Twelve years is a long time, ESPECIALLY in blog years. When I first started this site, it was 100% for fun. I had no idea it would ever make a penny, but the blog world grew and evolved so quickly—it was mind blowing. We were so lucky to be in the right place and the right time, already blogging when that shift happened. But we also worked our asses off, and still do! Anyway, that’s not the point of why I’m here today.
I’m here today to talk about how we still LOVE blogging after 12 years. In that span of time we’ve seen the blogging world change and grow and then change some more. Many of my favorite blogs for years past made the decision to stop blogging or move on. It’s definitely been a topic of conversation in our close circle of blog friends—”What is your end goal? What is your exit strategy?” Emma and I even talked about this as recently as two days ago.
What’s crazy to me is that I through all the highs and lows, I truly still love blogging just for fun. I even have a family blog on the side that I do just for fun. Emma and I have had hundreds of conversations over the years about which types of posts we enjoy, which type we dread, what’s easier or more difficult, expensive, or hard on our marriages (lol, anything where you have to receive a ton of boxes). Those factors change over time. We’ve also changed the type of posts we write. Where I used to feel happiest sharing a craft tutorial or a wishlist type of roundup, I am currently most inspired by posts like this where I just get to talk—and also big room tours because they keep me challenged and growing. Emma has her own list!
We’ve said over and over that even if we decide at some point to stop blogging professionally, we would still enjoy blogging for fun. I guess that’s the best you can hope for in a career really. Right?
Here are a few keys to how and why I still enjoy blogging after 12 years:
1. I allow myself room to change.
I am an enneagram 7 and I have often lost interest in things I was once obsessed with. That’s part of why I’m so surprised I never get tired of blogging, and I’m starting to think I never will. I’m probably about 70% a different person than I was at age 24 when I started this blog. I’ve changed, my life has changed, my hobbies have changed. Almost everything is different.
Leaving room to change and grow, and having a diverse lineup of content is the reason I’ve been able to stay interested all this time! I will admit I get envious of bloggers who do just one thing really well— interiors, food … whatever it may be. But for me, having the option to jump around and try different categories has been so helpful!
2. I am not afraid to fail and move on.
We fail all the time, people just don’t notice. People see the successes but they don’t see the failures. We’re currently winding things up with our beauty brand Oui Fresh—we’re going to transition it to be JUST the beauty box this fall. We kind of failed. It wasn’t horrible, but it certainly wasn’t growing and thriving like a lot of other parts of our business, so we’re moving on.
Early on in the blog we had a vintage store—I actually had two storefronts if you dig through our archives long enough. They were so cute and fun, but they failed financially. I still miss decorating those store windows, but we moved on.
When I was 27, I spent all my money making demos for a toy line. I got pretty far along and even presented it in person to one of the biggest toy companies in the world, but it didn’t work out. It could have changed my life, but it didn’t happen. Just a few years later, we made our first app and it did change my life and our business path forever. You remember the successes, you don’t remember the heartbreaks.
Failure is not a big deal to me. If we let our fear of failure control us, we wouldn’t be nearly as successful as we are today. You win some, you lose some!
3. I blog about my changing interests.
To be fair, I don’t blog about all my interests. I do keep some things just for fun, but in the early days of this blog I pretty much shared everything I was interested in, working on, watching, listening to or trying out.
I like that I CAN blog about whatever I am interested in—I mean, through the years I’ve blogged about so many random things. Whole 30, wallpaper, essential oils, our adoptions, KonMari … haha. At face value it doesn’t make sense to combine all those topics on one blog. But it works because they’re all things I was passionate about at some point.
In other words, keeping it fresh!
4. We found our boundaries.
There are so many things we never talk about on the blog—90% of it you probably don’t even notice. Setting up healthy boundaries is key, but each person has to do the work fo figure out their own boundaries. Early on I used to think that if someone else didn’t do this or that (or did), it meant that was right or wrong. Definitely not. My sister and I even have different tolerances for what we feel comfortable sharing and how often. Each person has to figure out their own healthy space and guard it.
Now that I’m older (and wiser!), I almost never judge another blogger’s choices or boundaries because I recognize that THEY are the only ones who have to live with their choices, and I live with mine. There’s no rule book for this.
5. I consider my blog readers my friends.
Although it may sound cheesy, I do have the occasion fairly often to meet one of you, whether in the airport or the aisle of Target or at a blogger event. Without fail, these experiences inspire me and remind me that I’m writing this blog for real people—people who I have a LOT in common with. It’s the family you choose, as they say. 🙂
Whether you’re a brand new reader or someone who has been here all 12 years, thank you for reading!!!! We appreciate it and love doing this! I can honestly see myself blogging when I am my mom’s age, which makes me so happy.
Cheers to 20 more years! For real. xx- Elsie