My Soliloquy: Why My Blog Isn’t The Best It Can Be


“To be or not to be, that is the question…” – Shakespeare in Hamlet

The rain is softly clattering on the glass roofing of our porch. Our Jack Russel is looking at my zooming laptop with confusion from across the room. It’s the first time I ever sit here to write a blog post, but now that I’m here, I think I should do it more often. It has been raining since the beginning of the week, so I’ve locked myself inside and am working away a few projects around the house. We spent the last three days re-paining the last room on our to-paint list: my bedroom. I did this last paint job on my own and, if I may say so, I did a pretty good job! No stripes, no skew-y corners and no paint residue on the woodwork, hooray!

Being home alone and painting, with the doors closed and the windows wide open to let in the fresh rainy air, gave me a lot of time to think. And did it do me good. I had been feeling restless the past months. Something wasn’t feeling right, but with school and all I didn’t have much time to stop and think things over. These rainy days came as a blessing, and when I sat down on the ground, slowly painting my walls from bottom to top, the old gears in my head started turning to the beats of Bon Jovi and Roxette. I was processing things, and the main thing on my mind was my blog.

I’ve been worrying about The Ginger Diaries for a good year now. Proof of that is a desperate post in my drafts titled “To Pull The Plug”. I have re-written and edited that post probably a thousand times by now, but I never found the courage to hit the publish button. And to tell the truth, I don’t want to publish it. I might not be retiring my blog just yet, but I can also no longer deny that it’s time to make a change. Because today and after six and a half years in the business I no longer take joy in blogging. It’s a feeling that came gradually and grew stronger and stronger with every new blog post I published. I wasn’t doing something that I loved anymore.

The blogging world has changed a lot over the course of the last six years. When I first started keeping an online journal blogs were simply blogs, but like everything with the internet they evolved into so much more. Some of us got picked up by PR, and grew their web spaces into careers. With the media presence of bloggers growing, so did the population. Suddenly, everyone had a blog and we all wanted a piece of the cake. At the same moment, the feeling that The Ginger Diaries had fulfilled its purpose (help me build a more colorful wardrobe) grew and being lost without goals to direct me, I blindly started following the examples of others. 

I began doing what every other blogger was doing: trying to establish connections with PR, trying to get invited to events, trying to grow my blog into something more. But my trial was followed by error. And the more I tried, the more errors followed. I felt like a small fish, trying hard to swim against the current of negative feelings and rejection by others. After struggling like that for a few years, I was left without energy, drifting away into the very deep ocean of life & style blogs. I lost myself. 

In February, I finally hit a wall. I started to question what I was doing. Do I really want all these things I’m chasing? Am I still writing with passion? Am I still happy? The answer to all these questions is no. No I am not. I realized was doing it all wrong.

I don’t have the right skills to pitch myself. I do not stand out to PR. I do not know how to market a blog. I don’t know how to use social media for self-promotion. And that’s okay. Because my heart lies with people and friendship, not with business and monetizing. The Ginger Diaries (and Go Home My Dear and Chronicles Of A Ginger Girl before that) was always my happy place. This blog is something light and fun that takes my mind off things and that connects me to people all around the world on a lonely evening. It is possibly the biggest internet-cliche ever, but I’ve met so many amazing people through blogging. Some of you are long gone, but some you are still here for me everyday. And that is what makes blogging worth it for me.

I don’t want to pull the plug out of this blog, but I want to change my attitude towards it. Like I’ve said, my blog is something light and fun. I don’t want to take it too serious. It doesn’t have to be the best blog in Belgium. It has to be the best I can make it, and that’s what I hope to share with you in the future. I’m going to go with the flow, not swim against the current, and do what I do best: write too much and share about my daily life, travels and wardrobe. Hopefully everything will fall into place soon, and I can turn The Ginger Diaries into a blog I’d love to write again. 

Thank you for reading.

I’ll shut up now.

  • Joppe DC

    Wooooooow, ik begrijp uw gevoel zo goed! Ik kijk er naar uit om te zien en lezen hoe je blog verder evalueert! Blijven gaan, t komt goed!

  • Vanaf dat het bloggen een opgave wordt, zit er iets fout. En je lezers merken ook wanneer je hart er niet meer in zit. Authenticiteit valt niet te faken. Ik ben er van overtuigd dat wanneer je je stem weer terugvindt, je snel weer goesting zal krijgen om er tijd voor te maken en het ineens ook 2x zo leuk wordt om te lezen!

  • Veronique

    Ik ga gewoon in het Nederlands antwoorden, voelt iets natuurlijker :p
    Maar ik snap perfect wat je bedoelt… Of je het nu wilt of niet maar de druk is er wel om zoveel mogelijk volgers te hebben en zoveel mogelijk en zo goed mogelijke blogposts online te zetten. Ik heb ook regelmatig dat ik mezelf bijna moet dwingen te schrijven. Gelukkig zijn dat meestal wel korte periodes.
    Je hebt helemaal gelijk dat een blog iets moet zijn dat je voor jezelf doet, om er voldoening uit te halen πŸ™‚

    x

  • Mooi artikel, Nikki πŸ™‚ en je hebt helemaal gelijk! Je blog is persoonlijk en daar hoor je van te kunnen genieten.. Ik hoop dat jij je plezier weer terug vindt.. πŸ™‚ <33x

  • I think a change is needed the moment you stop blogging for yourself, and I think that is something all bloggers struggle with. I hope you can start doing that again, because I do love following along.
    And also, your outfit is gorgeous.

  • Goed gezegd Nikki! Ik ben ook volledig zo. Heel dat PR gedoe hoeft niet voor mij. Ik schrijf gewoon wat ik wil, wanneer ik dat wil :).

  • i love this post. so heartfelt and honest. i related to so many things you wrote here. it’s sometimes easy to lose yourself and make your blog just like every other blog, when in reality it should just be an extension of you. i know you can find your way back to being happy because this is a great space and i truly enjoy reading it. <3

    xxoo,
    nikki

    http://www.dream-in-neon.com

  • Nikki, I love the raw honesty in this post. I didn’t realize you had been blogging for so long. Definitely way before it became a mainstream thing. I totally understand where you are coming from. Just because you have a blog doesn’t mean you have to try and monetize it etc. People shouldn’t start blogs for that mere fact. It should be to pursue passions and make you happy. Once it no longer does that then it’s a problem. I think it’s better to stand out and not try and do what everyone else does. Because what everyone else does is already being done. If that makes sense. Anyways, I am glad you aren’t going to shut this down. Hopefully you find your passion once again. You have a lovely blog. I also love this green dress on you. So beautiful.

    Lauren xo

    Sophisticated In Style

  • I loved this post, Nikki! I felt like this a couple years ago, like I was putting too much pressure on my outfits and finding ‘the best’ outfit locations that it actually took the joy out of blogging and I ended up taking a 9 month break from it. But then I actually grew to miss taking my camera everywhere with us and just documenting our lives, so I ended up getting back into it, but for what I really wanted to blog about instead. Our lives and adventures together and it made it a whole lot more fun once I took the pressure off of myself. I blog about what I want to blog about, what interests me and I don’t care whether people like my posts or not (but if they do thats a nice little bonus haha) and it’s definitely a whole lot more fun!
    I’m looking forward to whatever you decide to do with your blog πŸ™‚ and I hope you start enjoying it again!
    Have a lovely week!
    xo

  • This is very well said and nearly EXACTLY what I’ve felt time to time in the three years I’ve been blogging. I think everyone goes through it. I have enjoyed your blog for some time now and I think you do a great job–I’d had never thought you weren’t happy with it! I Pin your outfits all the time and I think you write well. I’m glad you’re not leaving your blog, but I do hope you find happiness in it.

  • Thank you for writing all this! It’s courageous of you to put this out there and say that you’re not happy with how things are and that you want to put more energy into your blog. Sometimes it’s hard to be honest with yourself like that and to put it out there. I’m really glad you’re not going to pull the plug! I’m excited to see the changes you make! Good luck! And if you ever need someone to talk to, I’m here! πŸ™‚
    ~Sara

  • A very honest post. I am glad you are not retiring your blog, because I do love to read it and am hopeful that when ever I do so next will because you are enjoying blogging.

  • Helemaal gelijk! Bloggen moet je vooral doen omdat je het graag doet! Ook voor ons lezers is het veel aangenamer om een tekst vol passie en plezier te lezen dan eentje vol reclame! Ik ben ervan overtuigd dat je snel je goesting weer zal vinden en ik kan al niet wachten op je volgende post! Never ever lose yourself! Xx

  • Oh I was so worried when I saw the post title that you were thinking of pulling the plug!

    You’re right though, we can try to grow our blogs into something they are not…because that’s what others seem to do, or we can keep on doing what we love and enjoy, and see everything else as a perk along the way πŸ™‚

    I was thinking this as I worried you might be ending your blog, so I’ll leave it as a comment anyway:

    Your blog is one I love to read. Not skim, not use for outfit inspiration (although I do love your style!) but one I love to read as you write so well, and share little slices of your life. I always smile when I read your posts, I think you let your true self shine through. Your style and beautiful photos are the icing on top.

    So glad to hear you’re going to continue blogging what you want, when you want, and seeing if the spark comes back for you πŸ™‚

    Away From The Blue

  • Nicole

    Love this decision and your heart. Can’t wait to keep reading more!

  • charles

    Nikki,
    I want you know that you have all of my support and love for this blog.
    I faced very similar trials and changes on my own blog. I originally started out as a limited scope Feminist Blogger that picked apart all of the wrongs and injustices against men, women, models, and minorities in the media, advertising, and pop culture. I wrote articles ranting about the hypocrisy, the stigmas and the pain caused by these unrealistic norms and expectations of all of us, especially women.
    Since that first year as strictly Feminist, I was encouraged during college by my friends and supporters to share my unique style and fashion with the world. Since then, I have been doing many more fashion posts and personal style posts but I still stay true to myself with my dedication and love for books, movies, television, and picking apart pop culture and advertising when the mood to rant strikes me.
    I have had dreams myself of being a Cosmopolitan or Marie Claire exclusive stylist blogger. I have had hopes of going to NYC fashion week and being sent packages of free swag from designers all around the world.
    At the end of the day, I know myself and I know it would not be worth it to sell my soul that way and give in to promote clothing and accessories that I don’t even like myself (I tried being part of that sort of community once in the past). The only posts I have done for pay were for a glasses retailer and I am very pro-glasses myself and felt perfectly comfortable with it. I am not in the field for the money or the fame like yourself, the best feelings I get are when I have a really thoughtful comment on a post.

    -Charles

  • birtegovarts

    Heel leuk geschreven en ook best herkenbaar. Ik lees je blog sowieso héél erg graag, dus ik ben blij dat je blijft. En het moet idd wel plezant blijven, want waarom doe je het anders?

  • Een zalige en tegelijk moedige post. Ik moet zelfs toegeven dat ik hem een tweede keer helemaal herlezen heb. Je schrijfstijl is super en dat vind ik echt belangrijk bij een blog. Want bij een blogger die constant items promoot, haak ik snel af. Ik ben er zeker van dat je jouw virtuele pen snel terug zal vinden, op een goed moment x Eline

  • Florencia

    It’s all about enjoying and having fun here. Post whatever you want as long as you like what you’re doing and people who really like you will still supporting. You’ll find your way dear πŸ™‚

    Have a lovely day!!

    xo,

    Flo / Florencia’s Diary

  • Amen! Your blog is the best kind of blog (to me)… not overly populated and never sold out. I’m more about “getting to know” people, and more about sharing with family and friends… finding new, spontaneous readers is always just a plus! But it is important to feel like people are reading, and if these comments are any sign, you have a lot of readers who love to keep up with you just the way you are! I for one really enjoy your posts. You’re real, and I really like keeping up with real people.

  • Love the honesty, Nikki. And selfishly glad that you’re staying! I think that’s something that I think a lot of us (me included) struggle with from time to time, and you have so eloquently put it down here. Blog for you, about you, when you can, how YOU will!

    Can’t wait to keep reading! πŸ™‚

  • Aww Nikki, I hope you able to find the love you once had for blogging! You are so sweet and I love visiting your blog. You always look adorable (I would steal your clothes in a heartbeat!) but you also write exceptionally well. Even if what you need is just a little break without all the pressure, I hope you are able to find what you need to make blogging fun again. I had no idea you had been blogging for so long so I can understand the frustration with keeping up with it when there are so many other blogs out there now.

    Anyway, just wanted to say I love your blog and hope you don’t stop blogging for good!

  • Ik vind je echt een geweldige schrijfster, maar ik begrijp je gevoel heel erg goed. Je moet echt goed weten wat je wil met je blog en wat je doel is. Het mag niet aanvoelen als een verplichting of een sleur, want dan is het fout.
    Ik heb inderdaad de indruk dat de blogwereld een grote competitie is voor de mooiste foto’s, beste teksten, meeste PR invites, maar ik zie het zo niet en voor mij hoeft dat ook allemaal niet.
    Neem even de tijd om het uit te zoeken, maar ik hoop echt van harte dat je zal doorgaan met bloggen. Je bent echt veel te leuk!

    X Sara

  • libys11

    aaww… i love how genuine this post is.. whatever it is that you decide, this blog of yours has always been an inspiration.

    Animated Confessions

  • Edina

    This post is so inspiring for me. I just posted my first post on my blog, which I just opened and I have to say, it wasnt an easy decision. There are so many blogs out there these days and I was questioning myself if the world really needs another one. But I am doing it for myself. I need a place where I can share my “fashion- for-passion”, where I can “meet” people whit the same interest.

    Peace,

    Edina

    Printed or Plain fashion blog

  • helemaal gelijk missy πŸ™‚ die hele pr wereld is erg fijn, maar af en toe betrap ik mezelf er ook op dat ik precies daar te veel mee bezig ben. Sinds ik minder blog heb ik ook terug veel meer plezier gevonden in het schrijven van die ene perfecte blogpost, you’ll find your flow πŸ˜‰

  • i’ve been there. man, have i been there. my blog just had it’s 3 year anniversary, and it’s no where close to what i thought it would be by now. i started blogging with big dreams. but after blogging for about a year, i realized i’m not what sponsors are looking for. i’m not anyone special, not especially good at writing and my posts are pretty average. i was so discouraged, my blogging became more and more infrequent, and i was mad at myself for failing. several months ago, i decided to start anew. i decided to make this blog what i wanted and not think about attracting sponsors and followers. i blog because i love it, it’s my space where i can share a little bit of me and have something to look back on at these snapshots of my life. i hope you find your love for blogging again. for what it’s worth, i think your blog is pretty great πŸ™‚

    xo jac

    thesunshinedistrict.blogspot.com

  • Lima ChΓ©

    Hahahah you really made me laugh with your last sentence!!
    This post was really inspiring! And I really understand you!
    Just do it ofr yourself on the first place, that’s the spirit!
    And I will continue to pass by as I love your blog!
    Was a pleasure to pass by πŸ˜‰
    Check out my new outfit if you
    want <3
    Love, Lima xoxo

    http://www.limaswardrobe.com

  • I know how you feel. I’m afraid to get to that point. I like that I can make a few extra dollars, but I don’t think I can pitch myself or self promote on social media either. I know my blog would grow a lot faster if I tried (or even just got twitter), but why stress myself out? I’m happy now with my few banner adds and my laid back style. I hope you find a place where you love this space again, because yours was the first blog that I started to follow and I love it so much.

  • Thank you for this post, my heart has been in a very similar place lately. Do what makes you happy, as we don’t have much time to do it!

    xx
    Here&Now

    Enter to win a $50 gift card of your choice!

  • I just discovered your blog and I like it! Love this outfit. – Stephanie

  • I love this Nikki. I hit the same wall last year with my style blog and felt like I was selling myself out trying to get more followers. So I decided to just focus on what I really love: the photos, the people, and documenting what really goes on in my life. Keep The Ginger Diaries going because I love reading it and being inspired by you!

  • Als ik het druk heb voelt bloggen soms ook als een verplichting, maar vanaf ik dan weer even in een rustig moment kom dan geniet ik er weer van. Gewoon doen waar je je goed bij voelt en durven eens niet te posten is bij mij de truc πŸ™‚
    Hopelijk voel je je er snel weer goed bij <3

  • Yes don’t put so much pressure on yourself or your blog. It absolutely doesn’t have to be a serious venture if you don’t want it to be. I always enjoy reading what you have to say and seeing your cute outfits and gorgeous photos!

  • Het is heel gemakkelijk om jezelf te verliezen in de bloggerwereld omdat we allemaal teveel kijken naar de mensen rondom ons. Ik heb al een tijdje geleden de beslissing genomen om geen posts meer te maken puur om PR’s te pleasen die het waarschijnlijk nog niet eens lezen erbovenop. Ik wil graag een stuk toevoegen aan je slagzin: No invite, no party. We’ll make our own party! πŸ˜€
    Naomi, x

  • Thank you for sharing these thoughts. I completely understand you. I have never tried to make something out of my blog, I mostly post photos I take or things I write, but it have been frustrating, sometimes, being that “small fish”. I’m happy that you found this new attitude, and good luck for whatever is coming.

    http://toomuchlightburnsthenegative.blogspot.it/

  • Heel mooi geschreven. Het is inderdaad veel trial en error, maar zoals je zegt bloggen maakt je leven net wat rijker en je ontmoet er fantastische mensen door. xx Marijs