If you ask me, bloggers tend to fall into two categories, some times they manage both and it isn’t always on purpose that they fall into either category but they do. Those two categories are “Aspirational” and “Relatable” you probably realise what those two categories mean but I’ll explain just to be clear; the aspirational types are those that seem to be living on a plane and out of a suitcase travelling from one luxury location to the next, everything from their swimsuits, heels, handbags to their underwear is deemed by the likes of me as expensive and in general they just have the blogging life that most think they’ll have after a couple of posts! The relatable category is a little more obvious, very girl (or boy) next door, their topics are well written but more familiar and they’ll happily share “coats under £40” as their next title.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed but I recently made a change, a few changes actually, I decided that I’d move over from Blogger to WordPress, I have done this countless times without telling a soul but always backed out, this time though, when I went to do it again I was not only sure that it is what I wanted to do but I thought “Theres a reason you keep coming back here” so I did it! I love the new layout and I feel like WordPress has a lot more to offer as I grow (like domain names, further customisation etc) at the moment I am sticking to keeping the odd “Powered by WordPress” around because I am trying to be realistic and it simply isn’t realistic for me to pay out for those added things when I’d be working at a loss! Anyway, back to the point, another change I made was choosing to ditch YouTube, not entirely, my videos are still up and I still have many ideas for further projects that involve Videos but I simply fell out of love with it (if you want to read more on that, click here) I’ll use YouTube as a tool to give me the ability to upload videos online but my focus is no longer on the views (and hasn’t been for a while).
With these two decisions and changes being made and many others along with them, I realised a few things all at once…
- Some of the stuff I have made over the past couple months have been dull to me and not fun to actually make.
- The reason that happened is because I spent a long time trying to focus on what I thought everyone would like to see and read and not making things that I was genuinely passionate about…
- The Jess that started this whole thing isn’t the same person now and thats okay but along the way I’ve lost some core values and reasons for doing it.
- I have to create, especially now that the doctors advised me to take a year out and do pretty much nothing but try and manage my illness better, if I am not creating I get itchy and fidgety and down and demotivated all at the same time.
- Due to the fact that I haven’t been super motivated for online stuff in a long time I didn’t really know my purpose on here and if you don’t have a purpose you can very easily get lost in the likes on your instagrams and how many people saw your blog post!
Realising all of these things made me think about the Blogger I am and the Blogger I want to become, I simply don’t fit into the ‘aspirational’ side of blogging, even when Ive had my fair share of money or gone on trips I’m pretty terrible at showing it off (self promotion is the hardest part of all of this for me). But honesty? I can do honesty, in fact, the amount of times Ive gotten into trouble simply because I couldn’t tell a white lie is shocking… lol.
So naturally I fall into the ‘relatable’ category, tell me otherwise but I think this fits pretty well! Blogging to me isn’t about showing off all the places you’ve been or things you’ve done or bought, its about people talking to like-minded people and trying to get through, well… life. I went through a weird process of trying to figure out what I like.
“What do you like Jess, come on, you can talk about that stuff” I’d say and then look down at a page with two ideas written down in chicken scratch. I ended up reading the bible when I felt God say “It’s not about what you like Jess, its about what you care about!” and I hit myself on the head and said “DUH” which is why, again, I don’t know if you’ve noticed but my blog posts themselves have been different, they’re about different things, things that might just be happening in life, or things that I really care about! I’ve added a new section called “Faith” because I’d talk about it often enough online and in general to people in my life but when it came to giving it its own category on my Blog? Too scary, I am not ashamed of my faith, if I were I couldn’t be a christian! Thats not how it works, I figured too that its even better that it gets its own category because although it might appear in other places to ie… the home page… people that genuinely want to read that type of post can go there without a problem!
Not only will I be talking about my faith and being a young Christian in this day and age in general but my other posts will be different too, take beauty for example, in December I made a couple of Beauty posts, this was mainly to keep the number of posts up so I could actually do Blogmas! (Not that it actually worked out that way anyway…) I made posts like ‘My Winter Lipstick Collection‘ which I have done for some other seasons too, I was sitting in Costa half way through writing the post, sitting next to a friend when I heard myself say “I don’t even care about Lipsticks this much” which is when the penny finally dropped. My friend said “Don’t post it then!?” to which I replied “No, I can’t, I am out of ideas and really need to schedule these posts in case I get ill” (which I did, like everyone else in the world it seemed) so my friend said “just be you then” which is why about halfway through that post is much more sarcastic and honest then my previous ‘Lipstick Collections’ have been. I am not saying that beauty won’t be something I write about anymore, I’d have deleted the option to click on it otherwise! (I thought about doing that) Its just that if I am going to write about something to do with beauty its going to be because I really love something… or really hate it! I have a particular post planned for a particular mascara that ruined my eyelashes on the way!
Its not that I don’t like ‘beauty’ its that I’m just not as into it as I am photography (enter new “photo” category) or lifestyle for that matter! For example I also wrote about a Christmas Lush Haul and I am happy with the post and happy with the products because I am a huge Lush fan girl – you see what I am getting at.
To put it in a nutshell, you’ll be getting all different types of content from me from now on, it will be regular and you can bet your hat I’ll be genuinely passionate about what I am writing! But I took myself back to the place and the person who started all this and realised that what i want to share is positivity and honesty, two things that don’t often come hand in hand online, especially at the moment.
My advice to anyone out there who is thinking of starting a Blog or who is trying to figure out who they want to be online is as follows…
- Pick which best and most appeals to you out of the ‘relatable’ and ‘aspirational’ blogging categories (or if you can be a good in between!) and start with that in mind, how do you want to make people feel when they’re done reading a post? What types of bloggers do you mostly follow? What appeals to you about them? Which category do they fall into?
- Ask yourself WHY do you want to do it? Is it a creative outlet or a way to make money because i have news for you, I am amongst the many who have been doing this for a while and have definitely not made any money!
- Write about something that you are truly passionate about, even if its just once and see that you still get the same amount of people interested as before only this time they stick around because they can tell when you really love something and when you’re faking!
- If you aren’t already, follow other bloggers in the blogosphere within the same category as you think you belong, get inspiration from them and remember to try not to copy…
- Copying is the worst for inspiration, when you are consuming a lot of content around the topics you’re interested in, its great, you know more about your topics, you know more about different writing style etc etc, but when you are outright copying someone not only is it ridiculously easy to tell but its also super rubbish when you’re out of ideas and people to copy! You’ve never learnt to fend for yourself so when you’re on your own all of a sudden you don’t know what on earth to make or write about!
So I hope you’re ready for some new types of stuff, things actually care about and probably some embarrassing stories in there too… I finally feel excited and motivated for the things I am making and cannot wait to share them with you! Being online isn’t a chore and I have never written so much in a couple weeks in my life!