I’ve think I’ve finally cracked it. Finding value in my niche, that is.
More and more recently, I’ve been gathering inspiration from my hometown. Back when my blog was a baby, I would spend oodles of time (and money) travelling to and from London to events and press days, just to feel involved and dare I say, successful. It felt good to be included, recognised, but it also made me compare myself, which inevitably leads to feelings of inferiority and a neverending concern that my content was lacking. When I looked at what Londoners blogged about, I felt I couldn’t live up. What need was there for me to review a local restaurant – whoever visits Winchester, I’d think. I couldn’t pose wistfully in front of beautiful rows of white West London houses every weekend, or Instagram the openings of the latest stores on Regent Street. And although I was, and still am, quite confident living in London isn’t for me, I longed to be part of that band – I deemed it the secret to a successful blog.
But as I’ve got older and my blog has evolved, I’ve realised the value in my niche. My blog started its life as a beauty blog. I realised my love for make up from it, even training as a make up artist. But as I’ve grown from a 22 year old, to someone who is only two and a half years shy of 30, my blog has matured with me. I love using my blog as a personal diary these days, and if that means my new favourite lipstick makes an appearance, so be it. Having finally landed on a focus for my blog (…or not as the case may be!), I suddenly felt very inspired.
I have truly learnt that blogging outside of London can most certainly be beneficial – to myself and to my readers. Of course, the hub of content that comes out of the capital is huge and it’s where the big business is. Working with brands and sponsors will inevitably mean trips to London and there is no way around that. But I find looking around myself and what it is I do, and want to achieve, in my day-to-day life so much more inspiring, so much more real, than my old practise of regurgitating new beauty releases and trying to keep up with weekly outfit posting. I’m very content with life right now, and I think it means quite a lot when you recognise that. We finally have our own house, I enjoy my job, my social life is bursting. Living a contented lifestyle means I can really enjoy the smaller, finer things. Sunday morning coffees, flowers from the market. Cliches but things that really do benefit and add to my current lifestyle. And of course, blogging about that comes all too easy. Nothing is ever forced.
Life outside of London can be slower. And I say can, because life is what you make it. And for me, I’ve got a balance I enjoy. I love nothing more than a wintry Sunday in Winchester and even now, after 27 years living here, I can really appreciate its beauty. The Cathedral and it’s grounds, which house unique events and markets all year round, are a huge attraction to so many, particularly at Christmas. Coach loads of tourists travel to visit and it’s right here for me to enjoy, every weekend. I often complain photographing Winchester is difficult because it’s so old, nothing’s straight! As a History graduate, I can’t get enough of the old cottages, schools, churches and pubs. These all fill me with more inspiration than I had cared to realise before. And provide a beautiful backdrop for the photographer in me.
Independent business is something I really value. I love seeking out unique places to eat, drink and shop in whatever town I’m in, and this is definitely on the up in Winchester. There was a time when a coffee stop meant Costa or Café Nero, but now we’re lucky enough to have five or six beautifully decorated tea rooms to pit stop at. Dare I say, it even feels cosmopolitan at times. Winchester has become quite the destination with some really prestigious and trend-led brands coming to the area. Meeting likeminded local business owners and getting to know the community I live in has really fuelled my inspiration and learning there are so many others like me nearby! Developing relationships with others locally is a really interesting way of spurring on new ideas for your blog, and there is a sense of support which I’m not sure I’d be all that inclined to find in London.
Ultimately, Katherine-Louise is a lifestyle blog. This is my life and the things I enjoy doing. Savouring a latte on a crisp morning, and getting up early to run some errands around the gorgeous cobbled streets before lunch with friends and family. Blogging is what you make it. There are no rules and no need for comparison. Be content and the rest will come, no matter where you live.
If you’ve landed here, you’re probably looking to find out more about Katherine-Louise. Run by me, Kat - put simply I'm a 30 year old who is decidedly normal. My blog is a destination for women just like me - the same interests and aspirations, working our way through the same twists and turns of life. Katherine-Louise is designed to inspire and inform; to give you a break from the norm as well identify with the beauty of routine. A fifteen minute recoup, or an hours vacation, it’s the go-to for Everyday-Joe’s, just like me, who want a few minutes off the radar.