Let me tell you a crazy fact about me: I started blogging when I was a teenager in 1998, and have written regularly on this blog since 2008. Even if you’re a new blogger, you probably already know the highs of inspiration and the lows of feeling like no matter how hard you work there’s always more that you should be doing. Today I’m going to share how I stay motivated after seven years blogging at KylaRoma.com, and seventeen years (!!) after I started my first blog.
Blogs come and go all the time. But mine isn’t still here because I’m special, or because I’ve always felt clear and driven.
I don’t have writing superpowers. My last English class was in high school. While I really enjoy writing, and I love connecting with readers, I’ve been through ups and downs in how I feel about blogging many times. Just like anyone who writes regularly, there are times when I love it – like right now – and there are times when I’ve really struggled with how I want to write, the kind of blog I want to share, and with what corners of my life I feel comfortable sharing.
One of the things I love most about talking with bloggers is that chances are that wherever you are in your blogging journey? I’ve probably experienced a corner of what you’re going through.
Here’s what I mean: I’ve blogged as a hobby, monetized my blog as a side hustle, used third party ads, sold my own ads, sold digital products, physical products, and made the work through my blog into my full time job. I’ve pitched media, managed lulls in sales, been booked out 8 months in advance, written and re-written my bio, and spoken at conferences. It’s so easy to relate, swap stories and advice when there is so much common ground.
I’ve even had someone knock on my front door and introduce themselves to my husband by saying, “Hi, my name is Sarah- I’m here from the Internet.”
(His completely unsurprised response: “Well it was bound to happen someday! Come on in.”)
This isn’t to say that I’m perfect at any of this, but ultimately blogging is a huge part of my life. It’s how I’ve met most of the best people I know, it’s given me the amazing opportunity to work with people all over the world as a designer and coach for business owners and bloggers, it means I know people in almost every city I travel to, and it’s how I was able to start working for myself full time in my twenties! I love it.
And at the same time, no matter where you are in your blogging journey, it can be overwhelming.
No matter how high your stats are, or how big your dreams, sometimes we all feel like it would be a great vacation if there was only pressure to post. Instead, there’s a lot of talk about creating different content for all of our platforms, and the need to have a defined strategy for every aspect of your online presence. It can feel like there’s always something to improve, and another way to avoid certain doom by doing one thing wrong.
Here’s something else I know:
You won’t build your dream blog inside a pressure cooker of rules and expectations.
So let’s shake that off and find a better way to stick with it. And by a better way, I mean a way that feels better. Because even if you love blogging and are destined to take over the internet with your big ideas? You’re going to have lulls. So let’s arm you with some secret weapons…
These are a few of the ways that I’ve stopped being an overwhelmed blogger and stuck with it for the long haul:
Remember what you love about blogging, then make that more of your experience.
There are lots of little things that bloggers do each week. What is your favourite? Do you love community building? Writing? Finding new bloggers and encouraging them? Build habits that emphasize these things in your daily and weekly experience, and that will change how your blogging experience feels.
Similarly, if you’re going through a season where writing is difficult, challenge yourself to a getting a ton done in a short amount of time, and then taking a break! Could you write 5 post drafts in one day? In two days? What would that make the rest of your month feel like? Shake up your habits, challenge yourself, and see what happens.
Give yourself permission to start now and make adjustments later.
The most important thing is to start. If you aren’t feeling confident, remember that what you can bring to blogging (and anything you do) today is more than you’ve ever been able to before, and you’re only going to improve from here as you practice.