Sunday, 27 November 2016

Change is Good...

I've been blogging for over five years. This blog has been a space on the internet where I can express my creativity in outfit posts, crafty tutorials and reviews. For a long while I have been thinking about making some serious changes when it comes to blogging. I no longer feel the name 'This Fashion is Mine' is a true representation of what this blog is anymore. I will always have a love for fashion, but there are a wide variety of topics I write about and even more topics I'd like to include in the future. My blog has taken a back seat while work life has become my main focus and priority. I don't want to give up on blogging. But my attitudes towards it have changed and my goals aren't what they once were. I'm not interested in working flat out to grow my blog into a business. It's always been a lovely little side-earner bringing in a few pennies and some freebies here and there. Now I have the business to run, Photography by Gwen, which I see as my 'real-life job' (even if some people might not!) I love my job and throw all my passion and energy into. I get to take photographs for a living, what can be better!

For now, all that is changing is my blog name and url. Which is actually a bigger step than you might think. Anyone who blogs will understand the importance of their domain name and how after blogging under one alias for many years, the idea of changing your url is a very scary and uncertain step. Think of all those broken links! Yes, it was daunting. And for ages I kept putting it off and talking myself out of it. I learnt to get on with This Fashion is Mine, a name I picked back in 2011. I didn't hate my old name I just felt it didn't fit with my blog content and it didn't give me the confidence to take on a new direction with blogging. Say hello to Hello Gwen. Not the most original blog name, I know. There are many blogs and websites out there using the 'hello' prefix but I can see why. It's simple, it's personal and it leaves your blog open to many topics. It's also really lovely to have a simple two-word blog name! I can't tell you how strange it feels to refer to my blog with only two little words, when This Fashion is Mine was always a bit of a mouthful!

Soon I would like to be posting in a far more relaxed way. This blog is a project to practice my writing and photography. I'm slowly going to remove advertising from Hello Gwen. You may have already spotted the sidebar looks emptier. I have nothing against blogs that want to display adverts and those who make the majority of their income from advertising, this is a choice I'm making which suits me now and might not have suited me two years ago. The amount my blog brings in from advertising is very small. When I was blogging regularly, before I left education and when I had much more free time, I was doing quite well from the adverts appearing in the sidebar. Not well enough to live off, but a bit of pocket money. Posting less frequently combined with my growing disinterest of social media means my blog income has suffered. But it's ok, I'm making my pennies elsewhere these days! Getting rid of some or all of the advertising blocks will free up my layout too and hopefully be pleasing on the eye. That's not to say I won't be collaborating with brands anymore or putting out sponsored content. I've reduced the amount of brand work I do but I really enjoy fun collabs with brands I genuinely love so if the opportunity arises I will gladly take it up.

Can you believe there are 731 posts live on my blog. That's insane! It would be such a shame to get rid of those posts that I've spent time and energy putting together just because I'm having a change in direction. There are many posts I'm still really proud of. I'd be doing a disservice to myself by deleting them so I can start fresh. This is why all the content that you've come to know and find useful will still be available on Hello Gwen. (Including a whopping 75 diy tutorials!!)

I'll be continuing to write with a lifestyle angle. And I'm keen to share more diary-style posts, snapshots of everyday life and start enjoying the freedom that writing for pleasure brings. I'm on a mission to take more creative photographs for myself (not just for work) and explore new areas of photography again. Something I haven't done much of since leaving University. So sharing my photography on Hello Gwen will be fun too.

My social media platforms are changing too. I haven't been making much effort for a while to be honest. I follow a lot of bloggers on Twitter and all I see when I open the app is hundreds of self-promo tweets with links to blog posts. There's a rare gem of a tweet that makes me laugh out loud or want to hit the share button. And those tweets are why I joined Twitter. Instagram is my preferred platform of choice but I'll be posting pictures of everyday things and not worrying about it fitting an aesthetic.

Finally, thank you if you made it this far down the page! I hope you'll all join me in this new venture and stay connected with Hello Gwen. If you already follow me on Bloglovin, you shouldn't have to do anything, you'll still be a follower. Be sure to update your browser bookmarks with the new url and let me know what you think of the new name and the new direction...



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