I’m someone who’s not a fan of big change (I always have to push myself out of that comfort zone thing), but at the same time someone who likes to switch things up every now and again just to keep myself from getting bored. For example, when it comes to working out, I change things up every few months or so – be it my macros, my training split, how often I train etc. Similarly, with my blog, I like to make big changes every now and again – sometimes this is away from the updating of my about me page, or change of the blog layout, often it’s quite focused on the content I deliver, my strategy and my general list of goals. Over the past year or so I’ve made a few minor to major changes over here on Skylish, and I wanted to share a few of these and my reasons behind them…
Last year I did a speech at the Purpose Meets Class luncheon when I dived into how to make money from blogging and social media. I think this is something that is generally quite well known now to people fairly familiar with the engine that is “influencer marketing”, but I still get some questions on it now and again from friends/family/older people in general who still don’t really get how some people are making a living out of this “blogging thing” (my parents still get confused sometimes if, for example, a brand takes me out to an event). Although I’m not quite making a huge living out of blogging (I primarily fund myself through my job in banking with blogging money supplementary), I shared a few methods I use to make money out of my blog and also spoke about two major changes I made over the course of last year that actually decreased my blogging income (in the short term), but were ideally strategic for the longer term.
For one, I stopped requiring money out of every single brand I work with. I know this is something that is generally quite heavily debated throughout the industry – “should you work for free?” – with for “free” mainly including getting free stuff, but not getting paid to produce the content. I made the decision to start doing more of this “free” sort of work as a means to build up my portfolio in the short run, grind it out for longer, before I start to be as demanding as I was being. Of course, there is a fine line here, whilst I decided to accept more of this “free” (i.e. exchange of free items for content) type of work, I still believe there should always be a mutual benefit in any collaboration (this – “do a whole piece on us and we might put you on our social media page!” doesn’t quite fly with me).
I also decided to stop putting up guest posts – I used to do a lot of these during my last year of university where essentially a PR company writes up a post for you with a few sponsored links and pays you to publish it. The thing is, I was never really a fan of what I was posting. Usually the posts were badly written, not very interesting, and so crappy that I didn’t even want to advertise to anyone that I had put it up on my blog. But I’d do a few of those a month and get a some money for it so I wasn’t too bothered. Over time I came to the conclusion that I really wanted to hone in on the quality of my content, and so started to pass over those opportunities – I was working now and so wasn’t desperate anymore for the extra money, and I concluded that it would be better in the long term to focus on the quality of what I was offering, and I was right.
Now here’s something that has stirred up a bit of conversation recently – a switch a lot of us bloggers has made. Once upon a time we’d all post our photos with a bit of text about why we chose to go with black jeans versus blue jeans, supplement our posts with a few links for where we got everything from, and call it a day. I did a lot of these last year – and I loved them because they were so easy and quick to construct. But I realised over time that the types of blogs I more enjoyed reading were ones with a little bit more to say, along with the photos and links; and that I was perhaps more interested in content of this nature versus content detailing why the writer chose a skater skirt over a mini. The debate these days is – does every post really need to be a true “think piece”? Or can we not just post our photos and go? Has the industry shifted that much? Again – I see it as a personal choice. I made the choice last year to try and add a little bit of depth to all of the content I put out – sometimes this can be be surface level (e.g. What I’ve been up to in my “Life Lately” posts), and sometimes I go all out to publish more personal and more thought provoking pieces (e.g. Why I hated secondary school). It’s a choice, but the industry has and is continuing to shift more in favour of the latter. That said, sometimes I’m also happy just to see some popping outfit photos and go about my day.
Finally, I decided that I wanted to be more relateable. And actually, these photos are what inspired this post. I used to think that most of my photos had to be me in heels perhaps wearing something that you’d actually never see me in on the outside. I had an obsession once upon a time of trying to portray my life in a certain type of way: glamorous, fruitful – letting everyone know that I was doing just fine. But I realised this wasn’t a very fulfilled way to live my life and started to keep things more real – there’s nothing special about this outfit, I just wanted to show ya’ll this Zara jacket that’s been getting me through this extra cold UK weather recently. It’s a puffer jacket – which I used to think was “gangster” – I also got it from the men’s section, but I really kind like it… a lot.
These days, my obsession with trying to portray a perfect life is definitely gone. I don’t need to prove that I’m doing alright, I just need to focus on how I’m feeling. Of course, social media remains a highlight reel, but I try to be open about the fact that my life is far from perfect. I’d say I’m a pretty open book, and that’s what makes me relateable.
Like I said – I am concious to switch things up every now and again, so who knows what the next blog change will be…