If you use the app Timehop, you’ll know that one of its cool strengths is how it reminds you of something you’d completely forgotten about from years gone by.
This could be an embarrassing haircut, a sweet moment with a child, or a recollection of a friend long since gone.
Inadvertently, it can also show you how you’ve evolved as a blogger, as I found out with a memory it shared with me today from six years ago.
This was my blog design from 2011. I think the reason Timehop shared it as a memory was that I’d just gone through a redesign, and shared a picture of it on Facebook.
When I saw this memory, it made me smile as I thought of how busy it looked compared to today’s iteration.
Back then, I was all about content around the topics of social media and marketing, and all the things that represented – personal branding, heavy on the social proof numbers, and multiple calls to action.
I guess that suited my goals at the time, but as I look back at it now, I cringe a little when I see how much focus I put on the social proof side of things (how many followers, subscribers, and shares I got).
It wasn’t long after that time that I started to lose interest in blogging about social media in particular, and trying to compete with the content mill approach where everyone was going for the eyeballs with easy content and snappy soundbites.
This led to a big change in direction and publishing a post in 2014 that advised long-time readers they may want to unsubscribe. Which, as every blogging/content marketing guru will tell you, is the worst thing you can do. Yeah, right… 😉
Indeed, when I wrote that post, the feedback I got from it, both in the comments after the post and emails from non-commenters, showed that perhaps readers were getting sick of that kind of lazy content too.
Since then, the content here has continued to try and focus on more meaningful and personal stuff, and that’s often meant my well-known itchy finger syndrome coming to the fore when it comes to the design to present the content from.
So, from the impetus of that Timehop memory, I decided to take a trip down memory lane using the Internet Archive: Wayback Machine. And, man, have there been some changes… 🙂
The thing I notice the most is that since writing that post about taking a different direction, the design has complemented that goal.
Whereas before it was all about selling expertise, knowledge, books, etc, now it was all about content, you, the world, and making time for the important things in life.
The Evolution of You
When I shared the Timehop memory on a post over on Facebook, a few of my friends shared their take on how they’ve evolved, or are trying to.
From how they’ve gone a similar route of reflection and rethinking, to wondering whether to restart their blogging after a long hiatus.
And that’s the beauty of blogging. Much like in the decisions we make that change how we live our lives, blogging is a constant state of flux that grows as we do.
What we started out as many years before is now completely different from where we are today.
Things like our voice, our passion, even the things that make us tick – they all change as we do. It’s all part of the same evolution – the natural growth and change of perspective that we all experience.
The important thing is to recognize the need to change, and know that it’s okay.
You don’t need to toe the line, or compete with blogger X or podcaster Y. You don’t need to chase an audience that isn’t there, and never will be.
Instead, be passionate about what you create, be decisive in how that comes to the fore, and be open to the knowledge that what you create today may look very different to what you create tomorrow.
That’s how we keep our creativity alive – regardless of how many incarnations it takes to get there… 😉