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 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… 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.