The day I pressed Delete on my blog 75 times

Delete your blog 2

People who read this are going to think I am crazy. Every blogging write up or advice I have read counters what I did this weekend. And yet the greatest thing is, I don’t care.

I feel relieved, liberated and inspired all at the same time. This weekend on Sunday to be precise I deleted over half my blog.

No really.

75 entries.

Majority of which had my old blog name northofseven watermarked on them. They drove me insane. INSANE.

Now I know what you’re thinking, why couldn’t you just change the photos and upload new pictures into them and save the old ones? Oh my God your SEO will crumble! Google won’t give you as many hits! Why would you do that?

Is this in between the time I already barely have this year to be a mom, write new content, be a social media maven and oh yes work on my never ending project gallery page?

But the truth is I feel awesome. I really do.

Mind you I will change the photos in the remaining entries (as I did leave some) but now I will only do that to the entries that matter to me. And the entries that make me smile. And the entries that help someone who visits my blog. I’ve been wanting to do this for a long, long time. And like the painting of the back of my front door in a sexy kick ass red, I woke up and said enough. I was tired of looking at entries that weren’t me anymore, that didn’t feel cohesive with how I was writing recent entries and the direction I want I want my blog to go in.

I know for a lot of bloggers they see their archive as a memory bank – something to look back upon and see how far they’ve come. For me it was a different story. It was a creative block.

Like good writers, they often write because they don’t know how to do anything else. This is the same with artists in other mediums. I have a friend Angel who is someone I would call a true artist. He eats, breathes and sleeps art. He draws constantly anywhere and everywhere. I watch my older daughter do the same thing. She wakes up and the first thing she does is draw a picture. It’s like she can’t function with the rest of her day if she doesn’t draw first. It’s a calling. Well this summer Angel wrote a post on Facebook where he said “Sometimes in order to move forward in art you have to let go of past works. Today I destroyed many unseen drawings, sketches, illustrations, and I feel a bit more liberated.” You can find more about him here.

Irritating old watermark aside, that statement above was a huge reason I wanted to go through old posts and only keep the ones that meant something to me because I had been feeling exactly like him. It’s insulting when you see old projects that you know you didn’t put effort into shooting and lighting properly and were lounging around as wasted internet space. Or you look at old projects and think why am I stuck on using that item for decor or crafts? Paragraphs that needed space to breathe. Topics and posts that I was like “Come on that’s obviously a filler post, I can find any of that shit on Pinterest, why are you doing a round up of the photos on here?” I wasn’t moving forward.

Please don’t mistake this as me editing my blog for the illusion of perfection. I hate perfect blogs. They are overrated and show me nothing about a persons true skin. I don’t believe for one second you have a personal photographer walking around with you taking pics of you randomly standing against walls in chic outfits with your kids every morning before your latte brunch shots. Though if you really do have this, by all means send me the name so I can get more photos of myself with my kids. This is about a then rookie blogger realizing she could do better. About taking the advice of my blogging mentor Lynne‘s advice and starting to write epic shit. Seriously.

The bloggers I love all bring their A Game. If they post something it usually makes me go damn. I recently read some blogging advice that suggested that you take every opportunity to write a blog entry. That is you did a craft, blog about it. If you saw something cute at a store, blog about it. I completely disagree. That’s what Facebook is for. For example, I took all of my second hand finds and now use Instagram to share them right away (so maybe if anyone sees what they like I can tell them what store it’s at). I used to take that advice and what happened was I wound up with a bunch of filler entries that got no hits, no people being inspired or educated and I wound up resenting what my blog content read like vs what I wanted it to look like. I didn’t want a journal type of blog. I wanted a blog that showed my projects and a site that could inspire others to try their hand at a craft with their kids or say hey she’s like me, if she can do it, I can do that!

It took me some to realize but quality content over quantity is what I believe makes a good blog. It’s what builds a good body of work that gets people to come back. Think about what your blog gets views on. It’s probably not what you think but I’m willing to bet it’s a good post. My biggest search this past year has been my experience with the IKEA sewing machine. I am still terrible at sewing. But that post made people laugh and relate to me and that led them find more stories I’ve shared on here.

Whether it’s good writing, crafts, stories, painting, home decor or baking. Whatever it is you do, one good post is better than a series of five crappy filler posts.

And every time I saw my old posts I felt like they fit the content of exactly the type of blog I didn’t want to read. So I cut off the anchor that was weighing me down and now, with some minor tune ups coming up in September I can finally move forward.

Don’t be afraid of pressing delete, if it frees you to go in the direction you want to go. The idea of looking forward vs looking back. Sometimes we all need a little reset button.

26 Comments

  • Reply
    Lynne Knowlton (@lynneknowlton)
    August 19, 2013 at 9:34 am

    Whhhaaat ?! I’m your blogging mentor?!??? *gulps coffee, eyes dart back and forth -probably from the energy mud* does this mean I have to start being all professional like? Can I still mentor you while wearing my pajamas?

    I loves you.
    Schmanks for the beautiful compliment.
    Keep writing epic shit.

    Xx

  • Reply
    Amy Renea
    August 19, 2013 at 9:42 am

    Amen and you GO girl!!!

  • Reply
    Jessica@CapeofDreams
    August 19, 2013 at 9:45 am

    I deleted a few older posts earlier this year, and my husband was devastated. I know he doesn’t like to get rid of anything, but seriously, blog posts?! You have to be true to yourself. Recently, I decided to start writing about my travels as well as my house. I worried that my readers would not be interested, and then I realized that I didn’t care. I love to write, and if people want to read what I write, great. If they don’t, I’ll survive, and I’ll be a happier person for not giving a damn.

    • Reply
      Alex
      August 21, 2013 at 11:29 am

      ITA. You have to write about what you enjoy or what’s the point of blogging? I figure those that want to read will read. And those that don’t, well, I mean what can you do? You have to be true to yourself and just b/c you started out a certain way doesn’t mean in 5 years it will be relevant to your life or how you want to continue your blog. If you love travel, write about it for sure! 🙂

  • Reply
    Laura at Mommy Miracles
    August 19, 2013 at 9:50 am

    There is actually a lot of wisdom to cleaning up old content. It isn’t even bad SEO practice to make sure Google only sees your best stuff. A lot of people suggest going back and editing old posts.

    I will never do this. Part of it is laziness (I *Still* have not cleaned up my horrible blog category situation!) But another part is that I am still connected to those posts in one way or another. Even those embarrassing posts I wrote as a teenager (on a different blog) are precious to me and I go back and remember that part of my life through them.

    • Reply
      Alex
      August 21, 2013 at 11:31 am

      It’s very true – the SEO part – and the reason I did this was to be able to concentrate on fixing up the entries that I know I can tackle for that vs an overwhelming sea of a mess of posts.

      See I can’t do that. I have gotten rid of journals, letters, notes. A lot of it is b/c I am a very different person now than I was as a teen and most days I’d look back on my younger self and be like “Alex you need to listen more and talk less.”

  • Reply
    Another Clean Slate
    August 19, 2013 at 10:00 am

    I like the way you think. I need to do a clean-up of my beginner posts- fix the formatting, pictures, etc… and probably delete some!

  • Reply
    fynesdesigns
    August 19, 2013 at 10:11 am

    Just great! I did this a while back and it really helped my blog a lot… mainly because the photos were huge and it was dragging it down. But I did have so many filler posts, because when I started I thought I had to post everyday (ha ha)!

  • Reply
    Martina
    August 19, 2013 at 10:18 am

    I’ve been thinking I doing something very similar for a long time (deleting old blog post that make me go “what the hell was I thinking?”). I am an editor, first and foremost in my heart of hearts and it takes an incredible amount of willpower for me not to “cut the fat—trim the loose threads and get that shit out of here.” I’ve been known to do it before without a moments hesitation—to toss sketch books full of designs and plans and unfinished doodles before they ever see the light of day or to shred hundreds of manuscript pages when I realize it’s only fit for a slush pile.

    So it strikes me as odd that I have resisted pulling te trigger on deleting old blog posts that I don’t love.

    Thanks for the reminder that sometimes letting go means moving forward Alex.

    • Reply
      Alex
      August 21, 2013 at 11:33 am

      It’s funny b/c when I worked as a producer, like you with editing, I’d have to pare down hours of footage to a 1-3 min segment. And that was easy compared to doing it with my own blog.
      My biggest gripe that did it in for me was when I’d look at crafts I did that I loved that really looked terrible in the half assed photos I took and I thought really? Is this what you want to give that project? Is that all it’s worth? No amount of editing fixed them so I thought take it as a lesson and work harder for future projects to show them better.

  • Reply
    Victoria • Restoring our Victorian
    August 19, 2013 at 10:41 am

    Good for you!!! Going back and “fixing” old posts is on my list of things that I will NEVER do… those HUGE, giant photos I so merrily uploaded? Staying. The idea of redoing them is UGH.

  • Reply
    Stacey
    August 19, 2013 at 10:42 am

    Congrats Alex! I know this has bugged you for some time and I can feel your excitement over this.
    Yep, I’m all for letting stuff go so you can move on with something that feels more like YOU! Here’s to all the YOU that lies ahead. 🙂
    Now I’m off to delete something. It sounds so fun!

  • Reply
    Ana Cláudia Rodovalho
    August 19, 2013 at 11:15 am

    I don’t speak or write english very well but I really love reading your posts. I’ve certainly lost many old ones but I agree with you: we must go forward.

    • Reply
      Alex
      August 21, 2013 at 11:36 am

      Your comment made my entire week! I am so grateful for it. Thank you!

  • Reply
    Erica
    August 19, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    Speaking (Shouting!) as a former blogger, good for yooooouuuuu!!!!!
    I had some old posts that were cringe-worthy. Going through such major life changes (from dating to engaged to married to new mom) can change your perspective, your thoughts, your ideals…sometimes deletion is needed. Like cleaning out your closet. Speaking as a marketer, change of brand can definitely be definitely delete-worthy.

    • Reply
      Alex
      August 21, 2013 at 11:39 am

      I often say that had FB and other social media been around when I was a teenager I’d be so embarrassed as an adult if I had that writing online. I was brash. Opinionated. And needed to grow up. Which is a reason I strongly believe people need to go over their work see if it still fits them as a person – like you said, we all evolve and everything changes and sometimes what you wrote in the past feels off. Not that it’s either right or wrong, it’s just different.

  • Reply
    Karen L
    August 19, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    Getting ready for Fall. Fall cleaning is what that was!
    If it was weighing you down, then you weren’t concentrating on what you needed to and it was the right thing to do. You may have a few regrets eventually, but it still was the right thing to do and GOOD FOR YOU!

  • Reply
    Time With Thea
    August 19, 2013 at 10:34 pm

    I so agree with you. I blog for fun and refuse to succumb to the pressure of posting just for the sake of posting. I try to create what I think is quality every time. However, deleting 75 posts, Wow, that took some guts. However, I have so enjoyed your the changes for the better in your blog. Take Care, Thea

    • Reply
      Alex
      August 21, 2013 at 11:40 am

      Thank you Thea! ITA. I think you have to post what you love and if you don’t, you will wind up hating your blog. When I looked at entries that I realized weren’t there b/c I wanted them to be vs ones that I would personally liked to have read, I knew it was time to clean up.

  • Reply
    Sue Schlabach 129twigandvine
    August 20, 2013 at 7:29 am

    Anchors aweigh (and away). Haven’t posted most of this summer for all the reasons you state. Quality! Amen to that. Love the phrase epic shit too!

    • Reply
      Alex
      August 21, 2013 at 11:40 am

      Write Epic Shit needs to be put on a t-shirt…hey now…let’s do a project!

  • Reply
    thelearnerobserver
    August 21, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    You are my hero. I think about doing this all. of. the. time. And the reason I don’t? It would take so darn long! And then I feel badly parting with my old, terribly written, edited and photographed posts. Whyyyy? Ugh. I gotta give it up already!
    I do agree with writing quality, too… I don’t care if I’m “supposed” to have a new post every other day. Sometimes it’s 4 times a week, and I feel all awesome inside, then I literally only manage to post The Friday Five for like 3 weeks in a row and I cry a little… then I eat a bowl of popcorn and 11 Oreos and forget all about it.

  • Reply
    Danielle from Storypiece
    August 21, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    Way to go! This has been like an anchor for you and I’m so glad you are free of it. I love your honesty and that you stay true to yourself. Your blog is definitely better for it. 🙂

  • Reply
    julia
    August 27, 2013 at 10:42 am

    I did the same thing earlier this year. My old blogging content didn’t relate anymore and I wasn’t happy with the photography. Good for you!

  • Reply
    now at home mom
    August 27, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    Okay lady! you are so inspiring and you always impress me Alex! always! 🙂 you know it takes guts to do what you just did
    I don’t have guts to do it, when I look back at my old posts I want to hide and pretend they don’t exist 🙁 but you lady, you did it what we are all thinking of doing 🙂

  • Reply
    fasttboy80 (@fasttboy80)
    September 30, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    You are absolutely right on the money about deleting older post that have no relevance to your Blog. I have been in the process of doing this on one of my Blogger Blogs which deals in health and nutrition. When I first started Blogging I had no idea the importance of content that related to my Blog title. I just went on my merry way posting what I felt like at the time, but little did I know, I was ruining my Blog with irrelevant content, and not gaining quality readership. I am putting the finishing touches of deleting Blog post that are standing in the way of my new content.

    Great post, and love the advice you gave to each Blogger. The long-term results of deleting unnecessary Blog post does indeed set yourself free from those ugly ducklings of the past.

  • I love your comments!

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.