State of the blog & business | Navigating the personal and professional

Coming at you with a different kind of approach today. It feels great to be sitting here, writing from within, rather than writing an action plan or steps that you can take an implement to help your business. While that will always be a core of what we do here at Pinegate Road, I’m personally missing the sense of sitting down, writing what’s on my mind when it comes to design, trends, and living a creative life. Did the expansion of business-based blogging ruin the heart of the industry? I don’t know about you, but I love heading to some of my favorite old sites, reading what these wonderfully creative people have been up to, and learning along with them as they traverse their lives. It feels like catching up with an old friend, and I’m glad that there are still several bloggers who have kept up with sharing their heart in their blogs. Bri recently went back to her old way of blogging, and can I just say how refreshing it is to see her personality and heart come back to her site? That’s what we ALL fell in love with, and this action of turning back around is something that has been on my mind a lot lately.

Here are some other bloggers that feel like old friends to me, and that have been a breath of fresh air as the ‘how-to’s’ and ‘what to do when’s’ took over my life, just to share :)

Megan Gilger
Shauna Haider
Natalie Holbrook
Rachel Shingledon
Joy Cho

With the rise of the infoblog, I’ve definitely fallen into the surge of writing posts that are actionable, helpful, and serve our target audience here at Pinegate Road. We follow SEO standards, use hierarchy with typography, use numbers in our titles, and ‘How to’ to lead the post. I wholeheartedly believe that we should be giving value and advice to our core audience. This is how we can prove ourselves as a business, and how we can give value, share what we are learning and working through, and how you can, in turn, grow your business. Like anything that is new, this is a new kind of blogging that we’re trying on. It’s not going to be perfect, and it’s going to take a lot of practice to figure out our unique spin on how to approach giving value while still being on brand and personable. It’s been bumpy so far, and it hasn’t felt quite right if I’m being completely honest. That’s lead me to post less, and well, that’s probably the last thing that needs to be happening. The only way to work through this is to keep going, trying new things, and see what is working. Sitting back to think it through for months at a time gets us nowhere :)

On another hand, I want to get back to writing more personal posts, beyond what is 100% great for Pinegate Road’s audience and things that aren’t always actionable. When I started in this space in 2011, I was posting every day, sometimes multiple times a day, and I was writing about my feeeeeeelings. Hah! These kinds of exploratory posts were how I started to make sense of my world, my journey, and were the beginnings of Pinegate Road and my business. Looking back, I’m so nostalgic for those times when blogging was an act of creative expression and working through the creative journey, rather than a time I was trying to establish myself as an expert in building creative businesses. While I have a huge heart and passion for doing just that, there’s just been a bit of murky waters I’ve been walking through on how to live out both sides. I want to be able to have a space, for myself, to have that sense of creative journey that was propelling my passions and career. I would also hope for Pinegate Road to continue to be a place where others can gather, grow, learn, and build their own creative journeys. I want to infuse a little bit of the personality back into the information we are sharing on Pinegate Road, because no one wants to hang around with a brand that feels robotic.

With that being said, I think it’s time that I dedicate more time and resources to this space. I want to get back, and start to feel out how to step into this new realm of business that Pinegate Road has entered. Now that the studio is larger than just me, Pinegate Road is growing up and going beyond the growth that I can give as one person. I’m limiting the potential of what can happen here when I’m linking everything Pinegate Road does to one person. I want it to be more of it’s own brand, guided by my overall direction. I believe that’s where the big growth and change will come, and where Pinegate Road can begin to flourish and help creative businesses in a big way. That’s something bigger than me, or just one person. There are big things happening for Pinegate Road this year, and I’m so excited to start building and sharing the visions I have for this space. It will be completely centered around helping creative businesses build their brand foundations — from values to visuals. I’m going to need a lot of help and support throughout this process, and I’m so thankful for the support and collaborations that have already begun. Trying to do it all on my own, and to keep the brand so personally tied to ‘Kelsey Cronkhite’ has been holding back the possibilities. It’s not about me, it’s about YOU and how Pinegate Road can help you as a creative business owner put your best selves forward and make BIG strides in your business.

On the other side, I am personally feeling the need for a space where I can continue to be creative and explore. Sitting here right now, I’m feeling a rush come back to me that I felt while in my first studio apartment in Savannah, GA. Just me and my computer, photoshop open, and typing away about the lessons I was learning, my thoughts on design, health, and making friendships in new cities. I want it back so bad!! It’s time for me to part ways from Pinegate Road in a sense, and start another journey. This year, I’ll be creating a personal blog to have as a place for all of the above. It wont be for the audience, it will simply be my place to experiment and share how I’m working through my creative journey. I think it’s so important for creatives to have a space to play. Whether that’s in a journal, a blog, a social media account, or anything else — trying to edit yourself for the purpose of growing a business and or explicitly growing an audience is a little soul sucking. I’m a branding nerd at heart, and know that when you’re growing a business, you DO need this a solid vision, standards, strategy, and place to edit so you can communicate your brand values. But personally? Personally, I’m ready to grow for me, outside of Pinegate Road, and just for fun :)

Wish me luck?

Leave a Reply

  1. Kory (@korymae)

    February 16th, 2016 at 7:57 AM

    Yes, yes, yes! Kelsey, I’m so happy to hear that more people are starting to feel this way. I’ve been struggling with blogging and social media for 4-5 months now because I think it finally caught up to me how much things have changed since I first started blogging. Don’t get me wrong – I love writing and reading the info-based posts, but in the shift to sharing those, people have totally gone MIA on their own blogs. They don’t share themselves, and it’s so very refreshing that little by little people are starting to realize this!

  2. Kelsey

    February 16th, 2016 at 12:27 PM

    Hi Kory, nice to see you here! Yes, it’s been something that has gotten a little insane! Didn’t know how to put words to it until now. Glad to hear we’re in the same boat. You bring up a great point about it being a mix — not too much of one or the other :)

  3. Alysa

    February 16th, 2016 at 11:32 AM

    Oh Kelsey! Lovely, lovely post. These are exactly the thoughts that have been stirring in my heart and head about blogging but I couldn’t pit my finger on them. Thank you for expressing them here. Excited read your personal blog. Good luck!

  4. Kelsey

    February 16th, 2016 at 12:28 PM

    Thank you for the sweet words Alysa! I’m glad that the words were able to resonate with you :) And yay for following along with the person blog! I’ll be sure to post about it when it’s up. It’s going to be a LOT different than PGR though, I’ll have to warn you ;) Thanks again for your support!

  5. Alysa

    February 17th, 2016 at 11:56 AM

    Warning noted. Looking forward to what you write!

  6. Rachel

    February 16th, 2016 at 11:44 AM

    Bravo. I too felt that disconnect between the business side and the personal side. Carry on!!!

  7. Kelsey

    February 16th, 2016 at 12:29 PM

    Heh, thank you Rachel! While we’re in much different seasons in life, I have always loved your open and honest blogging about all that is going on. I’ve always learned and gleaned so much, so thank you for sharing! :)

  8. Angel Y.

    February 17th, 2016 at 11:51 AM

    Praise hands emoji! I LOVE this. There is a huge disconnect and some of my favorite blogs don’t indulge in the complete overwhelm of the info-focused blog trend. I try to approach business blogging from a personal point of view versus the “this is what you need to do.” because business is different for every person. I’m looking forward to the rise of personal creative blogs focusing back on everyone’s personal journey. I can’t wait to see what comes out of this. :)

  9. Kelsey

    February 18th, 2016 at 4:27 PM

    You’ve always been amazing at that! And staying true to YOU and not just following what is trending in the industry. And yes, I’m excited too! It seems like an exciting shift is just starting to happen for a lot of bloggers :)