Dear readers, GAFASHION blog clocked 11 years, and when I started, I couldn’t have envisaged a future where I would pen my thoughts down for more than a decade. So to celebrate my 11th year, I am writing about my regrets about blogging still bearing in mind that the platform has provided me access to opportunities, expanded my network, and restored my confidence when I needed it.
I started as a lacklustre writer, patching up my uninspiring words with fun photos shot on an amateur Tecno phone before getting my first camera. Glad to have gotten by with those basic tools with that because the competition then wasn’t steep and less pressure to be something else. But I knew of there are things I wish someone told me, outside the advice of making my writing convincing. It was and still remains a herculean task. And years have passed, I am not the best writer by literary any literary standards, but I am also not as bad as I started.
So let’s read up on some of my regrets…
Sustaining A blog
Blog readership has waned over the years, but I have stuck to still publishing blog posts because stories matter and in written form. But writing is hard- the words churned on the blog are pieced together from journal entries and months of long reflection. It can take from 6hrs to a month from write to publish depending on how in-depth and informative it aims to be.
For example, this post has taken about three weeks of tweaking, but instead of belaboring the stress of writing a blog post, I would like to share a few of my regrets from blogging. Don’t get me wrong, I am still thankful for this community, but there are things I wish I could have done better. Over the years, I have shared helpful resources here to support beginners in their journey, but some challenges are brushed over when speaking about creating for such platforms.
Moving to the US at the peak of my career Growth: I moved to the United States in 2017 when my blog readership was getting notoriety to get it to the next level. I decided to move during that time, and things changed- lots of it, and I struggled to create relatable content for my Nigerian readers. It is a decision I often think about with some regret, but I like the life I chose for myself.
Nigeria is exciting! It’s the people, the food, the banter and sometimes the culture that makes it easy to generate content. A lot of energy is seen in the ebbs and flow of life there- from the people you meet at the vendors’ shop to your everyday administrator. Life is fast but not too fast, and the systems in place will ensure you are in no hurry. But life in Nigeria can also be dysfunctional! Funny to admit it, but the dysfunction sometimes makes the country exciting and is also the reason people leave or stay
But what I miss most is a sense of community with lots and lots of joy, despite the hardship, and that makes creating content easy. People are willing to help and support you in improving your content, and that kind of support is hard to find here in the states. And in Davido’s voice, “life is all about the money, eh.” Having money in Nigeria stops nonsense, so a little quid and you can thrive.
Here capitalism is on steroids, but I hope in the new year to revive my excitement for creating and telling stories again, but I now have to find a different strategy.
Starting too early: I often reflect on if I started my blogging career too early because the opportunities now for creators are almost limitless- especially for those who are taking advantage of the tools and resources available. I still have reservations about social media trends read here, but that does not take away from the fact that creators can now build a brand and lifestyle from their craft.
I started this blog in 2011, and the opportunities for creators to thrive were limited-brands barely knew what to do with us, but we kept at it. A decade after, a lot has changed, and I sometimes question if I started my journey too early. But I take consolation in the idea that I started this journey as a hobby without the intention to monetize it.
So, for people seeking to monetize their creative journey, now is the right time. Be strategic about your partnership and how you tell your story. I recognize that at some point, I did not have a strategy for my brand or struggled with presenting different aspects of who I am.
Being too open about my Struggles: I have regrets about making my blog an open diary when I started. It demystified who I was and changed the trajectory of my collaborations. And If there is one thing I have learned from creating content online, it is that people love mystery, and they like you rich and smug. But I am learning to strike a balance on the content I make publicly accessible. Despite my reservations about being sometimes unfiltered on my blog, readers have benefited from my stories on this platform. People have found it inspiring and a way to reflect on their journey.
Not Seeking an Expert to Migrate my Content to WordPress: In 2021, I made the decision to migrate blog to a paid platform, wordpress, which offers better stylistic layout for content. I did not seek an expert for that process, and it affected my SEO so negatively that my blog is no longer visible on certain search engines, which means revenues from my ads have also thanked. So, take it from someone who has been there and done that, seek expert advice or start off on wordpress if you intend to grow your platform.
It is the holiday season, and something I have done this year is to improve the quality and quantity of dresses in my wardrobe. I love this label-less black turtle neck sweater gown which I found at a local store, but I have curated similar looks above to shop from.