As I booked the train tickets to yet another networking event in August (Oh hello LoveLuxe launch!), my husband looked at me and said: ‘I’m happy you are going to all these events, but you’re not making any money from the blog yet, so you have to start calculating your expenses and really push this thing forward’. And there was me thinking that he would never notice how much I spend on drinks, train fares, petrol and lunches out…! But he makes a really valid point, one that perhaps touches a sensitive chord.
When I started Linen and Silk Blog I viewed it as a form of escape from my daily corporate routine. I would have never dreamt of being invited by wedding suppliers and fellow bloggers to events, so I didn’t begin the whole journey by making cashflow forecasts, expenses records and all the admin chores that running the blog as a business would require. Perhaps a bit naively, I started spending money on the blog to make it prettier all the while thinking that I would never be able to make money from it. And I don’t. Not for now. But somehow the goal has changed, and I don’t know how to handle it.
I need this blog to grow and become a source of income, but I’ve realised that the moment I focus on this goal, my inspiration goes out of the window. It’s as if the blog becomes my boss and the more it pressurizes me to write, the more I want to want to do the opposite*. When that happens I spend hours and hours staring at the computer achieving nothing and ultimately sacrificing my own personal life and precious time with my husband, which makes me deeply unhappy.
I wrote a guest post for another blogger a few days ago. It was one of those introspective exercises that forced me to dig deep into one of the reasons why I am who I am and how I can draw from my experience to help others avoid similar mistakes. I had to re-write it 3 times, as I realised that I wasn’t being honest with myself. I kept writing half-stories and never really get to the bottom of it. So I parked the post for a few days, came back to it a week later and started rewriting it. And this time, I told the real story. That post led to another guest post (all to be published in the next few weeks) and made me realise that digging deep is what I’m good at, and that this blog of mine cannot exist on the basis of superficial wedding inspiration and prettiness.
I have always maintained that my blog should be a reflection of who I am so that potential clients are attracted to me for my personality and my taste. I need to find a way to make my introspective self coexist with my love for weddings. I don’t write for money. I write because I love writing, sharing, and making others happy.
All in all, I’ve found that this is an interesting, if not difficult journey, one that I want to continue because I enjoy it, not simply because it will eventually become a source of income.
If you are a blogger, how do you balance your desire to be 100% yourself with pleasing your readers? Do you find that the pressure of writing a blog in order to make money hinders your inspiration?
Have a lovely day,
* It must be a sign of madness, because I have a semi-human relationship with chocolate too. Sometimes I feel anger towards my Nutella jar, and I end up having to hide it because it makes me upset!