7.30.2013

real talk: blog balance


Keeping up with a blog is much like any other goal you'd like to see succeed ...it's a lot of work.  This blog is not where I'd love for it to be in terms of content, but frankly, working in a hospital development office from 9 to 5 (and sometimes much later) isn't the most conducive environment for gaining blog inspiration.  Not to mention, getting home at 5:30, fixing dinner, catching up with Brandon about our day, then having some "me" time, doesn't leave many moments to sit in front of the computer to create original content.  I'm sure many of you can relate.  I can't imagine if I had to throw a baby into this mix (kudos, mommas!).  Or if I wasn't able to hit the gym on my lunch break  ...that extra hour of free time after work is so precious.

In an ideal world, I would run a small business out of my home and really devote myself to blogging.  I'd have time in the day to indulge in inspiring articles and pictorials.  My blog would include outfit photos set in very picturesque locations.  I'd film makeup tutorials and divulge myself a bit more.  I'd really reach out to the blogging community through networking and attending blogging conferences.  I would create my own personal brand and truly thrive in it.

The reality is that there are far more things on my plate than Style Me Swanky.  However, this blog is still a high priority of mine.  I do spend a large portion of my free time keeping you updated, but it doesn't ever seem to be enough for my own satisfaction.  I'm constantly wanting to share more ...to share uniquely ...to share better.  

I struggle with the balance of hobby vs. business in relation to this blog.  Is this a second job or is it just a hobby?  To be honest, I don't really know how to define that.  There's a constant pressure to post every day, but sometimes, when the content is just not there, I don't force it and skip that day.  I  actually probably don't do this as often as I should.  I am learning to manage my expectations and am trying to plant the idea that "quality is greater than quantity" firmly into my brain.


I'm a big list maker, so I've jotted down a few things to help me have a clearer vision of where I want this blog to be.  If you're a blogger, you might find this helpful in developing your own blog and contriving your own goals!

// Be very clear on the content I want to feature.  SMS is a lifestyle blog with posts about fashion, beauty, and home interiors.  There may be a few posts sprinkled in there about other topics, but my content should stay directly within those parameters. 

// Become good friends with bookmarking.  I'm really going to work on taking note of inspiring articles I happen across, beautiful photos to use on the blog, etc.  There are so many times when I see something beautiful and completely bypass it on the blog because I didn't bookmark it anywhere. Maybe I'll keep a running journal of blog ideas because often, writing things down breeds creativity and helps me think of more ideas.

// Be original.  I rely on Pinterest far too much for inspiring photos.  I really want to dig deeper and come up with unique content that isn't already floating everywhere on social media.  On the same regard, I feel like I personally have a lot of great tips and tricks/opinions about beauty and fashion related subjects ...I need to start sharing them.

// Schedule posts further in advance.  Why do I not do this already?  I'm constantly working on Tuesday's post on Monday, Wednesday's post on Tuesday, and so on.  I'm going to work on posts further in advance to reduce the time crunch the day before.  This will also give me an opportunity to evaluate posts before they go up and decide if there is a way to make it better.

// Become more design savvy.  I purchased the Adobe Creative Cloud a few months ago and barely know how to use it.  If I can just learn some basics, that would be a huge help for the formatting of my posts.  There are a ton of free Adobe tutorials out there in blog land... I need to actually pay attention to them.

// Be consistent.  I've decided to create a few columns that will be on repeat.  Look out for a few series like "lust list," where I talk about my weekly obsessions, "wear it," where I post outfit suggestions, "weekly roundup," where I list worthy links, "product spotlight," where I review a specific product, and more posts like this one... "real talk," where I just write from the heart.  All of my posts should fall under the very specific categories that I have listed on the right sidebar.  This should make your reading experience easier as my subjects will be clearly defined.

// Become more present on social media.  Enough said.

So, there are a few goals I've set for myself.  Ultimately, I want to bring you a better blog reading experience and no, it will not happen over night.  I think it's important, as with anything you set your mind to, to revisit your goals and really evaluate your successes and failures.  This blog is a work in progress and, although it sounds corny, you all are what makes it worth it.  So thanks for reading!  (especially this post... phew, it's a long one!)

What actions are you working on to become a better blogger?

(photos via Glitter Guide/Catherine Sheppard)



18 comments:

  1. I can so relate to this. I am trying to make my blog into a small business since I stay at home. I don't know how you peeps with full time jobs do it. I try to stay original too but it sucks when people copy your content and it is hard to always come up with new things. Love your list, I am gaining inspiration from it!

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  2. Great list! You totally nailed it! I ask myself on a regular basis, "What is this blog? Is it going to be a business or is it going to stay a hobby?" It's hard to really jump into all of the things it requires to make it a business...the time to devote to new content and improved post layouts, the money to go to conferences, the networking with other bloggers. But we do it because we love it, right? Most of the time... :)

    Thanks for the honest post, and for a great list!

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  3. You have really hit home with me also. Looking forward to the upcoming blogs.

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  4. All so true Meg - I try my best to keep in touch and schedule posts whenever i get that extra free time (rainy days, long weekend evenings and when my hubs is away on business) and I try keep in touch with readers and other bloggers on a daily basis x

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  5. Okay! I can totally relate to this as well as many other bloggers I am sure. I struggle to post everyday as it's very time consuming and because I am a perfectionist it takes me that much longer to finish a post. I try to schedule my posts in advanced so I don't feel rushed in getting it done the night before but sometimes it's hard when you have other things going on in your life.. I also I agree, I sometimes don't know if it's a second job or a hobby? I still try to figure that one out lol..

    Loved this post Megan..
    xo,
    Sincerely Miss Ash

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  6. Great checklist and inspiration. I blog for fun but I can easily see how it can quickly turn into wanting to make a business out of it or constantly pushing yourself to want to make it better and better. I'm on maternity leave right now and I find myself spending a lot more time with my blog and having a lot more fun with it and excited when I get a comment on a post! I think you do a great job, but good luck with your new goals and look forward to your new series.

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  7. I love your blog because it's original and I never feel like you are trying to sell me something. Keep up the great work!

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  8. Thanks so much for sharing Megan, these are great tips! I am at a point where I am trying to grow my blog more and am really trying to work on a lot of these things--thanks for the motivation! xoxo

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  9. These are all such great goals. I think we all struggle with hobby vs. business debate and at what point do we just enjoy being in the moment instead of worrying about capturing something that is worthy of being featured on our little space on the interwebs. I love your blog so much!

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  10. What a great post! I am a long time reader of your blog because you are so real. I love that your posts actually have content and heart to them, I would rather you post things from the heart than post every day. I can't wait to see how your blog changes!!

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  11. Great post! I love how real your blog is.

    As Sarah wrote, your posts don't seem like you are selling something. I've noticed lately that I can look at 10 different blogs and all 10 bloggers are talking about their Celine bags, their J. Crew sweaters, their Lo & Son bags and so on. THAT is unoriginal content. You are posting about things you use and genuinely like and use and purchase with your own money. I appreciate that because I know that your opinions are honest.

    Another thing I love about your blog is that your posts are about your "real" life and not just name dropping other bloggers etc.

    Keep doing what you are doing. A few posts of week of genuine content is far more valuable than churning out the same stuff everyone else is doing day after day.

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  12. Megan thanks for this post! I am a fill-time working gal, too and I really struggle with finding anything of interest to post...and to be honest, sometimes after a long day of work the last thing I want to do it open the computer again to make up a post. I think you have some great ideas that will help me work on getting a 'direction' from my blog. Love your blog--keep up the great work!

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  13. My blog is purely a hobby at this point. I work two jobs (1 full-time manager position and 1 part-time consulting contract) and can not fathom having a 3rd!!! My current goals are not blog related, but I will chime in that I hope to continue using my blog as a method of staying lighthearted and appreciative of the good. It's easy for me to get caught up in how busy I am, things that don't go my way, and not take the time to stop and smell the roses, THAT is what Hominy Girl is about! So, in a sort of backwards way, My goal is to keep my blog free of goals :) Atleast for now!
    Great post, not too long at all!

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  14. Thank you so much for this post! I recently restarted my blog, High Cotton Reverie, and have been thinking about just these things in order to get this new site where I want it to be. I actually just got finished writing my posts for the rest of the week, and am so relieved to not have to worry about them tomorrow night and Friday! I really appreciate the tip on the Adobe software too...will have to look into that soon. I'll have to repost these tips on my blog next week! I love reading your blog and look forward to seeing more!

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  15. Great post, I think blogging regularly can get quite difficult as I get busier and I do applaud the bloggers who can juggle it all but I'm not quite there yet. I think the goals you've set are great and it's definitely helped me to realise that I'm not the only who struggles with my blog organisatiob, thanks for writing this post. x

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  16. You just read my mind! I completely agree with you. I get off from work at 5:30 every day so it's tough. Great goals! Great post!

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  17. I can completely relate and agree with everything about this 100%. It is really my goal to make my site what I want it to be - a creative outlet to share my passions outside of my 9-5 job! I'm in the process of making an editorial calendar and style guide so that everything can be consistent. I also want to start reaching out to other bloggers as well! I think your list is a great start - and I love following your blog so definitely know you're doing an awesome job :)

    lovethislifeblog.com

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  18. Is ditto enough said? To every single point. Hello future of small business at home & blogging what I actually want to!

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