4.10.2013

Life Lesson Learned

me.


This Friday marks the third year I've had this blog--I hope you stop by then. I made you something! Today I'm sharing an important lesson I've learned that applies not only to blogging, but to life. Enjoy.

Trust Your Gut

We all love to give advice, don't we? I do, and it's one of the reasons I started this blog. I love to get advice as well. I work hard on ElleSees, but I welcome constructive criticism, especially for things that I need to improve upon, or things I might have missed. But I finally learned to listen to advice, and to trust my gut.

I always intended ElleSees to be a beauty blog, but when I told bloggers/ friends I was starting a blog, I was surprised at their responses. They ranged from "don't start a blog" to "only blog about your life" to "be a style blogger." And so I took everyone's advice, and my blog had a little of everything at first. This is true for many beginning bloggers; we post random topics to find our blog niche. But I knew what mine was: quick, easy, and on-budget beauty. My first beauty post sat in the draft folder for months; I was too nervous to post it. Random: I also learned no one wants to see what you cooked for dinner unless (a) the photos are amazing or (b) your recipe is something original. Yeah.

So slowly I started incorporating more beauty posts into my blog and retracting the topics that didn't hold my passion. My stats went down, the comments and emails arrived, with threats to unfollow/not view my blog because it changed. But you know what? ALL of those former followers either started a beauty blog or now blog beauty regularly. I should've just listened to my gut and blogged what holds my passion, not what is popular.

But still, I had not learned my lesson. Here's another example: my blog used to be more personal, but an email changed that: "Stop talking about yourself so much. Just get on with the tutorial. You use too many words." And so I stopped mentioning myself. But I felt like my blog was becoming more of a resource, less me. Knowing there's a person there, that you can trust, that could be a friend, is what makes blogging different, from say, a magazine. I admit, it can be a challenge to blend personal with beauty information, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I want you to know there's an intelligent, funny, and shy girl, who adores her dog, loves her family, is drawn to anything coconut-scented, and has a constant state of wanderlust behind this blog.

And she's finally learned her lesson.


PS: Ask Me Anything time is here! Ask your personal (or beauty) questions and I'll post my answers next week. Thanks.

63 comments:

  1. Elle, don't listen to anyone else. All you'll get is a headache or start feeling bad.Write about what YOU want to talk about. It's YOUR blog! I tell other bloggers this ALL the time. I never ask my readers what they want more or less of. I don't want to feel constricted to one topic. Whatever you post, if they like it they'll read faithfully and stay. If they don't, just let them go. It's not a reflection on you. People gravitate to their interests. More readers will come along. There are a gazillion blogs out there. Do what you love girl! I love your beauty tips, but I also think you dress well and would love to hear more about you.

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  2. I think your blog should be whatever YOU want it to be, after all it is YOUR blog and no-one else's. I hate it when others stipulate what should be on someones blog. If they don't like it, they shouldn't read it. I love to know the people behind the blog, so keep up the good work I say x

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  3. what makes this blog stand out is YOU. if people want to read an article about a product they can go to the product info for that and not on blog sites.

    keep up with what you are doing and congrats to 3yrs!!!


    fivetwocertified.blogspot.com

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  4. I never listen to anyone and post / do what I like. If the readers don´t like it bad luck but at least I´m happy :) Have to stop by on Friday for your anniversary.

    xx

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  5. I wish I had your focus! My blog is still a random stuff blog. If it weren't, I would post less (and I already never post!)

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  6. I do love your blog, but you do have to go with your gut and write about what you're passionate about - otherwise it will get boring. I blog for me, so I dislike threats to "unfollow". I always figured, I blog for me - not for you, so if you don't like it, don't read LOL.

    Just keep being awesome :)

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  7. Congrats on 3 years! That's amazing. I'm happy you are going with your gut. To me, blogging is personal and there are no rules to one's own blog. Just do what you love. I find that no one is going to be completely happy. Some people want personality all of the time, some people don't want it at all. The only person to make happy in all of this is yourself. It's not like we force people to read our blogs. When we're at the top of our game the success will follow.

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  8. Wholeheartedly agree. I still can't believe that some people have the nerve to tell you what to do in YOUR OWN BLOG! Like, really?!?

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  9. someone actually sent you that email?! people seriously need to learn some frigging manners and etiquette!!!!

    this blog is about YOU..whatever YOU feel like writing and those who don't want to read can just move the f*ck on. i know you've been sent some nasty emails/comments so i just want you to know that those douchebags are just miserable shits who do nothing but spread their toxic crap around. IGNORE THEM.

    however, i would love to read more about YOU. so please post what YOU do outside of your blog. what you like, don't like, what you do for a living etc etc...enquiring minds wanna know!! LOL

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  10. Congrats on all the great years of blogging - and I couldn't agree with your advice more!

    Courtney ~ http://sartorialsidelines.com

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  11. People can be so critical and hateful, especially over the Internet. I hate hearing when bloggers get nasty emails or comments. If someone does not like what you say or how you say it - Simple, don't read it. If you are not passionate about your writing, it will come through and the readers can sense that. I love your blog! You just need to be YOU and blog about what makes you happy.

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  12. Well, it is YOUR blog, why shouldn't you talk about yourself some, after all, a blog is sort of like self promotion to a degree, I think that's what people like, to know something about the author and their everyday life. xo

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  13. Wow, people can be really rude. I enjoy your blog, your writing and how you inject your personality into each post. I do feel like you are a friend I just haven't met in person!

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  14. i enjoy your blog. keep writing what you want to.

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  15. Thank you for sharing your blogging journey. I'm happy that you followed your gut into sharing your story together with beauty reviews and tips because I personally enjoy reading about your goals and happenings behind the beauty articles you generously share with us.

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  16. I can't imagine anyone having something mean to say to you!!! That's just horrible. Either way, I love to read anything you write!

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  17. I thought the whole point of a blog was to talk about yourself!? I hope you do share more about you because I love it. :)

    xo, Yi-chia
    Always Maylee

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  18. Great post! You are so right on. I struggled the other way around. At first i was only blogging about food. it reflected me at the time and my need to learn how to cook edible food! but i needed more, so now I've expanded my topics so they reflect the things that I'm currently excited about and want to share, similar to you! I also cut out the personal day to day stuff and realized that people only want to read about things that they can take away and apply to their own life, like you do as well. so that's what I've done and I'm much happier at blogging and I've met some wonderful people along the way!

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  19. You look absolutely adorable today, I love the way you style your hair!

    Have a fantastic week,
    -Kati

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  20. Loving your blog, and have been reading it for years...so yeah, I think that means something, no? Following your gut is always the best way to go. :)

    xoxo

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  21. I love everything you blog! Obviously all the beauty tips are awesome, but I really enjoy reading about your monthly/weekly "resolutions." I find them inspiring! Congrats on three years. Keep being you!

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  22. Congrats on 3 years! Time flies when you're having fun and doing something you love.

    I think it's clear that you're a very intelligent, funny, awesome chick that's why so many people love you :).

    The shy part though I don't see haha.

    Maybe that's because I'm pretty shy myself and to me you seem very outgoing :).

    Happy Wednesday!

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  23. Whoever doesn't like too many words can always fast forward or skip a few rows! You look amazing, purple suits you really well! Happy 3rd!

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  24. You are such a babe and you seem lovely, I can't understand why people are so mean on the internet! Keep doing what you are doing and having fun!

    Em x

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  25. I love what you're putting out here & I see your blog both as a great resource PLUS I feel I understand you as a person (or at least the "online" you!)

    congrats on 3 years, girl!! you're doing awesome.

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  26. I love this, Elle. You are one of the most genuine bloggers I know -- and I love reading your blog. You inspire me to try harder with my makeup (and I've tried new products I've been wondering about because of your reviews). :)

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  27. You know how much I adore you and your blog. I find the information you provide to be really useful and so interesting. Congrats on 3 years and here's to many, many more!

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  28. the whole blogging journey is one wild ride, no? it is weird. it is best to do what you want and what makes you happy. your voice should be heard. there are 14 scrillion blogs out there, and it is a waste of time to try and be like the others.

    i have been criticized for my blog many a time. at this point i don't really care. i post things that are of interest to me, matter to me, or make me laugh. if people like it, great. if not, whatever. it would be nice to make more money from blogging, but i don't want to be a slave to it or to others. so there you have it. from one blogger to another.

    keep it up! :)

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  29. Love it! Do what you enjoy. Congrats! :)

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  30. Elle, every once in a while, I am surprised by one of your posts. Maybe people feel like they know you from the blog, so they feel comfortable enough to give your their unfiltered opinions? Blogging is a really odd world sometimes.

    I definitely look to you for beauty tips. You have made me leave my (very boring) comfort zone more than a few times. Can't wait for year 4!

    P.S. I also like hearing about your life. Don't stop:)

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  31. Wow...3 years! congrats! Hope you are having a wonderful day!
    -Jyoti
    Style Delights Blog

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  32. Happy Blogiversary!

    You definitely have to blog for YOU. It's one thing to accept honest feedback and use it as something to think about, but it's another to change what you want just because other people think you should.

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  33. I am glad you followed your gut. I love reading all of your beauty posts.

    Tracy

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  34. Great post! It's hard to trust your gut and do what you know is right for you, especially when people are criticizing. I love blogs like yours where I feel a personal connection that goes beyond, like you said, what you could read in a magazine. Keep being you!

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  35. I think the personal parts of the tutorial or review is what makes it great. If I just wanted a robot answer I would read the reviews on the product website. Keep it up, you rock!

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  36. I'm always reading even though I don't always comment & I enjoy your blog precisely because it is so original. It's just perfect!

    always, koru kate

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  37. Lovely post and excellent advice!

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  38. First, you are looking GORGEOUS in that photo. Second, good girl to stay true to yourself.

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  39. i love that you're a beauty blogger and i love that lip color! Xo Megan, www.TfDiaries.com

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  40. This was a really interesting read. I agree, it's SO important to trust your gut! So far while blogging I've learned that everyone is going to have an opinion, and not everyone will like you, so blog what YOU want to blog and disregard criticism that is not constructive.
    You're doing a great job!!
    Isn’t That Charming.

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  41. trusting your instincts are sooo important
    xo
    MOSAMUSE

    www.MOSAMUSE.com

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  42. Thanks for sharing this. Trusting your gut is so so important. Your blog is fabulous, so keep doing what you're doing! xo, Julie

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  43. Hi my sweet friend. Congrats on your blog. I love what you post. Always. Elle, I have tried to email you and I can't for some reason. I don't want to say anything too personal. But I was sorry to hear the news. I love you friend and have been praying for you. If you would email me, maybe I can get back to you that way. I would like to share some more info with you. Love to you always, and holding you close to my heart,

    Shauna xo

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  44. First of all for anyone who emails you mean messages needs to get a hobby. I am thankful for your site as it has been very useful and I can't wait to see what else you will keep sharing with all of us!

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  45. OF COURSE you should put as much of yourself in your blog as possible. Just shut those haters down. Use a little bit of that Southern feistiness (I know Southern girls are feisty!) and tell them to shut the hell up and start their own blog if they feel like expressing their opinion. And, who wouldn't love to hear more about your dog? :)

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  46. My dear, you just have to do what love and what you want! It is great stopping by your blog and you have totally inspired me to learn more about natural ingredients as well. I'm experimenting with making a few beauty products too and am thankful you showed me that it is really easy!

    xoxo,
    Chic 'n Cheap Living

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  47. Good for you, Elle! I love your blog- and the fact that the real "you" shines through in each post. :)

    Congrats on 3 years!

    -Ashley
    http://lestylorouge.com

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  48. I love this Elle! I'm having the same sort of struggle you had. Blogging about popular topics vs blogging about things I'm passionate about. It sucks when you switch thing up and no one responds, but you know what? I'm enjoying blogging more these days and that's what really matters. So glad you opened up about this. I'm sure there are many others in the same boat.

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  49. Love this thoughtful post Elle. I think you address many questions for all of us bloggers. It's a hard line to be informative but also not loosing the personal touch, I think. In Sweden, where I live, 99% of the blogs are about a specific persons daily life and only about themselves, and one must really like to share your life that much if so. I have chosen to be not that personal and keep it a little bit more to the topics I have knowledge about. But I do believe it would have been easier for me to just follow the same personal route as everybody else if you see what I mean. I think you have done a terrific blog and I have recently found you so please go with your gut. And remember, we change through life so do what ever you suits you right now! xo Caroline

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  50. Oh my goodness, it makes me so sad that you have faced so much adversary with blogging. I'd be SO hurt if people left me comments telling me how to blog. I'm so all over the place already, haha! Anyway, please let me be one to say that I ENJOY when you talk about yourself! I love getting to know the blogger behind the blog. So like you said, trusting your gut is so important. This is YOUR blog. Write about what you want. :)

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  51. Whatever, people are ridiculous. I love your blog just the way it is!

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  52. Happy blog-birthday!! I like to read about the bloggers life ;)
    xoxo

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  53. Babe just post abut what ever you want to post and screw the neg people, your readers love you for you and thats all that matters ;)

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  54. Hi Lovely, thanks for your kind visit! So happy you did this post, I admire that you finally began blogging about your passion, and it really does show, your brilliant at it. I can't believe there are so many negative people out there who emailed you. They should count themselves lucky to be able to visit your inspiring beauty blog every week.

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  55. Hey Elle, I love your blog. Haters gonna hate. Follow your heart darling.
    BTW, You look so gorgeous in the photo above, luscious hair, lovely!

    Kisses!

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  56. such a good lesson to learn! especially in this blogging world! I feel like so often we are pressured to be something other than ourselves, but I don't want to be. I don't want to stress about stats or wonder if I'm funny enough to gain followers. I just want to be me and have fun blogging. I had to take a sabbatical in Dec or so for that very reason. I needed a break to regain that. Great post!
    - Heather

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  57. Love this! Congrats on 3 years - love your blog and your personality we get to read about :)

    XO
    Pearls & Paws

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  58. Congrats on 3 years :)
    It's hard to please everyone. There is ALWAYS going to be someone out there that isn't satisfied with what we post. We just have to keep true to ourselves, which sometimes is hard to do.
    Great post lady :)

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  59. I love your advice, not going for something popular but what makes you happy. Happy anniversairy hun, words of wisdom!

    WWW.ROXTHEFOX.COM

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  60. Wow what hateful remarks you received. What makes them dictate what you write on your blog? There will always be the fake people out there who advice to do different things out of jealousy.

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  61. Thanks everyone for the sweet and supporting comments!
    @lindsay A--I can't find your blog, it's private? Please send a link and I'll visit!

    @Belle Virge--thanks for saying that! I feel like everyone wants more personal posts, but those are the least viewed posts I have. It's a struggle!

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  62. What?! Someone said that! Pssh... it's called Elle Sees not BeautyTutorials.com. I never thought you talked about yourself too much. I like getting to know the blogger behind the blog. I use my blog to talk about what I love which is a lot of fashion but can range from topic to topic. Thankfully no one so far has said "stop talking about yourself" I'm sure that would be hard to hear. But keep up the great work and just be you :)

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