27 January 2015

Things I've Learnt About Blogging

Things I've Learnt About Blogging

My little space here will be three years old in March, where whilst looking back across my archives I realise I have never really written down in any great detail the various things that I have learnt about blogging over this period of time. From initially setting out to just write about mascara I was incredibly oblivious to this online community and the wonderful people within it. I have to say that when I sat down to plan this post I thought of a lot more things than I expected to so I'll try to keep it short and snappy but still informative.

It's not a race | The blogging world is growing at a rather rapid rate where is so different now to how it used to be back when I started almost three years ago. It's extremely fast paced in my opinion and it is incredibly easy to get caught up within it. Blogging is not a competition, we're all out doing our own thing and hopefully are enjoying what we do, if you're not you need to look into as to why that is. It's important to keep at your own pace so that first and foremost you don't lose your voice, your enjoyment and your passion for your blog. 

A DSLR isn't necessary | Of course I feel a little bit of a hypocrite considering my picture above has a DSLR in it, however I've seen plenty of bloggers who have used their phones for pictures before investing in a DSLR, in fact I used my phone to take the picture above. From my experience it's not how you take the photograph (although that sure does help) it is how you edit afterwards.

You don't need Photoshop | Now this is one that may raise a few opinions as I know Photoshop is a programme that a lot of people use and spend a lot of money on, however I don't own Photoshop and have never once used it for any of my pictures. Recently I have been extremely blessed in that I've receive such lovely comments from people who read my blog in regards to my photography, so I think it's high time I put together a few tips on what I use to edit my photographs. Whilst I don't think it is a necessary programme to have, I do think that it would be an amazing one to use. I hope to one day to purchase it however that is a long way off as it isn't something that I'm in a rush to do.

Drama | Don't get involved.

Hype | When I first started blogging I fell for the hype, I fell hard and found myself spending so much money. Trust me when I say that it's not worth it, hold fire and wait a few weeks, read around the product properly and then decide; don't just take someone's word for it.

I love it | I never thought three years ago that I would enjoy doing something so much. I've learnt that I love writing about make up and skincare and all the random other things that occasionally crop up on here. Editing photographs is also something that I really enjoy along with staging props etc, quite simply I really enjoy being creative.

Learning new skills | Before I started my blog I knew nothing about photography, I knew nothing about HTML and I knew nothing about the powers of social media and how marketing, branding and SEO worked, although that last one still confuses me quite a lot.

Communication | Looking back over the time I have being reading blogs and writing my own, I would say that this is the one area in which I feel as though I can give myself a pat on the back, although lately I have been incredibly busy so it's something that I'm trying to get back into the swing of. Comments go along way with fellow bloggers, in fact any form of interaction goes a long way and it is something that I feel quite strongly about. If you enjoy reading a blog let them know, if you loved that post they wrote last Thursday and it helped inspire you to do something, let them know; it will make their day!

Rewarding | Over the last three years I have developed and learnt new skills, I've also made friendships with some lovely people and I have had some really wonderful opportunities. Yet above all else I think I've gained confidence which honestly feels great to say as I've always been an incredibly shy person. Starting up my blog has been one of the best things I have done, it's nice to finally be able to fill out the dreaded 'hobby' box and write something down that isn't something pulled out of thin air.

Don't fret | If you run out of ideas or don't have time to blog then don't worry, take a break as I can assure you the ideas will come back to you. I used to worry all of the time that I hadn't posted in two days and even now I still do on occasion, however I've learnt that it just isn't worth it. It takes the fun out of it completely for me when I'm worrying about publishing content regularly so when I feel myself slipping into those old habits I just sit back, turn off my PC and do something else.

Quality over quantity | This next point links in well with the previous as I personally think that if you're constantly publishing content without much thought or consideration behind it, then ultimately you're doing yourself an injustice. Take time to plan your post and do your research properly, read back over previous posts and reply to your comments if you can. Personally for me I believe that quality stems not just from your published content but from the time and effort you take to communicate back to people. Replying to comments, tweets and emails helps build up a relationship between you and your readers over time. This is incredibly valuable and important to me, where from a reader perspective (I read A LOT of blogs myself); I know that I truly appreciate it when somebody replies to my comments whether it's on twitter or on their blog. Receiving a response from somebody when I've shown an interest in their content doesn't go unnoticed, not just by me but from other readers too I should imagine.

Be professional (within reason) | Now I wasn't quite sure what to call this point hence the bit in brackets. I can be a fine one to talk as when it comes to my blog I try to be as professional as possible because that's ultimately how I believe you should be, particularly if you're in the position where you work with brands. I'm honesty a big believer in the notion that 'first impressions count', they will stick so try and make them positive. Writing this particular section I immediately thought of twitter, as in all honesty some of the things I see on there shock me! However, on the other hand I think you can be too professional as people still want to see the human behind the blog and that's a good thing. I always like to remember that I'm just one little fish in a very big pond (this is the analogy of where my blog name comes from) and even now after three years it's still something I believe.

Spell Check | Oh the irony! I can spell check my work until the cows come home, yet two days later when re-reading over a post I can still spot errors I have made. I'm not perfect and I'll no doubt always make errors here and there yet by spending a minute or two checking for errors it can really help to make a difference to your content. In fact I have one more tip that I will squeeze into this section which is to read your work out loud. You may feel a little silly, yet I think it is extremely helpful in that it can help you to identify any sentences that perhaps don't make sense so that you're able to correct them accordingly.

Finally I'd like to add that singing along to Ed Sheeran doesn't always work when trying to write a blog post, however most of the time it does.
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74 comments

  1. Amazing post, as if its been three years! I adore your blog as you know.

    Sian | Siân Marie Beauty
    xo

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  2. Blogging is so rewarding to me in the nature of itself. Starting the end of the December, I got back into blogging, and I am really loving the great sense of community that it brings. Waking up to beautiful comments or the occasional tweet in the morning is the only thing that will get me up in a happy mood (despite my 6 a.m. wake-up call.) I by no means have a huge following, but the quality followers are the ones that bring me the most joy. I can truly say that I feel more confident and positive as a result. Thank you for sharing this lovely post as I can relate to so much of it. On a side note, it was so interesting to find out that you don't use Photoshop as your photos are always amazing, and it proves that you can do just as well without :)


    Emily // ahemitsemme.blogspot.com

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  3. Really love this post! I really appreciate how honest and humble you are :).
    I know I'm definitely not qualified to talk about good quality photography, but I would personally recommend Lightroom over Photoshop. It's much faster, and way easier to bulk edit! But again I'm not the most gifted photographer, haha. Your photography is stunning tough!!<3

    Xx
    Abby

    TutusandPearls.blogspot.com

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  4. I really enjoyed this, I love hearing what other bloggers have learned along the way and feel the same way about all your points! Love your blog and need to stop in more often.

    Xx Amber// www.ambermagus.ca

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  5. This is a really great post, some of the point you made are really good and I'm glad your blog is doing so well as it is amazing and deserves all the success it has! I really like the cute little Ed Sheeran comment at the end, it made me smile!

    hiyaitsashley.com

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  6. Loved this post, Amy! Thanks for sharing all the wisdom you've acquired over the last few years! Your advice about not stressing yourself out when you can't always put up posts regularly really resonated with me. I've been struggling with that during my first year blogging but not being so hard on myself really helps. I love your blog and it's always a pleasure to read!
    XO Camey

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  7. Thank you so much for sharing this! I'm just at the beginning of my blogging journey but I love reading about what others have learned. This was honest and informative.


    Congrats on making it to 3 years! (Almost!)


    xx Kathryn
    http://www.throughthethicket.ca

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  8. absolutely loved this post, I'm just beginning to get stuck into my blogging and this was so helpful! thank you so much for sharing and for being honest, it really made it more helpful :)

    Alannah, xx
    http://alannahmargaret.blogspot.ca/

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  9. I enjoyed reading this a lot! thanks for sharing :)

    http://allornothing-blog.blogspot.co.uk/

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  10. I loved this post. It's nice to see blogging being talked about so positiviely - most similar posts are about what NOT to do when you blog. I totally agree that you blogging is a great hobby - you learn new skills and get new opportunities and can be creative in your own special way. Now, if only i could master social media, then I'd be golden!
    Beth x

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  11. I loved this post. You really described a blogger life nicely. My blog is also 3 years old and when looking back on my posts I always cringe, because they were so bad :) But I really learned a lot - as you said- from photography to writing etc. xx


    http://bblluusshh.blogspot.com

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  12. This is a great post! Really enjoyed reading it :) I haven't blogged for nearly as long as you, but it was inspiring to read about what you've learned.

    xx Mimmi, Muted Mornings

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  13. I loved reading this post. I had to have a little bit of a giggle when you said SEO still confuse you! It's one thing that I can't get use to, since I've started blogging! For me it's a great hobby, and a fabulous release from work. I've come to avoid the hype as much as I can, particularly about products and pretty beauty products. xo

    www.darlingdeedee.com

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  14. such a cute and wonderful post :) I have learnt that it isn't a race!


    emily xx


    emilycouture95.blogspot.co.uk

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  15. Thank you so much! I adore Ed Sheeran, I'll admit I have some kind of crush on him, his voice <3 x

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  16. You're welcome! So do I, he is perfect and he is flawless live!

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  17. I would love to see him live! x

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  18. You should if you get the chance, he's amazing! I saw him in Glasgow on his tour and at the EMAs, he was amazing!

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  19. What a lovely round up post Amy. I think that it is wonderful that you've reached three years - congratulations.
    Ting x | The Ting Thing

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  20. I have the spell check problem as well :P I'll re-read my post about three times before publishing and there's always something wrong! Also I agree you don't need to be in the hype in order to be a 'real blogger'. If anything, it's better to write about what you love!

    hellomissjordan.blogspot.co.uk xx

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  21. lovely post! I had started blogging 7 months ago and have already learnt so much. I also fell for alot of beauty products - the hype/trend is such a struggle when reading so many blogs. I enjoy beauty and makeup but have now dabbed onto lifestyle posts.

    Curves and Lashes

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  22. Great post! I've been blogging on and off since 2013 but have been really focused on it the past couple of months xx

    http://cocoamay.blogspot.co.uk

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  23. Great post. I have been blogging for just over 2 months and I have learnt so much already. I've read blogs for the past 4 years and I have definitely seen a products getting hyped about one minute and then slated the next x


    pintsizedbeauty.blogspot.co.uk

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  24. This is a lovely post :) I feel like I'm constantly reading blogging tips, but every blogger has their own voice and experiences, so it's interesting to see their lessons, and I liked your round up. Plus some advice is always comforting - such as being reminded that blogging isn't a race! There is so much pressure in some areas of the community -constant talk about boosting follower counts, getting PR branding, being abc and doing xyz that it can get a little overwhelming and discouraging. x

    Ornella @ EUHNELLA

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  25. This is such a nice post :) It's really nice reading up on tips and how other bloggers feel. I think we all forget that all bloggers are just ordinary people and we're all in the same boat! We should help each other more!

    Charli | Charlotte Rose

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  26. I learned a lot from reading this post, it was very interesting. It made me learn new things without feeling like I'm in a classroom waiting for the end to come, I really enjoyed reading it and plan on putting some of these good points to use! Thank you and hope you carry on doing what you love doing. :D


    whispersofanarcissus.blogspot.co.uk

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  27. Thank you. I know what you mean and I have to say I was wary of that when I was writing this, I hope it didn't come across too much as just another one of those types of posts. It can indeed all become a little overwhelming, it's important to remember to switch off at times :) xx

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  28. Drama - Don't get involved! YES! So much unnecessary drama in the blogging world. You've made so many fabulous points here lovely, and I agree with all of them! Here's to another (and more!) three years of A Little Boat Sailing!

    Megan xo
    Thumbelina Lillie | UK Beauty & Fashion Blog

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  29. I love love love this post! So many great points, and I agree with all of them :) You definitely need to do a photography post missy and I love your photos, and have to agree with the drama since the GG fiasco, better to stay away

    Charlee XO | CharmedCharlee

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  30. This is such a good post! I was nodding along to all of your points haha (: I've just made the switch to DSLR after using my iPhone for the past few years, but I didn't feel pressured to get one it was a personal thing for me as I've always been interested in photography & decided to use my blog as an opportunity to improve it! I love how rewarding blogging can be & completely agree with 'quality over quantity' I just don't post unless I'm happy with my content, theres no point forcing a post!

    L x

    www.loulabeth.co.uk

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  31. It really does make someone's day when you have enjoyed their post doesn't it? That's why I comment on as much as I can. I select the posts that come on my bloglovin feed to read as they won't all interest me that day, so the ones I do read I will probably enjoy, I always try to comment if I have. X

    Amy at amynmore.blogspot.co.uk

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  32. I just started blogging so it's always a pleasure to read about other individuals and their experiences. However... I had been reading blogs well before I ever considered creating my own so any blogging based posts will always excite me I believe :)


    Luckily for me, I had a DSLR so I don't need to worry to much about quality, and my boyfriend (thank heavens) is always eager to help me edit images on Photoshop because I'm definitely no whizz kid when it comes to software's, I also had no idea how to use HTML, and spent an entire night fretting over how my blog appeared... safe to say I'm a little more pleased with it now :)


    Communication wise, I don't believe I would have the following I have in such a short space of time if it weren't because of it. I try and get involved in every single Twitter chat, I also spend hours on end looking for blogs to read and I'll be sure to leave a comment if I thoroughly enjoyed what that individual had to say.


    Thanks for sharing your journey so far :) I'll definitely take some of these and use them as tips myself x


    www.sheintheknow.co.uk

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  33. quality over quantity. couldn't agree more. great tips you have here! thanks!

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  34. Hi Amy! How are you? I've been so busy lately and I missed taking the time to write a few comments whenever I read your amazing posts!

    Love this post! I have to agree on everything, especially when you say it's not a race and about the drama... So true! :) xx

    Gyudy's Notes Of Beauty

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  35. great post! i always love reading something a little more personal on people's blogs (i need to do it a bit more myself tbh) and i think so many of us have been on the same journey with blogging so it's nice to touch on it every now and then and create some discussion about blogging as a community and past time instead of only ever blogging about products, etc. it's a world that has changed so much since i first got involved but i think we all get a lot out of it or else we wouldn't all still be here blogging to this day.

    jessica - littlehenrylee.com

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  36. This is such a great post! You've basically covered everything I would say if someone asked what my blogging experience was like - and then some. My favourite point is the one about skills. We become so used to do all these things everyday that it's easy to forget we haven't always!

    Jodie, alajode.com

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  37. such a good post<3

    http://pinkgrandex.blogspot.co.uk/

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  38. love your points! Thanks for sharing such helpful tips. I definitely agree with everything especially having quality posts rather than quantity as readers will come back when your posts are well-written and composed nicely rather than a rushed post everyday.


    EricaRosa

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  39. This is all great advice. Congrats on 3 years! Here's to many more!
    Cheers <3

    http://theprettylittlesecretblog.blogspot.com/

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  40. Thank you so much Sian! The three years sure has gone by extremely fast x

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  41. The blogging community is incredible, it is so supportive :) I agree, comments are so incredibly lovely to receive, they're so much more important than a huge following in my opinion. I'm so glad you enjoyed the post Emily! I'd love Photoshop but I really want to upgrade my computer before I think about buying that. Thank you so much for the kind words and support :) xx

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  42. Thank you so much Abby! I will definitely check out Lightroom, thank you. I haven't heard of that before :) xx

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  43. Thank you Amber, I hope you enjoy what you find when you do pop by :) xx

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  44. Hoping he comes to V Festival this year as me and my friend are thinking of going x

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  45. Thank you Camey :) I used to get so stressed out over it and honestly even now I can find it creeping up on me and every now and then. It's important for us not to beat ourselves up about it, content suffers then and what's worse is we can begin to not enjoy it and that is so sad. I'm so glad you enjoy reading my blog, thank you xx

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  46. You are most welcome Kathryn and thank you! I hope it gave a relatively good insight into what I've experienced so far. Blogging is meant to be fun, I sure hope you love it as much as I have done :) xx

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  47. Thank you for reading Marie x

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  48. I don't think there is anything that you shouldn't do when blogging, it is after all your own blog. Oh Beth me too, social media and seo are things I utterly fail at xx

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  49. Thank you Ana. A blogger life is nice, it can be a bit busy if it's not your job (like me) it can be hard to find the right balance as I have often found myself spending more time on this then perhaps other things that should be a priority. It's all a learning curve though. Oh seriously if you go back to the beginning of my blog there are some shocking posts haha! xx

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  50. Thank you so much Mimmi. Whether you're a new blogger or old we all have something to say or share, I love new bloggers coming along and I love your blog as you already know :) I hope you're well xx

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  51. I think it will always confuse me to be honest, I just can't get my head around it. The hype can be hard to avoid but it's well worth it most of the time, I try to wait and read as many reviews from as many different sources as I can :) x

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  52. It sure isn't :) thanks Emily x

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  53. Thank you so much Ting, I can't quite believe it is almost three years either x

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  54. Same here, I tend to spot it at night time in bed and then I get annoyed as I can't then correct it until morning. Writing about what you love is key, it's a good job I love make up and skincare :) x

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  55. I think dabbling into new areas can be great you know, it allows you to explore more in terms of creativity, you're thinking about new ways to express yourself and that's a great thing :) xx

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  56. I must admit I've seen that too. It's something to be aware of which is why its important not to fall for hyped up products although I know it can be difficult at times, especially when you really want to try something for yourself x

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  57. Thank you Hannah! You too :) x

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  58. Thank you Charlotte. We are all indeed in the same boat and I agree, we should all help each other more although in my experience everybody has always been really helpful :) x

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  59. That's such a nice comment to read, thank you so very much :) xx

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  60. Thank you so much! Yes if I would say anything not to do it would be to just avoid drama completely xx

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  61. It's on my list Charlee, I really want some time to sit down to put it together properly and I just don't have the time at the minute, maybe during reading week I can squeeze it in :) xx

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  62. I completely agree Zoe, I know that if I forced a post I just wouldn't be happy with it and these days I really do try to ensure that every post or photograph I publish is something I'm happy with. I'm so glad that you enjoyed this one :) xx

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  63. It sure does Amy, it really is the little comments and responses that can make my day so I know that if they do they can easily make someone else's. Thank you for stopping by today :) x

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  64. It's so nice to have someone who will help you with the editing process, Photoshop from what I hear can be a little tricky to get your head around. I try to get involved in twitter chats where I can, up until Christmas I was always there but so far I'm a bit behind as I just have so much to do, I can't wait for a break. Thank you so much for reading this Rebecca, I'm glad that you enjoyed it :) xx

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  65. Hey! I'm very well thank you, I hope you are too. I know don't worry I have been so busy too, hence my replies to this post being so late. Thank you so much for reading this, I'm glad that you enjoyed it :) xx

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  66. Thank you so much Jessica, I'm so happy to hear that you enjoyed reading this post. I very rarely post more personal things either, don't worry. I've had such lovely feedback from this though I must admit, it has gave me a bit of confidence to approach a more personal theme every now and then. Blogging sure has changed since I started, it's a very fast moving community that's for sure x

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  67. Yes I agree, when I sit back and think about all of the things that I have learnt since I started this blog it is actually quite amazing, I bet so many of us can say that :) x

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  68. All in good time Camellia, the most important thing to do is to make sure you enjoy it :) x

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  69. Thank you Shanna. That is definitely true, people like reading honest, engaging content (at least I do), it's clear when a post hasn't been thought out very well x

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  70. Thank you so much Mimi! :) xx

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