I've noticed recently that a lot of bloggers I follow are celebrating their "Blog Birthday" at the moment.
Truth is, I probably would too if I had the foggiest idea of when I even started this thing.
The thing is, I've tried to perfect a "thing I am good at" online for absolutely years. I went from a blog about beauty, which failed miserably because I didn't really have the face for experimenting with different pretty products on, to a blog about MAKING beauty products (which at the time I did really well with actually! I can make natural lip balms, blushers, and all sorts!), but that one didn't last long because I just didn't have the time or money back then to keep up the production.
Following that, I went on to open a Tumblr about my dreadlocks, an Instagram about my tattoos, ANOTHER Instagram and WordPress about cooking (got bored with how awful my photos were on my brick phone at the time), and then a Blogger account about a short series of sketches I thought up between a friend and I, starring me and my cat Merlin *shrug*
It wasn't until the turn of about 2015/2016 that I finally thought up 'Say Sally May'.
I made a Squarespace account at the time simply called "saysallymay" after my Steam account name (and PSN name, and Xbox Live name - one of those name tags, you know?), because I had no better ideas for a title to be honest, and it had a certain snappy flow to it (much snappier than 'SallyMayMariaMorgan-Moore.com' anyway...).
Squarespace allowed me to be more "visual" with my presentation of writing and photography, which in turn gave me a better feel for what my potential might be if I invested in a better camera and what not.
I began just throwing together bits of everything just to practice how layouts work, and how to use analytics (even though literally no one was reading any of what I had to write) - I just did what I wanted to do, and didn't conform to one niche. I couldn't! It's simply something I wasn't good at doing.
Somehow this went on for a year, and somehow people paid some amount of attention, and the rest is history and what you see today.
On the turn of 2017 though, I hit a bit of a barrier with "me". I suddenly didn't know what to write about, and weirdly forgot how to make content. I had a weird-ass feeling that I didn't know what people wanted to read, and I didn't know what I SHOULD be writing about. I didn't know what to conform to.
My interaction on Twitter fell over, I started dropping off the world all of a sudden, because I just didn't know how what people wanted me to be this year...
Then around mid February, I punched myself in the face.
Where did that old mentality come from? Why am I trying to conform to what makes other people successful again? I know full well that the creativity I get out of that mindset is absolute garbage!
When did I become all 2009 again?!
"Say Sally May" had somehow begun to build a "persona wall". The thing which actually made "Say Sally May" previously was the "Sally" part - the me part. The part that was just free flowing any old recipe, at the same time as any old acne treatment, and any old shirt I was wearing that day. "Sally" can't write about stuff that "Honestly Aine" does, or "Becky Bedbug" likes, or "Vix Meldrew" has - she writes about stuff like a Sally. Much like a Tigger, it's what a Sally does best!
So I took action. An incredible friend called Keila of 'Clever Packs' helped me to untangle myself with a new look. It's amazing what a blog platform switch up and a new site banner can do, right? It's reminded me what my name is - haha. It was time to help me focus.
"Re-branding" myself (if that's what we want to call it) doesn't mean mean that "Say Sally May" is gone. Not at all. "Say Sally May" is still very much here, but instead of the title leading the way, it's Sally Morgan-Moore who leads the title, that leads the way.
Reminding me that I do this thing AS me, and that I interact with my wonderful friends, readers, and brands exactly as me has reset my wobbly line! I'm Sally OF 'Say Sally May', not just 'Say Sally May'. It's helped to stand me back up in the creator saturation.
In addition to all of this though, don't ever be afraid to simply stop in event of a wrong turn either. Your mind needs rest, and desperation to commit and conform with something which isn't sitting right with you for whatever reason can ruin the most golden of vibes, and dash your rhythm. People will still be there when you get back (bigger, better, and clearer than ever), and the minority that aren't simply won't understand what they're missing.
Content Creators Who Keep It Real | My Inspirations
Becky Bedbug | beckybedbug.com
Becky was the FIRST well established Blogger to ever physically speak to me. We met by chance at Blogosphere Magazine's very first networking event. I was very new to blogging, very nervous, and very naive, yet everything she told me that day about what to expect if I wanted to take it all seriously was utterly, utterly true!
There truly are stages in social media progression with blogging whereby you see no wrong in anyone, and everything is so wonderfully rosie, to a stage where you start seeing the clambering and the angry people, to a stage where people even try and STOP you from progressing, to then a further point where everyone is back to pulling you up again with the best pepping ever. She was right about it all, and I listened to every bit of advice she had to get through all of those parts (and when to expect them).
The best part of it all though is she's not JUST a helpful blogger to me any more - I think she was literally only that for the first moments I met her for that chat! She's now a blooming wonderful all round and talented friend I've made through being brave enough to go to my first blogger event, and the definition stops there! I'm the luckiest to have found her!
Honestly Aine | honestlyaine.com
Another lady I met at a Blogosphere event (I should thank them really) Aine puts every moment of her day into content creation in line with her freelancing work. It's so very, very clear that she creates her content because she loves creativity and generating flair, which is somewhere I personally come from too. We had a chat recently before heading off from the Latest in Beauty event about her vlogging habits (they're amazing. She's RELENTLESS!!), and the bit where she just simply said "I do it, because I love it" stayed with me!
Like Aine's, my following across social media channels are strictly organic, where as mine has grown only across the space of just over 12 months. I often go through phases in my head where I think, "Why do I accompany my blog posts with HD mini videos?", and "Why do I spend so much time promoting my posts and perfecting my photos when my total audience only spans to just over 5k for EVERY network combined? No ones looking really", but then literally in the next breath I shoot the thoughts in the face and remember one major thing - it's because I ENJOY IT. I PERSONALLY love being this creative! There are people out there who like my instagram posts and comment on them daily (the same wonderful people - Aine is one of them). I reach THOSE people and they take the time to talk to me about what I love. Aine certified this reasoning for me, and I'm so grateful for it.
Amie | thecurvaceousvegan.com
Support bloggers. If anyone asked me to name one blogger who's basically the cheerleader of any one of us who might need a good pepping and push in the right direction if they find that maybe they've made a mistake in wanting to be a blogger, because they can't do it...or something CRAZY LIKE THAT!
Amie has been my "cheerleader" for months and months now. I feature on her website for promotion, and she's always there to further push my posts and happy feels across twitter and instagram too. She does this for not only me wither, but sometimes 5 or more a month, and always ensures she thoroughly incorporates this support time into her own blog scheduling too, without fail.
Her blog posts are primarily directed at guidance too, from blogger inspiration, self help tips, dealing with difficult situations, and in addition other creative posts like recipes and travel posts!
People like Aime who see the importance of doing what you love in content creation, and helping people by motivating them to push their skills and cope with creative block are golden in our social network. She's selfless among us, and a darling.
Vix Meldrew | vixmeldrew.com
Vix doesn't even know I read her blog, but I do, haha. Pretty much everyone I follow on social media knows Vix, and although our niches are so very far apart in content, she has taught me how to write.
Vix is a relationship blogger, and a highly successful one with her own relationship focused event recently, to being a speaker at #blogcon this year. She knows exactly what shes doing, and she's like no other relationship blogger I've ever read online. Her character is a true reflection in her writing entirely.
I'm not sure if you've ever noticed this, but some bloggers write in very similar styles. They seem to use the same structure of writing and even the same vocab as one another. I often struggle to get an idea of the personality of people from their posts, and even if the content is really helpful or a good review or something, I only get THAT connection from it - I don't get a connection with the writer, which is about 85% of the reason why I would choose to come back to them.
Vix...well...just read her stuff. I'm happily married, not in need to Tinder advice, but I would read her stuff regardless just to have a giggle and feel like shes literally talking AT me through her words. Now that's some powerful skill right there!