It’s 05h23. I’ve just finished a breastfeed and popped him back into his cosy cot. I should get back into bed and get a little more sleep before my toddler calls me at around 07h20. Instead, I’m sitting in the dark lounge, with just the glow of my laptop screen illuminating things around me and my fingers are tapping on the keyboard. I haven’t done this in a while and I’ve missed it. I’ve missed typing, letting the words flow and just sharing a blog post for the sake of it.
Sure, I’ve blogged… very sporadically… I’ve shared products with you that I absolutely love and have been grateful for the sponsored collaborations. What I haven’t done in ages, is share my thoughts, my feelings and a little part of me, on my little part of the internet.
I used Instagram stories last night to share that I miss blogging and even asked for feedback on the kind of content you’d like to see and read about. You’re welcome to also leave a comment here for me – I’d really love to hear from you.
I started blogging before blogging was popular, or had earning potential and influencers definitely weren’t a thing. I had a pseudonym blog on Blogspot and even used to blog on MySpace and another website, that for the life of me I can’t remember and is long gone now. I started blogging around 2005 – 15 years ago!
Vanilla Blonde started on the 2nd of September 2010. 10 years! CRAZY! I used to deliver a blog post a day and I LOVED IT! As time went on, as life’s seasons changed, my blog grew and adapted with me. I’ve had times of great inspiration and productive posting and times when I barely had time for a cup of tea, let alone to sit down and write a post. I’ve had times of thinking that perhaps I should close Vanilla Blonde. Stop blogging all together.
Do people still read blogs? Has Instagram and Instastories taken their place?
A few comments did come in about preferring Instagram over blogs. I agree to some degree, but here’s my take: Instastories disappear, unless you keep them highlighted on your page, plus, you can’t search. The number of times I’ve been asked about a product or topic I’ve spoken about and I can’t go back to share the info, is countless. This way I can at least have an archive (personally – especially with Life Lately (it’s like a diary) and with items/topics I’ve spoken about so I can reshare.
Social media has made it easier – a quick Instastory video. Done. Different to curating a blog post.
Still, I’ve never been able to shut it down. Vanilla Blonde is my small part of the Internet and I’ve shared so much. It would feel like I was abandoning a lifelong friend and I just couldn’t do it. It might have become stagnant, lost touch over periods of time, but like all great friendships, we can always pick up where we left off.
I was also reminded of why I started blogging in the first place… simply to share, to be creative in my writing, play around with photography and hope to inspire, just a little. I never started it as a source of income, that came later and organically, as blogs started being taken more seriously and advertisers realised that there were more options than just buying advertising space on magazine pages. I always said, I blog because I just love to share and if my Mom is the only reader (and I don’t even think she is), so be it!
I found these in the archives… So I posted my first post in September and officially got going in October.
I had a giggle. Oh how blog posts changed and evolved.
I also stopped blogging because I felt the pressure (pressure I, and I alone put on myself from comparing) to get out “perfect” posts. I’m an all-or-nothing kind of person and I put a lot of effort into my posts. I felt pressured to post beautifully curated pictures, which would be enticing for readers to come back or have really interesting things to say all.the.time. Over the years, blogs have become exceptionally beautiful and creative, and I was worried with the little time I had, I wouldn’t be able to keep up (with the Jones’.)
Social media also took over – Twitter became microblogging and now Instagram is the great balance of beautiful images and information. It’s also quick and easy to create content for. Still… I miss blogging and being able to write more than a caption.
Realistically I won’t be able to go back to blogging daily – that would be my ideal, to be honest, because I love it so much, but it would be too much pressure. Having my two sons, who are so little and need me so much, plus a busy career that I love, is pretty filling day & night.
My blog is always on the back of my mind though, so instead of striving for perfection with long posts and curated photographs, I’m going to go back to the basics and share what I have. It’s enough! Sometimes I’ll have those curated pics and sometimes I won’t. Sometimes I’ll have something important to share and sometimes it will be a little more frivolous. Besides, I know that I prefer the realness, the authentic voice more and that’s what I’m going to give you. To get this right, I just need to relook at my time management. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
I know what has worked (and what hasn’t) in the past and I’m going to stop overthinking and doubting myself.
Thank you for coming back to my blog. I hope you’ll continue to visit often!