In total I have now blogged for just over 12 years. During this time blogging has changed a lot. Blogs were started and then deleted. Influencer marketing has become much bigger than most might have expected. For all those years, blogging was my biggest hobby. So I want to take a look back – and forward.
How I started
In September 2010 I moved from Germany to Istanbul. After a few weeks I felt that a blog was the much more convenient way to inform everyone about how I was doing. My very first blog post here was a short summary after two months in Istanbul. At the time I blogged solely in German.
Over time I added other topics to this blog because I felt that I had so many more interests than just “living in Istanbul”. Also, in the early 2010 years lifestyle blogs were huge. Until today, I still enjoy reading them much more than niche blogs.
How Blogging Has Changed Over the Years
As I mentioned, I have seen a lot of blogs come and go. Some bloggers stopped because so many rules have since been enforced. I am not proud of it, but in the beginning I also used pictures from the internet.
Blogging has definitely become much more professional, e.g. snapshots are rare nowadays. In 2010 I definitely wasn’t aware yet that you could monetize a blog. I still remember how proud I was of my first collaboration – I received a T-shirt and wrote a whole blog post in return. Today, influencers are taken serious and can make an actual career out of blogging, like Josi Maia for instance.
Instagram was only launched in 2010 and it took several years for it to become such an important influencer platform. I am sometimes sad when I consider how Instagram developed. Initially, the photos weren’t curated.
My blogging, of course, has changed over the years as well. In 2015 I switched to English as my blog language. That happened when I moved from Istanbul to Boston. I at least believe that my photography improved over the years. I have used DSLR cameras for years now. But also smartphones have gotten so good that photos are just better.
A Word on Other People’s Opinions
I have always been self-critical when it comes to my blogging. While I love it, I also always had other people’s opinions floating around in my head. In the beginning many people mentioned to me that they would never publish anything private online. While I respect that, I also always heard that they felt that nobody should do so.
What I felt was my worst experience was at a teacher reception in Istanbul when a teacher from another school told me: “Oh, so you are Jana. I have heard so much about you. And I have read your blog, of course.” Right then I felt insecure and attacked.
Until today I wonder if people’s opinion on blogging is cultural and/or generational. I have only ever heard from Germans that they wouldn’t write about anything personal online, whereas Americans usually think it is cool that I have blogged for so long. Moreover, when I taught, middle school kids would sometimes name influencers as their role models. But colleagues of my age and older vehemently opposed this and told those students to come around and find actual personages as their models.
By the way, I then always bit my tongue and never mentioned my blog.
My Plans for the Future
That leads to my last part of this post: one goal I have for the future is to become more self-confident with regards to my blog. Because I am proud of my 1,338 posts from the last 12 years.
Now that I have resigned from my teaching career, I want to give content creation a try. This year I have decided to spend at home anyways because of my baby. I have recently started to invest a bit of my time to a more professional approach to content creation.
There are plenty of opportunities out there, even for small bloggers like me. I have had different jobs where I either create videos and photos for a client and post it on my platforms, or just for them to use. This kind of freelance work is perfect because I make my own hours. I also see how I can earn more money in the future, once the baby doesn’t need as much care. After 12 years I continue to blog, but you might find more sponsored posts and collaborations.
I am glad I started blogging so long ago. Thanks to all that experience, it is now steppingstone to a new career direction: Hi, I am Jana and I am a content creator.