Last Thursday, this little corner of the internet turned four. I didn’t do anything to celebrate this year (since I almost forgot) but that hasn’t stopped me from doing some thinking about how This Northern Gal began, how it has grown and where I see it going in the future. I thought I might share some of those reflections with you today, so if you’ll allow me to indulge in some nostalgia for a while, we will go ahead and get started.
If you’ve been here for a while, you may know that This Northern Gal is not the first blog that I have had and it actually originated from an older, way more embarrassing site. So it’s not exactly the four year anniversary of me blogging, just of this particular corner of the internet. This is definitely the longest that I have kept a blog running however so I am definitely proud of that.
I’ve now been blogging for so long that I can’t remember not doing it, nor can I imagine what my life would actually be like if I didn’t do it. Sure, there are moments when I consider giving it a rest for a little while but I never entertain them for long. I think that any thoughts of quitting are only to do with the pressures of blogging.
It takes a lot to keep a blog going, even a teeny tiny one like mine. Inevitably, sometimes that can feel like too much. Over the years, I think I’ve got better and not letting that pressure turn blogging into an all or nothing thing. I might have once decided that ‘I can’t do this’ meant that it was time to say could bye to blogging but now I try and remind myself that ‘I can’t do this right now‘ is an equally valid (and way more rational) reaction. Life sometimes gets the better of me and This Northern Gal can seem like one thing too many on my to-do lists. Putting it to one side for a minute to catch my breath is sometimes the best way to avoid drowning in stress but I don’t let myself worry about that. I would rather take a week off here and there so that I can publish content that I’m happy with than struggle through just for the sake of it. After all, this is my corner of the internet! If I decide not to take a breather, I don’t need permission from anyone to do so. It took me a long time to realise that, but it’s been such a valuable lesson.
I currently publish three times a week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning, if you weren’t sure). That feels like a happy medium for me, especially since I can reasonably schedule all of those on a weekend and let This Northern Gal run itself during the week while I’m at work. I can’t see that changing any time soon!
This Northern Gal has gone through some pretty big changes with me. It’s come to university and back with me, and now it’s having to deal with the fact that I work a full time – and then some – job. Inevitably, that has changed the way I blog. My content has changed somewhat, as I spoke about in this post, and I’ve noticed that I’m spending way less time on social media. I like to think that I’m starting to find a bit more balance, though I think it’s something that I’ll need to keep working on in the future.
I also took a step back from working with brands etc this year, as I was finding my feet with balancing blogging and full time work. Though I do still enjoy working with them, I’ve been really selective to ensure that they are the perfect fit. I haven’t monetised This Northern Gal and I don’t really intend to in the immediate future – I want it to be a hobby, not another job. All that means is that you’ll probably see way more ‘I was sent this in exchange for my opinion’, rather than sponsorship jobs here. I’ve been loving reviewing books for the last year or so and I expect that to continue!
So what’s next?
Quite frankly, I don’t know. I’m not making any big plans or goals for This Northern Gal this year. All I can say is that it will hopefully be around for a while yet. I hope you’ll stick around to figure this out with me. I’m so, so proud of everything I’ve built in this corner of the internet over the last four years and I can’t thank you enough for your support in that, whether you’ve been here for four days or the full four years. I’m really happy with where I am blog wise, and can’t help but feel a mixture of pride and excitement when I think about its future.
Let’s see what happens next, shall we?