Any blogger who hasn’t thought about quitting isn’t human or never really got started. There are many reasons you may want to quit.
There is nothing wrong with giving up on a goal. Sometimes it’s the right decision. But if you don’t want to quit blogging, I’ll address each of these points one by one and then share my tips for working through these issues.
How Not to Quit Blogging
Blogging Is Hard Work
Coming up with great content day after day, week after week, for months on end with little reward (at least, not at first), can suck. At first you wonder, is this thing on? Is anybody reading?
For every comment, there may be one thousand people reading the content. If you judge the success of your blog by how many comments you get, it will set you up for disappointment quickly. You may get one “fan” email for every ten thousand people who actually laughed/cried/moved by your post. If you’re in it for the feedback, it can get discouraging.
If you’re blogging for money, don’t expect to earn much your first 6 months or even longer. Of course, there are exceptions. And blogging can help you segue into other business and moneymaking ventures and partnerships. But generally speaking, the benefits of blogging, money wise, are on the back end. It takes determination to stay the course.
Of course, there are ways to make blogging easier. Some of those are mentioned in my 100 Top Blogging Tips report which you can download free here.
My advice for how to not quit blogging:
Set goals. Know your purpose.
If you know what those are, you’ll know when you’re hitting them and it will be easier to stay in the game. If your goal is to keep your sanity and connect with others through your writing, then who cares if you don’t have rock star stats? If your goal is to make money, then rejoice in that very first $2 affiliate check. It will grow if you keep at it.
When you feel like quitting, keep revisiting those goals.
Blogging Can Make You Vulnerable
The best, most engaging and magnetic bloggers have a bit of transparency in their blogs. This opens you up for a lot of love, and a whole lot of crap too.
Case in point.
I get an email from an anonymous (they almost always are – people who have nothing better to do but spew their hate on the internet rarely have the cajones to put their name to their words) person who told me I should be locked up for breastfeeding a 6 year old, that I was a pervert and somebody call DFCS quick!
Now, the first thing. I have never breastfed a 6 year old.
The hate came after I offered a quote to a reporter in a story about extended breastfeeding.
(Nasty, stupid people don’t fact check. They rarely want to be bothered by facts when their minds are made up. The dumb masses are like that.)
That kind of thing runs off of me like a duck’s back, but it can be quite upsetting when you’re new to blogging or don’t have a thick skin.
For 3 years, I had a woman follow me around on various blogs I owned or places where I was guest blogging, leaving nasty, hateful, spiteful, personal (anonymous!) comments. I finally tracked down who it was, turns out it was a woman I had met very briefly offline. It really bothered me when it was happening, but now?
I hit delete and move on.
Advice to help you not quit:
Grow a thick skin.
No matter what you’re doing, if you’re visible or doing anything well, you’re going to attract people who are lonely, depressed, have low self esteem or whatever, who want to pull you into the hole they slid out of. Try not to let it get to you. It’s about THEM, not you.
Blogging Is Hard To Balance
I could also have named that headline, “blogging is addictive”. It’s true, isn’t it?
I think for many of us, blogging fills a need. A need to express ourselves. A need to write. A need for connection. A need for validation. Even when we’re primarily blogging for income, these other things are part of why we choose blogging instead of building static html sites.
For memoir/diarist bloggers, it may be even more of an issue to balance blogging with other areas of life.
Occasionally I see a blogger announce she’s quitting because she was spending too much time at the computer. She feels stressed about it, and the blogging becomes an issue between her and her husband.
First, I would bet my left kidney that if she were earning income with that blog, her husband would have had no problem with it. That’s kind of the way men are. Straightforward. I would bet if he saw a direct benefit from the blog to him and the family (meaning, money), he would have been more supportive.
But if she was spending hours a day plugging away at something that, while valuable to her on a personal level, didn’t produce an appreciable result to him, it’s understandable he would have an issue with it.
Not saying it’s right or wrong. It just is. So the answer would be communication. If blogging is free therapy for you, communicate that to your significant other. Make sure they understand how important it is to you. Show them the benefits they may not be seeing.
A lot of the times, the initial problem that presents (which in this case was “you’re spending too much time blogging”) isn’t the real problem. Maybe the real problem is “the house is dirty” or “I feel ignored when you’re online at night”. Get to the bottom of the issue and talk.
The question of balance is a tricky one. What’s balance for me may not be balance for you. It goes back to goals and purpose.
My advice for not quitting:
Draw boundaries. Stick with those.
How much time you’ll spend blogging and on related activities, how many times you’ll get online during the day, how you’ll go about enforcing those boundaries with yourself, etc.
See this post: Simple Blogging, an interview with Rachel Meeks
These are things you might want to think about so that blogging doesn’t take over your life. Even simple things like setting a timer when you get online, avoiding email and social media sites until after you’ve accomplished real work, limiting the number of times you check email each day, etc. Those can go a long way towards helping you achieve boundaries and not get lost in the time sucking chasm of the internet.
So what do you think? Have you ever felt like packing it in? How did you decide not to quit blogging?
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