Lifestyle

Do I need a Pipdig theme to be a good blogger?

Talking about something non-PR related for once *a gasp is heard*, I wanted to chat about something that’s very much at the heart of all my self-doubts as a blogger.

I’ve written on this domain for little over two years now (though – word to the wise – you won’t find any embarrassing and cringe posts from that time as they’ve very much been deleted now) however one thing that still pains me every day as I put my glasses on and sit down to write is how my site looks. Pretty much my whole persona really. It all feels really off to me. It’s far too often now that I’m feeling deficient as a blogger, wishing my social media was a little more refined, and that my blog itself would just look a little prettier. 

My ‘insta’ feed is lacking, but does that mean my blog is?

Though I’m not your typical lifestyle blogger, and though I tend to only write about PR, I do believe that most uphold a stereotyped view of what said ‘bloggers’ should look like anyway.

But regrettably, I don’t have an insta-envy life of brunches and floral gardens. My life is very much ‘grind, grind, grind’. I wake up at 5am every morning to head to the gym, then get to work at 8:30am and don’t get back to my flat til past 6pm. From then, I often find myself typing away or doing something or other related to my blog or my career. Glamourous? Not at all.

And then comes the content I do upload to Instagram too. I’m hugely self-conscious of the way I look and therefore selfies are very rare, not least photos of myself that were taken by other people. Because of this, my Instagram is largely lacking in the enviable portrait shots that most other bloggers seem to have (with the exception of one photo of me pumpkin picking last Halloween. Who knows? Maybe I’ll make it a yearly occurrence). The social platform is shy-ed away in the corner of my blog, featured but not prominent because honestly – unlike most other bloggers, my feed isn’t something I’m necessarily proud to showcase.

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There it is! Same again next year?

 

What this means also is that you’ll rarely see a photo of me on this site. I spend time working away making custom images on Canva rather than to stick a shot of me with a lovely backdrop as a featured image for any post I write. The thought of my face being the first thing that most will see as they land on one of my blogs is enough to make me cringe, so I don’t do it. Most bloggers I see nowadays though, do – and I really envy them for it as the pictures are often so lovely and work so well on their site.

From the way I look, to the way my site looks

And talking of how images look on other blogger’s sites, here comes another big pain point for me. And one I do beat myself up over on the regular.

I’ve created this site from scratch pretty much, the way it looks now is not how the original theme looks, at all.

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I’m not kidding, endless work has gone into turning the left-hand design into the right-hand blog you now know and love.

Many hours have been invested in tweaking little aspects here and there and creating logos and footer images that match the design and style of the site so that they all sit well. I’m a bit of a perfectionist and I feel as though this is echoed across my blog. However, the said idealist in me knows that it’s still a million miles away from the standard of the other bloggers who I so often wish I could be like.

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This is the theme I very nearly invested in before realising that I’d lose all the hard work and late nights that went into building my domain from scratch. It’s so prepossessing and part of me still wants to download it, but the other part of me is telling me to stick to what makes me unique.

I think the Pipdig themes (you’ll see them on a lot of blogs) are so flawlessly designed and look so beautiful on a page – and I often wish my site looked like that too. But can I bring myself to part with years of hard work to get my blog looking like how it does now? I can’t.

So, I kind of sit in this love-hate relationship with my theme and my style. Some days, I’m glad for its originality. Others, I am super jealous of bloggers I see with great Pipdig themes and am always wishing that my blog could look like theirs instead. Typing it out, I realise it sounds a little crazy. But honestly, small things like this are enough to make you feel really incomplete.

But does this make me any less of a blogger?

I think we’ve established that I’ve got some pretty big issues with inadequacy. But does this mean that as a blogger, I’m any less able?

Well, it’s funny because I’m never one to take my own advice. Should anybody come to me with the above issues, I’d tell them they’re being so silly, and that the way that your social media accounts or site looks in no way is representative of your abilities as a writer, or your capability to entertain with your words. But when it comes to telling myself that, I find it so much harder.

I’m getting there though. And often now I can take a look at my blog and actually be very happy with how it looks. Granted, I’m sure I’d feel a lot more satisfied with a Pipdig theme (or similar) but my stubbornness to discredit 2 years worth of perfecting will always overrule this. And what more, I asked for an opinion on a makeover, and you gave it me. So when it comes to a stick or twist decision, stick I will.

*I was going to insert the poll here that I ran a while back asking my followers whether I should embrace a new theme or not, I can’t find it, but I significantly remember the overriding result being ‘no’*

I suppose at the end of the day, it’s about what you want out of it. If, like me, you blog largely because you love to write and want to share your thoughts with the world – then why does it matter what your blog necessarily looks like? Or on the flip side of the coin, if your blog is your business then, of course, it should be refined and the extra efforts of Instagram photos and sophisticated themes explain why bloggers can charge premium rates. All of this, of course, points back to the common denominator that – no two blogs need to be the same. I often can’t help myself, but I know I need to stop comparing myself to others. Everybody has something different to say, and everybody is going to say it in a different way too. Therefore I cannot expect my site to look like others, and I don’t need my photos to either. I guess, for better or for worse, that’s what makes me unique – and believe me, I’m on a long road to acceptance to teach myself this too.

Are there any other bloggers out there who feel like me? Maybe you don’t have the iconic theme, or you feel as though your social media isn’t up to scratch. How does this affect your motivation as a writer? I can’t be the only one out there, surely!

P.s. – Thank You!

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I’m not quite done yet either. I’m in a small but brilliant pool of talented and creative writers, and I too often feel as though I don’t belong here. Therefore, to be in amongst the finalists for the UK blog awards for best PR, Marketing and Comms blog means so much to me… Beyond words.

It’s amazing in fact.

Therefore, I just wanted to say a big… No, a MASSIVE thank you to everyone who voted for me in the awards. If it wasn’t for the people who read my blog and support me every day, I almost certainly wouldn’t bother. So for that, endless gratitude is in order.

Thank you.

While you’re here, please subscribe to my blog by heading back to my homepage and entering your email on the right-hand side of the page.

PR and lifestyle blogger jessica pardoe

2 thoughts on “Do I need a Pipdig theme to be a good blogger?”

  1. I’ve considered getting a pipdig theme, more than once actually. I wanted my blog to look as sleek and editorial as the other blogs on the internet. At the same time, I’m proud of myself for not caving and making my blog the way it is. It’s taken me a lot of work to get it to look this way, but I am beyond happy with the way it looks right now. I have a list of different themes I like, just in case in the future I want to get a different look. I think I’m going to stay away from a pipdig theme, mainly to stick to the originality my blog has now. Great post jessica, I definitely could relate to this! xxx

    Melina | http://www.melinaelisa.com

    Like

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