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15 In blogging/ ramblings

the life cycle of a blog?

Are you a newbie or a superblogger


It’s that time of year again when people start blogging about goals for the coming year.  Personal goals, career goals, fitness goals and of course….blogging goals. Not gonna lie, I’ve been thinking a lot about how I’d like Joli House to grow in 2015.

I’ve been at the wheel of this place for 16 months now and seeing it grow has made me so happy. You can’t beat being part of this community and the opportunities it can bring. So far, there has been no ‘down-side’ of blogging for me. Yeah it’s hard work and takes quite a chunk of my time, but enjoyable and rewarding hard work and time.  I’ve never ever considered quitting, put it that way!

When thinking about what readers of Joli House would like to see here, I’ve considered my own blog-reading habits.  What did I read this time last year? Have my tastes changed?  Have I lost interest in certain blogs?  If so, why?  I can’t deny that my to-read list looks a little different these days. This all got me thinking about how blogs evolve over time. The blog life-cycle if you like.  Where am I within this cycle?

I took over from my mum here in September 2013.  Up until then, my face had made pretty regular appearances on the blog and I’d posted the odd thing myself.  So although I’m a fairly new blogger, I’m not new to blogging, if you get me.  I read before I wrote. 🙂 The original Joli House was born in 2007 when the blogging climate was quite different.  Advertising and sponsorship just wasn’t something my mum ever considered, although even back then, the blog brought both of us some pretty unexpected and fantastic opportunities.  When I took over the reins last year, the idea was to give myself a space to write. One that wasn’t constricted by a book list or exam timetables and would allow me to ramble on about…well anything really.  And that would allow me to reach an audience.

Rambling on is good… It’s my style, and anyone who knows me will agree!  I ramble verbally (lol yes) and I ramble in writing too.  But I don’t want to ramble into a void.  The one thing that could ever stop me from blogging is a lack of engagement with readers.  For me, interaction is key.  It doesn’t have to happen on the blog (although who doesn’t love a long thoughtful comment eh?), but it does have to happen. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, a multitude of other places for chatting. There are literally dozens of places to interact with bloggers and blog readers, and I’m constantly discovering more!

And yet some people don’t do it.

This brings me back to the life-cycle of a blog.  A blog in its infancy usually means comments get replies, tweets are retweeted and interaction is generally good but to be honest, it looks for all the world like there is a point in this life-cycle where bloggers just opt out of communicating with all but the biggest of other blogging names and brands.  In fact, it’s almost as if bloggers are becoming brands.  As they go through this metamorphosis, they become more detached from their readership.  Now I must stress here that I am still ridiculously impressed by the bloggers who manage to make it work as a career!  Ain’t no two ways about this; blogging is hard work and anyone who tells you otherwise clearly hasn’t had a crack at it. I am totally behind anyone who has been able to make the shift to full-time blogging/vlogging as a career. They deserve the success.


Let’s not pretend that things aren’t going to change with your readership as a result.  I read a crazy amount of blogs and in some cases I’ve been a loyal reader for years.  I have a list of blogging turn-offs as long as my arm and that’s really for another post, but sometimes, the changes when bloggers make this move are like a sore thumb: painful and ugly.  I’m not talking about ads on blogs here though, I can accept the sidebar ads, the footer banners.  Hell, I can even accept the full frame – if your content quality is uncompromised.  And that’s the kicker.  Lately, with some blogs I’ve started to feel like they’re the equivalent of junk mail inside that frame.  They have nothing of note to inform.  No real advice and NO reader connection.  Just something to sell it would appear.  To those bloggers – I know you need to accept this sponsorship.  I know you cannot pay your bills with All SAINTS leather jackets alone.  I know you are probably still working crazy hours to maintain your posting schedule.  But really, I just want to hear your true voice now and again.  The one we all heard before that ad frame appeared.  It’s still there for some!  I don’t mind that your post is sponsored.  If your content grabs me, then I probably won’t even notice.  It would be crazy to judge someone for monetising their blog and that most certainly isn’t what I’m doing here.  I just think that when some bloggers reach this point in the cycle they can lose their way.  From here it’s just a short step to a fantastic blog becoming nothing more than a vehicle for affiliate links.

And then what?

How do you then measure your success at this point?  Purely on financial gain?

And what of the life cycle? Blogger burn-out possibly?

Where is Joli House in the cycle?  My readership is still growing.  I’m still getting comments.  I’m hoping that 2015 will bring more opportunites my way and you never know, it may even bring an advertisement or two.  But let me ask you now… if I ever look like I’m losing sight of why I started this blog, call me on it yeah?  If it looks like I’ve shoe-horned an unlikely product into a post then let me know.  I’ve seen this happen to several blogs/vlogs in 2014 and I’m not silly enough to think I’m immune to the lure of a lucrative ad deal.  I can trust you to pull me back if I go astray though yeah?

So…where are you in the blogging life-cycle?

lily kate x
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  • Reply
    21st December 2014 at 1:58 pm

    I really like the concept of a blogging lifestyle, such an interesting idea! I completely agree with your thoughts, I like reading blogs to gain knowledge in certain areas, to entertain myself, but also to get to know the person behind the words, and as you say this seems to be slipping for many bloggers which is a real shame because it’s so much more enjoyable to read something that you can tell is honest rather than being a sort of script to copy from. As a case in point I learnt from this post that you took over this blog from your mum, which I think is really interesting and brilliant! Hope you’re having a good day 🙂
    Hannah x

    • Reply
      lily kate
      24th December 2014 at 6:13 pm

      It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly why we read blogs isn’t it! It is sad that sometimes when you see all the big bloggers posting the exact same thing.
      Really glad you liked reading!
      Hope you’ve had a fab week 😀

  • Reply
    21st December 2014 at 3:43 pm

    I love this post because I feel like I can relate to your words. I used to read a few bloggers that now are BIG STARS of blogland and their blogs are more of an advertisement channel. I lost my favorite blogger because of all the damned sponsored posts, t’s not like sponsored posts or ads are bad but they shouldn’t kill the main blog vibe. I have no idea where my blog will be in 2015 but I hope it’s something more better and shiny than it already is 🙂

    • Reply
      lily kate
      24th December 2014 at 6:18 pm

      I always feel like I can relate to yours too Areeba! I don’t mind big bloggers using adverts because I know they have to pay the bills, but it’s just when the original stuff becomes compromised that I sometimes lose interest. I’m sure your blog will become even more amazing in 2015! 😀

  • Reply
    21st December 2014 at 10:49 pm

    I love the new header!

    I think it’s very sweet that you took over from your Mum.

    I have no idea where I am in the cycle, I think that from 2014 and into 2015 I progressed from up and coming and I’m starting to feel established. I’m starting to find my voice, my feet and my routine with blogging.

    It can be hard to engage with other bloggers, I’m not a full time blogger, but I have a full time job, daily post on one blog and post 3/4 times a week on my fitness blog. I always comment back on bloggers that comment on my blog, but I don’t always have time to reply to every comment – I tend to just reply to the longer ones as I’d rather spend my time commenting on their posts than just saying ‘thanks’ in mine, if ya get me.

    It’s a tough one with the whole sponsored post thing. I guess the fear with being a full time blogger is that your income isn’t always consistent, so I wonder how many people feel like they need to accept something that they normally wouldn’t if they didn’t have their council tax to pay.

    Corinne x

    • Reply
      lily kate
      24th December 2014 at 6:23 pm

      Really glad you like it! I thought a fresher look was needed, and that photo was quite old haha.
      I guess it’s a strange way to get into blogging, but inheriting a blog works for me!
      Your blog definitely seems established to me; you seem to be so organised! But then again it still seems so personal, which means you’re definitely getting the balance right. 🙂

  • Reply
    Holly Priestley
    23rd December 2014 at 4:36 pm

    This post shows a lot of maturity and awareness that most folks either don’t have or don’t feel like sharing. I love that you ramble and post whatever you want, I’m a long-time reader and a very rare commenter. I respect that you have the humility to honestly ask for correction if we see the blog going the way of so many blogs in the lifecycle – getting too big and losing track of why they started in the first place. Passion. We want to read your voice, your passion, not solely what you’re getting paid to talk about.

    You got this girlie, you’re doing great! Keep it up. and maybe blog about what you’re knitting every once in a while 😉

    • Reply
      lily kate
      24th December 2014 at 6:28 pm

      I’m glad you think so Holly, thank you! It makes me so happy to know that I have long time readers that’ve stuck around. Please do let me know if I go astray!
      Thank you so much! I sooo wish I had more time to knit things to blog about, but blogging has essentially replaced my knitting time these days. Projects take me so much longer to finish!

  • Reply
    Suzy Marie
    26th December 2014 at 10:05 pm

    It’s really interesting that you wrote about this because it’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot recently! I’ve been blogging for four years in April (can’t quite believe it haha) and I’m wondering what my next move is. I feel like perhaps I’m becoming stagnant and I don’t have the readership buy in I’d like (particularly compared to other blogs that have been around for a lot less time) but I do love doing it. This post has really helped me to think about how I feel about my blog, so thank you!

    • Reply
      lily kate
      29th December 2014 at 8:28 pm

      You should be so proud of yourself for blogging for that long! I bet it’s great (entertaining maybe?) to look back at your posts from 4 years ago. It’s strange how all blogs seem to grow in different ways/at different rates.
      You’re very welcome! Glad you enjoyed reading!

    • Reply
      lily kate
      29th December 2014 at 8:28 pm

      You should be so proud of yourself for blogging for that long! I bet it’s great (entertaining maybe?) to look back at your posts from 4 years ago. It’s strange how all blogs seem to grow in different ways/at different rates.
      You’re very welcome! Glad you enjoyed reading!

  • Reply
    30th December 2014 at 5:25 pm

    I’ve been blogging almost as long as you. I like the fact that you took it over from your mom. If it gives you a space to express yourself in another way than I think it’s great! I’ve had two different blogs in the past 5 years. So I don’t think I’m a newbie blogger, but yet not as big as a lot of these other bloggers as well. I’m right in the middle and I kind of like it here. 🙂

    I think you have some good points about how big some bloggers get they hardly reply to their readers. To me, I think that’s rude. I mean, if I take the time out of my day to read a blog and make a comment that has an important question on it, I’d expect that author to read it and hopefully get back to me about it. That’s why it doesn’t matter how big I get as a blogger in the blogging world, I will continue to have that communication with my readers! I LOVE their comments, they’re the reason why I still blog in the first place.


    • Reply
      lily kate
      30th December 2014 at 7:33 pm

      It’s quite nice in the middle isn’t it! I would like to have started blogging sooner though. I think it’s rude too! To pretend that your life is literally soooo full that you haven’t time to reply to someone who’s taken the time to comment is just plain rude for sure. It’s not that they haven’t time, it’s that they don’t prioritise it. Some bigger bloggers still do though, and they’re the ones I continue to read every post!
      Comments like yours are the reason I blog too. 😀

  • Reply
    4th January 2015 at 11:49 am

    I am definitely a middle blogger, and its a good place to be because I don’t have the pressure of chasing the £ but still get to work with great brands without that dictating all my content. It all comes down to why you read your favourite blogs, whether that be advice, or visual escape.

    • Reply
      lily kate
      4th January 2015 at 3:45 pm

      Definitely is the best place to be! You’re not relying on the money from your blog so anything can be seen as a bonus. I don’t really know why I read blogs; I guess visual escape would be the best phrase!

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