Wow… this is possibly the first blogiversary post where I’ve been totally stumped on what to write about.
[Reading time: 5 mins]
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.
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.
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
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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