Wednesday, September 21, 2016

On Blogging

So, after my first post in sixth months, which I posted yesterday, I want to take some time to explain my intentions behind this blog and the direction that it will go in moving forward.

After Everett was born, I wanted to take some time off blogging to spend time with my baby, soak all that in, and adjust to our new life. That time ended up being almost seven months. During those months I did a lot of thinking about blogging - as a career, as a hobby, the direction I wanted my blog to go in...

I ended up deciding to stop blogging all together. I wanted to spend more time focusing on my freelance writing and finding new opportunities. There are a lot of things that I don't like about blogging. To name a few: social media - I don't like feeling like I need to be on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat constantly, to gain new readers. It's exhausting and I honestly don't like sharing every detail of my day or life. I don't really like promoting myself (or my "brand", as they say, because - ha! - I don't have a brand). I was worried about sharing too many pictures or details about my baby on the internet, to people who I don't know, because that seems weird. And I feel like the blogging market is very saturated. It seems like everyone has a blog and it's hard not to compare your blog to others - just as it's hard to find ways to stand out in the midst of it all.

I saw two options: grow my blog - which for me meant more collaborations, better pictures with a nicer camera and snazzy photo editing, getting sponsors and advertisers, daily content, etc. - or quit blogging all together. And I wasn't sure that, as a stay at home mom with a small baby, that I would have time to grow the blog properly or in a way that was beneficial to me. Building a blog into a business takes a lot of work, whether it's finding advertisers, creating content, managing an editorial schedule, exploring collaborations....and the dreaded social media aspect too. It was exhausting for me just to think about. So after a lot of back and forth all summer, I decided to stop blogging.

But then! I was putting together some clips for a potential freelance writing project, as examples of my work. And I started looking back on the blog and all the adventures we've had and everything we've done. And I thought, "I can't stop now!" So, while we're living abroad and have this lifestyle that I love to write about and share, I decided to keep it up.

The best realization came a few days later when I remembered that I don't have to do what other bloggers are doing. I can do my own thing and make my blog what I want it to be.

Do you know the history behind Here We Go Again? It started in 2011 under the name Italian Treats (we were living in Italy then, obviously). I started it so that I didn't have to write 10 long emails a day to our families and friends back home, telling them about our new Italian lifestyle and everything we were doing. It wasn't even a public blog - it didn't come up on search engines and you had to subscribe to read it. The next year, I decided to expand a little bit and I changed the name to Here We Go Again, made it more public and steered the content away from things that only our parents would be interested in. Since then, it's gone through a few makeovers and it's grown way more than I ever meant it to. I have actual readers who I don't know and people email me a lot asking for travel tips, which I love.

So it's not going to stop. Pre-Everett, I had a relatively strict editorial calendar that I stuck to, which will not be the case anymore with a baby! The content will be mostly the same: recipes, travel pictures and stories, our everyday adventures. My goal is to take it one day at a time. And to make this blog into a very long story that we can look back on in ten or twenty years and remember all the incredible things we did and experiences we had. Because for me, that's really always been the point of it.

So - thank you, thank you for reading, and....Here We Go Again!