4 years as Pawlean

Today, Pawlean turns 4 years old.

Pawlean stickers and business cards
Pawlean stickers and business cards

And I have been officially blogging since 2008… that’s a loooonng time.

I never thought that I would go back to blogging after abandoning it to focus on my A-Levels at the time. But now, it just makes so much sense for me to continue the most loved hobby that has brought me happiness, joy and more opportunities than I have ever imagined.

⌨️The story: Logging back on

One late July afternoon, I contacted my good old friend Kassy in excitement about my blog. I couldn’t wait to set it up again, I honestly felt like I had awakened some neurons that hadn’t been fired since 2012 which was the year I had wrote my last blog post. This time was different, gone were the days of embarrassing URLs. I stuck with Pawlean; my Xbox Live Gamertag at the time.

If it wasn’t for a conversation that brought up my secret hobby, I don’t think I would’ve entered the digital space in this way again. Encouragement to the point of pestering turned the conversations into action, the panda in space told me to create and write again because of the light and sparkle in my eyes he had seen when I spoke about it. Still undecided, I thought about it a lot during one of my lectures (I do listen though, I promise) where fruit flies were thrown at me (and a few others.) That lecture was pivotal for me. Unexpectedly, that was the ball of inspiration or whatever you call it that kicked me to start writing again.

👗The digital world had changed

Bloggers now have the opportunity to be paid to publish posts. Almost everyone I now meet has some sort of publishing platform they post their thoughts onto – whether that be things like Medium or even on social platforms like Instagram (also known as ‘micro-blogging’) I’ve seen businesses use blogs as part of their communications strategy.

I found this shift intriguing. Blogging was always something I did in my room in my own little world, I couldn’t earn a penny from it and the time I spoke about it openly, nobody exactly lit up happy for me (in fact, quite the opposite in my case)

This shift affected me more than I realised at the time.

Everybody was suddenly fashion bloggers, I felt like I needed to do the same!

And despite inspiration hitting me (literally) that day, I felt disconnected in my first few posts.

My writing didn’t feel good enough, I lacked the consistency I once had and I didn’t have posts like everyone else. There were moments where I wanted to close it all down again because it felt pointless trying to be at the same standard as newer, more modern bloggers in the space.

The voice of reason from him came again, “Pawlean was never meant to just have 5 posts. I want to read more. Don’t give up.”

So what did I do? What do you do when you find yourself out of that loop?

“I’m so blogging about this”

Step back.

I tried to visualize my 8-year-old self on my parents’ clunky computer bursting with creativity. I loved to create for the love of it, trying to generate engagement was never effective because I was not my authentic self and looking back, it definitely showed in my posts.

At that age, all I wanted to do was:

  • Discover the discoverable on the machine and the internet
  • Listen to the AOL dial-up sound when I switched on the computer
  • Learn things, create things and share that I did the thing. At the time, it was creating Photoshop Artwork. Or what the cool kids used to call, “blends” and building up my online diary.

Re-focusing on what truly matters worked, reminding myself why I started when I was that 8-year-old girl re-connected and grounded me.

I decided to stop trying to fit into a niche and publish whatever I wanted whenever I wanted.

I had always written about my life and it will definitely continue this way! But now that I’m older, I have understood the benefits (and importance) of filtering what I post. I had to set myself a rule to no longer write extensive essays about all my crushes with an exception, of course. 😆

🕐Hours on the internet was never a waste of time

I’m sure we have all had that, “If you don’t get off that computer, I will switch the internet off, missy!” conversation with our parents at some point growing up. 😂

The time I spent on my blog never felt like a waste of time, in fact upon really reflecting on it, I have benefited from this world in more ways than I ever thought I would!

  • ✏️Improved writing skills over time.
  • 🌐Cultivating a supportive network of friends online. I now know the coolest people online (with whom I practically grew up with) who have always given me advice and support in all aspects of life when I need it.
  • 👋🏼Reaching more people. My reach has continued to improve. Every day, it makes me happy to connect with more and more like-minded people. I have also got the chance to talk to loads of people around the world about my blog every day during interviews, talks and daily conversations which all contribute to these incredible connections.
  • 💻Improved digital and web-development skills. Blogging is what sparked my interest in technology and was my safe place for learning how to code.
  • 💆🏻‍♀️ Free therapy. Honestly, the whole process of creating a post is so therapeutic for me! It’s calming and helps whenever I feel on edge.
  • ⚡️Opened opportunities I didn’t know existed. My blog was read by someone who then offered me a bunch of freelancing video projects because he was impressed by what I was talking about and the audience I continue to build. I have also partnered up with some great brands and have been paid for my writing and ‘influence‘!
  • 🍀This blog contributed greatly during my job search. My placement year and current summer placement loved my blogging and digital background.
  • 🎤Speaking opportunities

🎙Speaking about Pawlean

🌟Core values and aim

Growing up online has been quite a journey. Although the digital world is continuously changing with trends coming and going and of course, on top of that, me developing every single day… I will always keep personal values to heart when it comes to Pawlean

  1. I will always be real and authentic in my creative work
  2. I will never try to be someone that I’m not (I’m never meant to be in the Fashion Blogging world)
  3. I will never let views and statistics blur my blog’s aim to create a space for me to be creative and inspire others.

The best of Pawlean

I have these listed on my Online page, but I wanted to bring light again to the blog posts I loved writing and sharing:

Some achievements:

🎉 Giveaway time

To celebrate Pawlean’s birthday, I’m giving away a copy of Gary Vee’s book “Crushing It!” along with a Pawlean sticker.

A picture of Gary Vaynerchuk's book and a Pawlean sticker
A picture of Gary Vaynerchuk’s book and a Pawlean sticker

This book is an interesting one that really highlights the impact of the platforms we use every day. To me, it was intriguing and motivating to embrace changes in the digital world and really take advantage of these tools, if we want to! I found reading it very creatively stimulating. 🤩

For a chance to win, comment below how you found Pawlean!

Thank you to everyone that has followed along with my journey in life through my digital lens, I appreciate it the daily and growing love. I can’t say it enough! 🤗

Here’s to more Pawlean birthdays 🎂💜

Interested in starting your own blog? I have just the blog post for it!

TL:DR: As cliche as it sounds… just start. It’s not going to be perfect right off the bat, but don’t you think that there is something great about seeing progress over time? 

30 responses to “4 years as Pawlean”

  1. Congrats!!!
    I found you on Instagram.

    1. Hi Anne! Yes you did 😉

  2. Oh this is such a nice post 💖 found you in the tech community ✨

    1. HackCon EU I think! Ha, thanks Alica! <3

  3. Ahhhh Happy Blog Birthday!! Loved reading all about your journey to get here. I will also NEVER be a fashion blogger because let’s be honest, 99% of my outfits are jeans, t-shirts, and flip flops. But that’s what I love most about your blog is your honesty and how candid you are!
    Also, thanks for the flashback on AOL dial up haha, those were the days!
    Pretty sure I found your blog via a comment on someone else’s. Creeped on you and decided YES, she is my people!
    Congrats on this milestone and I’m so glad we get to be a part of your journey!

    Susie | http://milehighdreamers.com

    1. Thanks so much Susie! I am exactly the same, I prefer jeans and a tee than all the designer clothes fashion bloggers are throwing around for sure haha.

  4. I found Pawlean via Instagram. It’s been good to see Pauline and the Pawlean brand grow over the years. It’s an upward spiral that has already inspired others to carve their own path etc etc. Great job 👌🏼

    1. AHHH DEIGHAN HELLO!!!!! Thanks so much – entry noted 😉

  5. Happy birthday to your blog!

    Hm…hearing how you made your blog…well more about you and not worrying about what others were doing, makes me want to improve my own that way. Also its nice hearing how your blog helped you well…everywhere!

    Hm…I don’t remember how I found your blog. My guess is either Twitter or maybe you commented on mine. I usually returned the favor and usually found other blogs that way. I probably should remember, since it was probably like a year or so ago, but I don’t exactly. Those are my guesses. XD However, its a blog that’s very inspiring for me!

    1. Thanks so much Megan! <3

  6. Happy 4th anniversary to Pawlean! Personally, I’m thankful that you never stopped blogging despite starting out slow and feeling disconnected at first because, well, we wouldn’t see great content like this now if you had stopped! <3 I’m so thankful that someone encouraged you to continue and do your thing. It really pays to have supporting people around you who understand your interests and goals <3

    We’ve been talking about this on Twitter but yeah, I can definitely relate to how you felt like you had to do the same thing as other bloggers (I still lol at that “fashion blogger” line XD) . I always feel like the trend is leaning towards using blogs as promotional materials or business/money-making ventures. While I’m not exactly against those, I kinda feel bad for myself because I don’t have a niche (I only ever know how to write about myself), and I feel that makes me boring and less engaging 🙁 I’m trying my best to write again though, hope it works out! XD

    Ahh, I don’t remember how I found your blog! I think you were the one who commented first on my blog? XD Anyway, when I did find your blog, I couldn’t stop reading! 🙂

    1. I have the same inspiration gained from your blog Claudine, I wish you the very best with your re-connection moment. You can do it! I’m always right here to chat to if you ever need anyone to listen!!

      Big hugs!

  7. Happy blog birthday, Pauline! I can’t believe it’s been four years already. It seems like minutes since I was reading your first posts on here. It’s strange how fast the time goes.

    Congrats on doing so well with Pawlean. Your posts are some of my faves to read and I always feel so motivated whenever I do. And you’ve achieved sooooo much since you started! So glad we got to meet last year!

    I think I found you through blogger friends but I can’t really remember! Glad I did though!

    1. Thanks for your kind words Amy, much appreciated! <3 I’m the same with your blog, I always go onto it whenever I need a laugh haha.

      Meet-up again soon!!

  8. Hi!!! Congrats on your 4years blogging life! 🙂

    I started blogging as well way back 2005 and was enthusiastic until 2011 since you get excited to meet new friends on this new found hobby and then I went on and off. I was on the moment of giving up blogging but I just couldn’t. I end up coming back again. I just love the feeling of writing and sharing stuff though I know I don’t affect much of the crowd yet. I just like to blog 🙂 And that is an awesome journey for you! It just shows that blogging made you something because you’re doing what you love so keep on blogging!

    1. I’m exactly the same Xian! Thanks again for stopping by and leaving a comment 🙂

  9. Congratulations on reaching 4 years with Pawlean! It’s good that you’ve found yourself back into the blogging scene after some break. You’ve kept it going ever since. It’s great that you’ve benefitted so much from blogging, whether it’s learning, connecting, and feeling better overall. Keep it up, girl!

  10. Congrats on 4 year anniversary and many more years to come! I found you on your blog and have been reading it on a somewhat regular basis and your writing style is different from most blogs I have read – lots of photos and videos! Keep up the good work!

    1. Thanks Sakura for reading and commenting as always, I appreciate it!

  11. Wow, I can’t believe your blog is four years old already! Time goes so fast, it’s crazy. It makes me smile to know that you have grown and developed so much over those years and that you continue to blog and share what makes you happy. As an ‘old school personal blogger’ I have kind of kept mine in a similar style, with big improvements to my writing and the number of pictures I share haha. It’s so great how much a blog can connect you with others and allow you to express yourself. I can’t wait to read more in the future. 😀

    How did I find Pawlean…. when it was born? 😀

    1. Thanks so much for all the support as always Kassy! I think I approached you late July 2015! xD

  12. I found Pawlean by you joining the Women Make group on Telegram! Keep being great <3

  13. Hi Pauline, long time no talk/comment! 😁👍🏻

    Congrats and Happy Birthday to Pawlean! More power to you in the next coming years. Keep doing what you do. I’m sure you know how huge the impact you give to every aspiring girl still trying to discover herself, whether it’s with blogging, STEM, and everything else. 😊

    Actually, I’ve been thinking about how I found Pawlean. I think it was more of we found each other through someone’s blog, and then I can’t remember if I commented in your blog first or you commented in my blog. But, either way, all I know is that we found each other. It was such a long time ago. 😁

    I actually read that book awhile ago. I borrowed it from the library one day, and I agree. So many ways to take advantage of many tools, even though I haven’t really applied them to real life just yet. Recommended reading. 👍🏻

    This month is all house renovations and I miss my laptop lol. I’m stuck with a phone and laptop right now. 😊

    1. Thanks Adrianne, your comment made me smile 🙂

      The book is definitely interesting, although I have yet to apply all the tips and tricks I have implemented a few and saw a positive impact 🙂 I’m glad we found each other, I enjoy reading your blog too!

  14. Ah! AOL sounds hahaha man that brings back memories. It is nice to reminisce about old times online. I know I have been blogging for a long time myself and have change my domains a couple of times. I even had a LiveJournal moment. Ah! lol I started really young, around 14 and I’m 32 now and it would be painful to see all my old posts so I’m glad I don’t have those to look at anymore. Haha

    I remember posting an entry almost every day… not sure how. Now I’m really slow at posting things.

    Thanks for sharing your story and congrats on pawlean being 4 now!

    1. HAHA, I had to YouTube it just to hear it again. Those were the days!!

      Thanks so much Ashley <3

  15. I am so late in the game, but I am so excited for you and your success. I really enjoy your blog and you’re truly inspirational. I can’t wait to see what the next 10-20++ years bring. Keep on being amazing!

    1. Thanks so much Brandy! Right back at you. <3

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