I don't want to end the year on a sad post, but I wanted to address a couple of issues that have been playing on my mind this year, with regards to blogging and the community as a whole.

I am lucky in the fact that I have never received any hate, or had any really negative comments left on my blog or social media, however it is something I see on a regular basis, and it's just not right.
When I started blogging all those years ago, the blogging community was so much smaller than it is these days, it felt like everyone read and supported each other's blogs and the amount of positivity was incredible. Fast forward six years and there is so much competition, you see people putting others down with sly comments and little digs or blatant rude messages and I really don't like it.

I see some bloggers posting quotes on their Instagram about supporting others, girl power and the like, then you see them getting involved with childish 'blogger drama' and it just makes me want to scream at them to stop it! I also see bloggers only speaking or replying to bigger bloggers on their social media and ignoring those with less followers than themselves, another thing which really frustrates me... we all started off with no one reading our blog posts, we're all equal and should all be treated the same way, don't be a kiss ass, just be nice. 

This year we as a community were unfortunate to loose two bloggers through terribly upsetting circumstances both within a space of a week and I really think we should reflect on this in the years ahead. The loss of Carly Lovett and Frances Cassandra effected me in ways I would never have imagined... I hadn't met Carly, but she followed me on Twitter and her death was such a shock and such a tragedy the whole community felt it and pulled together to send support to her family and friends. I had met Frances at a couple of blogger events, she was so lovely and kind, and for her death to follow so soon after Carly's completely devastated me, it was so unexpected, I just wish I had hugged her tighter the last time I saw her. These girls would want us to realise that life is too short and to keep the blogging community a positive and happy place to be.

These thoughts lead me to thinking of some promises we should all make to each other for the new year...

1. Be nice. If you like someone's blog post, it you like their outfit or the way they have perfectly contoured their cheeks, tell them, it's nice to be nice! If you don't like someone or something they say, you don't have to be horrible... sometimes constructive criticism is good, but say it in a good way, there really is no need for nasty comments.

2. Show support. If you discover a blog you love or read an amazing blog post, tell people about it. It doesn't matter if this blog has 1 follower or 1 million followers, share the love and support others, wether you Tweet them, Tweet about them, blog about them, repost a link... any of this will mean a lot to the other blogger, there really is no better feeling of someone supporting your work when it comes to blogging.

3. Leave comments. When I first started blogging, there was no such thing as Twitter (yes really!), so everyone left comments on blog posts if they had something to say, and this is something I really do miss. These days I'm more likely to get a Tweet than a comment, which is also nice, but if you do have time, leave a comment or two when you've enjoyed a post, I can guarantee this will be appreciated. 

4. Follow! So, it's not all about the numbers, but to gain some new followers is a good feeling, no one will deny that. If you enjoy reading a blog, click follow... then remember, there's Bloglovin, Twitter and Instagram too, not to mention the rest.

5. Make friends. Don't just think of social media as a way to promote your blog and your posts, think of it as a way to make friends with other bloggers and likeminded people... that is one of the reasons we blog, right? I love joining in on the #bbloggers chats on Twitter and starting up conversations about products and brands and have made lots of Twitter and Instagram friends this way, let's face it, you can never have too many friends!

Don't get me wrong, in general I bloody love the blogging community, let's face it, we're all pretty amazing and blogging is going to continue to get bigger and bigger, so to do it in a happy place with genuine smiles on our faces will make it all the more exciting!

Happy New Year to you all, let's make 2016 our year xx
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