trumps free products in my book. You owe your readers honesty. They will respect you for that.

7. No Pressure- I still struggle with this sometimes! Your blog is your blog. It does not have to be like other blogs, and it can be however you want it to be. If you want to blog purely as a hobby and for fun, then do it! There are no requirements to be a PR maven or have a super professional blog. If your goal is for your blog to be professional and have involvement in the cosmetics industry then that is great too. I get intimidated a lot by bloggers who really are into the industry and their blog has given them a career path or some leg into the field.. I feel like "Should I be doing that?". No! I never wanted my blog to be anything other than my space to share my love of nail polish and make friends along the way. My blog is my little sanctuary where I feel comfortable letting loose and being myself. That's what my blog is, and your blog should be exactly what you want it to be, not what you feel it should be or how other people do their blogs. When you're doing what you love the way you want to do it, it is magnetizing. People will feed off your passion and want to support you whatever your goal may be.

*UPDATE* 8. Social Media- Utilize social media to your advantage. I recommend getting a Facebook page and a Twitter account for your blog. Be sure follow other bloggers on Twitter and Facebook, and chat with them. I do not mean spam your links with them, but take time to connect with them and get to know them. Other bloggers can help support you and your blog! Social media is also a great way to connect with your readers too. It is much more personal than a blog setting.

All of these things take time, trial and error, and patience, but they honestly will lead you in the right direction to having not only a successful blog, but a rewarding one. It will help you gain some amazing readers and commenters who will stand by you for YOU..not for what you can giveaway!  I actually got a little emotional writing this because of how much blogging has positively impacted my life. Blogging has been a life changing experience for me. When you blog from the heart being 100% yourself you will truly reap the rewards.

If anyone has anything else to add to this please let me know in the comments. Also, share your thoughts on this post too! I'd love to hear what you're thinking. 

Happy Tuesday!



76 comments:

  1. I agree that those are all good tips for gaining readers, the real question is what do you do so that people come across your blog in the first place!  It seems like a lot of the giveaway business is done to get people to share their blog link...

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  2. This is so well written! I agree 100%. I keep seeing 100, 200, 300 follower giveaways and I wonder how "healthy" that is for their blog in the long run.

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  3. I agree with you there Steph! I just started my first giveaway last week because I'm really proud that I had 50 GFC followers and I was getting over 100 pageviews a day, suddenly I've gained almost 100 new followers in less than a week and I know it's because of the giveaway. There are a lot of people out there for the freebies, and they will probably never actually participate other than the giveaway. It's sad, blogging should be about your creative outlet, or your own little corner of the internet, not constantly having multiple giveaways. That's just my two cents lol

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  4. I really enjoy your "Talk It Out" posts, it seems every time it is something that I've thought about before. This subject in particular. I've been reading nail blogs for almost two years now and it wasn't until late last year I finally bit the bullet and started blogging myself. Honestly, it is a lot harder than I ever expected! Specifically, finding a time to post regularly.

    There are several internet pet peeves I have of my own so I swore I would avoid them like the plague and I am proud to say that I have. My point being, I've avoided comment spamming or soliciting myself to other bloggers with significant readership to garner exposure and it has made every "follower"/reader I've gained that much more special to me. The number of GFC followers doesn't matter, it's who comments and builds relationships that matter. I think the number one thing I've learned from this experience, is that engagement is the most important thing to me. Just talking to other bloggers makes blogging more fun, and that's why I gave it a go in the first place - so I would have others to talk to about something we both care about. Since, you know, people in the "real world" think this polish obsession is a little weird! lol

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  5. I love this post!  Very well written, and you have touched on some extremely important points.  I really agree that the blogger should be honest and be who they really are when blogging.

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  6. Yes I love it! Bloggers spend too much time getting the temporary high of traffic from giveaways instead of consistent traffic from publishing good material!  Good write up!

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  7. I really enjoyed reading this post.
    I am very ironic and a bit silly IRL. I think this is evident if you read my posts in Italian, my mother tongue, and I am very sorry that, sometimes, I can't transfer all my thoughts in the English version: my English is decent, but not excellent, so it's very difficult, to me, to translate everything. Expecially because I use a lot of idiomatic expressions or crazy sentences. :D
    Sometimes I am afraid that I write "boring" posts for international readers. Anyway, I always try to do my best, I have improved my English since I started blogging and I hope I will improve it more and more! :)

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  8. Love this! I understand what you mean about giveaways but on the other hand I think for a lot of people this is their way of judging their blog reach. Although I will take active readers any day I do understand that like reading numbers on a scale, some people just have a math maintained range of thinking.

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  9. GREAT post, Steph! This is especially relevant to me, as my blog is still pretty new and in its infantile stages. There are several points in here that I can take to heart in my own journey. Thanks so much!! :)

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  10. Thanks for such a well-written blog post.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and will try to incorporate some things you mentioned.  As far as giveaways are concerned, I love offering my "readers" a chance to win something.  After all, I enjoy it myself the odd time, but I normally do it for other reasons than gaining in numbers. 

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  11. TY for sharing your advice!  I've been blogging for over 10 yrs now.  (Holy cow I'm old!)  Off & on, of course...but when I had a nice size readership of my polymer clay blog it was so fun and rewarding.  I just recently started reading blogs again.  Nail polish blogs specifically.  And I got discouraged b/c I thought, man...I'll never become a part of this online community if I don't offer big giveaways.  :(  So it's nice to read your post, and see you offering alternative advice.  Thanks!

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  12. Thanks for sharing. I've been wanting to get more followers/readers. Not for the sake of the number, but rather for the sake of being able to interact with people, hear their experiences and opinions. I'm defo working on improving my blog, focusing mostly on content 'cause I'm such a horrible writer, but I really liked this post, it helped :)

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  13. I am one who hates to do giveaways-although I am running one right now.  But it is for my 1yr anniversary.  I have a rule that my loyal followers and commenters get a bunch of bonus entries to reward them for actually reading and being there because they like what i'm doing.  Imagine my surprise when I got a comment on my giveaway that I am a liar and should have been upfront about giving my loyal peeps extra entries.  really???  I'm doing something nice and giving away free crap and you are only signing up now to try and win and you're complaining/???  Why even sign up for the contest if I offend you so???  This is just one reason why I can't stand giveaways.  Its my blog-I make the rules and there's always someone who ruins it for me.  Sorry to rant but it just kills me that people can be such jerks.  

    I agree with what you're saying here-people are all about how many followers they have and there are blogs out there who are strictly about the giveaway-that's just not me.  I schedule my posts a week in advance for every other day-I don't have the time of patience to do every day and I email and tweet with tons of my peeps and have made quite a few friends in the past  year.  

    I just hate the drama that surrounds nail polish, from the giveaway crap to the dupes of a certain polish brand who shall remain unnamed.  I speak my mind on my blog-I do what I want, it's my blog-my rules-if you don't like it-go away!!  It freakin nail polish people!!!!

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  14. Great subject and post!
    I feel quite like you, and my ongoing giveaway reflects that, because it's not the number, it readers who really want to see what I can offer, that matters to me.
    I have seen cool giveaways making a blogger go from 50 to almost 500 readers in no time, and again, how many of those actually come back?
    I chose to add a thingy that counts the number of comments each reader have posted (you can make it a 10 10 or a top 100 or more) - and a visitors counter (but then you need to be logged in on GFC) - so in my giveaway I draw between the names on these two lists. This way my gift goes to one of those readers that really keeps me and the blog going...

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  15. I'm sure I will *eventually* do a giveaway, but up until now- I haven't and it has a lot to do with the reasons you mentioned.  I don't really want to bribe people to read, I want people to be there because they enjoy what I am sharing.  It always stings a little when I see a blog that has been active the same amount of time as me that has double, triple, quadruple my # of followers and then it irks me that these bloggers don't even post but once a week or less. I try to just stay consistent and remember why I am doing it- because I always have and always will have an unhealthy obsession with nail polish ;-) Another interesting read Steph!

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  16. Great post Steph!

    I really need to decide if I want to keep blogging or not. I hate the random posting I've been doing but there's been so much going on here. Most of the time I don't feel like blogging in my free time.

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  17. A Girl and Her PolishApril 3, 2012 at 1:45 PM

    You have made some really great points!  I'm pretty new to the nail blogging scene, October, but for me its all about the community and sharing my hobby (obession).  I did have a giveaway, because I wanted to pass Whimsical onto someone, but I see a lot of newer bloggers giving giveaways for readers.  I am here because I love what I am doing. I love having people that appreciate what I am doing and that means a lot!  Sorry I'm rambling!  Great post! :)

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  18. Just a comment on social media: it can be a trap. People follow your blog because they want to follow *your blog*. It's great to offer them the options of additional ways to keep up with you, because people think differently and work differently and what's convenient for one is too much work for another. But I've seen too many bloggers start falling into the trap of "well, you HAVE to follow me here and there and everywhere in order to get the whole story" - when reading the blog isn't good enough anymore, that's often when I stop all together. (Same with businesses, by the way - there are several places I no longer shop or eat at because they've come out and said if you don't follow us on Facebook you don't get the best coupons. Way to make ALL your customers feel valued, guys!)

    And I am so with you on the "no pressure" - it's your blog, it has to please you FIRST. Because if it doesn't, nothing else matters. So you and you alone get to decide what it's going to be and how you're going to do things because yes, it IS all about you! :)

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  19. Cristina ImpoverishedApril 3, 2012 at 2:28 PM

    I have never done a giveaway since starting my blog in October and don't plan to in the future. My name is Cristina "Impoverished" for a reason-I really shouldn't be buying the polish I'm getting for myself, I definitely can't afford to buy stuff for giveaways, also! Anyway, my only note for increasing readership is to post about new products ASAP. Also, post about new products in a way that you haven't seen others do. For instance, I hadn't seen CG Luxe and Lush swatched over a dark color that wasn't in the Hunger Games collection, so I did it myself over a wine purple.  That post has turned out to be my most viewed post so far. (BTW, if s a blogger can please swatch OPI Pirouette My Whistle over some dark colors, I'll go visit that blog immediately!)

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  20. Cristina ImpoverishedApril 3, 2012 at 2:34 PM

     My  advice is to post about whatever is new to you in the polish world.My most viewed posts have been about polishes I just got because I'm lucky enough to have a polish place that carries the latest China Glazes and OPIs. Even if you don't have such a place, if something is new to you, it will likely be new and interesting to other polish lovers, so a post about it is sure to get read! People will either click on it when they see the subject on a blog roll, or they will find it when they are looking for pictures of that specific polish on an image search engine. Hope this helps!

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  21. This was really a great read.  I started my blog last year and sometimes I wonder if I should keep writing because it doesn't always feel like anyone is reading it or I feel like I should have a better focus on sticking with one type of topic but in the end, I'm happy when I write about things I like and realized that I need to make me happy for other to get some joy out of it.  All things take time. 

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  22. Really good points, all these! I have been blogging for a year now and am definitely still figuring things out for me and for my blog and how best to do it. But mostly I blog for myself because this is something I love and have fun with-- it's not really about numbers, though of course I would love for more people to read and comment! I can't wait to read the other comments on this post to get some more ideas. I definitely think having some feature that is unique to your blog is a good way to get people to pay attention to said blog.

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  23. Great post Steph! I sometimes wonder why don't I have as many followers as XYZ, but then I snap out of it when it comes to people who just follow for giveaways. I appreciate the readers who always comment/like my posts and I like the relationships we've created. I get turned off by the daily giveaways and when I hit X number of followers I'll have a giveaway, but to each its own. There will always be people who enter though.

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  24. I've never had a blog (and don't plan on having one) but I read a ton of them and I completely agree with what you have written. I've stopped following blogs for many of the reasons you listed above (too much time between posts, not being themselves, self-promotion and self-importance, too many giveaways and "look at me" posts). I like yours because you put so much of yourself into it even though that hasn't been the easiest thing for you to do. And because of that you have found commonalities with your readers and that's awesome. My favorite blogs are the ones like yours where there is interaction between readers and between the readers and the writer. Keep on doing what you are doing because it is definitely working!  :)

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  25. Kimberly WilliamsApril 3, 2012 at 5:54 PM

    I actually am doing a giveaway at 100 followers, but it's only going to be open to those 100 because I just want to do something nice for the people that read me without incentive. I don't like giveaways as a promotional tool, since then it seems like you just end up with a large amount of readers for the duration of the giveaway, then see them all drop off. I actually struggled with the decision to do a giveaway at 100 since it seems like people do use that tactic to gain readers. However, I don't promote my blog very much at all, and gain readers very slowly. I gain more readers with content that anything else. In fact, I have yet to gain a single reader from my giveaway post, probably since it's just a small post that says that I'll do something for my current readers at 100 and haven't bothered tweeted anything about it nor mentioned it outside of that post. In fact, that post has only been viewed a handful of times!  I think that it can be used as a way to say thank you to current and active readers as opposed to just a way to gain followers.

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  26. Excellent post Steph! I always love reading your Talk-It-Out updates. ^_^

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  27. Shelley PolarbelleApril 3, 2012 at 7:30 PM

    Great post, Steph!

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  28. Best comment of all:
    "I see myself as a friend sharing information with my other friends."  The biggest prize I got with blogging is a group of FRIENDS. :D

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  29. Steph, I think you know how I feel about the whole giveaway thing.  I've noticed a lot of new bloggers with the promise of a giveaway once reaching a certain amount of followers as well, and quite frankly, it irks me.  It is blatant to me, that the real intention is to just gain followers quickly.  I think it bothers me so much because I really care about what I do and while I would love to have thousands of followers, I want them to be there because they really appreciate what I post. At the end of the day though, I guess what really matters is that I'm happy with what I do in my little corner of the blogging world.

    This is a really great post.  Thank you for your awesome tips.  I also think that responding to reader comments is important because it shows that you actually care about what they say and take some time to thank, respond, etc.  I know it can be a lot (something I'm dealing with now), but to me it really makes a difference.

    You also just gave me confirmation about the term followers.  I never liked it, but because I lack creativity, couldn't come up with a better term.  I will now use "readers" instead.  Of course, because I can't come up with anything better, lol.  Maybe one day ;0).

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  30. Again you exactly point out the things that are important in blogging! Normally I am a picture viewer but these posts are always read through entirely!

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  31. Awesome post Stephanie! I agree with everything you wrote. I recently did my first blog giveaway, for no particular reason other than I felt like it, and only made it open to my followers at the time of announcing my giveaway. In the end I had a total of 3 entrants, but you know what? They were all readers that I recognize and who have commented regularly. It felt good to send a gift to the winner! 

    One thing you talked about that I've struggled with it branching out into social media (Facebook, twitter, etc)... this seems to be an overwhelming prospect to me, for some reason! It just seems like so much to manage and keep track of. Do you find to be this way? 

    Thanks for continuing to address and discuss such interesting topics in blogging! I love reading these posts. 

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  32. I love these posts, Steph! You have such a great way of writing that is such a pleasure to read. I must say thank you for your share with you Sunday posts. They have really driven traffic to my blog and I love discovering other bloggers. I have struggled with not looking at the number of followers and instead try to get repeat readers - i.e. look at what posts my readers really seem to like and try to write things that I think my readers will like. Some of my best posts, I think, are ones that were totally spur of the moment ideas. On a personal note - you shouldn't feel so pressured Steph! Your posts are great and are very "you." You have a very unique voice, which I think your readers really respond to - myself included!

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  33. Steph, I think I posted before, I am one of your daily readers, may or my not "offically" follow you, I have no idea, but I don't come here to enter or wait for giveaways (I am a gifter by nature but I never expect anything back but a hug ;)  I come here for that simple fact that I enjoy your blog and I enjoy your honesty on your blog and your polish pics are always pretty and I love seeing your cute face very day and I know you go thru some rough times in life...seee...I do read your blog, LOL  and ((((( Hugs  ))))


    Smelly Melly or Melody Joy Shatto on Face Crack :))) 

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  34. I think you have to definitely use social networking to your advantage. You need to connect with other bloggers through Twitter and Facebook. Once you get yourself out there, people will want to help promote you. :)

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  35. Thank you! I don't think it is, because it starts to create that expectation that there will always be a giveaway. I think it puts a lot of pressure on the blogger too, I can't imagine everyone having the funds or wanting to use their extra funds to always buy giveaway prizes. It does not seem realistic to me. 

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  36. You have an excellent blog! You will gain a lot of follows based on that alone. It is kind of "ho-hum" when you have a giveaway and get that influx of followers. When I first starting blogging that was more exciting, but now it's like...yeah I know why you're following. There will always be someone looking for something for free, but that is definitely countered by the solid readers you have who really support and participate in your blog. 

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  37. You have such a positive attitude towards blogging, and that will make the blogging experience really great for you. It is amazing the connections you can make through blogging. You can meet a lot of great people who will only enrich blogging for you! 

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  38. Thank you Ashesela! Those points are really important, if you can''t be yourself in your blog it will get old fast. You have to just let go and enjoy it! 

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  39. Thank you Aprill! You've been blogging for awhile, and I'm sure you've noticed the change. Blogs did not seem to be so giveaway-focused a year ago. It's really frustrating to see it go in that direction, and I hope people will recognize that it truly is a temporary! 

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  40. That is fine Cristina! I think that is part of the appeal of your blog too that you have it in Italian and English. There are not many blogs that offer that, and it definitely makes you stand out in a great way. It's also great that blogging has helped you improve your English. I always felt that even though we blog about nail polish, blogging itself helps us in other areas of our lives! 

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  41. I totally do not have the mind for math, I guess I can see where you're going, but it's hard for me to believe this would be true for most people. I think many people are looking to get popular quickly :-/.  I know this a negative thought, but if it had always been this way then I'd think differently. I do not remember there being so many new bloggers promising giveaways if they reach X amount of followers before. I was used to seeing them once they hit milestones, but not as an incentive to follow. 

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  42. Thank you Rebecca. I'm glad this post can be helpful to you. I'm definitely not a blog expert, but these are things I've recognized over time to be valuable. I just started following your blog too! 

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  43. Thank you so much that means a lot. I like giving my readers a chance to win stuff too, but for the right reasons. It should be reward and a gift to people not an incentive to follow blogs! What happened?!? 

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  44. It means a lot to me that you found this post helpful. That was one of my fears with all the giveaways popping up. I do not want new bloggers or people interested in blogging to be deterred because they can't or do not want to offer giveaways all the time. There is SO SO SO much more to nail blogging than giveaways. You will definitely be welcomed into this community giveaways or not. You may not have a hundreds or thousands of fans, but you'll make true friends! I'd rather have friends than fans! :)

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  45. Thank you Karen!

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  46. I think like most people things take practice and patience. There will always be someone better than you at something, or can get it right the first time. There are handful of bloggers who are just excellent off the bat and they reap the rewards from it. The keyword there is handful. There are thousands of bloggers, and for most people it takes us some time to figure out what works and how to get things the way you like them. Keep working on your blog, and things will fall in to place soon enough! 

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  47. That's another issue I think these incessant giveaways are creating....greedy and entitled people. I'm sorry that person said that too you, and for all I care..screw them. You're doing something nice for people, you do not owe anyone anything. It's your giveaway and your rules. Do not let nobodies like that get to you. They're scum, who only are in it for a free prize. Worthless! 

    I'm glad you brought up how you schedule your posts and stuff. You do not have to be the person who blogs every day, has giveaways, and does a million other things on top of that blog-wise to be successful. You can go by your schedule and connect with the people you want to connect with and find success! These things people think equate to success are completely unrealistic long term. 

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  48. Exactly, I know if it weren't for my earlier giveaways from this blog I'd probably have a significantly less amount of a followers. I'm going to look into that counter your mentioned. That is an excellent way to have a giveaway. I would much prefer rewarding someone who participates in my blog, than someone who just joined to enter my giveaway. 

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  49. You don't have to be hesitant to have a giveaway if you want to have one. You don't have to have one either! It is very obvious the people who are having giveaways to get followers vs. the ones who want to reward their readers. You have an excellent blog. I really enjoy your posts, and you've got the blogging thing down! 

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  50. If you don't feel like blogging then you don't have to. There is no requirement to keep blogging. I know a few people who after some time decided it wasn't for them, and moved on to other things. It's ok! It shouldn't be a chore. It may not be your thing..or maybe it's bad timing, but don't feel like you need to keep up with something if you really do not want to. 

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  51. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. You have a great attitude towards blogging, and that will be so rewarding for you in the long run. 

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  52. The whole requirement to like FB pages or follow you on Twitter and various other social media things is ridiculous. I definitely agree with you there. I think social media is beneficial when you use it the right way vs. a greedy way! :P Thank you pointing out the "no pressure" point, it is so important!

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  53. Exactly! I'm glad you brought that up because that's what one of my concerns was with all these giveaways and new bloggers. I hope people are not feeling pressured to spend their money on giveaway prizes. That is so not necessary. Honestly, when you have money to spend are you going to spend on giveaway prizes or yourself? I'm going to spend my money on myself! I like to have the occasional giveaway, but 90% the time I'm going to be getting polish for me! That may sound greedy to some, but I don't think it is. It's my money, and I don't have a lot of it! 

    I like how you mentioned posts that present something different or new. I do not necessarily agree you need to post about new products ASAP to gain readers. A majority of my blog is not brand new stuff. I do that on purpose because I know a bunch of other bloggers will be posting new stuff. I do not want to be repetitive! It may be helpful for some people though.  I do like how you mention a post that swatched CG Luxe and Lush over a different color. I love reading posts where people do unconventional layering techniques or other things. They attract my interest the most! 

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  54. Exactly! You need to please yourself first when it comes to blogging. You write about you love and what makes you happy. That will definitely attract others. You're right it does take time too. I think like with everything we start doing it takes practice and patience before everything clicks in to place! 

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  55. I'm glad you enjoyed this post! I'm also glad you mentioned that you've been blogging for a year and still figuring these things out. Blogging is such a learning process that is constant. I'm always learning new things or picking up new ideas. There are always opportunities to learn and grow. 

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  56. Exactly, as long as there will be people who enter it will always take place. It just stinks it's taken presence in the nail blogging community, because I do not remember it being this way as much a year ago. It can be hard to not focus on those negative aspects, but you're right you have to snap out of it. You have an excellent blog. I remember finding your blog through Zoya's FB page and your ombre manicure last year. You're blog has always been a favorite of mine, and you are a very genuine and kind person. You can see that through your blog, that is an awesome quality to have.  

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  57. I wish you had blog. I love the pics I've seen of your nails posted in FB groups, no pressure though. I understand :). Thank you so much for your kind comments. It really means a lot to me that you recognize those things about me and my blog. :)

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  58. That is an excellent way to have a giveaway, to just reward those people who are your followers at that point. You have a great attitude towards blogging, and that will be very rewarding to you. 

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  59. Thank you!

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  60. Thank you so much for inspiring me to write this post! I don't think I would have if it weren't for your suggestions. I so appreciate it! 

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  61. For sure! Thank you for being my friend! I'm so glad I got to meet you because of this blogging experience. :)

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  62. That's exactly why it bothers me too. I really love blogging and I love the journey blogging has taken me on. You miss out on the journey when you buy your followers with giveaways or promise them giveways if you follow. It honestly seems very insincere to me, and I do not think that is always the intention. I think some people do not know other ways to gain readers. You said that perfectly too "my little corner of the blogging world". That's exactly how I feel about my blog. It's my little space and my little project. :)

    I'm trying to get better at replying to reader comments. I'm not great at that. I always respond to questions or comments from more in depth posts like this, but keeping up with them regularly is hard. I know it would benefit me to keep on top of that more. Thank you for bringing that up! 

    Yes! Every time I hear the word "follower" it makes me cringe a little. I think readers is good...I'm not creative either haha! 

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  63. That means a lot to me thank you! It's good to know these posts keep your attention. :)

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  64. That is awesome! It's good to know your prize is going to someone who really appreciates your blog. 

    I find Twitter difficult to keep up with. Twitter moves very fast, so I find it hard to follow conversations etc on there. I primarily use it to share my blog posts. I find FB very do-able. I really enjoy using FB to interact with other nail polish addicts and people who read my blog. I haven't found FB to be difficult to manage at all. I would definitely recommend starting up a FB page for your blog and testing out those waters. I think Twitter can wait if you're worried about that. Twitter can make my brain hurt sometimes :P

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  65. Thank you so much! That means a lot to me. I will try not to worry myself with how my blog fits into the scheme of things. I really love my blog the way it is, and I do not want that to change at all. :)

    You're welcome. I'm glad my Sunday posts have helped bring readers to your blog. That was my intention with those posts, and I'm glad it is working out for you. You are SO right about spur of the moment ideas being the best posts. I will sometimes write a post randomly thinking this is not going to get a lot of comments, and those are the ones that usually get the most. It's funny how things work out that way. 

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  66. Thank you so much for reading my blog! You do not have to officially follow me, that doesn't matter :). I'm glad you like my blog! :)

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  67. I really love this post! I agree with everything that you wrote, I am usually turned off by blogs that have constant giveaways and I never follow them. I usually don't spam my blog everywhere either. My thought is if people like what I do on my blog then they will follow it, not because I have a giveaway. I have had only 1 giveaway on my blog and my numbers have grown because they like what they see not because I give things away. Thanks for posting this =)

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  68. That's a great attitude to have towards you blog. It's great to get readers based on content vs. giveaways!

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  69. I agree with you. I don't judge anyone for having giveaways. Heck, I used to enter a ton of them. There is no quicker or easier way to gain "followers," but it is so much more rewarding for me to know that I have "earned" them because of something they liked on the blog.

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  70. Years ago, before Facebook and blogging was cool, I had a blog on xanga that was completely personal but open to anyone. I made several really good friends over the years and it has been a great experience. I'm hoping that this will be just as rewarding. And less post-adolescence angst! lol

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  71. Haha, I had a blog on xanga when I was in high school. I know it was filled with overly-dramatic rants. I have no idea what happened to that account, and I'm not actively trying to find it again. I think I'd be mortified at the stuff I wrote. :P

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  72. That's always good feeling! 

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  73. Thanks for these posts! I appreciate your honesty regarding this touchy subject.
    I really only read nail blogs so I can only comment on what I see with those as a reader... and of course these are only my humble opinions.
    I get the impression that a lot of nail bloggers wish to increase their numbers instead of connecting with others or making friends. Why would one want more people to read their blog if they are not even connecting with the readers they already have? Maybe because it seems to be the norm to crave more followers, more page-views, higher numbers.
    What I think I see sometimes (too often for my taste) is that juicy giveaways=quick increases in followers=PR samples and free stuff. Free stuff is nice, no doubt! Though as a discerning reader of nail blogs I am tired of coming across so many blogs which seem to exist solely to garner PR samples for the blogger. Plus I have stumbled across a number of nail bloggers hosting very enticing and/or frequent giveaways who seem to put little effort into writing quality posts or producing quality swatches or making pals with fellow nail buffs =/..
    This makes me sad because I truly love the nail community. I feel that the love & goodwill & friendship that really does exist in the polish-loving community is undermined by the nail bloggers who seem to blog only to get free stuff. I think that numbers-centric nail blogging can also drive out the sense of community between online nail polish gals that I love so much, and replace it with a competitive atmosphere among those who might wish to share their hobby.
    (fyi I have no problem with PR samples, I appreciate PR for sending them because I need to see swatches to do my shopping! :D)

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  74. Awww...thanks. That really means a lot to me. *blush*

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  75. Cristina ImpoverishedMay 28, 2012 at 3:34 PM

     Hi, Steph,
    Just remembered that I had never replied to this. Glad to know I'm not the only one whose opinions about giveaways are closely tied to money considerations.As far as posting ASAP,   I certainly don't mean to blog about the newest collection all the time. Oftentimes, this can be counterproductive because the bigger blogs have already swatched a whole collection (usually way better than I could ever do it). However, if I I am deciding between colors and one has 1,000 google images and the other polish has 10,000, I always go with the less photographed one rather than the popular one. I'm also lucky to have an awesome nail supplier so I have occassionaly rushed to post something because no one else has posted about that polish yet. I never just buy a polish only because I want to blog about it, though!

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