It's a new year — time for a fresh start. Welcome to our 15-day series on how to fall (back) in love with your blog. The series is all about stepping back, re-evaluating things and making sure you're still connecting with your blog. Here's what you won't find in this series: articles on analytics, plug-ins, sponsored content, ad networks and the like. What you will find is tips and strategies to stay inspired, motivated and pushing your own boundaries, all while loving what you do.
Blogging is a lot of fun and it can be a very creatively satisfying pursuit. In fact, we'd be willing to bet that most bloggers start out because they're looking for a creative outlet.
But, as we get further in and start to take it more and more seriously, stress points start to pop up: SEO, blog tech, social media ... the list can grow quite long. And dealing with them can take a lot of the fun out of blogging.
So what can you do?
1. What Stresses You Out About Your Blog?
Go back to your list from Day 1 and take a look at what it is the you don't like about blogging. Now highlight the items you have to do to run a healthy blog.
Tip: you have to know how to back up your blog. You may hate it but you will hate it more if your blog is hacked and you lose all your hard work.
2. Ask yourself again "Why Do I Blog?"
Again, it all goes back to why you blog. Is it your hobby? Do you blog for a creative escape? To share recipes with friends? Or is it how you earn your living? If you're blogging for fun, then ask yourself why things like SEO and social media are so important to you that you let them stress you out!
If you're not blogging for traffic or income, then there are a lot of things you can let go of or spend less time on. Look at your list and determine if there are any items you can stop doing. (Don't worry — you can always pick them back up again if you need to.)
If you're blogging for income, is it for some extra pocket money or is it how you earn your living? Odds are good that if you earn your living from your food blog then you already know that you do have to pay attention to a lot of administrative and marketing tasks.
If you're blogging for part-time income, and that's important to you, then you also need to pay attention to a lot of the same things because traffic and engagement are still important. Perhaps a better question to ask is, does the income you earn justify the work you have to put in? For many of you, the answer may be no. And if that's the case, then maybe you need to move to a non-income generating blog.
3. Learn One Thing At A Time
Sometimes as bloggers, it feels like we need to know it all: writing, photography, recipe development, tech, marketing, time management ... the list can seem endless.
Cut yourself some slack; you don't need to learn it all, or perfect it all, in one fell swoop. Pick one thing and work on it — see it as a challenge that you can accept and conquer. Once you've got it down, pick another!
4. Get Help
Getting help will be covered further along in the series, but sometimes it's worth every single penny to hire somebody to help you do the things you hate, whether it's your taxes, your logo design, your social media or blog tech. If you blog for income, view it as an investment. If you blog for a hobby, well, unfortunately, there are very few hobbies that don't take some of our pocket money: knitters buy wool and patterns, photographers buy a lot of expensive lenses and gadgets, snowboarders have some pricey equipment and clothes. Set aside a small budget to help you pay for some of your blog's more tedious tasks!
At the end of the day, you once again have to remind yourself why you're blogging. Something that's meant to be a creative outlet or a place to relax shouldn't induce stress to the point that you feel burnt out or stressed out. But, like any new pursuit, there's a learning curve and we all have to accept that when we start something new we won't master it immediately. Remember to turn your negative language into positive language, relish the challenge and savour the moment when you accomplish something new that you didn't think you could!