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What Blogging Means To Me Now + Tomorrow

Hello dear readers. I want to talk to you about something that I wonder if others out there battle with that I’ve been battling with A LOT lately. It has to do with blogging and my career as a “pro” blogger and deciding just where I’m at with it all. And I need to share this because it comes from the heart and I’ve always prided myself on being as completely transparent as possible because I think you deserve it as my friends and readers.

You're gonna here me roar

You may not have seen me a lot on my blog this summer. I was sick for months during my first trimester (thankfully that’s over!) and had a book to produce, then write. During my quiet pause, I’ve been blogging weekly but also mix in posts from some wonderful columnists whom I’ve hired to write on decor8, and they’ve been doing a beautiful job providing quality content covering everything from trend reports to home tours. And I love them so much because they are the best bunch of women ever. I feel so blessed!

But I miss blogging full-time, daily, tremendously. In fact I feel concerned over my lack of full-time presence here, not because I’m trying to be the queen of some popularity contest because frankly, my blog is still receiving amazing press coverage each month from magazines, newspapers and television networks all over the world. I’m not worried about advertisers or numbers or anything at all related to income. It has to do with JOY. You can ask my husband, I am one of those rare people whom success and money does nothing to contribute to my joy. I was as joyful before blogging as I am today, just in different ways, and I’m happy to report that I had little monetarily in my life ten years ago – I went from zero to financial hero thanks to starting my own business and I’m proud of that but it only makes me proud in the sense that I like doing what makes me, and others, happy. If it ever becomes miserable, or dishonest, or “selling out”, I will quit immediately and become a full-time interior designer or shop owner or whatever else – anything to avoid doing something that isn’t genuine and meaningful. JOY MATTERS PEOPLE. Really.

You're gonna here me roar

I’ve seen a lot of blogs go pro and those blog authors change. Their blogs are like infomercials and peppered with links and sponsored everything (without bothering to disclose it) and while that works for them, I don’t read blogs like that because their voices have changed. I prefer to earn money through books, teaching, consulting and the many other ways that help me to personally monetize my brand without feeling like my advertisers own me. Lots of bloggers are doing very honest and lovely things to monetize their blogs and I’m super proud of them, some have great videos and gorgeous photos and work with sponsors to produce wonderful things but others are completely forgetting the values that made blogging successful in the first place – which is not only going to damage them in the long run but could ultimately damage all of us if we don’t fight hard to stay true to our own vision and voice. It’s okay to have ads, and sponsors and whatever else you can do to drive your business forward – I do it – and so do the best of the best on the web who write on their blogs. But we have to remember why blogging became so successful in the first place…

Bloggers became popular for ONE reason. Sincere, honest reviews.

Before bloggers were deemed cool and lonnnng before sponsored posts, ads and affiliate links, we just wrote stuff from the heart and sometimes, we even bitched and moaned about things we didn’t like which then motivated a lot of large companies to stop playing around with the little guy and to listen more to their consumers. Now that companies see the ENORMOUS income potential by working with bloggers, because frankly our audiences come to us FOR our honest reviews, they’ve entered our space and often try to change us to become more like them – a bit sly, thinking about our bottom line despite whether or not we feel good about it. And though I love working with companies that respect where I draw the line, and have partnered with some amazing companies on advertorials for magazines, etc. many of my own blogger friends have stepped wayyyy over their line of comfort to a zone that they cannot return from once going over “there”. But this blog post isn’t really about all of this. It’s about ME and where I’m personally at as a blogger. It’s about whether I’m blogging for money or blogging for me.

I’m blogging for me. Then for my brand, because blogging has given me a way to grow it out and reach more lovely people. Then for money because I need to earn a certain amount of money to survive – my husband and I both freelance, it’s not an easy life. So I wanted to level with everyone and tell you where I’m at.

So here’s where I’m at.

I will take a year off from book writing and from accepting a million projects that don’t fuel me and traveling a ton for the sake of booking speaking engagements – some of which I feel no personal connection to. I want FOCUS. If I get on a plane, it will be to connect with you or to teach, not to stand before an audience at a trade show where I often feel incredibly uncomfortable. In 2014, I’m not going to write a single book. I’ve been writing a book-a-year for the past 3 years and I’ve loved every second of it, and I can’t WAIT for you to see my next title set to release next Spring – we’re throwing a big party in London in May and hopefully a few more in America – and I’d love to see you. But you won’t see anymore books or book launch parties or book tours from me after that for at least another 1-2 years.

I want my focus to go back to where my heart really is which is RIGHT HERE with all of you and in my e-classes and teaching live workshops as time (and my new baby on the way!) permits. I have so much to give to you all, especially as I get older and just see MORE at this age than I did when I started 8 years ago, and I want to do that on decor8 more and through Blogging Your Way… And I have learned through all of the other wonderful jobs that I’ve taken over the years as a blogger, that blogging is my absolute joy. It’s where I can always be spontaneous, where I can be me, and where I have never cared what advertisers or sponsors wanted from me – and this will never change.

So that’s where I’m at. I’ve been quiet around here lately but I’m planning to be here a lot more the moment my book is finished, which will be in October, then I’m back daily to share with you along with my columnists at least until the baby comes, then I may be blogging with baby on my lap as he merrily taps on the keys along with me.

Remember friends and fellow bloggers – finding balance and joy trumps ALL other things.

Much love,
Holly

(image of me by thorsten becker, outtakes from my upcoming book)

Posted by decor8 in blogs on September 26, 2013

Your comments...

  1. Victoria commented
    September 26th, 2013 at 8:40pm

    Great post Holly. I can’t wait to see where your career takes you (and family!) in the next year.
    I think many people think of a blog as a stepping stone to bigger and better things. It’s nice to see the value you place on it personally and that it gives to you as much as you give to it.

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  2. Annie Kruse commented
    September 26th, 2013 at 8:43pm

    Thanks for sharing Holly. I’m glad you’ll be here more as I always look to you on how it’s done with panache and integrity. As you said it’s a fine and often blurred line from which it’s hard to come back once you’ve stepped over it. I can’t wait to do an e-course with you. Enjoy the pregnancy and make time for some ante natal yoga, it’s wonderful! X
    Annie Kruse´s last blog post ..CARAMEL BABY AND CHILD – GROWING UP & FUNDRAISING

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  3. Frau Sued commented
    September 26th, 2013 at 8:48pm

    WOW Holly! This post was such a big big joy for me! Thank you so much for being you!

    Love,
    Kristin
    Frau Sued´s last blog post ..Kurz & Knackig

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  4. Hagar commented
    September 26th, 2013 at 8:50pm

    I’m touched by your words. Indeed, what comes from the heart is always reaches the right place.. Will be great to see you here more…Lots of success with new project and mainly with the baby, x, Hagar

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  5. Tania Welch commented
    September 26th, 2013 at 8:58pm

    Hi Holly-first off Congratulations for your growing family! This is truly an exciting time for you with many more to come.

    Being a mother of a now 11 year old I can say without a doubt your life is going to change in the most beautiful way. It isn’t always easy but always worth every moment that will come. A child has a way of making priorities and the essentials in life so much clearer. :)

    I will be honest and tell you that I wondered how you would be able to maintain your work load with a baby on the way. I’m so happy to hear that you will continue to blog because you have always been one of the bloggers I most admired because of your commitment to being true to your beliefs, values, and your voice. As an “amateur” blogger I can’t be anyone else but myself. I’ve tried but I always come back to blogging my way because it makes me happy and it fuels my creativity in ways I would have never imagined when I started 4 years ago.

    With all that being said, thank you for your transparency and for never having become something other than who you are genuinely. Authenticity will always bring joy.

    Be well,
    Tania Welch

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  6. Jessika Hepburn commented
    September 26th, 2013 at 8:59pm

    Hi Holly! It’s been awhile since I stopped by to leave you a comment but I just loved this post too much to leave without saying thank you. While many blogs get bigger and bring on ever more sponsors you’ve maintained such a clear brand presence and voice for Decor8. I’ve loved following along your rise to ever amazing heights while respecting your honest writing.

    I started blogging as a sideline for fun when I purchased OMHG in 2010-while by no means as epic as your growth as editor I’ve had so many incredible opportunities gifted to me. I’ve also steadily worked to have a better income through products + projects that stay true to my ethics of connection. All this has been awesome! But after some family struggles this year I also decided to publicly pull back and not speak, travel, or take on new clients. I needed to focus on home and the relationships I’ve created through blogging that mean so very much to me. I wouldn’t trade the friendships I’ve made or the joy I get from connecting with people all over the world for any amount of money or sponsorship.

    It feels like such affirmation to see you making choices that are focused connection and community instead even though you are such a rockstar & so much further in your business journey. I respect and admire your vision for your brand & your work + am wishing you so much joy in mamahood!
    Jessika Hepburn´s last blog post ..{Free Screensaver} On Communities…

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  7. Signe commented
    September 26th, 2013 at 9:00pm

    Looking forward to seeing more of you over here :)

    Hugs
    //Signe
    Signe´s last blog post ..Apartment crush // Amsterdam

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  8. Haikje commented
    September 26th, 2013 at 9:11pm

    Hear Hear!
    Haikje´s last blog post ..Wedding Event: Engaged

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  9. christine commented
    September 26th, 2013 at 9:15pm

    Great ;o)

    i think, you’re doing fine.

    best wishes
    christine

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  10. Haikje commented
    September 26th, 2013 at 9:15pm

    Good to read all of this Holly. I agree with you. When I saw your Facebook title for this article I was afraid you were announcing that you wanted to quit… Luckily the opposite is true. You and your blog brings a lot of joy! Hope that you & Decor8 will be around for a long time.
    Haikje´s last blog post ..Wedding Event: Engaged

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  11. Dominique Paolini commented
    September 26th, 2013 at 9:16pm

    Thanks for sharing your heart, Holly. As fairly new blogger, I love reading about why people got started, what they love, and how they stay true.

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  12. Elizabeth @ The Little Black Door commented
    September 26th, 2013 at 9:16pm

    Here here! Thank you for this post. Sincerely.
    Elizabeth @ The Little Black Door´s last blog post ..paisley is the pattern for fall

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  13. Dianna commented
    September 26th, 2013 at 9:19pm

    Truly from the heart! I look forward to more from you and taking your e-course. Much love, Dianna
    Dianna´s last blog post ..Harvest Decorating

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  14. beaut santua commented
    September 26th, 2013 at 9:24pm

    Hi Holly.You instantly inspired.I’m a newbie and had been only active blogging this year.I just want to thank you for your encouragement and positive vibes.I badly needed them.=)

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  15. beaut santua commented
    September 26th, 2013 at 9:26pm

    Hi Holly.You instantly inspired me.I’m a newbie and had been only active blogging this year.I just want to thank you for your encouragement and positive vibes.I badly needed them.=)

    beaut santua´s last blog post ..18 years & counting – Enchanted Kingdom

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  16. Amalia commented
    September 26th, 2013 at 9:30pm

    Thank you!!! I could feel it was written directly from the heart. It reminded me to never forget joy, and share it with the people I love. Many thanks again.

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  17. ishtar commented
    September 26th, 2013 at 9:30pm

    Dear Holly,
    One of the reasons why your blog has been one of my all lifetime favorites its precisely because of posts like this one.
    Always open, honest and true to yourself, to your voice in the world.
    It also saddens me to see blogs that have selled themselves for ads and money. It´s something I´ve never felt comfortable doing and rejected many oportunities of earning money because of this. It just felt as if my blog was being used; didn´t feel right.
    I know I´m not making that much money as other blogs, but its still MY SPACE.
    And in the end its certainly not only about money of course, but as you mentioned, finding joy in doing it.
    I just love love watching you grow and accomplish so many wonderful things over the years! your books( I literally CANT Wait for the third to come out and for the launch party in london which I wouldn´t miss for anything!) and now your baby …wow!!
    THANK YOU for continuing bein always YOU for the HUGE amounts of inspiration, of encouragement to pursuit what trully makes us happy and what we are capable of!
    With love ,
    Ishtar
    ishtar´s last blog post ..Photo Backgrounds- Fondos para fotos

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  18. ishtar commented
    September 26th, 2013 at 9:31pm

    PS: these images are SOOO GORGEOUS!!! OH MY!!
    ishtar´s last blog post ..Photo Backgrounds- Fondos para fotos

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  19. Emma commented
    September 26th, 2013 at 9:35pm

    Hi Holly!
    I think this is what sets some blogs (like yours) apart from the rest… You started when there was no money in blogging. and with no plan to get rich from it, you just wanted to share and connect with likeminded people. I did the same, for the same reasons, and still have the same reasons for blogging. But the blog is now my business, and my main source of income, and even if I have no desire to get rich, I need some money to pay the bills…

    I am always honest and transparent with my readers just like you, but I feel like sometimes there is just no way to please everyone. No matter how picky I am when I choose my sponsors and the brands I collaborate with to make sure they resonate with my values and style, there are always these people who will see it as a “sell-out”. In an ideal world, I would have a completely ad and sponsor free blog, but I just can’t figure out a way to do that without working like a crazy person on other projects (styling, book writing, lectures/workshops etc). I want to be able to focus on my blog and spend my time creating quality content, and I hope the readers can understand that in order to do that the time I spend on my blog needs to be payed for in some way or another…
    However, the most important part here is honesty, I think. I know that you would never do a write up here with opinions that aren’t your own. Some bloggers don’t have those ethics, and that rubs off on the rest of us, dragging us down with those who are just in it for the money. How do we avoid that?

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  20. Bec commented
    September 26th, 2013 at 9:38pm

    Beautiful words, Holly. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us and being so honest!
    I’m REALLY looking forward to your next e-course – this time I definitely will participate.
    Bec´s last blog post ..// Träumchen des Tages // Grau, gemütlich, kuschelig – meine Lieblingsecke

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  21. Nicole Antar commented
    September 26th, 2013 at 9:41pm

    It feels like you just had to get that out there! You have been missed over the last few months although your guest bloggers have provided us with some great content. Thanks for your honesty. :)
    Nicole Antar´s last blog post ..Nada Debs: Finalist for Jameel Prize

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  22. cinzia ruggieri commented
    September 26th, 2013 at 9:44pm

    I think you are great because you are sincerely yourself when you blog and when you teach.Your love for sharing is the lesson and the pleasure for me to read your blog!

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  23. Nina commented
    September 26th, 2013 at 9:59pm

    Hi Holly,
    Way to go girl – Stay true to your voice on the web…the one that comes from your heart and not from $. WISE!!!

    Cannot wait to hear how your voice will change after the Baby – and even get better. That’s what kids will do to you…bring out more love, more of everything good and I’m convinced your joy will overflow in between sleepless night and poopy diapers, lol

    ~ Love, Nina ~.

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  24. gosia commented
    September 26th, 2013 at 10:08pm

    Thanks for being honest and letting us know what you’re at. Honestly, I’ve been worried recently to see less and less of you in this blog. Happy to hear you STILL love blogging and you’re not quitting being involved. Lots of love.

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  25. Marit ( homemarit.blogspot.nl) commented
    September 26th, 2013 at 10:28pm

    Wow, right from the heart, great post and I would love to follow your workshop! X
    Marit ( homemarit.blogspot.nl)´s last blog post ..Picture love #1

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  26. Sue Schlabach commented
    September 26th, 2013 at 10:29pm

    Oh so happy to read this today.

    Joy!

    Aptly put that all our choices should rise from joy and in the hard times our inner joy can help us through.

    Looking forward to seeing your joy shared as it increases by one in your family. Looking forward to the new book too. Be well.
    Sue Schlabach´s last blog post ..Foggy Mornings, Paris Awaits

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  27. Debra commented
    September 26th, 2013 at 10:35pm

    Bravo Holly!

    Although blogging can open up amazing opportunities it is important to remember why people started reading your blog.
    Debra´s last blog post ..Freshly Pickled

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  28. Sarah commented
    September 26th, 2013 at 10:43pm

    Wow! That’s great Holly that you’ve made the conscious decision to find balance and be true to you. That’s a lesson for all of us. I’ve always loved and admired your authenticity. :)
    Sarah´s last blog post ..Having A Moment with…The Cape

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  29. Valentina commented
    September 26th, 2013 at 10:46pm

    Dear Holly,
    it is posts like this that make me happy and that is why I love to read your blog. I find out about blogs aprox 5 years ago and have been following you since then. I appreciate your attitude towards your readers and your realistic view. I have been blogging myself for two years now and I’ve been thinking to join your Blogging Your Way cours, but I’m silly shy, I think my computer knowlege and my English are not good enough for that. I would really like to get better and would love to make some good changes on my blog. So maybee one day I’ll go for it. Would love to hear your opinion about things I do and write :). I do love to write, that is what I do and I love pretty things and interior design, but I rarely find time to translate my posts in English.
    I think you made smart decisions to fokus more on blogging instead of traveling so much. Those precious moment with your boys will give you so much energy and joy that you even cant imagine now.
    I should know couse I did the opposite, silly me. I went back working when both my baby boys were 6 month old. Ok I had I freelance housband working from home at that time, and that was not only my decision in a way my employers expected that. I agree with you, yes the money is important to a certain extent, but joy and happines must be on the first position. big hug.

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  30. Patty commented
    September 26th, 2013 at 10:48pm

    I love your approach to blogging and have taken two of your e-courses. The names of the e-courses (BYW) really demonstrate your blogging mission and what you teach so passionately and authentically. Which is why I don’t quite understand why you feel concerned for everyone else. It shouldn’t matter what other bloggers are doing or how they are making money or what approach they take with sponsors. Who cares? Let them go outside their comfort zone, allow them to post reviews for free. That’s what makes blogging great; the opportunity to participate in this free market.
    Having said that, I love your approach to how you make your money as it’s the same as mine. I love my niche. I love blogging within this little group. And I make a great income without advertising or selling my soul. You have showed many of us how this is done!
    And congrats on the baby boy…I have two and they are the dearest things.

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  31. Shanon commented
    September 26th, 2013 at 10:52pm

    Joy is where it’s at! =)

    You’ve worked so hard for all your success and I admire that you know that sometimes more is just more. Simplifying down to what really brings you joy is so honest and respectable.

    Selfishly, I’m really looking forward to seeing more blog posts from you. They are always a breath of fresh air. The last year or two, I’ve had less and less time to read blogs daily, being so busy with my little guy, but yours is one that I miss seeing every day.

    Speaking of “little guys” I’m so excited you have a little BOY on the way! Boys are the best. =) Everyday my heart swells with appreciation that I’m the momma to one. There’s nothing like it.

    Congratulations and joyous wishes to you always!
    xo
    Shanon´s last blog post ..The Weekly Holiday: week 38

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  32. decor8 commented
    September 26th, 2013 at 10:59pm

    @Patty – I think it’s really normal in any profession or market to view your peers and consider how they are doing things, bad or good, and where you want to fall in the scheme of things. It’s healthy, at least from my perspective, to take into consideration where people are rising (and why) and where they are falling (and why). I’m also a very outgoing person, and I see myself as part of a grand, global community of other bloggers. That’s really what I’m all about – community. Community-driven people are usually very concerned about what’s going on around them. I guess that has been both an asset and a liability to people like me throughout the ages but I can’t imagine life any other way – it is the one way I know. Plus, I’m also a teacher and mentor to so many people. In order to be a good teacher or mentor, you have to feel a sense of connection to those around you and understand what they are doing so that you can better understand the big picture which gives you special insight into human behavior that those who are more self-focused lack – it’s a level of emotional intuition that has guided my career in ways that have only served to benefit me.

    You mentioned something though that confused me, you said “Let them go outside of their comfort zone, allow them to post reviews for free”, I’m not sure what you meant by that – that never came up in my post so I’m just wondering where that came from. :)

    Thank you for your comment. Holly xo

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  33. Ellen Moore commented
    September 26th, 2013 at 11:07pm

    How refreshing your blog is to read! I have noticed a difference when bloggers are given things for free to use and comment on those things. I don’t think I could complain about a new floor, for example, if I didn’t have to pay for it. And I feel that does a disservice to readers who are, as you said, looking to you for guidance and advice. You have come to a mature decision at a young age, good for you!

    I wish you much happiness with your son and husband. We have 2 sons and love them dearly, as we do their sister, had to get that in!

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  34. Megan commented
    September 26th, 2013 at 11:07pm

    This resonates with me so much! I’ve found that it’s been hard to “find my voice” on my blog because I’m always wondering if I’m “doing the right thing.” It’s actually a family journal where I share a lot of ups and downs. But with all the DIYs out there, sponsored posts and affiliate links I feel like my blog is so uncool. I stopped writing for a spell while I tried to figure out what I’m doing with it. This reminds me to stick with what I want to write and leave it at that. I don’t want to sell anything or bolster someone else’s product. I feel like the world is so full of clutter already! I’ve decided to just stick with what I do and people can choose to visit or not, ha! :) I love reading your blog and enjoy just the simple posts with lovely inspiration and when you sprinkle in personal bits. So fun! Hugs and joy to you!!!]
    Megan´s last blog post ..Preschool 2013-2014

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  35. Kim Turner commented
    September 26th, 2013 at 11:07pm

    Hi Holly!
    Such an amazing post and so glad to hear you are going to be posting more. I absolutely love your blog. It has inspired me with my own blogging with it so my fun!

    I am still learning so many things about blogging and noticed your note about registrations being open for your next e course. However I just wanted to let you know that I clicked on your link and tried to register but it didn’t work. The link kept saying ‘page not found’. I will keep trying but just wanted to let you know. I hope it works soon…I really don’t want to miss out on your amazing course.

    Xx

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  36. Melissa de la Fuente commented
    September 26th, 2013 at 11:14pm

    This is why I adore you so….you are so thoughtful hun, always striving to improve and grow. Why I always feel like basking in the glow of your world and the world of decor8. It makes me happy! I am so excited for you and your new book and I bet being able to focus on just the blog for awhile will be a relief/respite. Proud of you! As always, and so excited to see what the next couple of years brings! :)
    xoxo
    Melis
    ps LOVE those photos of you above.

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  37. decor8 commented
    September 26th, 2013 at 11:22pm

    @Emma – I have known you for ages and you are definitely not a sell out. It’s absolutely FINE to have ads (I do!) and sponsors and whatever else that is needed to maintain your income and support your family as an online writer (aka blogger). I’m referring to people who, like you said, are blogging but don’t share our ethnics. More and more companies are working with THOSE people because they are dishonest vs. the more honest bloggers because they know they’ll do anything for money – which can definitely lend to blogging ultimately receiving a very poor reputation which means once blog credibility decreases, so does readership and boom! we’re no longer able to survive as online writers and have to do other things. To answer your question, I think that we have to just keep rising above the bar and doing good work. You can’t drag down the strongest animals in the flock, it’s usually the ones at the back who go down the quickest. So our job is to stay in the front of the pack and to stick to our values and ethnics and view our blogs as truly a business that we want to nurture, grow and feel good about at the end of the day.

    I think the bloggers who aren’t selling out rise to the top quite consistently, they are the ones you always see in the press, they are writing books and working with magazines (as a paid contributor), starting their own magazines and side businesses, they are getting stuff done and raising the bar higher and higher. We just have to aim higher, that’s the way to avoid it.

    In any market, you have lots of people who can potentially bring it down by their dishonest business practices. Look at the handmade market. I’ve purchased so much stuff that broke the first time I wore it (jewelry) or after I brought it home I realized it was poorly made… but I’ve also purchased some great stuff that I love and cherish. I’m still a fan of the handmade market, I’m just a bit more cautious when I shop from handmade sellers as a result of the bad experiences – I don’t trust the quality as I once did when handmade was a smaller, more niche group of sellers who really took pride in their craft. That’s sort of how I see blogging right now. Some blog readers are cautious. They wonder about us and whether we are bs-ing them. But I think it shows when we are being sincere. And they still have their favorite blogs and it doesn’t make them stop reading and abandon blogs altogether. THOUGH if enough bloggers start to betray readers trust, there can definitely be a severe impact that could potentially be problematic that could trickle down to all blogs – but if enough of us stand tall, I’m willing to bet we’ll be okay. :)

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  38. decor8 commented
    September 26th, 2013 at 11:25pm

    @Ishtar – Thank you sweetheart, my husband took them of me yesterday. :)

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  39. Holly Findlay commented
    September 26th, 2013 at 11:39pm

    I am just about to start a blog so appreciate your honesty and true connection. I am going to save this post and read it when I am feeling disillusioned, time poor or uninspired. Thank you.

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  40. katie commented
    September 26th, 2013 at 11:56pm

    Your post today was inspiring, I’ve noticed quite a few ‘thanks to..’ popping up on some of my favourite blogs and it is irritating but good luck to those who wish to work that way. I love your blog and look forward to hearing more from you. I’m so glad you don’t have sponsors x
    katie´s last blog post ..26 September 2013

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  41. decor8 commented
    September 27th, 2013 at 12:06am

    @Katie – I think sponsored posts are fine, as I stated above in my post – no judgement there – I have ads and I have amazon affiliate links on my blog. I think it’s a great way to earn money and produce amazing content that you cannot always produce on your own without the monetary support. When bloggers don’t disclose it though, they don’t add a “thanks to” or a “sponsored by”, then that can read as being somewhat dishonest whether the blogger intends that or not. There is NO SHAME in full disclosure, nothing wrong in that at all. I think bloggers should never be ashamed to make money doing so, ever. If they are straight up about it and honest, it’s something to look up to honestly.

    I read lots of blogs with, as I stated, beautifully produced content that was sponsored with genuine from the heart opinions, but I also know bloggers whom I’ve shared a meal with who laughed and confessed that they hate the products they write about but did it for the money and it didn’t really matter because their readers have no idea that it was paid content or an affiliate link. So I’ve seen both sides. That’s why I had to really think about my own future as a blogger and where I fit into all of this and what matters most to me in the end – I’ve been asked a lot lately to post content for money that I don’t stand behind 100%, but like everyone, money is a strong lure. I have had to turn down work lately because of it. I’ve turned down advertisers because I know their products are direct copies of famous designer’s works. This all amounts to profit loss on one side, but it also feels good to stand up for what we believe in.

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  42. Shay commented
    September 27th, 2013 at 12:15am

    This was really nice to read.

    I’ve been working on my own blog the last few months trying to get ready to go live and really think about what goals and lines I want to set for myself.

    Being completely honest; your blog inspired me to get back into designing about three years ago. I ended up going back and reading almost every one of your posts. And from there I found other blogs I loved and inspired me. But the last year I find myself here less and less. I check in and scroll through to catch up; but it’s not the first blog I hit every day anymore. And that is because there is less of you. Your other writers are great but it’s not the same. So I fondly look forward to your return. (As well as your new addition coming this winter!)

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  43. Emma commented
    September 27th, 2013 at 12:19am

    decor8, Thanks for the reply Holly, I appreciate your thoughts so much!

    I try to give this message to all other bloggers that I meet, both online and irl, and I think it has actually made a bit of a difference, at least in the Scandinavian countries! But, the bad seeds are also affecting the business for everyone, and even though I will never stray from my beliefs, it is sometimes very frustrating to see what is going on around us… And yes, the readers are getting suspicious. I feel like I should include a little note in every post claiming my policy about sponsored posts, reviews, recommendations etc. It shouldn’t have to be that way! I fear that soon this trusting relationship that we have built with our readers will be gone, even though we ourselves didn’t do anything to harm it… That will eventually hurt the whole business, and especially the “bad seeds”, because that trust is what brands value the most when they turn to bloggers for collaborations or advertising… I really hope it will work out like you say: “You can’t drag down the strongest animals in the flock, it’s usually the ones at the back who go down the quickest.”

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  44. Lucy commented
    September 27th, 2013 at 1:24am

    I really appreciate bigger blogs who are willing to be transparent even if it steps on some toes. I don’t see enough of this. It almost seems people are too afraid to offend that nothing truthful gets said, and honestly lately, that has been bothering me.
    Lucy´s last blog post ..Designer Spotlight: Emily Current & Meritt Elliott

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  45. Meg@OliverandRust commented
    September 27th, 2013 at 2:15am

    this was a great read and i really enjoyed reading an honest opinion of someone behind a blog about blogging. i have stopped reading a handful of blogs because of the constant giveaways and product reviews which took over the reason i loved the blog in the first place. i enjoy reading your posts and adore your decorate book (even gave a few as gifts). excited to see more from you in the future.
    Meg@OliverandRust´s last blog post ..How to transform your old frames

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  46. selena @ howaboutcookie commented
    September 27th, 2013 at 3:14am

    I love this. I’m not a big-time blogger, and I don’t have sponsors, but I’ve been feeling lately as though that’s the only way to go. And something about that made me sad, as though the authenticity of blogging as personal expression is becoming more about building your brand, with little else. I admire bloggers who know how to strike the balance of keeping it a respectable craft while still earning what they deserve. I don’t know if I could personally do it, but I’m rooting for you and others to keep it an art form vs. all business.
    selena @ howaboutcookie´s last blog post ..screen time

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  47. Martine | WAHM. Wife. Blogging Belle. commented
    September 27th, 2013 at 3:31am

    Dear Holly:

    Thank you for your sharing “where” you are right now in your blogging journey.

    You know what “stuck” with me after finishing Blog Boss last March? It wasn’t to vie for more sponsors, or to play up my “blogging portfolio” and start impressing more brands. It was your mantra: “Use your blog as a CATALYST to live your BEST LIFE.”

    That struck something in me, and ever since I redesigned my blog, I’ve also slowly been redefining my blogging path. Like you, I am in that “question mark phase” right now, where I am unsure of whether I want to continue down the sponsored post route. It’s become so complicated lately, and the competition is stiff. However, there are few bloggers stepping out and really using their blogs as platforms to further their unique message.

    I am actually doing an ENTIRE rebrand of my blog(s) because I also want to simplify and streamline my platforms to support my one life purpose. My heart is pulled in as many directions as my blogging, which is awesome, because (thanks to you!) I’m now giving writing workshops, mom workshops, and taking the blog beyond its digital walls. I work with LESS SPONSORS on the blog now, because other streams of income have come in, that are more aligned with what I offer TO OTHERS, the readers, rather than the mileage I can give to advertisers.

    It’s scary. It’s wonderful.

    I wish you all the best in your pregnancy. This little one will be blessed, knowing that you are fully present in his life, even before he gets here. I’m wishing you a wonderful rest-of-the-year (good luck on the new book! Can’t wait), and an even more purposeful 2014 of “living your best”, which is something you have always, always inspired me to do.
    Martine | WAHM. Wife. Blogging Belle.´s last blog post ..Mom Bliss with Christine Amour-Levar

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  48. Sarah commented
    September 27th, 2013 at 4:44am

    Holly, this was so refreshing to read! I really admire what you’re thinking and planning. Thanks for staying true to who you are.

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  49. suzie commented
    September 27th, 2013 at 5:03am

    Hi Holly,
    this is good news, 8 years and counting… Interesting to read that you enjoy blogging more than all other jobs (for the fun and freedom)! This sound like the good old times :-)
    congrats to your baby boy-to be
    xx
    suzie

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  50. Tracy Gatto commented
    September 27th, 2013 at 5:15am

    And this post just sums up why you are my favorite blogger. You are honest and true to yourself. I am inspired by you and your talent. I selfishly cannot wait until October so I can get more Holly inspiration!!! You rock :). Your baby boy is so lucky your going to be his mommy xo
    Tracy Gatto´s last blog post ..Quick & Easy DIY: 1st Edition

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  51. Lucy Chen commented
    September 27th, 2013 at 5:41am

    Oh Holy, I loved reading every word of your post!

    Thank you for sharing, and in doing so, “educating” me, a new blogger, about the history and value of the blogs, and why one should blog. I’ll remember your words and keep them in my heart!

    I look forward to your e-course.
    Lucy Chen´s last blog post ..What Children Think About Getting Old (and Don’t Let Life Buzz You By)

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  52. Lucy Chen commented
    September 27th, 2013 at 5:46am

    decor8,

    This is so true about the handmade market, Holly. And you raised a very important point here, TRUST. Once we lose the trust with someone, it is very difficult to mend it and re-build the relationship.

    Reading your comment just made me realised why I’m very cautious about celebrity represented brands, and I will “dislike” a movie artist if he/she ads for something I think is no good.
    Lucy Chen´s last blog post ..What Children Think About Getting Old (and Don’t Let Life Buzz You By)

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  53. Grace commented
    September 27th, 2013 at 6:43am

    Hi Holly! Thank-you for your honesty and as always your inspiration. I took BYW last fall and loved it. Hope to take it again if I can but i’m expecting as well (within the month – yikes!) Looking foward to seeing where Decor8 goes next. … and wishing you a smooth pregnancy the rest of the way.
    Grace´s last blog post ..Drawn in

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  54. Aileen@AtHomeinLove commented
    September 27th, 2013 at 7:56am

    Love this post. Your blog is my favorite because I think you have really stayed true and honest and your voice always comes through. In fact, I named you as one of my “heroes” in my post today :)

    Excited to see more of you on your blog, and glad to hear you don’t plan on selling out!
    Aileen@AtHomeinLove´s last blog post ..Steal Like An Artist

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  55. katie commented
    September 27th, 2013 at 8:05am

    decor8,

    Thanks for the reply. Integrity is the name of the game, I agree. My reference to sponsors meant the hidden ones who are using blogs as a new marketing tool. I have reread the post, sorry for any ambiguity on my part, everything you say is so true, especially the piece about blogs gone pro that are like infomercials. Enjoy your new focus, sounds like it has been well considered, as are all the things you do.
    katie´s last blog post ..26 September 2013

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  56. Marina commented
    September 27th, 2013 at 8:24am

    Such an honest, sincere, bautiful post, Holly! Your words are inspiring as always! Thank you for that! Take care!
    Hugs,
    Marina
    Marina´s last blog post ..Life changing bread. Хлеб.

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  57. Lidia commented
    September 27th, 2013 at 9:02am

    Hi Holly, since this summer I started reading your blog and I love it. It inspires me and encourages me to stay grow in my own style and be proud of it:-P.
    This post is so honest, that I will encourage you, keep going! I think you made a very wise decision. Because if you become a mom, your life will change, if you want to or not (my own experience;-)). And you have to make choices… I keep following your blog and enjoy it!

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  58. Tracy Warner commented
    September 27th, 2013 at 9:41am

    Hi Holly, I saw your FB post as well and having just put my newest blog out there this week and feeling really disillusioned it was great to read this. I don’t have any sponsored ads or anyting but no-one reds them except friends and I was thinking why do I bother to bear myself and try and share interesting things when there is no one out there who wants to listen. But like you said I do it because I want to share some enthusiasm I have for what I do – so yes thank you and I will perseverve too xox

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  59. Jessica // Les goûts et les couleurs commented
    September 27th, 2013 at 10:25am

    So true… thank you Holly for writing this post!

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  60. Lena commented
    September 27th, 2013 at 11:43am

    Good to hear that you’ll be focusing on blogging next year – you’re a unique voice in the interior/design blogging scene and I think part of it is the fact that you don’t do sponsored post or collaborate with companies that don’t seem to fit your style. I’ve also stopped reading some blogs that I liked before because they don’t really draw a line anymore between content and advertisement. I’m amazed though that many of these blogs still seem to have a big readership… Good luck with everything!
    Lena´s last blog post ..INSTAWEEKEND #35

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  61. Alexia Zotos commented
    September 27th, 2013 at 11:54am

    Hi Holly,

    Again, thank you for your honesty and for being you. It’s really comforting to read that even you as succesful blogger, writer and everything, are still spending so much time thinking about everything! Your posts really help with my own uncertainties. Can’t wait for your next book to come out.
    Good luck with everything, and be happy!!
    X

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  62. Amalia commented
    September 27th, 2013 at 12:41pm

    Hey Holly, fantastic post, thanks for sharing your world!

    Will there be another Blogging Your Way course taking place in 2013? I think you mentioned a photography-focused one in the last course but I am guessing with the baby, it’s not taking place?

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    xx Amalia

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  63. Laly Mille commented
    September 27th, 2013 at 12:54pm

    I loved reading your post Holly. Authenticity, that’s what we need and it’s worth fighting for! Happy pregnancy to you!
    Laly Mille´s last blog post ..I got mail!…

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  64. Kat commented
    September 27th, 2013 at 1:34pm

    Hi Holly,
    Your voice, your honest and true voice comes through in this post loud and clear. It’s really good of you to update us like this, keep us in the loop. That’s another thing that can feel like it fades when blogs become bigger. But not with you.
    I was thinking about what you say about how bloggers have a delicate balance to strike. For some reason it reminds me of celebrities and them wearing clothes. Say they become well known for their style. So much that brands want them to wear their stuff. They get lots free. And then they have to decide whether they wear it or whether they continue on wearing things they choose – the very look that got them more of a unique style in the first place.
    It seems to me that blogging can be like that. And you have to be very careful not to lose your own voice and style once you get big.
    I think it was wise of you to have your main income through the books and have only a limited amount through advertising or blog posts featuring products.
    How easy it would’ve been to let the blog become too entirely centred around what others wanted you to advertise. And then the honest authentic voice of you gets lost.

    It sounds a good plan not to do a book. After all you have the baby to focus on and you need balance. Blogging is at least easier to continue with when he comes along.
    And lastly I am with you when it comes to wanting to remember the original appeal and intention and achievement of blogging. That raw honest approach that allows a connection with the real person and their views.
    My blog is just a little one, but I learn from what you have found, and it would influence any future direction I took with Secrets. It would reinforce my aim to keep the blog personal and not go with advertising. Not that there’s anything wrong with it for the most part – it can work along side – but it’s tricky and I think I prefer my personal space to stay with what I love,

    Love kat x

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  65. Kat commented
    September 27th, 2013 at 1:43pm

    Shanon,

    :) love what you said dear S xx
    Kat´s last blog post ..Snugly soft sleepwear at Next

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  66. Imma Medina commented
    September 27th, 2013 at 1:52pm

    Hola Holly.
    Enhorabuena por la criatura que viene de camino.
    Seguro que será una madre estupenda.
    Simplemente decirle que la sigo desde Cataluña y me encanta su blog.
    Imagínese si llega lejos !!!!
    Creo que ha escogido una buena decisión y me alegro que así sea.
    La tendremos entre nosotros.
    Ánimos y mucha surte !!!

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  67. iHanna commented
    September 27th, 2013 at 2:02pm

    Your love of writing, and your subjects shows though and that is what makes your blog one that I come back to. I love the longer posts about blogging, photography, living a good life, etc that you post and will look forward to more of those including the decor8ing posts! :-)

    Take care of yourself and the family!
    iHanna´s last blog post ..Stitched Blooms Book Blog Tour + giveaway

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  68. Marianne commented
    September 27th, 2013 at 2:55pm

    Thank you for this lovely post. I stopped blogging a couple of months ago. I thought I was over it, but after reading your blogpost yesterday I started having some doubts. Your blogpost reminds me (again) of what blogging is all about. I only had a small blog with few followers and visitors, but that really doesn’t matter. What is important is that it is so much fun to blog and to get/stay in touch with these lovely people.

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  69. decor8 commented
    September 27th, 2013 at 3:02pm

    @Marianne – Yes! Your comment makes me HAPPY. Thank you for saying that.

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  70. decor8 commented
    September 27th, 2013 at 3:03pm

    @iHanna – That’s so good to know, I will definitely strive to write more posts that reach the heart going forward. They make me happiest, too.

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  71. decor8 commented
    September 27th, 2013 at 3:06pm

    @Amalia – YES! The class runs from Nov 1-29 and registration begins October 11. I will be posting about it soon on decor8, so please stay tuned. :)

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  72. Andrea Carpenter-Heffernan commented
    September 27th, 2013 at 3:11pm

    I LOVED this post. It’s really hard, these days, to find “big bloggers” out there who are staying true to themselves. It’s refreshing that you recognize and admit this. Thanks for sharing!!
    xo,
    Andrea
    Andrea Carpenter-Heffernan´s last blog post ..for the weekend.

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  73. Nadine commented
    September 27th, 2013 at 3:42pm

    This is excellent, and sums up everything I’ve been feeling about the blog world for quite a while now. I’m so happy to see someone as successful as you staying true to yourself, and being so open about this topic.

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  74. Michelle commented
    September 27th, 2013 at 3:55pm

    Hi Holly,

    Firstly, huge congrats on your bundle of joy. Secondly, thank you for your honesty and insight.

    I started blogging a while ago with no intention of earning money but purely for fun. Kind of like an additional extra to my ´real´ job and I love it. I love taking people through all the good (and sometimes not so good!) bits that happen during my clients weddings and events and hopefully inspiring them along the way. Once or twice I have been told that my ideas are a bit off the wall but hey, I´m not doing it to be bland and blah. I´m passionate about what I do and I express it in my own way so if that means being a bit unconventional then so be it.

    Michelle
    x

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  75. Kim commented
    September 27th, 2013 at 4:14pm

    Such a great post! I’ve been a long time reader of your blog and have always loved your honesty and aesthetic as well as variety of content! I’m a craft blogger but have always been inspired by decor and lifestyle blogs. I enjoy your enthusiasm and love that you inspire other bloggers through your books and blogging classes! Congrats on your growing family!

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  76. Mina commented
    September 27th, 2013 at 4:51pm

    I love how genuine and true you are to yourself and how honest you are with us. This is why you have such a following. You’re real. It’s awesome. : ) I think its great that you are prioritizing what’s important to you. So many people don’t do that and end up burning themselves out. And wait until you hold that little baby boy in your arms. It will change everything even more and it’s wonderful. Best of luck to you and I look forward to hearing more of your voice and your journey around here. : )
    Mina´s last blog post ..Bohemian Wednesday – Scandinavian Boho – 09.25.2013

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  77. Verónica commented
    September 27th, 2013 at 5:02pm

    Dear Holly: I admire your job and your sincerity above all. You are a referent to me as an independent working woman and I wish someday achieve success as you are. I want to “jump in” in my project but somehow I always found stones in the way. Your words meant a lot to me, so thankyou for that. Love. Verónica

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  78. Stacey Remiker commented
    September 27th, 2013 at 5:45pm

    Hi, Holly, thanks for sharing your feelings on this. I really appreciate your candidness and your view on why you blog. I have blogged for about 3years and have seen many a “blog friend” completely change and sell out. So much of what they do seems to be about trying to be the most popular blog, etc. I’m at a crossroads now with my own blog. I’m feeling that my blog has run its course for me and that I want to delve into something new, perhaps even a new blog. My blog was started before my business, and I feel that although the two are related, they are still separate entities. I’m thinking I’ll transfer my blog over to my business site and blog from there under my business name. Although I don’t won’t it to be all about business on that blog, so it may be a tricky balance I fear. Like you, I’m just trying to focus on what is worth my time and what makes me happy, and to be frank, I’m not sure blogging or having a small business is making me entirely happy. The balance of it and being a mom to a young child is very trying, at least for me. I welcome any advice you have! Thanks again for sharing and congrats on finding out you are having a baby boy!! Have a lovely weekend :)

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  79. Debbie commented
    September 27th, 2013 at 7:18pm

    I am fairly new to blogging but I knew, right from the start, that if I was going to blog integrity, authenticity and being “real” where a must. It’s how I am in life and it’s how I want to be online. It is so inspiring to see you model these values in your own blog and be successful doing so. Thank you for that!
    Debbie´s last blog post ..Pumpkin Spice Latte Ice Cream Sundae

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  80. Afke commented
    September 27th, 2013 at 7:18pm

    It’s good to read your story (it made me happy), and nice to read that you will be back here more often :)
    Afke´s last blog post ..DIY Autumn lantern garland

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  81. Heather commented
    September 27th, 2013 at 7:53pm

    I was feeling depressed myself about all of the product reviews and sponsored posts in blog-dom. That’s not the future of blogging – it feels like a sell-out to me, akin to one of those home selling parties. Once you do a few, you tire of being asked to buy, and of being ‘steered.’

    There is so much to talk about in this new world, I think the future is bright for bloggers whose WORD IS IMPECCABLE – you’re a great example of this, Holly.
    Heather´s last blog post ..Weekend Links for 9/27/13

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  82. Jennifer Pebbles commented
    September 27th, 2013 at 10:27pm

    Great post Holly!

    I’m trying to get back to blogging as well, after leaving it behind when it was just a “blog” and not a business- because my family and friends at the time couldn’t understand why I spent so much time and effort on something that had expenses and no income.

    Then when I had my daughter, everything had to take a back seat to being her Mommy and trying to figure that all out. Now she’s starting pre-school, I’m having baby #2 in a month, and struggling because I have finally found the passion to return to blogging but am lacking focus and clear intent. I’m not who I was when I started all those years ago, I lost so much of my connection to a community by taking a break, now it’s finding the right balance to get it back together.

    Count me in as one of the people who will be first to sign up for any online classes you teach, I wanted to take the last one but didn’t- not going to make that mistake again.

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  83. Gwen. The Makerista commented
    September 28th, 2013 at 12:17am

    As a new blogger I really appreciate this. I’m sure we all plan to stay true to ourselves, but it probably is harder than it appears at times. I’m sure things can get clouded and the pressure is strong. You’re really inspiring and I hope to be as honest and true to myself throughout this process! Happy weekend, Holly!
    Gwen. The Makerista´s last blog post ..Thrifting Scores and a Sad Day for Local Fabric Lovers

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  84. madie commented
    September 28th, 2013 at 2:31am

    Holly, I have been a follower of your blog for ages. Just wanted to let you know that after many years I still enjoy your blog precisely because I don’t feel like I am being manipulated to purchase something. It is sad that many of the blogs that I regularly read (have read) now read like infomercial where everything is sponsored. It is hard for me to figure out if these bloggers really enjoy the product or if it is just a advertisement. And huge congratulations on the baby!

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  85. Marlie commented
    September 28th, 2013 at 2:43am

    admire everything you do and have always found your blog to be very inspiring. i like that you are true to your voice and encourage others to find theirs too.

    the only thing that has always concerned me are the text link ads in your right side bar. the people who purchased those are attempting to game google. it’s bad for your site to have those – you can totally lose your pagerank and I don’t think it’s a professional business practice. not trying to be a jerk but have always felt concerned they were on your site.

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  86. julia-lifeonchurchill commented
    September 28th, 2013 at 3:40am

    Hey! Just wanted to say thanks for this. I’ve been struggling with blogging a bit lately. Overthinking it (definitely not a big player or monetized) and this was encouraging. Thank you!

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  87. Mimmi commented
    September 28th, 2013 at 3:57am

    That’s why we love you!! :) …. It is true that it is about joy and passion, everything else has to come second. And I have always loved your blog since I started reading it in 2006. Your love and joy shows in your blog(s) and make it so much fun to follow…. and your honesty and transparency is very appreciated in a world where much seems fake and forced.

    I’m so happy for you and your little family… most precious times!

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  88. Shalagh Hogan commented
    September 28th, 2013 at 3:58am

    Brava Holly. Your always honesty inspires me. You are true to yourself. You blog with integrity and you are a good teacher (BYW graduate October ’12). I have no doubt you and Thorsten will be really lovely and kind and strong parents. There is a trick to balancing the mother and the child. Never forget you need your best to be his best.
    Love,
    Shalagh
    Shalagh Hogan´s last blog post ..Coming Soon, 30 plus 1 Day of Pretty

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  89. decor8 commented
    September 28th, 2013 at 8:23am

    @Marlie – thank you! I recently found that out (I don’t manage my ad space) and decided to dissolve text links. The last two left expire soon, one in Oct and the other in Jan. Then that’s it! Never again!

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  90. Amanda commented
    September 28th, 2013 at 9:17am

    I LOVE this post!! I totally agree in regards to blog voices changing. I’ve only been blogging for 12months or so, but I’ve noticed in that time that those authors of blogs who have ‘made it’ have changed….and it makes me sad. What I originally enjoyed about their blogs, the honesty and authenticity, disappeared and was replaced with a coldness.
    This is exactly the reason that I love small blogs. I find the smaller blogs more honest and interesting. That said, I do LOVE your blog because of posts like this. You might have ‘made it’ but you are still keeping it real……and wanting to keep it real.
    And oh, the joy! You are soooo right. I run a guesthouse and I’m always excited about positive messages in my guest book, because it means I have created a warm and welcoming environment for my guests….and happy guests make me super happy. :)
    Amanda´s last blog post ..A sneak peak – the parlour is getting a makeover!

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  91. LilacsNDreams commented
    September 28th, 2013 at 10:02am

    Thank You so very much from sharing from the heart!! Look forward to seeing more of you. Happy Weekend, and congratulations with your growing family!:)

    Kim
    LilacsNDreams

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  92. Tanya commented
    September 28th, 2013 at 10:30am

    Hi Holly,
    Great news…I have missed you, I will have had my second baby and be checking almost daily for my inspiration fix, and hopefully career direction- I always feel this way on your blog and still waiting for my ‘light bulb’ moment x thanks, Tanya xxx

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  93. BohèmeCircus commented
    September 28th, 2013 at 12:32pm

    I think it is essential to build his own legend, inventing her daily life.
    The path is not always easy, sometimes it must make an effort to smile at life when she seems you do turn your back. But keep its energy and have faith in the future for accept the doubts, difficulties. I think that blogging is also an airlock between the dreams and their realizations.
    Sometimes life is frustrating and a blog is good spread positive energy that helps keep the course on our personal ambition. And I agree with you, the best compass to achieve our aims is to listen the little music of our heart.
    Otherwise it is an endless race for more audience, more money and more dissatisfaction because the real pleasure is only of being at right place with the right people to create like desired.
    BohèmeCircus´s last blog post ..Color Monday

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  94. Janneke commented
    September 28th, 2013 at 1:36pm

    Thank you Holly!

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  95. Laura Gaskill commented
    September 28th, 2013 at 1:42pm

    This made me jump for joy, Holly! You’ve put in words some things I have been feeling for some time now…I really feel it’s so important for bloggers (as a group) to get back to the HEART of blogging, and that sounds like exactly what you are talking about.

    I come to decor8, and have been coming here since 2005 (!) because I want to hear that Holly voice, see what is inspiring you, and listen to your honest thoughts on design, life, etc. I’ve sadly had to stop reading several blogs I once loved because, as you said, it feels more like one long infomercial now. I think it’s a very slippery slope, and I just want to applaud you for holding your ground and staying true to the way YOU want to blog.

    Thanks for this inspiration, it’s just what I needed to boost my weekend — I’ve been neglecting my own blog lately…but maybe I will get back in there now! :)

    Hugs,
    Laura
    Laura Gaskill´s last blog post ..We Have a Winner!

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  96. Patty commented
    September 28th, 2013 at 6:12pm

    decor8,
    Hi Holly,
    It’s interesting, isn’t it, how the blog world evolves so fast. One minute selling ads is the way to monetize and now it’s selling content. You do seem to be at the helm of most revenue movements and that’s why I follow you. Love your business sense.
    Even in my little genre, I do occasionally find myself judging the way others monetize their blogs because I don’t like how it affects me, but I’ve learned that I have nothing to do with their decisions. I can only control mine.
    That’s what I meant when I read this…
    “many of my own blogger friends have stepped wayyyy over their line of comfort to a zone that they cannot return from once going over “there”.
    Looking forward to your e-course.
    Patty´s last blog post ..Blog Anniversary & the Business Side of Blogging

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  97. Marlie commented
    September 29th, 2013 at 2:56am

    decor8,

    Really happy to hear that! I have no problem with blog monetization as long as its on the up and up :)

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  98. Desha Peacock commented
    September 29th, 2013 at 3:07am

    Hi Holly,
    I think it’s great that you are dedicating some time and focus on the thing that gives you the most joy, blogging- and good timing with baby boy on the way. I remember when I was pregnant and told myself, “maybe I’ll write a book that first year off… ” ha ha!!! I was lucky to wash my hair with shampoo AND conditioner! Plus, I really had no idea what it takes to write a book, I was a bit naive. Now, six years later my daughter is in 1st grade and I’m writing that book…

    We each have our own story with how our children change our lives, so it will be fun to see how yours unfolds once baby arrives. xo
    Desha Peacock´s last blog post ..Sneak Peak: New Website Plans & Social Suzi Giveaway!

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  99. Maria, Nordic Design Collective commented
    September 29th, 2013 at 2:42pm

    Such a great post, and it is so great to hear that you’ve really taken the time to think and reflect on why you are doing the things you do! It is so often we miss out on that, just running along with everything that happens and sometimes find ourselves in a place we really didn’t expect – or want – to be.

    Good luck with the upcoming book and your growing family, I’m looking forward to follow everything in the coming months!

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  100. Kate @ Songs Kate Sang commented
    September 29th, 2013 at 4:55pm

    You continue to be a huge inspiration to me. Thank you!
    Kate @ Songs Kate Sang´s last blog post ..Daddy’s Birthday and Going Hunting Adventures

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  101. Radish commented
    September 29th, 2013 at 5:54pm

    Thanks for this. I have been blogging since 2005. I think about quitting , but I like it . I have not checked for months and months my readership stats, because they are few. But I like it. Sometimes I love it. You ran a wonderful workshop.
    PS. Feed your baby well right now. Don’t skimp on great food.

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  102. Renate commented
    September 29th, 2013 at 7:49pm

    Good to hear this, Holly and bravo for staying true to yourself. It’s not always easy but so worthwile!

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  103. Ursula Rosien commented
    September 30th, 2013 at 5:50am

    Hello and thank YOU for writing your heart out! I have to send you a link to a post I wrote a couple months ago called; “Why do you craft?” I had very similar thoughts like you but I’m on the other spectrum that I’m a newbie blogger and I started getting anxious about keeping up with the bloggy world..
    Here is a bit of what I wrote:

    “WHY I do I craft?. It simply gives me joy. I don’t have to brand, market and PR this joy. I simply can’t do this during this super busy season of life.” I wrote this after I came back from a crafters show. If you have time you can read the rest here. I hope you have MORE JOY than you ever had coming back to blogging fulltime :)”
    POST: http://bit.ly/14Wv8Um
    All the best! Ursula
    Ursula Rosien´s last blog post ..Parties: {Minecraft chest tutorial}

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  104. vanessa commented
    September 30th, 2013 at 7:06am

    I’ve had a little blog reading break and am feeling so happy to have had this as the post I start catching up with. Your thoughts can relate to many industries Holly and it’s a lovely reminder to trust your own instincts, and have faith that you know what’s right for you. A beautiful post, thank you for writing it. Best of luck and love with your bundle :)

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  105. Morgan commented
    September 30th, 2013 at 7:54am

    Holly, you’re wonderful! Keep up the amazing work.

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  106. Margarita Lorenzo commented
    September 30th, 2013 at 12:35pm

    Happy to read you will continue with decor8 as usual. You are one of my fav bloggers and you keep inspiring me with your blog posts, so it would have been a shame to see it go. With the new baby and being a mum, some things have to give in, and I guess travelling around that often would have been very difficult. I am sure books can wait…
    Margarita Lorenzo´s last blog post ..CHOCOLATE CREATIVE AT MOLLIE MAKES HOME MAGAZINE

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  107. Fiona Humberstone commented
    September 30th, 2013 at 1:34pm

    Love this post Holly. You have given me a lot to think about. As my thoughts start to turn to *very* part time work to fit around my new baby and the bigger children I’ve been considering whether, and if so, how, blogging might fit into my new working routine. Some real food for thought and no doubt I will read this post over and over… Good on you for taking a break from writing next year. I’m really looking forward to your new book!

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  108. Wrenaissance Art commented
    September 30th, 2013 at 2:50pm

    Thanks for the great post. Your blog is a pleasure to read because it is about your creative approach and inspirations. I think your advertisers see that and respect it as well.
    Keeping advertising and editorial separate is the traditional approach in magazine publishing. Too bad that so many popular consumer print magazines lost that ethical practice during the great loss of readership of the dot-com bubble years. The scramble to stay afloat has led to some unsavory business practices, from editors accepting advertisers’ swag, to feature spreads that are essentially press releases, and even worse. Even technical business mags (where I once worked) were not immune.
    I think a lot of bloggers took on the undisclosed advertorial approach used by some of today’s big fashion and lifestyle magazines, not necessarily understanding that editorial independence was once fiercely preserved in publishing by the creative departments.
    This year I decided to put some affiliate links on my own blog. I’ve decided to keep the links in the sidebar, except for Amazon links to book reviews, for just this reason. I’ve also tried to choose advertisers who sell products related to the topics of my blog or to the interests of my possible readers. It would be nice to cover the costs of web-hosting, but it’s more important to keep the editorial about my experiences in and out of the studio.
    I think you will find that your goals and priorities change even more once the baby arrives, in a good way! Best wishes.
    Wrenaissance Art´s last blog post ..Autumn is coming to the mountains

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  109. anastasia commented
    October 1st, 2013 at 2:07am

    Great honest post Holly – looking forward to seeing more of you on the blog…I was wondering what was happening but then you suprised us with your pregnancy and we are ALL so happy for you! Glad to hear you are over the early stages and nausea…
    Ive been blogging for so long now but never monetized my blog – some days I feel like I missed out as blogging although enjoyable does take up a lot of time but I still dont feel ready to commit to that yet – I do talk about my Etsy shop with links on the side and if that ends up in a sale then thats awesome for me but yes, I think honesty and transparency is key – I think most readers can see through it anyway…
    anastasia´s last blog post ..I’m back!

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  110. Ada (new york) commented
    October 1st, 2013 at 8:05pm

    Kudos for making that commitment break to yourself. Though you def found WONDERFUL columnists, I have missed hearing your voice ;) I took a summer break from my blog, looking fwd to go back to it re-energized, re-invigorated, and all pure heart. Have a beautiful day!
    Ada (new york)´s last blog post ..Summer break! … see u in autumn (or on Instagram!)

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  111. em commented
    October 1st, 2013 at 10:26pm

    This is a great post Holly, honest and up-lifting! thank you!
    I am looking forward to seeing more of you around here!
    em´s last blog post ..nouvelle saison – nouveau tricot aux couleurs de l’automne

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  112. Kate Granado commented
    October 1st, 2013 at 10:52pm

    what a lovely heart-felt post, thank you so much.
    i did your last blogging your way e-session and all i had at the time was my blog name and an unfinished rinky-dink/happy hands at home front page. when i finished the class, sad to say, but that was still all i had on line, i am such a tech challanged scary cat. but what i did come away with was a standard that you instilled inside of me. you shaped my vision. i followed you and a number of selected bloggers that seemed to have your same sense of sharing in an honest voice. i took my time, i found my guides/angels and i am about to upload my second post.
    so thank you so much holly, you are my inspiration.
    Kate Granado´s last blog post ..i’ll take that one

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  113. janneke commented
    October 2nd, 2013 at 3:33pm

    Thank you for this post and honesty! I’ve been wanting to start a blog for years but never knew where to start or why; and your blog above just made ir clear! To be me, to share my love and inspiration and toenjoy and give joy! thanks!!

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  114. janneke commented
    October 2nd, 2013 at 3:33pm

    Thank you for this post and honesty! I’ve been wanting to start a blog for years but never knew where to start or why; and your blog above just made ir clear! To be me, to share my love and inspiration and toenjoy and give joy! thanks!!

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  115. Tara Hogan commented
    October 3rd, 2013 at 4:50am

    You have always kept it true and real. Happy you are feeling better. You bring joy and are joy! Love.

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  116. Amy commented
    October 3rd, 2013 at 3:29pm

    I feel a little late reading this blog post, but a hectic week of birthdays and starting school have meant I’m a little behind on my reading [all to come ; D ].
    How strange that I just messaged you the other day with a real crisis of conscience that made me look at my reasons for blogging – a large supermarket wanted me to work for them for free – just promote my blog, but your voice was in my head, and my heart just felt it wasn’t the right thing for my blog, my brand, and for me for that matter. So I have turned them and their publicity down. I feel strongly though that if they don’t see any value in what I have to offer than I would rather not work for them, and I’m happy to report that another blogger they approached has also declined. The hope is if enough of us stick to our values and ethics our voices will eventually be heard, thanks for leading the way Holly – much love x
    Amy´s last blog post ..Mail Order: Wrap, Hush and Baukjen

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  117. Barbara Cortili commented
    October 4th, 2013 at 6:29pm

    Hey Holly! This post amazed me seriously. I often get bored by reading personal posts here and there but yours are always refreshing, wise and teach many things about blogging and life. Wishing you all the best,I can’t wait to join the next class. | All the best XXX
    Barbara Cortili´s last blog post ..My blog URL is changed!

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  118. Stephanie commented
    October 9th, 2013 at 7:16pm

    I really enjoyed reading your post. I started blogging after my kids were born and I have to say the emotion and feeling really pours out sometimes, I believe, because I have kids. I’m sure you will experience the same. It’s a blessing, I think. Enjoy the remainder of your pregnancy and I am looking forward to reading your blog posts in the future. Take care!

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  119. Jeanne commented
    October 13th, 2013 at 12:02pm

    A huge kudos to you! I share your opinion with keeping an authentic voice and not “selling out”. As a blogger, I write about what inspires me and my own point of view – not someone else’s, which is why I have had to turn down offers that I personally do not believe in. When money becomes involved, I can see how that point of view can be distorted.

    Enjoy your pregnancy and enjoy the birth of your little one. It is a special time and life as well as priorities will change. Do what makes you happy because ultimately it is all about you and your family.
    Jeanne´s last blog post ..Lighting Designer David Trubridge – Where Lighting Design and Technology Merge

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  120. Lisa commented
    October 14th, 2013 at 9:24pm

    Holly you totally got it right about being genuine and transparent. As one of the zillion other design blogs, there is real value in being honest about reviewing an item, product or design concept. If something is a bad idea, I have no issue saying so – readers appreciate this. As long as one remains true to their spirit, identity and has authentic integrity even if they work with a sponsor, they can’t be confused with “selling out.”

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  121. Marie commented
    November 17th, 2013 at 2:39pm

    What a lovely, honest post Holly! Just like you, lovely + honest. It’s so refreshing that someone is pointing out how some bloggers have changed. There is one in particular I used love, I couldn’t miss reading it daily. But things have changed and I no longer feel that pull or connection to go there. It does seem a bit like an infomercial, surface, and no longer relatable.
    It’s a brave and wonderful decision you are making. I too have lagged on my blogging and reading blogs and miss it tremendously! Looking forward to both of us finding our way back to our (happy) hearts. xoxox

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