After 5 years of The Feisty House, you can almost guarantee that there have been days when I’ve just wanted to quit blogging. I dealt with those feelings recently, brought on by TONS of frustration from being pulled in so many directions. I posted something new almost every during the last week of April and into May, and you all seemed to enjoy that (stats never lie). But when I realized that a daily posting schedule isn’t something I can keep up with right now (what with planning a wedding and working full-time and freelancing on the side), I became a little bit depressed. I didn’t want to blog anymore. I felt like I couldn’t manage The Feisty House and my life at the same time. I wanted OUT.
We all get to a point where we just want to quit blogging. There are days when we feel like no one’s listening. Some days we just can’t find the inspiration to write. And then there are days when you have 4 million other things to do and couldn’t possibly imagine adding “write blog post” to your too-long to-do list. A lot of the time, these feelings are fleeting. I’ve personally felt like quitting The Feisty House SO many times. And yet here I am…writing a blog post! And even though this year I feel like The Feisty House is starting to pick up this really great momentum, there are still days when I feel like I’m creating great content that just gets lost on the internet. That great content is REALLY time-consuming though, and sometimes it’s hard to feel like blogging is worth it.
But before you quit blogging, just finish the rest of this post and ask yourself these five questions. The answers may not change your mind if you’re determined to call it quits, but maybe you can talk yourself off the ledge and rediscover the reasons why you fell in love with your blog in the first place!
5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Quit Blogging
1 // Why did you start blogging in the first place–do you still feel that you’re blogging for the right reasons?
I started blogging so that I could track the progress of my healthy hair journey. I’d just started researching the right ways to care for my natural hair, and I wanted a place to document that progress and potentially help someone else who was in a similar situation. I took photos on my BlackBerry and uploaded them to the blog. I didn’t really have a set schedule–I just posted when I learned or tried something new, or when I reached a hair goal.
Needless to say, content on The Feisty House has changed A LOT in the past five years, and most of those changes have happened in the last two years alone. When I feel like quitting, sometimes it’s because the requires a lot more effort than it used to. It’s much more mature, and it’s much more calculated. I am invested in the aesthetic, which means I take time to create cohesive design elements and edit higher-quality photos. I’m behaving more like an editor and less like a hobbyist, and that means I spend a lot more time and energy on the blog than I used to. The content is TEN TIMES BETTER than it used to be (don’t go sniffing around for those old posts…you’ve been warned), but the effort on my part has also increased. Frankly, blogging isn’t always as easy as it used to be, and it’s easier for me to feel burned out.
2 // What motivates you to write your blog?
I LOVE blogging. And that’s why I haven’t quit. What motivates me to keep going is really just the satisfaction I get from putting up a really good post. I love starting with a blank page and turning it into something I’m comfortable sharing with the world. In that sense, blogging forces me to stand behind the things I say and create, and I do believe that’s made me a more confident person in general. Those are some of the reasons why when I feel like quitting, I may take a week off from the blog, but I never actually stop blogging. I always come back because I love the creative process.
If the reason why you’re putting a blog post up every day is because you’re chasing “pageviews” or “unique visitors” or “comments,” you’re going to drive yourself crazy. And I know this for a fact. You have to stay tuned in to the real motivations that drove you to write your blog in the first place. I’m at an interesting place with The Feisty House: it’s not a large blog, but it’s not a small blog either. Thanks to great readers like you that keep coming back, I’m at a point where I do pay attention to stats and I do want to see where my blog can go. But that can’t be the reason why you or I or anyone is writing a blog. Yes, pay attention to stats and numbers and keep track of your goals, but your number one reason for writing a blog should continue to be that deeper motivation. Get back to blogging because you love it.
3 // Are you doing too much at once?
I am guilty of doing THE MOST when it comes to this blog. I love the consistency of daily posts, but I know that’s not a schedule I can maintain. Forcing myself into a daily posting schedule ALWAYS makes me feel like quitting the blog. I just feel so much pressure to get content out there, and that pressures is coming from no one else but ME! I get so frustrated because I stay up late writing posts, but really all I need to do is shut down the computer and go to bed. Don’t make yourself unhappy for the sake of getting that post up at midnight. If you need to skip a day, or two, do it. Then, figure out when you can and CAN’T write a blog and stick to that. You’ll feel better about blogging once you come up with a posting schedule that doesn’t leave you feeling guilty if you can’t stay up till 4:00 AM to write a post.
The same goes for doing too much on the blog. Are you covering too many topics? A lack of focus will definitely make you want to quit blogging. Without a clear focus, you can feel disorganized, and you may be unable to find inspiration. Take a moment to find your unique blog voice and spend time creating really good posts that reflect your unique point of view. Your blog just can’t be everything to everyone. It’s impossible! Get some focus, and watch how quickly you’ll start feeling inspired to write again.
4 // Are you blogging for money?
Related to question 2, if you’re trying to make a living off your blog…it is my humble opinion that blogging for the sake of income doesn’t work. You shouldn’t start a blog because you want an online job. And this is from 5 years of blogging. Money is a good motivator, but not for the long haul. If you’re blogging because you want to make money, you are eventually going to want to quit.
Don’t get me wrong–blogging can be lucrative. Some of my most esteemed entrepreneurial role models are bloggers: Joy Cho, Elsie and Emma, Bri Emery, Garance Dore and Claire Sulmers are all lady bloggers who have created OUTSTANDING careers for themselves. But blogging isn’t their SOLE source of income. Joy Cho is a designer and recently partnered with Target (TARGET!). Elsie and Emma have a photo app, and have an amazing shop where they sell their own Photoshop actions, e-books and e-courses. Bri Emery is a creative director who also runs Blogshop (I took her class to learn Photoshop!). Garance is an amazing photographer and artist. Blogging is probably the least lucrative project for these women. They blog for the LOVE of it, not for the money. Blogging has been an opportunity for them to share their passions and connect with people and brands that appreciate their creativity and are willing to pay for their expertise.
If you started your blog thinking it would be an easy way to make money…you may want to explore deeper, more passionate reasons for writing. Blogging can be very demanding, and if money is your only motivation, you’ll soon realize that the sponsored posts aren’t worth the headache. Instead of quitting your blog when the money stops flowing, take some time to develop a more personal reason for doing it.
5 // Are you being unrealistic?
If you read books about blogging (or blogs about blogging), you’ll probably end up seeing the following definition of a “top tier” blog: 10,000 unique users per month and 1,000 email subscribers. If you’re just starting out…these numbers may seem unattainable. Heck, if you’ve been blogging a while, they may STILL seem unattainable. So while I think it’s so important to set goals for your blog, it’s equally important to make sure those goals are reasonable. There are a TON of blogs out there, and even with really amazing content and a really engaging audience, you may not become a “top tier” blog in a year or two. It may take even longer.
If you set your sights on lofty goals, and then don’t end up reaching them, you may end up feeling like you want to quit your blog. When I look back at all the times I’ve wanted to quit blogging, a good 50% of the time it’s been because I’d set some crazy goal for myself (like when I set out to double my pageviews in 2012…yeah). When you feel like quitting because you haven’t reached these arbitrary, unrealistic goals to reach a high number of pageviews or subscribers, take a step back and set goals that will make you engage with other bloggers, check-in with your readers and force you to become more creative with your content. Tell yourself you’ll comment on five of your readers’ blogs this month. Or decide that each week you’ll tweet someone new. Those goals are more meaningful and will help you feel connected not only to your blog, but also to the people who read it. The pageviews will come!
I launched The Feisty House in 2009, and I’ve learned a thing or two about blogging since then! I share lots of tips here on the blog as part of my BLOG HAPPY series. But if you’ve read through my posts and still want some more help getting your blog started, let me know! I absolutely LOVE helping a new blogger find her unique voice and create a space that reflects who she is and helps her connect with other like-minded individuals. If you’re a blogging newbie, take my BLOG HAPPY Workshop! I can help you figure out everything from branding and finding your niche, to how to use social media to engage your new followers (and grow your readership!) to choosing a platform and learning how to design a beautiful blog on your own! Send me an email, and let’s work on making your blog your happy place!
Photo Source // weheartit