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What 3 Years Of Blogging Has Taught Me - The Good, The Bad & The Flatlay


Hello! I intended to have this post up the week before last as Penneys To Prada turned 3 years old on the 21st of February, but college had me up to my eyes in assignments and I had to prioritise and then we went to Amsterdam, but I'm posting it today and that's the main thing! 

Three years is quite a long time, especially for me as I'm someone who never sticks at anything for long, whether it's tennis lessons or learning how to play guitar, I usually get bored after a few months and move onto the next thing. It's even longer than any relationship I've had thus far, so yeah, the fact this blog is still going strong this far down the line is a big deal for me, and today I thought I'd look back on what my time blogging has taught me!

It can be pretty superficial...

What I mean by this is that there's a lot more to blogging than meets the eye, a lot goes on 'behind the scenes' in blogging that you might not realise. For example, some of the shots I take of my outfit in my room that I post on Instagram don't tell the whole truth, and if you saw a 360 image of my room at the time the photo was taken, you'd see that the rest of my room was a total mess, which I know is pretty misleading but hey, sometimes I'm busy and only have a few minutes to clean up the section that will be visible! My mum always threatens that one day she'll expose me by posting 'real life' pictures of my room and show you all what it looks like outside the frames of the photos, which I think would actually be quite funny!

As well as the silly things like your room being a total mess outside of that little Instagram square, the superficiality of blogging and social media extends a little further, and I did a whole post on this back in March, which you can read here - Social Media - People Aren't All They 'Post' To Be... Since writing that post, I've made even more of an effort to be as 'real' as possible on social media, and I feel like I've opened up a lot more on Instagram especially by chatting about how I'm feeling, whether I've had a great day, or a shitty one and I've been really enjoying chatting to you all in the comments and making connections about things other than beauty or fashion.

Stay true to you...

A piece of advice I always give to people who are thinking of starting a blog is always be true to who you are and what you're actually interested in. If you love food and reading, but start a blog about make-up because that's what you think people will want to read, then you'll find that after a while you'll lose interest and your heart won't be in it. 

Having resting bitch face is a real problem...

I naturally have the worst resting bitch face, I always look mildly pissed off and when I'm shooting an outfit, I have to make a conscious effort to remember to smile, or at least not scowl. Dara (my boyfriend) has come up with a brilliant technique where he'll say something ridiculously silly whilst taking pictures of me in order to get me to smile or laugh, and the picture above is a brilliant example of the end result, it actually works!

The 'free stuff' isn't all it's cracked up to be...

Nothing is ever truly 'free' is it? Often PR companies will send bloggers products in the hopes that they'll blog about them, or mention them somewhere on social media. There is definitely also a limit on how much stuff you actually need. Sometimes I look at some of the 'make-up collection tour' videos that big beauty gurus on Youtube make and there is no way that they will ever use up all of that make-up, but because most of it was sent to them, it doesn't really matter. I've found myself saying no to quite a lot of press drops recently because I simply don't need the products being offered and it'd be wasteful. 

I often receive messages from people who are thinking about starting a blog, and some of the time they will ask how to go about getting 'free stuff', and my advice is always the same, if you are thinking of starting a blog purely because you want 'free stuff', you better have a lot of patience because it takes quite a while to build up an audience to a level where PR companies will consider sending you products. 

There are some total babes in the blogging community...

There's nothing better than meeting likeminded, supportive people and after three years of blogging, I've met my fair share at this stage! Realistically, we're all in competition with one another, but it certainly doesn't feel like that and it's always so nice to see bloggers showing each other some love, be it a comment on Instagram, or a retweet on Twitter. I mentioned this in my post about the positive side of social media, which you can read here - A Big Thank You and I still feel the exact same. Even though I've met so many lovely girls through blogging, there are a particular few that I have so much love for so if you aren't already following them, then you need to check out Michelle, Jess, CiaraNiamh and √Čadaoin.

The art of multitasking...

Juggling blogging with everything else in life has meant that I am now a master of multitasking. I'll often be writing a blog post in between college lectures (like I am right now), or Instagramming in the car (obviously not when I'm the one driving) and I've even been known write blog posts in the car too!

You don't have to like everyone...

I'm considering doing a more in depth post on this soon, but basically, just because someone also blogs about fashion, and is Irish, or female or has the same colour hair as you, it doesn't mean you have to like them. You also don't have to like someone just because loads of other people do too. There are some bloggers who I'm not the biggest fan of, and don't follow, and that's fine, I don't have to. With that being said, while it's perfectly okay to not like someone for whatever reason, you don't have to be openly negative about them. I can't stand when I see people tweeting about what someone else is doing, or just dragging them down. I'm a total believer in the practise of 'if you don't like someone, don't follow them', easy peasy!

Comparison is the thief of joy...

This is true for life in general, but I find it's especially true when it comes to blogging. Since we live our lives so much online, it can be very easy to look at what others are doing and compare where they are and where you are and feel like you're not doing as well as them. After three years I have learnt that putting on my blinkers and just focusing on what I'm doing is a much better approach, rather than worrying about what anyone else is doing. It gives me a lot more time to be productive and get things done too!

Change is good...

Like I mentioned in the second point, staying true to yourself is seriously important if you want to stick at blogging, and sometimes that might mean you need to change the content you're creating, or add something new. Even though I'm still totally fashion obsessed, over the last year or so I've done a lot more travel and lifestyle posts, because it's something that I love and I think that's really helped me stay interested in blogging. If I'd stuck to writing beauty and fashion posts just because that's what I know will do well and get the most views, I'd have given up a few months ago!

Outfit Details

Vintage Levis Jacket - A hand-me-down from my lovely Mum (similar here & here) / T-shirt - Penneys (similar here) / Shirt - Penneys (similar herehere) / Watch - Daniel Wellington (exact style here) / Shoes - Vans (similar here & here) / Sunglasses - Hawkers Co / Bag - Penneys / Jeans - Topshop

As always, thanks so much for reading, and thank you for the continued support you've all shown me for the past three years, it's so very appreciated!

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