6 Jan 2014

2014 Blog Charter

Happy New Year!

So it's the 6th of January, and here I am, back with a bang as promised!  Christmas is well and truly over chez nous.  It's January, it's the start of a new year a new set of plans and targets, hopes and dreams, interests and adventures.  The days are technically already starting to get shorter.  Not so you'd notice, there's hardly a grand stretch to the evenings just yet, as we say in Ireland, but it's enough to know it's happening at least!  And as planned, my blogging break ends today.

I refuse to call this a "resolution" post, but in essence that's what it is - what I'd like to do with the Make Up For Dolls blog in 2014.  Read on - there's some exciting news!

So first things first - a huge thank you!!!  I reached 2000 Facebook followers over the Christmas break.  This has genuinely floored me.  I'm very grateful for all who read and follow and comment.  More comments please for 2014!  I enjoy interacting but due to my schedule, am unlikely to initiate it much... consider my posts on Facebook, Twitter and Blogger an invitation to comment, to get in touch, to ask questions!  One of my plans for 2014 is to try find time to interact more on social networking sites...

Next plan for 2014: a major facelift for the blog and website.  I had hoped to find time to do it over Christmas, but didn't quite get there - I spent the time creating a new products database, as Bento, my previous product database is now officially "abandonware" and besides, I've also switched from Apple MAC based tech to Win 8 (purely for fun).  I'm not sure yet when I'll have time to implement the changes, but definitely "sometime in 2014" :-)  It's all planned and designed.  Much more dynamic and fun.  Likely an amalgamation of the web and the blog.  Just a question of finding time to code :-)

Next up, new regular contributors - this is one I'm really chuffed about.  Anyone who regularly reads probably knows that a friend of mine, a certain MontyC, has written a few posts over the course of 2013.  As product-obsessed as I, MontyC had previously dipped her toes into the blogging waters as guest contributor for Beaut.ie in the past.  I'm delighted to share the news with you that this "occasional post" will become more regular for 2014, and MontyC will be a permanent resident contributor to the blog going forward.  Look out for Mondays with MontyC every two weeks for now, and we'll see after that if she wants to contribute more!  Far far better at the social networking side of things than I, please also look her up on Twitter @MontyC and she's also contactable via comments directed to her on the blog posts she will write and the Facebook page.

I'm also delighted to tell of another guest contributor for 2014: Emer, a friend of mine, will also be doing some product reviews for Make Up For Dolls in 2014.  Emer is an artist who has already hosted her own art exhibitions, a mum of two gorgeous girlies, never without a funky hairstyle and who has the knack of making a burlap sack look stylish;  in other words she's a seriously stylish cow!  Look out for Funky Fridays with Emer hopefully every fortnight as well!

In the meantime, I'll be filling-in the remainder with product reviews and previews, Tiptorials, How-To's, DIYs and occasional blather posts :-)  I've recently made some friends with some lovely PR ladies so I should hopefully be in a position to attend more product launches and be able to give more new/upcoming product focus pieces too - I love blogs for opinion pieces, but I believe that the preview pieces are equally important - who doesn't want to know about upcoming makeup collections after all!  So that's another plan for 2014: have more preview posts on upcoming makeup collections.

More Guest Posts.  Some friends have approached me and asked if they could perhaps do a once-off post for me on the blog.  As a mechanism to backlink to their own blogs.  Sure, says I, why not, the more the merrier!  These are tentatively planned but not scheduled, so keep your eyes open.  On that note - if anyone wants to guest post for Make Up For Dolls, please get in touch, or equally, if you'd like me to guest post on your blog.  Check out the contact page for details on how to get in touch!

Overall number of posts: In 2013 I posted 191 times.  I want to beat that by at least one post for 2014!  I'm unlikely to change my regular schedule, I'm happy to post once a day Monday to Friday when I can, with weekends off.  Not much more to say on this one!

Increased social networking - for definite I need to engage more on Facebook and Twitter.  I shall try find the time!  I want to start using Pinterest again.  Increase my Google+ circles.  Continue to grow my Facebook subscribers.  Increase my Twitter followers if I can.  And with all of that in mind...

... Giveaways!  Everyone loves 'em!  I do plan to run more giveaways in 2014 - makeovers, free products, you name it.  In fact, I have one coming up very soon in 2014, as soon as I hit my next target for Twitter.  Watch my feeds for more info!

Blog Sales.  This one might seem contentious, but I wanted to explain first.  I purchase a lot of products to review for the blog (incidentally about 95%+ of my product reviews are products purchased directly by me myself and I, only around 5% are gifted either as free samples from on-counter SAs or PR rep contacts, or GWP when buying other products).  As storage/space is genuinely becoming a serious issue, I am planning on sanitizing and selling in-date products (makeup and tools) - which have only been swatched/trialled and are sitting pretty since then, unused and unloved - and listing them on ebay.  Any FS products that I've been gifted by PR reps which I know I won't use, will be given away in competitions for free - why not share the wealth after all!  I'll advise anytime I have blog sales (likely will advise this on Facebook/Twitter, so keep your eyes peeled if you want some makeup and tools for a fraction of the original price).

More of a personal one - stop beating myself up every time I have to take a break from blogging for personal reasons!  I love the notion of posting every single working day, but this is not always feasible.  So please continue to bear with me and I'll do my best to post, or keep you posted when I'm not :-)

That's it - ten targets or plans for 2014.  More giveaways, more social interaction, more guest contributors, more collection previews, more product reviews, more posts than last year, a new blog look-and-feel.  That's enough for now, time for a glass of vino.  I hope you all had a lovely Christmas break if you celebrated over the holiday season.  Let me know if you have similar plans for your own 2014!

Siobhán :-)

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