Crossroads and Dilemma

It’s been almost a month since my last blog post, which wasn’t even a tech post. Sometime in July, there was an even longer gap of almost 6 weeks of updated blogposts. Not mentioning, other than the quick and fun IKEA BookBook unboxing video, the last Heads Up:TECH series video was more than a year ago.

You’ve heard enough apologies on my irregular updates. Mostly because this blog is a passion project for me.

You see, throughout the years since I started the blog in 2009, I’ve held various day jobs. Some of which are really all encompassing, leaving me little to no time to manage the blog. As a result of busy periods at work, you see multiple bouts of irregular postings of new content, slow response to comments, lack of sharing on Facebook and Twitter and general engagement with you, my loyal readers.

At times when I do have time to blog after a long day or week at work, I would be so brain dead that I just want to relax and do nothing at home.

Plenty of blogposts pending

As I sit here now, staring at my Editorial Calendar on WordPress, I see a long list of about 17 posts that I plan to write. As a reader of the blog, you know I write long-ass blog posts. Each blogposts almost always takes me over 4 hours to complete. From picture editing, to writing, to editing to formatting to sharing, etc.

As I look at the list, I breathe out a long sigh.

I’ve been pushing the publish date for these posts for a loooonngggg time. A lot of the gadget review loan products have long been reviewed and returned. Yet, I sit here with a hard drive full of pictures and review in my head, waiting to be typed into a review post.

All my hard work and loyal readers

In my early years, I worked very hard to grow an audience to the blog. While the stats tracking were irregular in the beginning (I didn’t care about stats in the early years), from what I did track – I grew the blog from 1,300+ hits per month, to 20,000+ hits per month. All in all, accumulating almost 1.5 million pageviews to date.

While the numbers look nice. You’ve all been real loyal readers. Even if you’re not active commenters, I do get to meet some of you randomly in public sometimes. It also feels really good when some of you recognise me and greet me in public.

And all these while, I thought the only people who read my posts are just than small handful of people in my circle of friends. I love you guys!!!

From the hard work and effort of creating unique content, to Search Engine Optimization and social media engagement and everything in between. For all these years, while the blog has not been making me much money (just a little bit of pocket money every few months, to be exact), I continued to write and maintain the blog. Purely out of passion.

I love gadgets. I read tech news on my RSS news reader every day. I’m a gadget geek and tech lover. That has not changed… and I guess, never will.

A great project with CNET Asia Tech Factor

With the growth of the WinnieKepala.com brand recognition and lots of networking, I’m immensely grateful that all these brands have been providing me with products for review, exclusive event invites, free food and goodie bags, press release of their latest news announcements and offers of sponsored posts and giveaways.

Every now and then, I get to keep some of these gadgets. Loving gadgets like I do, the opportunity for me to play with all these great toys, without having to dig into my wallet to buy them myself, is an amazing privilege!

A recent honour of winning an award is overwhelming

Here’s the confession…

Lately, I have been losing the passion to blog.

Each review post, as I mentioned, takes over 4 hours to complete. Video posts can take a whole day from 8 to 12 hours non-stop. While repeat practice has reduced the timing over the many posts I’ve done over the years, I’m not quite expert enough to produce awesome content every hour or every day, like most popular tech blogs.

I maintain the niche that WinnieKepala.com has become. It’s a tech blog for the non-tech savvy, where I try to explain tech in non technical words, for the everyday man/woman. I don’t cover every single up-to-date tech news, but only the important and big ones. If you want up-to-date tech news with crazy frequency like 5-10 posts daily, you wouldn’t come to me. There’s more than enough tech blogs out there that does this – be it international blogs or local ones.

I keep my blog personal enough to not be taken too seriously like you would an Engadget review. My posts may be lengthy posts but they’re merely my opinion, my very personal opinion, in a lengthy and rambling style. What I hope my readers have grown to enjoy reading.

I happen to be at a phase in my life where I can “technically” dedicate time to churn out frequent blogposts regularly 3-5 times a week. I can attend the regular tech events again and keep all of you updated on the latest in tech news. I should be able to create my weekly Heads Up:TECH videos again every weekend, to be published on Mondays.

But I don’t.

I don’t feel like it. Blogging has lost its spark.

Since blogging is not my full time job, and it’s not even close to paying one of my many bills. It has remained a hobby, a passion project that I continue to do, as long as it’s fun.

Unfortunately, it’s slowly losing the “fun” factor. With the gadgets due for review, events scheduled for attendance, pressure and responsibility to churn and churn content, it’s no longer as interesting to me as it used to be.

Maybe it’s age. Maybe I’m at a stage in life where I’m more focused on other things. Maybe it’s a phase. Maybe I’m just being silly. Maybe I’m being a lazy brat. Maybe. Maybe. Maybe.

Every now and then, I get semi-motivated. Then I look at my laptop, sitting amongst the pile of gadgets due for review, I sigh. I don’t know if I can muster the passion again. Almost every time I turned on my laptop, I end up doing something else, non blog related.

What have I been working on then?

Being healthy and getting my fitness back on track.

Personal and family matters – from moving to a new house to family celebrations to personal health matters.

Attending Tech Startup events, networking and meeting people. Contemplating on starting my own business.

Loving this little boy to bits.

View this post on Instagram

Been awhile. #selfie

A post shared by Winnie Chen-Head (@winniekepala) on

Generally, being myself.

Tell me….

So I’m at a crossroad now.

To choose if…

  1. I want to continue to maintain the blog for what it is. Suck it up, woman!
  2. Change the blog to a more personal one, with less frequent posts more personal and selective tech posts, reducing the stress and responsibility of churning these tech reviews and news posts like a (paid) journalist would.
  3. Just stop this altogether and let a younger generation of micro-bloggers with more pictures than text posts take over. No one likes long blogposts anyways, right?

I know you, my blog readers, are a quiet bunch – you rarely comment on the blog. You mostly comment on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram but not on the blog.  You’re also not into freebies as well, evident in the lack of response in my recent giveaways (*sulk*). You’re comfortable where you are, you don’t need to be impressed or bought with freebies.

But for once, I’d like to hear from you… if you’d speak up and let me know your thoughts. Please… I’d like to hear from you. Truly.

No bribes. No freebies to giveaway. Just want your honest feedback and opinion. Now, I’m turning the tables – I want your advise and opinion instead. Tell me…

Should I shut down the blog? Which of the above 3 options should I choose?

13 thoughts on “Crossroads and Dilemma

Add yours

  1. Hi Winnie, I’m not a regular reader but we know each other la right?

    I hear you and I know where you are coming from and so let me offer some unsolicited advice. Ask yourself honestly where you see yourself in 5 years time. Does the blog fit in the picture? No, then ditch it. Yes, then grow it.

    Blogging was fun and cool in the beginning when it was an indie thing. But now there is mainstream and it is so competitive. And being a 1-person publication competing against big names like Engadget and The Verge or even other 1-person publications like Daring Fireball is a huge undertaking. Especially more so when you are not doing it full time.

    So unless you are really ready to put in that level of effort into your blog then I think it’s ok to let the blog just take a back seat in your life and have one less thing to worry about (option #2, and maybe #3). Life is too short to worry about not blogging frequently enough!

    P.S. Where are the freebies? I don’t mind winning a few since you have no response 😛

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    1. Thanks so much, David. Your advise is very much solicited and makes sense. While it’ll be a shame to shut it all down after all the effort, I do think it’s wiser for it to take a lesser priority in life.

      And… Thanks so much for reading, however irregular, it is deeply appreciated. You’d know that when there’s little to no comments, you wonder if anyone is listening at all.

      PS. You want Carama or FoodPanda vouchers?

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      1. That’s not true 🙂 All bloggers are appreciated for the voice they bring to the community, and for us, the tech community. As such, having a blogger retire is… sad 😦

        I retired once, back when I first started work and got tired of updating my 4 year old blogspot site, which I had been updating every 2-3 days with pretty long but interesting posts. (even made friends with Jenny Sun, the famous photographer, back before she was famous and married). I was active on Project Petaling Street and even had regular comments from some top bloggers back then.

        But yes, life took over, and my blog didn’t seem to impact anyone. Or so I thought. Until we had our Christian Fellowship reunion during some friend’s wedding and a some people came up to me and asked me about my blog. And they said they miss reading it.

        And only then did I realise that when we write, though it might seem insignificant, it does make an impact in other people’s life 🙂

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  2. hi winnie.i enjoy reading your blog and reviews on youtube.but i understand you have commitments and all that.in my opinion if this blogging tech is tearing you apart,then carry on with your life.your love ones needs your attention more than any.but that said im gonna miss another unique fun female tech blogger which is not many in malaysia.=)

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  3. Hey Winnie, glad to hear from you. Indeed, blogging can be tiring and time consuming when other things takes priority. Even ads from Google’s Adsense sometimes doesn’t amount to much, no? 🙂 But yes, if you do need a break, perhaps a step back would help. Go on a holiday, take more photos and yes, don’t feel obligated if some advertisers would want your review up asap and only want you to say good things.

    In my humble opinion, that is a sure way to get tired of writing. But yes, explore things you like. You might even want to take this blog to another direction, or even write something else. Or do a profit sharing thing with some aspiring writer who likes tech, or don’t mind writing for a small sum of money 🙂

    If you still like to write regularly, but not so often, perhaps it is time to look for guest writers. People who would love contributing their say in a product review, or go to a launch 🙂

    Anyways, if you decide to retire, do let us know. Perhaps then a farewell party / lunch / dinner would be better 🙂 But it would be a waste, wouldn’t it? 😦

    Finally, do pray about it. Ask God for the directions in life. Some of us were created to write, and some of us to write only at certain periods of life. But for some of us, writing comes as a passion, and though the passion might seem to be flickering at times, a good rest would cause that passion to write to arise again 🙂

    Cheers!

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    1. Thanks so much, Leo. I truly appreciate it. I’m still struggling a little on my next move, but words of encouragement like yours helps a lot to perhaps save the blog. Likely change of direction or something.

      Like

  4. My honest opinion, just continue blogging by do selection what your tech stuff that you most liked. Don’t pressure too much on yourself. It is OK if just 1 post per week.
    BTW,I enjoy reading your blog 🙂

    Like

    1. Thanks, Nije.
      If you followed my blog, I’ve decided to get back into keeping the blog alive, although have to apologise for the irregular postings. I’m trying my best to keep it up. Thanks for your encouragement. It’s sincerely appreciated.

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