I would like to take a moment to address the actual, physical act of blogging. Blogging requires a great deal of marketing, writing talent, and persistence. You have to be prepared to commit the time, money (if needed), and of course, your blood, sweat, and tears. I, as a writer and blogger, can relate to and commend other bloggers for the work that they provide, the reviews they release, and the wonderful content they exhibit each day. Heck, sometimes I don’t even know how I do it while being in college and holding a job now. It’s shocking to me to see how students, college students just like me, manage to market and publish each day effectively. I’ve had periods where I physically could not write and had to take some time away from the blog to reevaluate the content (I believe in quality over quantity) and redirect my energy toward schooling temporarily. I know it’s difficult to be a committed blogger and I struggle each day to make everything in my life cooperate successfully.
But then there’s a side of me that feels like some (not all, thank goodness) bloggers and writers want to build an audience as quick as possible, and will resort to unprofessional tactics that I don’t agree with, which brings forth an ugly side to the otherwise inspired and intriguing writing community. I often get comments from individuals, including their business emails, with an attached, mass produced spiel about how fantastic and wonderful their company blog or personal blog is. They’ll preface this with what I believe to be a half a**ed response to the post they’re commenting on. A little “awesome job” and “great post”, followed by a novel-long comment about why I should drag myself over to their completely unrelated blog. I can’t help but roll my eyes. I get that you want to be successful and you want to bring in more views. So do I and the rest of the writing community. Success does have to do with readership. However, I don’t mass produce comments. When I take the time to comment on another blog or several other blogs, no matter what category it falls under or who is producing the physical blog, I refuse to spam others with my own advertisements. If the post is relevant to something that I’ve posted as well, I feel it is perfectly appropriate to follow my legitimate comment with a reference and perhaps say “Hey, I wrote something very similar that you might want to check out! *insert url here*”, but pushing your blog on me without any rhyme or reason doesn’t possess me to want to browse. It actually deters me and would make me significantly less likely to give your blog a chance. I don’t tolerate rude blog etiquette.
Writers, bloggers, many of you are like me. Many of you take pride in your work and your brand, and choose to represent it with dignity. You don’t mass produce your comments and spam them across the blogosphere, and I respect that immensely. I ooze respect for people who do the right thing, even if it feels “less efficient” at times. I know it takes time to produce your own blog, let alone respond to the posts of others. I know it’s difficult to respond to comments all the time and to interact within the writing community, one blog at a time. Whatever you do, try to avoid the impersonal, copy/pasted spamming of your blog, the long comments trying to “sell” your writing instead of genuinely responding to the post you may or may not (probably not) have read. Effective content brings viewers to your work just as successfully and ensures that your audience is legitimately interested in the topic you present. It’s essential to build a fan base that respects your literary talent and believes in the methods you incorporate in your writing journey. Easy isn’t always better.
What are your thoughts on advertisement-ridden spam comments?
What are some tips you could give towards blogs that are looking to build a more diverse, larger readership that don’t involve spamming?
I am surrounded by people who only have short-term goals, who only know what they’re going to eat for dinner later on or what supplies they need to get for class this week, which isn’t necessary wrong per se, but what about the future? What about a couple months from now, half a year from now? I don’t want to have just short-term goals, and I don’t even think I can only have short-term goals at this point. I have quite a few projects in the works and they require a lot more planning than I’m actually used to. I would like to share with my lovely readers the achievements I hope to accomplish by the looming closure of the 2014th year (crazy to think we’re so close, right?). When I put the milestones I hope to accomplish in writing or print more like, I have found that I strive much harder to complete them by the deadline, and it inspires me knowing that the people who have been rooting for my success for so long are reading what I hope to make of myself and pushing me to continue to gain experience and grow as a creative individual. If you feel inspired by this idea, by all means, make your own list of 15 accomplishments (or however you feel necessary) and link me to it below! Making goals as a group actually proves to be the most successful method of prioritizing because there is a mutual pressure to perform amongst the participants. It’s like positive peer pressure!
With that being said, here are my 15 goals for the rest of the year!:
3. Restart my Youtube channel and actually keep it going for a while!
4. Achieve at least 100 followers on Youtube. I worked on a Youtube channel for a while but got discouraged when I realized I wouldn’t have enough time to do it. But now, I’m more determined than ever to get back on the horse! When I start again, it will be a bunch of tutorials. Makeup tutorials, Outfit of the Day videos, Makeup of the Day videos, maybe some art tutorials, and whatever else my readers and viewers want to see.
5. Become masterful at Adobe Photoshop 3D. I am amazed by how much you can create in Photoshop and would love to be able to manipulate in 3d as well!
6. Get to 200 followers on Tumblr at the very least. I just created an affiliated Mandirito Tumblr which incorporates all of the things I find important or interesting. It’s more random stuff than anything.
7. Get my writing shared again on a notable website. For a while, I worked for Local Heroes Today (you can read my writing at localheroestoday.com), but I miss the thrill of getting published now that I don’t work there anymore. I would like to reach a more dynamic audience!
8. Sit down and actually learn how to use Reddit. I’ve always wanted to learn but alas, I have yet to get to it. So here’s to Reddit and all that it has to offer!
9. Attempt to get all of my grades to A’s. Currently I have A’s and then one C (Grrrr), but I’m working hard and I’m willing to put in some hours to get the work done right.
10. Try to drink more water. I hate the taste of water and have no desire to drink it, but I know it’s good for me. It’s incredibly conflicting. Why can’t coffee be the thing that’s good for me?
11. Get down to my goal weight. No, I’m not one of those people that wants to look half of my body weight but I do want to get down a few pounds for the sake of being healthy. I’m already cleaning up my diet tremendously, so I doubt this should be an issue by then.
12. Find a job/internship that I am passionate about. I have some potential positions lined up, but I’m waiting for confirmation before I determine anything. Fingers crossed!
13. Start maintaining a healthy sleep schedule. I feel like I never sleep.
14. Learn a chunk of a new language. I’m in the process of learning Spanish but I want to be able to know enough to conversationally speak it.
15. and last but certainly not least, learn how to efficiently expand my online presence!
Do you have a list of goals you would like to finish by the conclusion of this year?
I don’t know about you but as a busy college student living hours away from the people I have grown close with, I’m taken aback by receiving mail, even summaries from my bank, because receiving mail regularly has always escaped me. A day that I receive anything in that little mailbox of mine is a thrill ride. So when I received my nail jewels that I had ordered what feels like years ago (traveling from China takes longer than I could ever imagine for something so small!) and my Ipsy makeup bag package for October, I was at a loss for words. Pure, radiating joy! Not only was I feeling the love (from myself, as I was the one that had ordered these fabulous things, for myself obviously!), but there’s a feeling of satisfaction knowing that I’m going to have some new colors and products to show off in the coming week. I’ve gotten significantly more interested in exploring makeup, hair treatments, and nail art this year, so my Ipsy subscription allows me to explore my beauty tool options without having to shell out every last dollar in my wallet. It’s actually pretty affordable when you realize how much each product is when you buy them separately. It gives me the chance to essentially try new looks and products “guilt free”, and I have a subscription for a whole year paid off, so I have ten more months of pretty things just itching to get to my mailbox next!
This month, I received 5 products! Yes, 5! I love when they load up my bag like they did this month. My initial thought was to not get too excited because on Instagram, quite a few people were complaining about getting hair and skin products when they had explicitly requested not to. I am one of those people that generally sticks to my ways when it comes to lotions and cleansers, so I agree with not wanting to waste a sample on either one of these categories. When I opened to metallic pink shipping package, there was my beautiful new makeup bag. This makeup bag was much less “cheap looking” than the one from last month (I wasn’t impressed with the bag the products came in last month, but that didn’t hold me back from loving what I received regardless!), and had this really pretty texturized, quilted blue print. I love the color and I love the way the bag feels! I was immediately drawn to the whole look and feel of it.
When I opened the bag, like I said, I had 5 different products to check out. I received a Doll 10 Highlighter, a VolumEyes Mascara Sample, a City Color Be Matte Lipstick, a Figs & Rouge Hand Cream in Mango Mandarin, and a sample package of Skyn Glacial Cleansing Cloths. In order to give you a full idea of what I received this month, I will review each product individually.
Doll 10 Highlighter
I was extremely excited about this product. I’ve just recently taken up the art of face contouring and am continuing to research it and advance my skills (it’s definitely a process, especially for someone like me who, until recently, knew very little about how to use makeup to its fullest potential). When I opened this, however, I was a bit disheartened by the subtlety of it at first swab. When I brushed my finger across the surface, the pigment was practically invisible. When I contour, I like to be able to see how the makeup changes the look, especially when I highlight. If I’m going to highlight my cheek bones, I want there to be a difference when I apply the makeup or there’s no reason to apply it. When I applied it, although it took several strokes of the palette, it did end up having a pretty, dewey finish. The finished product wasn’t as monumentally great as I thought it would be, but I could see this product coming to good use at some point. It still has a good amount of usage potential. What I also noticed, too, which others may or may not mind, was that the highlighter wasn’t as creamy as I thought it would be. I usually use fairly creamy highlighters but this one is reminiscent of the texture of cream eyeshadow. It’s going to take some getting used to.
This product is a bit on the pricier side (it’s $30 on the website), but if you’d like to try it out for yourself, CLICK HERE.
VolumEyes Mascara Sample
I don’t have a fight to pick with this one. It does its job well. The volume of my eyelashes is much, much brighter and more defined than I thought it would be. I wish this product wasn’t a sample, but regardless, once I run out, I’ll be heading out to the store to give it another go. I’m not as picky about mascaras because as long as they don’t make my eyes feel like they’ve caught on fire every time the crumbs tumble into my eyes, I feel like they’re serving their purpose. That is, if they make me look like minnie mouse. Having a nice pair of thick eyelashes has been a long-time dream of mine, so I don’t protest to trying new products that will give me this effect. VolumEyes is a keeper!
If you’d like to check out this product (DO IT.), CLICK HERE.
City Color Be Matte Lipstick in Cappuccino
Gosh, I wish I loved this lipstick more than I do. Lipstick is my thing. I love trying out new colors, bold shades that contrast with my clothes…A great lipstick can tie together any outfit perfectly. But this lipstick…This shade in particular has become really popular recently, as my sister had mentioned that Kylie Jenner had set off a coffee/nude lip craze. This color is just that. It’s very pretty in the tube, but I’m not sure of how I feel about it when it’s actually on my mouth. The problem is that, when I put my bronzer on, this lipstick makes me look like I legitimately have a nonexistent pucker. Like someone carved a hole where my mouth is supposed to be and left the lips unfinished. My lips are really thin as is…I’m trying to stay open to the idea of wearing a somewhat nude lip, and I will give this one another chance, but part of me wishes that they’d throw in a berry shade instead. Berry is more my scene, or actually red. Red would be exquisite.
Ah, I did not want skin products. At all. On a scale from one to ten on how much I desire to smother myself in new skin creams, 1 being a firm “no” and 10 being a “grabby-handed” yes, I’d be a -5. NEGATIVE. FIVE. I didn’t want skin cream!
Despite my initial disappointment, however, the bottle of this lotion caught my eye immediately. It’s really cute and colorful. I wanted to give it a shot anyway. The smell is airy and light, which I love, and I have to say that it will suffice. If I were guaranteed to get a hand cream, I wouldn’t mind getting this one. I just have too many lotions, scrubs, and creams at home to even bother buying more. Berry lipstick, I still want you in my life.
Recently I had come to the conclusion that I was tired of using a scrub and astringent nightly to manage my skin and remove the makeup aftermath of the day. It burns (because of the condition of my acne), it gets dry, and it’s uncomfortable for at least a few minutes afterwards. I was on the verge of going to Target that afternoon when I received this package. I think it might’ve actually been destiny when I received the Skyn Cloths. They remove 90% of the makeup on their own, which says a lot because when I do makeup, it tends to stick to my skin like cement. These cleansing cloths do a beautiful job of cleaning up my skin and leaving the skin feeling fresh and actually clean. Granted I do still wash my skin with water afterwards because I am paranoid, but this sample was very impressive. It was only a sample, too, but came with a total of 10 cloths, which is a great deal for a sample! Samples, if you’re lucky, have just enough to get the job done once, but I think I’m equipped for the rest of the week! It’ll actually give me enough time to buy some on my own, now that I know what I’m looking for.
If you’d like to try these out, because they’re awesome, CLICK HERE.
I hope you guys enjoyed my review on the Ipsy bag I received for the month of October! If you can, I’d really appreciate if you give me a moment of your time and respond to the poll below.
If you have any other comments, feel more than welcome to comment on this post!