I went through a phase recently, of being a little ashamed of being a blogger. As a fully paid up journalist I felt a little bit ‘above’ where I came from, and that doesn’t make me feel one bit proud of myself. I regularly agonise with what to write in the occupation box….isn’t blogger a bit, well, amateur? Am I a writer? A freelance writer, journalist or reporter?
Let’s face it, they all mean the same thing.
But I’ve been reflecting a lot (one of my hobbies) and I am done with being a stuck up snob. I am a blogger, and proud. And I don’t need to shout about the fact that I have done ‘proper writing’ for ‘proper newspapers’ because, well, who cares. My blog is where everything else I have achieved came from and ain’t nobody gonna take that away but talking down to me. Including me.
Also, I’m writing this post while listening to Justin Timberlake circa 2002 — The Timberland Years ™ — which is making me happier than you could even realise. Although this may seem like it’s totally off-topic, it’s not, I promise. Because I’ve realised that for me to be happy, or for anyone for that matter, there need to be certain things in place. In work, at home, eating….everything.
Many, many people love their job in an office. But for me, the idea (and reality – for I have worked in several offices) makes me incredibly unhappy. I don’t like the atmosphere, or the way you have to pretend to be working (even when you are actually working) for an abitrary amount of hours. And I don’t know how anyone can cope with the excess of small talk. Dolly Alderton — the Sunday Times Style writer — said she hates office life because, amongst other things, it’s ‘infantilising.’ When I heard her say that I did an imaginary ‘preach emoji’ with my arms because that’s exactly how I feel about it too.
That’s not to say that it’s the office’s fault. It’s not you, it’s me.
Either way, that means only one thing for me — a freelancers life, managing my own creative business in whatever form that may take, is the only life I’m prepared to move forward with. I will never again listen to the voices around me telling me I don’t have a job unless it involves a 7am wakeup call, tube to work, far too many cups of tea and a miserable desk with a slow computer. Nobody should be concerned about how I finance my lifestyle except me and my husband. And yet, so many people do feel that as a freelancer — they need to understand who is paying me, and if I am getting paid at all.
The voices in my head can shut up too for that matter *wink.*
All of this reflection has led me to a bit of a realisation. While I adore writing for a living (which I get paid for, don’t worry), I also know that I want to connect with my blogging roots a little more. I created this website a year ago, but have been blogging for over three. In that time, I have gone from about 10 readers to 10,000 and I’ve made a gazillion mistakes. I dabbled with affiliate marketing and spent money on courses promising to turn my little travel blog (as it was then) into a ‘success’ and realised none of it resonated.
I’ve talked a lot about the fact I don’t monetise my blog, save for my beloved Mooncup affiliate commission, and I’m not sure why I should be proud of that. I don’t want to rely on my traffic, despite the fact it’s steadily been growing to a number I am quietly pleased with (or not so quietly, given I’ve mentioned it here several times) but my social continues to perform pretty poorly. What’s the reaosn for that? I set things up because I felt I had to. Because the rules were that you have to be crazy active on social media to be a success.
I call BS. I’ve naturally shifted my focus away from reading blogs in my niche because I needed to see what they were up to and made sure I wasn’t falling short and onto things I actually like reading. If you subscribe to my monthly newsletters, you’ll have read me talk about reducing the noise in my inbox by culling blogs I read, and some of the intentional things I’ve been trying to do to create some head space. It’s not always easy to ignore the noise on the interwebs, especially when you work from home and have so much more need for social media interaction, but I am trying hard to stay away from the crap that makes me feel crazy.
So I realised, that in my time blogging — creating websites, for myself and for others, navigating the ‘rules’ and subsequently breaking them, finding freelance work and so much more — I’ve learned a thing or two that I can share with other new bloggers, who were just like me once. People who are poised with their debit cards about to purchase that e-course or sign up for this amazing webinar that’ll surely turn into 100,000 subscribers. People who are baffled by what they ‘should’ be doing, and how it all works.
So I’ve decided to start a one on one coaching package where I’ll be able to help you get to grips with everything you want to know about starting a travel blog. It’ll be cheaper than most courses whilst covering the same material, with the benefit of being 100% bespoke to your needs and with added email support too.
I’m aiming to launch this mid September, and will probably only do so for my newsletter subscribers first, so if you want to stay in the loop, sign up right here > http://eepurl.com/b12YBv. If you don’t want to sign up for my newsletter, but this sounds interesting to you and you want to know more, then drop me an email: lucy (at) wanderluce (dot) com.