What One Year Of Blogging Has Taught Me

I recently got a notification from WordPress that I have been blogging for a year now! Technically, I created my blog a year ago but I only started actively blogging 3 months ago. I have experienced a lot of ups and downs during these past 3 months and I think it would be lovely to share what I have learnt about blogging so far. I hope you enjoy!

Blogging is not as easy as it seems

That perfect flatlay and glamorous pictures you see on blogs have probably been taken a 100 times to look just right. Before I started blogging I used to think people just empty the contents of their makeup bag and everything falls beautifully in place. I didn’t understand why mine looked like a hot mess. It takes a lot of effort and hours to plan posts, write it, take pictures and promote it. Blogging can easily turn into a full-time job! You have to be consistent and diligent and always try to improve. It’s not easy, but definitely worth it. So far!

If something isn’t working, don’t be afraid to scrap it

When I first started blogging I couldn’t decide on what niche I wanted to blog about. So I started with many niches like music, movies, books, fashion, makeup, travelling and lifestyle. I started posting and I quickly realised that people did not like reading my independent posts about music, books and movies. So I deleted all those posts and I slowly dwindled down my topics to things that people liked. I listened to my readers and acted accordingly.

I think its okay to not blog about everything. Even if you love everything like me LOL. I think my opinion is more valued in certain areas than others, which is great! It allows my thoughts to be more targeted and my quality to be better. Don’t be afraid to adapt especially when you are starting out because you have we have so much lee way for change now!

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Shamelessly promote your blog

A lot of people feel shy about sharing their blog posts but it is one of the best ways for people to find your blog. I am not saying that you should be that annoying, spammy blogger, but doing things like sharing your posts once social media and leaving your blog link at the end of comments is a great way to get your blog out there. If you feel uncomfortable about sharing your posts with people you know you can carve out an entirely separate community of strangers to share your posts with. For example, I now have a separate Instagram page where I am striving to grow a community of like-minded people different from followers on my personal page!

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Interact with the blogging community

Interacting with other people is so important when you’re a blogger. It’s not enough to just publish posts and sit and wait for something to happen. I make sure to reply to every single person that took the time to comment on my post. Doing this helps build relationships with the people that read your posts! Also, do not be afraid to comment on other people’s posts, share their blog post, like them or follow them on Instagram. When you comment, try to leave thoughtful comments. Simply commenting “Nice” or “Great post” does not count. It shows you didn’t read a word of the persons post. Truly interacting really makes your blogging experience so much better!

This is one of the best tips for growing any social media site; posting often, striving for quality content and interacting with the community! 

 Be yourself

I think it’s perfectly okay to derive inspiration from another person because almost everything under the sun has been blogged about. I think what makes a post unique in particular is the fact that it is your unique perspective. That is why it is important to be honest and be yourself. It is so exhausting trying to act like something you are not and I think people can pick up on that. On the flip side, it is so liberating when people embrace unique aspects of your personality that you may think are weird or not good enough. That can be what makes you stand out!

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I’m definitely still a baby blogger and I have no idea what I am doing 99.999 percent of the time so these are just some of the things I have learnt so far! I also have no idea what I’m going to do when I move into a self hosted site. And what in heavens name is SEO and HTML? This is uncharted territory. LOL wish me luck and fingers crossed that I appear graceful admist the madness!

What has blogging taught you?

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The 700 Followers Q&A! + Blogging Tips

Last week I hit 700 followers on my blog and I decided to do a Q&A! I am now literally racing against the clock here because I checked my stats this morning and I currently have 790 followers. Gasp! I really wanted to release this blog post before I hit 800 for some strange, slightly OCD reason. Haha

I would like to sincerely thank everyone who sent I questions for this post. There are a wide variety of questions which were interesting to read and answer. I also left the link to each persons blog that asked a question so you can discover some blogs you may like. Enjoy!

Life Of Angela 

What three words best describe you? 

Calm, Strong-willed and Playful.

What is the longest plane trip you have taken? 

The longest plane ride I have ever taken was from Nigeria to Atlanta which took 12 hours. I did not enjoy that flight. In fact, I dislike flying in general. The seats suck, the food is rarely nice and turbulence. Don’t get me started on turbulence. I’m jealous of you unicorns that enjoy Business or First class seats. My parents and little sister always fly Business/First and when we happen to fly on the same flight our experience wildly varies.

Sister: “How was the flight for you?”

Me: “Just there. I didn’t sleep much, my neck is now stiff and the turbulence was so much!”

Sister: “What turbulence? I slept all through, except for when the flight attendant gently roused me from my sleep with the sound of violins to wake me up for my 3 course breakfast.”

Okay I’m kind of exaggerating, but you get my point lool. Although I hate flying, I love travelling to different places. At this point flying is just a necessary evil for me.

Chёrnaja Kuriцa 

What app do you use to edit your pictures? 

I use this app on my Macbook called PhotoScape X. It is free and has all the features that most people need for blogging. I usually edit all my photos there before transferring it to my phone if I need to post a picture on twitter or Instagram!

QuintessentialFaith

What part of the world are you in and would you like to do blogger collaboration?

I currently live in Nigeria, Africa! I lived in the UK for three years but I am now back to my home country for a gap year.

I would also not mind doing a blogger collaboration. It sounds kind of fun. I  am not entirely sure how it works so I’ll have to get more information on it before I dive in.

Natural Muse

If you could give your younger self any advice what would it be?

It’s okay to be you. I used to have quite the low self esteem as a teenager and I was constantly trying to please people. It becomes truly exhausting when people do not understand you and you cannot truly be yourself without the crippling fear of being judged. It was definitely not easy  to come out of that negative energy and headspace on my own but once I did there was no looking back. Life is a million times better when you adopt a positive mindset and embrace who you are. If I could go back I would tell my younger self that it is okay!

The Obsession Begins

If you could be anyone for one day, who would you be?

I have no specific people in mind but I’ve always wanted to swap places with a super rich and or famous person. They live glamorous lives and it would be interesting to experience it!

Elsie LMC

How do you feel looking back on your first ever blog post and seeing how far you’ve come? 

It is pretty surreal looking at my first post ever. I literally had no idea what I was doing. My first post ever was on June 13 2016. I wrote about my interests at the time and introduced myself to the Blogosphere! I was still doing Youtube at the time and I decided to add blogging to the mix. However, I am not active on Youtube anymore (Do you guys think I should continue? I have mixed feelings about it) I also had no concrete idea of what I wanted to blog about but I knew it was something I wanted to do.

Wormal Blog

What’s your favorite 2017 trend so far?

I’m really liking this embroidered flower print fashion trend thats going on right now. I think it takes any basic outfit and makes it look glamorous. One of my favourite looks I wore recently was this cute embroidered white button up top from Zara with my embroidered Gucci Dionysus bag!

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What is your dream car?

I’m not really a car person but I really like the look of a Mercedes, Bentley or a Rolls Royce! 

What was your first date like?

It was horrid. Lol

WeAreJaded

How often do you post and would you have any tips in terms of what’s worked for you?

I used to post every Monday but I have recently increased the frequency of my posts to twice a week! I am now trying to post every Monday and Friday because that seems to be when I have the most traffic on my blog!

Glaiza Binayas

What do you think is the best strategy that worked well for you to get more traffic to your blog?

One of the best strategies that has worked for getting more traffic on my blog is to actually interact with other blogs I like. I love how WordPress.com makes it so easy to follow and find other blogs. I have the WordPress app on my iPhone and I go through it and read people blog posts. If I particularly enjoyed reading it, I would like or comment on the post. Showing support to other blogs is a great way to build a positive relationship with other bloggers and also get your blog out there!

I am still learning as I go along and maybe there is an even better strategy but this is what has been working for me so far.

That is it for my Q&A! I know this was a pretty long post but I have been getting into the habit of writing long posts recently. I think it shows my increasing investment in this blog. Please follow me on my Instagram and Twitter account for my blog ❤

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The Mid Year Favourites Roundup: Books, Music, Movies and Makeup!

We are officially in the middle of the year! 2017 has gone by so quickly and I can’t believe we are already here now. I feel like 2017 is this strange, transitional period that does not deserve to be a year. I have this strange thing about certain years, especially odd numbers. 2015 was one of those years.

I am doing something slightly different from the normal posts on my blog. I think it’s always good to branch out and try different things because you never know how it may be received. I love reading monthly favourites because it gives me a glimpse into people’s lives and what they’ve been into that month. I discover a lot of makeup brands, TV shows and even music that I want to try. So todays favourites will include other things I am interested in besides makeup! Enjoy!

MUSIC

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Music plays a big role in my life and certain songs have gotten me through special events (Shout out to J. Cole’s  Forest Hills Drive album for helping me in my undergraduate exam period). I listen to many genres of music but my favourites have included a lot of rap this year. Here they are:

  •  The Art Of Peer Pressure – Kendrick Lamar
  •  Bad and Boujee – Migos
  •  T-Shirt – Migos
  •  IF – Davido
  •  Losing My Religion – R.E.M

BOOKS

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I read one or two books a month on average and I have read a couple of books on my Kindle since the beginning of the year. These are the two books that I’ve really enjoyed reading…

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The Life Changing Magic Of Tidying Up

I read this book earlier this year and it really was life changing! I was a hopelessly messy person filled with clutter and shame but after a few months I can officially say that I am a tidy person with no more clutter in my life anymore. I love how the book doesn’t only tackle your clutter but it shows you how to prevent it from ever happening again. I really love my new clutter free self. It is an amazing book and definitely worth a read! I wrote an extended post about it here

Split second

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What if you could go back in time, but only for half of a second?

I am obsessed with the concept of time travel. I just find the scientific concepts surrounding time travel so intriguing. I always love to sit and imagine if time travel were possible. I also like to imagine the implications and paradoxes that we would encounter if it exists!

I read this book by Douglas E. Richards which addressed all my time travel questions. Half a second seems like an inconsequential amount of time but this book will clearly prove otherwise!

MAKEUP

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Maybelline Fit Me Foundation


I haven’t said this on my blog yet but Maybelline is the best foundation I have ever used. It glides on like silk on your skin and gives a finishing that no foundation has yet to match. That is a hefty statement coming from me. The only con about Maybelline is that it does not last long! However, I always use a bullet proof setting powder so I have no issues with it. It is also extremely affordable. It is currently my daily foundation and Lancôme is my “event” foundation.

Dior Addict Lipgloss in “Angelique”


I have gone back to an “effortless” makeup style recently. I have been enjoying lip glosses A LOT recently and the Dior Addict lipstick has definitely been one of my favourite glosses! I did an extended review here.

TV & MOVIES

Interstellar

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I re-watched one of my favourite movies of all time and I was not disappointed! Interstellar is a movie about interstellar travel through space and time in an effort to help the dying human race find a new home. It’s beautifully written, directed and the film score is one of the best I have ever listened to in a movie. It’s the kind of movie that you will think about several days after it’s over because it’s SO good.

Bates Motel

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This series is so low-key but so good. I don’t why it’s not popular! It is based on the 50’s novel “American Psycho” which shows how the complicated relationship between Norman Bates and his mother turns him from a loving, loyal son into a serial killer with dissociative identity disorder. They just finished the final season so now you can binge watch away!

Donald Trumps Presidency (As seen on CNN, aka fake news lmao )

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They say truth is stranger than fiction and I completely agree. I watch House Of Cards and I can officially say that what’s happening on TV is more outrageous than the show. I think Donald Trump’s Presidency is playing like a movie and its interesting to watch how his administration is imploding from within. From the battle with “Fake news” to the ongoing Russia investigation to cofveve, this presidency has been nothing short of strange and entertaining. Just when you think it can’t get worse, a new bomb shell drops and turns everything on its head. I will definitely be keeping up with Donald Trump in 2017.

That is it for my favourites! Thank you so much for reading. What have been your favourites this year? 

Please follow me on my new Instagram specifically for my blog! ❤

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 700 Followers Milestone! Blogging Goals and Q&A

I now have 700 followers on The Pearly Life!!!  I would like to thank every single one of you that followed and showed support on my posts. I honestly didn’t think I would be at this point at all when I started blogging. It’s an amazing and surreal experience. Angela said something about getting followers so quickly in her recent post which I thought was so true.

I feel excited, but also freaked out at the same time. It is a strange feeling to get a large influx of  followers and sometimes you do not even believe it is happening to you. I feel like I may just blink and it would be over!

Blogging Goals

My blog stats tremendously improved in the month of May. I started my blog on June 2016  then abandoned it a month later. It was March 2017 that I started to take my blogging more seriously. My stats, views, likes, followers and engagement have in turn increased each month and I hope I can continue in this upward trajectory!

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I would like to begin branch out on the type of posts I make. My blog is seriously lacking in the Lifestyle category so I would love to increase the frequency of those posts. I personally love a bit of diversity so I would love to blog about different topics on my blog. What would you guys like to see? I would love to hear your opinion on it!

I also see myself moving into a self hosted blogging platform like WordPress.org soon. I like WordPress.com but there is a serious lack of creative freedom when it comes to the design of your blog, SEO tools, widgets and many more. It has become more frustrating so I will begin to seriously look into moving in the coming months!

I also would love to increase my social media presence now so I am currently focusing on Instagram and Twitter. I don’t know what I’m doing yet but once I figure it out I will make a post helping my fellow bloggers here! ❤

Q&A

I also think it would be appropriate to do a Q&A now since I have quite a number of people subscribed to this blog. I love reading Q&A’s and it would be nice to let you all know a bit about the person behind this blog!

If you have any questions please leave a comment and I will answer it in my next post or next two posts!

500 Followers Milestone + Questions!

So I have 500 blog followers now! It is such an amazing blogging milestone to reach. Thank you so much for following this little corner on the internet! I truly think this is the fastest growth I have ever experienced on any social media platform. WordPress.com is great and I’m really enjoying the community here. Thank you all so much!

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It’s getting pretty hard to know everyone that follows me but I will try as much as possible to keep engaging with everyone that follows me. I see so many different followers on my page. Where are you from? Comment below!

For those stumbling on my blog for the first time, Hi! My name is Pearl and I’m a 20 year old from Nigeria. I have a Bachelors degree in Biomedical Science and I am starting my Masters in Biotechnology at McGill University this fall! Although I am a big lover of biology, I have many other passions like music, movies, beauty, reading and travelling. I mostly blog about beauty, travelling and lifestyle on my blog.  Take a look around!

Blog Updates
I recently added an RSS feed subscription for people not on WordPress (side bar) so you can keep up with my blog.

I also started a Pinterest and Facebook  page for The Pearly Life. Please like and follow me there if you so choose!

Finally, follow me on my Instagram! I will be sure to follow back if you drop a quick “Hey from the blog!” on one of my pictures. Thank you 🖤🖤

4 Fool Proof Tips For Thicker Natural Hair

My natural hair is currently the longest and thickest it’s ever been. I never imagined in a million years that I would prefer wearing my own hair over weaves and wigs. My hair had been neck length for as long as I could remember. It was also thin, straggly and had a lot of split ends. This was because I used to relax my hair, which is very damaging when done incorrectly.

My hair is currently armpit length, which is at the middle of my shoulders and bra strap. However you won’t know that because my hair grows up and outwards instead of downwards and it shrinks up to 90% of it’s length when wet! I also have ALOT of hair. Its both a blessing and a curse! Although my hair had been growing pretty quickly for two years, the third year of my natural hair journey was pretty challenging. I slowly started slacking in my hair care routine and  getting regular trims which set me back in terms of length and thickness. These past few months I have slowly getting my hair back to its former glory!

Here are some of the tips and products that have helped me get my hair back in tip top shape.

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Don’t Skip The Trim

Seriously, if your hair needs a trim and deep down in your heart you know, please trim it. I know my hair needs a trim when the ends become dry, tangle easily and it is difficult to comb through my afro smoothly. If I leave my hair without trimming it, I end up with more breakage because I have to yank the comb through my hair. When you also trim your hair, you get rid of thin, see through ends which makes your hair appear fuller and thicker!

Double Up On Oil 

Oils are an age old hair secret that is very crucial to promoting growth and getting thicker hair. I love using natural oils like Shea butter and Jamaican Castor oil. I use Jamaican Black Castor oil daily on my scalp and throughout the length of my hair after spraying it with water. I love these oils because they are thick, moisturising and make my hair softer compared to other oils.

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Oh Conditions, Conditions….

Conditioner is my hair’s saving grace. I don’t know where I would be without it! It makes my hair softer and more manageable when I want to comb it or style it. I don’t deep condition often but I use leave in conditioners almost everyday. The great thing about conditioner is that you can use a leave in or a rinse out, but as long as you use it often the health of your hair will improve because it will reduce dryness and breakage!

My current favourite conditioner is Aunt Jackie’s Quench Moisture Intensive Leave in Conditioner. It is definitely one of the best leave in conditioners I have used!

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Be Patient

Hair grows about half an inch a month on average and it is slower for many people. Once you follow a good hair regimen your hair will grow! I would also stress the importance of loving and embracing your hair texture no matter what it is. Thin, thick, long or short. Hair envy is real and it makes you start manipulating your hair to look like something that it can never look like! This can cause a lot of damage internally and externally. I’m someone that always tries to enjoy the process of something than the end product, it makes it much more enjoyable! Be patient and enjoy your hair.

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Thanks so much for reading! What are your  tips for getting longer and thicker hair?

 

Travel tag 

A few days ago I hit 400 followers on The Pearly Life! My current tally is 431 followers and I am humbled that 400 of you follow and enjoy reading my posts. I love the continuous support and I hope to grow more with you all. Thank you so much!

So I was nominated by Oriana Notes to do the Travel Tag . Thank you so much for the nomination Oriana! I am fortunate to have travelled to countries like South Africa, The Netherlands, U.K., U.A.E and U.S.A. It’s an amazing experience to travel and study in different countries and I will answer some questions about traveling in this post. Enjoy!

What is your favourite place that you have visited?

This is such a difficult question because I love different things about all the different places I’ve gone to. However if I had to choose I would say Orlando, Florida, U.S.A. I have visited Florida almost every year since 2002! I have been going to Florida for 15 years and I still look forward to going there every year. I have tried other cities like Atlanta and New York but we realized that Florida is the perfect place for us. Florida is my home away from home. In fact, we loved it so much that we bought a house there! It’s so peaceful, nice restaurants and there are so many theme parks like Disney World (That has 6 separate theme parks), Wet N Wild and Universal Studios! It’s the perfect place for family.

Dubai was also one of my favourite places to visit. It is the most regal city I have ever visited and I had a unique experience. I loved living the Arabian lifestyle for a few days and I would really love to go again. Check out some of the posts I did on my trip to Dubai.

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If you could visit anywhere tomorrow where would you go?

Also a difficult question but I would pick Italy if I had a choice. I’m absolutely obsessed with the thought of going to Venice and Rome. Italy is teeming with history and romance. I think it would be amazing to experience it myself. A bit of context here; my parents were still dating when they went to Italy, which I think is sooooooo cute! I often joke to my parents that if my boyfriend takes me to Italy that that’s how I’ll know issa husband! LOL

IMG_3572.JPG[Mum and Dad in Italy – Early 90’s]

Would you rather go on a city holiday or a beach holiday?

Definitely a city holiday! I’m not a very outdoorsy person and I have lived in cities my whole life so it is something that feels like a second home to me.

My top three holiday essentials are…

I did an extensive post on this here! My top three essentials are my Canon camera, iPhone and obviously my passport!

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Are you an over packer or an under packer? 

I’m definitely an over packer! I just can’t stand the thought of forgetting something important so I overcompensate when I pack. This usually results in me discarding things that I packed in my destination country because I don’t have space for the new things I bought!

What is your favourite thing about going on holidays?

I love the change of scenery, the people and the culture. One of the first things that usually excites me when I get to a new destination is driving in the car, looking out the window and just realising that I’m in a new country.

Would you rather go on holidays with family or friends?

I’m going to be one of those odd people that prefers going with my family than friends. I haven’t reached a point with any friend where they will understand what I enjoy during a holiday. What my friends would probably do in a holiday will not interest me. I also enjoy my family’s company so I wouldn’t mind going on a holiday with them.

What is the most adventurous dish you have ever tried from another country?

The most adventurous dish I tried didn’t have to come from another country. I experienced it in the comfort of my house! I’m going to say edible worms from my home country Nigeria.  It looks like maggots and smells really strange but it’s actually pretty good!

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[Photo Credit: Sisi Yemmie ]

However, what I consider adventurous in Nigeria is child play for many people here. Nigerians eat snails, worms, insects, crocodiles, tortoise, horses, monkeys, snakes and some eat dogs! Any time my parents say they have eaten some strange animal I’m always in awe. My mother said the best wild meat she has tried is a tortoise! It’s less common in the city area to find these dishes, but it’s more common in smaller towns. However, snails are readily available in a lot of restaurants.

I also find it funny how snails are dramatic and expensive abroad (escargot) but we’ve been eating this in Nigeria for as long as we can remember. Come to Nigeria and eat peppered snails please. It’s absolutely delicious!

Who do you want to do this tag

I nominate

Deb Writes Blog 

Styled By Mckenz

Kimberly Loves

Life of Angela 

Thank you so much for reading! Check out my social media accounts.

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