Ever just feel like you need to step away and breathe a while? I have. I went into January 2016 determined to make something better of this blog, and it ended up overwhelming me so much that I steered clear of it entirely for three whole months. I'd written down pages of things I wanted to write and it scared the emojis out of me. I'm now determined to embark on a journey of blog self-love and positivity and thought I'd share a few of my wobbles with you...
The end of April marks this blog's 6th birthday. I've never been a 'full-time' blogger and I've never felt like I've been able to put as much time into it as I've wanted to. I thought that, now that I'm working for myself, I'd find a whole new energy to pour into amazing content and get endless inspiration from everything. The reality turned out to be that I'm spending so much time and effort on blog content for my clients, I'm becoming seriously uninspired when it comes to my own. I guess when you do something full time as a job, it's harder to get excited about it in your spare time, but I chose my profession because of my love of writing and I would not be where I am now without this site.
I don't want this to come off as self-pity, but bear with me; my blog has never been what I'd consider 'popular'. I've always put into it as much as I had to offer at any given time, shared the hell out of my posts and taken an interest in other blogs, but somehow it's just never really happened for me. That's fine, I can accept that. I've had successes elsewhere and I love the content I've been able to create for my clients since I graduated from Uni and set out as a freelancer. However, this has meant that I've recently taken a "well, what's the point anyway" mentality when it comes to posting on That Lisa Clare. Blogging has changed a lot since I first came on the scene in 2010, and I need to catch myself up a little and get with the program.
I'm also at a bit of a crossroads when it comes to my blog personality and branding. Since I went vegan and cruelty-free I've been kind of stuck between not wanting to alienate my loyal readers and offend brands I've worked with in the past, and being afraid to go for it with a more vegan-friendly audience for fear of slipping up, particularly with the beauty side (the vegan police are real and cosmetics are difficult to judge sometimes).
So, what's the solution? I've come to remember in the last week how much I do adore this blog, and how I really need to pull my socks up and give it the love it deserves. The temptation was to ditch it entirely and start afresh elsewhere, but I just can't bring myself to do it. So I've come up with an action plan, and a list of promises to my blog, that I will do my very best to stick to in the coming months..
Write down ideas religiously - Whenever I get a spark of inspiration I will head straight to Evernote and jot it down before I forget it forever.
Talk to other bloggers - I had a gorgeous chatter with the lovely Gemma on Facebook recently, and it's done me the world of good (and probably inspired this post, so thanks a bunch, Gemma!) I think we bloggers can all relate to each others struggles and are in a great position to help and inspire each other out of a rut.
Rediscover photography - I'm stuck indoors so much now that I work from home and, over the Winter months, I've had very little desire to get outside in the rain and photograph the world. Now that the days are getting lighter and longer, I'm going to force myself out of the door to capture the world. This goes for indoors too. I've invested in some studio lamps so that my dark, murky house is less of an issue.
Not forcing myself to post - One way I've found to guarantee content that is half-hearted and 'meh' is to force myself to post. If I'm not excited about it, I'm not going to post about it. That's how blog resentment begins. It's not the end of the world if I don't get a post out this week.
Don't try to please everyone - I'm understanding more and more that your tribe is out there and, if you speak to them, they will find you. I'm going to post 'me' and those who like it will find it, and maybe even stick around for more. I'm not going to be afraid of posting something just in case someone unfollows.
Don't be afraid of PRs - Specifically, don't be afraid to contact brands for fear of coming across as cheeky. Now that I am a PR, I think I understand these relationships a lot better now and the idea of offering myself up to brands isn't quite as daunting. Yeah, so my DA and pageviews aren't off the charts... I've still got something to offer DAMMIT!
Never be disappointed in my blog - I'm stopping this entirely. I'm just going to burst with pride from here on out. I'm going to read my own blog regularly, reflect on how far it's come over the years, and plan future world domination (well... maybe). I owe my career to this blog and it deserves love and appreciation in return.
I really hope this post didn't come off as a bit of a pity-party. It wasn't intended as such. I don't feel pitiful. I just needed to get all the gloom and uncertainty I was feeling out in the best way I know how. In a way, I'm glad I took the break to clear my head and gather my thoughts in order to move on to (hopefully) better things with this blog. I'm sure others may be able to relate somehow to how I'm feeling. I'd love to hear other bloggers' mantras and top tips for blog positivity.