Yesterday marked my 6th year of blogging.
It’s funny to think that 6 years ago, I created this blog to distract myself after a nasty breakup. There were lots of soppy posts back then, and at the beginning, I didn’t tell anyone about this blog (with the crap that I wrote back then, I’m not surprised I kept it a secret). Then I started writing about my daily life, journals from my trips, and emotive posts here and there. I started letting my closest friends know about this blog, and their encouragement made me confident to publish more things here, and also to let more people know that I wrote stuff and took photos. My writing was (still is) personal, so knowing that people read my writing was a bit daunting.
But words can’t describe how grateful I am that I loyally write on Her Little Journal, even though sometimes life gets busy and I let things unwritten. I’m not exaggerating when I say I’ve learned a lot through this blog. I first learned about photography because I wanted to post good photos here, and that’s how I found my love for photography. Back then, I only took it as a hobby, and I’d never imagined that I’d set up a photography business 4 years later.
Career-wise, this blog has opened a lot of opportunities for me. I think it’s because I truly enjoy writing and photography, so doing it persistently has never been a burden. Years of writing this blog has improved my writing and photography skills, and I can now refer to Her Little Journal to show my writing and photos to people. When Chica from Pustakalana asked if I wanted to be their Website Content Manager, I said yes straight away, silently thanking this little blog for being the showcase of my work, which Chica apparently liked. A month after that, I landed a role as a Content Marketing Executive, and to this day, I still can’t believe I get paid for writing (and other things as well, like keyword research, SEO, content performance monitoring, etc. But mainly, writing). I have to learn a lot in this new field, but I can honestly say I immensely enjoy what I’m doing.
Apart from that, this blog has also brought opportunities for some earnings, which I have never taken so far, owing to the difference in principles. I always state my requirements for sponsored posts or ads:
- I will disclose clearly and openly that it’s a sponsored post or ad
- I don’t accept pre-written content, means that everything has to be written by me, in my opinion
- Every link put in the post has to be nofollow link, as per Google guidelines
I’ve been approached by some Indonesian companies for collaborations, but as soon as I mentioned these requirements, I never heard from them again (even the big names!). Which is okay by me, because if they didn’t agree, I wouldn’t want to work with them anyway. But it still frustrates me when I find my favorite Indonesian bloggers don’t disclose collab. I understand it’s legally okay in Indonesia (it’s illegal in the UK, there’s a law about that), but I wouldn’t want to trick my friends and readers into clicking something that they think is a personal post, only to find that it’s an ad. Same thing about pre-written content; I wouldn’t want to post something that’s not written by me (unless on this rare occasion, when I ask my friend to write about the concerning state of Indonesia’s democracy). As for number 3, I certainly wouldn’t want to violate Google’s policy about nofollow links and get my blog penalized (click here if you want to read Google’s guidelines on link schemes).
Am I disappointed that I haven’t earned money from this blog? Absolutely not. I’m really protective of this blog, and I only want to fill it with things created by me, or things that I approve of. Besides, this blog has given me much bigger things: a chance to change my career path, and with that, the luxury to have a job that I’m so passionate about.
But what I’m most grateful for, is the people I met through this blog. The people who have commented, liked my posts, and interacted with me. The people who have encouraged me to keep doing what I love and cheering me on to keep going when I’m at the lowest points in my life. The wonderful, amazing, inspirational people who have become either friends or role models, or both.
For you, thank you so, so much. You’ve made blogging more than just blogging.
If you’d like to read more posts, here are 5 most-viewed posts according to the stats (to my delight, they’re all my favorites as well):
- Taking A Leap of Faith – a post I wrote the day after I quit my job, when I decided to work on my photography business full-time
- Bali Trip | How It Began – how I met 2 good friends for a vacation after saying goodbye 2 years earlier
- Bali Trip | Menjangan Island – the most amazing, incredible part of the trip above. And the best snorkeling experience, bar none
- 7 Things About Indonesian Culture That I’m Critical Of – a list of things about Indonesian culture that I hate. Lots of people agreed with me, and this post opened a lot of discussions in the comments
- The One Where He Gets Down On One Knee – a cheesy proposal story
And 7 of my favorite places, if you’re looking for a travel inspiration: