In the middle of October 2016 this blog turned one year old. One year since I was stressing about my first year of university, my (lack of) career plans, and hobbies and extracurriculars. I realised that I had a new found love for beauty and makeup, and having watched Zoella since I was about fourteen or fifteen, I of course decided to start a blog.
I had no idea how much I would love blogging when I started. It felt so good to have a creative outlet where I could write about whatever I wanted. My first post was a general university post, and after my October Beauty Favourites I decided I wanted to write a beauty blog.
Despite having complete bloggers block the past couple of months, I can easily say that I love this blog. It has brought me so many amazing opportunities and I’ve learnt so much about working with brands, SEO and how to write in a way that people enjoy to read – no more chunky paragraphs here!
I attended my first blogging event in early March this year. It was the Lush Spring event and it was amaaazing. Going to a Lush event is basically every girls dream. I had the opportunity to mingle with other Sheffield bloggers, make my own Comforter bubble bar (which was huge by the way) and have the whole store to ourselves to talk to the staff and get expert advice about the products.
Following this, I have attended other events with Illamasqua (read the post here) and the East Midlands Blogger Event, and have been invited to many more which I am endlessly thankful for. I never imagined that blogging would bring me any recognition amongst brands and to be asked to events is unbelievable!
This blog moved to self-hosted WordPress back in March (which you can read more about here) which was a huge step for me. Don’t get me wrong, WordPress.com is a great starting platform for blogging. It provides a lot of themes and customisable options, a follow system and a few built-in plugins (Jetpack, anyone?) but it got to a point where I felt a little trapped using it.
At university I have learned a lot about HTML and CSS through my course which I enjoy applying to my own personal projects outside of university. However, with WordPress.com, you can’t customise the coding of your page which towards the end of my blog there, I was so restricted.
Therefore, one day I just went for it. After reading countless blogposts of other people’s experiences of moving to self-hosted WordPress I finally did it. I bought a pretty theme from Etsy, hosting through TSO-Host and migrated my site. This was extremely stressful because of my site downtime but the results are so worth it. I feel proud to show people my little online space. Yay!
Beauty Editor at Demon Media
In Summer this year, I saw a post on Facebook for editor positions at Demon Media. Demon Media is the student-led media organisation based at my university and it is definitely worth getting involved in if you study at DMU. I have been a member of Demon TV since my first year which was so fun, but I love writing and I wanted another outlet to express my interests.
Finally, I was given the role of Beauty Editor and I absolutely love it. I am a part of a lovely fashion and beauty section, and an even larger team of editors and the results that are produced for the magazine each month are so professional. There’s just something about seeing your writing published that makes you feel accomplished. You can read the October issue of The Demon here.
Blogging has also made me realise how much I love social media. Twitter is a platform that I believe should be utilised by everyone. I have met so many lovely bloggers though Twitter chats and also connected with brands. I met Vicki through Twitter and we met over the Summer at Sheffield Vegan Festival, which was such a fun day.
Scheduling Tweets is honestly a whole different way to approach social media. Scattering your posts every hour or two per day promoting a blog post sounds easy, but one you have selected every image, typed different text and selected different emojis, it can become quite time consuming! I run the Twitter account for @HelpLeicester (Sheffield have a huge account of this name!) which is a lot of fun.
Blogging and Confidence
When I started this blog, I was definitely not as confident as I am now. I wouldn’t say that I am a completely confident person, because I am definitely not, but a year ago I wouldn’t believe that I could happily go to blogger events and socialise with people who I’ve never met before. Networking can be a huge side to blogging, and talking to other bloggers and brands about opportunities is fun and exciting.
Blogging has been an amazing journey so far. I’m heading to Prague on Monday, so I’m excited to return next week and try and post one day a week again, like the old days. There will be product reviews, maybe makeup tutorials if I’m feeling confident enough and lifestyle posts, and I can’t wait to write again!