Okay, yeah… I’ve been pretty vague about this topic, so I guess I’ll take a moment to elaborate on the deets. Like I’ve said, I had a blog before this one, and it was called Smile, Sugar. (with a period at the end). A good number of you probably remember my announcement I was shutting down back in August. The idea was something that hit me pretty suddenly, and it felt right, ya know? I told myself I’d put too much into it to just be like nahhh, but deep in my gut I knew shutting down was what I needed to do.
But, like, why?
I hosted Smile, Sugar. on Weebly. I loved the drag and drop editor because it made me feel like I had complete control of how my site
looked. The problem with this was I had complete control of how my site looked. Weebly is geared towards small business sites and online shops, not blogs. Most of the themes were minimalist with the intention of each content creator making it their own. They
didn’t offer cute templates and layouts that I could pick and run with. I’m no graphic designer and don’t know how to code, so my site looked meh at best. That wasn’t a vibe I was content with.
The entire reason I started Smile, Sugar. was my self-esteem. I was so frequently being complimented on my confidence and being told that it inspired others. I thought I could start a blog to help people with their mental health and live a happy, confident life. I had a few decent posts, but I was only allowing myself to write content within that niche. It was becoming forced, insincere, unnatural. I felt like I was preachy and kinda annoying. I opened myself up to be more of a lifestyle blog when the summer started, but I felt uncomfortable with the sharp switch in my content. I didn’t like how my site basically contained two completely different blogs because, to me, it made me feel like my blog didn’t have a clear vision or intent.
I was on the yearbook staff back in high school, and one of the things I learned was the importance of the cohesion in a theme. The theme,
title, images, content, and message all work together to make a full package. When I changed my content to start being more lifestyle based, my title felt wrong. The title Smile, Sugar. was for mental health and self-esteem based writing, not pole dancing and poetry and
every other part of me. I was struggling to find peace with the disconnect between my blog URL and my content, and I felt like I needed something new that represented every part of me.
MY GOD. AGH. IT WAS SO EMBARRASSING. The plain Weebly theme could have been tolerable if I had some grasp on photography, but NOPE. How naive I was. I went into blogging thinking my writing ability was what mattered, but I’ve learned that means jack shit to folks in the blogging community. What matters is the photos. And I thought I could coast on stock photos. HA. Maybe I could have if I found enough that went together and matched what I was writing, but I didn’t. The pictures I used were all different and didn’t match each other. It’s embarrassing how bad it was.
We all start somewhere when it comes to blogging, and that’s what Smile, Sugar. was for me – a start. It was a start for me to figure out how blogging works and where I fit in with it. I worked hard on Smile, Sugar to try and make it the best it could be, but it was the rough draft of what would eventually become this blog. I knew I had outgrown it, so it was time to take the knowledge I had and begin again.