2020 is indeed finally upon us. I thought a bit about where I wanted not only my blog, but my overall life to take me this year. So much has changed since my early days of blogging and even in the last year or so. I feel I need to EVOLVE or change with the times.
That was then…
In 2019, I focused on my YouTube channel, which is grown leaps and bounds over last year. While I still am very active over there and have every intention of keeping my YouTube channel going, Last year, I found my voice on Youtube. I have to admit I never thought that would happen as I fought video for so long. Still, I feel like I lost something on other levels having put my heart and soul over at YouTube.
First, I no longer am working with a Disney travel agent doing promotions. To be honest, I am not even sure what broke down there. But I feel it is for the best as much as I love Disney and always will, I need to be making some form of monetary compensation if I do further Disney promotions. Don’t get me wrong, I will still be sharing my Disney World knowledge. But now it is purely for me and to help others who are indeed less knowledgable about Disney World.
Also in 2019, I also started to collect Rae Dunn items. While I love how these decor pieces make my home feel that much homier, I was not liking how time-consuming it was to hunt and search for pieces. I don’t plan on going as crazy finding pieces as I did last year. It is all too much and left me drained.
Also, I lost my way as a web and blog designer. I stopped taking on newer clients to accommodate the other stuff I took on last year. But I would like to get back to helping others who are in need of blog and website help. I still have a fairly good understanding of the design and technical basis for websites. So, if you or anyone you know is in need of a blog or website help, please feel free to reach out. I also have a pretty good understanding of what goes into blogging and maintaining a website, too.
Hell, even in this space on my blog I sometimes feel lost. Don’t get me wrong; I still love my little space. But I literally was just talking to my host this past week about this very issue. One of the many changes, we noted is how commenting used to be huge for bloggers back in the day. Commenting even helped with Google SEO way back when. Not so, anymore. I have noticed a decline in comments overall on my site and even many I still follow. I know some have actually turned their comments off for this very reason. Sometimes commenting feels like a chore even to me who was once known as a queen commenter.
So, here’s the deal, I wonder what others think about blogging and commenting. Is commenting still relevant in 2020? Should I turn the commenting off here altogether? Or maybe turn the commenting off on certain articles? I am willing to evolve on this issue if need be. Take the poll below to let me know.
Moreover, my kids are not babies anymore. When I started this blog, my youngest was not even 2 years old. And now by year’s end, she will be 10 years old. My oldest is on her way to middle school in September, as well. You may have noticed I don’t talk as much of them here. I feel they need their privacy as they are getting older. Therefore, I learned to evolve with what I do share about them and what I don’t on my blog.
I never imagined I could be a craft or foodie blogger. But somehow I ended being that. Even when I posted my 2019 top ten posts, it appeared that my followers’ favorites were mostly recipes and crafts. So, I wonder then, do I mostly blog recipes and crafts in 2020? Or do I branch out? Are there other topics that my readers want to see featured?
I also once upon a time, shared my beauty and fashion tips on my blog. Well, I do more fashion on YouTube now, especially with unboxing from Stitch Fix, Trunk Club, and Trendsend. I gave up Glossybox and Julep a few years back. However, I decided to try out Boxycharm for the first time in January 2020 as I love to shop for makeup and try new looks at my local Ulta. I hope to have my first box in the next week or two to share over on YouTube. But if you would like to see more of that content back here on the blog, feel free to let me know that, as well.
I also used to share the current books that I read. But to be completely honest that began to feel more like a chore. I love to read, but who wants to read only to have to dissect everything that they just read. So, I stopped reading for a few months during 2019, because I hated feeling pressure to read and report everything I just read. I even stopped updating my Goodreads and I didn’t join the Goodreads challenge outright this year. But somehow I found my way back to reading. But I am honestly not sure I ever want to do another book review here. If you miss them, go ahead and tell me. On a side note, I signed back up for the BOTM club and have begun to share my monthly picks over on YouTube, which just feels more natural to me.
To that end, I do very much want to EVOLVE here on my blog. So, I have a second poll below now. Feel free to take that poll to let me know what content you would like to see more of 2020.
And if I didn’t say it already here, thank you to all who have followed me whether it has been for years or only recently followed me. Your support here always is appreciated and honestly means the world to me.
**Linking up with Kristi over at Finding Ninee, where the sentence is, “My word for 2020 is”.
Meredith Spidel says
Go you!! Everything I have heard about the new face of blogging is that is all about EVOLVING, and you need to do what works for you! I admire you for figuring out what isn’t working for you, and working to make changes. And YouTube is where it’s at right now–go you, Janine!! 🙂
Aw, thanks so much, Meredith and I agree that the face of blogging has changed and is still changing daily ever so much. So, we, bloggers, need to do our best to roll with it and evolve. As for YouTube, I am truly just loving it over there 😉
Seana Turner says
You are the queen commenter! I have also noticed the drop off in commenting, and it makes me sad. I think getting comments nourishes the spirit of the blogger. In addition, it helps connect people in the blogosphere to one another. I don’t do any compensated blogs, so my blogging is purely out of wanting to share and connect. I look forward to seeing you evolve your blog and your passions, Janine! I know you will be good at whatever you do:)
Thank you, Seana and I have to admit as much as I do love commenting, sometimes even I feel a bit burned out by it. So, that is why I have been questioning it I suppose more lately and thinking about how much value commenting has here in the blogosphere. So, I do very much value and appreciate your take on it and your opinion here more than you know 🙂
I feel like I wouldn’t read blog posts if I couldn’t comment! I like the back and forth communication of it.
Dara, thank you for your honesty and your take on commenting. I haven’t made any decisions on this one way or the other. I just really wanted an honest, open conversation here about it (which may indeed be contracting in nature). Still, I need to hear what others (bloggers especially) feel on this one. So, I am glad that I posed the question and look forward to seeing what others also say, too.
William D Holland says
Evolve or die…basically what a mentor said to me many years ago, and regarding life it is true.
I think you should do what you enjoy doing. End of sermon.
Regarding comments…I wouldn’t blog if it were not for comments. Blogging is communication for this introvert. I love the interaction.
Gotta run…have a great weekend!
Your mentor said a mouthful and agree with him whole-heartedly. And I also agree that we all need to enjoy doing what we do. As for commenting, I think you know-how over the years I have still had always kept up with commenting. So, I do love the interaction. Just trying to figure out a happy medium I suppose for those who may not. Not sure I will, but again some food for thought. Have a wonderful weekend now, too 🙂
Great word! And this is a wonderfully vulnerable post. I feel the same. I won’t turn commenting off, but I do for certain posts that aren’t as personal to me.
And I have a similar situation to your Disney travel agent thing. A third job that I don’t really know what broke down with it, but I know it wasn’t me.
And I’m certainly not suffering its loss!
I adore you. I used to be the Queen of Commenting too and the potential is still there. It’s just that people dropped off, or stopped commenting, or participate in threads to get generic comments – when the meatiest, most meaningful ones are right here! xoxo
Aw, Tamara, I know we are pretty much on the same page on this and more. I have in the past turned off for some posts and maybe that is what I continue to do. Just trying to feel my way through it all I guess. So sorry you had similar work experience. I still am not sure what went happened to break things down. But also similar to you, I think it happened for a reason and wasn’t meant to be. I have moved on. I am not averse to working with Disney or even other travel persons in other forms. So, I am keeping my mind and options open right now. And I think and hope you know how much I adore you. As for comments, even if I ever did close off comments here, I know that you and I would still communicate because we are friends and I am so thankful for that always!! xoxo
Stay true to you, Janine. I always find the posts that come straight from the heart of the writer are the most meaningful. If you aren’t feeling it, don’t write about it. Commenting…I turn off comments after 30 days, and only comment on blogs whose writers I know. But I still love receiving them! Kids…I hear you! My kids were already older when I started blogging, but it’s still a balancing act to maintain their privacy and still write about what’s meaningful to me.
Here’s to a year of evolving – whatever that ends up meaning to you!
Dana, thank you so much and I am trying to stay true to me. Sometimes I grant you it isn’t easy, but again I keep trying my best. I also do turn off older post commenting. I just wonder if there are certain times that I don’t necessarily need them here and could even redirect the conversation to Facebook if need be. Totally just me throwing things around I guess. As for kids getting older, it just happens. But also agree that it is a fine line we walk as they do with what we share. Thank you again for being a friend always 🙂
Kenya G. Johnson says
I’d actually considered turning off comments but really the whole point of blogging is to receive some kind of feedback if you’re going to get it, and continue the conversation. Thanks for sticking with me all these years. Don’t gasp but I never heard of the Rae Dunn stuff until later last year. Like around November. I was at HomeGoods and I got there a few minutes before opening, not intentionally but the store was new to us here and I wanted to check it out. It had been there for months and I was wondering why so many ladies were waiting on it to open and they had their own bags. I was like what is going on. And someone said that was the day Rae Dunn pieces came in. I was still clueless. I just went in the store and looked at other things. But I did eventually see a plate that said “Yum” on instagram and it was hash tagged Rae Dunn. So if I ever see that plate, I want one. LOL! Anyway you have definitely found your voice on YouTube. You definitely look comfortable there and I’m glad it’s working out for you. Great word for 2020.
Kenya, I know the point of traditional blogging as those of us who started back in the early days was most definitely commenting and communicating that way. It seems though that in more recent years that isn’t necessarily so. Not saying that it is right. But trying to find out how to make it work for those who do still very much have the traditional sense of blogging ingrained in them like us, as well as those who are newer to the game. Not sure if there is such a thing. But guess I am trying to still figure it out. As for Rae Dunn, no judgment at all. I actually only found out about it late last spring. I haven’t collected for a full year even. But I will say, that it is crazy and there are so many pieces. I really am getting much more selective as I don’t have room to store or even display it all. As for “Yum” though, I actually just saw a Baby (Black) Yum Canister in one of my stores this week. I have one black canister and it is the “Keep” one. I love that canister. But didn’t think I needed a Yum. So, I left it behind. I also saw a Black Baby Sweet and left that one. But afterward, I was kicking myself. I went back to the store later that day and it was gone. So, I get it and sometimes it is the thing you don’t think you need that you totally want and can’t find again. Oh, and as for YouTube, it is ironic as I fought vlogging back in the day. I never thought I’d be comfortable speaking into video and now I can’t seem to get enough of it. Hugs and thanks for being a friend all these years, too!! 🙂
We still enjoy commenting. I like to read others and their opinions. I do enjoy your posts. I hope you succeed in all your 2020 desires. God Bless you and your lovely family.
Marion and Marilyn
Aw, thank you ladies, always and once again wishing you a wonderful 2020, too!!! 🙂
I have exactly 4 blogs I comment on. I use to have dozens and dozens weekly. I’ve picked where I comment and I am OK with it. I just don’t think bloggers really are commenting all that much anymore. Or at least the set I started blogging with 9 years ago. Maybe a lot of those bloggers are gone? I respect your need to evolve. That is important and necessary. My PR consulting business picked up so much this last year, blogging has taken a back seat,and my business looks to continue growing this year with some big clients. It has made such a HUGE difference for my family, but as I have struggled about whether to stick around or not, I decided I still love my space like you do. I like to write articles and share stories and recipes. It is a fun thing for me to do and relaxes me, so I am keeping it. I would love to hear how you tackled YouTube (step by step) and also tips from a long-time blogger on how to make good pictures and etc. You have so much knowledge to share that newbies could really gather from that. Maybe even an ebook? Maybe the ebook could be on what fills you and not even about blogging? I think that blogging overall is changing. Look at Social Fabric? That place is crickets! I say maybe look at what you love and really enjoy and then seek out those sponsorships or opportunities. This way you don’t lose yourself while you do it. I think that is the way of the future. Going away are the middle men and it’s time to directly deal with brands we know, love and want to work with. This is just my PR brain thinking…..
I know that feeling well and have a limited amount of blogs that I comment on, as well and have narrowed it down to those select few. Yours is on that list btw 😉 Wow to the PR company. How did I not know?? That is awesome and would love to hear more as it sounds fascinating to me and is a whole side of you that I had no clue about. I love your ideas here and am going to have to see what I can come up with. Seriously your input is truly valuable to me and is going to go on my list of things to plan to work on now. So, thank you for that and more always my friend!! <3
Evolve is a greta word! I get this on so many levels. As my kids go older, blogging was so much harder. Commenting was absolutely a chore/obligation for me. I pretty much left everything blog-related in 2019 – didn’t write, didn’t read, didn’t comment. I’m finally starting to miss it, but have to change the way I approach it. Feels good to be back, though!
Aw, so glad once again to have you back and you were most certainly missed. that said, I can totally relate with blogging getting to be a bit harder as my kids are getting older and the comments feeling like more a chore at times, too. I definitely can more than relate and glad to know it isn’t just me. Hugs and again just happy to see you back <3
Excellent word. Surely the best expression of growth with the added benefit of conscious intent.
Has it been that long?!
Amazing how much has changed in the relatively short (and, at the same time, a lifetime) distance between ‘then’ and ‘now’.
Comments? Totally. Perhaps others have different missions for their presence in the ‘sphere. I’m still in the ‘Hey! What’s going on, wanna see something cool?”
Always so happy to see you here, Clark and what can I say, but comments and Clark just go hand-in-hand!! Happy 2020 now, too 🙂
Kristi Campbell says
Well, I still think you’re the Queen of Commenting, and I really love that about you but also understand how spending the time reading and commenting has changed over the years. I haven’t been blogging as long as you have (but wow, so much longer than I realize at first glance – seven years now wow). Personally, I still really love comments even though the comments have changed so much over the years. I don’t comment on sites that don’t reply or visit any longer but also feel like the people who have remained commenters over the years are true friends – as much as ones I see regularly, if that makes sense. With that said, I also completely relate to everything else you said. I started my blog to talk about and find others who would help me understand what was going on with Tucker or at least help me feel less alone. These days, I don’t share nearly as much and often wonder what my purpose is at all with it.
Anyway, I ramble but I am so glad to know you and consider you a true friend and not only the queen of commenting but a queen in the blogging world – you rock with having made this work for you on a financial basis in addition to an outlet.
Here’s to evolving in all the ways you choose to and none of the ones that become time-sucks and draining.
Kristi, I am so glad you get so much of what I wrote and can relate in more ways than one. I have to admit the commenting part seems moot after writing it for FTSF in hindsight. But for so many other times I do still ponder it I guess. That said, I also consider you a true friend and just so glad that we are indeed still friends after all these years. Thanks for being you always and so many hugs!! Happy 2020 now <3
Christine Carter says
Oh, Janine, this was such a great update for all you have done and all you plan and dream to do! I love that you have invested your time and talents on Utube! That is awesome!! And my gosh, blogging has changed SO MUCH and those comments- ah, remember the days when we were all so connected by them? It’s sad but as with everything, things EVOLVE.
I love your word. I also shifted my blogging goals toward writing for other (paying) sites a few years ago and I’ve since loved what I do! It’s so fulfilling- and I KNOW you will continue to do what fulfills you as you go forward with your new word. It’s so hard to make those difficult decisions, but so necessary to grow and change as we do.
I know 2020 will be a huge success for you as you continue to discern where to invest your time and talents. You totally got this, girl!
Aw, thank you so much, Chris and truly wish you only the best, as well this new year now, my sweet friend!!! 🙂