2024: What I’m Doing Differently

Hey friends! Long time, no talk, right? I have not written a post since December 21, 2023 and that was hardly a post. You might remember that just a few days before we lost our precious dog Sophie. What ensued was overwhelming grief and sadness. I had no desire to even celebrate the holidays and couldn’t bear the thought of even touching my laptop. For a spell I was quite sure I was quitting the blog and Instagram all together. But the fog has started to lift and I did some soul searching and remembered why I started this blog in the first place. That led me to some realizations about what I want to do moving forward, so welcome to 2024: What I’m Doing Differently.

2024: What I’m Doing Differently

Even as a I type that title, I am finding it hard to get started. I’m questioning myself and the desire to please everyone has me nervous. Honestly no one pleases everyone and no matter what, no one person can be all things to all people. I am reminding myself to let that go. One thing I learned over my 2 week break is that no one really needs me that badly; perhaps I have an inflated sense of the value I bring? In other words it is okay to step away, take care of yourself and make the hard choices that are right for you.

Hard Choices

If I say I am going to do something you better believe I am doing it. Not only am I driven by not letting others down but I really enjoy following through and checking things off ‘the list’ – whether it’s a mental list or actual paper and pencil list! Sometimes that means I throw something out that is just ‘good enough’ in order to get it done. This is something I need to ponder, I am going to spend more time trying to create something useful and meaningful rather than something that’s just good enough.

A hard choice I face is potentially cutting back my blogging schedule to only 2 posts a week. I am not ready to commit to that schedule but I am considering it. At the very least I may make my Monday posts more thoughtful, life sharing, mental health themed articles rather than fashion or product related. .

Another hard choice is Instagram. I am still trying to figure it out. Some days I enjoy it but most days I don’t. For several years I had a goal of reaching 10k and I met that goal in 2023. From June to November I posted EVERY SINGLE DAY at 5:30pm. The strategy worked and I had some nice growth, nothing crazy but growth nonetheless. It reminded me that if something is important to me, I must work to earn it. Traveling to Greece made posting hard and engaging even harder. Then in December there was no way my sad self could possibly post. Saying goodbye to my dog was so hard – my sweater is linked here btw. Imagining a lost like that just didn’t feel genuine at all to me while I was grieving. So I am making the choice to put Instagram in its proper perspective.

Proper Perspective

For me, proper perspective means that this whole influencer/blogger thing is my hobby and not my career. It’s a side hustle and not one that I wish to do full time. When I say that I am NOT kidding either. I don’t enjoy being glued to my phone and I find it extremely taxing to post and take videos of everything I do. Some creators do this so brilliantly but not me and that is OKAY. In this industry you really do control – at least to some extent – your income. No one is making big bucks NOT posting.

There is money to be made with this side hustle. Let me tell you! In 2022 I earned a 5 figure income (just barely 5 figures but still). The majority of that came from contributed content I published from a company out of the UK along with affiliate income and sponsored posts too. Paying taxes on all of that wasn’t fun! So in 2023 I started putting aside money each quarter and I also decided there would be no more contributed content posts. All the writing would be done by me. All this to say, my income will be less this year and that is just fine.

Something else I’m considering? Potentially turning down all sponsored posts because they kind of make what should be fun feel too much like work. I also want to be free to write about what I want to write about. Listen, I don’t accept sponsored posts on things I don’t like but I still feel like it clouds my judgement if I am being paid. This is something I am still struggling with but I’ll let you know!

Evaluating My Performance

I am own toughest critic and boy am I brutal! On the other hand, I am also very blunt and tend to be realistic. When I look at my blog stats, let’s face it, I am not killing it here. My list of subscribers is pretty paltry considering I started blogging in the spring of 2016. It seems I have not found my place nor my audience. However, I am extremely grateful to each and every one of you who IS here. Nothing drives me crazy more than showing up to a place and the host saying “Where is everyone?” – um, I’m here! I never want to be that person so please, I hope that came across how I intended it to.

Each year I am asking myself what I can do better. How can I perform better? Who am I writing for? I don’t like the idea of saying I’m relatable because that sounds like I’m saying other creators are not. That’s not supportive of others and I wholeheartedly believe in lifting one another up and not in some kind of passive aggressive way. Everyone is relatable to someone, right?

What Bothered Me

An influencer on Instagram posted something that really bothered me. She starts all of her TikToks and Reels by saying her name and that she is a full sized, grown woman. That kind of irritates me because all I can think is, aren’t we all? Are any women still growing? What does she mean by that? Are you only a full -sized grown woman if you wear a certain size because that’s kind of the take away. In all honesty she probably has not considered this way of thinking.

But one day she started her reel with her typical intro and then asked the question, “Are women allowed to age?” She went on to call out all the 30 somethings who are getting Botox, fillers, etc. This really bothered me because I feel like we live in a time when we can all choose to age how we want. Even the thirtysomethings! The comments read something like this: “I’m 60 and have never had a single injection, I choose to age gracefully” – ugh. Big deal. You do you, right? If we support other women then let’s support their freedom to choose what anti-aging/pro-aging procedures they want. Who determines what aging gracefully means?

Anyway, the whole thing really turned me off. I am not entirely sure why it got under my skin like it did and I bet the creator never looked at it the way I did. The whole thing really made me question if Instagram is the right platform for me. Words can really hurt and it’s the subtle messages that can prove to be damaging.

Wrapping It Up

Well now you know what’s been going on in my head lately. To sum it up, I am continuing to blog. I like to write and share so I will. I’ll post on Instagram, Tik Tok, and Pinterest but I’m going easy on myself and won’t succumb to the pressure of daily posting or other requirements. In this business everyone tells you to be yourself but then to do things that all the other successful accounts are doing, it seems counterintuitive to me. Maybe I am being too literal but I need to figure some things out.

I thank you from the bottom of my heart for being here and reading this much. I’d love to know what your thoughts are on blogging and social media. More than anything, I wish YOU all the very best in 2024. May your wishes become your reality!

Thanks so much for stopping by today, I appreciate you being here. Please consider signing up to receive my posts by email and following me on Instagram and Pinterest.

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