I have had quite a few blogs over the course of my life. During my junior year of college (in 2007), I started a blog while I studied abroad, called American in Morocco (on Blogger). It detailed my experience living in Rabat, Tangier, and Casablanca (plus my trips to Marrakech). Several years later, working as a teacher, I decided to start a sustainable lifestyle blog called The Garden Apt (around 2012), originally on blogger I moved it to WordPress. It eventually evolved into a book blog called Wearing Lit, where I would pair books with outfits. Once I started White Oak Creative, I realized that it’s impossible for a solopreneur to run two successful brands from the ground up. So, both of those lifestyle blogs deleted, and I focused full time on running my business.
With those first blogging experiences, blogging was about the story. It was not formulaic, marketing writing. So much of blogging today is marketing writing – best practices and tips. It’s meant to attract new readers, but not build on your existing audience.
I mentioned in this post how I love to get lost in stories, whether books, television, or movies. As a solopreneur, the day is only filled with so many hours. In order to maintain a healthy work/life balance and continuing to grow my business. I realized that I was doing a poor job of generating stories.
At times, I found writing for my blog laborsome. Marketing writing is not necessarily fun. It’s formulaic and clear. You know you’ll have an intro, supporting points, and a closing question or action steps. It’s the equivalent to the five-paragraph essay. Though there is another approach to marketing writing that’s about “being honest“, “can I be honest for a minute“, or “sharing my real story.” I not only NOT subscribe to those approaches (I find them sloppy and unprofessional), but I find them incredibly disingenuous and poorly written.
Changing My Approach
When I examined certain elements of my brand during the sabbatical/rebrand, I looked at avenues in which I was generating written content and brainstormed ways I could make them work for me.
- Instagram (and other social media): Previously, my content came off as extremely sales-y – read this, buy this, check out this. Instead, I’ve opted for more thoughtful approach, using the platforms short-lived timespan to build a complete picture of my brand and who I am. This means fewer posts on Instagram and Facebook, but more content.
- Coffee Chats: A few years ago, I had a weekly newsletter with White Oak Creative called SmarterSaturdays. I use to dedicate my Saturdays to investing in learning new skills and starting my business while full-time working. At the time, I didn’t have a good balance of studio work and life, so I eventually stopped that series. With the rebrand, I knew I wanted to revisit that series in a weekly newsletter. Personally, I prefer newsletters to sales-y emails. Each Friday, I will be sending out an email with subscriber-only content. It aims to seem like you and I met for coffee. It’s intimate and sweet! You can sign up for it here.
- Studio Stories: (because I love alliterations). This new series aims to bring back the story blogging approach within the realm of this brand. I plan to focus on topics related to design, digital business, and development, but they won’t be told through marketing speak. They likely won’t be as SEO friendly as other content. They are personal essays. How they help or hinder my brand only time will tell.
Finding The Right Platform
When I initially thought about starting this series, I wondered if another platform would be better for it – such as Medium. I quickly ruled out that option. Part of my sabbatical involved simplifying. From my experience selling digital downloads on Etsy and Creative Market, having my content all in one place is far more beneficial for my brand.
If you are finding writing laborsome or uninspiring, I definitely suggest you take a break and examine what you love. This sabbatical and slowing down has helped my brand tremendously!
What do you miss about blogging?
Interested in working together?
I’d love to hear about your project!