This post was supposed to be a compilation of beauty blogs and beauty related articles that I recently discovered (most of the blogs I found through one of my favorite beauty blogs Gouldylox Reviews) when things took a turn for the worse for me on the very popular peer review beauty site Makeup Alley. I’ve been thinking for days about how to approach this issue and if I should even blog about it, and I’ve come to the general conclusion that I should write about my experience so that I can hopefully get some feedback and explanations from my readers about what happened to me and perhaps my experience might be helpful to others. I also thought this might be a good opportunity to present some information about my motivations for writing this blog and why I like blogging. (This is fairly long post so I hope people will hang in there until the very end. I would love to get feedback on what I have to say here.)
Let me explain a few things about myself and my blog. I started this blog nearly three years ago because I noticed that there was a real lack of concrete and true skincare information on the web yet there was a lot of misinformation out there, because I wanted a way to share my skincare knowledge with more than just my friends and family (at the time I was looking for a job as an esthetician and had few clients to share my knowledge with), and I found that having a blog was a great way for me to both research and organize my thoughts about skincare topics that interested me. I also loved the idea of “meeting” people from around the world, hopefully, with whom I had a common interest yet no other way of finding one another.
When I started writing my blog almost no one read it except my mother and my husband, but slowly my readership began to grow. Is my readership now large? Am I inundated with free product samples? Am I receiving recognition from outside sources? Do I make any money from my blog? The answer would be no to all four questions. I even asked myself the other day – “if people stopped reading your blog would you still write it?” And then I concluded “yes, yes I would keep writing. I like writing a blog about skincare enough that even if no one read it I would still keep writing”.
Anyhow, I’m getting side tracked. Because my readership isn’t large and I would love to see it grow I try to thank people when I see that they mention my blog somewhere. I don’t know 99% of my readers and truly appreciate each subscriber and each mention of my blog since my great hope would be for this blog to be more successful. Though my readership is small through my blog I’ve come in contact with really great people from all over the world; one of the things I had hoped for when I started this blog as I mentioned above. Though at times I’ve received negative and outright rude feedback and comments from people for the most part my blogging experiences have been extremely positive. (By the way, the rudest comments I have received have almost all been in connection to my post from years ago about Paula Begoun. Some of the people who commented didn’t even seem to actually have read what I wrote before they attacked me, but since I wanted to be impartial I published their comments nonetheless. Paula Begoun certainly has many very loyal fans out there.)
WordPress allows me to see what websites refer readers to my blog, and as such I always pay attention when I see that more than a few readers have found my blog from one source. Quite a few months ago someone mentioned my blog in response to a question about favorite skincare blogs on Makeup Alley. I was very pleased and flattered to see what was written and wanted to thank my reader in that forum but never got around to it. Then just this week the same question was posted and my same reader once again mentioned my blog. Yet again I was excited and flattered and decided that this time I really needed to thank the reader publicly. And why not? I wasn’t planning on writing something about my blog, I just wanted to let this reader know that I greatly appreciated their support since each mention of my blog on that forum brought new readers to my site and potential subscribers. I genuinely thought a public thank you was in order. I had done this before in other blogs that mentioned mine. I wasn’t a member of Makeup Alley, something I had planned to do for a long time but never got around to, so I signed up for the website and posted my thank you. A day or so later I looked back at the thread from the forum and was shocked by the comments that I found after my thank you. Users accused me of using the site to promote my blog (all I wrote was thank you for your support and didn’t mention my blog or provide a website address for my blog) and that somehow me and the user who wrote about my blog were in cahoots together in order to promote my blog. Then a user wrote that if I did not take my comment down it would be flagged for being inappropriate and would be removed. And that is exactly what happened much to my great shock. (You can see the whole thing for yourself here) Once I saw what had happened I posted an apology and explanation in the forum, but received no feedback or explanation about how thanking a reader is actually promoting or advertising my blog.
Could someone explain? I know that Makeup Alley has extremely devoted users who seek to maintain the integrity of the site. This is the reason why I had eventually planned on joining and using the site; I just never found the time to do so (for more information about Makeup Alley see this New York Times article Someone Just Like Me Said, ‘Buy It’).
I am just completely flummoxed by why my thank you received the hostile response that it did on this site. Have I grown too used to hearing nice comments about my blog and on my blog? Am I being too sensitive? Or was the response I received one that is normal for these forums? I would love any response and/or explanation someone can provide me with. Have other people had such negative blogging experiences as well? Please share below.
I decided to contact my reader who posted about my blog on the message board. Louise wrote me back a lovely and kind email. In response to my question about why other users would be so quick to jump to conclusions about my intentions when posting in the forum Louise wrote the following:
I think that is one problem with online discussions, you can’t hear a tone of voice or see a facial expression, and you can form an entire opinion about somebody that could be totally off. I am sure I am guilty of it myself.
I do know that I am not the only person to encounter unfounded negativity on forums and online chats. Just as I was writing this I came across something that Gouldylox Reviews published about her online experience:
Question of the Week: – What compelled you to start a beauty blog?The power of Bare Escentuals compelled me, I suppose. My father had just passed away and Loxy sent me for a day of relaxation at a spa. Afterwards, I went to Ulta, where I fell in love with BE. I then started friendships with loads of ladies on chatboards about mineral makeup. Sooner or later, as they usually do, the chatboards turn evil and eat themselves. I only chatted with one, much smaller group after that, and sooner than later, fell away from my happy little group of mineral loving ladies. Not really having anyone else to discuss makeup with, I started blathering to myself on this blog, basically to hear myself chat about how much I loved this or that sparkly thing.
Ok – so perhaps it is a universal experience to find nastiness on chatboards? But really – in the words of Rodney King (may he rest in peace): “Can’t we just all get along?”. Truly I don’t understand it. Additionally, I remembered the really great post that Rae from Scatterbraintures wrote about haters months ago (it helped me then and it continues to help me). Here’s a section of the post that applies well to my situation:
Haters don’t care about you. They might care about how you look, what you say, or what you do but they don’t actually care (in the real sense of the word). Since haters don’t care, you don’t need to care about them too. You can go about your life without giving a sh*t about them. The best part is, the world will not end even when they exist. …
Learn from them
This skill is especially useful if you have internet haters. Real life haters normally won’t tell you to your face what they think about you. On the other hand, internet haters are behind a computer, where they get their audacity from to be able to tell you what they really think. This could be valuable information you can learn from. Example: If someone called you a FAT bitch, maybe you should take time to think about your health, or better yet, think about why you got so affected. You might have self-esteem issues you need to work on.
So if I am to take Rae’s advice, and remember what Louise wrote as well, about learning from internet haters I realized that I learned, once again, not to jump to conclusions about the motivations behind other people’s comments and actions. I learned to give people a chance and that saying “thank you” is still a good thing. Tolerance is something we should all try to practice more often.
But let me put all this negativity aside. I am trying to be more positive in my life as things change all around me. I’m in a holding pattern now as I wait for the entire contents of my house to make it from my former home to my current home so in the meantime I have time to read. Here are the beauty blogs I have discovered lately and some articles I’ve been reading.
- Fifteen Minute Beauty Fanatic – the name of the blog alone just makes you want to take a look.
- Makeup and Beauty Blog – very funny and she constantly mentions her cat which I love.
- Makeup Geek – I can’t wait to learn new makeup looks from this site.
- Madame B Fatale – this blog from Australia has great make-up and hair style tutorials that are fun to look at even if the actual looks aren’t ones that I would try myself.
- Foxy Ladies: Why One Network Applies So Much Makeup – The Atlantic A really interesting look at how Fox News uses make-up to promote a certain form of femininity among its female anchors and guests (whether they want it or not).
- The Seductress of Vanity – The New York Times. This article about Dr. Patricia Wexler was published back in 2002, but I found it very informative nonetheless.
- The Doctor Will Sue You Now – Vanity Fair. An expose on Dr. Arnold Klein who was once the leading cosmetic dermatologist in Beverly Hills.
Image from http://www.thisisyourconscience.com