Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Count Down Time - 5 SURPRISING Lessons I Learned From Beauty and Fashion Blogging

So many count down's about beauty and fashion!

I should do something offbeat.

As far as blogging goes, 2013 wasn't a great one -- new baby, growing toddler, and 10 pounds of postpartum weight. Even if I had cute clothes to wear, I barely squeezed into any of them. So I'm writing a different count down -- but still a list you girls might relate to.

5 SURPRISING lessons I learned from beauty and fashion blogging:


5. Authenticity counts!

There are tons of beauty and fashion blogs out there. It's easy to follow what others do -- especially those who became popular. Case in point: the unceasing dilution of petite fashion blogs. Excluding SydneysFashionDiary.com and maybe a few others, they began to look the same to me.

Suddenly, you realize: why should anyone read my blog? I'm just another needle in the haystack.

So I started defying trends: instead of decking out in glitz and luxury, my focus zoned in on casual chic style that most women -- especially moms -- have time for, can afford, and feel comfortable wearing.

Also, I began writing useful info that help others. Or try to anyway. It's the least I can do to honor those who continue to come back.


4. Speaking of honoring loyal readers...

There aren't many of them, but the few I have, I love -- and feel a keen sense of responsibility to.

My older posts were bad. Really bad. They were awkward, self-absorbed, and straight-up nonsense. You see, when I started The Girlie Blog (back in 2008), there were about 5 visitors a day. It didn't matter that I wrote nonsense. I didn't have a real audience anyway!

As my blog grew, however, I started feeling pressure to provide quality content. I've had some truly nice people email me to say that I inspire them, that because of my blog they started their own, that they respect what I do, that they tell everyone about my blog...don't get me teary-eyed.

These kind, supportive strangers gave my blog a reason to exist, and for them, however small the group, I promise to make The Girlie Blog better, more accurate, and more resourceful in 2014!

3. Alias is Catfish; and Catfish is bad.

Triston is not my real name. But I've been using it online since the late 90's.

When I started college, I idolized a beautiful upper classman named Triston. Her name stuck on me, and I used it for all online aliases. In 2006, when I signed up at Blogger, still shy on the internet and stuff, I also used that name. Been Triston ever since.

At the time "Catfish" wasn't even in the urban dictionary. I'm surprised it's now considered negative, because many other bloggers -- some of them I've met in person -- have been doing it for years as well.

But don't you worry. We're not your freak-next-door :O) We just want to keep certain things private, when our blogs are all over the web.

2. I have few real friends.

Should this even be a surprise? Many girls don't share their blogs with real life peers. Despite the sad fact that most people are judgmental in nature, I'm glad I shared, because I now appreciate the few real friends I have so much more.

1. I stopped following trends.

I'm not talking about beauty and fashion trends; I'm talking about blogging trends.

At first, GFC was the way to connect. Then Google took it away. Now, Bloglovin is the way to go.

Since the beginning, everyone left links in comments, but when someone dubbed it spam, links were frowned upon -- but people continued doing it anyway, so now links are not only acceptable, they are expected.

Until a few months ago, "exact-match-urls" were one of the best SEO practices. But Google changed its algorithm, and threw everyone off their hard-earned rankings.

So much to keep up with. So little time. I might as well stop caring, and do as I please. 

Lastly, let me leave you with this:


Date jocks; Marry a nerd.



I don't know why I said that. It has nothing to do with beauty and fashion blogging.


As always, thanks for visiting.


Happy 2014! 


  1. Great tips! I agree that authenticity is the most important thing - that's the only way you can really find your voice amongst the masses and connect with your readers in a meaningful way. No good trying to be anyone else but yourself :) When it's the truth you're writing about, blogging doesn't have to be a challenge, but rather an outlet and some fun and a way to connect with like-minded individuals. And it's so true about the trends as well - what's in or acceptable one day might not be so in fashion the next - I guess it really is about 'adapt or die' when it comes to blogs, or otherwise go with whatever floats your boat without being a slave to ever-changing trends.

  2. I definitely agree with you, it's much better when blogs are authentic :) Happy New Year! xx

  3. Hahaha, hilarious s always :D I agree on every point you make. Most of the people I know, don't know about my blog, I like to keep it that way too :D And it's always better to follow your own heart and ideas for blog content. When you do something you love and something you feel is right, it always turns out good :)

  4. Awesome lessons (and sense of humor!) , thanks for sharing and all the best for the new year! XO

  5. My older posts were also REALLY bad. Sometimes I just want to go back and totally delete them because they're that embarrassing and felt I was trying too hard. But I guess it's good to keep them there to inspire me to do better and to see where I came from!!

  6. What a clever posts, it made me think of my blog and my resolutions for the new year. I approve of your choice of focusing on a more specific style. Have a good day!

    Arianna, Nymphashion ♡

  7. My dear,
    I wish You a fabulous 2014 filled with much Love, health, happiness, success and security! Hope that this will be the best of your life and só Happy that You are part of my life,
    A big, big Hug
    Love, Aida

  8. Oh well, have to say I learned the same things during my years of blogging!:) Btw, Im dropping in wishing you a very happy new year, may it be a 2014 full of success, love and happiness!:) Kisses! xo

  9. Ahahah this is hilarious! I'm going to read some other posts:) My old posts are also rubbish, I don't get why I thought that it were good posts at the time - but I leave them on my blog just to laugh at them haha and to see how far I've come (not that I'm a good writer now, not at all - need to learn more English:p) And I so agree with the 'authenticity' thing, I feel like a lot of blogs look the same and write about the same content (and unfortunately my blog is one of them), so I think it's a great resolution to do something about that!! Thank you for this post, it was the best one I read in a long time, and I mean that!!

  10. Nice tips, I totally agree!


  11. Lovely and inspiring post, darling!

    Happy 2014!


  12. Lovely honey!



  13. Authenticity is really important. And I used to go by Internet aliases for the longest time because of privacy and safety reasons. Shame it's such a "negative" thing now. There are a lot of freaks out there and everyone deserves privacy. xx

  14. Your blog, your rules right? I have definitely found your posts helpful and try to incorporate more useful information in my posts as well.
    Ugh, I didn't realize Google changed its algorithm again. I'm on Wordpress now and can only hope that Genesis kept up.
    I married a nerd and couldn't be happier!
    Happy New Year dear!

    Chic 'n Cheap Living

  15. Love all these tidbits! I can relate to every single one. ♥ Thanks for keeping it real, girl!
    Happy New Year!

    ♥, Jo

  16. I loved learning about your "alias" identity and how you came up with the name. What a great form of flattery! Loved reading these :)
    xo TJ


  17. This was so awesome! I loved each point. Blogging has definitely changed. There seems to be something new every week. Thanks for commenting on my post the other day. Last year, I became very disenchanted and deleted practically everyone. So that meant a lot.

  18. so true. love the "ignore blogging trends" - want to do that do. just need to find my voice and express & refine it :)

    xoxo hobovogue.com . ღ

  19. Nice one, love it, I read every single words, keep up the good word! ^_^

  20. Opps...sorry! is late at night, I always misspelled when I am sleepy, I meant *work not word, so keep up the good work, dear! ^_^

  21. hey there! hope all is well with you and the family. things have been a bit crazy lately, leaving little time for me to read blogs. so glad you are doing things "your way" and creating a blog that is not only authentic, but one women can connect with and relate to. i've stopped reading so many blogs because they all just started looking alike ... with the same content ... same fashion etc. and it just became boring. not sure how our paths crossed, but glad they did! enjoy your weekend;)


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