It seems completely crazy, but this summer my blog will be 10 years old. To say I feel like a dinosaur in this industry is an understatement!
My relationship with my blog feels like an ever-changing thing. Some years, we’re best friends; others, I’ve felt like we’re frenemies. There are also periods where we’ve been long lost pen pals — updates are sporadic, but heartfelt. Still, we always come back to each other.
When it comes to my blog, I used to place a lot more judgement on the frequency and quality of my content, and the constant refrain in my head was “Am I doing this right?” When blogging exploded as an industry in the early 2010s, it felt like you needed to follow a set of must-do’s to.the.letter. in order to gain any kind of traction or following with your site. But it worked, and there it was: a clear, obvious connection between a by-the-book strategy and increasing pageviews (when that was still the end all, be all!). Sometimes when I look back, I think playing by such stringent rules took a lot of the joy out of creating.
Now, with our attention spans shorter and more divided than ever, I’ve become increasingly convinced that the best blog strategy is the one that works for you at any given time. Turns out, all the different ways I’ve felt about my blog reflect how one feels about any longterm relationship. There are ebbs and flows, easy times and tough alike. But at the end of the day, I love that my little space online is always there for me, and can serve as a creative canvas for whatever I need at that point in life. It isn’t lost on me that as a self-taught designer, many of my skills were honed years ago by creating content on my blog; more recently, I’ve been exploring long form content in the form of personal essays about my life. It’s pretty amazing when you think about it — that a website can provide so much for you, if you stick with it long enough!
All this to say: blogging can be whatever you want or need it to be. It can be a side hustle. A full-time hustle. A place to write. A place to share photographs. A place to experiment with something new. And if you blog long enough, it might even be all these things at different points in time!
So as you continue writing your own blog (or, if you’re thinking about starting one!), remember that the way it feels today won’t necessarily be the way it feels tomorrow, or next month, and definitely not 3, 5 or 10 years from now. Let your blog be what you need it to be for now; the beauty of owning a website is that it can evolve with you, and with any luck, even surprise you in the best ways.
(Who knew that blog relationship advice would be good practical life advice too?)