Dear readers, I've been slacking.
I haven't published anything on this blog for over a month - and before that, honestly, most of the blog posts were written at the start of summer (or even before) and I was lucky enough to just have to re-read them, make a few small changes and put them online.
Because this summer, life happened. No huge life-changing events (although from my perspective, tiny life-changing events happen every single day), just general life.
This blog is a work of love - and I keep it because I love our lifestyle, I love writing, and I love writing about our lifestyle. And thankfully, a few people love reading what I write - and those are the people I write for.
However, when I moved this blog from it's original location (our bed & breakfast website) to its own domain, I wanted to start making money with my blog. And now, from every more objective point of view, this blog is failing. It's not bringing any money, people rarely comment on my posts, and when I post a link to a blog post on social media, it gets crickets. Is that a problem?
No, it's not. I know it's in my own hands; I could greatly "improve" my blog by following the rules. I could write about topics that get better rankings in search engines, I could put up titles that get more people to click on it on Facebook, I could spend more time promoting and sharing my website, instead of just writing something new whenever I feel like it. I could add in the codes to the advertisements that ad placement companies wanted to place on it, and I could include sponsored posts and other moneymakers. Yes, you guessed right: my blog had a bit of an existential crisis over the summer :-) And that's a good thing.
Sometimes we need to take a step back in order to really move forward, and that's what September helped me do. September was so busy I didn't even get to Sunny Simple Living - our bed and breakfast was fully booked from the end of July until just last week, and I took on a bit of extra work as a social media manager for other people (more about that later). I took more than one step back.
I also saw the light: I started Sunny Simple Living / Simple Living in Spain because I wanted to have some fun - so fun it should stay. I might publish a bit more about gardening and include the occasional recipe when people ask me for it, but you'll still get the long and philosophical posts about Life, the Universe and Everything. I'm not going to place ads on my website, and I'm not going to blog about products unless I absolutely and totally love them and I'd write about them for free (like I did about Wunderlist. I'm still in love with that tool, even though they've been bought my Microsoft and destined to die a slow and agonising death). The rebel in me thinks Sunny Simple Living is my playground, and I should be able to do whatever I want with it.
Because my "real" job requires me to follow the rules. To design online marketing strategies that work, to write the exact things I need to get more clicks and eyeballs, to tell other people what they need to do in order to get more followers and customers. Do I hate social media management? No, I love it! I just need my own private playground where I can follow my own rules - and this is it.
One last thing before I leave you here - and it's about my "real job" as well. I've been hosting workshops where I'd help local small businesses and solopreneurs find their way in the apparent chaos that is the online world. The workshops are all about social media, mailing lists, building websites, landing pages, sales funnels, search engine optimisation and need I go on? - I've not been advertising those workshops yet but if you're interested in attending them, do get in touch.
If you are in the process of setting up your own business (or maybe you're already self-employed, but you're always looking for more information?), do check out my brand new "other" website, Blogging Apprentice at www.bloggingapprentice.com. We're offering free courses and downloads, discounts and deals on other people's courses and e-books, and soon I'll be launching a few webinars and courses of my own. If you want to get a notification when that happens, do subscribe to the Blogging Apprentice mailing list!