Blogging Blues: Staying Positive When You've Run Out Of Steam
The blog fog descends and you find yourself in need of some fuel in the blogging tank…sound familiar?
My blog is two years old and I’ve learned a thing or two, the main lesson: blogging is hard work. That’s why I’m thinking it’s time to start some not-so new year blogging resolutions to help me on the road to recovery.
I’m due for some sort of epiphany or light-bulb moment about what I should be doing, right?
Wrong. It ain’t that easy and it’s getting me down.
I look around me and it really seems like everyone has got their head screwed on and they totally ‘look’ like they’ve got this blogging thing down; cool, calm and collected. Then there’s me, having a small meltdown in the corner.
A few productive moments towards the end of last year saw me dipping my toes into a big blog change as I wanted to start creating more purposeful, meaningful content with subjects I feel passionate about. Being typical me, nothing came to fruition and any ‘grand’ plans just kind of stalled and I’ve been in a funk ever since.
There is a direction I want my blog to go in and I’ve decided that now, three months after the start of the new year is the time to start heading for it - for real this time and I’m going to try and keep it uncomplicated.
You ok, hun?
You’re probably wondering why I’ve left it until now to think about all this.
It’s mainly because January is probably not the best placed month to plan anything; the Christmas hype is still playing havoc with my state of being, none of us know what day it is, my brain refuses to co-operate and I’m still trying to process the previous year, not quite mentally ready for the next one just yet.
We’re in March now and the days are getting longer, the weather is looking up and this has a more positive effect on my mental health. This is why I’ve left it until now to start collecting my thoughts about what 2019 has in store for me social media and blogging-wise.
I’d really like to stop faffing and start focussing on changes I’d like to make to actually see some results in this blogging world of mine and the only way to do it is to just keep going and confront my struggles.
A process of elimination is needed and I’m already three months behind, so I better crack on!
Instagram - just go with the natural flow…
Those pesky grids…
I love Instagram, I do. It’s a big part of any blogging game and I plan on using it more effectively for that going forward. Not exactly a master plan, I know but stay with me.
Who knew such little squares could cause so many emotions? My behaviour on my Instagram account has been less than consistent recently because of my uncertainty about what I’m doing (or not doing) and, related or not, I’ve seen my engagement take a big, huge nose-dive and it’s taken me down with it.
In an attempt to regain some kind of control, I’ve ‘cleansed’ my Instagram by unfollowing non-interactive accounts clogging up my feed, increasing the frequency of seeing accounts I love.
It’s good for the soul and god knows my soul needs it right now.
I’ve somehow found fault with many pictures I’ve posted recently and they’ve been rejected straight to my archived posts, which by the way has now taken on a whole new feed of its own due to my inability to post a picture and be happy with it - something I also need to get a handle on.
In all honesty, I’ve felt a little bit…hopeless and clearly sweating too much over the small stuff.
I’m aiming to establish a level of consistency that I’m happy with, that allows me to be freer and more natural with my attitude towards my content, hopefully giving all my lovely followers reason to stick with me. I’d also like to up my game on other social media channels, too and relieve some of the pressure. Maybe, anyway.
2. Stop comparing to others - it’s only going to make you unhappy
“Do not compare yourself to others. There’s no comparison between the sun and the moon, they shine when it’s their time.”
Tricky thing about blogging: it starts from thin air and it’s essentially your kingdom and you’re the Queen. There aren’t really any markers or checkpoints for ‘success’ - other than looking at what others are doing, of course.
People who’ve been at it longer than you and have probably had all these exact thoughts, too.
Therein lies the problem. Looking at what others is dangerous and I’m guilty of it. If I don’t know where I’m at, why do I concern myself with where others are at? Are they looking at me thinking the same thing? I’m going to say, no.
I will be making a conscious effort to stay on my own path and resist the urge to veer off of it.
3. Themes - don’t pressurise yourself to have one
This old chestnut.
To theme or not to theme, a question often asked and I’ve realised that not conforming to any kind of theme is the best thing for me.
Clearly, I just love indulging in counter-productive activities and one of my favourites is tormenting myself with articles about how a balanced, cohesive, colour-matched Instagram feed is the key to higher engagement and attracting a wider audience.
I get it: stunning visual content instills a reaction in people that in turn makes them want to follow. I totally and utterly get it.
Only, I can’t stick to anything long enough. You can’t restrict creative opportunity like that!
Instagram is a visual-based platform fuelled by good (and some bad) imagery - that we know. Whilst I completely understand that’s what makes it so popular, I still don’t quite understand how the quest for an impressive collective grid has caused me to malfunction in this way.
I can only assume that, by loading unnecessary pressure onto myself to try and achieve something that’s quite frankly clearly not possible or sustainable on so many levels, has had the reverse effect.
What a pickle I’ve found myself in. My life isn’t a pretty theme, so why would my Instagram be?
My filter choice has changed so much it’s all over the place and has made my feed look messy. What’s done is done, so from now on I shall pick one filter (my most used) and stick with it, putting effort into quality images that convey the desired message or action.
There’s only one way to win World War Theme and I’m thinking that’s with no theme at all.
Who wants to look at one feed of the same thing, anyway? It all blends into one. I think consistency is key and variety is the spice of life, after all!
4. Blog fog - how to clear it when it descends
My blog is my pride and joy and I’ve changed it more times than I care to count.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s good to change things up; refreshing in fact.
But too much doesn’t leave enough time between takes for anything to actually gain any traction (bit like the Instagram theme).
I’m a web designer and naturally my approach to blog design is a little on the extreme side, because it’s what I do.
I’m behind the scenes working my magic and I get a little bit carried away on the details. I call it ‘blog fog’ and once it descends, I’m officially in trouble.
It only takes one sniff of what someone else is doing to knock me off my game and immediately start questioning everything I’m doing and it’s back to square one we go.
No wonder I’m so tired!
There is no comparison when it comes to this kind of thing. Our blogs are our individuals like us, outlets for content that we want to write about and share with the world so I really need to stop overthinking it.
The Every Rose was created out of passion for cruelty free beauty, with the mindset that even something as beautiful as a rose has a thorn and I think this is fitting for the beauty industry and now, I think it’s quite apt for most areas of life.
I’d hazard an easy guess that what we see with most things is not the whole truth: the thorns.
This excessive need to create everything ‘perfectly’ has had the opposite effect and I’ve lost sight of who I am and what I’m doing, so I’m reigning it back in and really thinking about what I want.
I want my blog to represent meaningful content that represents everyday women like me, talking openly about what I feel passionate about like health and wellness, including popular topics like beauty, travel, style, health and wellness - but from aspects that aren’t always portrayed to us.
I won’t be pressurising myself to mirror any of the misleading information out there which implies life is damn near perfect and quite often only ends up making us feel bad about ourselves.
This is now a ‘flawlessly un-perfect’ blog, where flaws and faults are embraced, smaller details and inadequacies are supported, moods lifted and we’re all feeling good about ourselves; feeling real.
From now on, I’ll be doing the best I can to create purposeful content with my own stamp of style on it without pressure to be anything other than that: me.
The pressure lifts almost instantly when you stop trying to achieve the impossible.