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Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Where I am taking this blog in 2019

Diary and calendar planning

I can't believe we are already a week into January and I'm here writing my first post of the new year. Does this mean it isn't socially acceptable to still be having a cheeseboard, Lindt mint chocolate balls (best discovery of 2018) and salted caramel vodka most evenings? The tree is down, the flat is clean and tidy and it's got me thinking I need a bit of a blog 'tidy up' as well.

I'm not one for making too many long-term, set goals (read here why I don't have a 5 year plan any more). However, things are going to be changing a bit on this little old blog as we come up to the one-year anniversary of Melis Living!

Why I started the blog

To explain how I plan to shake things up it makes sense to talk through why I started my blog in the first place. As you will know if you read my posts regularly, last year I followed my dream to live abroad for an 8 month stint, exploring 10 countries in the process. I had wanted to do this for so long and knew it would change my life so wanted to record it in some way to make sure I remembered everything and had something to look back on.

I actually started on Instagram first. In March 2017 I was posting random, ancient, non-chronological travel pics and didn't really know where it would go from there. My name was 'Life's a coco' for a while... still makes me laugh thinking about that! Around a year later, in Feb 2018, I wrote my first blog post about why you should visit Chiang Mai, Thailand (still arguably one of the best cities in SE Asia) and I guess the rest is history...

Over the last 11 months my posts have been mainly travel guides with some more honest posts thrown in, mainly about expat life in Singapore. My most read post is about how I afford to travel so much and I have had some great feedback on it, which probably gives you a clue about what my main focus is going to be.

Living room sideboard with flowers and photos

Why I am making changes

To put it bluntly, my life just isn't that of a wander-lusting nomad any more. I still absolutely love nothing more than a trip abroad, preferably somewhere new and exotic, but I love my life at home in Newcastle as well. I don't know exactly what it is but something has completely changed and I am much more of a home bod than before - you can read my post here about my experience of moving home after a stint abroad.

This got me thinking that I would like to switch up my blog to focus on more than just travel. There are thousands of amazing travel blogs out there which are amazing in their own unique ways. Towards the end of last year, I started feeling like my fairly generic '48 hour guides' were just going to get lost in the huge number of similar (and bloody brilliant) posts already out there. Blogging at times felt like a chore rather than a fun hobby and it's not my full-time job so it needs to be enjoyable.

When we moved back to the UK I was absolutely dreading it, not gonna lie. I wasn't sure how long we'd be home for and whether I'd get itchy feet again and run off to a new country to live for a year. I loved writing about expat life - and you guys loved it too. Two of my most read posts from 2018 are the truth about expat life in Singapore and how to overcome common worries about moving abroad. As much as I loved writing these posts I want my content to be fresh and up-to-date so it's time to (sadly) leave the expat content behind.

Flatlay of diaries, flowers and a candle

I actually considered giving up my blog countless times in 2018. I am sure any fellow bloggers reading this can completely relate. What with Instagram alg*r*thms (I feel like that word is the new Voldemort) and people 'following to unfollow', as well as the sheer number of hours it takes to build any kind of blog readership, I have questioned if it is worth it so many times. To keep going I always come back to why I started. This piece of the internet is my own, it's great to have a hobby other than drinking salted caramel vodka... and I have made SO many lovely friends through doing this.

I have been thinking for a while that I really need a new 'niche'. I am not saying you must have a niche to be successful. I think it just kinda hit me when I heard that 37 million people will call themselves a blogger in 2019 on the Exciting Emails Podcast and I decided that I'd personally like to find a way to make all my posts tie in together and have a common theme to them.

What to expect in 2019

Going forward I still intend to write about UK travel and lifestyle as well as overseas travel. I will be focusing on the fact I live in the beautiful North East England, a place which I am really proud to come from. My new focus is going to be on affordable luxury travel and lifestyle for 30-somethings... yes I know it doesn't sound that niche-y, hear me out. 

The content you can expect to see from me going forward is a focus on how to make your hard-earned cash go further so you can do things like buy that dream home, save money for any big expenses, or just help your salary stretch further. I will be covering things like affordable luxury skincare as well as my usual travel and days out. This isn't about being too frugal, it's about being sensible and making your money go further so you can do more of the things you love!

Planning the blog for 2019

I feel like this suits both my love of adventures, and my bargain-hunting side (I am a chartered accountant after all)! I have always loved to save money on day-to-day spend (I'm addicted to Martin Lewis: Money Saving Expert) and I hope to bring much more of this out in my blog posts in 2019. I have a few collaborations already lined up which I am really excited to share with you, and look out for an affordable luxury Valentine's gift guide coming very soon!

That means you will see more lifestyle posts from me which I know might disappoint those who are all about the travel content. Travel will still regularly feature: I have a trip to Copenhagen in February which I am going to try and do on a reasonable budget so I can't wait to share that with you. I also have a couple of posts in drafts with my tips for saving money on booking the Maldives (it can be done!) and how to explore Singapore on a budget.

Photo of Melis Living exploring in 2019

Thanks for reading this little ramble. I want to take this opportunity to say thanks so much for reading my blog posts. I am excited to bring you more content this year and hope to publish once a week as I have been for the last quarter or so. Each and every comment left by a reader makes my day so I'd love to know what you think below. Here is to an exciting 2019!

Melis x

26 comments :

  1. Sounds like a fab niche if you ask me :-) I look forward to reading your new posts this year x

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    1. Ahh thank you! I’d love to write about only overseas travel forever but just can’t any more. Thanks for reading! M x

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  2. I love the ideas you have for the new year and I am sure so many people will be interested and relate to them x

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    1. Thanks so much, I’m really glad to hear this! M x

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  3. Best wishes for the path you are now following!

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    1. Thanks so much Stuart, all the best for 2019!

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  4. I love this! I just found your blog but your old content and where you want to go with it all sound right up my alley!!

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    1. Thanks so much Monica, I had a good look at your blog and love it too. M x

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  5. First of all, your blog is so gorgeous!! And as exciting as your old content looks, will have a look through at another point, your new content sounds like a great direction. It feels like you're just growing and glowing and that's amazing!

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    1. Thanks for your lovely comment, Lav. 'Growing and glowing' what an amazing phrase - I feel like that's a great blog name right there!

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  6. This sounds like a great new idea, I can't wait to read your new posts. Hope you have a fab 2019! x

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    1. Thanks so much, wishing you all the best for this year!

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  7. I love your plan and that you're so open to new possibilities....I hope it's a fabulous year for you!

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    1. Thanks that is so kind. Wishing you all the best for this year! Melis x

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  8. I was always told if you are note constantly re-evaluating your business plan and adapting that you are doing something wrong. I'm sure it will work out well!

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    1. I definitely have to agree with you there. Thanks for the support! Melis

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  9. Congratulations on your new shift in life and on the blog! I can hardly wait for your money-saving tips on booking a trip to the Maldives. That's a destination that's been on my bucket list for way too long.

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    1. Thanks so much for your kind words, this is the kinda motivation I need to get that post written!! All the best, Melis x

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  10. Congrats on you success with travel blogging and your desire to broaden your scope in the coming year! I recently branched put myself and it can feel a little manic at first but it is all good because it is Authentically YOU!

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    1. This is such a lovely comment, thanks so much. I really appreciate it! I have to agree. The entire reason I have this blog as a hobby is to be unashamedly me and write about what I like. All the best to you! Melis

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  11. Getting clarity on where you are and where you are going is a great way to move forward. It seems like you did some soul searching here, and I'm excited to read what's next!

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    1. That's so kind, thank you! Yes I definitely feel happy with this new direction. All the best to you for the new year! Melis

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  12. Oo! I'm excited to go back and read about your travels! But I also look forward to seeing this new direction and how you continue to grow and change in this journey! :)

    I can totally relate to the struggles with social media algorithms and all the hard work you have to put in before you start to see any fruit. Don't give up! I believe all the heart, time, and efforts you've put into this will pay off! :) Good luck to you!

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    1. Thanks so much for your lovely comment, I hope you enjoy the travel posts! That's so kind, thank you.

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  13. Congratulations on all the upcoming changes for your blog! I love hearing about financial success stories, so I am excited to see your upcoming posts!

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    1. Thanks so much, this is such a lovely comment! I love bloggers supporting other bloggers.

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