Hello! It’s been a while since a chatty post hasn’t it? You might have noticed there have been a few changes around here since you last came and I thought it was about time I put down a few words about my little space on the internet and where it’s heading.
November 2018 marks six whole years since I started my blog. Six. Whole. Years. Over half a decade. I recently went through a LOT of old blog posts from good ol’ 2012, cringed deeply at how awful they were, and swiftly archived them.
When I think about where I was six years ago, I was just about to finish school and start university. I really loved reading other people’s blogs and I have always kept a journal of some description (would highly recommend not reading about your 8-year-old woes when you reach 23 though) so I bought a domain and the internet was my oyster. I must admit, starting a blog three months before my mock A-levels wasn’t ideal timing. Despite this, me and my self-timer fashion shots somehow got shortlisted in the Company Magazine Style blogger awards (RIP) and suddenly I had to tell everyone what I was doing. And I did pass my A-levels and got into uni, in case you were wondering.
So where am I going with this? I’ve been doing a lot of reflection on my blog recently. To be honest with you, I’ve felt like I’ve been in a bit of a funk with it over the last year or so. I’ve not posted consistently, I often felt like I was posting ‘just because’ and I always feel like everyone else always has the better opportunities because they’ve been able to be consistent with their blogs. A full-time job, anxiety and a serious case of cba have often led to me not blogging for months.
However, two things have given me a real kick up the butt over the past few weeks.
Firstly, travel. I have made my annual leave go FAR this year. I’ve seen so much of the world in one year and amongst that, I’ve discovered I really bloody love writing about it all. Travel blogging in once place I never thought I’d see my blog go, but hey, I’m absolutely embracing it. I love sharing my photos and tips for travelling to different places because I love reading travel blogs myself, and they are my first port of call if I want to find the best places to eat in say, New York. (Shameless plug, soz)
Secondly, I’ve unfollowed loads of people on Instagram and Twitter who were making me feel a bit shitty about myself. I follow and engage with inspiring accounts that urge me to be better at everything I do. One of those people is Vix Meldrew. I’ve read her blog for ages and she is absolutely KILLING IT right now. I’ve absolutely loved listening to her podcasts, and her first one about finding your blog niche really got my fire started. She asks the big questions. “What is your why?”
WHAT IS MY WHY????
Well, I couldn’t find my why, that was my problem. My why had well and truly wilted and got lost under a pile of self-doubt and comparison.
So I went about finding my why, and it turns out my why was right there, in all those cringey old blog posts. (That you definitely won’t be able to find, because I removed them ALL and they are archived for my eyes only)
I blog because I like to write. I like to share my experiences with the world and document them for myself at the same time.
Cue mindmaps galore.
Now onto my next point…
I don’t really want to be an influencer. And I don’t really like that word, tbh.
I don’t know when bloggers started becoming Influencers, but it was probably around the same time that really long captions became a thing on Instagram and everyone realised you might not need a blog any more. Le sigh.
But I read a FANTASTIC post by Em Clarkson (who you should also follow, she’s bloody great) about the future of blogging and she makes an excellent point:
“If Instagram were to disappear tomorrow, I suspect an awful lot of professionals would be left standing with their dicks in their hands. (And nowhere to upload the photos to).
All of us, anyone that has ever made a penny via an online platform, would find themselves up shit creek, without a paddle in sight.”
Preach. It. Sister.
Blogging is the OG. It’s what made me fall in love with the internet in the first place. How many times have you slammed down your phone because you are SICK of looking at skinny people drinking teatoxes on Instagram? I mean, for me, several times, but now I’ve unfollowed them all. But blogs? There’s weight behind blog posts. Blog posts mean you have SOMETHING to say, that isn’t always hi buy this top, hi book this holiday.
I LOVE BLOGS. Long live the blog.
So I am a blogger. That is what I define myself as It doesn’t mean I can’t work with brands, it doesn’t mean I can’t grow my online space. I just don’t like the idea of influencing people too much. I know that that’s technically blogging and the two terms are quite interchangeable, but I would hope people come to my blog for relatable reality and to feel a bit hungry. I don’t think I could ever take this thing full time, but I absolutely want to make the most of this part-time job/hobby that I love.
This post is getting long and I’m sure you’re thinking, “Soph, please just tell us what you’re bloody planning.”
My focus is shifting away from fashion, away from beauty. It’s not me anymore. I like food. I like travel. I like sharing my experiences with the world. So, to those who said they like food content in my recent Twitter and Instagram polls – you win! Same to those who voted travel. *high five*
I’ll still write these chatty posts and my mental health/lifestyle content will stick around too. My new direction isn’t going to constrict me that much. Hey, my blog is called Sophie etc, AKA Sophie anything-I-feel-like-writing-about. I must congratulate past me for not choosing a constrictive blog name.
I also jumped for joy when I realised how much people love my Milton Keynes content. So THANK YOU for all your lovely DMs because it meant a lot. And it’s also propelled me into a project. The MK Food Guide is officially going to launch… at some point. I’ve already written a coffee shop guide, but the plan is to have ‘living’ posts with lots of different food spots I love in the MK area. So this is going to involve a lot of eating. I’m really excited to start on this not-so-little challenge!
There we go. A very long ramble, but a ramble I feel very happy to have written. Sometimes, blogging is as simple as just being good old catharsis.
It feels SO GOOD to have found my groove again!
And 10/10 to Kaye, who I adore and who did these photos for me. I love shooting with her and she captures my personality PERFECTLY.