21 February 2018 · posted in behind the scenes
Hustle & growing as a blogger
I'm the first one to admit that I have always not-so-secretly wanted to grow a successful blog and build that into an online business some day, not because I think it's a way to get rich quick but because even though I put in many hours a week shooting, writing, editing, designing, ... on top of my full time day job now, it never feels like work. I really believe that you have to hustle for everything you want and treating my blog like a business from the very start is in my eyes a very important part of that hustle.
However, I think that in order to achieve my goal of blog success, in the past I have focused too much on creating content that would "sell" instead of focusing on what I really wanted to put out in the world and as a consequence I've been on this rollercoaster of starting over again and again because nothing felt quite right.
Searching for authenticity
This year though, I've been doing some real soul-searching and working on finding myself and my dreams. Allowing myself that time to become more authentic as a person has been eye-opening and I can really feel myself relaxing in life through that honesty more than I was ever able to before. This honesty has also made me grow into a more personal, open and vulnerable blogging style and it's been so rewarding to create content that I can proudly take ownership of because it's created completely in sync with my life and my personality.
I think by taking a step away from creating content purely for an audience and focusing more on my personal story and what I have to offer you, surprisingly I have seen more and more constant blog growth than I did before. (Still very small, but step by step). Through this mentality shift I'm now much more inspired to create content, which in turn creates more consistency, one of my 2018 blogging goals, which in turn helps me grow my blog. Basically win-win for everyone involved.
For the first time ever, this blogging space feels completely natural and unforced when it comes to content creation but the organisation of the posts, the four categories I had (home, food, life, blog), started to feel wrong somehow. Too general. I absolutely believe in reflecting your brand and site vision into the visible categories in the navigation so your audience immediately knows what your space is all about but my old categories didn't do that and it felt off. Adjusting my category organisation therefore was an inevitable change waiting to happen.
The new set up
I want this blog to be more about that personal honesty, about growing as a person and about taking care of ourselves (body and mind). I want to be able to share my life's adventures proudly without comparison to bigger influencers with very different lives and I also really want to talk about building a blog and (online) business, not because I'm an expert, but because I'm still passionately hustling to build my own and it's what keeps me awake at night.
So after figuring out what kind of content I want to put out in the world, I starting brainstorming about how to show that best into categories and I ended up with 3 main categories with a subdivision into 8 topics.
· wellness; food
· wellness; self-care
· lifestyle; interiors
· lifestyle; thoughts
· lifestyle; adventures
· blog + biz; behind the scenes
· blog + biz; how to blog
· blog + biz; brunch browsing
Once I set up all the new categories/topics and started moving already published blog posts into them, it felt like finally, the pieces of the puzzle were coming together: all the posts fit so much better into one of the new categories than they did in the old ones. In a way, nothing has really changed, as the content I'm sharing will be exactly the same (although ever growing with me) but in a way, everything has changed. It's like a fog has lifted and this space is now much more reflective of who I am as a person, what I'm hustling for and the message I want to put out in the world.
Reflect your brand
If you are also hustling for your own blog biz but you're not completely feeling your blog post organisation, I truly recommend doing some soul-searching and changing the categories so that they feel like a true reflection of your brand. It might sound dramatic and over-the-top-cheesy but I feel so liberated now, free to create content I want to create. Whereas before the categories were limiting my creativity and were too vague to show you my blog and brand vision, now it is completely clear I am sharing content to help you and me become our best possible selves, create the most beautiful lives possible and become successful blogpreneurs. I couldn't be happier with the new set up and I hope you feel the positive change too!