Big Blog Changes Are Coming (Or, Why It’s OK To Do Whatever the Hell You Want On Your Blog)

For awhile there, I was in a rut. Remember?

A big part of that rut had to do with this very blog.

You see, when I launched my rebranded blog in 2012, I purposefully kept the topic general. I chose the theme “Get Gutsy” as sort of a catch-all for writing about whatever I wanted under the umbrella of stepping outside your comfort zone. There’s a lot of room to play in that arena. 

For three years, that approach worked beautifully.

I blogged about trapeze lessons, public speaking, setting goals, building strong habits, waking up early, dating, freelance writing, traveling to Charleston, yoga and dozens of other topics under the sun, none of which really had anything to with one another, other than the fact that they interested me, and fit under the umbrella  of getting gutsy.

But somewhere along the way (well, a year and a half ago, to be exact), I lost sight of that vision.

That’s when I officially started my business. And that’s when I started to experience a bit of a blog identity crisis.

Big Blog Changes Are Coming (Or, Why It's OK To Do Whatever the Hell You Want On Your Blog)

My blog identity crisis

This blog is the primary reason I was able to quit my full-time job working in PR to start my own business. Relationships built from this blog have led to freelance clients, writing gigs, speaking engagements, teaching opportunities, board positions and more.

That said, this blog is a pretty important piece of the pie that makes up my income, business and life.

That’s about when I started freaking out, and second guessing almost everything I wrote on my blog or sent out in my twice-monthly newsletter.

After all, would a potential PR client want to come to my website and immediately see a blog post about yoga? Would the CEO of a startup want to hire me to handle their important communications work if say, they stumbled across a recent blog post about adventures in cooking? Would an editor for a magazine about health care still assign me articles if the latest post on my blog was about traveling to Mexico?

I wondered if my blog approach, as it was, would hurt my credibility now as a business owner.

So, because of these worries, my blog turned more business-y. And that’s OK. Actually, it has been pretty great.

We tend to write about what we know — what we’re going through at any given time. For the past two years, my world has been consumed by building this business, so writing about the topic comes naturally.

While I’m proud of all of the content I’ve created about building and running a business, and definitely plan to continue this type of writing and sharing, along the way, I realized, I want to blog about other stuff, too.

Rekindling my love affair with blogging

“They” say if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. Sorry to burst any bubbles, but that’s flat-out false.

Of course, it’s possible to love what you do, but at the end of the day, it’s still work. And if your passion is in some way tied to your income, there’s pressure.

My blog stopped being so much fun when it became part of my job. 

It stopped being fun when I censored my writing and myself.

It stopped being fun when I started caring so much about what other people think.

Lately, I’ve had tons of fun blog ideas that I’ve shoved to the back-burner, dismissing them because they don’t fit into this tiny square I’ve apparently and unknowingly boxed myself into over the past few years. 

It’s time to bring back the spark! It’s time to make blogging fun again. It’s time to make some big changes.

Here’s some of what you may see on my blog

  • More travel-related posts. Think a full-on guide to Ocean City, New Jersey and getaway guides for other destinations I’ve visited (and plan to visit *cough Ireland cough*)
  • Lifestyle posts. As a total non-shopper, a review of a recent experience with a personal shopper, along with photos of the goodies I purchased.
  • Posts about adulting. I moved into my first apartment almost one year ago, and I’ve faced a lot of ups and downs when it comes to “adulting.” Some of the stories are hilarious and will make you shake your head.
  • A review of my Blue Apron experience. This girl can’t cook, but thanks to Blue Apron, now I can. And I love it!
  • More partnerships with brands I love. For awhile, I turned down really cool opportunities because I felt they didn’t align with my goals, but now I see all different kinds of ways I can collaborate with awesome brands I want you to know more about.
  • Entertainment. Before I quit my job, I listened to business podcasts and read business blogs to inspire me to make my own dreams a reality. Now, I use podcasts, blogs and TV shows as an escape — and I have TONS of recommendations about what I’m listening to and watching.

Will this approach hurt my business?

Maybe.

But, I hope not.

And to be honest, I really don’t think so.

If anything, as always, I’m going to experiment and let you know how it goes.

I do my best writing when I’m working on something I’m super passionate about. I’m convinced that if I’m writing about a topic I’m pumped about, potential clients will see that skill shine through, and the topic itself won’t really matter much.

Plus, when it comes to my business, I probably wouldn’t want to work with someone who would dismiss a writer or consultant because they wrote about cooking or yoga or whatever on their blog.

I aim to attract a certain type of client, and I think this approach will help me hone in even more on those people who are seeking a business partner who has lots of passions, interests and can see a situation or challenge from all different types of perspectives.

Stop following the so-called rules

When I started toying with the idea of changing up my content, I debated if I should start a whole new blog from scratch, separate from “my business” but I quickly dismissed that idea.

After all, my business IS me. I AM my business. That’s how this whole personal branding thing works (and it DOES work, my business is living proof of that).

For the past five years on this blog, I’ve advised my readers to stop following all of these crazy, unwritten rules when it comes to blogging, business, relationships and life.

It’s time to get back to practicing what I preach.

I can’t wait to share it with you.

Tell me! What type of posts would YOU like to see here on the blog?

*Photo via Pixabay

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  • Those ALL sound like great post ideas! I love personal blogs because I mainly care about a blog when I care about the blogger, and the personal posts let me know and care about them.

    I know we met eons ago when we were both book bloggers, and in 2012, I had a blogger identity crisis as well. I didn’t want to only talk about books anymore, so I turned my blog into a lifestyle blog with books thrown in. That has made me much happier! I recently started reviewing books again, but that’s not ALL I blog about. I blog about EVERYTHING and I love it. I think you’ll also be much happier with your blog now too!

    • Hi Steph! Thanks SO much for your comment. YES, that is also why I love personal blogs, and always have. It’s good to get back to those roots.

      Thanks for sharing your story here — I’m totally with you! I got burnt out on book blogging, which is why I stopped and started this blog. Excited to get back to it! Thanks for reconnecting.

  • Topics of interest: anything you’re doing that seems like you’d want to talk about! Some of the best ideas I’ve implemented into my life (recipes, ways to clean, how to avoid a speeding ticket) have been things I wasn’t seeking out, just a blogger or writer was writing about it and I happened to see it! I bet a lot of people feel like this too, and the best way to learn new awesome things is to just have someone out there talking about them.

    Also, totally re-write the “rules”. They’re getting stale πŸ™‚

  • Let me know when Ireland is happening — I’ll give you some tips from my trip πŸ™‚ We’re also planning for Ireland July 2018 <3

    • Jessica Lawlor

      Yes! I will need allllllll the tips from you! We’re planning a September trip!

    • Yes! I will need allllllll the tips from you! We’re planning a September trip!

  • I’m really excited about this because, full disclosure, I’ve been feeling a disconnect with your blog once it became more business-focused. Which is fine! I knew you were moving in a different direction and that was exciting. But it was just hard for me to relate to the posts because I don’t work for myself nor have any desire for that. And I love blogs that have a personal feel, so I’m happy you’re going back to that. <3

    • Thank you SO much for your honesty! I totally get it — I’ve definitely tried to keep my signature honesty and transparency in my writing, but yes, the topics have definitely skewed business-heavy. Glad you’ll be sticking around for more of the personal, fun, lifestyle stuff coming soon! xox

  • Robbyne Butter

    I fell on your Get Gutsy blog last year and your enthusiasm literally spilled out all over the page. As a quiet writer, hiding safely behind my keyboard, adding stories to my blog where only friends and family go, you made me decide to step out of my comfort zone. Three days ago I launched my YouTube channel “Buttered ShortS”!!!! Unbelievable!! I actually did that???… and it’s 100% thanks to you. So just write whatever you are enthusiastic about because it shows in every single word you write and has a huge influence on those who read it. A massive massive thank you. πŸ™‚

    • Robbyne, this comment makes my day more than you even know — thank you! I am so glad my words inspired you to chase your own dreams. Congrats on the launch of your YouTube channel! Thank you for the motivation to keep going! xo

  • ProWritingAid

    I love this! It’s like you forgot to follow your own “get gutsy” advice for a little while there, and now you’re getting back on track. Exciting!

    Best of luck with it,

    Lisa πŸ™‚

  • Congrats, lady — I can feel the energy spilling out just in announcing this, and am so excited for you!

    • Thank you! I am super, super pumped to get back to my blogging roots! xox

  • Leslie Hudson

    I am totally in the same boat right now. Thanks for continuing to inspire. Your blog is awesome!

    http://www.lesliefhudson.com

  • Brittany Brolley

    This is actually the first post I’ve read on your site and I can totally relate. I just did a big overhaul on the design on my site and while I love my niche, I am slowly going to be adding more content related to other aspects of my lifestyle. It may not be what the ‘experts’ recommend, but I’m hoping it will enable me to stay motivated, connect with current readers in a new way, and also find some new readers. Best wishes for you! I can’t wait to read more of your posts!

    • Hi Brittany! Thank you so much for your comment (and for reading!) Congrats on your blog overhaul — can’t wait to check it out! xox

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  • Hooray for the Ireland mention! Let me know if you’d like any tips.. Clare x

    • I would love allllllll your recommendations! We’re trying to figure out our route right now and where we should make stops. Helppppp!

      • I’m a big fan of Galway and am always recommending it to visitors. A day trip to Belfast is certainly worth it too, if you’ve the time. You can get the train to both and navigate on foot, if you want to avoid the whole driving on the “wrong” side of the road issue. In Dublin, I’d steer clear of Temple Bar and anything else too touristy. Guiness Storehouse and Trinity are both worth visiting. If you want more recommendations (or to meet for a coffee when you’re in town), just shoot me an email. Would be happy to help! Clare x

        • email is clareherbert1 AT gmail, btw too. Hope you have a great time πŸ™‚