It’s time for me to get a little bit reflective again! I put it down to being November, it’s a bit of a weird month where you know the end of the year is nigh but there’s still time to make a bit of difference. I try not to read my old posts too much, because more often than not I’ll spot a typo or my chronic-bitchface posing in the back garden. However, this post where I had a good old moan about my blogging situation caught my eye recently and I’m pleased to say that much has changed. I’m not quite Miss Super Productive scheduling a month’s worth of posts in an afternoon but at least I’ve made some changes to how I work and my outlook on it all. Here’s a little update for y’all.
One of the trickiest things about my situation last year was that I had no one to help me with strategy. I was starting to get paranoid seeing others vlog their important ‘meetings’ and five-year-plans and I wondered why I wasn’t getting the same experience with my agency. After all, having a strategy and plan is paramount to most businesses, but we all know that I had a bit of an unconventional start and didn’t really have the foggiest as to what I was doing.
After many chats with Lucy where she started to sound more business mogul than regular housemate (usually in our respective dressing gowns, hers leopard print, mine boring grey), we decided to make monthly meetings a thing. We go over my stats, goals, what worked, what didn’t and come up with actions to be spread out over the following weeks. I was scared to look at my dwindling Google Analytics and thought that this made me a bit of a failure, but she’s helped me see things in a different, more positive light. When you often work alone you can end up spending too much time in your own head, so I’d definitely recommend meeting up with a trusted buddy, going over things and getting some perspective.
Sorting out my site
I’m probably never going to stop going on about my redesign. It’s been six months since I unveiled a brand new look and feel for IWYTK and I’m so happy that it clearly reflects everything I’m about. I’m probably going to do a ‘How I’m Finding WordPress’ update as that deserves a whole dedicated post, but in short, the platform makes things a helluva lot easier when it comes to working on the go.
Going through branding side of things really helped with my comparison problem. Creating a brand identity isn’t about dwelling on what you don’t have but recognizing what you do and I’d definitely recommend it if you’re feeling stuck. I realised that I actually have quite a cool point of view and my aim is to create the kind of content that I’d like the read. The kind that doesn’t make you feel bad about yourself, but that actually motivates you to try something new or wear something you’ve forgotten about. I’d definitely recommend reading some of Fiona Humberstones posts on brand styling if you need a refresh, plus some of my experiences have given me new ideas for a series of my own…
Understanding why I procrastinate
So what did I do when I had this brand-spanking new site? I retreated into my shell a little bit. I let my insecurities get the better of me and couldn’t get my words out. It’s weird, as I love writing. There’s no better feeling than being in full flow and seeing the words appear on the screen, but if I’m just not feeling it…well Kristabel says no. I reached peak procrastination during the Summer months and found myself scrolling through social media mindlessly and tinkering with various things. I knew that this could be detrimental for my business and I decided to refer myself for CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) to tackle it.
OK so I did end up procrastinating whilst reading about procrastination, but these modules are really useful. I definitely related to a fear of failure/imperfection and this is what can stop me from, well, doing anything. It’s funny because my whole ethos is about being imperfect! Still, I was putting a lot of pressure in terms of my writing and feeling like it could never be anything like some of the wordy bloggers and journalists I admired. Now I’ve realised that it’s far better to aim for ‘good enough’, if it means getting **** done and to just power through any discomfort. For example, it took me over four months to condense these interviews for my part-time blogging post. I was worried they weren’t good enough but it’s been one of my most popular posts of the year. Natasha’s post about a course to overcome procrastination is also a great read and she advises being future orientated. Each task will help the ‘you’ of the future, so why wouldn’t you want to give them a hand?
Are you ready to reflect on the year and make some last-minute changes? Blogging and freelancing in general can be a bit of a crazy experience, it seems like sometimes you’ll have so many things to manage and it may seem impossible to do everything but somehow you cope. I can still struggle with the things that are out of my control, such as trying to grow a following when certain algorithms are against you and trying to achieve that momentum moment. It’s a weird one, as I’ve taken a bit of a risk to pursue something I really believe in (blogging, social media, podcasting et al are the only kind of media where minority groups can represent themselves) but I still have no idea where it’s all going to be in ten years. Most of what I’ve done has been based on a gut feeling. How’s that for career advice?
Did you know that I also write regular posts with an honest look at the world of blogging? I’m also planning some video content around this, so make sure you’re subscribed!