Highs and Lows

Happy August everyone! How can it be the last month of summer already? I apologize for not blogging as much during this recent months — I’ve been trying to enjoy the summer months, especially as they’ve been flying by. I also can’t seem to get out of this blogging funk I’ve been in; it’s really hit me hard and with my one-year blog-iversary looming closer I feel pressured to keep the content running as high quality and voluminous as when I first started.

Let me back it up a bit: when I began almost a year ago, I was so enthusiastic and full of crazy ideas. I was cooking up collaboration ideas, crazy recipes and the best top 10 lists you’d ever seen. I was pumping out two stories a week (crazy now, I know), collaborating at least once a month and had a goal to be at 10,000 followers on Instagram by 2018. At the time, I remember thinking these goals were 100% doable, but admittedly I forgot a tiiiiiiiiny detail: I work a full time day job and despite devoting my evenings and weekends to my blog, couldn’t keep up with the expectations I had laid out for myself.

And because of this, I inevitably ran into blog fatigue.

There’s been a lot of talk recently about “influencers” and the shady grey areas bloggers have had to resort to in order to combat the dreaded Instagram algorithm. To me, this issue is black and white. I admittedly have participated in a few contests in order to boost my growth (and full disclosure: while I get a spike in followers, many of them leave right after so the spike is marginal). To me, this is akin to boosting your post on Facebook or running Facebook ads. Where it gets into the “DO NOT TOUCH WITH A TEN FOOT POLE” area is when bloggers use services to like, follow and comment on your behalf. Again, I did try this in the beginning but felt so dirty seeing my comment “So nice, love it!” on a random person’s workout picture that I stopped that same day.

Why do I bring this up you ask? Because this pressure to grow… no, just to keep up, is insane, and my priorities have become warped. I’ve focused on the numbers, instead of the quality of the pictures; I’ve spent too much analyzing my follower growth and extrapolating next month’s numbers instead of writing quality content. And girl (aka me 6 months ago), a quick paragraph about how you went berry picking last weekend does NOT qualify as quality content.

So here’s my resolution to you: I will continue to create quality content in the way that only I know how, whether it’s a silly story about my corgi, a new gluten-free recipe I learned or the best purse discovery ever, but I will always aim to provide value whether it’s through my story-telling or images. But the numbers game is something that’s out of my control (ahhhhhhh, says my inner control freak) and ultimately, with good quality and consistency, comes organic, authentic, real growth.

Thanks to all who have followed along this far, the best is yet to come.

Ana

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