I almost killed my blog. Here’s what I did instead.

[su_dropcap style=”flat”]H[/su_dropcap]ey, is anyone out there? Remember me? I’ll admit that I haven’t shown G&G much love over the past several months…er…years. So I wouldn’t be surprised if I turn out to be the only one to read this post.

I haven’t felt fully connected to my beloved blog for quite some time. Some of that disconnect was due to the demise of my 2012 15″ MacBook Pro last year. Some was due to lack of personal time. Some likely due to comparing my humble little blog to that of the “big bloggers,” who have amazing, custom-designed blogs, stunning photography, and all kinds of newness to share on the regular. All of which, I have not.

Also, I grew up. I started this blog in my 30s, at a different stage of life. Now I’m on the backside of my 40s — and while I still appreciate unique style, designer accessories, and quality staples — I am not the same woman who started this blog all those years ago. I may share the occasional #OOTD on Instagram, but I’m not interested in sharing my personal fashion purchases day in and day out. (Plus, I don’t purchase a quarter of what I used to back then.) I have fallen a little out of love with the fashion scene and fashion magazines, the latter I loved so fervently in my younger years, but now have so little editorial content, and even less inspirational editorial content.

Then there’s the consumption. The eye-bleedingly, conspicuous consumption. I have never been an over-the-top kind of shopper, yet I do see the value in investing in a high-quality handbag that you will enjoy for years to come. But after witnessing so many women dropping $5K on a new bag every month, and $15K+ on a bag (in a color they don’t really even want) just to stay relevant in the “luxe community,” hoping one day they’ll get “the call” to fetch some coveted, waitlisted item…let’s just say that’s not how I roll. It has actually turned me off some brands and items because of the gross excess and shocking ubiquitousness of them, even with such high price tags.

I’ve noticed that these women also rarely find contentment once they’ve acquired that Holy Grail, five-figure bag. Quite the opposite. It usually marks the beginning of a new obsession with acquiring even more stratospherically-priced material goods. From my perspective, these kinds of wildly extravagant purchases, often made initially to mark a life milestone, no longer seem to originate from a place of gratitude, but a place of greed.

$30k and up a year spent on handbags? Seriously? I can think of dozens of ways to spend that money more prudently, more satisfyingly, more wisely, without any of it being spent on me.

But I digress.

Finally, my single, regular advertiser pulled the plug. To be honest, I was waiting for the axe to swing sooner, really…I can hardly blame them since G&G is definitely not what it used to be, and I have not kept up the pace. I appreciate the many years of support, and I kind of figured once they left, I’d quietly fold the blog and no one would likely notice or even care.

Except for me.

I realized I’d notice. That a little part of me would die with the blog, even if I hadn’t truly enjoyed blogging for several years. I wasn’t ready for that.

credit: unknown

So here’s what I did instead: I remembered why I started this blog in the first place. Way back in 2006, when G&G was born, there were no sponsors or influencers; there was no revenue, no Instagram, no goal other than to share a little of yourself with maybe three likeminded people. I started it to have a creative outlet. To write.

And I remembered what I used to call myself, earlier in my career.

I used to call myself a writer — that’s what I was and what I loved, and this was my place to express whatever was dancing in my thoughts on a given day. Then I realized I hadn’t written in a very, very long time.

Over time, the affiliate links creeped in (hey, you can make money at this!) and sponsors needed a dedicated 300-pixel ad space; I often felt pressured to publish not because I wanted to, but because I had to to keep up my end of the bargain. I remembered what it was like back then, before the affiliate links and the obligations, and it was this: Simple. Honest. Real. Unaffiliated. Me.

So, instead of killing my blog, I decided to resurrect it. To commit to it and myself.  Because now I don’t need ad space. I don’t need a rates page for advertisers. I don’t have to post about sales or shows or anything that I don’t find worthy; I can just focus on what resonates with me, now, in a single, gloriously full-width page. And while I am still beyond grateful for the wonderful friendships and relationships I forged, and the many exciting gifts and opportunities my blog yielded me over these years, there is a certain freedom in coming full circle. Stripping it back to bare bones.

I don’t know about you, readers, but I’ve felt a need to come back to some more meaningful conversation. To ponder something more substantial than the latest trend, to write in proper English, to revel in the written word for a bit, letting it and our imaginations paint the picture for a little while. We all used to do that. Remember?

Now, I might still use an affiliate link here and there. I might still share a beautiful ensemble or praise someone’s style, because I’m still a lover of beauty in all forms. This blog is a reflection of me, which is most assuredly part grit and part glamour.But it feels good to peel back the layers, to pare down to where I started. It’s like a rebirth. And listen, I have learned a lot in the last 13 years, so if there were ever a time in my life to share my experiences, it is now. Because I actually have some.

I hope you’ll come along with me. Stay with me. Stay (at)tuned.

V.

11 responses to “I almost killed my blog. Here’s what I did instead.”

  1. Hi! I really enjoy your writing voice, so I’m extremely happy to read this. I’m not a big shopper at all, AT ALL, so as far as I am concerned, muse away about whatever you like! We are close in age (I’m maybe 5 years older, give or take) so I feel I can relate to at least some of the ways in which you feel you might have changed. Looking forward to more posts (at your own pace of course)!

    Like

  2. This is the first time I ever read your blog and it feels like the best time to start following you! I loved that manifesto, we still need good content, good writing and honesty in the blogosphere! Nothing wrong with affiliates, btw, but long live the revived writing mojo!

    Like

    • Hi Alex, welcome! Thank you so much for your comment and support. It feels good to have some clarity and purpose…and know that there are people out there who appreciate it!

      Like

  3. I do get turned off by multiple posts flogging a product or service and I’ve unfollowed many a blogger because, at the end of the day, bloggers are not, and maybe never have been, my tribe. But I’m still here, and I still read the odd post when I’m online, and follow you on Instagram which I now prefer over reading blog posts because you can never really keep up with who’s still blogging and who’s not. But everyone, or nearly everyone, seems to be on FB, Insta, or Twitter. Even Pinterest is more interesting than blogging sometimes.

    I still blog myself, ten years on, have given them an overhaul (I have three) as I am with my business as a whole. Emails are being culled, a blog was migrated from blogger to wordpress, I’m trying to get everything better organised so it’s easier for me ten years on. I keep things lightweight, talk about the bargains I get, jewellery I make or buy, books I read or write, movies and tv shows I watch etc as I much prefer to read posts like that than flogging some product.

    I also never wanted to go the route of sponsors and advertising. That was never what I, or my blogs, were about. So that has made things a little easier. And slowly, like you and everyone else, I wade my way through all of life’s issues, and in turn, all of my online issues as well. It’s slow going, but we all get there and make our realisations in the time the universe wants us to learn it.

    And if the universe, and you, wants you to get back to blogging about what YOU want to write about and not what you need to write about to make others happy, then isn’t that a good thing? Go back to just having fun.

    Like

    • Hello my dear, thank you for the thoughtful comment and continued support! I get you on preferring Insta…I do, but then I do still read a lot of blogs, but less fashion b logs, I suppose. I actually want to READ something, and not see 20+ photos of the same outfit. So over that.

      Can you believe we’ve been at this 10+ years? It’s crazy. I don’t know how you keep up with three blogs! It does help to just focus on what you want to share.

      I feel good being back, although I know my engagement is much lower since people consume so much content on their phones, and don’t comment as much. But I feel like I’m just getting started again, really, so I hope entice people to come back to the blog, maybe from a bigger screen, where they can spend two seconds to actually think about what they are reading. Hey…that’s a post in itself!

      Cheers!

      Like

  4. Well HELLO!
    I am so glad you decided to come back and even more pleased that I found you… now.
    I’m almost Fifty. My first blog is crap 🙂 and I just want to dig in my garden and drink sparkling wine. So that’s what I shall do and perhaps I will write about it, but perhaps not.

    Great post and looking forward to more.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: