| Lifestyle

The Changing Face of Blogging…

Freelance LifeRecently blogging seems to have become more difficult than ever before.

Not difficult as in mathematics homework difficult, not difficult as in ‘pleeeaaase don’t make me do it’ difficult. But difficult as in unless I have a spare 40 hours a week to dedicate to it (which I don’t), I can’t keep up.  While the enjoyment is still there (for now anyway), the act of blogging has started to become this all consuming task, and one which sees me constantly chasing an impossible result.

I know I’m not alone in my thoughts, as I’ve read many great posts from fellow bloggers with their thoughts on the subject. Elizabeth recently wrote about losing her motivation for the blog she has cultivated for years, Zoe’s discussed her need to re-brand and revamp her blog last year and one of my favourite writers and bloggers, Poppy, has hit the nail on the head with this post about why she’s getting back into writing on her blog every day.

It’s seems a pivotal time for those of us who have been in the blogging game for more than a few years and it’s very interesting to look at the journeys of the blogs I followed back in 2010 when I first began. Some have flourished, some are no more, some have gone in completely different directions. But one things for sure, none of us are using our online space in quite the same way.

Why? Because the game has changed. And quite significantly so. Now more than ever that shift is palpable. Ask anyone who began blogging in 2010 or earlier and I’ll guarantee that somewhere along the line, probably fairly recently, they’ve started doubting themselves and that blog, it’s direction and purpose.

magazinesI guess you could put it down to that current buzz phrase – creativity vs commerciality. Blogging, now like any other successful medium has become a commercial space. So for those of us who began when this wasn’t an issue, it has meant a lot of decisions about what we want our own little online spaces to become. What might have started out for many of us as a hobby, an online diary where we spouted nonsense about our days to anyone who would listen, is now expected to be something much more, and figuring out how to grow without losing the essence of your blog that made you passionate about it in the first place can be quite tricky.

It was a decision I wrestled with a lot when I first went freelance and one which I still don’t have the answer to. Did I want this blog to remain a hobby, my release at the end of the day, or did I want to start justifying the many hours I spent on it by getting something back? After leaving my full time job, over time I found myself spending more and more time on my blog, taking it more seriously and even accepting jobs that had come through the blog. As a freelancer it is certainly hard to ignore an avenue that can potentially bring you more income or expand your career offering, but at the same time I struggled with whether I wanted to make the changes necessary to turn myself from someone who happened to own a blog, to being a ‘blogger’. If I’m honest I’m still not there yet with an informed decision about what I want this blog to be or how big a part I would like it to have in my freelance business, but along the way I’ve made changes. Changes that happened naturally, but changes that have resulted in a different type of online space all the same. I re-designed the blog to make it a more professional space, I started thinking much more about the type of content that would raise my game, I posted a lot less of the truly personal in nature rambles, I started being much more stringent about the quality of pictures I placed on the blog, and I began monetising the space through affiliate links, sponsorship and even the odd sponsored post. Although my freelance work still certainly takes centre stage, somewhere along the line (perhaps without me even realising) the blog has become ‘work’ and I’m not quite sure I ever agreed to that.

It was Poppy’s blog post, and one particular quote, which really struck a chord for me;

I was at Subway the other day and felt like I’d absolutely NAILED my sandwich choice. “I should blog about this brilliant trip to Subway,” I thought, whilst stuffing my face walking along the Fulham Road like some demented greedy guts who shouldn’t really be somewhere quite so snazzy. “No, I guess I can’t. I don’t blog about sandwiches so it will just be weird.” “Yes but if it’s something you enjoyed, shouldn’t you share that with your readers so that they can have the chance to enjoy it too?”.  “Yeah but a big post about Subway in between shoes and face creams will just look like a non-declared sponsored post and then people will judge me.” “But you could start with a joke about how it should be sponsored but it isn’t? Just write about the sandwich.” “SHUT UP I’M NOT GOING TO BLOG ABOUT SUBWAY IT’S NOT FASHION FRIENDLY AND YOU CAN’T BUY MACARONS THERE SO IT WON’T WORK.”

This pretty much sums up exactly how I’ve been feeling lately. Scroll the early archives of this blog and you will find posts about true nonsense. I once dedicated a whole post to the fact that I’d got a free chocolate bar with my morning coffee at Starbucks that day. It was a one off promotion they were doing and it made my morning that much better that I thought it would be worth sharing that promotion with my (extremely small) set of followers so that they too could get a free bar of chocolate with their morning coffee.

There were other occasions where I wrote down my thoughts on meeting my in-laws for the first time, or regaled the tales of my weekend through the arguments I’d had with GB. There was no thought to these posts, no time spent cultivating the content or hours labouring over the photos in Photoshop. Most of the time there were no pictures, there was no worry over grammar or sentence structure, and there was no fear over who might read it or what they would think. It was simply the overflow of thoughts that were consuming my brain at the time, that needed to escape onto my virtual piece of paper.

Nowadays I would neither dream of revealing such personal details, or indulging a full post to such frivolous nonsensical happenings. It’s in part to do with a growth in readership, the knowledge that my in-laws now know full well about the blog and may well be reading this very post, and even the fear that a Starbucks free chocolate bar is a waste of someone’s click through to this site and may lose me readers in the process. But I guess it’s also to do with standards. My own standards for this blog have been raised, because the overall standard in blogging has been raised. And there’s a very real and very exhausting niggle at my side, constantly telling me I need to keep up or I’ll be lost. But lost where? And lost how? And does it even matter if I am?

seaIt’s easy to think that those who start blogs today may have an easier journey. That standard has now been set and it’s higher than ever before so perhaps when you start a blog today, you are more aware of what is necessary in order to make it a success. You can go into it with clear intentions about what you want it to be, and cultivate your ‘brand’ from the word go.

Of course you don’t need to do any of that if you don’t want to and I’ve worked in blogger outreach long enough to know that there are many wonderful blogs out there which are written purely for recreational purpose and have no intention of ever making a dime, and that’s ok. I hope that those blogs continue to exist no matter how big the industry becomes. But if you do want a career in a creative industry, fancy becoming a writer, honing your photography skills or working as a stylist, inevitably nowadays your blog can quickly become your portfolio. The window to which you allow potential professionals and fellow creatives to view you and your skills, and therefore it’s natural that you’d want it to be the best it can be. But to stand out in a sea of others requires work. A lot of work. Content must be well thought out and carefully curated. The writing must be great and free from mistakes, and the imagery must be inspiring and professional – all of which is no mean feat especially when managed entirely by one person which is how most blogs start out. Before you know it, that space you loved and developed all by yourself, the space you enjoyed more than any other job you’ve ever had, becomes more time consuming, more stressful, more pressured and far less well paid than any other job you’ve ever had.

cherryblossomOf course I’m not a stickler for the past, I could argue that all of the above is no bad thing. Everything moves on and develops and improves with time and although it can sometimes be sad to see commerciality take over a community that began to act out against that very thing, it is of course a huge sign of success for the blogging industry. We all owe the current state of blogging, the fact that many people can and do make a career and a way of life out of it, to those early pioneers, who paved the way for fair pay and a shot of being taken seriously. Commerciality is unfortunately the way of the world, and eventually anything that proves to be successful will be viewed as a way to make money, and why shouldn’t it be? We can’t expect things to stay the same, and even those of us who started out years ago, must be willing to move with the times.

Most of the time that move will happen naturally anyway. I started this blog when I was 24 and a newbie to the big city I now call home. Now I’m almost 30, and have been living in that city for over 6 years. It’s inevitable that my blog would have changed because have changed, my life has changed, my interests have changed, my goals have changed and the very thing that motivates me to write on the internet has changed.   It’s easy to wish I’d been born in a different era, to wish that I too could have started a blog when I was in Uni, with the intention of making it my career and walk into the world with a ready made brand and a not too shabby income before I’d even started. But everyone’s path is different, and I know that things are never that simple. I’m glad that I started this blog when I did, I’m glad that I still have those early ramblings to look back on and remember that time in my life and I’m glad for the position I’m now in.  Even though I only make pennies from my blog at the moment, that’s certainly more than I ever expected from it and something to be proud of. Yes it may not be the same space it was 5 years ago, but it’s still my space and I still always have the freedom to write, do and say anything I want on it.

So while don’t want to go back, and I don’t want to scrap all the progress I’ve made, I do want to remind myself of that progress every so often, and remind myself of where this blog began life. If anything just to tell myself that I don’t need to constantly keep up, that I don’t need to constantly strive for that un-achievable result, and that success can be measured on my own terms.

I might not write in the same way I used to or talk about the same silly things, but I can take some things from that early era of blogging in to the blog today and learn from them. So while I won’t call them tips, or blogging rules or even name this a how to, these are just a few of the personal reminders I’ll be giving myself as this blog progresses. The things I’ll try and remember when I’ve spent three nights working into the early hours for a brand that keeps demanding more and more yet isn’t paying me for my time. You might agree with some of them, you might agree with none of them, and that’s ok. Because blogging is personal, and while we might inspire each other, everyone should and can create their own unique space.

Jasmine Dowling Print
1. Think about where you fit and be happy with that.

 The blogosphere is a big old place and there is room for everyone. If I’ve learnt anything from blogging it’s that there are pockets within pockets of communities and there will always be someone who will relate to you, and your thoughts. If you want to talk about world Chess championships online, you will find a community of people who do so, if you want to find other people who have the same food allergy as you, you can, and similarly if you write about one thing, don’t punish yourself by chasing readers from a completely different field. Sometimes I find myself getting down when I see other blogs with massive readerships and endless comments, when in reality they’re so far from the space I’m in, there’s no point in even worrying about it. I might take the odd outfit post here and there to show you what I wore at the weekend, but I’m fully aware I’m no Blonde Salad so c’mon if the photos don’t look the same, that’s because they never will.

the changing face of blogging
2. It’s ok to ramble.

I’m constantly told I write too much (this post is case in point) and while when I’m getting paid for a 1000 word article and I write 1500 that’s ok, edit away, on this blog it shouldn’t matter. If there’s anywhere I can ramble to my hearts content it’s here and sometimes that’s what I miss the most about those early posts – the freedom to ramble. It’s not something I do as often now, mostly because of time, but also because of the worry that no one will read it, there won’t be enough pictures to go alongside it and so on. But who cares? From now on I’m going to attempt to write one true ramble each month, and if my Mum is the only one who bothers to read, that’s ok. This is, after all, a personal lifestyle blog.

To Do List
3. Goals are yours to be set.

I recently reached 500 followers on Bloglovin, and while for most that’s a tiny drop in a very big ocean, for me it’s pretty great. That was one platform which was kind of lingering for a while, yet drove a lot of traffic so to see the numbers go up and the engagement grow is, for me, a sign that the blog is too growing, and people are enjoying the posts. Similarly I’ve just joined Youtube and hell if I could reach 10 subscribers on there I’d be doing a happy dance because it’s a whole new area for me. Goals are individual markers, positive steps we put in front of ourselves to make us work harder and push further, and that’s all. They are only numbers, numbers which mean very little all in all, and not worth obsessing over. They should be my achievements and no one else’s so who’s comparing?

2pm beach
4. Don’t be afraid to be an amateur.

Blogging is a platform with which you can teach yourself new skills, try new things and share your journey with others in a similar boat, so since when did we all need to be amazing from the off? I love taking photos for the blog now, and photography has become a bit of a hobby for me but I learned along the way. Over the years of posts you can see things take shape, from the post about buying myself a DSLR for the first time to the pictures teaching myself to use manual – it’s a journey that I’m proud of and one which I’m glad has been documented as sometimes when I feel like things aren’t good enough I can just go back a year and look at how far I’ve come. In the same way I’ve just started creating video, and with a camera man for a boyfriend it would be easy for me to enlist him to do it all for me and get his editor friends to make it look amazing, but where’s the fun in that? I want to learn, to add a new skill to my repertoire and to share that learning process with my readers. So I put the shaky videos from fashion week up and the badly edited attempts because that’s where I’m at at the moment and I want to improve. You don’t need to start a blog being amazing at taking pictures, or only be successful if you hire someone to take them for you and you don’t need to be the best writer when you start out. Most people will enjoy reading about the journey, and help you along the way, and you can only ever improve so why not give it a go?

blonde hair with bow, Bumpkin Betty
5. Be yourself.

Self explanatory but something that’s equally easy to forget in the blogging world. I spend a lot of time reading blogs, and while most of the time it’s inspiring, sometimes it can be detrimental. I can only ever be me, and this blog can only ever be mine so what others do shouldn’t matter. I need to remember that’s it’s ok to show personality, to write about personal things from time to time or even to write about things that others won’t like. Bumpkin Betty is for me, first and foremost, and if others enjoy it too, that’s a bonus.

How long have you been blogging for? Do you feel like things have changed?

41 Comments

Lisa

Great post. I think the problem with blogging from my perspective is that there seems to be an expectation of a certain level of professionalism – blogs look more like magazines, photos are carefully planned and beautifully set up, lit and shot. Part of this is perpetuated by full-time bloggers who have all the time in the world to plan out posts. I work full-time, study part-time and really have bigger priorities than making sure that every blog post photo could be pinned on Pinterest. But does that make my blog less valid? Certainly less appealing I think. It’s a shame.

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Jaclyn

Thanks for your comment Lisa, I agree that the standard expected now is much higher- it does make me think more about whether an image I’ve taken is good enough for the blog- something I would have never considered before. But I definitely think your blog is valid and there is room for everyone and all types of blogs. It’s just about finding the space that’s right for you. It’s true that the full time bloggers have raised the game but we shouldn’t be down on them either as in most cases it’s taken them 4 or 5 years of hard work to get to the point they are at. I think overall it’s best not to compare and just to write what you want to write about and there will always be people out there who appreciate that, regardless of the imagery. I’ll definitely be checking out your blog and look forward to reading more, thanks again for your perspective! x

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Jennifer

This was a great post, and don’t worry about it being rambly because I read every single word! I only started my blog in July of this year, and only really started reading blogs over the past couple of years. For me it was really interesting to start seeing blogging from the ‘inside’, because when I was just a reader of one or two blogs that I’d managed to stumble upon I wasn’t really seeing the bigger picture of blogging as an industry in its own right. If anything though, your post has inspired me to want to keep my blog personal and down to earth. I have a totally different career lined up where a blog probably isn’t going to be very relevant, so I feel like I’m free to keep my blog a separate, creative space and I’m very grateful for that.
Jennifer x
http://www.ginevrella.blogspot.co.uk

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Jaclyn

Thanks Jennifer! Great to hear that you read it all and don’t mind a ramble every so often. It’s interesting to hear from someone like yourself who’s only started blogging recently so thanks for weighing in. I think if you can keep your blog personal and know it’s not going to be a career path for you then that’s great- like you say it gives you total freedom, something I miss slightly! x

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Maria

This was a really interesting post, thank you for sharing! I have been blogging for 5 years and I find it insane that I have managed to keep a hobby going for that long!

Maria xxx

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Jaclyn

Thanks Maria! 5 years is definitely a great achievement! I’ll be hitting that anniversary in January too and can’t believe it! You’ve done a great job of maintaining your blog all that time and I look forward to reading much more from you! x

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Sarah @ Daydreams of Summertime

I love this post! i have only been blogging properly for about nine months, but it can be a really intimidating place and it is only just recently I have felt confident enough to really be myself and to not worry about whether people read my blog or not. The world of blogging can feel really competitive at times and although i want my blog to grow I am more interested in making connections with other like minded bloggers. xx

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Jaclyn

Thanks for your comment Sarah, your blog is so lovely I would have never guessed you only started it 9 months ago!! I agree it can be an indicating place sometimes but it can also be kind of great right? The feeling of community is amazing and I’ve met so many fab people though blogging! I’m with you- the connections are what make it. I’m definitely glad to have stumbled across your blog and found a new read so thank you! x

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Miranda | Miranda's Notebook

What an interesting post (and beautiful images to go with it!). I’ve only just started blogging – my blog isn’t even a month old, but so far I’m loving it. I think you’re right it’s important to be yourself and to keep the pleasure in it. I hope I continue to be able to do that! It certainly can be daunting seeing how many highly professional websites are out there, but in the end I think anything like blogging has to remain a labour of love! I’ve only just started reading your blog recently, but am very much enjoying it and shall enjoy following your continued progression 🙂

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Jaclyn

Thanks for your input Miranda! Oh I definitely agree, the moment it stops being a labour of love should be the moment you stop. Great to hear from someone who’s only just started – I’ll look forward to following your journey! x

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Emily

This has definitely been on everyone’s mind lately I think! It is interesting to see how blogging has developed, but it’s a little different for me. My personal journey was to go from livejournal to tumblr. I still have my tumblr, which is a mix of inspiration and personal posts a la early blogging – which also has the highest number of people following me out of anywhere on the internet. Like 40 times the amount of people.

A lot of people went from Livejournal to their own sites, though, or started blogging inspired by the people who went from Livejournal to their own sites. And then as blogging grew into what it is now, people lost that personal space. Tumblr acts as that personal space, even though as I grow older I find I need it less and less. I don’t really feel the need to share all that little stuff? I have real life friends & family to tell those daily things to and that feels like enough for me.

I actually keep my tumblr link private on my website, but I link to my website from tumblr. Despite the far bigger following I have on tumblr, it feels like a comfortable little home. I never really thought about how people without that more personal space might have trouble, especially as the online world has become such a core aspect of our identities. If you don’t have that sort of ‘place’ to go to, even though it is online, I can understand how it might cause a bit of a ‘crisis’ or re-think.

I don’t know if this comment really has a point, but your post certainly made me think about my blogging journey!

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Jaclyn

Hey Emily, thanks for dropping by. That’s an interesting idea to have a separate blog or tumblr that’s just for you – I’ve thought about that in the past but I always worry that I’ll then become more consumed with that because its the one I enjoy and before I know it that will be the bigger of the two! Bumpkin Betty is definitely still my own little personal space, I hope no matter how big it gets it still feels that way as that’s how it started and I’d like to always keep it a personal blog! Thanks so much for your comment, I’ll definitely be checking out your blog (and hunting down your tumblr too) hehe x

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Stefanie Haigh

Thanks for this post! I agree with all of it! I’ve been in the game for 6 years and I’m currently about to relaunch my blog self-hosted but blooming’ eck, i’m struggling with the current obsession with ‘niche’. That’s all the advice these days and I blog about everything! I’m proud to be ‘lifestyle’ but I find myself not displaying this pride when describing my blog to others. Ive narrowed most of my content down to Food, Fitness and Travel but I’ll still need a general element there for what doesn’t fit into that and that’s ok. It’s a personal blog of course – it’s named after me! 🙂

P.S. I enjoy a good ramble too – even if I don’t publish it Maybe I should start!

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Jaclyn

Hey Stephanie! Thanks for your comment and great to hear from someone else who is going through the big self hosted re-design. That was a journey and a half – hope yours is a little less stressful?! Oh I totally know what you mean about niche – that seems to be the word on my brain at the moment and I constantly worry I cover too many subjects on the blog. It always was about what interested me though so why limit yourself? Food, fitness and travel sounds right up my street so I’ll be checking it out! And yes a good ramble is needed every so often! x

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Beth

This is so interesting – I’ve read a few different blogs lately where people are considering going back to basics more and not trying to keep up with the slightly younger generation of bloggers who seem to focus more on promoting brands and image-led posts than the good old gritty writing we’re all more used to. Thanks for sharing!

Sidenote… LOVE your blog design! Really lovely and fun to look through xx

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Jaclyn

Hey Beth, I totally agree! I actually have another post in the pipeline to talk about ‘writing’ more on my blog so I know exactly what you mean about that gritty writing you speak of!

And thanks for the love of the blog design, its all fairly new but great to hear good feedback! x

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becky :: accooohtrements

i’m actually on my 4th blog: i started in 2009 but not being a ‘big’ blogger i’ve never felt scared to just shut down my site & start a new one whenever it didn’t feel like me or like my heart wasn’t in it anymore. who’d really notice, or care?

last time, i never intended to start blogging again but after almost a year i found i missed it. i’m now feeling as inspired as ever.

why not take a break, guilt-free?

becky :: accooohtrements.wordpress.com

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Jaclyn

Hey Becky, thanks for your comment! Wow 4 blogs – I knew you’d started a new one but I didn’t realise you had three before that! I actually think that’s really brave. I often see people starting afresh and rebranding and I think it must be so rewarding, but its equally hard to give up on something you’ve worked so hard on and start right from the beginning again so kudos to you! Your latest blog is lovely and I always read so its obviously not done you any harm! I’ve tried taking a break but I just can’t, which I think tells me something, that I obviously still love blogging! 🙂 xx

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Tara

Gosh, I love this post! We started blogging in 2010 and you’re right, the game has certainly changed. I took last week off from blogging and it felt amazing, I definitely feel more inspired and it doesn’t feel like homework right now. It’s hard to blog when you work 40+ hours and feel exhausted when you get home after a long day…I think the blogging bar has been raised, there’s more emphasis on photography and if you’re a fashion blogger, it helps if you look like a model. It seems to be all about how many Instagram and Bloglovin’ followers you have. That being said, our blog hasn’t really changed, we still ramble and use funny spellings, just because…Ha! My favourite blogs are by down to earth girls who don’t have a million followers. 🙂

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Jaclyn

Thanks for stopping by Tara! Great to hear from you as to me your blog has been one of my favourites right from the start! It’s funny how you think no one else has the same worries you do, when clearly all bloggers questions themselves at some point! Wow well done for taking a week off – I find that SO difficult to do! Don’t ever change your blog too much as that’s why we all love it, I’m totally with you – down to earth blogs are my fave too! xx

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Heather

Could not have needed this post more at this moment in time! Thank you for writing this… my blog sends me on an emotional roller coaster every week, am I doing enough, what’s the point, I’ll never be good enough… but as you say there is room for everyone and it’s important to remember that and enjoy your space for you! xx

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Jaclyn

Aww thanks Heather, that’s so lovely to hear and glad I helped! 🙂 I always think your blog looks so professional and considering you only started a year or so ago(?) I think you’ve done amazingly to get the loyal following you have. I’m nearly hitting my 5 year anniversary and I’m still not there! An emotional rollercoaster is a great way to describe it – totally exhilarating at times, totally exhausting and horrible at others. But don’t be down on yourself – your blog is fantastic – its already my main wedding resource and I’m not even getting married haha! x

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Linda

Really interesting from a non- blogger point of view too. Blogging has touched a chord for so many people out there and it can be because you identify completely with what’s being said, or because it’s refreshing and interesting to read about something totally different from how you live. Don’t any of you stop – you’re doing a great job and fulfilling a great need for human connection. Keep up the good work !

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Jaclyn

Thank you! Great to hear from a non blogger as sometimes we all do kept swept up in the blogger madness and forget that those who read our blogs aren’t necessarily ‘expecting’ anything from us at all, it’s ourselves that put the hurdles in place! Thanks for reading! x

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Laura

Recently started a blog purely for my own enjoyment, but have noticed how crazily good most other blogs are. I definitely agree about the standards being high, but as it’s mostly for my own pleasure I guess it doesn’t matter. Your blog is amazing, I love your photos. Hope I can become a bit of a pro with a camera one day! Keep up the good work 🙂
Laura x

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Jaclyn

Thanks so much Laura, that’s so kind of you to say! I think that in some ways it must be even more daunting to start a blog now, as the standard is so high you might feel like you can’t compete. I never had that worry when I started because I didn’t really know any other blogs, apart from maybe Liberty London Girl and Susie Bubble but they were in a bracket of their own so it didn’t matter. You’re totally right though, it has to be for your own pleasure, I’m following your blog now so look forward to reading more from you! x

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Amanda

What a great post! I just found your blog through a beauty junkie in London and really pleased I did! Always good to hear other bloggers insight to blogging. I started my blog in January as my own outlet for things I love! It is difficult not to get caught up in the worry and insecurity being a blogger brings ,especially when there are so many amazing blogs out there and they look so professional! I just try and continue to blog because I love it and don’t focus on numbers or freebies. The moment I stop loving writing for my blog is the day I will stop, although I hope that never happens! Anyway enough rambling, again va great post 😉

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Jaclyn

Hi Amanda, Great to hear you just stumbled across the blog and lovely to have you here! It’s so lovely hearing from people who only started blogging recently as sometimes I feel as if everyone has been in the game so long, but there ARE new blogs starting all of the time! It’s definitely difficult not to get caught up in it all, that’s where I find myself most days, but great to hear that you’re doing it for the love of it – that’s always what makes the best blog! x

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Matthew Pike

Well this was a pretty whopping post if I’ve ever seen one, and hell, as you say if you want to write and long post and ramble then do. And you do, and you know what, I read every single word. Which is not something I do everytime, it’s hard but this one really had me, you wrote this from a good place – a place of experience and understanding. We’re in sort of similar positions, where I have carved a job out of starting my blog (wasn’t my intention when I started 7.5 years ago of course) and you have kept yours going while working full time, but we’re from the same orginal era as it were. It’s so subjective this subject but I agree with pretty much everything I read here – there was a certain exciting freedom back in the day, and I don’t like to dwell on the past but we could all take a leaf out of our orginal books.

We’re all still learning and taking in like a sponge, when we stop doing this and stop sharing things we love then it would be time to move on. Excellent post.

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Jaclyn

Hehe thanks for reading all the way through Mat!! I know I can ramble on sometimes but this one just sort of poured out… You’re absolutely right its a very subjective subject but thanks for weighing in. I agree, I always want my blog to be a place of discovery and an avenue with which to learn new things, if it ever stops teaching me something or inspiring me then I’ll stop. Can’t believe you’ve been going for 7.5 years – thats incredible! well done you for making it such a success! x

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Tash

Jaclyn, I am being 100% sincere and honest with you when I say that this is the most high quality, well written, truthful + inspiring article I have read this year (or ever?!) I can’t even cover everything I want to say about this, but FYI – I am printing this out and keeping it close! As a new-ish blogger (I’ve deleted my old blogs), with a passion for rambling, food, photography, chocolate, cakes…the littlest things in life; I feel like there is literally nowhere to ‘start’ without having to perfect everything I do and make it all squeaky clean to please everybody and simultaneously not look like a time waster & dreamer with no direction. But you are right; it all comes back to remember why you want to write, share + reflect. That’s the core of everything, and it should be adhered too, right? It’s so much easier to crack on with things when there is no fear of failure/opportunity cost, but I guess that’s part of life! We have to risk our time, and invest ourselves into anything + everything that we truly believe in if we ever want to get far enough to see *some* kind of result. It’s a journey. Thanks so much for taking the time to write this! London Love xx

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Jaclyn

WOW Thank you so much Tash for this lovely comment! It really means so much to know that you enjoyed the post as it really was just a regurgitation of all my thoughts and I was convinced it made no sense at all hehe! I can’t even imagine starting a blog in today’s blogging bonanza as it were, I only had the confidence to do it all those years ago because things were still quite small and I thought no one would read. Today there is so much more pressure to be perfect and you’re right it can be overwhelming when you first start! But you said it much better than I ever could have – some risks are worht taking and if you’re passionate about something you should go for it, without fear of failure. I started my blog out of passion all those years ago and its passion thats kept me blogging until today! I’ll be sure to check out your blog and show my support! Thanks again for reading, and commenting! xxx

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Toni-May

I would say I am pretty good at the rambling and being yourself bit! I blog just to blog. I’m happy to not make money out of it and seek recognition when people empathise or find inspiration. My domain has only been around about a year or so, but I’ve been blogging for about 3 years and the transformation is incredible.

I’m a first time reader of your blog personally, so will ensure I delve deep into your archives!

average adventures

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Jaclyn

Thanks for your comment Toni, great to hear that you’re into rambling too and I’m not the only one! And I’m glad you be yourself as I reckon that’s the most important thing for all of us! I’ll be checking yours out and do come back and visit again soon! x

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Keri

Hi there

Have just come across your blog and love this post! (First one I’ve read, so keen to read more). I have been blogging since 2011 and related a lot to this post! I’m about ready to shut down my blog as I’ve fallen a little out of love with it… perhaps this is because I am comparing it with other blogs? Certainly something to think about. Thanks so much for this.

Keri
http://www.midlandsmusings.com

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Jaclyn

Hi Keri, Thanks so much for your comment! It’s great to hear that you found the blog/ this post useful! I know exactly what you mean – I fall in and out of love with my blog all the time, but I for one would be pretty sad if you shut your blog down as I think its great!! Ultimately do whats right for you, but I bet you’ll find you miss it way quicker than you think… It’s definitely hard not to compare yourself to other bloggers, I do it all the time too but I think there’s room for everyone! Hope you keep blogging! Jac xx

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Ché Dyer

Hi there Jaclyn! I’ve just come across your blog for the first time – my friend Keri (who actually commented above) sent it to me – we were discussing this very same feeling just a little while ago – while I was at home in South Africa! I started my blog in 2010 with no real intention of anything- and SO much of what you have said here resonates with me! Definitely the part about the (small) pennies that I make from my blog not really being able to justify the time I spend on it – and that yes, mostly it’s become quite a “chore” to blog rather than the creative outlet as it started! I think there is definitely an awkward “middle-phase” of blogging, where you are no longer a “baby blog” but not yet a “world-domination blog” that earns a decent income and it’s the navigating between these too and all the attached “responsibilities” (?) that comes with it! I feel completely stuck in the middle – so much so that I’m toying with starting a completely new blog – just to begin fresh again! (Am I crazy?!?!) Thanks so much for this post – will definitely be popping in for more! Ché

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Jaclyn

Hey Che, Thanks so much for stopping by and for your lovely comment. It really means a lot to know that I’m not the only one who’s been feeling this way lately and that my words resonated with a few people. You’ve totally hit the nail on the head there with that awkward middle phase of blogging. I feel stuck there often and don’t quite know which direction to go in, but for now I’m enjoying the ride and just seeing where it takes me which is what I started the blog to do so I guess I shouldn’t over think it too much! I don’t think you’re crazy for wanting to start afresh if that’s how you feel -I know a few bloggers who have done so very successfully lately, but just make sure whatever you do its right for you!! Thanks again for weighing in and I’ll be sure to check out your blog too (and maybe persuade you not to give up on it!) Jac x

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Tracey

I have just come across your blog and as a newby blogger I am constantly wavering between the idea of sticking with my original intention of just documenting my expat life and travels or actually trying to turn my blog into more. So I would like to thank you for this post as it has given me much to ponder.

Tracey
http://journalofacitygirl.com

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Jaclyn

We’re in a similar place Tracey, keep at it and hopefully the answer will come to you along the way, that’s what I’m hoping for anyway! x

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