If you walked up to me (or sent me a message, since it’s unlikely we live in close proximity to each other) and asked me if I enjoyed blogging, I’d tell you of course I did! I mean, I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t get some satisfaction from it. And if you followed that up by asking if you should start a blog, I’d say “Absolutely!” Blogging is great for sharing your ideas with the world, it’s a fun project, and it gives you a sense of accomplishment.
No matter where you go on the internet, there’s an idea that bloggers have great lives: they have hundreds of followers, their pictures are beautiful, and their posts are always well-written. Bloggers are perfect, aren’t they? They’re so well put-together.
But you want to know the truth?
Sometimes, blogging sucks.
Look, I’m not saying that starting this blog is the worst decision I ever made. What I’m saying is that I think the blogging community needs a healthy dose of reality, because let’s face it, there are days when blogging doesn’t feel worth it. I know that personally, sometimes it gets to be the night before I usually put out a blog post and I have nothing, not even a vague idea of what I’m going to write. Thinking about everything that I have to do to finish a blog post – write it, add pictures, and take care of meta-things like tags and URLS – is kinda stressful sometimes, especially after a hard week at school or just in general.
And then when you take analytics into account, it gets even harder to stay motivated. No matter what blogging service you’re using, chances are it offers some type of way for you to see how many people have viewed, followed, or liked your blog posts within a certain period of time. On WordPress, my statistics show up as a handy-dandy graph, showing me the number of people who have visited my blog each day. I see this every time I go to check on my blog. The statistics are always there, staring me in the face.
In the blogging community, there’s a lot of emphasis placed on “building your audience,” and sometimes that can be perceived as “you need a dedicated audience in order to be seen as a real blogger.” Now, we (should) all agree that that’s not really the case, but it can often feel like that, especially when you’re putting a lot of time and effort into writing.
It’s easy to get caught up in the numbers. After all, we bloggers spend a lot of time putting these posts together. Like I said before, it’s not just writing the posts, it’s finding pictures and adding tags and linking related posts and so much more. A lot goes into creating a blog post, and when we see that our most recent masterpiece got one view, it’s easy for us to get down on ourselves.
So yeah, blogging is rough sometimes. It can feel like we’re putting in a lot of work for little to no reward, and honestly, that gets draining on your creativity after a while.
For me, I find things like stats and numbers relatively easy to ignore. I knew when I started that I likely wouldn’t have a big audience, and I accepted that because I wanted to do this for myself. But they still bother me sometimes, like when I’m stressed out about school and life and having to write blog posts, and I think to myself, “Is this really worth it? No one’s gonna care about it anyway.”
Somehow, I’ve managed to find a way past that and keep going, but I know that’s not the same for everyone. We all have different struggles and insecurities, and just because you have a hard time with something different doesn’t mean it’s not valid. So for anyone who might be feeling down and out about their blog or whatever creative project you have, here’s what I have to say to you:
Remember why you started. Was it internet fame, or was it something more? As much as we’d all like thousands of followers, the reason we start our blogs is usually because we have something we want to say. Go back to that! What is it that you want to say?
It’s not about the numbers. If you’re focused on doing what you love rather than building your following or getting more likes, you’ll be much happier and satisfied with your work. Yes, it’s nice to have that validation that you’re doing a good job, but it’s about doing what you love, not the numbers.
We’re not all put together. No blogger is perfect. We all get insecure about our stats, and we all have days when we feel like it isn’t worth it. The important thing is to keep going, despite what the voices in your head say – push past them and keep writing. We’re all rooting for you!