My 9th Blogiversary | The Fallout of 2020: What Does the Future Hold?

My 9th Blogiversary | The Fallout of 2020: What Does the Future Hold? Not Dressed As Lamb

Wow… this is possibly the first blogiversary post where I’ve been totally stumped on what to write about.

[Reading time: 5 minutes]

But then this year hasn’t exactly been what we all expected, has it?

Nine years on from hitting Publish for the very first time on my 39th birthday (yes, it’s my 48th birthday today too!), things are very different – and I don’t mean purely because, you know, 2020. I’ve hit Publish for the 1,497th time. That’s a LOT of posts and a LOT of scope for change.

This blogiversary is unquestionably more subdued than any other, so no ‘fun’ post like the Catherine-as-a-man/Catherine-as-an-old-lady images one from last year I’m afraid (I read the room and the room said Nahhhhhhh, not this year mate). I’m going to write whatever comes to mind, so this post could be 300 words long or it could be 3,000.

Let’s see how it goes.

[It was 1,300 in the end – 5 minutes reading time. I’d call that a Goldilocks length. Long enough to be nice and juicy, but not so long that I end up waffling. Mind you, I should shut up and let you be the judge of that…]

 

A bit about my 2020 (so far)

In a nutshell, there have been a few highs and quite a lot of lows. (Basically very similar to MANY people’s 2020-so-far I should imagine).

For me though, lockdown actually meant very little change to my everyday life. I work from home anyway. Keith’s company didn’t shut down and he didn’t get furloughed. We just didn’t go out-out as much or really see family and friends. That was it.

The only trips I managed were an occasional grocery shop at Tesco (when I couldn’t get an online delivery slot) and to the chemist to collect my parents’ prescriptions and to drop them at their front door. Not including my daily walks and dog walks, of course, which I kept up all through the major #StayAtHome part of the last few months.

No, the big change for me was a complete and utter halt to any work coming in. Very few emails landed in my Inbox. Those I DID get were super spammy; for example, I was constantly offered anything from $500 to $5000 (seriously) for a week’s “advertising” on my Facebook page. God knows what they would have posted on there for five grand, but as you can imagine I didn’t even want to ask.

Four months on and I’ve had the first offer of a proper paid job – just last week. But you know what? I’m optimistic about the future. About my financial and professional future. In the short term it’s a worry, I won’t deny that. But I’m pretty certain that, once companies see that the world has changed in so many ways due to Covid, they’ll see how influencer marketing is something they simply HAVE to tap into and can no longer ignore.

And, let’s hope, see it as something they need to actually INVEST in. If they don’t start paying us what we’re worth then we might as well just forget trying to make society realise that women entrepreneurs have value and should be paid for their time and hard work. Anyway, I digress.

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In a way I see it as a blank slate that I’ve been given. So many fellow bloggers and content creators have changed their approach and content the past few weeks and months that it can only be a positive thing for me as well.

Maybe a fresh start was needed after all.

 

My recent lack of presence on the interwebs

I’m sure regular readers will have noticed that I’ve not been posting anywhere NEAR as much as I used to – I don’t intend this to be permanent! In a way I’m preparing myself for a change, a new approach myself. I’ve had to get creative with other ways to make money, hence me starting to sell my wardrobe (and other household things) on eBay at last.

Covid at least provided me with the push I needed to get that ball rolling.

The break has given me time to realise what’s important to me, and what I enjoy doing. My blog has evolved gradually over the last nine years. Those first few posts back in the Summer of 2011 (sounds so long ago!) were simple outfit posts. One photo, a sentence or two of text. I’m taking some time to go back and read those early posts – the ones before affiliate links and link up parties and the need to promote, promote, promote on social media – and think about exactly why I started blogging in the first place.

I truly believe that blogging is one of those jobs/hobbies/jobs (yes, I meant to put jobs twice, I meant it to be like a neverending loop) that cannot be done successfully* unless you’re enjoying it. Go into it with dollar signs in your eyes and you’ll probably end up disappointed and/or frustrated.

So this is what I’ve been thinking about the past few months, and I guess I had to have that break to see what I missed about the whole blogging shebang. Because what’s that expression… You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone, is that it? Something like that, anyway.

*My definition of success is not at all about money. I might write this as a blog post one day, but I see success very much as working towards/completing a goal and enjoying the process along the way.

 

Maybe this is the turning point

So as I mentioned, I really didn’t know what I was going to end up writing about in this post. And maybe it has a point, maybe it doesn’t, but even just typing this has made me see things a little more clearly.

Because if I don’t have any jobs coming in right now, I really should get back to writing what I loved back in the day.

Now, it’s not that I’ve been writing about things I don’t enjoy – far from it. But when I think back to some of the times I was SO busy with sponsored work that I didn’t know where to start or how to tell PRs and brands to get off my back because they were giving me ZERO time to get anything done (and I can recall many a time sitting crying on the kitchen floor because I was so overworked and overwhelmed), it makes sense to get back to basics.

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I’ve only been doing it for a week or two but I’ve really enjoyed the “change of scenery” that selling my things on eBay has brought about. Going through the boxes in the loft and the projects that I’ve taken on during lockdown has given me ideas for other ways that I can (hopefully) make money. While it may not be anything that’ll make me millions, I really think I’ll enjoy it. What I have in mind is creative, ties in with the blog, and is something I’ve always loved doing.

I’ve made the first tiny steps towards this new venture and, if it turns out to be something viable, I’ll share it here on the blog and my Instagram.

Baby steps – but ambitious, exciting ones!

✷  ✷  ✷  ✷  ✷

 

The rest of 2020 and the build-up to 10 years of blogging

What do I want to be writing about on this day in one year’s time? Well… I hope the world will have reacted (and more importantly acted) positively to this sh*tstorm of a year and changed for the better.

~ We need a vaccine. That has to be no.1 on mankind’s To-Do list right now.

~ Just as importantly, we need MASSIVE changes to have been made with regards to BLM and, where my industry is concerned, diversity needs to be at the top of every brand’s and every content creator’s must-haves.

~ I’d like the fakery on Instagram to be called out more and more.

~ I’d like trolling and mean-spiritedness to be as socially and digitally unacceptable as not wearing a mask or failing to pick up your dog’s mess.

A lot to ask, I know. But if we all do our part, if we all show support to one another, if we all strive to do our best with acceptance and listening and knowing our worth – then I may well have a more upbeat post that I’ll be writing about on 23 July 2021… my 10 year blogiversary.

(Not that this post was too downbeat I hope – it’s just turned out to be a little more reflective than other blogiversary posts!)

And with that I’ll bid you a Happy Thursday – I’m off to celebrate being 48 by eating posh pizza with Keith and Suki at a lovely local cafe (of course I’ve written this in advance so I get to spend all my birthday with my two besties). Maybe a cream tea too. Or is that a cream tea or two?! Gotta love living in Devon when cream teas are on the cards…

Stay safe XOXO

Catherine signature

P.S. Why the picture of me aged 5? Well, those of you who’ve been reading since the beginning (if there ARE any of you) may remember my old blog header. It’s been through many incarnations, but I still have a soft spot for that very first blog header featuring this photo (thanks WayBackMachine)! Plus I just look cute, lol ; -P

Thoughts on how blogging has changed in the last 9 or 10 years? And what do YOU think the future holds? Comment below…!

 

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My 9th Blogiversary | The Fallout of 2020: What Does the Future Hold? Not Dressed As Lamb

28 Comments

  1. July 27, 2020 / 8:18 pm

    Happy Birthday Catherine and congratulations on 9 years blogging. Yours was the first blog I read, it was a long time ago. Thank you for all of the inspiration and the knowledge that you share with us. Here’s hoping things start to improve soon. Enjoy your celebration!
    Alison xx

    • Catherine
      Author
      July 28, 2020 / 2:46 pm

      Thanks Alison, that’s so lovely of you (and I’m v proud to be the first blog that you read! Wow!!) xx

  2. Judy
    July 27, 2020 / 5:13 am

    Happy birthday & happy blogiversary! I believe I have been reading since your beginning, not sure if I have ever commented though. I must admit I have only got back to reading blogs again recently which has led me to having spent a bit of time reading the back catalogue of my favourite ones!

    I look forward to seeing your take on the changed world. And your lovely outfit posts 🙂 And your lovely dog pictures 🙂

    • Catherine
      Author
      July 27, 2020 / 1:34 pm

      Thank you Judy, so lovely to hear from you! It’s never too late to comment, and I’m so glad you love the OOTDs and the doggo pictures. Suki has the edge on my outfits though, hehe 😉

  3. July 25, 2020 / 3:23 pm

    Happy Blogiversary, such an amazing milestone to achieve!

    Danielle

    • Catherine
      Author
      July 27, 2020 / 1:34 pm

      Aww Danielle thank you! Can’t believe it’s been 9 years already…!

  4. July 24, 2020 / 3:55 pm

    Happy Birthday and Happy Blogiversary! This year has brought massive change in so many ways. I agree with your needs which are so in sync with what I believe too; vaccine, no more crap on Insta…. Let’s hope for positive change!!
    Have a great weekend and if you’d like to link up this great post with me over at my Fabulous Friday’s Linkup Party- I’d love to see you there:) xx

    • Catherine
      Author
      July 27, 2020 / 1:35 pm

      Ughhhh positive changes are SO needed, aren’t they Lucy?! Thank you so much my lovely x

  5. July 24, 2020 / 6:05 am

    Yes, it has changed for me, in that I learnt to be me in public. My original intentions hopefully will happen soon: I have 1 book completed, another 1/2 written, a freebie ebook ready to write, a yoga course started. What is holding me back? Lack of skill with the computer to get things published. I deliberately chose not to do clothes nor promote products as my 2 blogs have always been working towards publishing books and selling my yoga knowledge. And I don’t have many clothes nor am I at all exciting. I can’t even begin to imagine what a difficult time it has been for many bloggers during lockdown, whose livelihood was through their blog. What a concern.

    • Catherine
      Author
      July 27, 2020 / 1:39 pm

      How wonderful that you’ve decided to be you, Ratnamurti… and goodness, way to go with the book-writing!! Do not worry about the lack of computer skills – I know MANY bloggers who started with zero tecchie knowledge. And to be honest everything I’ve ever done on the computer has been through practice and reading stuff online, I never had any technical skills to start with either!

      The lack of work has been worrying, but I’m a great believer in things working out in the end. And btw I don’t consider myself at all exciting either, but you DO have something to offer as there will always be people who identify with you. And they’re the ones who want to hear from you and want to connect with you! Don’t ever underestimate what you have to offer…!

  6. July 23, 2020 / 11:22 pm

    We have no control over things like COVID-19 making the world seem like a bad sci-fi movie, but we can certainly control how we react. IMHO, taking stock of where you’re at and what you want to do is a great course of action. I’m glad you’re optimistic. I guess I am cautiously optimistic and a little angry. (Weird combo, I know.)

    Happy birthday and blogiversary!

    Michelle

    • Catherine
      Author
      July 27, 2020 / 1:41 pm

      Definitely like a bad sci-fi movie, Michelle! I’m a bit too bewildered to be angry, but I know exactly where you’re coming from. I dream a lot – and remember everything too, my dreams are like crazy movies in my head – and Covid has been the sort of thing I’d dream about. Not sure I could dream this one, though…

      Thank you my lovely, here’s to my 10 year blogiversary! x

  7. July 23, 2020 / 5:37 pm

    Catherine, great post! love all your insight into your blogging and your 2020… I think we’ve all been going through similar evolutions…. covid took me in a direction i never expected–upcycling clothing for me while my local costume rental business came to a grinding halt…. i took a trip with my family out to our beach house and decided it was time to build a new website about the upcycles and i started building that website when i left the house otherwise i get mired down with all the ‘things that need to be done’…. and your loop jobs/hobbies/jobs so accurate! i wonder if what i am doing is a job or hobby? i am so new at this–really just starting at covid….but when i saw almost 5 views on my most recent post with a 2 minute retention time, it was encouraging!
    you are incredibly talented! and you definitely inspired me to start my blogging!
    congrats to you and blog-a-versary!
    xo eva

    • Catherine
      Author
      July 27, 2020 / 1:42 pm

      Eva thank you! It’s lovely to hear you’ve been inspired, and I wish you all the best with your ventures. Plus I hear you on the “things that need to be done”… my To-Do list is never, EVER ending, lol 😉

  8. July 23, 2020 / 1:58 pm

    Happy Birthday, Catherine. And blog anniversary, too. Lovely to be able to go back and see that first blog incarnation.
    2020 has certainly been challenging in so many ways. We’ve been waiting and waiting to be able to travel to eastern Canada to visit my 92 year old mum. That part of Canada ( with hardly any Covid) has closed its borders to this part of Canada (with the highest infection rates in the country)… so no travel without a fourteen day quarantine. I totally understand that, much better for my family and friends who all live there. But man, it’s hard to not be able to even have backyard/through the window family visits. And with school opening up in September, I think that visit is NOT in the cards.
    I’ve been mostly blogging about the lock-down, coping, reading, and growing out my roots. I’m the MOST surprised of anyone that I decided NOT To have my hair coloured when the hairstylists opened. So going from coloured, highlighted, lowlighted, high maintenance to all white has triggered a real blast of self-examination. It’s all good though. And it’s been a fun topic to blog about.
    Hope your new endeavour goes well. Can’t wait to hear about it. xo

    • Catherine
      Author
      July 27, 2020 / 1:52 pm

      Thank you so much, Sue! That must be very hard to be separated from your mum like that, I think the separation aspect has been the worst thing about Covid (obviously after the health part and assuming one is well). I hope you get to visit soon.

      And I’ve just checked out your new hair… WOW!! The grey (silver/white) really, really suits you. You look absolutely beautiful, my lovely x

  9. July 23, 2020 / 1:55 pm

    Five year old you is just as adorable as 48 year old you! Happy, happy birthday and blog anniversary, my friend! This year has definitely been a strange one. My income flow for blog work has completely dried up as well and I am not really sure which direction to head now. My page views have dropped tremendously as well which is just as unnerving as the lost income because even if the sponsored posts start flowing in, I seem to have lost most of my following during this pandemic so it won’t much matter at that point. I do ned to start listing the piles of clothing I have cleaned from closet onto retail sites so I can do my next closet clean out which is long overdue. Now is the time, but my motivation seems to be sleeping! May all things good come to us in 2021!

    Shelbee

    • Catherine
      Author
      July 27, 2020 / 1:55 pm

      Thanks so much Shelbee – my page views have seriously dropped too! Which doesn’t actually make sense for me as you’d think that more people would be home and therefore spending MORE time on the interwebs and reading blogs. Oh well. Hope you find that mojo soon! x

  10. July 23, 2020 / 1:17 pm

    Happy Birthday, and congrats on your 9th Blogaversary – wow! Your blog has been such an inspiration to me – excellent writing, photography, and how you’ve stuck up for inclusion with brands, as well as all the how-to’s of better photography, how to price yourself and get what you’re worth. I’ve referred back to your advice many times, even with my little “hobby blog” in the last few months.
    I hope it brings you renewed joy, and that the eBay sales continue to be brisk and profitable. I enjoy your posts however often or seldom you post them (and love the IG photos of those morning walks), so keep up the great work, and best wishes to Keith and Suki.

    • Catherine
      Author
      July 27, 2020 / 1:56 pm

      Aww Mary Katherine you always say the nicest things, thank you so much! Hopefully I’ll be easing myself back into the more regular blog posts once I find my new groove, as it were…!

  11. July 23, 2020 / 12:43 pm

    Hope you enjoyed your birthday pizza and cream tea! Love your cute younger self photo. I agree with your wish list of changes for the remainder of 2020 xx

    • Catherine
      Author
      July 27, 2020 / 1:56 pm

      The pizza was delicious, Valerie – too full for a cream tea as well though, lol! Thank you xx

  12. July 23, 2020 / 11:30 am

    Happy Birthday! And you are going to spend it very well! I just keep on blogging because I love it! And I hope you will too!

    • Catherine
      Author
      July 27, 2020 / 1:57 pm

      I will, Nancy – change just takes a bit of getting used to I guess. And thank you!

  13. Mona
    July 23, 2020 / 9:34 am

    Have a lovely Birthday, you gorgeous lady
    And congratulations on 9 years blogging, now on to the next 9, because we need your point of view to be ongoing. The world (and the Internet) is what we inhabitants (and users) make it and it is high time to take a closer look at our actions and non-actions (BLM, environment, waste and pretense etc.).
    I hope we will get to read more about your new venture, Good luck with it.

    • Catherine
      Author
      July 27, 2020 / 1:58 pm

      Aww Mona that’s so kind of you, thank you! I think I’ll enjoy the new ventures x

  14. July 23, 2020 / 9:11 am

    Happy happy birthday Catherine and happy bloggiversary too. Have a wonderful day with Keith and Suki. Pizza and cream tea sounds perfect xxx

    • Catherine
      Author
      July 27, 2020 / 1:58 pm

      Thank you Lovely Liz – though we were too full for cream teas as well… probably a good job as they’re not exactly calorie-free, hehe 😉

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