Hello lovelies! I’ve taken a much needed break for the Holidays; after all the reviews, giveaways, discounts in December it was nice to step back a bit and just soak in the festive season. Hope you all had great and warm holidays!
So, I thought I’d do a bit of reflecting on the year that passed. 2014 was the first year in which Nature of Europe went live. The idea for Nature of Europe came into being years earlier, and it was slowly but steadily coming together. At that time, there was no such a site as I had in mind, especially with so much pertinent and detailed information on natural organic cosmetics and where to buy them. I, myself, was in need of such a site and this was the source of my inspiration for creating Nature of Europe.
The first year was a truly exciting one for me! I am enjoying editing this little green blog of mine so much! Every day was a day where something new happened, where I learned something new. The world of green beauty is getting bigger every day, and I am looking forward to all the excitement that 2015 will bring.
Here are my reflections
…on Nature of Europe going global. Big time!
Every week, every month, Nature of Europe received more and more visitors from more and more countries. Not even a year later, I’m seeing visitors from nearly 90 countries from all over the world, coming to my green beauty blog! I am humbled! Yes, green beauty is expanding, going global and more and people from all over the world are deciding to switch to natural organic cosmetics, but maybe not knowing where to start, which product or a brand would suit them, where to find a certain brand or a product and Nature of Europe is here to help you all, who are looking for all sorts of information on natural beauty.
… on directories being a huge hit with visitors.
The directories on green beauty brands and stores are being used exactly as I’ve envisioned they would be. It’s pretty amazing seeing visitors coming from search engines, from all over the world, and then clicking on the links of the stores, as I can imagine them comparing prices, going through stores for a specific product that one store may not have but the other does, whether or not a store ships to their country, how much the shipping costs, if there are some discounts etc. This is exactly what I, myself, needed in terms of directories and this is exactly how I’m using them when looking for a certain brand and product as well. With such a success the directories had in the first year of Nature of Europe, I am certain they will get even more popular this year! So, for any green beauty stores, reading this – being listed in directories on Nature of Europe is a place to be!
… on green beauty blogging community.
I’ve come in contact with so many fabulous fellow green beauty bloggers last year! What a bunch of great gals! I love reading their blogs, seeing what new products they’ve tried, chatting with them in our weekly #greenchat (thanks, Amber for bringing #greenchat back to life!), sharing ideas, experiences. Green beauty blogs have been and are the main source for information on green beauty products – for myself, for other green beauty bloggers and customers of green beauty products in general. After all, what are we, green beauty bloggers, if not customers of green beauty products, talking about – green beauty products. And talking about green beauty products is promotion of green beauty products.
… on the good in the green beauty world.
In the past year, I’ve gained so much experience on so many fronts. And I’ve met, over the internet, so many great people, from the owners of the brands and stores, to other fellow green beauty bloggers and last but most certainly not least: the many readers of my blog. You can truly feel that most, who are connected and part of green beauty community, are in this due to passion for the green beauty and are trying to make this world a better and healthier place. Yes, green beauty industry is, whether you’re making green beauty products, have a store selling green beauty brands or a green beauty blog promoting them – a business. For most, being a part of green beauty industry means they are making a living doing something they love, believe in. For most.
… on the bad and the ugly in the green beauty world.
Before I started my green beauty blog, I was not privy to the behind the scenes stuff that goes on in green beauty industry. Somewhat naive, I thought that people involved in green beauty industry are different from an industry of conventional beauty products. You know, the typical big conglomerates, selling synthetic dangerous cosmetic products, testing on animals and stepping on everyone and everything to make a profit, with no regards for anyone or anything, including an impersonal and ignorant attitude toward customers and beauty bloggers – who are beauty customers. Well, such rotten aspect is, unfortunately, present in green beauty industry as well. You would think that certain brands and stores would actually have the decency and business sense to reply to emails; again, I cannot stress this enough: green beauty bloggers are customers of green beauty products, talking about experiences with green beauty brands and stores selling them for other (potential) customers to make an informed decision whether or not to spend hard earned money on certain brand or in certain store. But, unfortunately, some brands and stores still haven’t mastered the much needed decency to actually reply to emails, whether I contacted them first, or even after they contacted me, wanting to wok with Nature of Europe and after sending them a detailed email, never bothering to answer back.
There are brands and stores which have either lost me as a (long time) customer or will never gain me as a customer. And since I am blogging about green beauty industry, this is a topic that will get more attention this year as well. After all, readers of this blog expect honest and truthful information, whether it’s about products as far as the quality as well as about whether the brand or a store is actually a decent one in regards to how they treat customers, who are also green beauty bloggers. Aside from rotten attitude, there are even far worse cases of down right thievery of bloggers’ earnings from sponsors going on, and that, too will be addressed. I won’t hold this information back anymore, or share it with fellow green beauty bloggers and readers contacting me over email only anymore. The public deserves to see the whole picture of green beauty industry. Yes, when a reader sends me an email with a question about a certain brand and/or a store with which I had a not so pleasant experience, I give a reader an honest answer whether or not a brand and/or a store is worth their money. This exact approach is what I expect from other bloggers as well – be truthful with your experience, so I can make an informed decision and not fall for shinny marketing. Given the fact I’ve been closely following green beauty industry, I can see brands faltering, I can see stores closing – for various reasons, including terrible customer service, as well as inability to realize the potential and imperative of marketing themselves on internet. Just as the green beauty blogs can hype a product, a brand and/or a store, the opposite, in this day and age, where internet is the source of information, stands as well. As a fellow green beauty blogger Anna said, I, too vote with my money – and on internet, a review is also worth money – whether it will be in a form of profit or not, depends on attitude as well. There are many natural organic beauty brands and stores – competition is fierce and some brands and stores will close, some will thrive.
… on readers questions.
Thank you so much to all the readers sending me emails, asking me for advice on which products to use for your skin type, asking me about ingredients, brands, stores or just saying a quick hello! I am doing my very best to reply to all your emails as fast as I can. And since I know many others are looking for the same answers as you, I will do my very best to make posts about your questions, expanding on my answers. And since green beauty products, brands and stores are not the only topics you’ve been asking me about, but also asking me about blogging and beauty blogging, this will be a new topic I will write about in 2015 as well. Your emails are also an inspiration to me, so thank you, again, and keep them coming! ♥
… on imitation (not always) being a highest form of flattery.
And that’s all I’m going to say about this. For now.
… on giveaways.
In the past year, I’ve hosted quite a few giveaways of a combined worth of some €400! Thank you, again, to all our generous sponsors! But even hosting a giveaway of a great product can come with some not so pleasant aspects (I’ve previously touched on this subject in one of the giveaways). The reason why I host these giveaways is to promote a brand or a store that I like. It’s also a way to thank the readers of Nature of Europe and it’s always so exciting to see the winners happy they’ve won something! Who doesn’t like making someone’s day a bit brighter? Well, not all participants of the giveaways participate for the sake of winning a natural beauty product – they participate just to win something, anything, and they are participating in, what, dozens of giveaways on dozens of blogs daily – giveaways for mobile apps, socks, you name it. Such participants are not actually readers of Nature of Europe – you can see this by the fact they don’t even bother to read the rules of the giveaways, much less follow them. As if that were not bad enough, they, despite the description of a giveaway saying the winner would be notified in a giveaway post, let me know I should contact them over email if they win. Ha! Because they won’t even bother to come back on the day the giveaway is over to see if they had won; no, I’m suppose to chase them all over the internet, practically begging them to acknowledge me letting them know they had won. Well, sometimes, even that doesn’t work; I post the winner in a giveaway post, notify them over Twitter – and yet – nothing. They are too busy entering 164 giveaways on that day to notice they had won something. You get a chance to win a product that I wouldn’t mind receiving for free, and you win a product that’s not cheap, yet you don’t even have the decency to check if you had won? Or let me know when you received your price and let me know how you like it? You know where I’m going with this rant, don’t you? Well, the rules for giveaways will drastically change on Nature of Europe, starting with only readers of Nature of Europe being eligible. Be grateful and graceful, for goodness’ sake!
… on plans.
With a year of green beauty blogging being behind me, and the experience I’ve gained, my notebook with plans and ideas for 2015 for Nature of Europe is getting fuller by the day. There will be some changes, some adjustments and a whole lot of exciting things coming up this year, so I welcome you all to join me! I am looking forward to writing more reviews, more articles about green beauty and other green topics, hosting more giveaways and so much more! The future is, indeed – green!
Thank you all, my dear readers, fellow green beauty bloggers and business partners for an amazing year that was 2014 and I am looking forward to 2015 and wishing you all a Happy New Year!
♥ ♥ ♥