Getting back to the blogging basics

Getting back to the blogging basics | robowecop

I’ve been thinking a lot about blogging lately. I’ve been thinking about my upcoming rebrand, about what content I want to create, about what content other people are creating, about why my relationship with blogging is so turbulent. About a lot of things, clearly.

I started reading blogs in around 2009/2010 and started reading them more on the regular in around 2012 ish. Blogging was SO different back then, and I mean that’s obvious because it was 7/8+ years ago now. (Holy crap.) I used to read so many different blogs and every single one was so different, yet they all had a similar underlying theme of “hey, this is my life and this is the stuff I like and/or am doing”.

The ones I really loved were like diaries. They were quick, they were messy, they were imperfect. It wasn’t about the photography, it wasn’t about the statistics and it wasn’t about being that “famous” full-time blogger. (Not that any of this is a bad thing, obviously.)

Fast forward to now and I find that a lot of blogs now are about the BIGNESS. (Is that a word?) They’re about the perfect photos, the 2,000 word posts, the oh-my-god-I-need-to-feature-this-brand stress, the magazine-esque, perfect, clean, glossiness.

I’m not at all saying any of this is even remotely bad, some of my absolute #girlboss #goals gals have blogs that fit that exact description, but it’s not why I started blogging and it’s definitely not where I saw my blog going.

Flashback to 2014, when I started rhiannaolivia.com (albeit under a different name at the time), blogging had changed since I started reading in ~2009, but not tonnes. It had sort of balanced out. There was still an essence of “the blogger behind the blog”, there was still that raw, messy, imperfect feel to a lot of blogs I loved, except they’d been cleaned up and fine tuned a little bit. For me, the time I started my blog was my perfect balance between imperfect and glossy. It was what I want my blog to be.

Recently, I’ve been really thinking about what sort of content I want to create over here on RBC. If you saw my recent blog post, you’ll know that I have a hefty rebrand planned and I’m hoping to implement it within the next couple of months – I want to make sure that when it happens, I’m happy with my content and it feels like “me” to go alongside the new look (and new name (!!!)).

So far in 2017, I’ve been super proud of every post I’ve written. There hasn’t been many of them (lol, so much for “I’M GONNA BLOG 5+ TIMES A WEEK, I’ve only blogged 5 times this year so far) but I’ve felt proud and loved every single one of them, which I think is important.

Like I said earlier, I’ve been really thinking about what I want RBC (or whatever I’m going to rename it, heh) to be. And I think I’ve come to a conclusion.

I want less BIGNESS. (Again, not sure that’s a word.) I want the balance that I saw in blogs a few years ago, but I want to tailor it to today’s expanding blog audiences.

Balance is definitely key, I think. I want to feel like a super girlboss that could take on the world and maybe someday take my blog full time, but I also want to stay me. I want to remind myself WHY I started blogging and what I originally wanted my blog to be.

So, what do I actually want to do? (This post is swiftly becoming a giant ramble-fest oops soz).

I want to create more “little” posts.

I miss the days of “here’s a quick recipe I’m loving”, “oh my god guys you need this one lipstick in your life”, “we went on a day out, here are some photos”, “I had this weird thought today and I want to share it with you in 500 words or less” short posts. I feel like every post on my blog has to be this 2,000 word, perfect masterpiece when in actuality I need to bring in a little more quick tidbits into my life, what I’m loving and what I’m doing.

I want to create less “LOOK AT ALL THESE THINGS” information overload posts. Less “this post has to be absolutely flawless perfect” posts. I want everything to be easier, more fun, more informal and as friendly as RBC ever has been.

I want the balance that I see in my head. I want these quick, little insight posts but I want them to have thought out photos to go with them. I want to keep my blog looking GOOD, keep it feeling “professional” and “clean” and sort-of-glossy-ish whilst still remembering why I started blogging in the first place.

Is any of this even making any sense?

Basically, I’m sick of feeling like every post I do has to have BIGNESS to it. I want to get back to basics and I’m SO excited by the prospect, which proves it is the right decision for me. Hopefully, you’ll all stick along for the ride.

Peace out.

(Also, before I go, in regards to the rebrand I’m currently stuck on names. I feel like ‘Rhianna Bowe’ isn’t a cool enough ~blog brand~ name but I’m not sure. Thoughts?? You know how I like to keep you guys included in this! THANKS.)


If you liked this post, you might like In 2017, I’m going to grow or Blogging tips straight from the experts

Follow

Follow:
Share:
  • Ellis Woolley

    I swear you’re the QUEEN of flatlays! LOVE all of your photography :’) Ellis x // http://www.elliswoolley.co.uk

  • Oh my goodness THIS!!!!!! It’s so difficult to keep up with everything and I think it really puts me off from creating content. I don’t need to write an essay about my favourite things, I need to remember this!

    Katie x

  • This is such a smart move! In the age of Twitter, I think a lot of users are looking for instant gratification and less “fluff.” However, those who look specifically to blogs more than likely want a balance of both. Looking forward to seeing your content transform :)

    Amber || http://www.mylifeinlimbo.com

  • The irony is that this is a long post with perfect photography LOL but I totally know what you mean, I feel like I have to write about at least three items/products or have at least ‘x’ number of points about something. All this new found pressure for a hobby I used to adore doing.

    http://www.hellosaralou.blogspot.com

    • Katie May

      I totally agree! If you don’t have a certain amount of ‘things/products/’ to talk about then the post is just not valid. But it’s your own blog and you’re allowed to do what you want! I do love this post, this is exactly what’s been going on in my head! X

  • Elizabeth Strawn

    Found you randomly via Twitter, and this post resonated with me SO MUCH. I had a little blog going circa 2013-14, right when all the cookie-cutter blogs started picking up steam on Instagram and everywhere else. Suddenly everything in the blog world was SO curated, and everything had a purpose and a plan and a sales pitch and 3 affiliate links, and aaaaaagghh–it felt exhausting. I couldn’t make myself adhere to that chaos. I abandoned that blog but still have the itch to share and create. Blogs like yours reassure me that there are genuine people still doing this for the purpose of connecting and documenting the life they’re living (which I feel is exactly why we SHOULD blog in the first place). You’re lighting a fire under me to pursue a better kind of blogging!

    • This comment has absolutely made my day! Thanks so much Elizabeth – I’m so glad you got something from this post! :)

  • I feel like the more I blog, the closer I am to the kinds of posts I love putting out there! All of I think almost every post I wrote in 2017 so far I’ve been proud of too, and I agree it’s such an important quality (although, I haven’t blogged tons like I said I would either, haha). Those “little posts” I want to do more of too! I have a couple ideas down and ready for the start of April and I can’t wait to get them out. It’s like this entire year so far has been a rush of ideas and I’m loving blogging more than ever!! xx You’re honestly such an inspo to me ily

    Kyia at WANDERLUSTGIRL// Lifestyle & Beauty
    Let’s be BLOGLOVIN friends!

  • Trina Christensen

    I could not agree more with this.

  • Love love love this post! You’ve put into words exactly how I’ve been feeling over the past few months.
    I’m excited to see your re-brand. I’m sure it’s going to be amazing :)

  • This is such an inspiring post, in my opinion. I think there’s a lot of pressure on bloggers who aren’t really big to achieve this “bigness” you talked about, when, in fact, we should care more about the things we actually like or are passionate to write about… Thank you for this post. I am really excited about your rebranding! :) also: your photography is absolutely stunning!! xx

    Conney | teatymestories.blogspot.com

  • You’re one of my favorite bloggers so I can’t wait to see the whole new re-vamp.
    I myself feel like I have to write certain posts just to get seen and it shouldn’t be like that!

    Caroline xo

    http://www.teaandbeauty.com

  • Mischa

    You have one of my favourite blogs on bloglovin as you post about pretty much everything I love i.e food, makeup, lifestyle and even topics such as mental health. I rarely see other bloggers get this perfect balance as its usually saturated with one kind of content. I cannot wait to see your posts this year! xx
    http://www.themischadiaries.com

  • This is actually the first post on your blog that I’ve read but I completely understand how you feel! I used to have a literary blog back in 2011 but now that I’ve gotten back into blogging I feel like a newbie again.

    I’m struggling to decide what sort of approach to take. I think writing so many essays has made me too academic but give captured the voice I want perfectly. I think it’s best when there’s still some of the blogger, some of the behind the scenes feeling rather than ‘bigness’ as you put it.

    I’m looking forward to reading more of your blog! Good luck to both of us, hopefully we both manage to find the voices we want.

  • I absolutely adore your blog so I can’t wait to see what type of posts you bring out in 2017, however ramble-orientated they might be! Those are my favourite types of posts!

    Kirsty | The Monday Project (themondayproject.co.uk)

  • I absolutely know what you mean. I’ve been feeling a bit alienated by the glossiness of blogs recently. I mean, some of my favourite bloggers are “big” full time bloggers, but a lot of the perfect, luxury lifestyles that are pictured just aren’t relatable to me. I miss when bloggers would take photos of themselves with a tripod in their bedroom! I love the sounds of your new direction, there’s so much messiness in life and it’s a beautiful thing to capture xx

    Jessthetics

  • Brilliant post, I for one would love to read more about the short little ramblings in your life and the things that you’re loving! Alice xxx

    http://www.woodenwindowsills.co.uk

  • Ela

    This is such a refreshing thing to read when a lot of blogs have that glossy, magazine feel to them!
    Ela | http://www.stealingyoursunbeams.wordpress.com

  • Naomi

    Love this – I’m a new reader, an old blogger (since 2013!) but I’ve always tried to keep my blog exactly the way I want it. I love reading others’ content and being inspired by their photos and writing style but at the end of the day you’ve got to make your blog your own! And I love smaller posts so I can’t wait to see more of those on your blog :)

    N xo

    http://www.whatnaomiwrote.blogspot.co.uk

  • I’ve always loved your blog for this reason, I feel like it’s so different and has a muchness to it? I love that you write more about your feelings and lifestyle and I’ll be reading every post you post! X

  • Edward Vreca

    I have struggled with what you call bigness. I decided to keep my posts relatively short and sweet. The time I have in my life doesn’t allow for writing long posts with regularity. I think the changes you want to make are a positive step. What you do already looks great and I’m sure your changes will only enhance your blogs appeal and grow your audience even more.

  • I’ve been having these exact thoughts too. At the risk of sounding like a total grandma, I really miss the good ol’ days haha. That’s how I used to write – that journal style you mentioned – and now I’ve gone all polished because I felt like I needed to compete with everyone. But it isn’t fun for me anymore! So I’ve decided to stop scheduling and researching and networking for a while and instead just WRITE. Whenever I feel like it. Even if it’s only one day a week. Who needs the pressure?! Good luck with the re-brand, sweetheart! :)

  • THIS. This is exactly why I rebranded my blog at the beginning of the year. It’s so easy to get so fixated on the small things and begin to loose sight on the real reason. The reason you started blogging in the first place. For me, it’s because I love to write. I love your blog the way it is but if you’re not happy, put these changes in place. You’ll be surprised how inspired you become. Best of luck with the rebrand, I actually quite like Rhianna Bowe :) x

    Jess // http://www.whos-that-girl.co.uk

  • Good luck in all of your goals! The main reason I fell in love with blogging was because it wasn’t like an online diary for me, and I’m so happy that I still treat it that way but it’s a lot harder to get noticed now as my pictures are nowhere near perfect nor is my writing. Hopefully I can improve!

    Lizzie Bee // http://www.hellolizziebee.com

  • RosieBaillie

    I completely agree with you. I didn’t blog a huge amount last year because of university, and I definitely fell out of love with it for a few months because I felt like I couldn’t live up to the ‘bigness’ or perfection people expect. Personally, my favourite blogs are the ones like yours where you feel like you’re getting to know an actual person, and there’s personality, and realness. I don’t take to the huge blogs because there’s just no personality there anymore.

    Looking forward to your rebrand. Exciting stuff!

  • I totally agree with you! Last year I was stuck in a massive blogging rut because I didn’t think my blog was good enough compared to those amazing bigger bloggers! However, I’ve come to realise that comparison is stupid and sometimes short posts with personalty can be just as amazing and it’s definitely all about finding that balance! Can’t wait to see your rebrand!

    Millie x // Millie’s Wardrobe

  • I totally get where you’re coming from! I think those little posts are going to get bigger this year too. Sometimes that’s exactly what we need, the super quick easy to read posts. I like a little bit of raw-ness in blogs. Excited to see your rebrand!xx

    Lucy x | lucy-cole.co.uk

  • I LOVE THIS! My blog and readership is only small and as much as I want to grow it, I just feel like I can’t compete with how professional and SEO perfect everyone else’s posts are, I love my blog to be my little corner of the internet and I want it to stay that way! To be posted when I feel like it and be proud of every post because it’s what I love, not what I want everyone else to love. I totally think your name is ‘cool enough’ to be a blog name on it’s own, I defo don’t think my name is but I used it anyway!!

    meg x meghobson.com

  • Aimée Julia Cottle

    I actually didn’t start blogging, or even reading blogs, until about 2 years ago. So when I started, there was very much an element of BIGNESS about blogs (if it isn’t a word, we should make t a word!) Which is how I wanted mine to be, I guess. But I do like to include personal, not so perfect posts. I like to think my blog is a balance between trying to be perfect posts, and life updates etc that, well, aren’t so perfect. It’s so important to find what suits you though, otherwise you’ll never enjoy it. It sounds like you’re onto it, though, and I’m excited for you! x http://www.aimeeraindropwrites.co.uk x

  • I totally understand what you mean and I’ve been thinking about the same kind of things for a while. I only started blogging a couple of years ago but didn’t post much because I felt like I didn’t fit in, I couldn’t and didn’t want to find my niche, and I was really confused. Lately I realised that I just want my blog to be a personal diary, I don’t even care if people read it or not, I just want to be able to feel proud of myself and go back to older posts to just read them and remember some silly things I thought or that happened to me or see what I used to wear or what my favourite things were. All of this while being able to improve my writing skills, photography skills, and others little things.

    Anyway, I think you could definitely go for Rhianna Bowe, it sounds super cool to me, it’s not a common name but it still has something in common with robowecop, it would keep some continuity between your old name and new one, if that makes sense.

    Marti | paperplanepond.co.uk

  • This all made complete sense to me Rhi! I feel a similar way about my blog. I looked back to a few years back and the posts were a lot shorter and much more spare of the moment. These posts are the ones I look back on with such fond memories, I don’t want to look back on these ‘big’ posts and not connect to them in any way. I had a bit of a horrible experience last Friday and just poured it out onto my blog. I thought I had made a mistake, but it was so well received. I think chatty, honest posts are the best. Can’t wait to see what your re-brand brings my love! Immy x

    http://www.immymay.com

  • Saffron Amy-Rose Watson

    I’ve literally just been planning a blog post comparing blogging then to blogging now! I agree with everything you’ve said! Blogging used to be so relaxed, and back in the day I used to write complete rubbish, but all I cared about was my small following and that people were just reading it!

    Now, it does seem like you need big followings and to be sponsored (I’m guilty of dreaming big), but the numbers and followers aside, I do really love blogging! It takes my mind off of the stresses of life, and university work, and actually makes me happy. I think more of us need to remind ourselves of why we really do it!

    saffronwatson.blogspot.co.uk

  • I think the approach you described sounds like exactly the right way to go. I feel like I could stand to do the same with my blog, since I often go weeks (or even months) without publishing anything because I just don’t have that “big” post done or don’t have the motivation to start one. I’ve thought before about expanding the types of topics I write about and including more short, “off-topic” posts, but I’ve hesitated because my blog started out with such a clear theme (my observations about Germany as an American expat).

    In terms of the name question, that’s a hard one! I had a hard time even coming up with the first name for my blog, never mind a whole new one! I would try to go with something short, maybe even a single word. I hope that helps at least a little bit!

    Danielle | solongusa.blogspot.com

  • I startet blogging back in 2005, and came back around 2012, so I definitely know what you’re saying! and HOW COOL is the name rhianna bowe? it sounds like you SHOULD be famous, honestly! have a great day :)

  • I can totally see where you’re coming from and definitely feel at least a little similar! Whilst I love seeing gorgeous photos it can often become more detached and impersonal & although long/rambly posts are nice to read sometimes, I often find myself skipping through them! Ultimately it’s your blog so should be a reflection of you and how you want it to be- never lose sight of that!

    http://taradaniella.com/

  • Nadia

    I couldn’t nod away more while reading this post, girl!! Even though I haven’t been blogging for years (my little blog baby is almost 1,5yr), I have seen massive changes in blogosphere in a short period of time. Just like you, I’ve been reading blogs since 2009’ish (maybe earlier). The “BIGNESS” factor that is there now is definitely putting that pressure on us. I LOVE the idea of “little” posts :) I remember the day when I felt like my voice finally “came out” and this year I am planning on making sure there’s more “me” in each blog post :)
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, sweetie <3
    xox Nadia
    http://www.mielandmint.com

  • I completely feel the same way about blogging. Albeit I’ve only really thrown myself into blogging over the last year, I’ve changed the direction of it to reflect where I want to take it. I don’t think you need a name that works as a blog brand if you want less bingess though – just something that you’re happy with :) I’m seriously looking forward to your rebrand!
    Juanita x http://www.juanitashikira.com

  • This is exactly what it’s all about! I think there’s a massive trend of bloggers rebranding to just their own name…! Do what you think is right! Frankie x

    Joieandthevivre.com

  • I’m planning on taking my blog back to “basics” this year too: making it more about the content I want to create, than what I feel other people want to read. Does that make sense? I mean, I want people to read it, sure – otherwise, what’s the point – but anybody can post reviews. I want the personal stuff, the stuff I’m passionate about: mental health, feminism, bigging up local businesses. I’ve been told it’s obvious already, which makes me really happy!

    I’m going to be sad to see you lose Robowecop though I completely understand the reasons behind it – I just think it’s such a clever name! But your real name is striking, beautiful and has a real ring to it. You can defos make it work.

    Lis / last year’s girl x

  • These thoughts are brilliant! I also feel like sometimes I spend so long trying to get that ‘perfect post’ that I end up hate writing it and just give up.
    But on the name front, Rhianna Bowe – I really like, its simple and its you, and I think it’ll be great for your brand!
    Caitylis | http://www.outofocus.co.uk

  • Your thoughts are echoing a lot of what I have been thinking/feeling. I want to create evergreen posts so they keep working for me when I am not posting but love the idea of a quick recipe or quick recommendation without a whole review/story attached to it.

    Sounds like you may have hit on a new blogging trend? :)

    Regarding your name as your new blog title I would def consider trying out variations on your last name “Bowe” to see if u can come up with something clever.

    Thanks for your insight!

    Annika | http://theseasonahead.com

  • Rebecca Ellis

    I’ve been blogging since the beginning of January and I still feel as though I have heaps to learn, and heaps of stuff I want to write about. I don’t consider my posts to be long, but I certainly hope they aren’t too boring for people. I just seem to write about things I’m feeling/liking right now, alongside some tips and advice posts because that’s what I wanted to base my blog on in the first place.

    I’m really looking forward to your rebrand, but I’m also glad that you’ve decided to go back to basic, I hope it all works out for you x

    http://www.sheintheknow.co.uk

  • Yes to all of this, make it what you want to read and you can’t go far wrong I reckon.
    Also, whatever you end up calling your rebranded space you could do a lot worse than Rhianna Bowe which is a pretty spectacular name. Good luck with it all buddy, it’ll be ace.
    M x Life Outside London

  • Pollypoptart

    I’ve been blogging since 2008 and I’ve noticed blogs changing around me, including my own – I was very much a “personal” blogger, “this is what happened to me last night etc” sort of blogger back then and I’ve moved away from that over the years…. partly because it doesn’t really seem to be a “thing” anymore, and also because I don’t have as many stories as I used to! I agree that sometimes things definitely don’t have to be so big, so well said, and good luck with the rebrand!
    Paula http://insertmyblognamehere.blogspot.com

  • Love this post! I really get what you are saying, I love reading blogs that are more personal, hopefully I can continue to do this with my blog :).

    Rachael xx.
    theteacozykitchen.blogspot.co.uk

  • I totally feel you! For me I’m just going with the flow, if that makes sense, but I do want to make my blog more personal now! :)

    franalibi.blogspot.co.uk

  • The blog bigness feels a lot like bragging sometimes. I miss when blogs used to be humble. I feel like that’s the appeal of blogs like The Blogess, where you get a feel for who she really is, instead of “here’s another photo shoot of ME, looking FAAAABULOUS, in a town you’ll never be able to afford.” Blogs used to be about sharing the awkward underbelly of existence, and I miss that.
    Leah / Starling5.com

  • Everything you said definitely makes sense! I totally feel you on the bigness aspect, it’s half the reason I’ve only done two posts this month so far, I guess I’m trying to find my niche again after a hefty time period off. I can’t wait for your rebrand and I can’t wait for all the amazing content I know you’ll post!

    Jodie // jodieloue.com

  • It definitely does make sense and I can’t wait to see everything you’ll come up with :) I didn’t read any blogs seven year ago so I don’t really know how things used to be but I can totally imagine how different everything was! To me blogging is all about just sharing my writing & my thoughts and connecting with like-minded people so I don’t really care about the lenght of a post or about perfect pictures. Of course like you said there’s nothing wrong with that, we should just all do what’s right for us, what we enjoy most x

    Sara’sChapters

  • I LOVE this post Rhianna, I’m so glad you’re getting you ideas together and deciding on what your new blog is going to be. I absolutely adore Robowecop but I can’t wait to see what you come up with next. Whatever it is it’ll be wonderful, I’m sure!

    Sophie
    http://www.sophiesnotebook.com

  • missgetaway

    Oh I’m sure you’re rebrand is going to be fab. I’ve been thinking about this too lately and I totally agree with you. I really don’t like the whole Bigness ;) that’s been going on in the blogging world. Give me a balanced blog containing fab pictures but PLEASE include personality. That’s why I read a blog and not a magazine ;)

    Love, Kerstin
    http://www.missgetaway.com/

  • I really enjoyed this post! I must admit when I started blogging two years ago things felt much more relaxed compared to now. I feel as though there are a few MAJOR bloggers that many of us smaller bloggers look up to and aspire to be like, a lot of us have forgotten why we started blogging. I can’t speak for other people but I know I did. 2017 is going to be the year I find my blogging groove again, in my own personal style. I think recently, the blogging community has turned in to a lions den where we are all hoping for success, but we are slowly losing our spark that makes us individual because we think our blogs have to look a certain way etc (again, I can’t speak for everyone but I know it was like that for me). Apologies for the essay comment, I really did love this post haha! -xo
    p.s. I like the name Rhianna Bowe

    chloedanielle.co.uk

  • I love the idea of bringing blogs back to small snippets of life rather than long rambling reads that it takes the reader a set time in their day to open up Bloglovin and commit to reading long sprawling posts. Sounds like a great way to rebrand :)

    http://victoriaspongepeasepudding.com/

  • I loved this post. I’ve only recently started up my blog but it’s crazy to see how many bloggers there really are compared to when I started just reading blogs a few years ago. Love your blog btw xx