Now and then, as much as I hate to admit it, I have a straight up, full-blown meltdown when it comes to my blog. I start to take a step back, pick apart almost every aspect of my site and reread my content, wondering if it’s good enough. There are over 152 million blogs and counting on the world wide web and it takes just 8 seconds to grab someones attention to entice them to click the link to your post – SAY WHAT?! It’s not rocket science to know that blogging is ferociously competitive but those stats make it hit home. When you’re a small fish in a big pond, who works full time and pours their spare time into doing what they love, writing, on their little abode online, then it can be overwhelming and make you question if it’s all worth it.
One piece of blogging advice that I find is heavily pushed, is that you shouldn’t be treating your blog as a hobby and instead, view it as a business – regardless of if you aim to earn a single penny from your little slice of the internet. It’s something other bloggers preach and is often contained within most pins on where you’re going wrong with your blog. Just before I took my blogging break, that seems like literally forever ago now, I started to adopt this mindset. I mean, even if I knew I wasn’t going to be the next Zoella, surely I should start pitching myself as a brand/business if everyone else is doing it, right? Keep up with the Joneses and make sure I wasn’t like “hey guys, remember me”. But you see, this is where it all went wrong for me. Having time away offline to evaluate, come back and have my creative ‘spark’ resume back to normal has reaffirmed that I will never, treat my blog as a business.
Why? I hear you ask. I know you might also be wondering, what’s the big deal? But to be honest, there are a few factors as to why I’m like “nope, not going down that route ever, ever again.” Pitching myself as a brand is just something I’m just straight up not comfortable with. Although I believe in consistent content, a cohesive design and sticking to what works for me, I don’t feel the need to wrap that in a bow and present it to the world as a business. What Amy Did is a creative outlet for me to just simply write and curate my own little space online. It’s a hobby and it’s all it ever will be. I don’t ever see me having the vision to turn this blog into something ‘bigger’ or gain financially from it to the point where I chuck my job and enter a world I’m personally terrified of – self-employment. It’s so many other people’s dream and I LOVE watching that happen for others but for me, it’s just not my path. I just view myself as a gal online, doing what she likes from her laptop on her sofa. When I began applying the logic of showcasing my blog as something more serious, it began to rob me of my creativity.
Rather than put out content I totally loved, I began to wonder if it was ‘on brand’ and how it would be received. I started to think about my writing tone, growing more aware of the phrases I was using and trying my best to stop any, how can I phrase it, ‘colourful words’ – like fuck, shit and bugger – featuring in my posts. It changed my attitude towards my blog, turned a joyful hobby into something much more thought driven than I ever intended it to be and most importantly – I stopped having fun. I stopped wanting to write and I started to focus more on the ‘aesthetic’ (I can’t express how much I hate that word) of my blog. It became less about the words and more about the image I was portraying. In a nutshell, I got lost. Swept up in all the business savvy approach that I forgot why I started. I was the master of my own misery and couldn’t help but feel if I didn’t have this mindset, that my blog would never be on par. I started comparing myself to other blogs, nitpicking away at everything on my blog to the point where I closed my laptop down and thought ‘what’s the point?’.
My new attitude towards my blog is simply this – I want to story tell, not sell. I want to write about my experiences, open up about my struggles with mental health, share my opinions even if they are controversial to some, tackle topics that are close to my heart and just bloody write whatever the F I feel like. I get nostalgic thinking about my early blogging days, where nobody was in it for anything other than the joy of writing online or sharing their style via photos taken on a tripod in their loft conversion. When I think of those days, it just reminds me why I started – to be part of a movement I found so appealing and have my own voice – even if I was just using it to tell everyone how great the new Soap and Glory Body Cream was.
It’s easy to get swept up in this over orchestrated imagery, rose gold and pink everything, style over substance industry. But it’s important to stay true to yourself. To write about what you like. To not pigeonhole your content. To connect with like-minded people and most importantly; have fun along the way. It may be a big, money-making machine now but strip it back and we’re all just people, using our voices online to talk about what we enjoy/love/think. Just because some article or fellow blogger told you to reinvent your blog as a business doesn’t mean it’s going to work for everyone. Move at your own pace, do what you feel comfortable with. The beauty of blogging is that there are no rules – something we fail to remember when it feels like we aren’t keeping up. Just do you.
Do you treat your blog as a business although it’s a hobby? I’m keen to hear what your thoughts are on taking this approach towards your blog or if you do this already if think you’ve benefited from it from changing your mindset. As always, you can comment below or you can tweet/IG me at @whatamydid.