Still Blogging after Ten Years : The Beauty of Sticking It Out


My tenth year blogging came and went last year without a lot of fanfare, honestly, at least not of the external kind. But, it was a big milestone for me. I realized that I was doing exactly what I want to, exactly what I was meant to do. And by the end of the year, even thought I was trying to shift gears a little and thinking, “I can't possibly be a BLOGGER forever,” I began to realize that “blogging” is only part of what I do, and that indeed, I can be whatever I want to be, for however long I can continue to make a living at it.

I've always said, I think I got “lucky” to a certain extent, because I started fashion blogging early, back when it was mostly full-length selfies in a mirror. I have been building trust with my readers, a firm search engine ranking for key terms and brands I write about, and relationships with brands & affiliate companies since it was brand new.

Yes, it is true that the new crop of fashion bloggers are making several times the amount of money I make per year, and are getting recognition, even from traditional print media, but I wonder how long they will be able to keep that up. New is always interesting, and compelling, but slow and steady wins the race. I've always been better at keeping my head down and plugging on rather quietly.

Not that being an OG blogger means anything anyway. It doesn't. I still have to “prove” my value every day, to advertisers, affiliates, and my readers. And if I was still looking for outside validation, I would be mostly disappointed. It's true that 2014 brought with it some amazing recognition for my work, but I felt that anyway, internally. I knew I was going in the right direction as I shifted gears from an all-shopping-all-the-time blog to a more conscious, thoughtful, slower shopping blog. Confirmation of that is always nice, but thankfully, at my age, not as necessary as it used to be.

So besides the usual “success is how you define it,” and advice on blogging for the long haul, I've noticed a couple of key things after blogging for ten years, maybe they will help you stick it out?

You Come Full Circle

When I first started blogging, I didn't have a particular goal in mind, or a vision – I just wanted to share my passion and create an outlet for my new online shopping addiction. Over time, I started focusing more on the business of blogging, and got caught up in caring about what other people thought, how I compared to other bloggers, etc., etc., but at first, it was just fun. And now it is again. I don't care a bit how I compare to other bloggers, because most are 10-15 years younger than me, and are in a completely different stage of life; there is no comparison. You've got to play where you are!

Now, after ten years, I'm back to just having fun again. Sure, I have business goals, and if I want this to still be my “career,” I have to continue to make a living from it and working hard, but I've learned that comparing myself, and measuring my success against others' gets me nowhere – all that time I spend in the “middle” caring about the opinions of others was useless.

You Realize what's important

Doing anything for 10 years sort of helps clarify what's really important. Now, instead of just “blogging,” I write. Maybe you'll be a photographer instead of just taking pictures, or you'll become a stylist, instead of just building outfits. As you hone your skills blogging, you begin to realize what it is you are REALLY doing, and what's really important underneath it all.

Now, I realize that I'm a writer, and my blog is just an outlet for me to share that with others. Blogging is a path towards other things. Or not. It doesn't have to lead to anything else. I may or may not ever write a book, or publish outside my blog, but blogging has helped me see that I CAN, and that there is more to blogging than just having a blog.


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21 Responses

  1. Molly Hainline

    Oh, preach!! I haven’t been blogging for very long (almost a year now!) but I’m already recognizing how it gives me the power to play in other outlets like photography, writing, and styling. LOVE!!

  2. Jess Zimlich

    Blogging has really opened my eyes to different things (who knew I loved social media and analytics so much?!) and has allowed me to test the waters in different areas. It’s something I’m so grateful for. I really liked this write up. Have a great weekend, Grechen!

  3. Cartier Dior

    I love this! I have been blogging for almost 4 years now and I’m so glad I have stuck with it. Even though my blog is just now picking up traction, I’ve learned so much from blogging. Sticking with it really does pay off!

    Cartier Dior

  4. anie phukan

    I read this post just when I was feeling a Lil blogging blues that any newbie might feel… This post has just motivated and inspired me again. Thank u for sharing it. Lots of love..

  5. Kristie

    This is a wonderful article, thanks for your honesty. Blogs are beginning a slowing trend, especially monetizing them, but I truly believe they are a beginning to other avenues, new journeys, and discovering what you really want to do.

  6. Toni Styles

    Great post! It’s amazing what a little (or a lot) of time can do. It’s really a journey; you grow as you go — so far, it’s been a bumpy ride, but things are starting to smooth out after almost 3 years. Thank goodness, for passion! <3

  7. Andhika

    I am new in blogging..And I realized that I love doing this..Its my 2nd month, but I hope I can continue this until whenever..

  8. Eli

    As someone that’s about to hit 9 years, it really feels like you’re in a better place without the drama and competition from before 🙂 I’m just doing my own damn thing and it feels good!

  9. Mel

    Great post, it’s good to hear what’s like. I’m still early days but hope I continue to stick it out as it’s a fun outlet.

  10. Sabina @Oceanblue Style

    Absolutely I have been blogging seriously about fashion 40+ and need to take a step back constantly to focus on why I am blogging. Which is not easy with all that ongoing comparison. Here in Europe, in Germany that is, its like bloggers in their 20s or international blog stars getting any mention. Not like any of 40+ ones though. So its also about believing in yourself and where you want to go! Sabina | Oceanblue Style

  11. Renard Moreau

    [ Smiles ] Not many bloggers can boast that they made it through ten years of blogging.

    Congratulations and I wish you many more years of successful blogging!

  12. Melody Sours

    I can relate! I’m coming up on 2 years this May and have changed my mind set on blogging in many ways. Instead of feeling like I need to buy new outfits weekly (which started to feel redundant and quite expensive). I’ve learned to stretch my fashion pieces. That fear of always having the newest first, or competing with bloggers in different leagues financially and experience wise has shifted. I now find so much more joy in being myself. If I’m a hard working girl who mixes splurge pieces with $5 vintage finds then there must be other frugalistas out there who can relate.
    The longer you blog with your true voice. The better off you’ll be!


  13. Dymond Moore

    I just passed my first year blogging milestone and it made me happy just to have accomplished it. However in this digital age of social media, it can be discouraging to see other bloggers buying fans to jump start their careers and being praised for it, but like she said, slow and steady wins the race.

  14. Anastasia

    Blogging really can teach you something! For me it means to refine my photographer skills and my own style – as creating outfit posts helps me to understand what’s flattering for me and what’n not.