There’s a trend in the “blogging world” for people to be apologetic about having a vision as to where they’d like their blog to take them. It’s commonly accepted to say, “I didn’t worry about who’d read it”, or, “I never once even thought about making money from it.” I’m not going to say that everyone is lying, but I don’t think that’s 100% true. I mean, surely everyone has some sort of goal, right? As we’ve said before we started this blog as a hobby. We both enjoyed planning our own weddings (especially the dress shopping!) and wanted to find a way to continue the fun. For me personally, I’d had some changes with my work remit and it was a way to be able to keep my foot in with Social Media as it was an element of my job I really enjoyed. But we also had a big goal in mind and smaller milestones to hit along the way.
The “big goal” we’ll gloss over as that’s for another time, but in terms of our smaller goals we’ve always had numbers in mind as to followers we want; daily views we want to smash and basically building brand Whisper and Blush.
We both love wedding blogs like Rock My Wedding and Love My Dress but we knew we were a little late to the blogging game. These are well-known businesses in their own right. Without spending a lot of money and working on the blog full time, we could never replicate them. And to be fair, we didn’t want to. We wanted to bring our own stamp to the world of wedding blogs. Which is why we decided to approach Whisper & Blush as more of a personal, lifestyle blog – featuring our thoughts and ideas, but with a wedding hat on. (Albeit, a big hat with the majority of our focus on wedding related content.)
We knew from our early success of being named, “Best Wedding Blog” at the 2016 UK Blog Awards that this was something we were doing right. The personal approach to our writing and blog was something that stood out to the judges (and again when we won for the second year at the 2017 awards). But here lies our problem…
…We’ve now reached a size where we aren’t a small start up blog, but we by no means have the numbers and gravitas of the big name bloggers out there. We are not a pure wedding blog, nor are we recognised as a fashion and lifestyle blog. We have people who love our wedding content. But equally we find people commenting on how much they love our beauty and fashion posts and how they love reading our blog, and they aren’t even close to planning a wedding! We’re not ashamed or embarrassed to admit that we want to work with brands that we love (in and out of the wedding industry) and that we want to make a bit (okay, a lot!) of money. Heck, I’ll hold my hands up here and say I think it would be amazing to be able to do this full-time! But at the moment, it’s a bit tricky.
We’ve both had close to a year off work for maternity leave, and while we naively thought we could work really hard on the blog in that time, the babies had other ideas! Now we’re both back to full-time work (within Marketing & PR departments that are by no means quiet!) so finding time to blog is tricky. If we’re honest, which we always are, it’s been quite disheartening at times. We’ve had amazing opportunities dangled in front of us by brands and then nothing materialised. We’ve had brands approach us for work, only to say that our following isn’t big enough (umm, they’re publically available, check them BEFORE you reach out- duh!). On top of this, we’ve also seen people within our blogging niche, and the wider community, buying their followers and likes. This is good for them as it gives them high numbers that brands want to see but bad for us.
We will never buy followers and likes as we want real people following our blog. We want real people to engage with us and like our content. We want to be genuine.
But alas, a lot of brands (not all!) are quite lazy (I can say that as I work on both sides of the PR/Blogging fence) and only check numbers, not content quality and engagement. Anyway, it’s bad for us as we don’t, (quite, we’re getting there – organically!) have the numbers that some brands like to see. Which means our opportunities are limited and it’s often working with a brand and having your content shared that sees you grow.
Now please don’t think that I’m complaining or finding excuses. I’m not. It’s just that with these setbacks; the lack of time and being completely shattered; blogging can be the last thing on our minds. One thing Kate and I have always said to each other is that it needs to be something we enjoy. We can’t write if we’re not genuinely “feeling it”. Which is why you may have noticed a slight lag in content. (If you haven’t, then Damn, I’ve drawn attention to it!)
We’ve taken a bit of time and a bit of moment to breathe and think about what we want. And we do want to keep doing this and see where it takes us (obviously with a plan built around it!). But we’re not going to force it. Yes, we were posting 2 – 3 times a week with some regular monthly features. And we will try to keep doing this. But realistically, we’ll probably throw the schedule out the window. We’d rather write about things you like to read and for us to feel proud of our content than sticking to a schedule only we really know about. We’re also going to listen to people who want to see other non-wedding content from us. They’ll be more personal posts like this and general fashion, beauty and lifestyle. We’ll always have the wedding posts (we do love a good wedding and the wedding industry) but it’s right for the blog to evolve as our lives and focuses change too. It also means we can write more from the heart, which hopefully, makes it easier to keep the content coming.
We’re back on form (fuelled by coffee and gin!) and ready to roll! What’s the future? Whisper & Blush -Award Winning Lifestyle Blog? Watch this space.
Shop The Post:
Lol! Being sarcastic there as I am wearing an old t-shirt and leggings and just slapped on some lippy for the photos… when you feel inspired sometimes you’ve just got to go with it. (I really admire bloggers who constantly look flawless and photo ready at all times!) I will try to do better!
Do you write a blog? Are you in a similar position to us? How do you manage to stay motivated and stay on top of things? We’d love to know.
Equally, if you want to form some sort of blogger help group for blogs stuck in the middle in terms of size so we can help each other grow, let us know! (If anything it would be a good excuse for wine!)