This is a post I thought I'd never have to write.
For the last 3 years I have blogged. I lived and breathed this blog and put almost all of my extra time into it. I've watched it grow and evolve and all the while being so happy I made the decision to this.
I've discovered amazing brands, met some of the greatest people and dove head first into a world I was completely unfamiliar with.
I guess I'll start at the beginning. At the beginning of the summer, I wanted to make a conscious effort to grow my blog. I started networking more, sponsoring posts, swapping buttons, sponsoring giveaways, you name it. It all came to a head when I had accomplished my goal. I had a ton of wonderful new followers, a huge list of post ideas and future linkups/giveaways planned. That's when it hit me. It's time to take my blog to the next level.
The next level to me was offering advertisements and paid sponsorships. I started doing research, I started cleaning up my blog, I started doing my own design work. I had plans, I had goals, I had a dream. Then I had a breakdown. My current schedule is already chaotic. I work, I look for jobs (still trying to get a job in my field) and then I have my regularly scheduled life. If I was going to take people's money to sponsor my blog, I'd have to make sure it was worth it to them. If I'm going to do something, I'm going to do it right. I know there are different levels of sponsorship. I know first hand what it feels like to shell out money for a sponsorship and not get a return on my investment. It sucks. I didn't want to be that blog. I may have almost 400 followers, but I don't think my page views are anywhere up to par for successful sponsoring.
It wasn't just sponsorships. It was everything. I would love a new blog design so I don't have to spend so much time designing my own buttons and graphics. It just comes down to not being able to afford it. I mean I've gotten along 3 years doing it myself, what's a little longer? But then I asked myself if I could be content essentially "chugging" along for a little longer until I have the resources to do a full revamping? The answer was no.
I just purchased a blog critique ebook and was writing out my goals and jotting down notes on how to upgrade some things on my own. And that's when it happened. I realized I don't have the time or resources to do what I want for this blog.
I know there are no written rules about how you should run your blog, how it evolves or even how fast it evolves. I just know I have my rules. I don't like to do things half-assed. If I'm going to do it, I want it done right. I just don't see that happening here, at least not now.
Now please don't take my opinion for how I want my blog to be as an attack on anyone's blog. To each their own. I follow blogs that don't have buttons, an expensive blog design or sponsorships and they do quite well. I also follow blogs who offer too much advertising. I mean if you have 50 blog buttons of different shapes and sizes on your side bar, how are you helping those people? Not that I'm criticizing you, it's my opinion. I just know I would never waste my money on a blog that has an over abundance of sponsors. What's the point? I digress.
Once you open Pandora's box, you have to accept all that comes with it. Gone are the days of, "Eh, I'm not in the mood to blog today". I know I don't have to offer sponsorships. I can chug along, writing my content, designing my own things and probably still be just as happy. And that may be what I do. All I know is between life, blogging, reading blogs, blog upkeep, work and job hunting, I'm spent.
Not that followers are the main thing, but nobody wants to feel like they are writing to no one. I love interactions, I love meeting new people, I love discovering new blogs and products. No one wants to feel all their time and effort is for nothing. And it's not about the number, it really isn't for me. If I had 5000 followers, but only 300 read my blog on a daily basis, I'd be really disappointed. If I have 300 followers and 150 read everyday, that would make me feel really good. I get so happy with every comment, seriously. I check my email a billion times a day to see what you guys had to say about my posts. Interaction is way more important to me than numbers. That's the honest truth.
So ultimately I feel I have a decision to make. Part of me wants to take a blog break until the end of the summer. I'd like to think I'll have a new job by then and be more on a set schedule. I'm currently all over the place. The summer is always hectic. I like to spend my summer traveling and living by the pool. I don't want to be cooped up inside or at a Starbucks writing posts, no offense. It's not that I don't wanna write it, I just really like my pool. Part of me wants to say goodbye to blogging period. I'd of course still read blogs and interact with all of you, I'd miss you way too much. I'm just tired.
It comes down to this. Will I be able to handle only being able to do some revamping? I'm not sure. If you don't know it already, I'm a perfectionist. I want everything to look great, be fluid across all mediums and ultimately produce. Not produce financially (which would also be nice), but produce statistically.
So my question is this, have you ever been at a crossroads with your blog? How did you handle it? What did you do?
I really want your opinion on this. Maybe I don't need drastic changes, maybe only little ones to tide me over. What are your thoughts? Can anyone offer guidance?
I'm glad I calmed down before writing this because I was ready to throw in the towel earlier today, ask Neely. Thank you for talking me off the ledge. I really didn't think this made me happy anymore and then I saw something on TV and said, "I need to blog about that".
I will be taking the rest of the week off to get out of my own head for a bit. Don't panic.