Hi and welcome to West Coast Mama, my new blog.
You might know me as the Fab Brunette, as I’ve been blogging for years under that name at http://www.fabbrunette.com. When the blog initially started, I was in my mid-twenties, I had a boyfriend, our daughter and a dog. I viewed the world through rose-coloured glasses, set my eyes on all things luxurious and expensive, and tried to achieve the perfect lifestyle. I started out living in Toronto, ON, with dreams to move overseas to London, yet soon after our plans changed, and we headed over to Vancouver, BC, to the hippie West Coast.
This is starting to sound like an About page, which it’s not supposed to be. I’m trying to explain why I’ve outgrown my old blog, how I lost the passion for blogging, even if momentarily and randomly throughout the past few years, and why I’ve decided to start a new blog. Fresh, clean, truly me.
Some time in the past couple of years, blogging stopped being fun for me. Not all of the time, but most of the time, I struggled with topics to write about. Sometimes for reasons unknown, but sometimes I felt the popularity contest that had become blogging really started getting to me – the “niche” lifestyle blogs… it left me feeling very confused and conflicted about what to write about. My blog had always been a personal blog – meaning I wrote about my life and occasionally the things I adored, things I wanted, tv shows I’d seen or books I had read. It was a mish mash of my life, all on one dot com.
The problem with that is that your readers will vary, sometimes you’ll get a lot of traffic, sometimes you won’t. I had always snubbed my nose at statistics, thinking I didn’t care how popular I was – I was just happy with making connections with other bloggers and people around the world with similar interests to mine. But truly, it got to me when I would find a new blog and discover that a random post would get over 100 comments for one instagrammed picture. It blew my mind, and the more research I did on blog traffic, and how to make your blog optimized for search engines… I started to lose my way.
When I started the blog 5 years ago, you could just go on blogger or wordpress, pick a theme, and write! You would add a picture if you felt like it, and that was all. As time went on, we became more creative. Our blogs had to showcase our personalities, the designs became more high tech – blogs went from boring themes, to cutesy cupcake themes, to minimal and modern themes, to people spending over $1000+ on a custom blog design.
Today bloggers are concerned with the monetization of their blogs, growing traffic at an exponential rate, twitter followers – are you interacting on facebook properly? Content has to be edited to a point where it’s magazine-worthy – suddenly everyone is a photographer! Everyone has expensive cameras, SLRs, they know how to use lenses! Then there were ‘niche’ bloggers – fashion bloggers, crafty bloggers, foodie bloggers, diy home bloggers – the amount of blogs on the internet that you suddenly feel you’re competing with is crazy. It’s disheartening. It’s no wonder I would lose my way and become bored and unhappy with it.
To revive my love for blogging I started checking out e-courses and e-books on how to become a successful blogger, after a while I realised each one had a similar pattern of thought:
- Find your voice, your niche, what you’re good at, what you want to share.
- Share that topic regularly, spend time editing your posts, and be original in doing so!
- Then watch your stats climb.
Obviously there’s a bit more to it than just this, but the main thing I got out of it was to find your niche and excel in it. Easy enough, right? But what was my “niche”? I could barely describe myself – I wasn’t crafty, I enjoyed cooking but didn’t want to run a recipe blog, I love interior design but am not into diy home decor OR extensive window shopping, I am NOT a fashion blogger, I didn’t WANT to be a mommy blogger – what was left? Lifestyle blogging? Generally this entails all aspects of life, and yet I didn’t want to become a guide on all different things in life…
I JUST WANTED TO WRITE!
…I wanted to write out my thoughts, my plans and my dreams and happenings in life – I wanted readers to communicate with! To share opinions with and disagree with and find similarities with!
I had also felt that I had outgrown my old moniker, Fab Brunette. As much I adored my blog name, because I will always be fabulous and most of the time I am a brunette, I no longer felt the same as the girl who started that blog. And I wasn’t! I had changed, I had grown, and just like all things in life, you sometimes outgrow your surroundings and need to move on.
I am no longer in the prime of my twenties. I am no longer a party girl. My Manolos are tucked at the back of my closet, waiting for the odd occasion to come out and play. I am still the same person, I am not reinventing myself in any way, but I am giving myself the permission to let go of the expectations that I’ve put on myself and enjoy the life I have. To cherish it and not let too many moments go by without appreciating it.
I am a wife to a wonderful and busy husband. I am embracing motherhood and learning to value patience and kindness daily. I wear rain boots and birkenstocks and leggings as pants.
My name is Margarita, and this is my personal blog.
I hope you enjoy reading it.