Today is my blog’s sixth anniversary. And since I like anniversaries, classifications and numbers, I prepared six by six groups of the blog-related observations and topics.
Six Lessons I Learned
When blogging and reading other blogs occupies a significant part of your free time, it’s inevitable to spend some time thinking about the dynamics of the blogs’ lives as well. The thoughts, as subjective as they might be from somebody who’s looking from inside the system, are based not only (or necessarily) on the experience with my blog, but on observations I made in the perfume blogosphere over the last six years. I do not think these are topic-specific, but that’s the topic I’m familiar with.
- Unless you provide a valuable “public service”-type content (such as a constant stream of in-depth reviews, industry news or reviews of the most recent releases that are “it” at the moment either in the Perfumeland, or in the mass-market); or your blog is an accepted community hangout; or you run frequent giveaways, you have to build personal relationships with other bloggers and perfumistas: that’s almost the only way to “meet people” who might be interested in what you have to say. I do not remember ever becoming a reader of any small blog from finding them on Google. Have you?
- Readers who come to the blog just to participate in a giveaway rarely stay as active participants. So unless you’re making money from ads on your blog or help some brand you like with their promotion, there is no reason to widely advertise giveaways.
- While in the author’s head some posts, series or topics are inter-connected, for most readers it’s “here and now,” so you have to repeat that your whole life you hated the smell of milk, were afraid of butterflies or loved purple things if it’s important for your current story. You’ll weed it all out later if one day you decide to turn your blog into a book.
- Neither loyal readers, nor more recent comers, as a rule, follow links to the previous posts, even when those links are not just formal linking to some back review but a part of the current story (hence lesson #3). Keep linking! Once in a while you get a curious reader.
- Very few people read blogs out of friendship or loyalty, most read them out of habit. Once the blog stops posting regularly (whatever the regularity was for the particular blog), readers disappear. Names do not matter, but I saw at least several previously more or less popular (or at least “inhabited” in the past) blogs’ attempts to come back after a hiatus – and there was never a huge cheering crowd welcoming them back. It has always surprised me: I visit blogs, to which I subscribe, whenever I get the notification about a new post (sometimes a week later – it happens if I’m busy, but I get there), so for me it doesn’t matter if I get that notification in a month, in half a year or in a couple of years. Lesson? Make sure you have all the possible subscription options – e-mail, bloglovin, Twitter, Facebook and whatever else you might think of.
- People who comment meaningfully on your posts regardless of the topic; who were there when you first published the post, to which you refer today; who remember that you love everything purple even when you come back after the absence, which they’d noticed – these are people who give the true meaning to all the efforts we put into our blogs year after year after year…
Six Friends I Made
Over the years I made many more than six friends but they are my virtual friends. I hope to meet eventually with each one of them (you) though I’m a little worried: out of six people I did meet in RL, half stopped blogging (I hope, it wasn’t something I said) – Birgit of Olfactoria’s Travels, Natalie of Another Perfume Blog and Judith of the Unseen Censer.
On the other hand, the other three are still going: Vanessa of Bonkers About Perfume, Suzanne of Suzanne’s Perfume Journal and Val of Australian Perfume Junkies.
Just in case, not to disturb balance in the blogosphere, I should probably stay away from significant perfumistas gatherings but I can try some targeted strikes. Are you game?
Six Perfumes I Found
If I were to tell you that in six years I found just six perfumes, you wouldn’t believe me – and you’d be right. But my list consists of six perfumes that are not available at any of the regular stores where I live or travel. If it weren’t for my perfume hobby, I probably would have never tried these or fallen in love with them. In posts, to which I link, I tell the stories of these perfumes and people who introduced me to them: Puredistance Antonia (Mals of Muse in Wooden Shoes), Serge Lutens De Profundis (Ines of All I am – a redhead), Mona di Orio Vanille (Suzanne of Suzanne’s Perfume Journal), Krigler Lieber Gustav (Natalie of Another Perfume Blog), Ormonde Jayne Tsarina (Kafka of Kafkaesque) and Shaik Chic Shaik No 30 (Birgit of Olfactoria’s Travels).
Six Samples for a Giveaway
I want to say “Thank you!” to hajusuuri, Vanessa, Lucas, Asali, Tara, Portia, Steve, Juli, Ines, Renee, Birgit, Natalie and many others who made it easier for me during these years to test perfumes, to which I do not have easy access. Most of the perfumes that you shared with me I would have never tried otherwise.
For the anniversary draw I tried to come up with perfumes that are hard(er) to get for the testing. One winner will get a set of 6 x 1 ml samples of the following perfumes: Amouage Ubar* (vintage), Armani Prive La Femme Bleue (limited edition), Krigler Lieber Gustav*, Ormonde Jayne Tsarina, Shaik Chic Shaik No 30* and Tommi Sooni Eau de Tommi Sooni II* (discontinued).
There’s nothing to do: I will enter into the draw every commenter unless I’m explicitly asked not to.
* I have posts about these perfumes easily accessible from My Perfume Portrait but I won’t link to them here.
Six Pictures of Rusty You Haven’t Seen Before
It wasn’t that hard to find pictures of Rusty I haven’t shared on my blog before. But it was hard to choose, which to show: he’s so photogenic! I went for more unusual poses and photos that have less chances to appear on the perfume blog otherwise.
Six Things I Plan to Change
Nah… Just kidding. I like this blog “as is.” I’ll keep writing when I have any story to tell, want to share something nice, or feel I haven’t had enough interactions in a while with you, my friends and readers.
Today I’ll wear my all-time favorite Lancôme Climat and drink one of my favorite wines – Paradise Ridge Sparkling Shiraz. Please join me (at least virtually) in this celebration.
Images: my own