Dear discouraged blogger, I know you feel like you’ve had it. You’re just don’t feel cut out for this blogging thing. It sounded like a fun adventure when you started, but the more you do it the more you realize how little you know. SEO, social media, plugins, updates, malware, pageviews, editing pictures, website design… there’s a lot more involved than you ever dreamed, and it’s a lot to juggle.
It seems so effortless for other bloggers. That one’s making $30,000 a month, and you barely have two adsense pennies to rub together. Another blogger started when you did (or after!), and her blog has skyrocketed in popularity. You wonder what she has that you don’t? You think people must not like what you’re sharing, you’re wasting your time, you’ll never make any money, and you should move on to something else.
I can totally relate. I’ve had these same thoughts (sometimes on a daily basis!). There’s so much more to blogging than I ever anticipated, and it can be overwhelming, but I have a secret for you. You know that blogger who seems really popular? She started her facebook page and immediately had a ton of followers? She gets comments on every post and seems to be a natural? I bet she’s had these thoughts too. I think it’s completely normal (and almost unavoidable) to have these thoughts when we’re feeling overwhelmed and aren’t growing like we thought we would. These are some of the things I do to help myself when I’m feeling discouraged:
1. Stop obsessing over stats
Constantly checking your stats will drive you crazy. It’s really no different than hopping on the scale multiple times a day while trying to lose weight. It will make your progress feel slow and small, and you’ll probably end up discouraged that you aren’t getting where you want to be faster. This is easier said than done sometimes, I know. Stats feel like immediate gratification, but ultimately this is an aspect of blogging that we can’t really control so focusing on tasks we can control is a better use of our time.
2. Stop comparing
If following another blogger leaves you feeling discouraged and inadequate, stop reading them for a while. Give yourself a break from the comparison trap. Your time is too valuable to do things that make you feel bad about yourself or your progress.
If there’s an area where you’re feeling particularly inadequate, learn more about it. Increasing your knowledge will help to alleviate your insecurities and will only improve your blog. If it’s a topic you don’t really want to waste time learning about…
4. Get help
If there’s a certain part of blogging that you hate, and you don’t have the interest or time to learn how to do it yourself, don’t hesitate to get some help. I don’t know anything about coding or creating a blog design. I can envision what I’d like, but turning that vision into something a computer can understand is not in my skill set. I tried designing my own blog for the first 15 months, but I never loved what I came up with. I eventually accepted that it would be best to pay someone else to do it for me. My designer was able to create what I had in mind much faster than I ever could have, and I was able to focus on other things (and stop pulling my hair out!).
I guess what I ultimately want to say is that if I can do this, you can too. No two blogger will have the exact same experience, and that’s okay. If you need to take a little time off, reflect on your goals, or just avoid other blogs for a while that’s okay too.
I promise you that you can reach your goals, and I’d love to help you do so. I’m going to start sharing some of the tips and tricks I’ve learned over the last two and a half years here on the blog and to subscribers of my brand new blogging newsletter (including how I doubled my pageviews, from 3,500 to over 7,000 a day, in just four days without a viral post, and they’ve only gone up from there!).
What helps you when you’re feeling discouraged?