I’m having a love-hate relationship with blogging right now.
Don’t get me wrong — I’m still absolutely in love with my blog and I won’t ever abandon it come high or low but I find it hard to start writing these days. I don’t have writer’s block as I know exactly what I want to post since I have my blog posts planned until mid-March but there’s a lot going on in my mind right now and I have stuff that I have to settle first for university.
The point of this post is not to rant about my difficulties in writing but rather about the future of my blog. I have been blogging for almost 9 years and throughout the years I’ve never given much thought about the direction I wanted to take my blog to. I took blogging more seriously when I started blogging again February last year and have gotten even more serious when I took the plunge and went self-hosted.
For the past month, I have come to realise that I am losing interest in beauty blogging. I still love makeup and skincare and just about any beauty-related bits and bobs but I don’t feel as excited to blog about it as I did before. In my opinion, beauty blogging is not for me as I don’t buy newly-released makeup nor do I wear a lot of makeup on day-to-day basis. I will blog about beauty that are related to me and how I use my makeup but I won’t try to fit into current trend and blog about new products on the market. I prefer minimal, healthy, and dewy makeup that enhances my face as oppose to contouring/baking/bronzing thingamajig and there’s only so much minimal makeup look you can blog about.
ADVERTISEMENTS/AFFILIATE LINKS/SPONSORED CONTENTS
I absolutely have no problems with blogs that put up ad banners as I always have AdBlocker on and I don’t see ads on any blog at all. The only reason why I don’t have ad banners on my blog is purely because of aesthetic purpose. I spent a heck of a lot time editing my theme and forking out hundreds of ringgit on it so I don’t want to ruin my blog aesthetic with ads. Y’all know how obsessed I am with blog aesthetic so this won’t come as news to you, am I right?
Ever since I migrated to WordPress, I have been getting a lot of emails from brands and affiliate companies asking me if I would like to join their affiliate program. I did join their program and one of the things you can do with it is write a blog post about their ongoing campaigns and you can put your affiliate links and when people click on it and buy the products using your links, you will get a small commission from it. To be honest, the more I let my blog to be a place where I make money, the less enthusiastic I feel about it.
Maybe I’m not used to all of these as I have never made money from blogging before April 2016. I’m okay with doing sponsored contents because it’s good for my blog reputation to have brands collaborating with me and honestly the money I make from one-time collaboration is more than having 1000 people clicking my ad banner for 3 months. I only needed the money I make from my blog to renew my WordPress hosting, that’s it — so having one sponsored content per year is fine by me. If I don’t have any at all, that’s okay too. I can save up my duit raya to pay for hosting. Soz.
Malaysian bloggers are guilty of shilling multiple skincare products in a matter of a week! I get it, you’re given free products or are paid to write a review about it but shilling two different skincare brands in a week? A week?! Please don’t make it obvious that you are paid to write them. Once, I unfollowed a blog ’cause she hasn’t updated in months and then suddenly there were new multiple skincare reviews on her blog in like, 5 days. I get it if you’re paid to advertise a service, but advertising many skincare products around the same time is just a whole new level of shilling. Please stop.
(Disclaimer: you may have different opinion from me and if you’re thinking of leaving less-than-nice comments, just remember that it’s my blog and this is one of the times where I don’t care about your [not-very-nice] opinion.)
I had to write about this before some of you make the biggest mistake of your blogging life. I know for a fact that seeing other people going self-hosted makes you want to take the plunge too but here’s an advice — don’t do it ’cause you see other people are doing it. I know that hosting in Malaysia is very cheap at 60 ringgit per year but don’t make it as an excuse to migrate ’cause self-hosting your blog comes with a price and I don’t mean in ringgit.
I wanted to go self-hosted since I was 15, maybe 16 but I was still a high school student who blogged about Simple template tutorials and what do I need a self-hosted blog for? I didn’t blog professionally and I’m sure as hell didn’t write as good as I do now. Yes, WordPress is awesome — I can’t deny that but do you really need to go self-hosted or are you just jealous of people who did?
To bloggers who put up content 5 times a year, I definitely do not recommend going self-hosted. Why? Self-hosted WordPress is not Blogger.com where you can just leave for months when you don’t feel like blogging. I take bloggers who rarely put up contents as people who are not serious in blogging. Yes, you have a blog, but you’re not serious so what’s the point of paying for hosting a blog? You do know that if you lost interest in blogging and didn’t renew your hosting, you will lose everything forever, right?
I recommend going self-hosted if you’re serious about blogging, you want to make some money from your blog, you want to blog professionally, you want to blog more often and write more interesting contents, and you want to make your blog better in general. You also need to remember that just because you have a WordPress blog, does not mean that your blog is better than any Blogger blog out there. Self-hosted WordPress blog with a shitty, once a month content will get you no where. It takes a lot of effort and self-hosting is not the be-all and end-all.
I also don’t recommend self-hosting if investing money on your blog is something that you have never done before or you’re just straight up stingy (kedekut tahi hidung masin). You’ve never paid for a cheap premade template or you haven’t bought a domain name for your blog even after years and years of blogging ’cause you’re not willing to spend on your blog? How are you going to pay minimum 60 ringgit per year (every year!) for hosting and 200 ringgit for a new theme?
Yes, you can use one of the heaps amount of free themes available but in my opinion, it’s better to have a Blogger blog with paid template than a fancy shmancy self-hosted blog with free theme. Free WordPress themes are not like free Blogger templates. You can still use a free Blogger template and be happy with it for months but free WordPress themes are a different case. The features are very limited and seeing other WordPress blogs with fancy paid themes and cool features will make you cry at your bank balance. Free themes are okay if you just migrated but you will have to pay for a paid one eventually.
NUMBER OF FOLLOWERS, PAGEVIEWS, AND ENGAGEMENTS
I used to think that the number of your followers is important. I still think it is but how many followers I have is of no importance anymore. Of course I notice every single follower I gain or every 100-follower milestone I reach but I don’t judge my blog and its progress by the number of followers. There are people out there who buy Bloglovin’ followers so I kinda feel like no number is true anymore.
To me, pageviews are important but like the number of followers, I try not to think much about it and just enjoy blogging. Of course I’ll be happy if I can reach 1,000 pageviews a day but if I don’t, I’m not going to be disheartened and stress out because of it. I noticed that whenever I’m not in my blogging mood and I put up content that I didn’t put my all in it, my pageviews drop. When I’m in my blogging mood and are all excited when writing contents, my pageviews are doing good! It’s weird how my blog progress is depending on my mood.
Unlike followers and pageviews, engagements are so important for blogs. I don’t know about you but I need at least one comment on my newest post so I can feel better. Not 10, not 5, at least one comment then I’ll be happy about my post. Some people are too lazy to leave comments especially me. I read so many posts but I suck at leaving comments. I will do better next time, I promise.
What I thought was my thoughts on blogging has turned into a ranting fiasco. These are just my opinion on blogging and please take it with a grain of salt. Take what you need and leave out what you don’t. It’s as simple as that. 🙂