Hey there! Just a check in with what I've learnt from my little survey a couple of weeks ago and what that means for me and my blogs future.
First - what did I learn?
1. I have awesome blog readers. I always knew that - but I'm very pleased that some of you filled out the survey and proved me right. It's all very well Bloglovin saying you have so many followers and then Squarespace saying a totally different number - but to see actual engagement (other than comments which are dwindling all over these days) is very heartwarming and reassuring. I'm so glad that you're here. A few of you even remembered when I blogged on Blogger and that really made my day.
2. You are spread out around the world! And boy do I really love that - Europe, America, even the Philippines!
3. Some of you would download things from me and some of you wouldn't - some would pay, some wouldn't. I had guessed that would be the case putting together the survey together but its nice to know rather than just assume things and worrying about it down the line.
So, now... the real question - why did I write this survey? My Dad sat me down and asked me the same thing last week - his words were 'it's your blog, do what you want.' which is very sound advice Dad : ) and usually that is how I roll around here - hence the random weeks off and occasionally word splurge posts like this one.
So why the survey...
1. This blog costs me money - it is only about £200 a year with Squarespace fees, Flickr payments and the odd expense on things - but its always money I forget to budget for and every year I question paying for it and if its worth me continuing on. I could move back to Blogger and not pay as much but I love Squarespace and I love that my blog looks awesome. I could just delete it and be done - but I think I'd lose more than just a space on the internet... I'd lose memories, contacts with amazing people and a lot of hard work from the last 6 years. Deleting is not an option.
So, I'd like to try and earn just a little bit of money back so that this blog can pay for itself and it doesn't become another thing that I worry about. Maybe I could even buy more film and take more photos and then actually have more to blog about... but that's not really a big deal if not - it would just be a bonus.
One person mentioned that they like that I don't sell things - and I'm definitely going to try and not become that blogger that pushes things with every post or sells a lifestyle, etc. If I sell things, it will be all from me, something unique to this blog and things I want to share and feel that are of value - and lets be honest, for the amount of money I want to make, I'll probably sell it for less than I should ha.
2. I like a challenge. Most things I love I've started from scratch with no formal learning as such, just me finding the resources I can - blogging, crochet, yoga, photography... and I've loved pushing myself to get better at them. I want to know if I could make this blog something sustainable for me - I want to know if I can give it a future where I don't have to worry about money and I can focus on quality and consistency. I want this blog to be at its best and that's going to require a little bit of help from other people - not for nothing of course - but for something awesome. I want to see if I can make awesome things and I wanted to know before I put all the effort in if people would actually want them.
3. I have things to say and I wanted to feel validated in saying them. A lot of effort goes into writing posts - I put a lot of myself into this blog and if you were just here for the pretty photos, then I'd feel a bit like my words aren't even being read. And I didn't like that idea at all. Luckily a lot of you like the words as well as the photos. Phew!
As expected - some of you want to read about my depression recovery and some don't - this is going to be a tough one to balance I think. Some days are bad and I write pretty intense posts that I delete after a few days and never publish. I've thought about this a lot and I know now that I don't want to be the person that dwells on the bad days - I want to be the person that inspires people to work on their good days and use their creativity and perseverance to feel better about themselves. I'm going to keep thinking on this but I do feel like that's the way to go - it is so easy to get caught up in the bad and there are enough people that talk about that online to help others already. I want to help people see that the good is worth fighting for and that they can do it. I really feel that if I can do something, then anyone can and I want to share that and inspire others. I want you to know that I believe in you.
So there we are, I think that covers everything. If you have any feedback you'd like to add now you have a vague idea of what's going on - I'd love to hear it. I've always tried to be honest and approachable on here - and everywhere online and offline - so please comment away and let me know what you think.
p.s. I totally resisted putting this in as an image on here - but I'm sad/nerdy enough to put a link to it in a footnote, hehehe, indulge me.
p.p.s. If you want to fill in the survey but haven't yet - you can still do that here.