When I started blogging back in 2006 blogging wasn’t about making money. I was 20 and I had just moved interstate with Steve, away from everyone we knew and loved. It was isolating but I loved sharing mundane photos of our new life with my family and friends, blogging was an easy and accessible way to keep in touch before the popularity of Facebook.
For those who haven’t read that far back (those that have I feel like I should send you a certificate!) I shared pics of our various rental houses, our dogs, drunk party photos and my lame attempts at fashion. I sure as hell didn’t have a marketing plan, a media kit, a niche, a .com or even a vision. My blog was my online journal that my mum was actually allowed to read.
I talked about infertility, endometriosis, surgery, kids, depression and wedding planning. It was dark, it was heavy but there were some silver linings too. When I fell pregnant with Aidan it was a surprise, no one thought it would happen. I documented every inch of that pregnancy because I felt that at any moment my happiness would be ripped away, and it very well could have been.
Suddenly I became a Mummy Blogger. My blog used to be all about what I liked, what I thought, what I did but then baby mode became all encompassing. It was all about him, what products I recommended, things I’d reviewed, things I’d learnt, parenting reflections and even DIY projects. When he was about a year old I snapped out of it. I realised I didn’t want to make my blog all about him and his development, I wanted to keep that for myself.
What I really wanted to do was document MY development. I’d met Steve when I was 17, we got engaged and started trying for kids when I was 19. I had so many medical issues that it threw me into a depression spiral. I was no longer living to live my life but to create life, something I’d only realised with hindsight. Now that I had my baby, my Aidan, I wanted to be the best person I could be not only for him but for myself.
For the past 3-4 years I’ve hustled. This blog, what you see, was not without hard work or merit. I didn’t create an overnight sensation that went viral. I didn’t win the lottery to afford my wardrobe. I didn’t know all the “right people” before I started and I didn’t compromise my ethics when working with brands. I put myself out there, listened (I mean, REALLY listened) and used my creative energy and skills to make things happen. I’m not saying I didn’t get things wrong sometimes but I learnt my lessons quickly.
Aussie Curves has become a big part of my life and is a large part of the reason for the redirection. I feel honoured that so many people have engaged in the project and I needed to find more time to be able to engage with the group and increase it’s awareness. When I really looked at where I was spending my time compared to where I wanted to spend my time it was a bit of wake up. I don’t have boundless amounts of time but cramming everything all in at once doesn’t work either. I felt I was burning out, not only on my blog but in my personal life too.
Over the years the blogging landscape has changed and I’m not entirely sure I want to be involved in it the same way I used to be. I clung on to the dream, seeing other people’s successes as a way to my own. The “If they can do it, I can!” mentality that hinders us from doing great things. Instead imploring us to do good things, comfortable, already explored things.
Screw that! I want to do great things, things that make my tummy turn, things that impact people’s lives in a positive way. Redirecting old thought patterns and practises of old to discover new ways and new ideas. A fresher approach to something, to an industry that’s being stifled by masses in recent years with goals of extra zero’s in their revenue rather than sharing and listening. To keep to schedules, to maintain branding, to keep the clicks coming.
I feel partly responsible. In a way I helped build it up to where it is now in Australia. I constructed a way of storytelling that worked for everyone involved. The problem is I no longer think it does. It’s been adopted by others, contorted and some seem to have no problem letting ethics fall by the way side. I got angry, I tried to save a few except no one was listening anymore, just talking and no one really cared.
I made a decision to change, it wasn’t made swiftly or lightly. I could no longer gently bump along in my good and comfortable position waiting for someone else to take the risk, to call it out, to change things. It’s taken several months of deep deliberation to get to this point but my instincts kept pushing me in this direction.
I’m not quitting, I don’t think I could even if I wanted to, blogging is engrained in me now and a solid part of my life but that’s not to say I’m not in control of it. I’ve made decisions to alter the way I collaborate with brands, the sponsored posts of old are gone and it wont be a case of same sh*t different spin cycle I can assure you.
This means an entire business restructure on my end, educating brands on my new methods of involvement and my current revenue stream is obliterated. I’m being dramatic because it is, it’s scary. I may start working part time (on top of what I’m already doing full time) during the adjustment period because practically speaking it may get rough but I’d do that because I believe something needs to change.
I’m backing my words with action. As of today I’ve officially left my representative agency Creative Jack Management and it ended on a high note. It has been exciting and she’s kept me driven but my instincts simply lead me in another direction and that’s ok too. Steve believes in me and has my back as always, my partner. It will be a lifestyle change and I think he’s the most excited of all.
This isn’t some attention seeking waffly post about wishes and feelings about blogging or specific bloggers or niches or any of that stuff. I’m done with that, I don’t have the energy. This is just my viewpoint on a matter than means a great deal to me and I wanted to let you know a change is coming. Not just in the way I run my business (which I’m forever grateful to you all for, for without you reading there would be none!) but the look, the imagery and the ways we can connect will be altered too.
It’s a new chapter for me, an exciting and daunting one but I’m in it and I’m going to make the most of it. It’s been almost 8 years and my blog has never stopped evolving so why should it stop now? I read every email, every comment and every tweet. I’ve read your personal, deep, moving and sometimes scary letters, scary in the fact self love is often the biggest battlefield of all, leaving the largest scars. This change isn’t just for me but for you too.
I know you’ve spent a lot of time reading this epic post but I’d really appreciate it if you would complete the survey (just 10 simple questions) to assist with the restructure. To thank everyone who completes the survey (in the most politely constructive way) all you have to do is fill out the survey then come back and leave a comment below stating “Survey Completed” then you will go into the draw to win a “New Kicks Sequin Heart Tee” in your size from 17 Sunday’s new SS13 Collection!
Please note: This isn’t a sponsored post, I called my girl Claire from 17 Sunday’s, asked politely for one of her awesome shirts as a prize for the survey and she said yes. It’s freaking adorable and I know you’ll love it. This is open to readers worldwide and is classed as a game of skill, all entries will be reviewed. The survey will close on Wednesday 27th November 2013 and the winner drawn on Thursday 28th November 2013 and notified by email.