“Blogging breaks are sometimes a good thing.”
I’ve been blogging for three years now. Three years and I am still as much in love with blogging as I was on the day I wrote my very first blog post and pressed publish. In that time so much has happened and my blog has evolved from a little diary about my life with my daughter, to a successful blog that has partnered with some amazing household names.
I’ve watched it evolve, I’ve experienced it change and I am proud. So proud. Over the last three years I’ve written raw family posts, shared tips and advice, documented our experiences at home and away, reviewed products, ran competitions and discovered a me I never knew existed.
I’ve worked hard, gained confidence, made life long friendships, helped other people and challenged myself in ways I never thought possible. I have built Life Unexpected from the ground up and I will never be more proud of something in my life.
But, now it might be time for a blogging break.
It’s been an intense three years. I’ve been through phases of blogging everyday and every moment I can, to phases of feeling like I can’t type because the words just won’t come out.
My blog has made me stressed, proud, happy, sad, angry, loving, exhausted. It has given me the most incredible experiences, it has delivered me the most intense friendships, it has helped me to win awards and find a direction in this busy and unexpected life.
I am so grateful everyday to have stumbled into this crazy world of blogging and to have come as far as I have. But, I have to be completely honest now.
The last two months I’ve not enjoyed blogging. I haven’t liked the direction that I’m going in with my blog. The posts have gradually become less about me and have become more generic ‘evergreen’ posts that you’d find written in a magazine by an unknown author. There is no personality, there is no heart and I think, to be honest, that you can tell.
Sometimes blogging breaks are a good thing. Time away and coming back with fresh eyes can really remind you and show you you what you truly love and what you really want from your blog.
Right now I need a digital detox. I need a break to refocus and create my new plan of action. I need to work on the backend stuff that I never have time to do. I want to fix broken links, update old posts and turn my blog into a place I love again.
I’m scared to lose everything that I’ve worked for.
I’ve been putting off a break for a while now. I’ve worked so hard to build an audience and a following. I really don’t want to throw that away. It takes a lot of determination, effort and balancing to write posts everyday and to update and manage social media platforms.
I climbed the Tots100 and finally broke into the Top 100. In fact in the last chart update I was ranked #26 out of 10,000 bloggers. Other bloggers will understand how much of an achievement that this is and also how scared you feel about dropping out of it. Some bloggers will chirp that it’s not all about rankings and stats and I’m starting to understand them a little more. It should be about how you feel about your blog. If you love it people will come and you will do well anyway!
I’m scared that I will lose page views. I know how hard I had to to work to build my audience and to get a community around Life Unexpected.
I’m also scared that brands won’t contact me anymore. If I lose page views and rankings then they won’t want to work with me.
But, I honestly shouldn’t be blogging unless I’m happy and unless my heart is 100% in it.
I’m already angry at myself that I’m not posting six or seven times a week anymore. I’m annoyed at myself for not updating my Instagram daily lately. I’m cross because I built communities like #whatevertheweather and #curiouslittleexplorers and I couldn’t find the time to maintain them and I had to let them slide. I’m ashamed that I have struggled to engage with my audience properly lately.
I’ve spent quite a few weeks now beating myself up about my blog. Wondering where to go with it. Considering whether I should pack it in all together and ‘get a real job’.
But my blog isn’t just my job. It’s a part of my soul.
It’s a part of who I am and it combines every single one of my passions. It has always been my dream to be a writer. My dream to organise, to take beautiful pictures, to be successful and to work on my terms and not for anyone else.
Blogging has given me so many new skills. I can run multiple social media platforms and build and manage communities. I can write SEO friendly content, optimise images and build websites. I now have the confidence to negotiate with and pitch to brands. I know how to run campaigns and I love doing it. I love trying to balance a busy schedule where deadlines are sometimes overwhelming. I adore interacting with people and reading their comments when something I have written has helped them and touched home.
I don’t want to throw all these skills away and I don’t want to lose or walk away from something I’ve put so much time, effort and love into. So, instead of throwing the towel in altogether, I know that this isn’t goodbye forever.
It’s goodbye for now <3
I do still have big plans for Life Unexpected. I have plans to inject a bit more of the old, a bit more truth and a bit more personality. Instead of focusing on evergreen posts and rankings, I should have been focusing on my readers, my community and myself.
Life Unexpected will be going away for a while, yes. But, at the moment I have plans to come back by June 1st. In the meantime, I will still be here, plotting and planning the future. I’ll be doing admin work, writing new posts that I am passionate about and speaking to brands who I genuinely adore and asking if I can represent them.
I will be sad to not be posting regularly. But I’m also excited. I’m excited to fall in love with blogging again and I’m excited to show my audience who I am and the true nature of Life Unexpected.
Thank you so much to everyone for supporting Life Unexpected over the last few years. Thank you to my readers, my friends, my family and the brands and businesses that have worked with me. I am so grateful to you all and I will see you soon. I can’t wait to come back feeling refreshed.