NochNoch.com

a new page

| 35 Comments

I’ve been struggling for a while about my blog. I was a bit lost in my writing. I wasn’t sure if I should follow all these “tips for writing to become the most read blog”. My vision for the blog blurred. But all this confusion, has led me to a new page – literally.

First off, I hope you like the new design of my website. But if you don’t, well, hmm… too bad. I like – no, love – it, and I trust in it and my designer, who explains below why he designed this site as such. I’m happy to hear feedback of things to improve on of course, but I don’t think I need to doubt my decision for this new design.

I trust my own judgment, instead of scrambling for external approval as I used to.

When I first started this blog last year, I wanted it to be a story to inspire, and a way for me to confront my own thoughts and emotions as a form of therapy for my diagnosed major depression. I had hoped to self-introspect along the way, and I had always liked writing, so what better way than to ramble on? Better still if someone can reap some encouragement from my humble typing.

As I started lazing around, I began to read other blogs, and how to write blogs, and how to market blogs etc. I got overwhelmed and intimidated by blogs which boast 1 million views a day – I had a meager 10, or 100 if I was lucky. I, to my own detriment, started to compare my blog with other blogs. I wondered why some blogs are considered the “best depression blogs” or why some people are considered gurus in the blogsphere. So, I tried to refine my goals for writing and tried to make it more “marketable.” I tried to tailor my writing to match those blogs that have such high traffic. I tried to write like them. I tried to think of new aims and goals for my blog so it would resonate with more people. I tried to use “attention grabbing” titles and maybe even photos for each article. I tried to present practical advice like other bloggers as I draft my own posts. But I was not happy with my writing under this realm.

In short, I endeavoured to be everyone else except myself.  I lost myself. I became confused, and felt deflated about my own efforts.

Indeed, why compare? Every blogger have their reasons for writing. I didn’t have to do the same thing just to be recognized. In fact, if I did the same thing, there’d be no originality, new thought or creativity.

After a few weeks of feeling beaten, I decided it’s time I heed to my own words – just to be me, to write what I want, and to write how I want.

I didn’t need to compare. I admire other bloggers and find solace in their eloquence. However, I didn’t need to put myself down just because others were doing well. We are all different.

Therefore, at the end of the day, my goals remain the same.

Mine is a blog of muses, of confronting my own thoughts, and to inspire others through my story.

Therefore, titles of my posts might not give you a straightforward idea of what the article will be about. Instead, I will experiment with the language and lexicon to represent my experience and me. My photos might not have anything to do with my article, but from my own library. I do not aim to give you points 1 through 10 of what you should or should not be doing. I will not instruct you with “takeaways” or “practical tips” so to speak; rather my writing will hopefully, simply resonate with those who need a little uplifting that day. If you are looking for that kind of advice, I suggest you read some of the blogs I’ve come to love during my own surfing, including but not limited to: Balance in Me, The Happy SeekerTiny Buddha, Upgrade Reality, Talent Develop, Simpler Life Today, Positive Spin, Prolific Living, Meant to be Happy, The Change Blog, and many more others…  They are encouraging and give practical advice on lifestyle changes as a whole, and I too, enjoy reading other people’s experience and perspectives.

As for me, I just want to explore, to rediscover my emotions, my thoughts, and myself. I want to become more self-aware through my own writing and creativity. And I want this to be my story, told my way. Thus, the redesigned blog aims to reflect this.

In the words of my designer, whom I love immensely because he took the time to understand not only what I want, but who I am as a person and what I am trying to achieve:

“…. Unlike other similar self-help blogs, Noch Noch doesn’t write “how-to” advice. Her content reads more like a personal letter, or journal entry, describing her experiences and what she’s learned. It was this aspect of her site that I decided the new design should showcase. I wanted NochNoch.com to embody that feeling of a personal letter. I wanted readers to enjoy handcrafted text that was set beautifully following typographic principles. Read the page “My Story” for the perfect example of what I was trying to capture. And hopefully did…

It’s easy to fill a page with decorations and graphics and make it “pop.” It’s much harder to cut down the distractions and fluff and really build the site from the content out.

NochNoch.com has readers all over the world reading in multiple languages and on multiple devices. Chinese and English are now on one site and the appropriate language is automatically served based on a user’s computer settings (with the option to change by clicking a button in the footer). Furthermore, the mobile versions have been abandoned in favor of a fully responsive design. Try resizing the browser window and you’ll experience the site shrink, the font size adjust, and eventually the columns rearrange. This adaptive design is an elegant solution that allows every user to have a similiar experience whether they’re on a big desktop monitor or tiny phone screen.

And the experience is really what is important here. From the carefully set text, to the colors, to the soft transitions when you hover over links, every design decision was made to capture and sustain the personality of the site. It’s for these reasons that this has been one of my favorite blog redesigns thus far. It was great working with Noch Noch. I’m grateful that she allowed me to experiment and the push the boundaries rather than settling for a “typical blog design.”

I think it paid off.”

And thanks to the efforts of my designer, I hope to encourage those having a hard time, suffering from depression or not, to carry on an extra mile. I do not purport to hold the panacea to problems, for I still struggle. Nevertheless, through my struggles, maybe it would give you some reassurance that you are not alone.

So I will write for me, and special thanks to all those who stimulated contemplation towards the vision of my humble blog, and for listening to me ramble and change my mind for the millionth time. You all know who you are, even if we have only connected via cyberspace.

To be me. To be natural.

That’s all it matters.

                               

35 Responses

  1. Philippa says:

    i like the new design

    XXX
    philippa (founding member of tcfc)

  2. Hi noch!
    The site design, the writing… One compliments the other so well! It’s refreshing to see a site that is free of the unnecessary clutter. Elegant and to the point!

    Thank you for being true to yourself. You inspire and heal. This can only come from being real. Indeed, that’s all that matters! :-)

  3. Wendy Love says:

    I understand where you are coming from! The internet is a sea of information and the temptation is to get lost at sea on any given day. Some of the reading is so good it is hard to stop. As a blogger too I have gotten caught up with some of the ‘big blogs’ and ideas about making money on blogging. I too however, have had to regroup many times and remind myself why I blog and just what kinds of things I want to share. It is a challenge to stick with your original goals when there is so much out there to divert your thinking. So, I commend you for doing the research and then attempting to stay true to your original goals. I don’t know what your old blog looked like but I like the simplicity of this one. Keep up the good work.

    • nochnoch says:

      Hi Wendy
      Thanks for stopping by and visiting, and thanks for the compliments to the new design. I’m yet learning what blogging is about and to draw the line between “learning from others” and “doing what speaks to me”
      I will come over to your site soon and read about your experience.
      To know someone has gone through the same process as me in terms of blogging is very reassuring!
      Take care
      Noch

  4. well this was a great post. if there”s anything i’ve learned about blogging is that you can’t try to mold yourself into any certain formula and you HAVE to write for yourself, not for money. the money might follow, it might not. but either way, the blog is about you – not anyone else!

    • nochnoch says:

      THAAAAANKS!!! :)
      great encouragement coming from a successful blogger like you. everytime i start to waver I will come back and read this comment you left me to reassure myself. you’re right, as long as i’m happy writing what i’m writing, that’s all it matters!
      Noch

  5. Justin Mazza says:

    Hi Noch,
    I like the new clean look of your blog. :)

    If you ever need some blogging coaching then check me out here:http://www.mazzastick.com/consultation/

    If you want to get my eBook 4 New Bloggers at half off then contact me via my email.

    Just keep writing from the heart and what resonates with you and you will do fine.

    • nochnoch says:

      Hi Justin
      Thanks for the encouragement – I will check out the book you mentioned and contact you directly
      Reaping lots of good tips and motivation from your site too. Appreciate it!
      Please keep coming back and give me feedback anytime!
      Noch

  6. Zuo-Fei Yuan says:

    The first time to visit your blog. Support your writting. Hope to share more experience of your life.

  7. Love the look of your blog Noch-Noch!

    Thanks so much for stopping over at my blog, and this is a visit due to your blog- glad to connect :)

    I do agree we all tend to imitate other bloggers at time in our initial phase, but sooner or later the realization does strike that the voice is not ours and its after all someone else speaking!

    I guess we all need to have our own distinct voice, which is what separates us from others and helps us create our own identity.

    I like the look of your blog, neat and clean :)

    Thanks so much for sharing and visiting :)

    • nochnoch says:

      Hi Harleena – thanks for visiting my humble rambles. You are right we all need our own distinct voice and also the confidence to maintain our own voices once we find them. Appreciate the encouragement from fellow bloggers like you to write about what we love!
      And thanks for the feedback on my blog. We are happy with the result and glad it resonates with so many
      See you again soon here, and also on your site!
      Noch Noch

  8. Noch, I think your blog design is really lovely – simple and sweet (though admittedly, this is my first visit, so I’m not sure what it looked like before)! Keep writing!!

    • nochnoch says:

      Hi Ruth – Thanks! I was spending some time on your site last night, to explore that inner calling to become a freelance writer.
      Thanks for the inspiration and I will keep writing! I will keep coming to your blog for inspiration!
      Noch

  9. I love your design and admire your aspiration to be you, to be natural. I think we all go through that stage as bloggers where we get pulled into the swirl of all the blogging advice. It’s wonderful to come back to ourselves! Wishing you the best!

  10. Noch,

    Very nice design! I wish you all the best with working things out. I look forward to following your blog in 2012.

    Peter

    • nochnoch says:

      Hi Peter – much appreciated! I’m glad you like it and follow my writing. I hope to contribute more to your cause and your blog in 2012 too! Thanks for allowing me space on your site to share my voice :)
      All the best to you and your family for 2012!
      noch noch

  11. I want to learn how to do my web page like yours? Did it cost?
    I admire you are international law..here in IL i have a paralegal degree: cannot find work. Your blog is just fine..Jackie

    • nochnoch says:

      Hi Jackie – I bought a domain name (nochnoch) and host it on a server for about USD50 a year. there are lots like godaddy.com, justhost.com, hostliketoast.com…. and then wordpress is free. I did pay a designer to design this new website interface though… I’m not an expert on websites, but if you search “how to build a blog” you will get lots of hits and tutorials. that’s how I started! Good luck. You can email me if you have more questions, I wont be able to “teach” you anything but I can sure share my experience
      Noch Noch

  12. [...] lying in bed with an IV drip I thought about how to redesign my blog. Even with my head thumpingly painful I felt guilty I didn’t write 5000 [...]

  13. [...] bears and my dog Bamboo. I got worried and more frustrated at my migraine for it prevented me from writing and fulfilling obligations – I had promised at least three other websites I would write them a [...]

  14. click here says:

    Wanted to drop a comment and let you know your Feed isnt working today. I tried adding it to my Yahoo reader account but got nothing.

  15. I love your new blog and your courage to do your own thing! You go girl. I love these: limited to: Balance in Me, The Happy Seeker, Tiny Buddha, Upgrade Reality, Talent Develop, Simpler Life Today, Positive Spin, Prolific Living, Meant to be Happy, The Change Blog, and many more others…the Tut.com with Mike dooley is awesome as well, I get all of the ones you love too…Keep on keeping on, Happy Memorial Day and next year I will see how far we both come!

    • nochnoch says:

      Hi Jackie

      Thanks! I’m happy to hear you like my new blog design :) And so cool to hear we share same interests. Yup hope you had a good Memorial Day weekend and look forward to sharing more thoughts over cyberspace!

      Noch Noch

  16. Wendy Love says:

    Congratulations on swimming through the pool of ‘how to write a better blog’ advice on the internet and surfacing right back to where you belong, being yourself!
    I have done a bit of that too and have come to the same conclusion that you have – be yourself!
    I would gather from the number of comments that you are receiving that you really do have a well-read blog and so be encouraged that you must be doing something right!
    Keep on keeping on….

    • nochnoch says:

      Hi Wendy

      Thanks for dropping by again! We do have to be ourselves. Lets all strive for that!
      And thanks to all your support my small blog is growing. I hope it inspires someone out there today :)

      Noch Noch

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about Noch Noch

Noch Noch is born and raised in Hong Kong and Australia. She has also studied / worked / lived in the US, France, UK, Japan, The Netherlands, China, and has travelled to more than 40 countries. Noch Noch loves travelling and her curiosity in foreign cultures and languages has led her to enjoy her life as an international executive for the last 7 years in the banking & finance industry. However, she was forced to take time off work in 2011 due to her illnesses and now spends her time in recovery, cooking, practising Chinese calligraphy, reading and writing – in short, learning to take care of herself and letting out the residual work stress.