Wednesday, 4 October 2017


The Beginning

I've been thinking about when I started my very first blog around the time I finished uni. I used to post creative poetry and prose out into the ether on a rubbish Wordpress site with an awful header and a hard to read font. I started with zero followers, zero pageviews per day and tonnes of motivation to express who I really was. 

Not all my content was good, but some of it was pretty OK. Eventually people started to engage with my posts - the likes and comment built up and it gave me the boost to keep up the hobby. I would read tonnes and tonnes of blog posts on my lunch breaks and commutes, jot down new ideas for new posts in a little notepad. Some of them made the cut.

I took inspiration from everyday life and personal experiences but I never divulged the deep workings of my mind. Instead I took these thoughts and feelings and turned them into sweeping metaphors, sometimes corny, sometimes striking. The emotions still came through. I knew it resonated because people would engage with the content and respond to it. They appreciated what I had taken the time to do.

While I was busy blogging and dreaming about making it big as a writer (spoiler - I fell into a marketing career instead because this girl needs to eat/clothe herself), I began to notice another kind of blog emerging. A whole other world of beauty reviews and outfits of the day was gaining popularity across the internet. And what's more, a small group of people were even being paid to do it. 

I tried my hand at a few reviews and the response was OK, but my following on that blog was largely a creative writing and literature one and the strange new mix of content was a little jarring to them. Those first few posts died a death, but I began to care less about being creative and more about doing what was popular. And that's where was born. 

The Middle

I kept the content up for a few years, blogging mostly about makeup, occasionally about books or travel or everyday life. I got a few unpaid opportunities from brands, shops and restaurants but that was about it. I kept going regardless. I attended events, networked, posted three times a week without fail. I was waiting for that big break to come. It didn't.

Why? Nothing I created during that time was any different to what anyone else was doing. The quality was OK since I'm a decent writer and I'm not too bad with a camera, but there was no real passion in my words. I didn't love it, so most of my readers didn't either. I left myself behind on a now defunct Wordpress blog and sold out to the masses. 

I didn't like my content, I didn't like the space between the real me (a turbulent and sensitive twenty-something going through the motions) and the perfect image I felt I had to project. Over the last six months or so things have been going on behind the scenes that pulled me away from online life and have pushed me to admit that the standards I set for myself were outlandish. 

The last few months forced me to reflect on my blog as I watch pageviews dwindle and try to find the time and motivation to pick the pieces up and get it going again. I asked my self why it wasn't fun anymore. I realise that at one point I was so caught up in trying to curate the ideal online profile for myself that I forgot how much I used to enjoy consuming the content of others - how much it inspired me. And how much I miss getting creative with words. 

We're obsessed with being the biggest, working with this brand, and that brand, posting PR requests, emailing marketing departments. We also seem to spend more time blogging about blogging than we do creating content that carries any great meaning to ourselves or our readers. This post is no exception. We keep our websites and profiles updated regularly out of habit rather than passion, scared to see that follower number sink back below a certain arbitrary number. We're churning out shallow content by the bucketload for more likes, more comments, more validation. 

The End?

I feel like many of us have stopped consuming blogs ourselves. I used to scroll my Bloglovin app for hours but these days I maybe at most read a blog post a day, and that's if I get to the end of it. Instagram and Twitter give us such hard and fast access to the here and now that a blog post written two weeks ago and scheduled to go out at the same time on a Sunday evening as everyone else's just doesn't cut the mustard anymore. Most of the comments I receive on my blog these days are from people who just want an excuse to leave their own links there. 

Have you ever tried to have a conversation with someone who is both desperate to be heard, but doesn't want to listen? It doesn't go anywhere.

There have been a spate of posts recently, on blogs and across social media, from some of my favourite bloggers/Youtubers/content creators (whatever you're supposed call them) that carry a theme of change. This online world isn't what it used to be and anyone who's been here for three years or more can feel it. It's faster moving, more competitive, and a pure numbers game no matter how you spin it. If you can't keep up, you'll drown in a sea of scheduled Tweets, click-bait titles and Instagram hashtags.

It's no surprise that after trying to keep up the act for so long many of us are now in a crisis. How do we stand out? How do we inject life back into our content? How do we reach the right audience? How do we turn this back into something we love?

After all this rambling I think the answer is simple - don't feel pressured to follow the crowd. If you're going to put a huge amount of effort into something, make sure it's something you would find interesting yourself. Make content you're passionate about and forget about conforming to what's hot in that moment. 

Life isn't a squeaky clean set of flatlays. It's messy and it's hard and it's OK to show that.

Whatever you blog about, be yourself. Not somebody else.

The Future

When it comes to my own blog, I'm focusing less on trying to cut through the noise and make it big. I'm focusing more on the quality of the content and the topics I discuss. 

It's going to be less materialistic, out of personal choice - I still love fashion and beauty content and enjoy makeup and clothes, I just don't want to write about it all the time. There are so many good #fbloggers and #bbloggers out there that do it wonderfully, you don't need me chiming in!

It's going to be less personal - I'm a professional working adult with my own shit to deal with, and that doesn't have to be done online. I will absolutely share a part of myself with you, my readers, but the form that this takes is going to be less about the nitty gritty details and more about how these life experiences make me feel and how I'm navigating them.

It's going to be more creative - Since changing my blog I've been hesitant to write in creative styles. God forbid I ever post a short poem or train of thought! I want to change this though and am going to start working harder on the actual quality of my writing.

So, if you made it to the end of this higgledy piggledy post and you're still interested in seeing where this takes me, stay tuned...


  1. Great post Kelly. You have to write about what you love otherwise what's the point? I know my blog has a limited audience but I LOVE writing about the sweat and tears of training and running, and I hope it shows. I can't wait to see where your blog takes you!

  2. Loved this!

    I do feel like I'm reading less blogs but it's because I have to seek out the ones that aren't just talking about fashion and beauty.

    I've never really been fussed about making it big in the blogging world, I just like to write and document little aspects of my life but it does seem like everything is just a numbers game and there's no real interaction anymore.

    I say just write what you want to write, in a style that you love. After all, it's your blog and you can do what you want with it xx


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