04 Nov Let’s Start Anew
Hi everyone, how are you?
You might have noticed that I haven’t posted for quite a while. I’m sorry about the lack of posts, but I spent the time thinking about the future of Citrus Glitter. There were some incidents which made me ponder if I want to continue blogging or not, and if I want to continue, what should it be like? But let me start at the beginning:
In mid-August, I received a message on my blog’s Facebook Page from a business representative of a company I actually knew and liked. She wrote me how she liked my blog page and that they want to work together with me as they see me as a potential partner. They would actually be sending me products to review or feature on my blog. I wrote back almost instantly how happy and grateful I would be if they choose me. At that moment, I didn’t have any current posts really, but I was planning to write more again since Flynn finally had a pretty reliable afternoon nap pattern, and I could use the time in between for taking photos and writing blog posts. I told her about my plan about how I wanted to grow and waited for her to answer me. At the same time I started to write blog posts again, at least two each week and most of them were fashion or beauty-related (mostly due to the fact that this company sells fashion items), to show that I’m actually doing something.
After three weeks without an answer, I wrote her again (I didn’t want to be too offensive, maybe I should have been?) and asked about the partnership program and what I could do in the meantime until they decide if they want me as a partner. She just answered that I could set up commission links to their online store while we are waiting for my blog to grow. Nothing more on the free products or how they like my blog. Everything just felt like some big advertising for their shop. I felt a little bit sad because I really thought I might get my first sponsored item to review (even if it would have been something really small and inexpensive). I personally don’t want to promote an item or an online store, if I didn’t have actual experience on it because it feels like I’m betraying my readers, even if I know that this store is reliable, so I didn’t write anything back. At the same time, it felt like I wrote my last posts just to please other people and not for myself, even if these posts are indeed honest.
Around that time, I also found out that quite a few of my photos, which I posted on my blog were used by others without my permission and without any credit or whatever. It’s not like this is news for me (I started my first own website around 15 years ago and I’m having my own web space and domains since August 2002! Yes, I’m incredibly old!), but I thought that at least companies will adhere to the law. One online shop was using photos of a nail polish and even parts from the associated blog post as their product description. I wrote them and the site luckily disappeared after some time. Aside from that and some unsourced Pinterest and Tumblr posts, there is also one other site using photos from my colorful dyed hair directly linked from my web space. I contacted them twice without any answer. I know that I have other means like contacting their host, but everything takes up so much time and it really gets me down. It’s something else if you know that kids or teenagers steal pictures or texts from you because they just don’t know it any better, but these are adult people. And maybe they earn lots of money with their pages compared to me, who just pays €20 for everything each month and gets nothing in return…
I was also struggling with the cookie or privacy info. I read pages over pages about what that law is and what I have to do, but despite knowing lots about computers and web design and even a little bit about coding, all these cookie things really confused me. With using WordPress and some plugins, I really didn’t know what all those cookies do and sometimes couldn’t actually find any information about them. I tried my best to put together a good privacy info. I even deleted or deactivated some plugins, like the Facebook box (which collects data for Facebook, not me (I don’t need this information!), even if the user isn’t even registered at Facebook!) to make it a bit more user-friendly.
So what now?
With all of that, it really got me thinking if that’s all worth it. But then I thought about how much I like writing and taking photos and share my life and information with others. I, however, wanted to change everything a bit to make it more interesting for others, but, on the other hand, more personal again. I started reading blog advice blogs (I think you know what I mean XD), about how to write better, take better photos, get more followers and so on. I was really happy to see that I already did so much right, but there is, of course, a lot more to do.
One thing I read a lot is that you have to find your niche, something that makes your blog special and sets you apart from other blogs. I thought about how I am different than others. This reminded me of the time when I decided what to study at university. At the last years of secondary education (grade 11 to 13), I always intended to study graphic or product design. When I moved to Vienna after I finished school with my Abitur I wasn’t so sure about my plan anymore. I also thought about becoming a teacher, but Vienna is so big and there are so many students here. This was when I calculated my chances to be special among all those people. But there was actually something that made me different: My love for Japan. I already took Japanese as one of my after school clubs (in fact it was before school at 7:25 a.m.) for two years at school and found it so much fun. There was another girl from my year, who just had straight As in every subject, but she stopped attending the Japanese Club after some weeks because she found it too difficult. That was when I made up my mind that I want to study Japanese Studies.
Okay, long story short:
I decided I wanted to change the main focus of Citrus Glitter to something that makes me stand out more. I read that lifestyle blogs are having a harder time building their audience because they write about more than one topic, but I don’t think I could decide on writing about only one thing just as games. I want to present and discuss topics like entertainment and pop culture, alternative fashion, and a kind of nerd/geek (I tried to find out which one I would rather be, but from what I found out, I’ a little bit of both) and cute lifestyle, from games to anime & manga to cute photos of my cats and their cool cat products (as seen here) and much much more. And everything should be personally from the view of an almost 33-year-old mother, who actually really doesn’t feel that old XD. I also thought about creating a second blog, just for my personal posts at first, but scrapped the idea again, because I’m just too lazy to have two blogs, so everything will just stay here.
So the first step I did was changing the theme a bit to make it more personal and colorful: Tadaa! I love the color combination of turquoise, pink and orange, so lively! I hope you like it, too. I’m planning to buy a professional theme in the future, but I just don’t have any spare money for that at the moment, so we have to stick to this (which is really nice for a free theme btw) for the time being.
As for the future, I’ll just stick to my new plan and see where this is going, trying to get better and better.
If you have any tips or ideas, please don’t hesitate to let me know^.~!