The first thing I need to say, despite my mildly dramatic blog post title, is that this girl is not, like, leaving the internet and setting up a new life for herself in some rural mountain range without deodorant or Pumpkin Spice Lattes.
But I am going to be making some changes.
I think the important thing in both growing as a person, and growing in a business sense, is to be constantly checking in with yourself and what you’re doing and where you’re headed.
To make time to step back and have a good hard look at what works, what makes you happy and, well… what doesn’t.
Because if you’re not making the brain space for a casual bit of self-reflection, how can you allow yourself to make the changes that lead to better things? EH? EH? EH?
So that’s what I’ve been doing a lot of recently. That, and eating Turkish Delight and watching Pointless.
When I first started blogging full-time, and heck, even up until a few months ago, there was a lot of things that I felt like I had to do in this wild online world to succeed.
Partly because WELL HELLO IF EVERYONE ELSE IS DOING IT THEN I SHOULD DO IT TOO, RIGHT? But also because everyone (and the fleas on their great nan’s best mate’s dog) has an opinion on where the digital world is going and what you have to do to be successful. And so I took everyone’s advice on board. I listened to what other bloggers were telling me, what PRs were telling me, what readers were telling me, what agents were telling me.
And guess what pal? No-one has a bloody clue. Everyone’s just guessing and winging it and praying for some sort of sparkly WIFI-generated miracle.
But not only that, I’ve also realised that what works for one person, actually probably won’t work for another.
The sweet, sweet wonderful joy of the internet is that the best possible asset you have is YOU. No-one else can do you as well as you can. And so actually, nothing is going to work as well as just doing what feels right to you – trusting your gut, focusing on the things you enjoy creating and well, just putting the version of yourself that’s closest to real-life out there.
And so, in taking some time to actually think about how I enjoy using the internet, I’ve come to a few conclusions and I hope you’ll support them.
But if not, then that’s a-OK too. Because that’s another thing – it’s IMPOSSIBLE to please everyone, and the harder you try, the more you’ll lose the edge that made you stand out in the first place.
Anyway, I’ll start with the biggest content change so that you can have a moment to y’know, sit down and digest it.
YouTube. Ah, YouTube. I have been told from day one YOU MUST DO YOUTUBE, YOUTUBE IS THE FUTURE, YOUTUBE YOUTUBE YOUTUBE. EVERYTHING IS MOVING ONTO YOUTUBE. SO MUCH AFFILIATE REVENUE TO BE MADE ON YOUTUBE.
And YouTube is great, if you love filming and editing and being creative and all that.
But, big shocker here, I like writing. And if I’m entirely honest with both myself and with you, I only ever started YouTube because everyone told me too, not because I was passionate about it or excited about it or because I even really wanted to.
There was this illusion a couple of years ago that blogs and words were dying out and the future was video – and I fell to that pressure.
The reality? There is a whole new generation that is completely and utterly hooked on YouTube. Where I’ll come home and whack on a Friends re-run, they’ll whack on the latest uploads from their fave video creators – but the majority of those people are not my target audience.
My target audience is me – the average British twenty eight-year-old. And actually, whilst a lot of us do watch YouTube, there’s even more of us who rarely do unless we’re grabbed by a v delicious click bait title on Twitter. A lot of us who prefer to read rather than view, or to skim through Twitter and Insta rather than dedicate ourselves to an entire 15-min video.
And so, for now, I won’t be uploading to YouTube.
You might also have noticed a lack of Friday morning newsletters. I like the newsletters, they’re fun and short and easy to read and I enjoy creating them, but I was struggling with the pressure of getting them out every week – especially with the unpredictability of pregnancy symptoms.
So going forward, they’ll be monthly. They’ll be chunkier than they were before with lots of links to my fave online reads and shopping finds, and they’ll go out on the first Friday morning of every month. So expect a little summin’ summin’ landing in your inbox later this week. You can subscribe here if ya so please.
And finally, some better news.
Without vlogging and editing and newsletter-creating, I will hopefully have a little more time on my hands to either a) nap and grow the gremlin in my belly or b) CREATE LOTS MORE BLOG CONTENT.
My blog has always been my number one gal (aside from my cat, obvs), and as much as I love the way it looks and the content I create, I want more. MORE MORE MORE.
I’ve said before that I love the short snappy outfit/recipe/beauty/interior posts as well as the long diary outburts and lifestyle stuff, and I want to get more regular at uploading these kinds of things.
I’d really, really love to dedicate more time to thinking outside the box, to creating those longer lists that made you guys come here in the first place. And I’m really excited to go back to Hannah Gale basics – it just feels really, really bloody right.
And lastly, our gal Instagram.
Whilst a lot of people are currently stuck in a I HATE YOU, YOU HIDEOUS WEASEL relationship with Instagram, I’m actually enjoying it more than ever.
Mostly because, yes a nice-looking grid is lovely and so is a pink wall, but y’know what’s really fun? Instagram stories. I bloody love ’em and LOVE documenting my day and my thoughts and my outfits and the random things I eat. It’s like Twitter but with less pressure to be funny or relatable, and I’m all about that life.
And so you’ll continue to see me showing off my fave yogurts, my super dusty outfit snaps in my bedroom mirror and my fave finds in Sainsbury’s.
And I think, at 1126 words, I should start to wrap this post up.
Thanks for reading, for watching, for listening and for supporting. You’re an ace bunch out there, and as Bella Hadid once said (according to a Miss Selfridge Instagram upload I just spied): ‘If you’re trying to be something you’re not, it’s slowly going to bite you in the butt’.
Here’s to knowing ourselves and trusting ourselves and doing what makes us happy, rather than what we feel like we should be doing.
Life’s too short for that kinda crap.