Getting back into the blogging groove after taking 3 years off is kinda weird.
I find myself INCREDIBLY in my head about what to share.
Does it need to be blogging, social media, or business tips like before? Should I provide value on different topics that interest me today or can I simply share my thoughts? Do I need to care about writing SEO-friendly content or can I say fuck it to the rules I followed for years?!
With the new design and new domain, I feel like the slate has been wiped clean. But at the same time, with all my old blog posts still alive and well, I’m forever tied to the brand I had before.
If you’re new to following me, you may not know how I got my start and why I feel this way. So let me explain.
Before I was a YouTuber, I was a blogger.
I purchased the domain TheContentBug.com in October of 2016 to share the digital marketing knowledge I had learned from my full-time job (working as a digital marketing consultant and content manager) with bloggers.
I knew how SEO worked, and how you could be found on Google. I understood some simple tips to get your website speed to improve because trust me, there is nothing worse than a slow website. You’ll lose your audience almost immediately.
When it came to managing social media accounts, writing SEO-friendly content, and creating a cohesive brand image online, I knew what I was talking about! Simply because my boss taught me everything I needed to know and I was running a few companies’ social media presence at the time.
After a year, I created a YouTube channel to enhance my blog posts and continue to share my knowledge.
As I learned more about Pinterest, I shared more about Pinterest.
As I learned more about running my own brand, I shared more of my experience.
And then as I learned how to grow on YouTube, and had the proof in my own account, I started to share my knowledge on that!
It wasn’t until 2022 that I decided to make a dramatic shift in my brand realizing I didn’t always need to be giving myself to others in a way that stripped me.
Something I don’t really talk about when it comes to my decision to change my content, or my “niche” on YouTube, is the way I felt because of some people in my audience.
And this isn’t one of those things where it was one person who made me feel this way and my mind blew it out of proportion. Cause that does happen. I won’t deny it.
It was as if hundreds of people only looked at me for what I could do for them. The comments, emails, and DMs I received on a daily basis with people asking me to review their channel, my thoughts on their strategy, or questions about being a content creator in general without a simple hello at the beginning really started to get to me.
It may not make sense to you, but I felt extremely used.
I didn’t feel like people cared about me as a person, they only cared about what I could do for them.
NOW if you have read any book about building a brand, there is often some advice in there that tells you to focus on the value you can provide to people. What problem is your product solving? How can you make someone feel with your brand?
It’s really all about your audience! And I get that.
You can’t be self-centered or self-focused when it comes to your business. You need to think about the people that you want to reach.
And to this day, that’s still my focus. I ask myself: “How can I help others create the best life possible?”
“How can I lead by example and show people that it’s possible to transform your life in unbelievable ways?”
However, I want to provide value and be an inspiration in a way that my audience sees me as a human being. Not a vending machine ready to provide you with whatever you need without a simple hello, please, or thank you.
And I can confidently say, I’ve done it. My audience is now filled with soooooo many amazing people that I genuinely just want to meet you guys in person. I feel like we’d kick it while drinking matcha and eating allergy-friendly food, chatting about anything and everything
That’s why one of my major goals this year is to connect with you IN PERSON! I want to put a face behind the names I see in my DMs daily. I want to get to know you as you have gotten to know me over the last 6 years.
But that brings me to the point of today’s blog post…
I want to talk to you as if you’re sitting in this coffee shop with me drinking an iced vanilla latte while I sip on my matcha. Can we catch up, chat about life, share some thoughts, and hang?!
A few weeks ago, I asked you guys on my Instagram stories what you would like to see on this blog. And the amount of you that said you just wanted to see ME reflected kinda blew me away.
Someone recommend I write posts about what happened in my day, sharing my thoughts, without having to vlog it.
Other people said my favorite things and what I’ve been buying recently.
And then someone else just said YOU with a heart at the beginning and end.
Now… of course, there were a ton of other recommendations like book reviews, and an “Ask Cathrin” segment where you guys submit questions and I can write a whole blog post on whatever topic, business strategies today compared to when I first got started, my dogs lol, home content, and more.
Don’t worry, those things will be coming! LOVEEEE and appreciate the ideas so thank you.
But today… we’re going to simply catch up.
Let’s get into it.
This is a question I get WEEKLY in my Wednesday Q&A.
Going back to what I said before about feeling used, whenever I see this question I feel really seen as a human being, so thank you for constantly asking. It means the world to me.
2022 ended with a bang.
I had an extremely transformative year.
What started out with me taking the longest break I’ve ever taken from my brand as my face exploded with perioral dermatitis, ended with me in a new house on a lake, with a new puppy, in a new relationship, and an incredibly clear face.
I didn’t expect anything that happened in 2022 to happen.
I have this video diary entry (which is basically me just talking to my phone for 20+ minutes dumping my thoughts) from December 26, 2021, that I watched back the other day. It reminded me how much your life can change in a year.
I wish I could go back and tell her everything was about to change. Everything I ever dreamed of for my life was about to come true, I just needed to stay strong, and stay focused on the vision that I had always held in my heart.
In January 2022, I took the month off from creating content and focused on myself. I was working behind the scenes on the relaunch of my brand and the creation of my podcast with my sister. But primarily the goal for that month was to make sure I was mentally in the best possible place.
February 2022 was pretty uneventful other than I had my hardwood floors refinished and Kameron moved in with me for 2 weeks, which made me realize how much I missed living with someone. It was the first time I realized I might be ready for a new relationship but was still determined to stay single and focused on myself. I also came back to YouTube this month and made a BIG shift with my content.
March 2022 I witnessed my sister give birth to a beautiful baby boy. I turned 28. AND I worked with Target which was a crazy full-circle moment as my mom worked at Target when I was growing up to make ends meet. And there I was WORKING WITH Target.
April 2022 I sat on my couch surfing Zillow for no good reason when I found my dream house. I went to see it a few days later and put in an offer… THAT WAS ACCEPTED!!
May 2022 I closed on that dream house, started renovations, and put my house up for sale. My sister and I also launched our podcast this month.
June 2022 my brother was on a walk with his two dogs when not even a block away from his home he saw a puppy tied to a park fence with shoelaces, clearly abandoned by its owners. I decided to adopt her and promote Fancy to big sister. I also signed a deal with NIKON and flew to New York City to be a part of their Nikon Z 30 launch campaign… insane!!! Oh and I closed on my old house which was interesting, to say the least.
July 2022 I brought Poppy home and flew to New York again to visit Nikon’s headquarters.
August 2022 I was deep in home renovations, prepped the new house for me to move into, packed, and moved.
September 2022 was a rough month for me as I struggled to live in a renovation zone and only had access to the 3 back bedrooms of my house. My kitchen was on a dresser in my spare bedroom… man, my mental health struggled!! I took a step back from my uploads this month as I couldn’t handle everything going on and had multiple people online blame it on my new relationship… like come on guys. Why?!
October 2022 I flew to SWEDEN for Epidemic Sound’s Creator Summit. It was my first time traveling that far and figured while I was over there, I might as well extend my trip a little. So I stopped in London to explore as well. I’ve never been on an international solo trip but it was LIFE-GIVING!
November 2022 was consumed by Thanksgiving prep!! I went a litttttttle crazy trying to get the house ready to host 8 people and 5 dogs. When Thanksgiving came around, I was so burnt out I couldn’t really enjoy it. I ended up napping every day my family was in town which is so unlike me.
December 2022… vlogmas baby! You saw what happened that month, kinda lol. Obviously, there is only so much I share in my videos and a good bit of my life I do like to keep private. But you still know the general idea of what happened. This was also the last month my boyfriend and I had together before we went long-distance (again lol).
I know I didn’t share here when I met him or anything about our timeline. And maybe I’ll share another day! That’s just a whole story on its own and I’m committed to keeping our relationship really private, at least for now.
I also didn’t share anything about my skin and food journey. Which was a HUGE part of my life in 2022 as I discovered what foods my body had a problem with and made eating out extremely difficult. But I’ve shared that in a YouTube video so watch that.
With everything that happened in 2022, I felt set up for success in a way that I could truly have an amazing year.
My house was coming together beautifully, I was in a good place mentally, my brand felt like it had a clear direction, my relationship was good, Fancy and Poppy were thriving, what more could I ask for?!
So I set my goals for the new year but struggled to come up with my word.
As I sit here today, I still don’t know my word.
If you have no idea what I’m talking about, I like to set a word for the year. It’s something I come back to throughout the year and it’s almost like my northern star pointing me in the right direction.
So one year it was Slow. Another year it was Selfish.
This year, I came up with two: Blossom and Thrive. But was unable to narrow it down to the exact word I wanted for 2023.
And as I write that, I realize how called I am to Thrive instead of Blossom.
I almost feel like last year I blossomed. I came out of my shell, really found myself, and mannnn, did my life bloom last year.
So yeah… you know what? We’re committing to a word. My word for 2023 is THRIVE!!
We’re almost done with the first quarter of 2023. Already… I know. Crazy.
But if I were to ask myself if I’ve been thriving so far this year, without even committing to the word, I would say I have been.
I’m truly at a really good place in my life.
I find myself driving down backroads smiling for absolutely no reason.
I love the routine I have living alone with my pups.
Work is going really well. Now that I’m at the end of this blog post, I feel like an old part of me has woken up and is coming back to life… I love that! Thank you blog!!
My relationship with friends is really good right now. Kameron and I are working on a business thing together which is fun. And I have a passion project I’m planning to launch this year. Just gotta work more on it!!
Long-distance with my man is actually going really well and I’m so grateful for that. We were long-distance for a bit last year and that was a HUGE struggle for me. Crying almost daily… struggle bus baby.
The house is coming together! Trim went in recently, my office is alllllmost complete. Just need the trim to be finished and decide what I’m doing with that one wall. I plan on buying more furniture here soon so I can call a few rooms *officially* complete, which will be amazing!!
And I’m just really, genuinely happy.
I’m at peace with what’s going on in my life. What’s presently happening and what’s about to come.
Life has been incredibly good to me and I’m beyond thankful.
I never would have imagined when I started this blog back in 2016 that I would be here today. My life has exceeded my wildest expectations and I’m only 28. Turning 29 in a few short days.
Again… it’s truly crazy how much your life can change in a short period of time.
If you’re in a season right now where there doesn’t seem to be light at the end of the tunnel. Or maybe you’re dreaming of and trying to manifest your dream life into fruition, stay strong.
Stay focused on what you want, put your head down, get to work, and keep going.
I found this quote a while ago and even put it on my letter board because it really spoke to me.
“Magic happens when you don’t give up. The Universe loves a stubborn heart.”