I started writing to my newsletter subscribers but it became much too long for an email, so I’m sharing my thoughts here. Let’s have a catch up… grab a cuppa!
Things have changed. Times have changed.
I’ve been blogging for almost 11 years (!) and I’ve watched the online landscape alter completely over that time. I started my blog the red thread in 2008 as a place to share what I was making and to curate everything I saw and loved. It was two years before Pinterest existed! The number of blogs was relatively small then, the internet was growing exponentially and there was a very strong sense of community amongst bloggers and readers. I was lucky to make lots of genuine connections and friendships – many of which I still have today, both online and off.
As the blogging community grew there were more and more (mostly) women sharing their lives and loves online and creating little niches for themselves. Blog posts would often have more than a hundred comments and there was a real dialogue happening – a little like the creative community on Instagram a couple of years ago before the much maligned algorithm change. Instagram wasn’t even a thing back in 2008, nor were influencers!
My reason for blogging has always been to curate and share my finds, and to inspire and encourage creativity in others. It’s never been about creating a business and employing people to contribute, building an empire or becoming ‘the face’ of the blog or anything else. I don’t like to be the centre of attention, even in real life… even on my birthday! I’ve never been one to share my personal life online, and have felt strongly about respecting my daughter’s privacy as she’s grown from toddler to teenager. I’d much rather just get on and do what I love. I’ve always struggled with being commercial – no doubt to my detriment. The bottom line is that I’m a somewhat introverted creative. I measure my success on a much more personal level… although blogging is hard work and actually getting paid for it (and covering costs) is good too! In the early days bloggers made money by having sidebar banner ads. I have to admit that I was too much of a design snob to have ads on my blog. Hahaha! But what I have always enjoyed is brand partnerships where I can create and photograph original content.
In 2015 I joined forces with Rebecca – a fellow longtime blogger – to launch We Are Scout. We made a great team with complimentary skills but unfortunately our partnership didn’t work. It’s taken me the last few years to get over that and try to get my online mojo back. I also started a new job last year after being self employed and working from home for nearly 20 years! So my life has become much more structured than before.
Having an online presence has brought some great work opportunities my way including styling fantastic events and hosting lots of creative workshops, as well as being featured in printed and online publications around the world. When I started I was a designer and maker and all about the visuals, which meant I was insecure about my writing skills. But consistent blogging has changed that. Fast forward 11 years and writing and communications are now a big part of what I do for others.
On the downside, putting out daily content for years can sometimes feel relentless and thankless when there’s less sense of community, endless scrolling and minimal reading, the demand for more and more, and the misplaced idea that bloggers are selling out if they partner with brands.
I’ve missed being here on the daily over the past couple of years. Although I feel like I’ve lost momentum I’m still enthusiastic to share what I love and to continue to make Scout a lovely, inspiring place to visit. I’ve put so many years into blogging that I can’t – and have no desire to – walk away. I don’t know exactly what the future will look like or if things may change going forward, but I’m going to keep on keeping on. I’m endlessly inspired by interiors and styling, designers, artists and creatives of all kinds and I want to continue to curate and share what I love. I want to reclaim my creativity and share more craft and tutorials. It’s something that’s at the core of who I am, but seems to have been lost long the way. Like many of you, my day to day juggle is real – I’m a single parent with a job and no financial support, trying to be the best mother and person I can be, wanting to live a happy and creative life, get enough sleep and keep my mental health on an even keel!
If you’ve read this far you may have been waiting for a big revelation – sorry to disappoint, but I haven’t had an epiphany and have no amazing new plans to reveal! I just wanted to say a more personal hello and look back on what’s brought me to this point in my blogging life. I don’t feel like there’s any drastic change in the air, but rather I’m regrouping and moving forward in a way that continues to feel genuine to me – and I hope to you too!
I know I’m probably going to be putting these questions out into the ether, but if you feel like engaging (just like in the glory days of blogging!) leave a comment and let’s have a conversation. Or shoot me an email. Do you feel like blogs are still relevant? Do you actually read them, or just scroll through the photos? Are you a blogger, or were you once? What do you like (or dislike) about We Are Scout and what would you like to see more of here?
Thanks for visiting – if it’s your first time or you’ve been with me since the red thread, I’m glad you’re here!