This June marked my five year anniversary of this blog, which I originally created to be a rental decorating and DIY blog. In those five years I’ve seen so many changes in the blog world, and seen so many even younger blogs become famously successful almost overnight.
At first, I saw my traffic climbing steadily through 2012, but ever since then it’s been steadily decreasing, as the travel and work demands from my day job have increased and I’ve dedicated more hours on my handmade business.
With traffic half of what it was two years ago (14,000 visits a month vs. 30,000) I’ve been questioning my blog’s purpose all year. With my mom terminally ill and now in hospice care, my somewhat stable little schedule has been temporarily disrupted as Ryan and I are traveling between DC and Delaware regularly to spend time with family but still work. Maybe it’s a weird silver lining, but this situation has made it so clear to me that I need to let go of my vision for the blog.
I remember the days when Young House Love was a baby blog, when there were fewer cliques and design bloggers were all just sharing sincere and real posts about their projects. Now it feels as though, in order to have a successful design blog you must have magazine-quality photos and staged photos for every post and project you share, and you must have a constant stream of DIY projects and makeovers popping up in your readers’ feeds in order to keep their interest. Also, it seems that many design bloggers are able to constantly make over rooms and buy new furniture. That’s not in my time or financial budget, nor does it fit with my interest in being eco-friendly.
I’m tired of comparing my home and blog to that of others. I’m not usually that kind of person, but this blog seems to have that effect on me – and I don’t like it!
I bought a ticket to the Haven conference (which was last week) but then re-sold it a month ago because I felt my blog wasn’t good enough or popular enough and why should I spend all that money to travel only to sit in a conference and feel inadequate. I know that sounds harsh, but it seemed most of the attendees would be full-time professional bloggers. And that I am not. Not by a long shot.
Also, it seems that many design bloggers are able to constantly make over rooms and buy new furniture. That’s not in my time or financial budget, nor does it fit with my interest in being eco-friendly.
Honestly, while I love design and DIY and want to hone my design skills, do projects, and post about them regularly, I have found that I just can’t, no matter how many times I’ve tried to. Every year my time and travel requirements for the day job increase. Additionally, I think if I hadn’t started Janery I may have been able to develop a more stable blog, but I’ve finally accepted that I’ve spread myself too thin.
My life is changing right now, and I want to be sure that by next year I’ve changed it in the way that’s right for me. I’m not leaving this blog behind, but its purpose will be adjusted.
I want to blog when I have an awesome DIY project or room makeover to share, but not feel pressured to do it regularly.
I want to feel comfortable blogging in shorter posts, sharing something fun I did without feeling the need to create a tutorial – unless it’s actually a super unique and tricky project.
I want to do more Craigslist Palace posts because that was a ton of fun, getting to decorate an imaginary room with thrifted finds. But that post took me hours to complete, and I don’t always have that time.
I want to find my style again. As I type, I’m sitting on my couch and looking at some floral pillows on it. They’re pretty, but not “me”. I’ve mostly stopped reading design blogs because I think they were skewing my sense of my personal style. I realized this when Ryan and I went on the mid-century modern home tour.
Right now I’m trying to decide if I should have two part-time blogs or one overall blog. When the Janery website launches, I’ll have a Janery blog that customers can read. I’m wondering if I should post my occasional home projects there, or if I should keep them happening here.
I sometimes wish I’d never started a blog, because it’s very hard to let go of it and accept change. But I have met some amazing people through it, and that makes it all worthwhile! Also, I think I need to focus on what this blog has inspired me to do – like building furniture. That’s something I never thought I’d do.For awesome updates & exclusive discounts on Janery pet beds, please sign up for my newsletter!