Guest Post | The Black Pearl Blog

10 Jul 2012

Blogging Mum

Hi everyone! I have never written a guest post before, but when the lovely Sophia suggested this opportunity to me, I quite liked the idea :) My name is Sandra and I write The Black Pearl Blog. I am a self confessed skincare junkie, makeup lover and a sucker for jewellery and that's the type of things I write about. I also make jewellery and have my own little ETSY store. 
I love photography and that explains the amount of pictures on my blog.  My guest post today will be about being a blogging mummy, the way I feel about blogging, why I started a blog and about all my dilemmas related to it. I am not an expert and I am not experienced, I have been blogging for 6 months and I just want to share my thoughts.
A picture of the The Black Pearl Blog

When  I started blogging in January I wasn't sure if I was going to stick to it for a longer period of time. I needed something to do apart from being a busy mum, a place to share my love for beauty products, fashion and ramblings about my life. I didn't think about the blog name for too long and now I regret it. What was I thinking? When you type The Black Pearl in Google it shows you the giant ship from Pirates of The Caribbean  and all the websites about it. I thought... Ok... I need to do something about it before it's too late! I changed the blog name to "The Black Pearl Blog" and got a custom domain and now my blog comes up first in the google search when I type "The Black Pearl Blog". I am glad it is sorted now but I still hate my blog name! If you are planning to start a blog, think about the name and make sure you love it and it is unique. You don't want to be stuck with a blog name you hate for the rest of your life! Make sure to create twitter, facebook, hellocotton, pinterest and all the other accounts with the same name. It makes finding a blog much easier. I didn't know that, but I wish I did... You can learn from my mistakes :)

A picture of The Black Pearl Blog
I didn't think about the number of my followers when I first started blogging, I just wanted to have my own little blog to share my thoughts and passions. I remember being excited about my first 100 followers, 500 followers, 1000 followers! I still can't believe that over 4000 people are following my blog at the moment via various networks! WOW! It is unreal, but... when I see blogs with the number of followers reaching 20 000 or youtube channels with over 500 000 subscribers... I feel like my blog doesn't mean anything... I know that many of my fellow bloggers feel the same way and it is normal, but let's not get upset! It doesn't matter how many followers we've got, we need to appreciate every reader and every comment they leave. I try to reply to most comments, but sometimes I am just too busy to do it. If somebody asks a questions I will always reply, I would never ignore a question from one of my lovely followers. 
If you read beauty blogs you probably noticed that some of the products mentioned are provided free of charge for review purposes aka PR samples. I don't have a problem with that, as long as the blogger adds a disclosure about the product being a free sample. It isn't really a freebie in my opinion, because if you review it, you gave something back and that counts too. It doesn't need to be a positive review either, it is an honest opinion that counts.
I have seen so many negative comments on #bbloggers chat and twitter in general about PR samples! I really don't understand why there is so much anger and negativity towards beauty bloggers. I haven't seen many comments like this towards fashion bloggers getting clothing free of charge for their outfits, so why bring down beauty bloggers for reviewing a face cream or a lipstick? It is nice to get stuff for free, but that's not what blogging is about. Most bloggers write about products they bought with their own money too, that's why they started blogging in the first place. I am a skincare addict and spend every single penny I've got on beauty products! I owe thousands of pounds to my bank and credit cards because of this addiction! Many times I receive a sample and buy the rest of the range with my own money or repurchase the product because I simply loved it and it became a part of my regime. 
I've never thought that blogging would be so time consuming and addictive! I spend all my free time on my blog, reading other blogs, taking pictures, testing samples etc... Sometimes I feel like blogging took over my life and I don't give my son enough attention. In moments like this, I hide my laptop and the iPad and I give my baby boy lots of cuddles and play with him for the rest of the night. I need to admit, I am one of the lucky mums to have a very content baby. He is a little explorer and likes to be left alone to do his own thing most of the time, he sleeps through the night and gets up between 7-8. 
It is always funny to see him running away with my make-up brushes or hiding my lipsticks and nail polishes under the sofa :) No, I am not a perfect mum, I let my son play with my make-up! This is the only way to actually do my make-up. Doing FOTD posts is hilarious! I am sitting on the floor with all my make-up around me and Zac tries to grab everything I need to use next. I turn around and he is opening my eye-shadow palette digging out an expensive eye shadow with his finger. Lovely :) 
My husband gets angry sometimes, because I spend too much time on my blog. I just need to find the right balance between being a mum, wife and a blogger. It is just a hobby for me, not a job. 
A picture of The Black Pearl Blog
Talking about blogging being a job... I wanted to mention the subject of sponsored posts.  I have been offered to write a couple of sponsored posts in the past, but I refused because I felt like I would be judged and disliked for doing it. After over 6 months of blogging 24/7 I thought... Ok... I think that I achieved a lot and my followers can see that I am genuinely passionate about my blog and I am not doing it for money or freebies. I decided to accept sponsored posts relevant to my blog and only feature items I genuinely like and would consider buying, items I am dreaming of or content that will interest my readers :) My first sponsored post got a good response and I like the fact that I was able to prepare the full thing myself, with my own words and opinions. That's the way it should be. I don't want anybody to put words in my mouth! Let me know how you feel about this subject, I would love to hear your opinion.
The only way I can describe my relationship with blogging is - LOVE! I honestly love blogging and it has became my passion! I got to meet some amazing people through blogging, including  the lovely Sophia, that I talk to daily on Twitter. I know that if I have got a problem, I can count on fellow bloggers and my readers and it makes me happy.
A massive, huge thank you to Sandra for this post. When I was reading it, I was really wowed. I absolutely loved it! Thank you! Be sure to check out Sandra's blog: The Black Pearl Blog, you can also find her on Twitter.