What's this blogging all about?

Friday, October 07, 2016

The question has kinda come up out of the blue. If you're a regular reader you'll know how passionate I am about sharing my love of clothes with you. But a couple of things have recently caused me to question what this blogging is all about. The first being that my readership is dropping. This begs the question - why do I need to know how many page hits I have? Am I now to value myself by a waning rather than a growing readership? Was I naive not to consider this sooner?









Does running a popular blog have a format that I'm not conforming to? I know I'm not delivering the same content as many fashion blogs do. As I've said before, I've no experience or professional expertise in giving advice on what kind of clothes you ought to wear for your body type nor do I have the right to tell you what you ought not to wear when you're nudging 60 (like me) or at any age for that matter. I do my own thing fashion-wise, but I'm sure you know that. Is my passion and flair for putting clothes together enough to maintain my following?  I'm aware that I'm not able to give my readers details of where to buy clothes like mine. Charity shopping is my mainstay and therefore the clothes are rarely from this season and not always brands that are widely available. Does this matter, I wonder? As a reader, are you looking for inspiration and ideas on what to try out or do you expect/want current information as to where to buy clothes like mine? As you can tell, I'm having a bit of a crisis of confidence: am I too earnest, too gushing, too honest?

The second thing, is that I've recently been approached by agents regarding advertising brands on my site. After much soul searching I've decided that I need to be autocratic. I see the blog as my own journal, featuring not only my outfits of the day, but my hobbies, friends and events of note. Is this the right vehicle for advertising? Can I honestly start to represent brands that I've never bought before in an attempt to influence you? I've discussed this with friends, the lure of free stuff; clothes, shoes, jewellery, beauty products or even cash for writing about said products - it's a huge draw for the majority of bloggers. But can I honestly don a nice pair of slacks that are aimed at women of my age group and tell you how wonderful they make me feel? Maybe I've shot myself in the foot. Is it possible to be a blogger and not chase the status of influencer? Or is it just that the right brand hasn't come along yet?

So, to go back to my question: what's this blogging all about? Well, my aim remains the same - the blog is a platform to share my story through my clothes and how I style them; my love of sea swimming and the friends I've made thanks to this; and equally important, my health story which has been a difficult yet empowering struggle and one that may help others with their own battle. But, my main objective is of course, to inspire: to help the reader to become all that they can be, regardless of age or size or preconceived notions of what they think they ought to be. If today's post has been of interest, I'd love to have your feedback, whether you're a blogger, a lurker or a regular.

Anna x

You Might Also Like

61 comments

  1. I have kept following your blog because your a charity shopper and you're an individual and you do your own thing rather than fitting into to some special blogger formula and you have our own style. I think you are great. If you have the energy and desire to keep blogging this way then don't worry about numbers just for it for the fun.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Jacqueline, your voice from the wilderness is exactly what I need to hear. I love blogging and don't want to give it up, but as I say, I'm have a crisis of confidence. Your feedback goes a long way to restoring and reminding me as to why I started this in the first place. Thank you x
      Anna

      Delete
  2. I understand your restlessness. Based on your last paragraph, I think you know that you are doing everything right already. Head-turning styling, great writing. Numbers go up and down and I try hard not to look at them. They are toxic to the creative process, for me at least.

    Asking myself these same questions, I have been recommended to focus on one thing in my blog: style or comedy or art. Probably I would get more followers that way, but pffft, I decided to have fun doing what I'm doing, for now at least. Seems like you are too. It's easy to get sucked into the definitions of blogging success.

    The best thing is we are the goddesses of our blogs - we decide what we want, when we want it. Blogs that aim to make money have more constraints.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Melanie, what is so remarkable is the fact that you picked up my mood of restlessness. I started writing last night and even though it wasn't the post I had planned, I couldn't stop myself from this outpouring of angst. I think the battle I've had recently was compounded by the juggling of work and blog, leaving little time to catch up with other blogging friends. My head has been spinning with questions which is why I felt the only thing I could do was to share it with my readership.
      I love the notion that I'm the goddess of my own blog - such a wonderfully empowering image - thank you for that. I won't go down without a fight.
      Anna x

      Delete
  3. Melanie said it all. This is subject her and I discuss often.

    I too have a very difficult time gaining and keeping an audience for all the same reasons you've stated.

    I have been persuaded a couple of times to promote a couple of current brands that I do like and would buy from, Karina Dresses and recently some Blundstone boots that I've admired for years. Otherwise I stay away from promoting fast fashion which ethically I'm against. It is hard to sit on the sidelines of societies obsession with "new is better" not playing along with the game and reaping the benefits alongside like other bloggers do.

    In the end it comes down to doing what you feel comfortable with for yourself and simply ignoring the numbers. I changed my mind about blogging and what it meant to me about 3 years ago when I had a serious health issue. It put my life into perspective.

    Now when I think of blogging I think of the friendships I've gained and the people I've met that have enriched my life and not my numbers.

    BTW...I also feel the same about not wanting to tell people what to wear. It is a fine line for me trying to help someone out and not feel like I'm dictating what is right or wrong.

    bisous
    Suzanne

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Suzanne, you and Melanie make great cheer leaders. Thanks so much for your wise words and support. I agree that one of the bonus features about running a blog is the new friendships that can be made. I love having this common bond, this passion that needs no explaining.
      At the design stage of the blog I knew I didn't want to have a load of adverts and pop-ups blinking and flashing, distracting from what I hoped would be an attractive blog. The offers of money and goods are obviously going to be enough to make anyone stop and think, but now that I have, I can see it would have to be a genuine relationship with a brand that would make me reconsider. One of the pitfalls of social media is the inherent numbers game that you enter into. It's impossible not to end up comparing yourself with others. You've been so generous with your comments and support since I started and I really appreciate this latest input from you.
      Anna x

      Delete
  4. I think it's all about giving ideas to others!
    Sometimes we get stuck in a rut and it's not always easy to be creative with what we have in our closets!!
    As for the blogging thing...I do think it's nice to have these relationships and interchange of comments and ideas. I know I've stopped reading some blogs because they never respond to my comments or my own blog. Just as each of us like different things in life, I really like the back & forth.
    But I don't think that advertising is evil either. How do you know about different companies or sites? You have to hear about them somehow, is my thought. But that's the nice thing about our individual blogs---we get to do with them as we want!
    And on a fashion note---I love this mint & black together!!
    jodie
    www.jtouchofstyle.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jodie for your ongoing support, it's been good to have your comments over the months. I'm aware that I've been over extending myself throughout the summer, and not getting around to visiting others blogs has been the price I had to pay. I regret this, but felt my readers had to take priority. I think this has been good to stop and take stock. I'm soon going to drop down to posting only twice a week to try to acheive a better balance. I love to have ongoing relationships with my readers and my blogging friends, but that all takes time.
      I have to say that I totally agree with you that advertising isn't evil. It's just not the route I want to take currently. That may change in due course - who knows. I enjoy the ownership of my blog, the independance it offers and the platform for me to air my opinions without fear of upsetting a sponsor.
      And hey, am so pleased you like the outfit - for once it seemed to be secondary!
      Have a great weekend x
      Anna

      Delete
  5. Dear Anna, since now I've been a silent reader of your lovely blog - and you're an inspiration because 1. I'm 48 years of age (and love to see outfits for women, not girls!) 2. as a color coach (my hobby and second job) I really love your brave color combinations and pattern mix (is it a British thing perhaps? People in Germany seem to be scared of bright colors...;-) AND 3. I don't like blogs that kind of dictate me what's in or out or what I have to wear this season! I'm also not a person who needs brand links (like I don't need a recipe to bake a cake, when I have the ingredients) - I think I'm old enough and creative enough to get the inspiration and make my own style out of it. And that is exactly what I like about Anna's Island Style (I also love "Highland fashionista") beside the fact that you live on the Scilly islands - it's funny and interesting how you write about your adventurous shopping trips!!!
    Please don't give a ...whatever... about numbers and keep on rocking... äh, blogging!!!
    Greetings from Munich

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Maren, you are my target audience, so welcome and thank you for your comments. I had hoped to shake you out of the woodwork as I do value what you think about the blog. I really don't want to spoonfeed my readers by linking to every single item or something similar - if we like a pleated skirt then surely we can track the right one down ourselves can't we? And
      it really gets my goat to have a condescending voice write about the shoulds and oughts of dressing because you happen to be 40/50/60 years old. We're all free spirits, and sometimes we just need a bit of encouragement or inspiration. My mantra from an early age was "Dare to be different" - it's a liberating thought don't you think? This may be where my joy of colours and patterns comes from - it's just my playful nature.
      I too, am a huge fan of the Highland Fashionista as she played a big part in forming my own blog. We still keep in touch. I think she writes so well and is also very individual in her style.
      This post has been so good for me. I'm delighted to have such a lot of support from readers and bloggers alike. I can see now how unimportant the numbers are, so thank you for helping me with that.
      Thanks for stepping out of the shadows to talk to me - I really appreciate it. Wishing you a fab weekend x
      Anna

      Delete
  6. Darling, this is a struggle many (or all) of us go through. Melanie put it well in her comment. I also had many a times when I wanted to stop ("why am I blogging? Do I need applause in order to exist?). But I found out for myself that I really like the creative process of outfits, photos, writing, putting everything together. It has nothing to do with narcism. And do I want to earn money with it? No I don't think so. Being completely independent in my writing, chosing subjects etc, is what I am after. Easy enough as I can afford it. My daytime job earns me plenty. So why should I "spoil" my hobby with having to do what advertisers want me to do? On the other hand I don't mind if others do. As long as they stay authentic. Because.. why do I follow blogs? Because of the personality of the blogger. Your style and Samantha''s for instance is quite different from mine. But I can still appreciate it, as I can appreciate art. But it is the way you are, which draws me. Unfortunately there is too little time in my life to follow as much and as many times as I would like to.
    So keep up the good work dear and let those numbers go. They will pick up again. Or not, so what. You touch lives. Does it really matter whether you touch 2 or 200.000 lives? You matter.
    Greetje

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Greetje for taking the time to drop by and share your thoughts. I know that you don't have advertising on your blog and so admire your strength in that decision. I too work full-time and really don't want to trade my independance for a few bucks. I would like to have a better balance between writing and reading other blogs which is what I aim to improve this winter. I think it's important to reply to my readers comments and that's my first priority, but the next thing is to get back to doing the rounds a bit more regularly. The numbers game has been a bit of a trap and as Melanie said, can be a toxin to the creative process. Time to concentrate on the job in hand now.
      It's so kind of you to give your support, I really appreciate it.
      Have a great weekend!
      Anna x

      Delete
    2. Funny, that is the one thing I had to slow down on: visiting other blogs. Cannot do it all.

      Delete
  7. Anna, your blog brightens my day. I dont often comment, because Im always rushing about but I do very much enjoy looking at your outfits and admire your creativity in putting together stylish and attractive clothes for the 'mature' woman. And I enjoy reading about your life - on an island that I ove ! Keep blogging Anna, its a light in MY day , maggie x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Maggie, such is the life of the modern woman, that we're always rushing about. I appreciate that you've made time to comment today. Yes, I seem to have had a bit of a wobble, but the troups have rallied around me and I feel all the better for it. I'm delighted that I can brighten your day. Fashion is for us all, no matter what age we are, nor whether we follow high street, designer or charity shop style. It's just about being true to yourself and finding the pleasure in some clothes that express who you are. Keep reading and I'll keep writing!
      Have a lovely weekend x
      Anna

      Delete
  8. Totally with you on this. We often go through crises of confidence with blogging and wondeing what on earth we are doing!?? I dislike the type of fashion blog you describe so that's why I don't read them. I hate being told what to wear by something dull automaton in dullsville clothes-stay true to you. Your blog is always a delight! Always...x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Kezzie, how lovely to have your vote of support. You are a shining example of staying true to yourself, and one I so admire. Sometimes it's just a small shift that's needed to change the view and I think I'm well on the way to improving my lot. I'm bowled over by the great feedback this post has generated. It's been exactly what I needed.
      Have a brilliant weekend x
      Anna

      Delete
  9. Hello Anna! I came to your blog by way of a kind comment you left on another blog I follow. As an American, I appreciate that you're not hawking various companies, whose clothing I might love but can't purchase in the states! Super frustrating. I really like your style, your personality, and your openness in sharing your past medical history and current joie de vivre. Please keep blogging!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Bette, I'm so pleased to have your feedback and I appreciate the effort. It's heart warming to read your kind words of encouragement. How good it is to know that my blog is hitting the spot with you and so many others. I love bringing it together, all the parts are interesting and fun, but best of all is the response to something like this. Thanks so much x
      Anna

      Delete
  10. Hi Anna, Interesting post, I think anything creative runs in cycles like the ebb and flow of the tides and I think this applies to the process of writing blogs and the ebb and flow of our readers.
    I have 2 blogs that I started in Feb 2010 one is arty and the other is foodie and enjoy the journaling side of it and reading back over it from time to time.
    I am not looking for a blog that tells me what to wear and where to get it or even what not to wear with endless advertising and consumerism. I am interested in the creative process of trying new possibilities and combinations and that’s what you inspire.
    I like your passion and flair for putting outfits together and your enthusiasm and honesty come across so as long as you enjoy it I hope you keep blogging.
    Have a lovely weekend
    Tessa xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Tessa, it's grand to have the affirmations come in like this. I was floundering for a moment there, but thought the only thing to do was to share what was rattling around in my head. I'm dedicated to keeping my blog as honest and straightforward as I can. And yes, I'll be keeping it going for as long as I enjoy it - good advice!
      Have a great weekend x
      Anna

      Delete
  11. I really don't know where to begin.

    I'm still so new to following blogs in general, but I want ALL of you to know that I have found so MUCH more through following your blogs than witty, thoughtful, repartee about fashion.
    Although fashion was the initial draw it's now the delightful icing on the cake. A sparkly, creative pathway that allowed me to find the real treasure.
    I have learned about your cares, concerns, fears, families, friends, passions, joys and pains and the impact of those on your lives as you care to tell them. You risk sharing your intimate selves along with your fashion fancies and I treasure ALL of it because you're just like me, despite the many obvious and truly wonderful ways that you're not just like me. I LOVE ALL OF IT!! I cherish the crazy details of your lives and I resent the miles that geographically separate us. You ALL need to know what an AMAZING group of women you are. I NEVER expected to have the privilege of knowing each and every delightfully diverse one of you!! AND I MEAN THAT WITH ALL MY HEART AND MIND.
    I choose not to blog myself because it is CLEARLY a rocky, bumpy road. I sincerely HOPE it's worth it anyway because you are so open and therefore vulnerable to being hurt and discouraged. THANKYOU ALL FOR BLOGGING!
    PLEASE don't stop writing and enriching my life Anna, Samantha, Jodie, Melanie,Anne K., Suzanne, Ally,Greetje,Liyana, and Darlene.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Judy, what a fab open letter for all of us who are blogging and in receipt of your accolades. Today I had a lovely lady beat a path all the way to my office to give me words of encouragement and support so that I may keep on blogging - she's here on holiday and has been following the blog from afar. I love that you and so many others have stepped forward with you own honest response to my angst. I really appreciate it so much. Blogging is a open door inviting all to view ones life and passions, but it also can be a dark avenue to peer into if you think no-one is there. That's why it's wonderful to have regulars pop by and leave kind messages like this. Thank you Judy for being there for me x
      Anna

      Delete
  12. I really don't know where to begin.

    I'm still so new to following blogs in general, but I want ALL of you to know that I have found so MUCH more through following your blogs than witty, thoughtful, repartee about fashion.
    Although fashion was the initial draw it's now the delightful icing on the cake. A sparkly, creative pathway that allowed me to find the real treasure.
    I have learned about your cares, concerns, fears, families, friends, passions, joys and pains and the impact of those on your lives as you care to tell them. You risk sharing your intimate selves along with your fashion fancies and I treasure ALL of it because you're just like me, despite the many obvious and truly wonderful ways that you're not just like me. I LOVE ALL OF IT!! I cherish the crazy details of your lives and I resent the miles that geographically separate us. You ALL need to know what an AMAZING group of women you are. I NEVER expected to have the privilege of knowing each and every delightfully diverse one of you!! AND I MEAN THAT WITH ALL MY HEART AND MIND.
    I choose not to blog myself because it is CLEARLY a rocky, bumpy road. I sincerely HOPE it's worth it anyway because you are so open and therefore vulnerable to being hurt and discouraged. THANKYOU ALL FOR BLOGGING!
    PLEASE don't stop writing and enriching my life Anna, Samantha, Jodie, Melanie,Anne K., Suzanne, Ally,Greetje,Liyana, and Darlene.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I very much enjoy your posts and colorful outfits, and you are one of the bloggers who inspire me to add a bit more color to my often very neutral wardrobe! I also love getting glimpses into your island life!

    I totally understand that numbers come up sooner or later. It's almost impossible to completely ignore them. But I think what matters are readers who are truly invested in your blog and appreciate your posts. And I know you have plenty of those - how wonderful are the comments before mine!

    I started my blog 7.5 years ago and still have a few readers from the very beginning - I feel they really know me (and a different side of me, when my blog had a totally different focus). I have also gained some very close friends through blogging, and I'm very thankful for that.

    Advertising, gifted items, and sponsored posts are certainly a tricky subject. I do a little bit of each and try to be very careful about what I accept. And so far my experiences have been very positive as I truly liked the items I reviewed, etc.

    I hope you continue to blog for many years to come and in a way to works for you! You have so many readers who love what you do!

    Andrea
    Andrea’s Wellness Notes

    ReplyDelete
  14. P.S. I forgot to mention, fabulous outfit, including fantastic accessories!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Andrea, I bow to your longevity. Seven and a half years is a long time to keep your audience interested - and you have! I think we all have to find our own path with this hobby. Advertising et al is fine for those who want to do it and you've obvioulsy found the right balance. I have names of brands who would definitely sway me to showcase something, but that would only be because I support them already. But for the moment, I can only say that I'll carry on doing what I do, how I do it because I know no other way. I'm impressed with long term bloggers like you, Kezzie and Suzanne as you still manage to keep your blog fresh and interesting, and clearly have a huge following too. Thanks so much for your kindness in responding to my distress call.
      Wishing you a lovely weekend x
      Anna

      Delete
  15. First of all - your utfit today is perfect - I love it to bits :) . The colours and the style - beautiful :) . As to your questions about running the blog ... I must say I have exactly the same problems. I aslo have my blog, and I don't really show clothes from the latest collections nad 'good' shops. I make a lot of my own clothes and this is the best part of it, not necesarily shopping. And like you I also buy things in second hand shops, since so called 'high street' collections are not really my theme. But I think that blogs should be and inspiration. Therefore it shouldn't matter how old or pretty we are, or what sort of figure we have, but about ideas which we have. About imagination, putting things together, finding unique items in shops, creating something. SO .... CARRY ON :) Your blog is soooo inspirational !!!! Your ides fantastic and your style unique !!!! Have a great weekend - Margot :) www.iameverywoman.eu

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Margot, I have to accept that we're all different and therefore we want different things - hence there are so many blogs thriving in the blogsphere. My blog therefore has an appeal for some people, some of the time and then things may change when someone new comes along. I'm delighted that you find it inspirational as that has been my main aim, so thank you. I love to think of us all spending time, lovingly creating outfits for our blogs to share with others. I like to feel part of this big readership as I dip in and out of other fashion blogs too. Thanks so much for taking the time to drop by and comment as you do.
      Have a fab weekend x
      Anna

      Delete
  16. Ignore the numbers Anna!
    They are meaningless anyway (unless your blog is your bread and butter).
    I blog for myself, posting things I like and would like to read and I know you do too!
    That is how it should be.
    Some posts are not so popular but who cares as long as they are true and honest and the real you.
    I love your style posts and always pop over for a read.
    You are creative and beautiful.
    Never stop.
    XXX
    Samantha
    www.fakefabulous.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Samantha, I'm very grateful to have your response. I can see I've fallen into the trap of believing my ratings. It's been made clear now that I'm not to be judged by those alone. The huge influx of lovely, positive comments have served to clear my muddled mind. It's so kind of you to join in with the supporters, thank you.
      Have a great weekend x
      Anna

      Delete
  17. Anna

    Don't worry about ratings. I never look at mine. I think they might be important to those who are competitive and want to be 'better' (as judged by ratings) than everyone else. Bah humbug to that, I say! They may, of course be doing it for money and that is different especially if you rely on what your blog earns for you.

    All I know is that I've enjoyed the experience of blogging; I've made some lovely blogging friends - yourself included - who write lovely, funny and informative comments on my blog.

    I think the fact there is a dearth of style choices for women in their sixties and above makes what you do, valuable. You don't have pots of money; you shop second hand and high street yet you always look fabulous and unique. I don't know about you but I am just very curious about other people and their lives and I really enjoy reading about and looking at whatthey choose to blog about. Not all the blogs I follow are about fashion/style.

    I'm so pleased you have resisted the lure of freebies in exchange for advertising - you have integrity. You don't want to give others advice - just inspire them and that is what you do really well.

    Have a lovely weekend.

    Veronica
    vronni60s.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Veronica you're a good friend indeed. My daughter was the one who pointed out how important it is to have good content and something different to offer to make my blog the thing it is now. I love sharing this little life of mine as it makes me happy. It really is as simple as that. Thank you for your kind words of support. It's been wonderful to hear from so many of my readers who echo your sentiments.
      Have a great day!
      Anna

      Delete
  18. Anna, continue blogging as you are - speaking your truth, sharing your beautiful part of the world and your fashion stories - YOUR stories, not someone else's, that's why I love reading your blog. xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Elizabeth, you've no idea how cheering it is to have comments like yours, thank you! I can only be myself, writing my own experience of life and thank goodness this seems to have an appeal to many. Thanks so much for joining me as you do.
      Have a great Sunday x
      Anna

      Delete
    2. I love Jodi's blog http://www.rsdiaries.com/2016/09/tulle-takei-tim-riggins.html which is SOOOOo stylish, full of colour and lots of recycling (you'd never know it, she looks a million dollars every time) and over the past six months I have been following her (I found her on Judith's Hat Attack) I have been amazed and puzzled why she has so few, if any comments. Can someone look TOO fabulous?? Never, in my books. Fabulous is inspiring, fun and all the rest. I also write and create what my creative self needs to blog just as I live my life. I'm a hopeless non conformist, my creative self rules! I believe (same as for a book or story I write) that if just one other person reads and enjoys my creativity then that's a bonus, the rest...well, that will take care of itself. (I do have a problem keeping up with bloggers who post more than once a week and nowadays try not to get too stressed about keeping up, if I miss a post it doesn't mean I'm any less interested, it probably means that my life has a lot going on at that time.) Enjoy your wonderful blogging, Anna, have fun! xx

      Delete
    3. Thanks for the heads up about Jody - I've just popped over to see this ever-so-stylish lady and will certainly do so again, so thanks for that. I too, am aware that I'm pretty non conformist and do love to come across a like minded soul like you. I agree with you about the difficulties in keeping up with bloggers who post too often. I'm juggling a full time job, sea swimming, running my blog and trying to keep up with too many other bloggers as well, so it's hardly surprising that I had a bit of a meltdown recently.
      Thanks so much for taking the time to write and share your thoughts x
      Anna

      Delete
  19. Anna, Just keep what you are doing because you love doing it. Wear what you want to wear because you are comfortable in it and it's what you want to wear and not what some else says you should be wearing. All of us that are keeping ourselves on a budget are grateful that you are promoting recycling and updating old clothes with the odd new buys. Love seeing what you post. x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sharing what I love to do (dressing up) is a joy, particularly if I get feedback like this, so thank you. It seems to be human nature or maybe just the pressure of social media that makes us want to measure ourselves by others and inevitably there will be those who are doing better than you are. I'm really happy to hear what you think and that you are enjoying the content and style of what my blog offers. I'll keep going as long as I feel I have something worth posting.
      Have a lovely week x
      Anna

      Delete
  20. Totally understand where you're coming from. I saw on Instagram you were having this conversation and started thinking myself about my reasons for blogging. I started 6 months ago and have the same thoughts. Why are my numbers down? I thought b/c it was summer and maybe people were outside more rather than on their device. Not sure though b/c it's October. I understand it doesn't define my blog but I don't want to just write this for my mom and sister. Why do I go through so much trouble? It is time consuming and a lot of planning and some work to put together outfits, photo shoots, clever writing and heavy editing. Why am I staying up late ironing a scarf b/c my husband is reluctantly getting up early to drive 45 minutes away to find a decent place to photograph me? He is always saying "how much are you getting paid for this?" (zero). Gosh, I'm so where you are. This is what I've found: My blog is my piece of the electronic universe. I own it. I control it. I can say what I want. I always evaluate why I started my blog and it always comes down to "I want to help women with the same shape find confidence with their clothes" and I'm fulfilling that mission. Yeah, maybe it's not very many women now but I really think this internet thing builds slowly then has the opportunity to explode. If it doesn't, then I feel I'm reaching the real audience I need to reach. This is the unexpected parts of blogging: friendships with other bloggers (as I feel with you) - I feel like this is the contemporary version of pen-pals. Budding friendships with readers. My own self confidence. My improvement of my writing and photography. People who read my blog and knew me already think I'm sort of "famous" (hardly!) but it's a fun thing to talk about at a dinner party. I've also noticed that blogs that have ads (whatever type) are not as relaxing to read as the ones without. I couldn't put my finger on why I found some blogs a chore to read and some were a lovely break and I think it's the blinking ads on the side. I do not fault a blogger for getting some benefit for their work and find women so often volunteer their skills without getting paid. Oh my gosh I'm getting long-winded so let me wrap up by saying I love learning about you! Sometimes it's your clothes. Sometimes it's your work. Sometimes it's your island. Keep doing what you're doing. Feel free to make a few bucks if you want. Don't worry about the numbers b/c you're getting quality now and I am certain it will grow. Also, remember you're showing the world that women who are not young are still here and have something to say and the whole world needs to know that!
    Your friend, Julia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for your honest contribution today. Like you, I suppose I love having my own little place to write my thoughts, air my photos and just be me. Your so right about the blinking and distraction of advertising on some blogs. Some time ago I arranged to place an advert for the Isles of Scilly, but that was a gift that I wanted to give to support the islands where I live. The reason for doing so is so obvious that I don't need to explain. Anything else would have to make the same kind of sense in my life.
      I think my mission is not unlike yours Julia: I want to show women of my age that we're not all washed up just because we've come through the menopause and are feeling a bit lost, dazed and not quite sure what the new rules are for us. I want to share the joy and enthusiasm that can be had though the self expression of great style. I love to find bargains in charity shops, but that doesn't mean to say I want to look so obviously that I dress from charity shops - know what I mean? As newbies I think we're doing fine Julia, and am so very grateful for the friendships that have developed thanks to the blog. Thanks for dropping by as you do, and a big thank you for your kind words and support today.
      Anna x

      Delete
  21. Totally understand where you're coming from. I saw on Instagram you were having this conversation and started thinking myself about my reasons for blogging. I started 6 months ago and have the same thoughts. Why are my numbers down? I thought b/c it was summer and maybe people were outside more rather than on their device. Not sure though b/c it's October. I understand it doesn't define my blog but I don't want to just write this for my mom and sister. Why do I go through so much trouble? It is time consuming and a lot of planning and some work to put together outfits, photo shoots, clever writing and heavy editing. Why am I staying up late ironing a scarf b/c my husband is reluctantly getting up early to drive 45 minutes away to find a decent place to photograph me? He is always saying "how much are you getting paid for this?" (zero). Gosh, I'm so where you are. This is what I've found: My blog is my piece of the electronic universe. I own it. I control it. I can say what I want. I always evaluate why I started my blog and it always comes down to "I want to help women with the same shape find confidence with their clothes" and I'm fulfilling that mission. Yeah, maybe it's not very many women now but I really think this internet thing builds slowly then has the opportunity to explode. If it doesn't, then I feel I'm reaching the real audience I need to reach. This is the unexpected parts of blogging: friendships with other bloggers (as I feel with you) - I feel like this is the contemporary version of pen-pals. Budding friendships with readers. My own self confidence. My improvement of my writing and photography. People who read my blog and knew me already think I'm sort of "famous" (hardly!) but it's a fun thing to talk about at a dinner party. I've also noticed that blogs that have ads (whatever type) are not as relaxing to read as the ones without. I couldn't put my finger on why I found some blogs a chore to read and some were a lovely break and I think it's the blinking ads on the side. I do not fault a blogger for getting some benefit for their work and find women so often volunteer their skills without getting paid. Oh my gosh I'm getting long-winded so let me wrap up by saying I love learning about you! Sometimes it's your clothes. Sometimes it's your work. Sometimes it's your island. Keep doing what you're doing. Feel free to make a few bucks if you want. Don't worry about the numbers b/c you're getting quality now and I am certain it will grow. Also, remember you're showing the world that women who are not young are still here and have something to say and the whole world needs to know that!
    Your friend, Julia

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hi Anna, I'm a silent regular reader, 48 year old, mother, professor and research scientist (not a blogger) living in Florida. I love your blog and a handful of others precisely because of your unique and personal sense of style. I really love that you incorporate many thrift shop finds of various vintage and so many colors. I get so many ideas. I also love a peek into your life amidst your beautiful scenery. Please keep it personal. I have stopped following a few other blogs so avidly once they got caught up in promoting brands, and seemed to me to lose their integrity. Thank you for sharing your life!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's so very rewarding to get feedback like yours my anonymous friend. I write to reach out, to connect with those who are looking for fun clothes, honest tales and the simple joy of putting a few colours and patterns together in an unusual, unexpected way. I live a lovely life, and think that there may be busy, hard working people out there who can't go sea swimming but may really enjoy seeing my crazy friends and I gadding about in the cold atlantic, smiling like maniacs. Such is the joy of sharing. I'm delighted that you have kept me on your reading list. My integrity is what I hope will keep me there. Every day, I aspire to be the best me I can be, and that's what I hope will keep you and my other silent majority coming back for more. Thanks so much for speaking out and sharing your thoughts. Have a lovely week x
      Anna

      Delete
  23. Dear Anna, we've all met that beast and Melanie and Suzanne have hit the nail on the head. I find that I'm increasing drawn to the blogs that DON'T constantly do collabs with brands. I'm drawn to those blogs like the ladies above who aren't afraid to showcase their own style and their stories. Anyone can do a collab post and bleat about how wonderful this and that is but so many of those posts frankly are insipid, bland and don't get my creative juices going. Now that's not to say judicious collabs with brands can't work but I'm looking for originality and boy do you have it in spades!
    What you do, is far far more interesting. Does it matter than I can't click on links to get your look from head to toe? No, No, No. And I'll tell you why. Because your outfits give me ideas. They are starting points and inspire me to go off and play with what I have in my wardrobe. Your choice and colours, shapes and outfits make me look at my clothes with a sharper eye and that's what I'm looking for in bloggers.
    Anyone can do a carbon copy of an outfit. Anyone can be a mannequin for a brand. BUT there's only one Anna, just as there's only one Jacqueline. Being you, is your biggest selling point.
    Just keep on doing what you're doing. You do it with pizzazz. And if you ever doubt yourself again, give me a bell and I'll come round and slap you with a wet fish, albeit gently of course, to wake you out of your doubtfulness.

    Much love. xx

    http://petitesilvervixen.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Jacqueline, that's so kind of you to voice your support like this. I'm aware that we started this blogging game about the same time, but I also know that I don't get across to read your blog as often as I did. But it's grand that we (you, me and Samantha) have all created our own little group of followers and then we bounce back to catch up with each other from time to time as well. I like that.
      I think we all have to do what feels right for the individual, and for some that may be regular collaborations. It may well be very flattering to have loads of freebies thrown at you, week in, week out. But that's not for me. Catherine advised me to hang on until the right brand came along, and it's good advice. I may wait forever, but in the meantime I'll keep doing my own thing, and enjoying it as I go.
      I look forward to a slap with a wet fish when I lose my way next time, but don't bring one all the way from London - I'd rather have something fresh from these waters!
      Thanks for your enduring support x
      Anna

      Delete
    2. I solemnly vow my wet fish will be fresh. Only the best for you. xx

      Delete
    3. Can only say that I'm looking forward to this in a wierd way x

      Delete
  24. Anna,
    Your friend Jacqueline slayed me with the comment about smacking you with a fish. I'm now following her; don't want to miss any of the fun!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Judy, that's another good blog to follow, especially as she's a bit fiesty like me x

      Delete
  25. Anna,
    Your friend Jacqueline slayed me with the comment about smacking you with a fish. I'm now following her; don't want to miss any of the fun!!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hi Anna, I'm a 46 (47 on Sunday!) mom of three boys. I LOVE your blog. I never comment but I'm a faithful follower. I hope you will keep doing what you are doing. I always get turned off by blogs that seem to be more focused on advertising that just fun clothes. I love thrift shopping for clothes and you keep me inspired. Thank you! Keep up the good work!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Jill, thank you for stepping forward to comment - I really appreciate that. It's so heartening to have this kind of response from my normally silent readership. "Faithful follower" is a wonderful show of commitment from you, and rest assured that my commitment is mirrored in my desire to entertain you, to inspire you and show you how I'm convinced that we can all have fun with clothes, no matter what age.
      Happy Birthday for Sunday!
      Anna x

      Delete
  27. What more can I say ? It's all here written above my comment. As you know I love your individuality . Keep going x
    www.vanityandmestyle.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Laurie, thank you for your support. I was worried that I might tread on bloggers toes with this, but as you'll see that wasn't my intention. Going back to Suzanne's comment, I have to agree with her, that increasingly when I think about my blog, I think about friendships made and yours is one that I include there.
      Anna x

      Delete
  28. Hi Anna I would have loved you to have reviewed some of our products but I completely understand your view about your own blog, well done.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lucy, that's very generous of you comment like this. Thanks so much x
      Anna

      Delete
  29. Hey Anna,

    tell you what? I want to blog for so Long now, yet have never started, because I never wanted my blog to become an advertisement stage for other Content than mine, or maybe even things I don't even like but still have to talk positively about etc.
    Don't get me started on "but please don't Label it as sponsored post..."-questions.

    Fact is: your blog is your own voice. Do NOT sell it. You'd blend in seamlessly with myriads of other headless "Bloggers", whose become brightly dressed and nicely painted hollow barbies.
    Your opinion, your voice, this is so important and so influential companies want to buy it from you. Leave them in the rain - I for my part have eliminated all the Blogs who turned into just another Advertising canal. Same like throwing out the TV. Just cut it, I won't spend my precious free time on reading ad after ad after ad. No, thanks.

    And Anna - thanks for being so honest about this thought with us. Stay this way! Stay Independent, because that's what it is: independency. And it never is for sale.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooooo I do like a good rant! Thanks for sharing your passionate voice with me. I realise that I'm choosing to put myself into a minority position amongst the blogging community, but I can't really do anything else. Independence, honesty, integrety - call it what you will - I can only say what feels right for me. I have nothing against other bloggers who chose the other path, and applaud those who have found their fame and fortune along that way - it's just not for me.
      Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts and give support x
      Anna

      Delete

Popular Posts