Over the past two and half years of blogging I have had a range of emotions regarding blogging. At first I was so excited as a new blogger and I jumped in with both feet. I hit the ground running and learned as I went. I have come so far from where I started and undoubtedly have more to learn. I feel though as if I have been on the big hamster wheel of blogging and I finally have just hopped off to catch my breath. I have been thinking a lot about blogging lately and have come to a few realizations.
Blogging is kind of funny when you think about it…..
- We create spaces where we can share our thoughts, our stories, and our knowledge.
- We befriend people that we may never, ever actually meet.
- We may opt to spend money on making our blogs look nice or tools that make blogging easier or tools that give us a greater presence in the online world yet many of us opt to not monetize out blogs.
- We try to keep up with the latest and greatest apps so that we can connect with our followers.
- We may enroll in courses that teach us how to be better bloggers, make more money, or gain more followers; all for the sake of reaching more people and making more money.
Is there anything wrong with any of those things? Of course not. Blogging is what you make it and you control how much you want to invest (monetarily and emotionally) in it. That’s the beauty of it.
The funny thing about blogging….
It has the ability to enrich your life while at the same time it has the potential to rob you of some things as well.
Blogging has given me so much.
It has given self-confidence.
I have learned that you can in fact teach an old dog new tricks. There are so many people out there willing to help you and even better, so many people out there willing to overlook mistakes you make along the way as you learn. With each new skill that I learn I gain more confidence in myself and my abilities.
It has given me a voice.
I can share my stories and my knowledge and inspire others. My tutorials allow someone to learn something new and make something that was once daunting now easy to implement. When my daughter and I discuss our experiences with anxiety it opened the door to a subject that many kept hidden.
It has given me something to call my own and a new label to apply to myself.
I am a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend, and a blogger.
It has given me a hobby.
Blogging is a creative outlet and a hobby for me. I love searching for styled stock photos and creating graphics. I can lose track of time searching for fonts. I may not read as many books as I once did but you can bet I am still reading tons of blogs!
It has given me a group of friends.
How funny it is to think that I may never meet this group of women in real life yet we know so much about each other. Seeing or hearing Michael Bolton makes me think of Emily. Britney Spears and the motto “Dream Big” always brings Emelia to mind. Mention bourbon and I think of my two Kentucky friends, Sheryl and Lindsay. Anytime I see a big fluffy dog and hear bear I think of Amanda. I can’t hear Dallas and not think of Meagan. Anything London-related or Irish makes me think of Rebecca.
Thanks to blogging I have found some amazing people from all over the world.
It has given me motivation.
Each month I strive to meet goals that I set for this little space of mine. Am I always 100% successful? Gosh no. What I am though is motivated and that is something that doesn’t always come easy to me.
Challenging oneself leads to growth and increased self-esteem. Pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone can do wonders for you.
To be honest, blogging has its negatives too.
Nothing is perfect 100% of the time. Although the positives definitely outweigh the negatives, negatives do still exist.
Comparison is the thief of joy.
It’s hard not to fall into this trap. Everywhere you turn in the blogging world you are told that you can do more, gain more followers, make more money, have more page views, and have more subscribers.
It’s easy to second guess the choices you are making, the money you are or aren’t spending, and the path you are taking. Your self-confidence can waiver and self-doubt can become a constant presence if you allow it.
Many bloggers proclaim to have the secret to success and want to teach you how to get where they are. There is no clear cut way to make it big and it doesn’t come overnight. Seeing someone else’s successes and feeling like you aren’t measuring up can take its toll on you if you fall prey to that line of thinking. Go ahead and take that course but keep in mind that everyone’s paths and results will vary. A recipe doesn’t exist that says if you do A exactly like this you will achieve B.
Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)
The blogging world opens your eyes up to so many new experiences and opportunities. It’s easy to feel as if you are missing out on things. It would be easy to think that what you have is not enough.
It Can be Draining
Blogging has the potential to drain you of many things if you let it and if you succumb to the pressure to be more and do more. You can blog for free if you would like or you can spend hundreds of dollars a month on your blog. It all depends on the choices you make.
Many bloggers have families and full time jobs. Add blogging on to these responsibilities and you may quickly find yourself feeling drained physically and emotionally as you deal with pressures coming at you from several different angles.
Yes, you can connect with so many people in the online world but it can come at a price. In an attempt to build your blog you can run the risk of spending too much time online and not enough time with those that are smack dab in front of you.
Many end up sacrificing time with loved ones who are present in our daily lives so that they can capture moments to share online.
Passive income is the new catchphrase it seems. Create a course or a product and sit back and watch it work its magic over and over again. Creating that course or product can take lots of time. Even though many feel that passive income is do-it-once-and-sit-back-and-watch-the-money-roll-in type of thing that isn’t always true. You still have to work and dedicate the time to pitching the product or course that you have. Passive income isn’t as passive as you may be led to believe it is.
So There’s Pros and Cons to Blogging…..How Do You Manage This?
One word comes to mind in this situation: BALANCE.
I think the best thing we could do for ourselves, our family and friends and our blogs is to take occasional breaks. Step back from everything. So many of us want to do it all and we want results yesterday. All of that comes at a cost though.
We are afraid of taking a step back; we fear that in doing so we will lose the ground we have covered. Taking breaks though is probably the best thing you can do for yourself and your blog. You will see that the world will still spin. Social media and blogging will still be there. What you will find, and here’s the gem, is that you fall back in love with the simple things in your life. Enjoying a meal sans a phone and cameras. Reading a book because you want to not bc you have to review it. Lingering over a quiet morning and not rushing to respond to emails or comments.
The funny thing about blogging for me is that it can enrich your life in so many ways (and it truly has enriched mine) but it also has the power to rob you of the little things as well. We create an online space and world for ourselves which can be amazing. Yet if we allow it to it can slowly eat away at what’s right before our eyes.
Personally I need to do a self audit every so often to keep myself in check, so to speak. Are the goals and plans I have realistic? Do I have the time, energy, and money to pursue them? Am I doing it for the right reason? Are there alternative routes I can take to lessen some burdens?
Taking a step back and being honest with yourself and reflecting on what is most important to you is crucial. Blogging is truly wonderful and an amazing experience. The best thing you can do for yourself and your blog is to stay true to yourself. Acknowledge that there will be peaks and valleys and learn as you go.
Enjoy the blessings that blogging provides and grow from the challenges. You will find that the little space you have created for yourself, your blog, has the ability to enrich your life in so many ways.
As with anything, stand back, take a deep breath, assess what’s best for you and your loved ones and forget ahead on your own path. And above all else, enjoy the wild ride of blogging.