I was chatting with friends recently, and it became very clear to me that there is a process when it comes to blogging. We go through similar stages and phases. We experiences highs and lows. We are certain of ourselves then completely unsure. It seems to be quite common.
But it doesn't feel that way when you're in the midst of it.
It feels very isolating. It feels like failure. It may even feel like quitting.
There is a lot of competition in the blogging world, which can be discouraging. And coupled with self-doubt, blogging can become a chore instead of a way to express ourselves creatively and tell our stories. Stories that we need to share for our own healing and growing, and for the benefit of others too.
Today I wanted to share some truths I've learned about blogging for those who are in the weary stage of it all.
1. Your blog may not blow up. Ever. - There are many reasons why this is true. The number one reason is likely due to the fact that the blogosphere is oversaturated. But also, as my friend Michelle pointed out, most of us are now consuming our blog posts, and other articles through social media. It's what our friends/family/colleagues share through their social media channels that are we are clicking on. That plays a major role in driving traffic. Finally, the blogosphere may be oversaturated but it's also a very big space that sometimes feels small. You may think a blogger is huge, but in the grand scheme of things they are not. The ones that are huge are the exception, not the rule.
2. You should still have one. - If you plan on making a career for yourself in writing, then you need a blog. Agents and publishers will check you out. There needs to be something there. And with the simplicity of the process today, you can have a simple site up in sixty minutes.
3. You will probably get bored - How long is one person supposed to stay the same? What's the cap on that? Take the seven-year-itch and divide it by two - that seems like a reasonable amount of time to expect someone to remain stagnant in their content. I've talked to so many bloggers who face this challenge: they've grown, changed, become bored with writing about the same thing. How does one evolve and bring their blogging along with them?
4. You will ask yourself why you're doing this. - It's a wall that we all hit at some point or another: what am I doing all this work for? And it's a very important conversation to have with yourself. What are your writing goals? Do you want a book published? Do you want to make money through blogging? Are you treating your blog as a business? The answer to these questions will determine where you need to be focusing your efforts because...
5. You will have to choose between blogging & something else. Most of us have to make a living somehow. Either we are working full time, or raising children, or both. There is always something else that demands our immediate attention and will win it. That leaves us with little time for anything else - for getting closer to accomplishing our dreams. And the reality is, blogging is often a stepping stone: it's not the ultimate goal. But it's scary to step back. For many of us, our blogs feel like home. But the more we hold on to the comfort, the longer it will take to see our dreams through.
6. Quality > Quantity. If you are at that point where you have to step away from your blog a bit, fear not. Quality > quantity. I'd rather read a personal blog entry from the heart a million times over a product review. I would rather hear an update from you every three months than be bombarded with your every move. And I'm not alone. Whatever you decide to do - the majority of your readers aren't going to bail on you.