Starting A Seat With Shay has encouraged me think about the future, 'who am I?' 'What are my goals?' 'What is the future of this blog?'. I knew my blog had transformed from a hobby into business when I decided to stick to the freelance life and commit to spending all of my free time blogging. Shortly after came business opportunities which only further pushed me to want to improve my content.
So here we are 2 years later and I wouldn't be me if I didn't feel the need to say thank you 10,000 times.
thank you, thank you and thank you again. I stumbled into blogging because I wanted to share my mental health story, I fell in and you guys caught me with your words of encouragement. I am so grateful to every single person for reading this, leaving comments and engaging because without you it would be a little lonely. How else would we all know that we aren't the only ones confused at life and sh*t at adulting if it wasn't for those brave idiots sharing their thoughts online.
When you start something it is never going to be the best that it can be. Trial, error and persistence are the keys to improving and bettering yourself. When my blog began ticking both of the business and pleasure boxes, I knew it was my responsibility to take the necessary steps to up my game and so I did.
First of all, if you want to improve at something you need to have the knowledge to do so. I didn't have the full blogging knowledge I knew I would need to elevate. I made sure I researched everything I could manage about blogging functionality and blogging for business. There were a lot of terms I didn't understand such as a DA, PA, MUU and more. I googled everything, I read articles, blog posts and tweets and applied what I had learned to my blog. I like to consume my information both formally and informally. An article on something helps me understand the technical side and will usually be more accurate. Reading a more informal blog post from a blogger who writes with passion and personality is like a 'BLOGGING FOR DUMMIES' guidebook. They speak about technical terms in a way that makes it a easier to digest but of course it may be a little less accurate and a little more opinion based, which I'm cool with.
Reading all of the necessary information helped me communicate with brands and improve my blog for myself too. But this blog isn't just for me, I want my audience to enjoy it, I want A Seat With Shay to be a lifestyle blog that new readers wants to return to. My research findings encouraged me to write 'smarter' in ways to optimise SEO and it motivated me to find ways to improve my DA (Domain Authority, is a search engine ranking score developed by Moz that predicts how well a website will rank on search engine result pages).
Next I looked at my go-to bloggers, the bloggers who's content I crave and the ones who's blogs are saved to my bookmarks. If you want to do something right, of course you'll need a little inspiration from those who inspire you. With that being said it is never ok to just out right copy content whether it be writing styles, photography or layouts etc. your sauce is that you are your own amazing self and your readers can smell inauthenticity from a mile off.
In The Frow, Lydia Millen, The Chrishelle Factor and Mossyoni are four bloggers that receive a number of weekly views from me. I went on each blog and asked myself 'what keeps me returning?'. They all have a professional blog design, uncompromising high quality content and amazing images. So I made a little check list of things to work on and of course I'm still getting there but it's nice to know what my 'end goal' ideally looks like.
In The Frow in particular has amazing photography and posts every 2-3 days. Half of me wonders how she manages to look so amazing in every shot and post such relatable content, but she does it.
In the past I have put out some content I wasn't 100% happy with just to 'put something out'. But how does that benefit me when the people I am putting out content for aren't happy with the content and most definitely aren't reading it. After my rebrand, I made sure I was clear on who A Seat With Shay was, what content it produces and what it stood for.
To end on a cliche note, I realised the best way to improve my blog was to embrace me, my flaws, quirks and insecurities included. I've spoken about my fears of putting myself out there on the internet before. I've also spoken about the bigger picture and the positive side to the vulnerability and openness. The true power to pushing my blog was pushing myself. I can be lazy at the best of times, especially when working from home and especially when my desk is opposite my bed.
I had to truly commit myself to 'working', not for money, not for views and not for popularity, just for myself. I stopped doing favours for people during work hours, I started to treat my blog like a real job because as you know thoughts become things, I started putting out of all the positive energy I had into the universe and patiently waited for it to be returned to sender.
I also took a more personal approach to my blog. I'm not afraid to type like I talk, blog as if i'm talking to my best friend, let you guys know how great or bad things are going for me and if there's one thing people can always relate to, it's other people. Being candid became my USP and I found like minded people like those also hate their own voice, those who find it tedious having to get ready for blog pics and those who, like me desire a flatter stomach but cannot resist carbs or choose Netflix over the gym. This is our little corner of the internet.
As always I love hearing from you guys, let me know down below what kind of posts you want to see maybe more restaurant reviews, fashion posts or chatty pieces. Thank you so much for the support thus far and we'll catch up like this in one year. Cheers to two years.