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Forever Amber: UK influncer

Blog Like Nobody’s Following

blog like nobody's following

A few weeks ago, I got out the pile of old paper journals I kept from when I was 11 years old until … well, until I started blogging, basically.

I’d had some vague ideas about going through them, and maybe typing up some of the more amusing entries, with the aim of publishing some of them here, as I did with this one. I quickly abandoned that idea as soon as I started flicking through the diaries, though, because oh my holy hell, what a horrible person I was back then. SO much drama. SO much angst. I mean, you think I’m dramatic NOW, you should read my journals from high school. By which I mean you SHOULDN’T read my journals from high school, obviously. No one should ever read my journals from high school. Not even ME, actually, because when I say, I “flicked through them”, I mean that literally. I couldn’t bring myself to actually sit and READ much of it: it was just too painful. GOD.

But it got me thinking.

Although many blogs started out as “online journals”, and some of them still describe themselves that way, blogging is nothing like journalling. Not even a little bit. This is why it always confuses me when people say they blog “for themselves”. “Why do you publish it on the internet, then?” I always want to ask them. Because as soon as there are people reading the things you write (even if it’s just one or two of them), it becomes impossible to TRULY write “for yourself”. Or at least, it does for me. Those old paper journals? I wrote those for myself. That’s why I don’t ever want anyone to read them: because the kind of writing you truly do for yourself is painfully, embarrassingly honest, in a way that the writing you do for an audience rarely is.

No matter how hard you try, when you know someone might read what you write, you start to make allowances for that. You omit details that are too personal, too humiliating, even just too boring. You don’t write about your job, because you could get fired over it. You don’t write about your friends and family, because they might not want their business published on the internet. You don’t write about things that you’d rather keep private, because… you’d rather keep them private, d’uh.

So your writing changes. You probably don’t intend for it to happen, but it does, and the bigger your audience becomes, the more you start to subconsciously (or sometimes even consciously) cater to it. I’m sure there are some bloggers out there who start to gain readers, and manage to stay 100% true to their “writing for themselves” aim: who continue to share all of those “warts and all” details that writing for yourself is about. I am not one of those bloggers, though, and I don’t think many people are, if they’re really honest. As my blog has grown, I’ve found that I’ve censored myself more and more, purely as a consequence of realising that, hey, people are actually reading this thing, so:

a) I need to be careful what I say, so I don’t offend anyone.

and

b) I better try and keep these people entertained, and to give them what they expect.

A lot of people would argue that the second point is silly, and that you should never let your audience dictate your content. I’d agree with that, but I’d also have to concede that while you can’t allow your readers to DICTATE your content, they do, to some extent, INFORM your content. I don’t have readers telling me what to write here,  but I do occasionally get people responding to posts saying they liked the item I’ve featured, but that they “don’t really think it’s blog worthy”. Or that they, “don’t understand why this warranted an entire post,” or something along those lines.

There’s a lot of talk in the blogging world about what is and isn’t “blog-worthy”. I see it in the comments of my own blog (NOT THIS ONE, I hasten to add: I’m honestly not writing this to try and make anyone feel guilty: it only happens to me very occasionally, and mostly on my other, more commercial sites), on other blogs, on forums, on social media. Outfits are deemed “not blog worthy” because who DOESN’T wear jeans and a sweater sometimes? Cooking posts are “not blog worthy” because we ALL know how to make that dish, don’t we? Lifestyle posts, meanwhile, are “not blog-worthy”, because, really, who even CARES about whatever it was the blogger decided to write about that day? Why did they even post that?

some thoughts on how blogging has changed

Why am I showing you these shoes? This is a post about blogging! Who cares what my stupid shoes look like, anyway?

Who gets to decide what is and isn’t blog-worthy? Well, no one, really. The problem is that everyone has their own opinion about what they like to read, and sometimes those opinions will be contradictory. I have some readers who are only here for the fashion posts, for instance, and others who couldn’t care less about fashion, and just like reading about the random acts of stupidity I frequently commit. Other readers only click through on foundation reviews, and wouldn’t care if those were the only things I ever wrote. A smaller number of readers don’t really mind what the post is about, but most have their preferences.

Luckily, the vast majority of readers are happy to just read the posts that interest them and skip the ones which aren’t, but you learn as much from what people DON’T say as what they DO say: you start to realise that certain posts just aren’t popular, and no matter how good your intentions are to “write what you like”, you gradually start to cut down on those posts, and to replace them with ones people DO seem to like, instead.

[columns_row width=”two-thirds-and-third”] [column]It takes a very strong-willed blogger to completely ignore their audience, and most of us are not that strong. Let’s face it: if we REALLY wanted to just WRITE, and we genuinely didn’t care whether anyone ever read the things we write about, we’d go back to those old paper journals, wouldn’t we? But we don’t. We publish our journals online because we want people to read them… and we want people to LIKE them. And although it’s wonderful when people DO, it can also be somewhat stifling to know that those people are there.[/column] [column]

It takes a very strong-willed blogger to completely ignore their audience, and most of us are not that strong.

[/column] [/columns_row]

One of the reasons I moved from a traditional blog layout to the current, more magazine-style theme, was because the old layout, with everything in chronological order, and the most recent post at the top of the page, had started to feel really restrictive to me. When you have a chronological blog, whichever post happens to be at the top of the page instantly becomes the most important post on your entire site. It’s the first thing new (and old) visitors see, and it has the power to either make them stick around, or get the hell outta Dodge.

Did you know that most visitors to your blog make a more-or-less instant decision about it? That if what they see when they land on the site doesn’t immediately pull them in, they’ll be hitting that ‘back’ button and moving on? That’s always bothered me, and with my old layout, it started to dictate what I wrote about. I got this stupid (or maybe NOT stupid?) idea in my head that the first post on the page always had to be AWESOME, and always had to give the best possible impression of what the site was about. Posts that I didn’t have a great photo for, for instance, didn’t get published. Same with anything that didn’t quite fit the “theme” of fashion, beauty, and all the frivolous fun things that this site normally focuses on.

personal blogging

I didn’t write about the work Terry did on our garden this summer, for instance, because although it was weeks and weeks of backbreaking work for him, I didn’t want the first thing new visitors would see to be a crappy photo of a muddy, rubble-strewn patch of land. I didn’t want them to land on my site and think, “Oh. This is a blog about gardening,” and immediately hit the back button because they’d been looking for a fashion blog, and they didn’t realise that the post about gardening was a one-off, and that most of the other content on the site would’ve been much more to their liking, if they’d just scrolled down far enough to see it.

That wasn’t the ONLY reason for the change of template, of course, but it was a fairly big reason. I wanted to be able to write about more than just fashion, without alienating the people who were JUST here for the fashion. I wanted to have a site with lots of different sections, so that new visitors would be able to see at a glance ALL of the different topics they could expect to find here. I wanted to get back to blogging the way I USED to blog, back in the days of Livejournal, and even Typepad: the days when your “online journal” actually WAS a “journal”, and you’d update it almost daily with posts that were sometimes silly, sometimes serious, but always authentic, and always cathartic, in that “If I don’t write this down, I’m going to explode,” kind of way. Or is that just me?

I miss that kind of writing. I’m the type of person who writes, not because I WANT to, but because I HAVE to. The second something happens to me, no matter how small, I instantly start to write a story in my head. I feel like those things that happen HAVEN’T REALLY HAPPENED until I’ve written them down. Years ago, I’d write them down in a paper journal. Later, I moved on to Word documents, then Livejournal, then Typepad, and now here I am. This blog has always felt like an evolution of those paper journals: when I started it, I wanted to be able to one day look back on it  as a record of my life – a memory box of sorts. A few weeks ago, Terry was talking to some friends about what he considers to be his “poor memory,” and he said, “The thing is, I don’t really need to have a good memory: Amber’s blog is my memory.” I liked that: I mean, I’d like him to actually remember things too, obviously, but what he said is more or less what I’d always intended this blog to be.

[columns_row width=”third-and-two-thirds”] [column]

Blogging has changed, but the best thing about blogging has always been the fact that it can be anything you want it to be. Yes, it’s changed: but it can always change back.

[/column] [column]But of course, blogging has changed. We hear that all the time. Everyone talks about how commercial it is, how different it is, how we’ve lost sight of what was once a journal-like medium, in which real people posted real thoughts. Over the last few weeks I’ve read so many posts from people talking about how disillusioned they are, how burnt out, how tired of blogging, and what it’s become. All of sudden, it seems like everyone hates their blog and wants to quit. “It’s not the same any more,” they say. “It’s not the way it used to be.” And they’re right about that: it’s not. But that doesn’t mean it never can be again. Blogging has changed, but the best thing about blogging has always been the fact that it can be anything you want it to be. Yes, it’s changed: but it can always change back.

[/column] [/columns_row]

For me, I think the thing that’s missing from blogging in its current state is the freedom to write about what you want to write about – even if it’s not the type of thing you normally write about, or even particularly important. Not every post has to be amazing. Not every post has to be “important”. Not every post has to be Pinterest-worthy, or the type of thing people will want to share on social media. Not every post has to be a “greatest hit”, or perfectly in tune with your “brand”. Or it shouldn’t have to be, anyway.

The fact is, though, that because of the way the blogging world has changed, many of us are in constant pursuit of perfection: part of that is self-imposed, but some of it comes from external feedback, too. It’s a fact that some readers expect every post to be “blog worthy”, and to fit in with what they’ve come to expect from you. It doesn’t happen often, but I’ve occasionally had people (mostly on my other sites) react badly to a change in topic or style: “this is a fashion blog,” they’ll say, “You need to stick to that.” On one memorable occasion, someone told me they “couldn’t care less” about my life – they just wanted to see what I was wearing, and I’ve also had people comment that particular subjects “didn’t really warrant an entire blog post,” as if there’s some set-in-stone standard about what IS “worthy” and what “isn’t.”

There’s also an problem whereby the act of writing about something tells people that it’s super-important to you, when, in fact, it could just be a random thought you wanted to put down on paper, or a quick rant you needed to get off your chest. “Why did you even write about this?” someone once asked me, and I was so confused by the question. “Because I’m a writer,” I answered eventually, “And that means I like to write about things.” And I do. Sometimes those things are big, important things, and sometimes they’re not. It seems silly to take on board criticism relating to what I should and should not write about it, but I do, and it has occasionally made me feel completely stifled.

Changing the template helped a lot with that – it gave me the freedom to expand the type of content I publish, but I still sometimes feel I shouldn’t write about certain things, because they just won’t interest people, or be deemed “blog worthy”. (Or because, years later, people will still be referring to that random thought I quickly typed out as if it was a defining moment in my life, because they attach much greater significance to the act of writing about something, and publishing a post about it, than it actually deserves.)

[columns_row width=”two-thirds-and-third”] [column]It can be hard to free yourself from those expectations and assumptions, and, in some case, it might not necessarily be a good idea to do it. Not EVERYTHING needs to be recorded, after all. Not all thoughts or experiences need to be set down in writing, and shared with the entire internet.

I think, though, that for blogging to start to feel authentic to people again, we have to give ourselves permission to sometimes step away from the brands our blogs have become, and get back into the habit of writing about whatever interests us.  The problem with that, of course, is that, for many of us, our blogs ARE a brand now. [/column][column]

for blogging to start to feel authentic again, we have to give ourselves permission to sometimes step away from the brands our blogs have become[/column]

[/columns_row]

In my case, my blogs are my livelihood, and filling them with anything-and-everything wouldn’t really be a wise business decision, would it? For instance, when the second mystery gnome turned up in my garden last week, I wanted to write about it – until I realised that would mean that 2 out of the 6 “recent posts” on my homepage would be gnome-related… and that would make my homepage just a little bit more gnome-centric than would really be good for it.

I’ve come up with a solution, though. In the top right of the menu, just under the logo, you’ll see a link to my new “diary” section. It’s basically a blog-within-a-blog: a space where I can write about all of those random things that come into my head, without having to make sure the post is beautifully illustrated, meticulously-planned, and totally in keeping with my “brand”. It’s a place for the stories that don’t really fit with the rest of the content, the outfits that didn’t seem worthy of a photo shoot (but which I wanted to share anyway), the GNOMES… Er, it was all about the gnomes, basically.

The posts I’ll be publishing in this section won’t appear on the homepage, so if you never click onto that section, you won’t see any change: the “diary” is really an added extra, rather than a change in content. Some of the posts will go into the RSS feed, so if you follow me on Bloglovin‘, Twitter, Facebook, etc, you’ll still be notified about them. (Not ALL of them will be promoted in that way, though: not because they’re “secret”, or because I don’t want you to see them, but purely because I’m hoping to update the section fairly often, and just as I don’t want my homepage to be swamped with photos of gnomes and other randomness, I don’t want my feeds to be swamped with them either, and risk annoying those readers who ARE just here for the regular content. So while the vast majority of the ‘diary’ posts will go into the feed as usual, if I happen to publish multiple ‘diary’ posts per day, they may not ALL show up in the feed. If, for some reason, you DO want to see everything that ever goes onto the site, you can bookmark this page, which displays every single post I’ve ever written, in chronological order. The next time someone asks me if I’ve ever considered writing a novel, I think I’ll just give them that link: by my reckoning it’s at least as long as Lord of the Rings by now, except it’s more like Lord of the Shoes and Big Skirts. No one steal that blog name, I’m warning you…)

It’s a place where I can blog like nobody’s following, basically. But, needless to say, I’ll be very happy if you DO…

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25 Comments
  • Leila
    October 5, 2014

    Good for you, Amber! The problem with expecting every post to be a “greatest hits” post is that, to borrow a line from The Incredibles, when everyone’s special, no one is.

    I’ve never known a person who said, hey, I hate writing, let me make my living as a blogger. Bloggers are writers. And you’re absolutely right that writers make up stories about everything, whether it’s on-brand or not. That’s just how the writer-brain works!

    I think you’ve come up with a great solution, and since I’m one of the readers who enjoys your posts regardless of topic, I’m looking forward to following you in both spaces. Cheers. ^_^

    • Amber
      October 5, 2014

      “Writers make up stories about everything…”

      Definitely! I think perhaps people who don’t feel that need to write everything down attach a much greater significance to a blog post than those of us who DO. I’ve had people ask me why I “went to the trouble” of posting about something, and I always think, well, it’s just a blog post – it’s not like I carved it in stone or something!

  • Miriam
    October 5, 2014

    What a wonderful, honest post Amber! I’m one of those readers who love everything you write, because I enjoy your writing style so much. It’s also really interesting to hear the perspective of a professional blogger – so many things you write about (people actually tell you something isn’t ‘blog worthy’?? That’s crazy! Your blog, your rules!) are new to little bloggers like me.
    Anyway, thanks for explaining it all. It makes me sad when I hear people complaining about how they don’t like blogging any more. I still love it so much, it’s like they are dissing all blogs! I hope it’s just a phase and will change again.

    • Amber
      October 5, 2014

      I do too: I’ve actually been enjoying blogging more than ever lately, which is one of the reasons I decided to do this, actually – I have SO many things I want to write about, I just don’t have enough hours in the day to actually WRITE them!

  • Selina
    October 5, 2014

    A lot of my posts aren’t ‘blog worthy’ and I write like nobody’s following because I only about 2 actual followers so that’s almost true. Now I’m recording almost anything I want to and stuff it because it’s my space. It’s not professional or that interesting or the inside jokes are a bit weird but I don’t have instagram, I post up pictures on there and I’ve got a fair amount of readable content on there I think, It just takes a bit of looking around which most people won’t do. But in the end I’m recording it for myself as few people actually bother with it and i’ve learned that that’s ok

  • lily kate
    October 5, 2014

    Defo my favourite blogger of the moment, sorry to fangirl a little! Tbh I don’t think anybody blogs purely for themselves at all. I try my best to write how I’d talk to my friends, which usually means I’m fairly open and honest, but only to an extent. Sometimes I write things and then think ‘would anybody actually give a crap that I’ve written that?’ and usually decide that no, their life will be no better after reading that sentence. They won’t be entertained, amused, informed, interested or whatever other reason we read blogs for. I think I probably speak for most of your readers when I say I love reading all your different posts, so please keep up the tales of your days alongside the pretty shoes!
    lily x
    http://www.jolihouse.com

    • Amber
      October 5, 2014

      Yeah, I’m always surprised when people insist they do it purely “for themselves”… Like I said, why bother publishing it, if you genuinely don’t care if anyone reads it? Why not just write a journal, where you really CAN write about anything you like, without having to worry about potentially offending someone, or whatever? And it’s not even huge, secret things you end up having to censor – I’ve made what I’ve thought were totally innocuous, passing references to things that have happened, and have had people in real life completely freak out over it – you have to be SO careful!

  • Fran
    October 5, 2014

    I really appreciated your honesty here. If it is any consolation, I think you were always very clear that this blog was more personal than the other ones, and that it would always feature bits of your life besides your reviews and outfit posts. I don’t know where some people did not get the memo, tbh. 😛

    Anyway, it’s fantastic that you’ve found a way to make this more personal and to feel freer in your content, and I for one will be happy to follow the diary section. I came for the fashion, I stayed for the way you integrated it into your life…:) x

  • Sarah
    October 5, 2014

    Funny, when I wrote paper diaries I DID write them as though somebody was reading (although they were still horribly angsty and pretentious); I had this idea that they might become some sort of important historical document like Anne Frank’s diary. “Oh! THIS is what it was like to be a fairly smart, bored, socially awkward middle class girl in Scotland in the 1990s! Thank goodness she wrote it all down!”

    And, for what it’s worth, one of the things I really enjoy about your blog is your ability to take tiny moments in your life and string them out into great long hilarious articles – I recognise stories from your life that have happened to me and I’ve dismissed as not having enough to them to write a blog post, so I always admire the posts where you prove me wrong.

    Now to figure out how to get all your diary entries to appear in my Feedly…

    • Amber
      October 5, 2014

      Most of my early diaries had the stated intention of being written for future publication, (Some of them actually have notes on the flyleaf stating that their purpose was to let people years from now know what it was like to be a 12-year-old girl living in the 20th century, or whatever – because there would’ve been NO OTHER WAY, right?!), but then, once I got going, I’d just unleash all of this whiny nonsense that I would have DIED at the thought of being published, even a million years from now! I don’t think I really knew WHAT I was writing them for, to be honest, but I had this constant need to justify it for some reason – a bit like this post, come to think of it 😉 )

      I don’t use feedly, but the RSS feed won’t be affected: the posts don’t show on the homepage of the site, but they will still go into the feed as usual (unless I happen to write 12 of them in one day or something, in which case I don’t want to flood people’s feed, so I’d probably hold a few back: my experience is that people just unsubscribe if their feed is flooded with the same blog…), so if you’re subscribing to the normal feed, you’ll still see them. Actually, people who subscribe though an RSS reader will probably not even notice a difference, other than that there will be more posts than usual – it’s really only people who visit the home page who would be affected!

  • Suze
    October 5, 2014

    I think it’s absolutely crazy that people would complain that (in their opinion) a post wasn’t ‘blog-worthy’. Surely it’s up to the blog’s author to decide what is and isn’t worth posting about?! And if your reading displeasure becomes an all too common occurrence then maybe that particular blog isn’t your cup of tea so just move on! No?!

    When bloggers spuriously post about a product/service/topic which is completely out of kilter with the rest of their blog and it turns out to be a sponsored post, that irritates me. But mixing up a blog’s style with different types/topics of original content is fine…and usually very welcome, in fact.

    I often see bloggers making reference to the fact that they’re deviating from their usual style of post and sometimes they even apologise for that bare-faced cheek. (How dare a beauty blogger publish a cake recipe?!) I can understand why but I think it’s unnecessary (rather in the same way that they shouldn’t have to apologise for a lapse in blogging frequency etc).

    I hate to think of bloggers being stifled, restricted and ultimately less creative because of the type of pressure you’ve described though – scared to experiment, evolve, expand or keep things fresh. They may have built their following on a particular niche or style of blog but who’s to say that they can’t be even more successful and/or happy writing about other things as well? Or instead?

    To be perfectly honest, the more I read about this kind of ‘reader and blogger disharmony’ scenario which is most definitely out there (and there are loads of similar laments all over blogland), the more it seems that the ‘readers’ are holding almost all of the cards which is a tad depressing. You say that it’s possible for things to change back and I certainly hope so. It doesn’t seem too much to ask for Bloggers to feel free to post however the hell they like.

    Your new Diary seems to be a workable solution but I can’t help feeling it’s a bit of a shame that all your posts (no matter how seemingly trivial or random) can’t just live together as one big happy family. Sigh!

    Eclectic is good. Variety is good. I enjoy seeing lots of aspects of your life/viewpoint (in a non-stalkerish way, naturally!) And the thing that ties everything together is your wonderful writing style, so to me nothing stands out as being random or misplaced. Honestly I reckon you could make an interesting and witty tale out of any old thing, and that’s just one of the things that makes your blog stand out and unique. All your posts are blog-worthy and credible so it’s a shame that some have to be (hmmmm….I want to say “relegated” but I don’t think that’s fair)….well, separated from the rest. It’s a shame I won’t see all your posts popping up on my bloglovin feed, indescriminately, but I understand your predicament and it’s not exactly a hardship to click a button on your blog so my rambling comment, whilst probably not very coherent, is meant as a compliment and not a complaint. I promise! 🙂

    • Amber
      October 5, 2014

      You actually will still see them on Bloglovin’… as I said, if you’re following on Bloglovin’, Facebook or any RSS feed, basically, the posts will show up there as normal: the ‘diary’ ones won’t show up on the homepage, but they will still go into the feed, so if you’re following by RSS, you probably won’t notice a difference 🙂

      • Suze
        October 5, 2014

        Oh I see. My misunderstanding, sorry! Business as usual then! 🙂

  • Sue @ A Colourful Canvas
    October 5, 2014

    Great read, thanks Amber. I’ve been puzzling over this topic for a little while now. Today’s post has answered a lot of my internal questions. It’s timely advice too…my blog may be beyond it’s infancy stage, but I think, with your advice, I can ensure that my blog stays true to me without alienating potential new readers.

  • Lynette
    October 5, 2014

    I recently found my teenage journals too, they were so awful I had a small (solo) ceremony in the back garden where by I burnt them and as the smoke wended its way into the sky so too did all that teenage angst and drama. So long….

  • Heather
    October 5, 2014

    Someone saying something isn’t “blogworthy” gives me the same feels when people post on NPR asking “how is this news?” on a fluff piece. Um, everything is news. I don’t think something has to be astounding to be worth writing about. It’s the mundane and silly that makes up our world too.

    I find that I’m a muted version of myself through my blog, I cuss more in real life than I want to admit, so I try not to type it out. My religious and political views I tend to keep to myself, and I try not to write about any grievances about the people in my life. How awful for them to read that??? So I try to keep their feelings in mind.

    I’m glad that you are expanding how and what you like to write about, this has become a must read blog on my feeder, the way you write feels… genuine and fun.

    • Amber
      October 6, 2014

      I’m exactly the same: I find I have to tone everything down, avoid controversy (and endlessly caveat anything even mildly contentious I say!), and generally walk on eggshells a lot of the time. It’s a shame, because sometimes once you take all of that juicy stuff out (and I think you do HAVE to take it out – it’s just not worth the trouble it can cause to include it!), all you’re actually left with is the “non-blogworthy stuff!” I actually started blogging about my outfits for that exact reason: there was so much I felt I couldn’t write about I had to cast around for something I COULD!

      It’s interesting, too, because I tend to find that the people who complain about things not being “blogworthy” are the same people who complain about bloggers not being “real” or “relatable”. So you’re dammed either way, basically 🙂

  • char
    October 6, 2014

    This is such a good post but as usual my comment is going to be a big rambly long one of potential-nonsense, so apologies in advance!
    In fact, it’s going to be long, so I’m just popping downstairs to get my soup first..
    OK, I’m back.
    I have to admit, I’m one of those people who always say I blog for myself. I mean, sure it’s nice when someone leaves you a nice comment but I think what I mean by that is that I’m always honest, not afraid to share my thoughts on something and would never be bought – I’d never say I liked something if I didn’t etc.
    I’ve never tried to make my blog popular or huge – think that’s obvious. And I don’t aspire to be a pro blogger. For me, it’s a hobby which I will continue with until I decide I no longer want to.
    I also write my daily journal – I’ve done it on and off for years but that’s more personal in terms of some of the things I don’t talk about on the blog – work, relationships (that’s about it).

    • Amber
      October 6, 2014

      I think the fact that you also keep a personal journal illustrates the point that blogging isn’t the same as journaling, though… I mean, I assume you get something from blogging that makes it worthwhile publishing those thoughts on the internet, rather than just putting them in your private journal? When I say I don’t blog ‘for myself’, I don’t mean I’m not honest, because I always am… I just mean that my awareness of the fact that my writing is being published in the public domain makes me hold some things back: probably the same kind of things you would write in your journal, and not on your blog. So my blog is different from the writing I might do ‘for me’ because there always has to be an awareness of the the fact that it won’t just be read by me!

  • Ez
    October 6, 2014

    Hi Amber, I am a long time reader of your blogs but have never commented. This post made me want to tell you that I am delighted you have decided to add the diary section! You have such a good writing style that you can make any topic interesting and amusing. My favorite posts are about your life and adventures and the funny things that happen. I also love to see what you wear in your more relaxed time, as although your big skirts and high heels are stunning and make for some great Instagram pics, I personally identify with your more casual outfits as they are very similar to things that I wear. I love the fashion and beauty posts, but restricting your blog to just those would make it a little too impersonal in my opinion, so I am glad you have found a way of keeping your blog attractive to new visitors without restricting your content. There was a time when I felt you had given up on your personal stories and stuck to the fashion and beauty and I felt it had lost your personal touch a little; your personality was ‘missing’ somehow. Recently I have enjoyed hearing about what has been going on in your life – it is like catching up with an old friend, haha! I love your blog and I think you are gorgeous and very entertaining whatever you write! I’m excited to read your future posts!x

  • Lizzie
    October 6, 2014

    There is so much that I could say, but we might be here all day and everyone else has probably already said it anyway, BUT how can anyone say something is not “blog-worthy?” So incredibly rude. Perhaps I am old fashioned, but I was taught that you cannot say something nice, it is best to say nothing at all. Then again, maybe some criticism is necessary.

    I do find it interesting though that you mention essentially censoring yourself. I think it’s really important to do this over sensitive issues for obvious reasons, though sometimes I feel bad about it because I feel like I am hiding or have something to be ashamed of. The thing is, people judge you based on a first impression, and that is a fact of life. It’s almost like if you do not KNOW them (your readers) personally, certain things they really shouldn’t know. This is ok! After all, if I went to a job interview I certainly wouldn’t bring up my political stance. Readers are almost like potential employers in the sense that you want them to like you and keep you around!

    And I wrote a book. Sorry not sorry.

  • Stef
    October 8, 2014

    I would just like to say that I think you are fabulous and I love your blog! I read it because I love the way you write and if I happen to gets some make up tips for my pale skin or what to do with my hair or fall in love with a coat that is now out of stock all the better! And it is especially all the better for gnome stories! I love it all 🙂

  • Ghalia
    October 9, 2014

    I am so excited about you’re going back to writing more random, day-to-day, “mundane” posts, because they were always my favourite. I enjoy much of your other stuff as well, but your “diary” posts are always, to me, the funniest and most endearing. I mean, for the past week you’ve had me giggling at the thought of your dad climbing over your fence to plant that grim gnome in your garden. Seriously, does it get better than that?

    The solution you came up with, allowing you to write more about what you want while making sure the blog home page is filled with the content that you want, is genius. I hope more and more bloggers think of doing the same, because I know for a fact you’re not the only blogger feeling restricted by what you can post because you worry about how appealing you blog would be to first time visitors.

  • Jeanette
    December 28, 2014

    Well written Amber. Must say I love your blog:)

    You do inspire and all your post about blogging is very good.

    I am about to start up a new blog on WP, want to make a fresh start in 2015. And your posts will be a great guide to use:)

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