Well, it’s been a while since we had a blogging debrief, a digital heart-to-heart of sorts. I’ve now been blogging for more than seven years and the landscape has changed considerably since then. I’ve been spending quite a lot of time reflecting on what I’ve learnt so far and what I wish I’d done differently…
One of my biggest regrets is that I didn’t take blogging seriously sooner. In the beginning, it was simply an outlet for me and I sometimes feel as though if I’d had a bit of a strategy earlier on, I would be further along. In some ways, I think my content is better than it’s ever been, but like anyone, I occasionally struggle to come up with content that you all can connect with. When I started, I didn’t really care if anyone read my posts, there was less pressure and I just wrote about what I loved or things that intrigued me. Now, like so many other bloggers, I tend to fixate on numbers and worry that no one really cares about what I have to say (which sounds silly, but is a valid concern for anyone pouring their heart into their content…)
Here are some thoughts on where I’m at currently in the blogging world. More than anything, I want my writing to be more like it was back in 2012.
Let’s get realistic
When I started blogging, I’d get inspired by a book, a movie or even something someone said in passing. While my writing would have a loose theme or a lesson, it was less overwhelming and I didn’t feel like I had to write an essay in order to hit publish. Now that I’m self-employed, I feel like every post needs to be a hit with my audience. I want my words to resonate with everyone and that feels incredibly overwhelming to the point that I often leave posts in draft for weeks on end…
I like that I’m ambitious; that I want to connect with those who give me their time and attention, but it’s important to remember not every post will be a banger. I personally love spontaneous posts and visual diaries with less text every now and then!
Blogging and PGM in 2019
Many bloggers and content creators are moving away from the traditional blog format. Either they’re publishing less frequently or doing away with their blogs entirely. I get that, long form content isn’t for everyone and can be massively under appreciated. While I often neglect my blog in favour of other platforms (writing an Instagram caption is so much easier than writing a full-fledged post…) this is where I can truly share my story. As a writer, this blog will always be my main platform. It’s my little corner of the internet, and I feel lucky that anyone at all wants to read my words.
I often ask people why they read my blog posts because I want to create content that you find useful. I’ll continue to share city guides because I love travelling and exploring cities, but I also know that my audience isn’t hanging on to my every word. I hope it doesn’t sound ungrateful because I’m so thankful for every single person who reads these posts. That said, I’m not an ‘it girl’ or someone everyone wants to emulate, I think (and hope) that people follow me because my content is relatable and feels like it’s coming from a close friend. They might share my Napier guide with their friend who is heading to Hawkes Bay for a long weekend. Or, maybe they’ll bookmark my Christchurch post so they have a few brunch spots in mind for next week. No one is lining up for my advice, and I’m okay with that.
This year, I’m staying in my lane and focusing on what I have to offer.
Consistency and staying on brand
There’s been plenty of talk about sponsored and gifted content lately. While I’m all for consistent content, I often struggle with the one-dimensionality of social media. I’ve drafted up an entire post on this subject, but it’s one of those I’ve been hesitant to publish. I feel passionately about showing all sides of ourselves, even those that are less cool or on trend. I’m lucky that you lot are very supportive of and engage with my sponsored content. My posts aren’t hugely aspirational, everything is quite achievable. I’m not about getting that perfect body or following a strict diet. As a thirty year old woman, I want my content to empower you to love yourself more deeply, see the world a bit differently and cherish your body and everything it does for you regardless of the number on the scale.
When I left my full-time job, I was committed to writing two posts a week and whenever I missed a post, I’d get pretty down about it. Consistency is important, but there’s nothing worse than forcing a post when you’re just not feeling it!
What’s coming up…
This year, I want to focus on making this platform more interesting and more useful. I want to be constantly checking in with you all to make sure I’m writing about subjects you’re interested in. I want to interview inspiring people, show you more of my own photography and write about challenging, difficult topics. I want to put less pressure on myself to find the right words and just write because that’s what I love to do.
How are you feeling about the current blogging landscape?
Photos by Sophie Isabella