A Mystery Case Confession and a CALLOUT
I must confess, I’ve always liked to do things a little differently to most. I’ve never been one to follow the crowd. I suspect it comes from being the eldest of four siblings, all close in age together with my strong desire from an early age to be
an only child independent.
I’m also a control freak, someone who prefers to tackle things from the ground up without help. Take my first blog (Ms Mystery Case) started with just a $10 domain name purchase over on blogger.
Not content with the regular templates, on that platform, I took my 1990s basic coding skills, rolled up my sleeves and went to work on designing a template or three. Keen to add the mystery case factor, searching for my point of difference as I immersed myself in the wonderful world of blogging, avoiding for the most part clichés, cliques and finding a niche.
There was no further money thrown at the blog in that first twelve months. I did everything and I mean everything myself. There was no paid designer, SEO or outsourcing on any level and it was ranking, making a small income and creating work almost from the first month. I was just as surprised as everyone else.
Eventually, I did have the occasional intern to help monitor online when I was having some rare time offline and for the odd guest post. Surprisingly, this actually added to my workload and was more of a hindrance than a help, possibly due to my controlling ways.
Not content on knowing the ins and outs of blogger, I played around on every single blogging platform out there. At one stage I had six blogs up and running at the one time before deciding that self hosted WordPress might be the way forward for the latest blog Agent Mystery Case.
The plan was always to merge my two main blogs (AMC & Ms Mystery Case) and do it all myself, so that I could have a blogger to WP merge and all the complications that go with that under my belt. What an interesting experience that was.
All these skills are definitely handy to have under my belt and certainly add value to my Virtual Assistant business. I can now possibly help most people, including myself, out of a blogging bind, no matter what blog platform or problem.
Ultimately though, I’m just further away from where I actually want to be in the blogging scheme of things. Which is doing my own thing and supporting others for the time being with a grand plan of attack for the next 12 to 18 months. Grander than grand.
Blogging… it’s my Prerogative
When I recently had ongoing third party hosting issues, the control freak in me briefly contemplated running that side of things as well. My IT hubby was more than supportive but ultimately I decided just because I can doesn’t mean I should. It’s my prerogative.
A bit like trying to fix a plumbing or electrical issue at home, somethings are better left outsourced to an expert. While my hubby argued that I had the means and wasn’t too far off the mark with the skills to take this on, I finally saw some sense and argued that I already had enough on my plate.
What I really need is to hone my ability to pick and choose my battles and learn to say NO more often. The control freak in me needs to take a step back and I need to find ways to work smarter not harder.
Does that make sense? Can you relate? I wonder if I’m on my own here.
Blogging wise, I still want to keep some of the style side of things on the agenda but I don’t necessarily want to see myself in front of the camera at the moment which is what most brands contacting me expect.
It’s probably the main reason I’ve been auditioning other bloggers (although they didn’t know it at the time) via my online style challenges and blog collaborations. It’s been a great way for me to determine which brands and bloggers are really worth casing and are great to work with.
I do have grand plans for running a Blog Agency based in Perth and I’m close to signing off on a little mystery project that might place me one step closer to this but it is once again throwing another hat into the mix and just a snippet of my grand blogging plans. In the interim, I don’t necessarily want to spend my time micro managing blog campaigns that go elsewhere.
I would also love to finally get On the Beauty Case & On the Book Case up and running but appreciate there just isn’t enough time to put everything on the agenda. Rather than continue to try to do everything myself, where I just don’t have the time to do things justice, I’m thinking of appointing Style and Beauty Editors as well as a book reviewer.
These would be once a month gigs that would be paid in product initially, but hopefully all going to plan would end up being regular paid appointments.
This should give me more time to focus on local events, reviews, the travel side of things and my grand plans. Bring on the travel and grand plans, starting with my first blogging trip to Melbourne next month. I can’t blogging wait.
An intern helping out with the back-end and blog-keeping side of things will free up my schedule which may also mean that a few of my crazy blogging ideas may finally come to life.
Outsourcing some of the social media side of things without losing the mystery case factor is probably what I’m struggling with the most. Well that and the time factor. Who couldn’t do with a few more hours in the day?!
DECISIONS, DECISIONS, DECISIONS….and a question or five
Ultimately though I can have all the grand plans in this over saturated blogging world but unless I have a community of engaged followers, what would be the point?!
RIGHT NOW, I would love to hear from you, either by leaving a comment below or dropping me an email, letting me know what you would like to see more or less of here.
Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind and in being upfront and honest with me here, you may just help me find my niche (do I really need to have one?) and steer me in the right blogging direction.
Did you struggle to find your passion in life? Do you often take on more than you can chew? Do you have trouble with the word ‘NO’?
Would you like to put your hand up for one of our editor or reviewer positions?
Next week, I’m excited to be hosting I must Confess here on AMC, the prompt being Trendy Trends…. the best place to confess the trends you loved and the ones you were glad to see the back of. If you are feeling adventurous why not start a trend or two of your own!
I’ve also recently taken over hosting the Aussie Giveaway LinkUp party…..
Love your idea of your big picture!! I must admit all my grand plans fall by the wayside simply because I just can’t do it all myself. Sounds like you’re focused, organised & committed, how can you lose!? Good luck & I’ll be watching to see what comes up next!! x
Thanks Shannon. I do have a plan, life does get in the way but with the right help I’m getting closer to putting things in place.
Do you eat bubble and squeak in Australia? If not, it’s the best bits of a Sunday roast that didn’t get eaten, all mixed up together to produce a delicious, satisfying treat. That’s what Mystery Case is to me – all the best bits of blogging mixed together. Just like bubble and squeak, it’s never the same twice and you never quite know which bits are going to be included. I don’t have any advice on what you should include. It I love the idea of a Blog Agency. You’d be just awesome. 🙂
LOL to bubble and squeak, as long as it’s not the left over chewed up bits being used.
Love your new profile pic by the way. Gorgeous.
Lol no not the chewed up bits!
I’m sure we do serve it here in Australia. I honestly can’t remember the last time we had a roast where there were leftovers. These days roast means my set the smoke alarm off crispy skin pork belly.
no wonder I like you raych! … you are the eldest in your family and so am I!
I’m always drawn to them! they say “the only thing worse than an only child, is a first born!” … I say pfff! … whatever!;0
I like your honesty, your different points of view and ideas, varied topics and your writing!
answering your questions about those DFO’s in Melbourne
south wharf southbank.
spencer st dfo …
harbour town in the docklands all walking distance from where we stayed or caught a train!
there are also outer suburban ones but we didn’t bother! … well we did go to one at uni hill, but I had such bad hayfever or something and I was not a happy traveller that day!;(
we bought myki cards and topped up! … so convenient and cheap! … with free trams in city circle area!
I’m sure a Melbournian would have insider knowledge for you!
have a good one! love m:)X
I’m usually drawn to eldest children as well as only children.
Thanks for those tips, I will definitely be putting the DFO in Melbourne on my worth casing list.
I must confess … I feel exhausted reading all the projects you have in the pipeline! I seriously don’t know how you do it!
LOL, I’ve only shared one small snippet. There really isn’t that much here.
And I thought I come up with lots of ideas… you’re like a machine. I’d love to help out with reviews if you’d have me.. Thanks for linking up this week on #imustconfess … looking forward to next week with you…
I’m in the process of compiling an ebook Natalie of 52 of my crazy blogging ideas (the ones you will want to steal and call your own).
Wow! Just wow! I struggle to identify my passions. I mean, I know I love reading and writing but I’m yet to work out how to make them pay! I like that you’ve stepped back though and identified what IS worth doing (or controlling) and what isn’t. I’m a huge control freak so understand that need to be able to manage everything.
I think it’s working out how to make them pay that is the hardest bit Deborah. I’m always in demand for pick your brain sessions, something clients pay me for but friends see this as a coffee catch up and a free service.
I’ve only just hit publish on your feature and was just about to email you. Almost 7am here in Perth and I’m running a tad late this morning.
I am definitely struggling with finding my passion as I think you know!
I wish I had more computer and coding knowledge so that I could handle the techy side of things. I wish that I had of researched more and gained more of an understanding about the blogging world instead of just jumping in the deep end. Am still tossing up whether to make the jump to WordPress or not, but do know that I cannot do it on my own, which would mean outsourcing. So hard when I want to make so many changes and improvements to my blog but it is not generating any income.
I love your blog and style challenges, and wish I could keep up with it more.
I wish there were product/brand offers hitting my inbox! haha…
I love being part of your community as well and would love to continue to do so if you think it would make a good fit.
You know, I would have thought your passion was for travel? If you can try and get your hands on the On Purpose Person book, it’s suppose to narrow down your passions and steer you in the right and more purposeful direction.
Of course you are a great fit for our community.
There is nothing wrong with blogger, nothing at all. Ms Mystery Case had a lot of fun on blogger and it was such an easy platform to use. Wish we lived closer because I would love to sit down with you to help you with the coding and techy stuff. I could play around remotely if you had something specific you wanted to fix?
I’m finally going on a travel adventure myself, only a quick trip to Melbourne but hopefully the family will survive without me and it will be the start of many blogging travel adventures. I’ve just had a thought… you should join me?
I would love to! When are you going? Remind me of the details?
(and you are right, I do have a passion for travel – just got to keep working on a way to make it financially viable to do forever! haha)
I think trying to turn your passion into a paying gig is the hardest part.
I’m just waiting on confirmation. I think my 4 day trip is now down to 2 or 3 days around the 8/9 May. Will email you when everything is confirmed. I’m trying to organise a small brunch on the Saturday. I have a meeting or two first thing Friday morning but the rest is adventure time and I’m planning on popping a Berrocca or three and making the most of it.
Sounds great Raych, email me and let me know when you have confirmation as I could make something work!
Wow, you have done some awesome things and your plans for the future even grander! I love the diverse mix this blog delivers . . . it gives me inspiration that I don’t have to categorise and define my own blog as one particular thing – be it beauty, style, life, parenting or whatever. I love reviewing and started with Trip Advisor and Yelp before going next level with a blog where I can review whatever I like. To be compensated to do so is my ultimate goal; not just for scabbing free stuff but because I put faith in blogger reviews and I think I write good ones!
I honestly felt like last year was the year of missed opportunities. For one reason or another my highlights were actually the things I had to turn down.
There are so many bloggers out there that are happy for the free product that it makes it hard to negotiate fees.
Oh I am so bad at saying no but I’ve been practicing, particularly in relation to my night job. I can be a bit controlling and sometimes go by that ‘if you want it done properly do it yourself mantra’ but it depends on what it is. I have no idea what my passion is, or maybe I do but haven’t really embraced it. I am pretty keen on photography and blogging and it used to be working with kids but I’m not sure if that is still in there and I had developed a real passion for the education on kids in remote areas. It probably is probably still there just buried. Editing … hmmm, not that I am any good at editing my own work lol. Your plans sound great and you have obviously learned a lot along the way. I am still learning. Good luck!
I’m much the same with the if you want it done right mantra, do it yourself. It’s less trouble in the long wrong but it really is impacting on how much I’m able to achieve.
Perhaps blogging and photography will help you find your passion. Ultimately,it’s not the be all and end all if you don’t. Sometimes, it’s better if you take the opportunities, especially the paying ones that are more feasible.
I really just like your general insight. You have done a lot and I find that really interesting to read about.
Thanks Nicole. I honestly felt like the last twelve months or more have been full of wonderful opportunities that I’ve had to turn down. Hoping if I’m more focused I will free up my time to start saying yes more often.
I am the worst at niches and deciding what I want to do. So I just start lots of things. And then people tell me I “shouldn’t”. But in the end, it works for me, in my own slightly crazy way.
I fear I’m in a pattern of starting lots of things too. Not sure it is working for me. I need a stunt double.
I quite like the idea of a little bit of everything. But I’m a bit that way inclined too. I always seem to have too much to write and post about and too little time. So I just fit in what I can, and hope for the best it works. Now if I could make it pay – that would be be bloody brilliant!
I like the idea of a little bit of everything too Bronnie. There is so much talk about needing a dedicated niche if you want to really monetise your blog but I’m hoping to find ways to make money off the blog rather than on the blog, so I can still keep my voice and do my own thing.
I’m happy to help out. Shoot me some info via email if you like x