Hello everyone! I'm back from a little break from blogland. I am still working with some friends on the domain situation so do not be alarmed if things still get wonky this week. As you know we were working on things last week so I didn't blog much because I didn't know if the site would be up or down or if the posts would get lost in cyberspace. In all honesty, it was a welcome break– my personal and work life has been a bit crazy as of late and it was nice to remove a few items off the to-do list. But now I'm back and I have to address a few things that make me a little uncomfortable quite honestly but it has to be done.
Last week started out with a little slap in the face that came in the form of a couple of formspring questions. For the sake of transparency, I'll share them with you here.
If you don't care to read my response feel free to skip this post. If you do then read on, but beware, it's pretty long-winded…
I'm assuming that these comments both came from the same person since they came within minutes of each other, but I don't know for sure. I have to admit that waking up to these in my inbox on Monday morning made me all the more glad that I didn't plan to blog last week. I am a little sad that they were anonymous because I would like to know who this person is. I would like to thank them for spreading the word to their friends about BSB– that seriously means the world to me when my readers tell their friends. I'd also thank them for their honesty– for while these questions were hard for me to face, they are truthful and it took me most of last week to process how I really felt about them.
I'm not going to lie, I cried when I read these questions. Not because they were mean but because they were true. I cried because it made me realize the connection that people have come to find with me through reading my blog. It's kind of overwhelming and amazing. It almost made me feel like a friend who has moved on and ditched her dear old friends to make room for other things in a new life. It made me feel guilty and sad for letting people down.
Earlier this year when I held the reader surveys they were very eye opening and helpful. I felt like I had two camps of people- the new brides who needed helpful info and ideas to plan their own budget savvy weddings and the dear readers who'd become personally invested in me since the beginning. I felt like I needed to accommodate both sets of readers, because I am a people pleaser. I enjoy writing the blog so much and thought if I could do both then it could be perfect- so I created the Life section of the blog- a section that has since been incredibly neglected. I'm lucky if I get a post up here once a week. I thought I could handle both, but it's turned out to be far too much on my already heaping full plate.
As far as sharing my personal life… it feels kind of weird to do that now. When I started this blog as a bride planning my wedding, I had no idea that I would grow to attract tens of thousands of readers every month. Back then it felt safe to share bits and pieces of my personal life but now it seems a little dangerous. (And my father likes to reprimand me for sharing personal things on my twitter and blog so that doesn't make it any easier, haha) And honestly, my personal life and experiences now don't really have much to do with wedding planning since I have been married for over a year now. I'm not going through the same thing that brides are going through on their way to their big day so my wedding related posts have been lacking. I felt like I'd found a format that worked for the wedding side of this blog in sharing giveaways, diy projects, real weddings, etc because I don't have anything personal to bring to the subject anymore.
As you probably know or could imagine, it's not easy coming up with fresh, new content 5 days a week. But it's only ME here at BSB. Just Jessica. I don't have a team (although I refer to BSB as US or WE sometimes because it sounds more legit- haha!) I don't have guest bloggers. I don't have ad salesman. I don't have tech support. I do any and everything that happens on this blog from design, to code, to posting, to ads, to answering reader emails, etc. Just me. If I calculated how much money I've made from this blog based on how many hours I've put into it this year, I would guarrantee you it would be pennies per hour. So, I'm sorry if you don't like sponsored posts. The company mentioned in the formspring question is a good choice for lots of brides on a budget and it is valid, useful content for the readers of this blog. Although I'm not in this for the money, I will gladly accept compensation for blog appropriate ads and sponsored posts, because I spend so much time and energy on this blog that it's silly for me to do it all for nothing.
Truth is, I'm struggling to keep all the balls in the air right now. In addition to this blog(s), I also have my freelance business doing design work and a few steady contract jobs including assisting my friend Evin and working on 2 magazines. And of course I'm also doing Stella & Dot (which I am loving more each day and find myself wanting to devote more time to it than other projects.) So basically, I've got alot going on- alot on my plate- alot of balls to keep in the air. Even with all of these different things that I am doing, I am not bringing in even half of what I made when I was working full time! So you can imagine my frustration. I feel like I'm not contributing enough financially to our household– our lives would be so much easier if we had a 2nd full time income. So I've been applying for jobs and have had a few interviews. One job I am really excited about is still up in the air, but I am hoping to hear something this week. This isn't even half of what is flying through my head on a daily basis.
All this to say, I am feeling overwhelmed. Is that enough open honesty for you? 🙂
In all seriousness, I love hearing from my readers and I appreciate the anonymous formspringer who started this whole dialog. I've had alot on my mind and my heart that I just spewed all over the keyboard so I hope I didn't scare anyone off. Fear not, the open, honest, over-analytical, girl behind BSB is still here… I've just been kind of shut down due to feeling completely in-over-my-head. This post was kind of all over the place but I just felt the need to respond to these questions and open up the floor for any suggestions that you might have or ideas you might offer. Thanks for reading in the meantime.