Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Talk It Out Tuesday: Blogger Identity Crisis

*Be forewarned. I'm not doing so hot confidence wise lately, so I'm sorry for the whiny post. I really need to vent these feelings or else it will eat me up!*

In the scheme of the blogging world I'm not sure how I fit in or if I even fit in? This is something that has been racking at my confidence lately, and I need to figure it all out. See, even a 2+ year blogger struggles with these issues!

I've always been happy having my own little corner in the blog-o-sphere. I've never really been really friendly with a ton of other bloggers (I am friendly, but not really friends if that makes sense). I've never really gone the same route as other bloggers. I've always just done my own thing and I was cool with that, but now I'm starting to wonder if it is putting me at a disadvantage. I'm starting to wonder if my personality and blogging style are making me unapproachable or seem standoffish to other bloggers, readers, and/or companies? I am not the easiest person to get to know. I'm an introvert, and I'm not very trusting of people. I internalize a lot, and I wonder if this makes me come off as aloof? If so, that's not the case at all. If anything it's insecurity that prevents me from being very sociable.

I've never been part of the "cool kids" club. I've never been Miss. Popularity. I've always kind of done my own thing in my own way. In ways, I like this there is no pressure to be the best or the greatest. There is no pressure to live up to other peoples expectations and standards. I just wonder if me beating to my own drum is causing me to fade into the background?

I never got into blogging to be the next most popular nail blogger. I really do not even want to be. I think one of the best things about my blog that I will always 100% feel confident about is that my blog is personable and relatable. I'd rather feel I am connected to my readers than represent a ton of nail brands get all the PR samples. Is this the wrong approach? Should I want to represent more brands, get samples, and provide reviews? Should I try to be a go-getter and take advantage of more opportunities?

I feel like I am very modest as well. I don't see myself as special or better than any other blogger out there or any other person who reads my blog. One of my biggest pet peeves is big headed and self important people. I think if anyone who read my blog and thought that about me I would be devastated. I really see blogging and my success through blogging as absolutely humbling, and something I so grateful for. The problem is am I too modest? I am so modest at times I reject compliments and do not see my worth as a blogger. This isn't good either. I work so hard on my blog, and I should be able to reap the rewards of it without feeling guilty. It's difficult for me to see the shades of gray. I see it as two options, be modest or be completely arrogant. I'd rather be modest, but there is a happy medium here. I just need to find it.

I'm definitely struggling here. I'm not sure how other bloggers view me. I'm not sure how other people and companies view me. It's difficult because my blog is so uniquely me, but at this point in blogging am I doing myself a disservice by being this way? I hate feeling like I'm on the outside of the blogging community, but I don't want to lose myself either.

I know I'll eventually find the happy medium to this. It will take time and probably a lot of counsel from friends and family though. I absolutely love blogging, and it is major part of my life. I want to feel good about what I do, but I don't want to sell myself short either.

I'm not writing this to garner sympathy or for people to validate me. I really want to some advice, and sometimes it's nice to know you're not alone. I'd love to hear your experiences with this too.

Do other bloggers out there have any experience with a blogging identity crisis? 


Happy Tuesday!

99 comments:

  1. Peace, Love & PolishJune 12, 2012 at 11:27 AM

    I feel the same way you do! I started blogging to just show my nails off and my skills, opinions and tips etc. It's nice to see those "big name bloggers", but it's sad to see the extremes people will go to just to be that big name nail blogger. I do what I like, and I have a small group of followers that like the way I do things - so I know I'm doing something right. I do what I like, not what I think others are going to like. I love your blog, so don't think otherwise! Everyone has a different approach to blogging I suppose.

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  2. I haven't been following nail blogs for very long, but I really like your blog, and you don't strike me as being standoffish at all. Speaking as a fellow introvert, it can be hard to be part of any community, be it online or in person, but the great thing about things like blogs is that you have a much larger pool of like-minded people to draw from then you would if you were just sticking to the people you know in real life.

    I think you're doing a fine job, and you've already brought items to my attention that I wouldn't have known about otherwise. I see from your profile that you are in college. I don't know what you are studying, but I would hazard a guess that it isn't nail art. It's a fun hobby and it can take a lot of time, but I suspect that it isn't your whole life. You have other things that are important to you--probably more important. So what if you aren't seeking out products to review? It means that the ones you do talk about are the ones that really make an impression on you, not something that you're obligated to talk about. If you want to take the blog to the next level and do something like this semi-professionally, more power to you. If not, that's fine as well.

    It's okay to be different. I like you just the way you are. :)

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  3. I'm glad you are being so honest.  I am a very new blogger, so I feel like a little fish in this big ocean and I will never compare to those whales!  Actually, I would rather not be one of those whales because I wouldn't want that kind of pressure.  When you were describing yourself as not being sociable and not trusting people, you described my personality as well.  I hate all of the pressure in this world to be the best and always worry about what other people are thinking.  I also feel like women (mostly) are very hard to trust - most of them are backstabbers and can turn on you in a second.  That's why I don't really put my heart and sole into any of my friendships - I just don't want to be hurt (probably not the best way to go through life...but I also don't have those big heartbreaks that others do about their so-called friends).  Just being "aloof" is the safest way for me to live.  There are a few people I can truly trust, and the rest are just friendly acquaintances.  No pressure.  A few years ago I started decorating cakes.  I loved the hobby and did it for a few years BUT ended up ruining the fun in it because so many of my friends and co-workers started doing it and there was so much competition.  I would put so much pressure on myself to make "the perfect cake" that I would sometimes be brought to tears while I was decorating.  I didn't have the confidence to make cakes for people that would ask me and I ended up dreading making cakes for fear of one not turning out "perfectly".  Going into this nail blogging world, I started out anonymous.  I started my blog, but didn't tell anyone about it and was just going to do it for my own enjoyment - but without people judging  me.  I also was scared that I would start putting too much pressure on myself to be as good as the "big dogs".  So far, I haven't let it get to me.  I just have accepted the fact that I will never have thousands of followers and I am totally okay with that now.  Enough about me though.  I actually find that you are one of the most friendly "big doggish" bloggers.  In my eyes you are very well known and I almost fell off my chair when you reached out to me when I first decided to "come out of the nail blogging closet" and share my blog with others.  You also do your "post I'm loving" features and that is very nice of you.  You don't have to feature other bloggers on yours.  Now that is going above and beyond.  I find you to be very open and friendly and I don't think you should change a thing.  I could go on and on - but I better get back to work:)  Keep on...keepin' on!

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  4. And how. But first, your blog is beautiful and the work you've put into it shows. I've gotten better about my own insecurities since I let it all out last month, but there are still so many aspects of this blogging world that just baffle me.  And I still have to remind myself why I'm doing this.  I still see peeps following every blog out there BUT mine.  And, I still don't understand why some take off and others don't.  I've seen enough now to know that nice photos do not mean a plethora of followers.  Just this morning I came across a couple and I couldn't believe which was the more popular one.  WHAT IS THE SECRET FORMULA???!!?!?!  lol.  You gave me some excellent advice.

    I've been thinking myself, wondering if I should get involved in challenges and the like, put myself out there, be friendlier.  But that would involve doing stuff that I just don't have the patience for, stuff that just isn't me.  So, I don't, and maybe my blog is a bit boring for the lack of it.  But it reflects me, and if that's why I'm not going to take off, then that's fine.  It is what it is.  I sent one letter to a pr company and I have yet to hear back, and that's fine, too.  Since my rant, I've developed a small but awesome core of gals who regularly comment, and I do the same for them, and I feel like I'm starting to make some friends.  I feel like this is a little how it is in real life-- you're either really popular and everyone loves you no matter what you do, or you've got a small group of close, loyal friends.  There's always, I think, the shiny allure of mega popularity, but as for me, right now, I'm so enjoying getting to know the small handful of ladies who comment on mine better.  It doesn't take away the insecurity, but I don't know that anything does, and I'll bet every single blogger feels some type of it, even the bigger ones (which at 2000+ you are one of the bigger ones, dear <3)  Anyway, if I don't quit yapping I'll be late for work.  Anyways, I'd give you a big hug if I could.  Hang in there.  This too shall pass. ;)

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  5.  Hi Liesl!

    I just subscribed to your Pretty Things blog. :)

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  6. I understand and know what you feel. When I started my blog initially, I had hopes of making it big like Scrangie. I like her blog and how it's structured. But I learned that it takes a lot of work, time and dedication. And recently, it takes more than I'm willing to give. Which is probably why along the way, I just stopped caring for that aspect.

    I don't strive to gain more followers or readers actively. I blog for me and I'm fine with that. Whatever PR samples come my way, I try it and post a review accordingly. When it stops being fun, I stop for a few days and take care of myself. My blog is my outlet. I will not let anything change it otherwise. I've turned down ad offers and PR samples if they don't interest me or go with my blog.

    If it comforts you any, as a fellow blogger....I view you as unique. You stand on your own. I like your brutal honesty and it's very refreshing. Please don't ever change if you can help it. It's what keeps me coming back here. ♥

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  7.  Hi PLP, I just found your blog & subscribed to it! :)

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  8.  Hi Essie Rae, I just subscribed to your nail blog as well! I'm loving the comparison posts already!!

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  9. Steph, please don't underestimate yourself. You are doing your thing, and quite well, I might add. Plus you just organized the Neiman Marcus blogger event, right? I loved seeing pics from different blogs (Phyrra, Cristina, etc.) from that day.
    Everyone has moments of insecurity, but please know that you have lots of ladies who support you & who love your blog! Hope you have a wonderful day.

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  10. I totally understand what you feel like. I have been blogging nearly two years now and still feel so lost sometimes.  One day I'll feel so confident that I am relating to my readers, and the next I wonder if I belong in the blog-o-sphere. I also don't get involved in competitions or contests very often, and sometimes I feel left out of the fun. Its hard to manage your own personal life and personality with that of the rest of the bloggers out there.  

    At the end of the day if you're happy with what you do that is all that matters. 

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    Replies
    1. Dude. Sometimes I'm all "WHAT am I trying to do here??!?!" and I feel like such a faker. I totally get the lost feeling. On the other hand, I think we're all something else for putting ourselves out there in the www like we do. ;)

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  11. IheartprettypolishJune 12, 2012 at 12:01 PM

    Hey thanks!  And I love your name - that's one of my daughter's names:)  Do you have a blog?

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  12. As a new blogger (less than three months) I can say I identify. To be perfectly honest, this whole post is exactly why I like your blog. You're not afraid to reach out to your readers when you feel you need to, I think that's a very important thing to be able to do in blogging.

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  13. A Girl and Her PolishJune 12, 2012 at 12:10 PM

    OMG, I have been feeling the same way!  I don't seem to fit in with the other nail bloggers.  I am in a couple groups on facebook but I never felt like part of the group.  I blog because I want to share what I am doing with the hope that people will enjoy it.  I also care more about my readers than the companies or being in with the popular nail bloggers.  But it does make me feel like an outsider.  I want to be part of the group and I don't want to be part of the group.  Does that make sense?  I just have to remember why I am blogging and that this is the only reason  I am blogging.  So, yes, I completely understand how you feel!  Just keep doing what you love and that is how you will find satisfaction! :)

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  14.  A daughter named April! How awesome :) I don't know many Aprils. Side trivia note: I do know a very famous April. Have you heard of April Lufriu, who was Mrs. America last year (I think) and Mrs. Universe this year? We were friends in high school. woot woot ha ha! And I think it's cool that your name is Essie. Perfect, right? :)

    No, I don't have a blog, but I LOVE reading them, and I have a helmer full of nail polishes! I'm looking forward to reading your blog more!

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  15. I think all of us go through waves of feeling this way. I know I do and it's comforting to know that I'm not the only one.  I go through times of wondering why I put forth so much effort into a blog when I see comments from others about things I've shown/done. I usually turn to a friend and have them talk me off the ledge of self doubt and everything works out in the end.

    I'm the same as you as far as the friendships in the blog world go. I have a few close friends that I've made but I'm hard to get to know and I have trust issues so I don't let people in. I tend to find a few people I get along with and then shut everyone else out, I do it in my online life and in real life lol!

    For what it's worth your blog is great, I love reading your opinions and
    I love that you show a variety of brands that I don't see featured much
    on a ton of blogs...it helps my shopping!  I don't think anyone would ever say you are fading into the background by blogging the way you want to. That is what makes you unique, and that's why I like reading your blog!

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  16. I think you are over thinking it.  Its a blog that should be fun and posting what you want to share. Care about your readers and not other bloggers so much, if you make friends with other bloggers on the way thats fine but if you dont thats good too. Be yourself and continue to beat to your own drum! I dont want to see another blog that is like the rest, that  is boring! I have only been blogging 11 months and have about 30 followers and I have told maybe 3 people about my blog and did not ask them to read it or follow. The followers I have are because they want to follow me and that is fine with me. Just do you !

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  17. First of all - you need to be who you are - the moment you change that it will show in your posts and your mani's - it's so easy to say, but we all know it's the truth!
    Being as old as I am, I know this kind of crisis will occur in several aspects and periods of our lives, girls seem to have this "Am I good enough"  in their genes.
    I too have crisis being such an old girl in the nail blogging world LOL - but all the kind and sweet comments on my blog makes me forget about it.
    So dear Steph, be who you are - otherwise you will loose yourself - and remember that the good things you give (not material things) - will come back to you eventually - rules of the universe ;)
    I could have said this way more clear in danish LOL

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  18. I get this feeling often. I'm an inexperienced blogger and sort of feel out of the loop. I haven't joined any facebook groups. I haven't done any challenges. I guess it sort of reflects my personality as I am a reserved person. Like you, I'm not Miss Popularity. But I feel like I'm a little faded out in the background as well. I really wish I could figure blogging out. I feel like I take decent photos and have a decent setup but wish I had more feedback. I just wish I could connect to other bloggers more.

    I love that you do these posts. These posts make your blog very approachable. They often capture the thoughts and feelings I'm experiencing. I don't think you're stand offish at all. The fact that you feature other people's manicures and posts that you love makes your blog very distinctive and friendly. Honestly, I really like the style of your blog. I can discover new polishes and new brands through you. It's not just pictures of new collections. Honestly, you should just blog how you want.

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  19. Hey Steph! I think you're doing a great job already! I loved seeing the Neiman Marcus blogger event you set up, and it looked like the bloggers who attended had a great time.  In that aspect, I don't think you're stand off ish at all. I also see the personal aspects of your blog and I love how you reach out to followers both on here and on Facebook. That's why I love reading your blog and look up to it.

    Don't dwell too much on your worries though.  I think these doubts are something all bloggers go through, and something I go through periodically as well.  I am always worried that my blog is not unique enough, or that I am not connecting with other bloggers and readers enough.  I guess this is a constant struggle many of us go through, but it does show that we care about what we do.

    Thanks for this Talk It Out Tuesday! It was relate-able and helpful! :)

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  20. I just followed your blog.  For the most part, the only way to get your blog out there and to reach people is to join a few Facebook groups:)  

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  21. Cool - I'm finding all sorts of new blogs to follow through this post!  Yipppee:)

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  22. I'm a pretty new blogger, so I haven't had my identity crisis yet, but it looks like you're struck a nerve with the blogging community.  I know I've felt similarly in RL, though!  If it weren't for the CFL Beauty Bloggers, I don't think I'd be having as much fun blogging as I am, and you're a big part of that reason.  In fact, you're one of 2 bloggers I've asked for guest posts - because I thought you were so approachable! So, you're not as aloof as you think, maybe.  Keep Talking it Out on Tuesdays, and ask yourself and the universe the big questions, because I think it helps us as much as it helps you.

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  23. I've been reading your blog for more than a year now and I always appreciate your sense of humor, writing style and of course nail polish reviews etc. I always view blogging as something I do for me. If no one wants to read it, then fine. And if no one read my blog and eventually it was just me writing to myself, yeah- maybe I'd consider stopping blogging. But I applaud your honesty and willingness to be who  you are and not really give a shit about being the most popular blogger etc. I love your blog so I hope you feel a boost in confidence from your dedicated readers!  :)

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  24. I think there is entirely too much emphasis put on popularity in the blogging world.  It's all about "followers" and new products sent out for review, etc, etc.  I think a lot of time bloggers are afraid to say exactly what they think or feel for fear of being ostracized and losing out on readers or free swag.  To that, I say if that's the only reason you're here, then own it.  Lease out every available inch of your blog to advertisers and throw it out there in flashing .gifs and sparkly buttons that you've got so many companies sending you things and that you're obligated to say nice things about them.

    I didn't start my blog with the intent of becoming a well-known name, or for the purpose of getting free product to review.  I started it so I would have a place to post pictures of my nails and whatnot without clogging up my FB page.  I have a somewhat brash sense of humor, I don't hold my tongue well and I curse.  A lot.  I also don't follow other formats, my blog isn't all cupcakes and rainbows...it's dead guys!  Because that's what I like and that's what I want to put out there.  I think there's room for all sorts of bloggers out there and once you take out the whole "being popular bit" just know that you're doing what -YOU- want to do and have fun with it.  If people like it, then great!  If they don't, there's hundreds of other blogs for them to go look at.  I understand that people want to stay true to their reader base but I'e see a few bloggers change the way they post things, change their language and whatnot because some readers complained.  To me, that's just ridiculous. They're readers!  They come to read the blog, we don't shove it in their face.  If you don't like something that's said or how it's said, move along.  Don't ask the blogger to change their ways to accommodate you.  People don't seem to realize how much time and thought goes into a blog.  It's not just throwing a bunch of words on a screen and hoping that it sticks.  You need to have a flow, have some knowledge of photography and programming in order to customize your blog.  You need to be articulate to a point and be willing to put yourself out there.

    I've always enjoyed your blog for the simplicity of it.  I never feel as if I'm reading an advertisement for a new product or that you're just pimping out to get more followers through having random giveaways and whatnot.  

    Know that you've got people that enjoy what you do and keep on doing it.  If you feel something isn't work for -you-, switch it up.  But make sure any changes are what you want, not what you think everyone else wants.  

    I know I'm not that well know, and I may never be but when I look and read my posts I actually laugh at some of the stuff I've written.  I think that if you can look and enjoy your own work, that's what it's all about.  The rest will fall into place. :)

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  25. I often feel the same way about my blog! I feel like I should be reviewing whole collections and getting in touch with PR companies but.. i really just started it so I could swatch what I have and I only really buy what I like so all of my reviews are pretty glowing LOL. I definitely welcome doing reviews but I just haven't put the effort into contacting companies... partially laziness. I do think it would add stress that isn't there currently as well. 

    As for your blog I really love your swatches and descriptions! I see so many things here I feel like I have never seen or seen very rarely.. and I feel better about my blog seeing a successful blogger w. a similar style!! I am pretty introverted myself, I'd love to make some blogging pals.

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  26. Along with many others I love your blog and read it all the time. I don't comment much but hey, introvert here too. I love that you accepted and embraced that you were never going to be 'perfect' with polish unlike a couple of bloggers out there - I still don't know how they do it. It. It's a very honest angle, and if anything from a reader perspective it makes you normal, identifiable.

    Perhaps you need to rethink why you are doing this? Has your motivation in blogging changed since you first started? If you desperately want to be one of the few bloggers who influence the market then you probably do need to play the games, fewer words, focus on the pics, the swatches etc, bring less of yourself to it if you like. That is what I notice when I compare your blog to the few 'big' polish blogs. I think of you are chasing product from PR companies then you probably do have to dumb it down a bit of you know what I mean. But if you don't want that then I say continue being true to yourself. I'm sure you'll still continue to have success with PR companies either way but possibly not the ultra broad appeal that those few do from the PR perspective. And I really do mean 'few' here.

    I only started flogging a few months ago and yes hardly anyone reads it and I have virtually no followers and I'm clueless about how to change any of that. But that's not out of step with why I started blogging. I was and still very clear iny mind that this is a hobby, a bit of fun. Im not interested in getting sample product and I don't like the 'give away' mentality. I'd rather make connectiIons in an organic and genuine way with readers and other bloggers.

    For what it's worth, I love your blog as it is. It's one of the blogs I come to to read the content as that's what distinguishes you from many others out there. I don't come here just to ogle pretty swatches. If I just want swatches I'll go to Scrangie or Fashion Polish. Work out what's important to you then go for it. But I for one love the blog as it is right now.

    xx

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  27. And by 'flogging' I meant blogging. Ek!

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  28. Totally agree with you! I have been doing my current blog for over a year and I feel like the opposite of you, almost. I am also an introvert type (to those I may not be comfortable with) but I don't have a lot of readership, but a lot of product reviews from companies I've received product from. I feel like I'm doing things backwards almost! I feel like I'm working so hard on this blog with reviewing, frequent posts, professional pictures with studio lights, DSLR camera, etc...but my blog posts rarely get comments. So sometimes I'm kind of upset about that because I know I have good content (not in a cocky way), but it's just not getting seen? Weird, I know!

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  29. Ugh, me too.  I've been blogging for a year and a half and I feel like I've hardly made any contact with readers or with other bloggers.  I'm not in any facebook groups or anything either...  I haven't done any challenges... I feel like I'm too awkward to figure out how reach out to other people.     Obviously followers aren't everything, but I think if you have 2,000 people reading your blog, you can't be doing too badly, really.  And you just did that beauty blogger meetup... I guess everyone has things they could improve on, but I think you're doing pretty well! :)

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  30. Thanks for starting another interesting conversation.

    The short: Blog however you want to blog :)The long: The way I see it, priorities are going to be different from blogger to blogger - there is no set ratio or formula. There are many different kind of blogs I admire all the same - like blogs with thousands of followers, blogs with 25 followers, blogs who review tons of samples, and blogs that post beautiful photos of polishes they bought. If you are meeting your blogging set of standards, that's all that matters. If you (and I don't mean specifically you, Steph!) aren't happy about one 'realm' of the blogging experience - be it followers, relationships, photo quality, contacts with marketing companies - set a goal to work on improving or redesigning that aspect. If your priorities change over time organically, great! But don't feel like you should or shouldn't feel differently if it's not genuinely what you want.

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  31. Dude, let your freak flag fly, so to speak. I always try to inject a little bit of 'me' into everything I post and I have the utmost respect  for those that do that as well. If I want to read PR verbatim, I'll pick up a magazine. We might not be at the top of the "popularity pile" but we're honest to who we are. Stick with it. <3

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  32. Ana from SimpleNailArtTips.comJune 12, 2012 at 9:49 PM

    Your blog should be what you want it to be. It sounds like you might need to know WHY you are doing your blog. What do you want out of it? Are you blogging for personal satisfaction or do you want to be able to make money with your blog? That decision will dictate all of your other decisions.

    If your answer is "personal" then what you have created now is perfect. You have almost 3,000 fans between your blog and Facebook. That's not a number to sneeze at...it took you time and energy...it's something to be proud of.

    If you want to generate income, then start chatting with the bloggers who are making money. Seek their guidance.

    With clarity, you will achieve comfort.

    Ana from Simple Nail Art Tips

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  33. I am proud of your blog. I am proud of your authenticity, and if you change it for any reason besides who you are and what you want, everyone will be short-changed. I love you just the way you are.

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  34. Since I am sooo new to blogging I definitely feel pretty insecure about it. Why would people want to read what I write? But I just don't put pressure on myself and do a post when an idea strikes. I really enjoy your blog and the personality you put into it. I've always been shy and insecure and don't like "putting myself out there" so to speak so I can really relate. That's actually one of the reasons I started blogging; I thought it might help me step out of my comfort zone a bit and it actually has. I say just keep doing what you are doing and do what makes you happy. I'll be a steady reader; I may not comment all of the time but I always look at your posts. We <3 you Steph!

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  35. Unlike many, I don't have a long list of blogs that I read. I have 8-10 that I check regularly (you are #4). I'm here because I like what you write. You are open, honest, not full of having 2100 followers, and thoroughly entertaining. My only tiny beef would be that you don't give yourself and your blog the credit and respect that you deserve.

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  36. I recognize your feelings about what kind of blogger you are and how you want to act towards brands and such. I myself do like to receive samples as it keeps the hobby a bit more fun moneywise, but also because I do get some "approval" out of it. On the other hand I like to show what I want and not be pushed into something I might not feel happy with. The balance is always hard to find and keep because there are so many great blogs out there right now. It is easy and dangerous to compare yourself to other bloggers because you have no true idea about how much time and effort they put into their blog. There might be the ones that just blog for 10 minutes everyday but somehow get loads of samples, there are those that put hours of effort and receive no samples at all.

    For me the most important thing is I still blog because I want to and if I don't feel like it I don't.

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  37. I totally feel ya! I have been at my blog for over a year now and I see other bloggers who have been blogging for about the same amount of time (some more, some less) who have thousands of followers, receive a ton of PR products and I'm just chugging along in my own little world. Now, don't get me wrong, I think the beauty blogging community is full of a lot of really great girls (and guys), but I also feel that it can be hard to break into that group when you are starting up (or don't know where to start, like me!) because there are lot of really tight-knit people already. I also think that it's really hard to distinguish yourself because there seem to be a ton of beauty blogs out there these days and so there are so many to follow. But it sounds like you know why you're blogging and you're happy with that, so at least that's a good starting place. =) 

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  38. Oh Steph Steph... I know I sound like a broken record because all 36 other ladies here have said the same thing..  but they are all right!  You have to be happy with your blog and stay true to yourself.  Don't ever change because you feel pressured to do so!!  We (your readers) will notice and not like it...  And on the same note, it is YOU who attracts us to your blog, NOT the desire to see the newest products out there and such...

    I also feel "inadequate" in my blogging...  I was gone for vacation for 3 weeks and even though I kept up with pre-written posts, I came back to the same number of followers/readers...  That was discouraging, but as I learned from YOU, I will not do giveaways just for the purpose of gaining more followers!!  Yes, I want to be "popular" in sense that I want a lot of people to read what I have to say and look at my pictures, and comment...  but I realize that I will never reach that stage.  And that's ok!  I have a very small circle of regulars who comment and look at my NOTD's and that makes me happy.  I'd rather have a couple friends than a couple hundred numbers (followers) who never bother to look at my blog.
    And I know I'm "different" in my style.  I'm not girly.  I have awful cuticles!  I don't have the newest releases.  And I sure as hell suck at nail art which nowadays it seems like it's "the thing" to do.  But I still think I have something to offer!!  And I look at "boring" blogs like mine everyday just to add a color or two to my lemmings list...  And I refuse to change!!!  Somewhere out there there are girls who have my taste and appreciate what I do for them (I hope???)

    Chin up, Steph, we all love you!!!!  You wouldn't get such a great validation through comments if we didn't love your blog!!! =))

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    1. I started following you right before you left... was so fun reading about your adventures and living vicariously! This is like, everything I wanted to say. I got soooo frustrated a few weeks back and posted a big ol' rant of my own and gained a lot from that, not the least of which was new perspective. But, it's still hard to totally not see your number grow (I actually had one gal leave, but that's a whole different topic...) even as you're cultivating friendships. Gosia and Steph, I like your blogs because they're authentic, and in the content and the comments there's a sense of just hanging out and chatting with some friends (and Steph, to have that level of intimacy at 2000+ is quite remarkable!). It's what I want for my blog, and I feel like I'm getting there. You gals kind of make me want to join the party. :)

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  39. IheartprettypolishJune 13, 2012 at 10:24 PM

    I managed to find your blog after reading this response:)  Your blog looks great!  I look forward to seeing more!

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  40. IheartprettypolishJune 13, 2012 at 10:26 PM

    this is great, I'm finding new blogs to read - I'm your newest follower!  :)

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  41.  oh my, thank you so much, I hope I don't disappoint you!! =)))

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  42.  Thank you so much!

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  43. Oh Steph, I wish I could give you the wisdom that age and experience give you. Most likely I am the oldest  person faithfully reading your blog (like in grand-mother). My personality is a lot like yours and it's taken me years to accept that it's really quite nice to be an introvert...we have great qualities that other types completely lack.

    With that said I am happily painting my nails and doing nail art trying to have fun, not caring what others in my age group may think. I love your blog for all the reasons you have in your post, because you come across as a sincere young woman. Please keep up the good work

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  44. I think you are a fantastic blogger, and you do not seem standoffish at all!! :D  I am an introvert as well, although surprisingly, most people do not realize that when they meet me.  I love making new friends, so if you ever want to chat, please feel free to send me a message anytime!! :D  I also have msn and facebook.  :D

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  45. I love your blog!! I am new to blogging myself and while I can't really compare myself to you I do relate. I worry constantly that I'm not doing good with my blog and my pictures aren't good or I didn't do well with clean up. Then I take a step back and realize I do this for me and if others happen to like it then that's great! The blogging world is saturated with nail bloggers so at times I'm not sure why I thought I should do one too....but I enjoy it and that's what matters. I have a hard time with the friend thing too.
    Don't doubt or second guess yourself. You know in your heart what you want to do and you just gotta go with it. Hang in there!!! Keep up the good work!

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  46. I totally did this on my phone last night, but it's not sowing up here, so I'll re post.  I wanted to say a couple more things anyway, without the imminent threat of being late for work. ;)  Gosia, I started following you right before you left... was so fun reading about your adventures on the mountain and living vicariously!  Everything you wrote here is like, exactly what I wanted to say.  I got sooo frustrated a few weeks back and posted a big ol' rant of my own and gained a lot from that, not the least of which was new perspective.  But, it's hard to totally not see your numbers grow (I actually had one gal leave, but that's another story) even as you're cultivating friendships.  Gosia and Steph, I like your blogs because they're authentic, and in the content and the comments there's a sense of just hanging out and chatting with friends (and Steph, to have that level of intimacy at 2000+ is quite remarkable!).   You gals kind of make me want to join the party. :)  It's what I want for my blog, and I feel like I'm getting there.

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  47. Thanks April!  Nice to meet you :)

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  48. I think we all have moments of blogger identity crisis. I actively follow 3 or 4 different blogging circles (lifestyle, fashion, mommy, and nail polish) and there is someone in literally every circle having these feelings. I just remember why I started blogging and focus on that. It always helps me figure out what to do! Just focus on what makes you happy - the readers always follow! I'm a pretty recent follower and enjoy reading your blog as it is! I guess my biggest advice, sit down, write down what your blogging goals are and make decisions that ultimately help you and your blog reach those goals. Good luck, and know that every blogger at some point struggles with these things!

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  49. My nail blog is mostly just me messing around.  No one is ever going to follow it, but that isn't the point.  Vomiting into the void about my nails reduces the amount of time I bore my friends by talking about my nails.  So if I were asked to offer advice, it would be - just do it for yourself. 

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  50. Mandy at Chameleon StampedeJune 14, 2012 at 7:38 PM

    Hi Steph... I think you're awesome just the way you are! I was incredibly flattered when you allowed me a Sunday feature because you're blog seems so "true to you". That's what I hope people will find with my blog. I would love a PR bottle of polish some day and I think giveaways are fun, but being true to yourself is what makes blogging so great. If it's not from the heart, it's just a commercial. Who wants that!

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  51. IheartprettypolishJune 14, 2012 at 9:13 PM

    what's your blog?

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  52. I understand exactly where you are coming from! With the internet so saturated with nail blogs, it's so hard to figure out where you belong. I sometimes struggle with trying to figure out which category I belong in (swatcher, nail art, innovative techniques, etc.). I think that's the good thing though...I, nor you, fit solely into any of those categories. I like doing what I want on my blog and wearing polishes that make me happy. I'm definitely grateful for the few companies that have sent me items to review, but I appreciate it even more because those are brands that I am loyal too...brands that I still purchase with my own money. Although I'm in a couple of fb groups, I do want to get a little more involved in some of the group blogger activities. I recently joined one group and I'm looking at it as a challenge...to get to know other bloggers...to try some things that I may not normally do. Girl, why do I always feel like I'm writing a story on the TIT (hilarious acroynym) posts?!?!?! :) Regardless, I love you and your blog just the way they are. I hope we get to meet before I move away!

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  53. Thank you. I'm so grateful for my post about this because it's centered me, and made me realize I'm just fine the way I am! 

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  54. Haha, no it's not nail art. I think that's the thing too. I love nail polish, but it's not my entire life. I don't want it to be my entire life. If it were that way it would be a chore, and I'd hate it! Thank you for your comments and kind words. I think I'm going to stick to how I'm doing things. It feels right, and if opportunities present themselves I'll continue with that mentally..what feels right! 

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  55. I understand a lot of how you're feeling, because it's the risks I've been taking lately that have made me feel insecure. The truth is a lot of the risks I've been taking have been very successful and rewarding despite this single post. I've avoided and played it safe for a majority of my life, and it really sucks in the long run.  A can honestly say a little over a year ago I had ZERO friends. I now have handful of people I can call friends. Even though I've suffered some setbacks,  when I make posts like this I realize how many people share these feelings and are so supportive. It encourages me to do more. I don't want  you to live your life playing the safe road. You don't have to jump into anything big, but taking small steps is always a good place to start. I find being honest helps too. If you have family friends or even your blog readers share with them your feelings open-heartedly. This isn't my first candid post, and I've never had someone judge me or say anything mean about my posts like this. I'm so glad you find me a friendly blogger. I know it's my icky experiences in my past that have made me this way. I know what it likes to feel ignored, judged, or left out. It is one of the worst feelings ever. I want to include everyone and share my blog space with others when it comes to Tuesday posts and Sunday posts. I know how kind gesture means to people, it means a lot to me! I'm not going to change this blog. What I do feels right, and it is 100% me. I can't be any other way and be ok with myself. If you ever need to chat feel free to send me an email. <3 

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  56. What ever the secret formula is, I know it! I can't even begin to try explain how this nail blogging thing works. There is always going to be that handful of people who just start blogging and instantly they're insanely popular. There are blogs that are great but progress slowly in follower count. I don't even know. I've been doing this for awhile now, and I can't figure it out..so I stopped trying! 

    I am SO with you on the challenges and stuff. I see so many bloggers who do..shared weekly posts on the same thing..compete in challenges. I don't even know where these people are befriended each other and such. I always worry if I look unapproachable because I'm not involved in these activities, but honestly I don't want to do them. I don't want the pressure and I don't have the patience either, but it still sucks to feel left out. I'm also like you. I'm the type of person who has a small circle of friends and those are my friends long-term or for life. I don't have a ton of friends. I 'm not social butterfly, but the friends I do have mean so much to me. I'm glad you've found a group of people who support you. It certainly helps! Thank you for all your kind words. <3

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  57. Thank you, Kitty! I appreciate your kind words. I like how you mention when it stops being fun for you give it a break for a few days. I think I need to do that at times, and not feel guilty about it! I go through uninspired bouts, where I don't know what to post or write. I think it's good idea to give myself permission to take a break!

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  58. I did organize that event. It took a lot out of me. I'm such a perfectionist, and I was worried about everything go right that it was mentally draining a bit. It was a wonderful event, but I need to cut myself some slack. Thank you for your support. :)

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  59. That's exactly what it's like. You go through ups and downs. It is hard. I hate the feeling of being left out. I'm sadly very used to feeling that way. It's weird because the contests and competitions are not things I would get involved in because of the work required and the pressure. I wouldn't enjoy it, and I blog because I enjoy it. I wouldn't want to put myself in a position where I'd hate doing something. It still sucks to feel left out though! Haha, no way to win. The social aspect of blogging is certainly difficult, but I'm happy with MY blog and how it is. That means more to me than being in all the social circles. That is what is most important to me, and I'm realizing all over again. 

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  60. Thank you so much for that, Kelly. It's weird that I feel uncomfortable in social circles, but I feel comfortable being open with my readers. I think it's because my blog is so personal to me. It's my place, and it is so rewarding and encouraging to get so much support and see so many people support each other through these posts. 

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  61. I am the exact same. I belong to a handful of nail groups on FB, and I never really feel like I fit in entirely. It always seems like the people there are already friends, and I feel kind of out of place. I also share the similar feelings when it comes to  relating more to readers than other bloggers. I do have friends who are bloggers, but as a whole I'd feel so much more comfortable in room full of nail polish addicts vs. a room full of bloggers. I think it's because my blog is certainly more casual than most. I don't have any professional goals for my blog. I like it being casual. I don't know all the technical talk on page views, where you show up in search engines, PR relationships and etc. It intimidates me SO much. That stuff is not a priority to me. It does make you feel like an outsider though, and I worry it makes me look as if I'm not a serious blogger. I am a serious blogger. I dedicate a lot of time and work into my blog, and my blog is so important to me. I am going to keep doing what I'm doing. I know my readers appreciate it, and I love what I do! 

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  62. Thank you for commenting, Jen! It's nice to hear from you on this. It's nice to know there are other bloggers out there who keep to themselves or just a small group. I've always been that way, and I know from your blog it certainly does not put you at a disadvantage! You're so successful, and it's comforting to know that you could stay true to yourself along the way. 

    I'm so glad you like my blog, and you find me unique. :) 

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  63. You're exactly right. I am over thinking it! I think that's what happens when I get insecure about this, it spirals out of control. I am going to do me, because that's what you guys like. I need to worrying about what other bloggers think about me in the scheme of things. I'm happy with what I do, and I'm  thrilled to know you all like it too. 

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  64. Thank you so much for your kind words. There is a lot of the "am I good enough" gene lingering in me. I'm not going to change you and many others have helped me gain a better perspective. You said everything clearly! Thank you so much for caring. I should learn Danish, but I'm terrible and foreign languages..the grammar always messing me up!

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  65. I think definitely harder to connect with other bloggers when you're more reserved. I'm never the person who is going to make a ton of friends. I always find a few people I click with or get to know someone over time. I think it's good to try and find just one or two blogging friends that you can rely on and talk to. I think even making friends with non-bloggers and just nail polish people is great too. I think I can relate more to my readers than I can to other bloggers! 


    Thank you so much for your kind words about my blog. I appreciate it, and it makes me realize that what I'm doing now is working. I love what I'm doing, and it's 100% me. I can't be any other way happily, so I'll stick to it! 

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  66. Thank you Liz! It is a struggle, and it's funny how up and down it is. I'm glad I'm not alone in this even after blogging for all this time. 

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  67. Aww, thank you Nidia! I'm so glad you joined the CFL Beauty Bloggers! I'm glad I'm not aloof. I especially worry at our meetups I'm that way because I feel SO dang awkward sometimes. I'm always in my head wondering if I'm coming off badly or not engaged enough. Oy! I'm doing so much better though each time I put myself in those situations. I'm so glad these posts are helpful to everyone. It means a lot to me that people can see themselves in these posts and can get support from one another. 

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  68. Thank you! That is good advice. I've always been into doing my own thing. I shouldn't feel a need to question it. I definitely am feeling the love from you guys, and I appreciate it! I'm going to keep on keeping on. 

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  69. I agree. I feel like so many people would be much better off if they were just honest. I'm having my 10 billionth giveaway because I want 9340234832098 billions. I'm blogging about this because I want OPI to give me a ton of free stuff. I would have so much respect for people if they were just honest. I may not like it or follow their blogs, but at least they're forthright! 

    You have some great advice, and I love your attitude about this. I could pick up on some of that. I'm so glad you like my blog. I like that my blog is more casual and simple. I put a lot of time and work into my blog, but I enjoy it. I love nail polish, but this isn't my life focus. I have no desire to be some hardcore professional with blogging and dedicate my time swatching stuff from every nail polish company out there and spending $$$ to have giveaways to gain followers. 

    I love how my blog is, and it's not going to change. I realize this now, and I need to stop caring and worrying about how I'm viewed by other bloggers. :P

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  70. I think that's the big thing people don't realize when getting into blogging and doing reviews. When you're asked to do reviews that's a commitment. It's a responsibility, and there is pressure with that. You can't put that off forever, or save it for next week..or next month. That's why I try to keep my review stuff limited because of the pressure and time constraints I have. 

    I'm glad you like my blog. I'm also very glad that you point out that you see stuff on my blog you don't see other places. That's something I feel good about. It's great other bloggers review all the new stuff, but I like to feature new stuff, old stuff, and in between stuff on my blog because I know a lot of people may not have seen it. You have a great blog you should be proud of it! Thank you for your support! 

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  71. It could be it's not getting seen? I'm not sure really sure how that works. Have you done any silly posts or thought provoking posts? I think when you reach out to your readers and provide them the opportunity to really contribute to your blog it is successful. I think sometimes to readers having all the great pictures, the studio lights, reviews can be a bit intimidating. I know that sounds weird, but it's hard to explain. Your blog looks excellent though, so the great pictures and stuff are not hurting you! I think you may just need to mix it up a bit and be a little rough around the edges at times. :)

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  72. Thank you. I know I'm not doing badly. The readers I have and the local bloggers are certainly not anything to scoff about. It's just inner turmoil with myself and worrying about how others view me at times. It's hard to reach out to people. I know how you feel, but sometimes if I see I can I have stuff in common with someone or feel I can relate to I give it a go. I'll send them a message or reach out to them, and sometimes I make friends with them, and sometimes our friendly email exchange is as far as it goes. It's ok, but I know I tried. It's not easy when you're reserved I know! 

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  73. This is wonderful advice. Thank you, Amy! I'm very happy with where I am now, it's my twisted thinking about worry about what other people think that gets me all insecure. T'hat's not important. I love my blog, and I know if opportunities arise I'll act accordingly and make it fit me. I just want to say I absolutely love your blog. Your blog is so original. I love your posts, your pictures, and your blogging style! 

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  74. Thank you! <3 I will let my freak flag fly. :) 

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  75. I'm blogging for me. I don't want money out of this at all..or to become something from this. I love nail polish, but it's not my life passion or focus. That being said, I know what I need to do..nothing. My blog is 100% me, and I don't want to change. I just need to stop caring or worrying about what other bloggers think of me if they think I'm good enough. :P Thank you for the support! 

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  76. Thank you Mommy! <#

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  77. Thank you so much, Rebecca. Blogging has certainly helped me put myself out there for sure. I think it really changed my life for the better despite some insecure moments. I'm glad you're noticing it is helping you too. I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing. Thank you <3

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  78. Thank you, Sandi. You're right....I'm bad at that. -pats self on back- 

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  79. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I think it is hard to find the right balance for you. I like what you said about blogging because you want to, if you don't feel like it you don't. I think there are some days I'm just not feeling it, and I feel guilty not blogging. I think I need to let go of that, be ok with needing that break! 

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  80. I was thinking about this the other day! I think all bloggers go through this, I know I have many times. For me I stay true to myself, I blog because I love it. I love showing off my designs, and polishes that I love. I don't blog to get free things or go out of my way to become a "big" blogger. I do it because I want to, stay true to yourself. One of the things I love about your blog is this, you talking about things that a lot of us are feeling and thinking too. Thanks for that! 

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  81. It is hard, and it does feel like people have formed their own little groups already. I think it is harder when you blog your own way too. I've found it harder for me because I know I'm a more casual blogger. I spend a lot of time and work on my blog, but I don't do a ton of PR reviews I don't have a ton connections. I wonder if that makes me look s though I'm not a serious blogger to other bloggers who value a lot of the things I don't? I know my readers appreciate my blog, and I shouldn't worry about what other bloggers think I love my blog, and you're right I'm happy with it, so what's there to change?

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  82. You have a great attitude, and we have similar blogging styles. I can't be bothered with posting on newest releases and nail art. I don't have the time, money, or patience to deal with all of that. We do have something to offer though. I'm with you I'd rather have a few people comment who actually care about my blog than have a ton of people who don't even care to read it. I'm sure my GFC follower thing would suggest differently, but I don't care about that number. It could stay where it's at and whatever! Thank you for your support! I'm not changing either. "boring" or not. :P

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  83. I'm just now learning to appreciate my introverted qualities. I have wonderful parents, but teachers, other family members, and peers always made me feel badly for being reserved. It really made me hate myself a lot of times. I'm glad I'm at the age now where I have recognized the positive aspects of this trait. I still have a ways to go, and the older I get the easier it gets that's for sure. 

    Thank you so much for your support and kind words. I really appreciate it. I'm not going to change a thing. :) 

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  84. Thank you so much for your support Ashesela! I appreciate it. :) 

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  85. Thank you so much for your advice. It's good to know that many others go through this as well. My blog the way it is makes me happy, and I'm not planning on changing. I need to let go of worrying about what others think about me! 

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  86. Thank you. Why do you say no one is going to follow your blog? I'd like to see it, and I'm sure many others would too! 

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  87. Thank you so much, Mandy. It means a lot that you recognize that my blog is true to me. It really is, and that is the most rewarding parts for me. I don't want to be anyone but myself, and this blog allows me to be that comfortably and positively. I had no need to change. 

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  88. Thank you so much for your support Lakeisha. I love your blog and I've always felt I connected with you because you always seem so genuine and so does your blog. We don't fit into those categories, but we definitely have a great thing going for us. I think I could definitely push myself to be a little more outgoing and engaging in FB groups. I always feel like people have their friends there, but it wouldn't hurt to try to be more active. I hope we get to meet too! 

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  89. Thank you for your support. I'm glad you enjoy these posts, I wanted to get people talking sharing and supporting one another when it comes to some of the more difficult aspects of blogging. 

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  90. I can relate to this a lot because I'm shy too and I am often viewed as "snobby", which of course I am not.  Sometimes it's quite painful to get yourself out there.  I am a new nail blogger and when I started I tried not to have aspirations for anything other than to enjoy the process of sharing a hobby I really enjoy.  I don't know if that is a good thing or not, but I think it is awesome that you just do what you do and don't worry about "fitting in".   I've never been a "cool kid" at anything I do, so I can relate to that too.    You are lovely and I enjoy your FB page as well as your blog.  I enjoy your sense of humor and your pretty nails, of course!  

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  91. Thank you so much Andrea. It's sucky how the shyness can often come off as snobby when that's the case at all. I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing. I enjoy it, and it seems like you all do too. 

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  92. I'm not a nail blogger-- I'm a health blogger. But I do follow nail blogs, and your blog is my go-to blog with which I begin every time I read the nail blogs. I always keep your blog site as an open window on my computer so it's right there when I want to check in. I go through your blog roll to read the other bloggers, and then close those windows and come back to you. Your coloring is different than mine so the colors that look good on you don't always look good on me. But that doesn't matter. 

    When you wrote this post, I asked myself why your blog is my home base for nail blogs. And the reason is that you are real, grounded, and kind and that comes through in your blog. You are not selling yourself or raving about everything to push purchases. You speak about things frankly and share your thought process and considerations. You are not only talking about nail polish as if that is the sole important thing on planet earth. I see you as reliable and trustworthy. Never doubt yourself because you have the human qualities that matter most. Thank you, Stephanie.

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  93.  Do you mind sharing your blog, Alison?

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  94. oh my gosh this is exactly the thing I've been thinking about too! I've wondered whether or not I have anything solid to contribute to the blogosphere. As a busy and admittedly lazy individual, I don't have a lot of time to blog or tweet, and I feel like I'm on the outside looking in at all the bloggers that are BFFs. I'd love to make more blogging friends!

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I love and appreciate all comments. I will respond to any questions in comments ASAP. Please refrain from linking your blog in the comment section. These comments will be deleted. I'd be happy to view your blog if you email me your link.