I haven’t explained in detail why I took a year off of blogging/social media/promotion, but it comes down to the fact that life took me other ways. I was also incredibly burnt out by constantly checking stats, making sure I posted my Instagram during the ‘right’ hours, and staying on top of promoting myself everywhere. Blogging is time consuming and overall extremely tiring especially if you’re doing it day in and day out.
I got sick of comparing and constantly researching ways to be better.
The fact is, there are too many talented humans out there that completely knock the socks off the rest of us, so honestly I didn’t even know how to compete with it all. Was it writing one blog post a week or five? Was it making sure I shared three Instagram pictures a day (where in the heck I would come up with all that content anyway)? Or was it posting compelling, sharable things on Facebook in hopes they go viral? It became too much for me and even now to this day (after a long hiatus) I find myself drowning in the stress of trying to keep my brand afloat, easy to find, and somehow remain unique.
My brand wasn’t feeling unique and true to myself (or my audience).
What was I bringing to the table with Living in Another Language? Was I ‘selling out’ and writing posts that I know would be pinned and shared = more traffic, or was I writing posts that were genuinely helpful for readers?
How am I different than every other blogger who uses VCSO filters, WordPress, and fancy cameras? I’m not as different as I’d like to be, but hoping that this year I can do my best to share realistically and genuinely about travel and expat life. I am always open for suggestions from you guys as well, so if there is a topic or two you’d like me to write on or even start a series about, I would be more than happy to!
Being honest here, I pretty much make pennies off of Living in Another Language, and I’ve stopped taking guest posts or sponsored posts about things I don’t care for. I would love to make money off this blog eventually, but I realize I need to do a bit more organic growth and reach before I begin looking into that again. I want to do my best to make sure anything I do monetarily is good for my readers, and that’s why I’ve gotten rid of most ads and sponsored posts on my site as well (I enjoy working with cool brands though — those posts won’t go away). Baby steps here!
I have to stop caring so much about the numbers.
Sometimes I die a bit on the inside when I see I gain twenty followers on Instagram in one day only to have about thirty unfollow me the next. I don’t play the whole follow/unfollow game: if I like your content I follow you — plain and simple. I don’t want followers on my account that don’t honestly give two craps about me or my story anyway. Am I just weird about this?
At the end of the day I’m trying to teach myself to post when I want to, of what I want to, and be proud of my brand. If being genuine helps grow my influence then that’s awesome, but if not I need to be okay with that as well. I love the journey Derik and I are on, and I can’t let numbers, blog burnout, and negative comments get in the way of my memories via this blog and social media accounts.
^^^ I want to blog for myself first and readers second. I love that I can help inspire others to travel the world and offer travel tips, itineraries, and suggestions, but at the end of the day, my photo journals (a photo documentation of our travels with brief explanations) are my babies. They’re my memories and then posts I personally treasure, and I’ll be sharing a lot more of them in the future; sure they might not be quite as pin-able or ‘viral material’ but that’s alright with me.
How do you balance your personal posts (whether it’s travel documentation, life, or even fashion) with creating content that readers want (helpful, sharable posts)?