This is the Best Way to Deal with the Rollercoaster World of Blogging

By: | August 2, 2016 | Tags: , , | 30 comments

Blogging can offer joy and disappointment

Blogging – Twists and Turns, Ups and Downs

Written by guest author: Kerry Creaswood

Am I describing a roller coaster? Well yes, I am. Because blogging often feels like that. And if you blog for a living, you get it.
There are great “highs” when you’re “on your game” and your submissions are being accepted. There are terrible “lows” when they are not.
And just when you think you have it all figured out, someone, somewhere, comes up with some new blogging trend that you now need to learn and incorporate into your own blogging.
In short, blogging is an ever-changing, very competitive business, and you have to be ready and willing to “roll with the punches” and continually adapt.

Here are the joys, frustrations, highs, lows, twists and turns of being a blogger.

The Joys and the Highs

You Learn Something New Every Day
Whether you have your own blog or are blogging for others, there are always new topics. And new topics mean research. And while you do that research or read what other bloggers have to say on a topic, you are learning. Lifelong learning should be everyone’s goal, but, for a blogger, it is just part of the job. And earning money while you are learning new things is even better.

You Keep Getting Better
As you learn new skills and get better, you are able to demand higher payments. Of, as your own blog becomes more popular, you are in a position to monetize it by carrying advertisements, offering e-books you develop, etc. There are probably 30 or so ways to make money from your own blog. And if you are just posting for money, the better you get, the more you will be approved by the bigger blog that pays more.

You Develop New Skills
When I first began to blog, I wrote long essays, like I did in college. Big fail on my part. And so I had to begin the process of learning how to use sub-headings and short sentences. I had to learn to make lists and use bullet points. Then came adding images and photos. But that wasn’t enough. I was soon a master at adding hyperlinks, and getting keywords in the right places; I learned how to use tools to make infographics.

Then came marketing those posts on social media. Now, I am hopping around among Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest like a pro. The next challenge? Making video and adding animation – I can’t wait.

You Make New Friends

Being a blogger means that you are always online, always following other people’s posting and always engaging in conversations. Many of the acquaintances I have made are now Facebook friends and on my email contact list. We share ideas and how to do things we are just learning; we give each other advice. And we have come to share a lot about our personal lives too. I am developing a global community of friends and I love it.

You Stimulate Your Creativity
When you have to find a new angle on a topic; when you have to come up with a catchy title and opening, you get those “creative juices” flowing. Most bloggers find great satisfaction when they have come up with creative and unique ways to say things. And their posts are much more fun to read.

The Frustrations and the Lows

So, it would seem that there are no downsides to blogging. Not true. Like any profession, blogging has its downsides. And here are a few.

Topics
If you blog for e-commerce clients, your topics are pretty much related to their businesses, to their stories, and, most of all to their customers. This means that you have to spend some time analyzing those customers and finding out what kinds of information they want, how you can entertain them, or how you can inspire them. Sometimes clients will give a contracted blogger the topics. Most of the time, however, they don’t. They are busy and want you to come up with the topics. Deciding on topics can be time-consuming all by itself not to mention then doing the research to fill the page with content. And if the topic is unique or obscure, it is much harder to find the information. Sometimes, you spend as much time finding topics as you do writing the actual post.

If you have your own blog, you have more flexibility, but if it has a singular purpose, such as teaching others how to blog, then your posts have to relate in some way to that larger topic area. You can run out of topic ideas after a while, and so you have to go hunting. That takes time too.

Writer’s Block
Yes, it happens – more often than you might think. You have a topic, you’ve done the research, and still you are staring at a blank screen. The words are just not coming and if you have a client deadline, you can get pretty panicky. No one cure for writers’ block will work with everyone, so you have to find what works for you. And when you do find something that works today, it might not work tomorrow. Pumping out content is a huge pressure at times. You can ease the stress a little bit by brainstorming topics in advance when you have the time. Sometimes just writing anything at all to fill that blank screen will help get things “loosened” up.

Burnout
Burnout is real and it can be a killer. You will go through periods of time when you just have no motivation to write another word. This results in two behaviors. Either you close up your computer and walk away for a period of time (and sometimes this can last for days or weeks) or you find every excuse possible to get up from your desk and do something else. In either case, client needs are not met or your readers are not finding anything new to read. Your reputation is at stake, along with your income. A lot of bloggers I know are also working on a book or other writing that is totally unrelated to their blogging. When they experience burnout, they move over to their personal projects and work on those instead. What they say is that they are able to move back to their blogging faster if they do that. Others think about why they decided to become bloggers in the first place – mostly because they hate the thought of a regular 9-5 job-making someone else rich. That can often do the trick. Again, recovery from burnout is an individual thing, but you need to figure it out fast.

Unreasonable Clients
If you are blogging for clients, you have to be a diplomat as well as a writer. You go into blogging assuming that everyone is as reasonable as you – not! Clients change their minds while you are midway through an entire series of posts on a topic; clients have “emergencies” and need a post on a particular topic within the next hour, and they want it promoted on every social media site too. It’s hard to find the balance between keeping clients happy and your own sanity.

Sporadic Income
One of the things about being in business for yourself, whether you have a monetized blog or you are a freelancer, is that income will never be completely steady. Sometimes you just do long for that steady paycheck every week or month. But you wake up from that nightmare pretty quickly and figure out to deal with uncertainty. When I have a good month, I always sock some money away, because I know there will be lean times ahead. So far I have not had to miss any meals.

Keeping Up with New Technology
One of the joys of blogging is always learning new things. It is also one of the frustrations. We live in such a visual online universe these days, we have to keep picking up new skills. When I first started to create infographics, I remember, it took me an entire day to make a really simple one, even with a great infographic tool. The same went for me when the new trend of interactivity hit. I had to find tools to create polls and surveys. Now it’s videos – traditional and live streaming. Again, my learning curve may be a bit longer with these, and I’ll have some frustrations along the way.

Well, there you have it. These are my joys, highs, frustrations and lows with blogging. But it is my passion, to be sure. And I cannot think of anything I would rather be doing at this time in my life.

Guest author Kerry Creaswood is a young and ambitious writer from Savannah, GA. She is fond of various forms of art and thinks that everything we can imagine is real. To find more about Kerry – check her Twitter or read her article How to Develop Writing Imagination.

Admin blogger’s commentary: Do you feel Kerry accurately described the joys and disappointments of blogging? Did she miss any? I look forward to your views in the comments section.

Readers, please share, so other bloggers know they are not alone in experiencing these emotional swings.

Do you feel Kerry accurately described the joys and disappointments of blogging? Did she miss any? I look forward to your views in the comments section.

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  1. Gilly Maddison at 2:14 am

    You make some good points – thank you. Re burnout – when I get it, I am the ‘walk away from the computer’ type. I put my energies into other aspects of my work and spend more time reading and commenting on other blogs. Walking away may not be appropriate for everyone but I find that if I don’t, I start to get physically ill from being in front of the screen too much. Sitting for hours is so bad for us and I feel health has to come before anything else. Really enjoyed reading your thoughts on being a blogger.
    Gilly Maddison recently posted…Rice Cakes Are Dangerous In The Wrong Hands!My Profile

  2. GiGi Eats at 7:22 am

    I can tell when I need a tiny blogging break, I don’t typically give myself any unless I have an excuse like traveling out of the country! This year my other excuse will definitely be getting married and I think in November I might post like twice and say SEE YA! hahaha! And then December will come around and I am actually leaving the country. It’s not a big deal, thankfully, I seem to have awesome loyal followers/readers/watchers/friends so I know whenever I come back, they will too! 🙂

    • Janice Wald at 3:01 pm

      Hi Gigi,
      I read on a blog that someone had a following, went out of town, and lost all her followers. The blogger was trying to encourage people to follow the blog, so the blogger could get followers again.
      I don’t get it. I left town for a month last year, my readers still get my Emails sent by WordPress and me if they are on my MailChimp list. This year, I left for five weeks. WordPress still sends out my posts. In my sidebar, it says my subscribers are still there. (Yay, thank you, subscribers!) It sounds from what you wrote like you don’t understand it either.
      Thanks for writing. I love your energy.
      Janice
      Why would people unsubscribe for not receiving Emails from a blogger? It doesn’t make sense to me.
      Janice Wald recently posted…3 Cost Effective Ways to Drive Facebook Traffic to Your BlogMy Profile

      • Julie Syl Pit Stop Crew at 4:46 am

        Ha haa Blog followers and subscribers can be willey slippery peeps Janice. But yes if they are tuned into you they shouldnt disappear just because you took a break for R & R.

        With that said, I find that most bloggers totally miss on the “WHY you blog, and WHO are you targeting, and Are you serving their needs?” Once those Questions are addressed in a Selfless not attached to the outcome way, the income is not only Regular and Solid, its certain!

        And Blogging is like building any other bricks and mortar business. Your Network Determines your networth, the challenges are expected and help build you up. Awesome post Janice!

        • Janice Wald at 10:01 am

          Hi Julie,
          I appreciate what you wrote. Your comment about the “challenges” is timely, so thank you for it.
          I am publishing a post scheduled for Wednesday about who your target reader should be. I plan on using your comments and linking to you. I agree with what you wrote and said so in the article. Too many people write their “ramblings” or use their blog as therapy to vent their angst.
          Janice
          Janice Wald recently posted…Inspire Me Monday Linky Party #93My Profile

          • Julie Syl Pit Stop Crew at 3:14 am

            I look forward to that Post Janice and will happily Share it. Thanks so much for your kind words. I truly Believe that the more value one puts out via their online platform, the more they will attract those that need their services and offer as well!

  3. Kathleen Lovlie at 6:58 pm

    I’m afraid my blog will be forever too boring to ever make money, but I do enjoy writing it. I am definitely going to check out that infographic link, I’ve never been able to figure that out.
    Thanks for the very interesting blog!

    • Janice Wald at 11:17 am

      Hi Kathleen,
      I meant to tell you, when I was at your site, I got a kick out of seeing our Bloggers Pit Stop graphic. Did you know I am one of the hostesses?
      Do you mind if I ask what infographic link you are referring to? I reviewed the post and didn’t see one. I’m glad you enjoyed the post.
      Janice
      Janice Wald recently posted…How to Have Time to Blog and Do It AllMy Profile

  4. Kathleen - Bloggers Lifestyle at 7:45 pm

    Most of that rings true. As you know I am cutting back on my blogging to concentrate on restoring my health. Strange thing is that I am enjoying blogging more, I think it is because I have more time away from the screen and when I am there I am more focused. I know it has hurt my stats but that is not my main concern right now.

    • Janice Wald at 10:57 am

      Hi Kathleen,
      I plan on writing an article about how blogging affects health and what we can do about it. I plan on linking to you in my article. I need more examples. I have examples of bloggers that are sick. I am having trouble finding out if they are sick because of the blogging.
      Janice
      Janice Wald recently posted…How to Have Time to Blog and Do It AllMy Profile

  5. Leanne at 8:47 pm

    I don’t think I’d want to blog for an income. When you do it for pleasure it takes a lot of the pressure off. The rollercoaster still happens but it doesn’t matter because it isn’t affecting anyone else. I’m in a bit of a plateau at the time being and that’s okay because there’s nobody expecting me to be anything other than what I am on the day. I admire people who do this for a living – they have to be very focused!

  6. Michele at 7:40 am

    Every time I have felt like I wanted to quit blogging something happens that makes me really glad I do what I do. There are lows, but the highs are awesome. Sometimes it is income, but more often than not it is a random comment by someone I don’t know. And blogging friends are the best!

    • Janice Wald at 10:21 am

      Hi Michele,
      Great to see you! I agree. Because I am so busy with my teaching job, it is hard to find as much time to blog as I’d like, and I start to question. Then, something will happen, like a grateful comment from someone, and I am back in the game as committed as ever. Thanks for writing me. I wrote you on your site today. I didn’t know we are both teachers! Where do you find speaking engagements? I’d be interested in speaking at conferences.
      Janice
      Janice Wald recently posted…How to Have Time to Blog and Do It AllMy Profile

  7. Melissa Ruddy at 7:38 pm

    It’s funny you should write this now for me it is very timely as I have been feeling a bit of blogger burn out myself. It is nice to know that it passes. On the positive side keeping in mind all the new friends I have made and the new world of things to learn that blogging has opened really have kept me going. Thought th Kimi s was very incitful.

    • Janice Wald at 1:43 pm

      Hi Melissa,
      You are right. There are blogging highs such as the friends and blogging lows such as experience with burnout. That was my guest author’s point. The post came out days ago and people are still writing to say how well they relate. Thank you for being one of them.
      Janice
      Janice Wald recently posted…Inspire Me Monday Linky Party #93My Profile

  8. Victoria at 5:35 am

    Great timing on this post! As a newbie blogger experiencing the first summer traffic slowdown, it’s been hard not to take this personally and feel utterly discouraged. As an effort to get out of my slump, I started to “declutter” some of the blogging things that mentally felt like they were pulling me down such as unsubscribing from the many “blogging experts” that were cluttering up my Inbox, eliminating link up parties that weren’t bringing me traffic and making the decision to post 1x/week instead of multiple times. They are small steps but have made me feel more focused and less discouraged. Visiting from Saturday Sharefest.

    • Janice Wald at 1:28 pm

      Hi Victoria,
      Many bloggers are experiencing a summer slowdown. I actually may blog about it. Seasons affect our traffic. You said you are a new blogger. Have you blogged through the holidays yet? The last two weeks of the year, no one seems to be in the blogosphere. For these reasons, do not take a seasonal slump in traffic personally or feel discouraged.
      I have also eliminated link parties that did not help me in the long run. I normally post five times a week but only create new content six times a month. I read an expert that said to post daily. I will try for two to four weeks. That’s what I do here. I recommend action plans that I have tried that have been successful for me and others.
      I offer many case studies. Tomorrow, I have a Twitter expert explain how he got 300,000 Twitter followers by the age of 18. My case studies offer screenshots as proof.
      I also have a Blogger Collaboration group https://www.mostlyblogging.com/blogger-collaboration-group/ where we help each other.
      Thank you for letting me know how you found my blog. I always wonder.
      Janice
      Janice Wald recently posted…Inspire Me Monday Linky Party #93My Profile

  9. Sarah Fuller at 6:50 am

    I love when the totally unexpected happens Which it always seems to in blogging. On Good Friday, Amazon pulled its Amazon Associates Program from my state. I got less than 24 hours warning.

    Learning to adapt to constant change is a must in blogging.

    • Janice Wald at 12:47 pm

      Hi Sarah,
      Ouch! What state are you in? I am in California. I’m not an Amazon affiliate. I know others who are. Why did they pull the program?
      Yes, learning to adapt is a must. There are always new tools and sites that help bloggers. Hopefully my articles help, but many people claim they don’t have the time to learn something new. Thanks for writing and sharing experiences with me.
      Janice
      Janice Wald recently posted…Inspire Me Monday Linky Party #93My Profile

  10. Donna Parker at 12:43 pm

    I think Kerry was spot on, Janice, thanks for giving her the chance to give us these wise words. I’m in a bit of a blog holding pattern right now, so this was timely advice. 🙂
    Always glad to drop by your blog and doubly so today because I popped over from #BloggerPitStop where you lovely ladies always give up blogging gold. Thank you. 🙂
    Hope this weekend is treating you well and all the best for the week ahead. 🙂
    Loved and shared.
    Big hugs xoxo

  11. Andrea at 6:34 am

    I’ve been blogging for over 7 years, and I experience burnout about twice a year now. I’ve learned to deal with it differently than in the past (where I wouldn’t post when it happened – not a good thing). Instead of not blogging at all, I make sure I still post my minimum posts per week which my readers expect (doing more planning and writing posts well in advance has also helped tremendously).
    Andrea recently posted…What To Pack for a Trip to Germany in SummerMy Profile

    • Janice Wald at 9:41 am

      Hi Andrea,
      I have yet to experience burnout. However, on the rare occasion that I encounter a negative comment, I experience disillusionment. I have to get back on the horse again and force myself to get back in the game. I also write in advance but find that stops me from focusing on what I need to do at that moment. I try to plan in advance as well even if I change the plans later on.
      Thanks for writing. I enjoyed comparing our experiences.
      Janice
      Janice Wald recently posted…Inspire Me Monday Linky Party #93My Profile

  12. Lucie at 8:17 pm

    Hi, Janice!
    Your post is right on target. I do think many people get burned out at times and if blogging is taking a toll on your health, then a sabbatical may be in order. Others get discouraged when they don’t see immediate blog growth. I think blogging is just like anything else in life…there are good times and bad times and you have to plow on through and keep going. With consistency and focus, the growth will come! Thanks for a very interesting post!

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