Hello! Remember me? Since May I’ve been absent from the blogging world and as much as life has been hectic – I chose to step away from the bloggersphere by choice. I became totally unengaged from my blog. I didn’t like the name, the style of posts etc and I decided a revamp was well overdue – which started the beginning of What Amy Did. Straight after my rebrand, I was full of enthusiasm and couldn’t wait to take pretty photos, write new content and grow my blog. But something changed after a couple of weeks. I started to go back into that rut of not enjoying it, I started to feel like I didn’t belong in the ‘blogging community’ and I felt so deflated. I took an active decision to take a break but in no way did I intend it to last 4 months. I’m actually surprised I’m sitting writing this now as I still don’t know if my feelings have changed but I do miss it.

So what’s happened with life? I started a new role in April and to say my life has become exceptionally busy would be a complete understatement. On top of that, I’ve been redecorating my home, saving for my dream holiday, studying part time and even opened my own business – I’ve certainly been a busy bee! There’s been lots of ups and downs in 2016 but it’s slowly shaping into my best year yet. When I looked back at my new years resolutions a few days ago .. Many were based on my blog and I felt sad. I’ve completely neglected my little space online and I felt disappointed to read all the things I wanted to achieve with this platform back in December to where it’s at now. I do miss blogging and now my life is slowly calming down/becoming more manageable, I’m ready to throw myself back into it again. Saying that .. here’s what I learned from my break.

I’m never going to feel like I fit into the blogging world – This is true. Of course, many people won’t understand my point of view on this but I don’t ever feel like I’ll feel a sense of belonging within the community. I can’t make most weekly chats, I can’t make blogging events etc and due to this, I feel like I’ll never make blogging friends and get the same benefits other people get from it which to be honest, is the whole point I began – I wanted to meet people with similar interests as me. Despite this, I dowant to make more of a conscious effort to get more involved.

The blogging community isn’t as perfect as it seems – As much as we all want to think it’s all about girl power, motivating each other with zero competition and no drama – it’s don’t think I see it like I used to. Throughout my break, I only accessed twitter a few times and funnily enough, in these few times I scrolled through my timeline, I seen lots of indirect tweets, things interpreted the wrong way, people bashing others for flaunting their gucci bags etc. Of course it’s a small minority but when I first started, it seems like this great, motivating online movement full of likeminded girls with the same goals all cheering each other on. That’s what made me want to be involved. Maybe that was naivety on my part? But I think stepping away has made me notice it’s not all rainbows and unicorns.

It IS about numbers – For a small minority, like myself, blogging is merely a hobby. It’s good to speak to others with the same interests, your exposed to learning new technical skills from photography to HTML etc and it’s fun to write about your passion. There are a large number of bloggers who want this to be their career and I say go for it! It may not be my chosen path but I do recognise how lucrative a career it can be and encourage everyone to follow their dreams and goals. I didn’t ever think it was about numbers for me but when I’d see my stats or page views .. I’ll admit I got deflated and that was a big factor in me thinking of packing it in completely. During my break, I gained 220 new twitter followers but because I didn’t follow accounts back or tweet very often .. Only 15 have stuck around. To me, THAT’S MADNESS! I want you to follow me because you want to, not to boost your twitter followers figure. Even when it comes to some brands working with you, It all relies on your social media following. Now, I’m more consciously aware that it does play a big part in the blogging world and I almost understand why people want that follower figure to grow. I never had a large following but I did have loyal readers who even when I’ve said I’m going to start blogging again, said they looked forward to reading my new posts and that made me feel really happy. Of course, there will always be times you don’t get much engagement but if one person takes the time to comment on my post or tweet with me about it, that’s more than enough for me.

It IS quality over quantity – I used to feel guilty if I didn’t post 3 times a week and now looking back I think I put myself under too much pressure to do that and in turn, that’s what made me switch off. Blogging is competitive and sometimes I felt like I couldn’t keep up. People were posting sometimes daily, involved in so many different chats and I just felt overwhelmed that I wasn’t putting enough out there to keep people engaged. Now, I’d rather blog once/twice a week and feel enjoyment from it than stick to a strict schedule. I’m now at peace with the fact that it’s ok to post sporadically – infact if it means the quality of the posts you have are greater then it’s much better. So going forward, no more beating myself up if I don’t manage even two posts a week, think ‘would I want to read this?’ and make more of an effort with my photos/writing and really hone those skills to shape better content!

Some brands take advantage – This is one I learned the hard way. As a new blogger I was so excited to be contacted by PR companies but underneath it all, it wasn’t as rosy as it seemed. Some didn’t even want me to mark posts as sponsored – despite offering payment for the post. I said no because I would never mislead my readers for money – it’s not my thing. Little did I know, a week later on my twitter timeline, some bloggers had obviously taken up the deal and hadn’t declared it was paid for. At first, I was angry at the bloggers .. How could you be so disingenuous to your readers all for the sake of £50 and pretend YOU parted with YOUR own money?! But the more I thought about it, the more I felt anger towards the company. They were clearly taking advantage of new bloggers who they know want a career in blogging and by offering £50 and asking them not to disclose it, got the advertisement they wanted, without mentioning they paid for it. Now, I’m really vary of collaborations but I think it’s a good thing. It made me realise my blog isn’t about making money whatsoever like I always said it wouldn’t be, I kept my integrity and more importantly, I never misled my readers.

I’ll might never be the blogger I want to be and that’s alright – Even though I love the content I put out there on my blog and i’m proud of it – I don’t think I’ll ever have the blog or be the blogger I aspire to be. I love fashion – that’s my main passion but I don’t have much confidence. I don’t have anyone who’d happily be my photographer, I don’t have enough money to buy new outfits every week, I don’t have the time to dedicate to my blog that i’d like but you know .. that’s ok. I’m content with my content (harrrrr), I like my layout, I’m working on my confidence and who knows? Maybe with lots of PMA and a lotto win I might be one of the bloggers I look up to one day with gorgeous OOTD shoots in dreamy locations. For now, I’m just too insecure to do that and I wouldn’t want to do anything I wouldn’t feel comfortable with .. I may get there eventually but right now I’m not and again – that’s ok!

I need to stay true to myself – I mentioned in my last point that fashion is my main passion. From a young age, I’ve always loved experimenting with clothes and different trends. I’ve already read fashion magazines and I’m regularly complimented on my outfits. I just wish I could give myself more of a push to do what I’m too shy to do in my last point but that doesn’t mean I can’t dabble in it. So prepare for a change in content. I’ll still write about beauty and lifestyle because of course, these are topics I’m passionate about too but I really want to start introducing fashion into the mix – it’s a big part of my life and it makes no sense to not make it a part of this platform.

This post has certainly been LOOOONG but I felt like I owed it to my readers. I was blogging two to three times a week and suddenly just dropped off without explanation. Those who did enjoy reading my posts must of wondered where I’d gone – I know when I’ve noticed bloggers disappearing off the radar, it’s sparked me thinking why. But I am back. I do want to stick at blogging. I want to get my blog back out there. So stay tuned! I have lots of new content kicking around in my head that I can’t wait to get written and published.

Have you felt any of the above or noticed anything I highlighted? You know I love to hear my readers thoughts so please comment below or give me a tweet at @whatamydidblog. Thank you for reading if you’ve got to this bottom line.