On 25 and a Blog Identity Crisis

Posted on 21 October, 2015 in Blogging / 18 Comments

On October 10, I did two things: I turned 25, and I bingewatched I Love Lucy while redesigning this website.

Now, around 25, most people would be talking about a quarter-life crisis. And don’t get me wrong, I am. But I’m more concerned about a blog identity crisis.

Take a look around this page. I have a new look and a new slogan. But it’s really not so new. The colors? They’re everywhere in my life – my apartment, my life, is full of bright colors. And the name? It’s been almost a mantra to me for almost a year now. Work brighter.

The backstory

This past January, I sat down with my Life Planner and started filling out all the undated info. “If lost, please found…” stuff, contacts and addresses, etc. All stuff that lives in my computer and phone and cloud, but I’m a #stationerynerd and wanted a 100% complete planner.

There was a section to consider your goals. I knew that my focus this year needed to be on blogging/writing and my career (since they’re kind of the same thing).

But I didn’t want a boring year-long goal like “increase traffic on X blog by Y%.” I have KPIs, but it felt like these goals needed to be motivating and aspirational. And colorful, since they were being written in bright teal marker in a rainbow striped planner. 🙂

What did I come up with?

Work brighter and blog bolder.

Both so fun! And yet, at the same time I was thinking about how to take this blog and everything that goes with it to the next level.

That’s where I messed up.

The mistake

I tried to be something I’m not. I toned down the colors of the site, going from bright green and blue to boring navy and grey. I used a more serious voice. I was still myself, but a little less…whimsical. I probably would’ve saved the I Love Lucy reference for somewhere more hidden than the post’s first sentence.

Because I thought I was too niche.

Productivity nerds who also love puns and pink and pop culture? I wasn’t sure if I could build a whole community and business around that small audience.

So I tried going mass appeal. Well, a little more mass appeal.

But that meant stopping being me. And suddenly, this fun blog I’d had so many plans for years wasn’t so fun anymore.

A plan originally intended to get me to blog more had me dreading each post. So they never came.

I was still writing a crap ton on other blogs, so that’s not the part that upset me, although it wasn’t ideal.

What killed me was that my blog was no longer a reflection of me.

The remedy

It turns out that I, as a human, don’t have much mass appeal. And that’s cool. 🙂

Only the special ones enjoy my brand of eccentricity. The dad jokes and puns. The grandma habits like knitting and complaining about central air conditioning. The pop culture references, oh man, the pop culture references. And the sarcasm and, in my oh so humble opinion, brilliance that comes out of my brain.

So when I tried to be mass appeal? I sucked at it.

Maybe I don’t know how to be well-liked. But when I my people, I love it in their little circles. I’ve found little circles for TV nerdery, bookishness, freelancers, and startup hustlers. And they’re awesome.

It’s taken a bit of (failed) experimenting, but I’ve finally realized that those are what I need to be focusing on here, too. And most importantly, this place needs to reflect BBerg.

So the website’s gotten a bit of a facelift to reflect that. And now that this little online home of mine feels “like me” again, my inspiration’s already been off the charts!

So last weekend I wrote a 15-page tools guide and 2 chapters of my upcoming ecourse. Oh, and there’s that list of 18 other freebie ideas I can’t wait to create for you! These were things I had been putting off for months, but once my excitement was back, the work just happened and they were just done.

It was kind of like an inspiration blackout – I don’t remember anything but waking up with a finished PDF in my Canva folder.

So that’s the future of this blog. Here’s to the little circles.

On 25 and a Blog Identity Crisis