Things That Bloggers Need to Stop Getting Stressed About

imageHow to blog. There are so many questions that I see being thrown around continually among bloggers. How often should I post? Should I create a Pinterest or Stumble Upon account? What plug-ins should I use? How often should I share my posts on social media? Should I be self-hosted? There is no definitive guide as to how to create a successful blog, and therefore there are no definitive set of right or wrongs. Most of what I have learned has been through trial and error, and from advice given by bloggy friends. Some of it has worked, some of it hasn’t, and I have shared my experiences in the hope that they prove useful for others. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that my advice will be successful for everyone, if indeed anyone at all. Focus on doing what works for you, don’t be afraid to try new things, and most importantly, don’t be afraid of failure. Blogging is an exciting process where I’m learning new things all the time, and that’s one of the many things that I enjoy about it.

Content. I’ve always been an avid believer that, above all, content is key – it’s less likely that readers will return to poorly written posts. However, who makes the decisions on what makes a successful post? Each individual, and therefore each blog is unique, and the important thing to remember is that so are potential readers. Some will enjoy your content, others may not. Focus on writing posts that you and you alone want to write, not what you think others may want to read and concentrate on those who respond positively.

Comparisons. Blog envy is a natural part of the process, but not if it means your perspective of your own little space of the Internet becomes negative as a result. Yes, I see a whole host of things on other sites that I’m envious of every day, whether it’s the design, layout and/or content, but that doesn’t take away anything that I’ve created here, and I’m proud of it.

Your organisational skills (or lack of). We all have that online friend or ten. The ones with strategies, schedules, charts and plans, who know exactly what they’re going to post and when they’re going to post it. I’m not one of those people. I write when I feel like it, and press the publish button when I’m satisfied (so I can then inevitably go back and edit it when I spot a bunch of mistakes that I missed, despite reading it through several times). I then spend some time promoting it through social media. No plans, no schedules. Perhaps I’m doing myself a disservice, but I’m conscious not to make blogging become a chore and simply posting something because I feel I have to. Remember, you’re a human being with a busy life and commitments, and unless you’re willing to pay for a team of people to help you, there’s only so much that you can do. Give yourself a break.

Your own abilities as a writer. One of the most common things I see among bloggers is their lack of faith in their own abilities – as little as a few days ago two of my favourite writers were discussing their fears and self-doubt, despite the fact that they have a seemingly natural talent to put pen to paper (or I suppose, text to screen in this case). My main question here is simply this: Whose opinion are you basing this on? Your writing style will inevitably change over time, but you will always naturally write in a way that suits you, and this authenticity is one of the things that will keep readers coming back for more. Embrace it.

Your progress. Haven’t gained 50,000 readers, 100,000 Twitter followers, had that viral post or been given a book deal yet? Neither has 99.9% of the blogosphere. One of the many misconceptions about blogging is that pressing the publish button will mean instant success, and many lose faith and become disillusioned with the process after a few months when they haven’t achieved all of their goals immediately. Regular blogging is an enormous amount of hard work – publishing, editing, promoting, networking – and to do all of this on a regular basis takes an extraordinary amount of time. So, instead of focusing on the enormous targets you haven’t yet reached, reward yourself for the little achievements on a weekly basis. Published a post that you’re proud of? Fantastic! Gained new followers? Great! Every new post, every new reader, comment, tweet, pin and share is progress. Keep going, and be patient!

What about you guys? Have you been struggling with self doubt recently?

 

Posts that you may find useful:

How to Increase your Traffic

A Comment on Comments

Likes Versus Views

How to Create a Successful About Page

How to Use Twitter Hashtags to Increase your Traffic

 

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog, and don’t forget to check out my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks, my Pinterest page http://www.pinterest.com/suzie81speaks and my Instagram page http://www.instagram.com/suzie81speaks.

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223 thoughts on “Things That Bloggers Need to Stop Getting Stressed About

  1. Fabulous post! It’s about graft and hard work. You just have to keep going even when you would rather stick pins in your eyes. It takes time to grow a blog.

  2. I can relate to this enormously. It’s taken me nearly a year to find my stride, and to write for me rather than what I thought other people wanted to read. There have also been times when I’ve thought about giving up as I wasn’t where I wanted to be. But you just need to keep plugging away πŸ™‚

  3. What a timely post! I’ve just returned to blogging again after a seven month break – and instead of picking up where I left off with my old blog I’ve started a whole new one. So right now I’m back to having no followers, but I’m sure I’ll pick up a few as I go along, through joining in with challenges and commenting and liking on other people’s blogs, just like I did before… thankfully I’m not nearly so worried about it all this time around, I’m feeling a lot more relaxed and it already feels a lot more like fun, which helps me release my creativity, which then makes it even more fun – and that’s how blogging should be, I think πŸ™‚

  4. I don’t struggle with self doubt, like you I’m kind of random, I know it might seem like I’m organised, but seriously get that out of your head now! lol
    The thing I struggle with is really how much to post, what and when and trying to maintain a blog that’s fairly popular and keep changing things as well so it’s fresh and there’s a good mix of the expected and the unpredicatble.

  5. First question has to be: What do I want to achieve with my blog?

    If you blog like I do, for pleasure, to share some fun/some facepalm-moments or a good old fashioned rant with whomever happens to know your blog (and I started with a few RL-friends), then you do not blog for masses. Just do as you please …

    If you have some kind of commercial interest in your blog, may it be you want to sell books via your blog, some artwork, some photos – you need a completely different approach. You need to think along the lines your intended clients do and keep them entertained and eager for your product.

    If you blog not for financial reasons but to reach a certain community, as you want to share ideas or want to create a self-help-community, you need another approach. You should mainly focus on your theme, as that is what your readers come to your page for. Your blog-articles will mainly be factual.

    Form follows function – so first find out what is the function of your blog.

  6. Thank you so much for sharing this Suzie! It’s great that you are willing to share the lessons you have learnt with the rest of us πŸ™‚ This post came at the perfect time because it is so in sync with an idea I have been playing around with for some time now.

    I too have many doubts about my ability to write and I agonize over the content of my blog. I’m starting to learn that I simply have to enjoy the process. And as I ease up on myself I can see that reflected in my work and in my Follower numbers too!

    Once again thanks for the great advice! πŸ™‚

  7. All solid advice, Suzie – and stuff I remind myself of from time to team. I blog because I love to write, and I think my writing has improved because of it – everything else is just gravy πŸ™‚

  8. Thanks for all your encouraging posts, I really enjoy reading what you write. I find it hard to do the whole promotion thing and get hung up on whether I should or not. I don’t tend to share all my posts on my Deb’s World dedicated Facebook page as I don’t want to annoy those who follow me! It’s a hard one to know what’s enough and what’s too much. I love blogging and do it for my personal growth, so I have decided to just please myself in regards to what and when I blog!

  9. Very sound advice, Susie. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Blogging is hard work indeed and what works for others may not work for some. Vice-versa. The self-doubt thing is very real and so true. I used to be one of those…am getting better at it! 😜

      • Hmmm… I stopped caring what people might think and decided that being shameless was OK.I think the hardest thing was getting out of my comfort zone and once I got over that, I realise I didn’t die! LOL.
        But what also really helps is the encouragement from readers and the bloggers’ responding to comments and genuinely interact (especially those who run bigger blogs). I realise not everyone would, and those who did provided that much needed encouragement to continue. So I always keep that in mind with those who takes the time to come to my site.
        Now that I know, I think my #1 “advice” is be shameless! (and that was something I was never comfortable with) πŸ™‚

  10. Wise words and timely. Only this morning I caught myself wondering what people might enjoy reading about on my blog. Then I remembered that it’s there as a repository of thoughts that grow out of my research. If I want to write about the last Capetian king of France because I think I need to know more about him, I shall do so.
    I like the discipline of knowing that I’m going to post every Sunday. If I didn’t have that I think I wouldn’t bother at all.

    • I think that self-discipline for some is really important April, and thanks so much for your comment! I’m glad you’re focusing on content based on what you want to write too!

  11. I like to write as a blogger as no one knows me. It is liberating. I recently shared with a friend that I blog and I feel like I am letting out this little secret. Not sure if I want to either!

  12. This is such an awesome post, Suzie! I have been struggling lately with wondering how people view my blog. Do they like the mix between photos and writing? Should I do more of one and less of the other? I am in constant flux hoping I’m on the right path!! Bah!! Cher xo

    • Thanks so much Cher. You know i love your blog, but remember that it’s your space and you need to produce content for you, not us… We will read it because it’s always great!

      • Ah, thank you so much for that, Suzie! I really appreciate your lovely words! I always really hope people like it, and I struggle with that so much. But you are right, I have to produce content for me! Thank you for that excellent reminder! I consider your blog the epitome of what a wonderful blog should be. Yours is the best and your writing is fantastic!! Cher xo

  13. Now that I have worked my way through all of the previous comments, I have totally forgotten what I wanted to say, ah well…
    Great post! This year I am participating in the A to Z challenge and I am a lot more relaxed than last year, but the. My theme is authenticity, which somehow helps with removing that horrible self-doubt.

  14. Suzie, I am an absolute master of self-doubt but some of this doubt has been warranted because I wasn’t ready and the ideas were still percolating through. I stumbled on the idea of Writing letters to dead poets for the A2Z Challenge and have been able to fuse so much together and I am truly amazed and what’s coming out. Mind you, every day I am immersed in the poetry and books written by some of the world’s best and reading their bios. So, it’s not surprising it’s coming together…and the hours are disappearing. I was going to use the word work there but this has been pure pleasure.
    The timing of things is quite important. We do need to be ready.
    xx Rowena

  15. Such a refreshing article to hear from someone else’s perspective. Good to hear I’m not the only that doesn’t chart or plan. I have a couple regular pieces I do each month, otherwise, I write when inspired. I want to enjoy the blogging process, not become a slave to it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  16. I can truly relate. I keep reminding myself to enjoy the process of blogging. It’s not easy but for me it’s been worth it so far. It’s important to remember that every blogger and blog is different. We’re all unique in our own way. Great post, Suzie!

  17. I don’t think I have a lot of self doubt in the sense that I believe people if they tell me they like what I write and i enjoy it anyway so I suppose thats what counts. But I am hooked and there is a (self imposed) pressure to keep on posting which is rather silly and I will have to force myself to stop for a bit just to prove I can.

  18. Great article and very true that as soon as you start stressing out about your blog then it’s no longer a hobby and fun. I’d happily spend all my free time working on my blog or promoting it and reading other people’s posts. In fact, I’m not actually quite sure what I did with my free time before I started blogging. Good non-sweaty advice as always πŸ™‚

  19. I am so glad to have found a kindred blogging spirit! I completely agree with each and every point. As I’m still fairly new, I’ve been navigating the territory of with “do this, not this, with a side of this and a schedule of that”. While I will forever appreciate those who have a format that works for them, I’ve always struggled with status quo. I’m about quality, not quantity. I encourage everyone to write from the heart, and whatever natural style spills onto the page is yours, so go with it and celebrate it!! Cheers to each of our unique talents and the fact that we are all here, reading and supporting eachothers passions!!

  20. Not really struggling with self doubt… But I did not set myself up with pressure when I started blogging. It was a way to ease back into writing and sharing my thoughts. And it works for me the way it is. Of course I would embrace the chance to make money from my blog. But hey, if it’s meant to be it will be. So for now I keep doing what I do and simply enjoy the journey. Great post, Suzie!

  21. For me I always want to be true to myself. What was the purpose of my blog to begin with? Well I thought it would be fun to have one, I’d write stories, poems, anecdotes, songs, etc. maybe I could earn money doing it. But I write for me to share with others, so far so good. I find the sites I enjoy the most are the open and honest ones…which by the way is almost all of them!! Thanks for the tips!! πŸ™‚

  22. Excellent post! I’ve been running my blog for nearly 4 years now, and I’m still full of doubts at times. It’s been growing steadily, but I often question my own writing skills and content creation. It’s an ESL blog and there are already a number of those on the web. It’s hard to make mine stand out from the rest. Still I love writing and helping other teachers through my blog.

  23. A valuable post, filled with so much useful information and sage advice.
    My writing projects were going nowhere and I was obsessed about creating Amazon Reviews. My dear wife suggested it was time to blog and WordPress was a place to go.
    9 months on and I still haven’t much of an idea about how to make my blog look visually interesting, and will probably never create that best seller, or have a ‘prestigious’ blog. But so what, I’m having fun, meeting legions of nice people and learning so very much. (except trying to have to limit my ‘followings’- everyone’s blog looks so very interesting!!!)
    What’s there not to like?

  24. Thanks so much for this post! Every single point made me relax a little bit more. Before I started blogging, I read all the “how-tos” and stressed myself out. Now I am trying to enjoy the process and see where it takes me.

  25. Fabulous post.
    I love this specially : “I write when I feel like it, and press the publish button when I’m satisfied (so I can then inevitably go back and edit it when I spot a bunch of mistakes that I missed, despite reading it through several times).”

  26. I’ve been impressed from Day One about how much you promote your blog, Suzie, the result being that you have a lot of followers and commenters. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that you write well, even more that your effervescent personality shines through, that you like people, and that you care about a lot of things. I haven’t your patience or courage to try things I don’t understand, especially tech stuff.
    I’m putting my effort into trying to get my books published. That’s the main thing, I think, to work at what each of us enjoys.
    Best to you, Suzie.

  27. Ooo not comparing – that’s a tricky one! No matter how much you say to yourself don’t, it’s hard not to.
    I’m so with you on the “publish then see a bunch of mistakes” thing too, it’s so frustrating. We check and check and still a little typo slips through the net!

    • Haha! It’s typical isn’t it – you read through a post a million times before pressing the publish button, and then discover loads of mistakes afterwards!

  28. Thank you for this! When I started blogging a few months ago, I had some goals that I now laugh at. There are so many things about blogging that can become overwhelming, it’s good to be reminded to “relax and enjoy!”

  29. This post is a great reminder for me. While I don’t get too stressed about not being organized or even my writing ability, comparison and progress can get to me. I have to keep reminding myself that we are all different people with different talents and resources.

  30. I am glad I am not the only one who doesnt stress about blogging.I started with strict goals of a weekly blog and gave up after 2 months.I soon found out that I couldnt keep the ideas flowing and I wasnt acheiving what I wanted,my target readers.So I am so relaxed now.I blog at least monthly,have time for promotion of each post and blog what I really like to write about.2 years in a row now,the annual statistics are showing my target population as the highest readers of my writing.Job done!

    • That’s such a great attitude to have – I found myself overwhelmed by it all and started getting annoyed at myself because I was falling behind in my targets. So much easier to just relax and let it flow organically…

  31. Once again, a fabulous post with heaps of useful advice. i particularly relate to blogger envy and comparison. I think because we all hear the “success stories” we feel like we must be doing something wrong if we don’t have 1000s of followers or major sponsorship deals. It’s deeply ironic that when I enjoy blogging the most is when I’m not worrying about how well I’m doing, but how much I like what I wrote.

  32. I try not to sweat it, I love looking at my figures, but am always thrilled when just one person reads something I have written. Sometimes its photos of cats, which might appeal to some but not others. I just like the interaction which is something I don’t get a lot of outside the internet

  33. Very nice..very nice! Realistic is what I liked about it. So many ‘how to blog’ to success articles out there, I wonder how much of it is true. Hype, in other words.
    Nice to hear a realistic picture about blogging. And how to do it.
    Thank You!

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