Tuesday, August 22, 2017

on blogging | finding a new direction

As of late, I've had a little bit of difficulty with this space - my little corner of the internet. I've had a bit of difficulty with myself as a blogger, period. I don't know my direction anymore, if I even have one at all (or if I ever have...ha!).

When I started this blog in 2014, I was working my first job out of college...a job I once loved that I'd grown to not love. I quickly became obsessed with the blogging world - I discovered BlogLovin', started following my favorite bloggers on Instagram, and thought of a million post ideas a day. I was so inspired by the hundreds of former cubicle dweller turned full-time blogger; I wanted to learn everything I could about it so I could become one, too. I was brand new to it all, and the world felt like my oyster.

So I started writing about my life - little ramblings, personal updates, plans for the upcoming holiday season, opinions, etc. And I wrote all the time. I loved it! In 2014 and 2015, I had upwards of 90 posts per year (as compared to my 43 posts to date in 2017). I never got comments, I rarely ever used quality photos, and there still wasn't a whole lot of planning that went into my content, but I loved doing it...until I started reading posts about "how to monetize your blog! and grow your following! and get 32948 repins!" and I figured out that, as much as I loved writing alllll about my life in my little blog, it wasn't going to grow the way I wanted it to if I didn't start cranking out informational, Pinterest-pinning ready posts. So that's what I started to do, and somehow between now and then, I managed to get a few more readers, a better following on Instagram, and more comments.

But even doing that, three plus years later, I still hardly have much of a following at all. There's no rhyme or rhythm to my content or post consistency. I'm not all that great at "branding myself." I don't even have a Facebook page for my blog because I get so nervous about people I know in real life judging my every word and move (I know I need to get way past that...meep). I guess that, to this day, I still don't feel like what I write here, what I post on Instagram, how I try to portray myself as a writer in general is legitimate enough to promote...and I feel like a bit of a "blog failure" because of it. And I know, I know, that's all on me.



I'm rambling myself into a rabbit hole here - back to my direction (or lack thereof). I suppose I feel like I run into a few problems with this one. Even after all this time, I'm having trouble finding my "niche":

I love fashion bloggers, but I don't consider myself one. Primarily because I'm lucky if I can coordinate shorts and a tank top with a pair of sandals that don't make my legs look like pork sausages. That, and I don't have much of a disposable income for new clothing right now. That, and I am so lazy about taking good blogger photos that aren't glasses of wine with a pretty background. Props to all my blogger pals who style cutie outfits, pick a destination, and shoot looks because you are far more ambitious souls than I.

I'm in graduate school, but I don't consider myself to be a college blogger. While I still love and follow so many college bloggers, I fall into a much different role than most of them. For some reason, even at 26, I love reading about "must-haves" for your first college dorm - but it doesn't really make sense for me to write those kinds of things.

...and while we're on that topic, I don't think the blogger world needs one more list about how to become a morning person. Or, at the very least, no one needs to hear about that from me (everyone else can keep those coming, though - maybe one day I'll catch on).

As I mentioned, I'm not super consistent with my content, which is actually the number one rule of blogging: be consistent. Because there's small part of me, a tiny voice inside my head, that screams at me every time I publish a post, "what's the point? does anyone really care what you have to say? not so much, dude." So sometimes I just don't write. If I think it's something other people wouldn't want to read, I throw it out. And that's the last thing that blogging should be about. In fact, I'm pretty sure that's rule number two of blogging: blog for yourself. And if I'm blogging for myself, I want to look back and remember moments, feelings, personal events, small victories, big triumphs, powering through frustrations. I want to look back on these posts and be able to live vicariously through my past self. That's what I want from this blog...even if that doesn't get me sponsorships or 100 new readers a week.

Because at the end of the day, I love writing. I just think that what I'm finally realizing and owning up to is what I don't love writing about. I don't love writing about how you can "become a better person if you just do XYZ." I don't love writing about my favorite new cardigan or what I bought from the Nordstrom anniversary sale (no hate, though - I love reading those posts! I'm just not a fan of writing them myself). I love writing pieces that people can connect with - stories, little bits about daily living, etc. Does that make sense? Am I still rambling at this point?

From the beginning, I've been pretty honest with you guys, so I wanted to give a heads up as to where my mind has been lately, so here it is. Maybe my "direction" is just a new direction. Things might change around here a little bit...or they might not. Maybe my content won't be all that different at all. Maybe I'll just finally be okay with being a person who has a blog vs. being a full-time blogger (for now anyway...ha).

Has anyone else ever felt this way about blogging before? Am I a crazy person? Does this make any sort of sense at all? Asking for a friend.


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