Finding Balance: How I’m Rethinking My Content Strategy

For the last two years, I’ve been struggling with the direction I wanted to take this blog. My lack of focus and direction (in my own mind at least) has manifested itself into a lot of hesitation and self doubt and ultimately, a huge lack of content.

When I first started this blog 7 years ago, I also didn’t really have a clear direction on where I wanted to take this blog. The only difference is I really didn’t care. I was focused on producing content that I found interesting to me and wasn’t expecting anyone to read or to pay attention.

A lot has changed since then, both in the world of social media, blogging and content creation, and also in my own personal life. For one, Instagram barely existed (it started in 2010, the same year I started my blog). No one was “Instagram Famous” and the ability of being able to make money simply by being an “influencer” was barely a thing.

I’d be lying if I told you that I wouldn’t love to be able to monetize this blog and ultimately turn producing content into my full time job. However, I think that thought is what’s given me so much anxiety the last few years – the focus on figuring out how to make money from this blog versus just doing it for fun.

That said, I need to remember why I started this blog in the first place. It’s a fun creative outlet for me. I already have a full time job that pays me to do things I kind of enjoy and challenges me. Work also gives me a decent amount of anxiety, so I really don’t need that here.

Moving forward, here’s how I’m rethinking my content strategy:

1. Be Shelly in “Real Life” and Stop Trying to Be So Perfect

Female Photographer walking in stone road in Italy Modena

It’s exhausting to upkeep an “Instagram life”. Living for the gram – you guys know what I’m talking about.

Nowadays, I’m scrolling through feeds thinking “There’s no way this person’s life is so perfect.”

And you know what? I know from real life experience that no one’s life is that perfect. Behind every perfect Instagram photo is a lot of BS that someone’s not telling you about. I’m super guilty of this myself. I turned my poor husband into a Instagram husband during our honeymoon and he was just like … “I didn’t sign up for this.”

It’s one thing to capture memories and to want to share that experience with others. I’m a perfectionist and love a beautiful shot. But it’s another thing when you’re exhausting yourself over creating the perfect image – when it’s completely disrupting your personal lifestyle. What kind of lifestyle are you really living when all you’re focused on is how many likes you’re going to get from people who barely even know you? It also creates unrealistic expectations of how life is supposed to be and it becomes this vicious cycle: you want to get likes so you imitate other perfect Instagram lives, posting pictures of your so-called “perfect” life – therefore feeding the Instagram monster.

Anyway, I can go on and on about this topic, but I’ll end it here for now. Ultimately, I would like to find balance between uping my photography game vs trying to create that perfect picture only for the gram.

(J, if you’re reading this, you’re not off the hook, I still want cute travel pics lol)

2. Helping Others Live Their Best Lives

I know I’ve talked about how sometimes my content feels like it’s all over the place: recipes, restaurant reviews, travels, cleanses, etc. As someone who works in digital advertising and have done a lot of research on what makes a successful blog, the answer is usually this: a good blog is focused and typically sticks to a theme.

However, lately I’ve finally come to recognize one common theme behind all the things I like sharing: I like helping others. This might manifest into posts about eating the best food in Italy, or talking about my experience from doing a DIY cleanse.

I like being successful in the things I do so I’ve been caught up in trying to figure out what type of content I should focus on since most successful blogs have one key focus area. But I’m a woman of many different interests and enjoy exploring all the different things life has to offer. I would like to think that anyone who cares to read this blog is a multi-dimensioned person as well and can handle me discussing different topics.

So, moving forward, I’m going to just throw caution to the wind. Who cares if I’m not sticking to the theme, I’m just going to keep writing about what feels fun for me. As long as I feel like whatever I’m putting out there is going to help SOMEONE out there figure out how to do something in their life just a little bit better, then I’m going to write about it.

Live your best life, yassss!

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