May 07, 2018

Ten Years In Blogging | Some Thoughts On Where I Am… And Where I Want To Be

ten years in blogging

Ten years in and what do I know?

Among the numerous thoughts that have been running amok in my head of late is one on repeat. Ten Years Woman – you’ve been blogging for ten bloody years! That’s quite phenomenal and, apart from the one I have with my husband, it’s the longest love interest I’ve ever had. If you missed the story of how the blog and I began by the way, here’s the condensed version.

So what to do to celebrate ten years in “Da industry”?? What indeed…

This blogiversary happens to coincide with a period of self-reflection that has me questioning numerous things related to blogging, social media and everything that goes along with it. I’m pondering my place within it all, what feels right to me, what doesn’t, how I define my success, the longevity of earning a small but perfectly formed living from it and just a general “Am I hitting this right?”

I N  A S S U M P T I O N  A N D  C O M P A R I S O N  L I E S  G R E A T  D A N G E R . . .

I guess I’m having a *taps computer screen* and enquires “Helloooo… Is There Anybody There?? How Am I Doing?” moment. How is what I do received and perceived? Should I or could I be doing more to ensure a secure future in this online playing field?

Am I strategic enough and should I do more of what my peers are doing? Are the things that my peers are doing working for them? I don’t know… I can only assume. And in assumption, as well as comparison, lies great danger… and a lot of precious time wasted.

viewing online stylist blog on a mobile device

You see, I can always continue this blog as a hobby project. If my earnings from affiliate marketing and the occasional brand sponsorship ceased tomorrow, I can still write a blog. But it wouldn’t look anything like this one.

This blog is my blossom in (very slow-mo) bloom – it has to evolve, live and breathe. Running it in it’s current (and future) guise requires a monthly outlay that sometimes has me worrying about it’s survival in an always developing environment.

As a surviving business my running costs are pretty minimal compared to some. As well as subscribing to the various services needed to keep it functioning, technically healthy and fit for reader purpose; it requires funds for for photography, domain hosting, video editing, occasional copy contribution and various image editing tools.

sunglasses and coffee

succulents in white pot

Like any business owner, I feel a sense of responsibility to keep it’s head above water and at a minimum, keep the costs covered. Thank god I don’t employ staff – I couldn’t deal with that stress of that!

But then up pops that nagging voice in my head that states, surely, employing some additional help is the only way to grow? If I want to free up my time to drive forwards and do the creation and strategy part, I need some assistance. What to do?

And that’s where I’ve decided to stop. Right there.

Do I want to be frequently travelling away from home to go on lots more trips and events? Do I want to hand some responsibility for what I’ve spent ten years creating to someone else, even just a little bit? Do I want the additional pressure and let’s face it, the additional shizzle, that usually goes along with being on that kind of trajectory?

Nope. Not one little bit.

working from home in light minimal space

I adore, am inspired by, admire and lets face it, practically stalk, a fair few bloggers who are running their businesses this way. I think they are bloody amazing! In my eyes they are super blogging goddesses who are setting the world on fire by getting out there and creating a whole business based around their passions. Who wouldn’t want that? Unless that wasn’t what they wanted.

At the risk of sounding like Tom Cruise in Jerry McGuire with his ill-fated mission statement, here’s what I want…

I turn 49 next week and I want to finally accept where I am in blog business life and be happy and content about it. I want to carry on being inspired and inspiring others. I want to keep creating beautiful imagery and proffering my opinions and passions for style, home and life and sometimes share the meanderings of my innermost thoughts.

P E A C E  I S  T H E  O P P O S I T E  O F  C O M P A R I S O N

I want more honesty and less assumption. I want more self encouragement and less self doubt… and a lot less comparison. Google “What is the opposite of comparison?” and stare hard at the third entry down. It says “Peace is the opposite of comparison”. That’s what I want.

I’d like to believe that I can carry on doing what I do from a heartfelt perspective, do the things that feel right and good and continue to thrive as a small business. I want to know that it’s possible to succeed by staying true to what Online Stylist has always been about instead of forcing it into something I don’t want it to be.

sitting on the sofa reading online stylist blog on the sofa

Do you think these things are possible or am I chasing some kind of hashtagged, gentle life fairytale?

Alongside normal OS content as usual, I’m thinking of launching a Ten Years In series to start some discussion on honesty, perfectionism, the definition of success, self-doubt and yes, that evil other little blighter… comparison.

I’d love to know if this is something you’d be interested in reading more about so feel free to drop me a comment below, an email or a message over on the ‘Gram of course!

Here’s to #TenYearsIn and now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to raise a glass of fizz to still being here! Thank you as ever for always being here with me!

Amanda xx

24 comments on “Ten Years In Blogging | Some Thoughts On Where I Am… And Where I Want To Be”

  1. Yes, please, all of that! I would love to be involved in those discussions as they are issues I deal with constantly but often internalise them as there is no forum or ‘safe space’ to share and get support. Thank you for having the vision to bring this forward, it is much needed and will be much valued! X

    1. Hi Michele,
      I’m so pleased that you feel these things should be discussed! I’m really hopeful that some honest blog posts will make others feel more comfortable with what they go through too.
      Amanda xx

  2. Good Morning Lovely!

    Such a thought provoking post and I love it!!

    I think you already know, but I support you wholeheartedly in the direction you are going with your blog. As a fellow small business owner, all we’ve ever set out to do is have a business that does what it does in the best way possible for our clients, yet on the business side of things cover its costs and bring us a modest income to allow us to live a comfortable life. And we’re getting there!

    But like you, I often have moments of doubt often fuelled by the fierce competition out there comparing what we’re doing to them & beating myself up profusely if I don’t feel we’re hitting the mark.

    And then I stop and think. Would I want to be working all the hours god sends, flogging myself into the ground, not being around for my girls, not having the time I know I need to look after myself. I do not. And I also know that I have my limitations and that I would very quickly crumble under the pressure of it all which would only be hugely counterproductive to the business.

    The go-getters will probably tell you that you are chasing some kind of fluffy hash tagged fairytale – but I truly believe that you aren’t; that you and I are both in a lucky enough position to be able to have that balance we’re wanting. So why shouldn’t we?

    Acceptance is definitely the key to it all. It brings with it such power, such control and will definitively kick self-doubt and comparison into touch. And most importantly I think it creates freedom in our minds so that we can go on and achieve what we want to do!

    So this Monday morning I’m raising my coffee cup to you my gorgeous friend on your amazing 10 years in blogging which is without doing absolutely amazing and to acceptance – and lots of more of it!


    1. Why Hello Lovely Jo!
      Am so glad that it resonated with you – I think that whatever our business or whatever it is that we do for a living, we all feel this way. It’s human nature.
      But the so so important part is to give it time to think about it, acknowledge it and then as you say, think about what we really do (and don’t) want.
      I always feel incredibly lucky to be in a position where I can control the balance and that it allows me to take time for H, the Mr and Biscuit when I need to so from now on in I’m determined not to waste this opportunity!
      Raising you my morning smoothie to ten more years and celebrating our successes – big and small!
      Amanda xxx

  3. The discovery of peace, a gentle acceptance of the rightness and perspective of the lives we have crafted, or been fortunate enough to unearth, is one of the benefits of being around on this planet for a while. There’s room for all at the table, and how lucky you are to have found your sweet spot, a place of growth and challenge, but one where you can still breathe enough to smell the roses.

    You have found a way to share, inspire and create conversation, things that I did in a former profession. I used to say, and passionately believe, that if you reach one person, change one life, open one set of eyes-literally or metaphorically-then you, and they, have succeeded in enhancing life.

    Bravo, and I look forward to what the 10 more years hold.


    1. Thank you so much Deborah for your beautiful and wise words!
      The thought of inspiring just a handful of people makes me very happy indeed – I just think sometimes we forget to look at all the good parts and instead focus on what’s next. Or what we think should be next!
      Here’s to the next ten years indeed and thank you for being part of it all!
      Amanda xx

  4. Hi Amanda
    I started following you after reading an article in The Times about you. As I live in the same area and love Highcliffe beach too I love your posts; they are inspiring and beautiful. I follow others too who lead more frantic lives but you need to be true to yourself and what you want to achieve. Good luck in the future, I will always enjoy your posts.

    1. Hi Karen,
      How brilliant to hear that you’re local and yet you discovered the blog after the Times piece – I love that! You’re so right – it all comes down to being true to yourself and what you value when push comes to shove.
      Thanks so much for your support and kind words!
      Amanda xx

  5. Do it Amanda, I’d love to be part of the 10 Years in discussion….even though I am only about 10 minutes in! I think that you always have to try and keep coming back to what feels right to you..The beauty of blogging should be that it is what you darn well want it to be.

    1. Thank you Helen! Ten years – ten minutes – no matter! We all have something to bring to the table!
      And exactly that – blogging can be what you want it to be. I might have to pin that one to the inspiration board above my desk!
      Amanda xx

  6. You know, one of the things that I love about your blog is the “you” that shines through. And I think that if you continue you will continue to succeed.

    Happy blog-iversary!

  7. You spent the energy reflecting options and how they fit the true you. Thus, you have the right answer re the near future projection of your blog. You are a wise woman

  8. Hi Amanda, I have been a follower of yours for years now. I followed many blogs at one point but have skimmed it down to four…yours was always a keeper 🙂 I love what you do on your blog. The content is very genuine and your photos are beautiful. Love the idea of the Ten Years In series too xx

    1. Hi Kareema!
      That is such a lovely compliment to pay – I’m honoured to be one of your four that you read on a regular basis. I know how time consuming it can be just to keep up with a few favourites so thank you for keeping on coming back!
      Amanda xx

  9. I have just started to read your blogg ( been following on Insta a bit longer) and I love it. I also want more of “peace” , I believe that you are on the right track.
    Many years ago I opened a Fortune Cookie with this message: “Listen to your heart and procede with confidence”. It has been my mantra even if it has difficult many times.
    So please, go on with what you are doing here ❤️

    1. Hey Christina!
      Thanks so much and am thrilled that you came over from Instagram! I love that fortune cookie message – very profound and so true!
      I will definitely carry on dancing to the beat of my own drum and hope that it resonates with people for a long time to come!
      Amanda xx

  10. Amanda I love this post so much! You are SO ‘you’ and that is why I (and we – your readers!) so adore you.

    The #TenYearsIn idea sounds fantastic, as do all of your introspective thoughts about blogging, where’s it’s at and where it’s heading.

    Aside from the future, can we please celebrate those 10 YEARS?!!! I am so so proud of, and for, you. You are lighting your own fires lady – please know that!

    Sending huge hugs, and can’t wait to clink glasses in person soon!

    Monica xx

    1. Ah Monica – thank you and am SO glad you loved it! I’m looking forward to sharing some more thoughts in the series and really hope that it resonates. And yes please to lots more to celebrate and clinking glasses in real life very soon! Sending all the heart eye and champagne glass emojis your way my lovely friend!
      Lots of love, Amanda xxx

  11. Hi Amanda
    Just catching up with blog posts but didn’t want this to pass without comment. I love what you’re doing and your honesty with your readers and followers. ‘Digital’ is always evolving and I think you’ve positioned yourself in a great place. The ‘Ten Years’ project sounds like a great fit and I’m excited to see what you do with it.
    Thank you for all that you do x

    1. Helen – thank you for such a heartfelt and warm comment! Hopefully the place from where I’m coming from will continue to have longevity – you never really know but have to keep on keeping on!
      Thanks so much for reading and sticking with me!
      Amanda xxx

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