Why I Almost Gave Up Blogging – A Guest Post By Samantha Smith @sam50something

When I started blogging in January 2017, I thought it would be easy, I was wrong! I had no idea what was involved or should I say, how difficult I had made it.

A guest post by Sam Smith

I began by writing a blog post then paced the room after I’d hit the publish button while wondering how on earth I could delete it. Then something magical happened… I got my first ‘Like’. 

I remember beaming from ear to ear. Someone had read my initial blog post and actually bothered to press the ‘Like’ button. Not only that, but I began getting a few comments and followers. I was officially a Blogger!

So, what next? 

I read books on blogging, spent some money on courses and started to read, follow and interact with others. I was a happy blogger and loving it.

I only had a few followers and was only following a few others.

This meant I had the time to write and also read and enjoy other blogs, commenting and interacting, but I was about to hit a very steep learning curve; one which would lead me to feel anxious and guilty.

The Social Media bug

I’d set up my FaceBook page more or less as soon as I started blogging, which was easy enough as I already used FaceBook and knew how it worked. But then there was; Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, Flipboard and many more social media platforms, some of which I had never heard of, but apparently, ‘I was missing out if I didn’t join’ or so I read somewhere, so felt pressurised to set myself up on them all.

#blogging #socialmedia #bloggingtips

Image by Pixaline from Pixabay

I was also learning, ‘very slowly’ about the ‘admin’ side of my blog, (behind the scene’s), and this could also take a lot of time.

Follow for a follow?

I started gaining followers quite quickly, which was fantastic and so very exciting and, of course, started following many other bloggers, which meant more interaction – reading, liking and commenting.

It was ok at first. I was keeping up while also learning new things every day, but after a while, it was all beginning to get a little overwhelming. I was feeling anxious, in fact, worried about not keeping up and guilty that I didn’t have time to read other peoples’ blogs as well as interact.

I had so much to write about on my blog. The content has never been a problem for me, but ‘Time’ has.

Image by S. Hermann & F. Richter from Pixabay

It was getting to me. I could literally spend a whole day reading other peoples’ blogs and interacting on social media while beginning to lose focus on my own writing.

The light at the end of the tunnel.

I was only a few months in, and I nearly gave up. However, it was Hugh who gave me some great advice. I can’t particularly remember the exact words, but basically, he advised me to ‘take a step back, breathe and remember why I’d started blogging in the first place’. 

He made me realise that blogging should be enjoyable. If it was not, then something had to change.

Shortly after, he published a blog post that had a big impact on me.

‘IS NOW THE TIME FOR WORDPRESS TO REMOVE THE NUMBER OF ‘LIKES’ FROM VIEW ON ALL BLOG POSTS?’.  

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

This hit home with me, as he explained how he’d felt that same ‘drowning’ feeling which I’d experienced. Hugh also explained how he had played the ‘click-happy like game’, as he called it, which is liking a blog post without even reading it. 

Hands up – Guilty! Yes, I’ve been there, done that as I was going through my ‘stressed, can’t keep up, anxious stage’. Silly really, why ‘Like’ something which you haven’t read? For me it was simple, if I didn’t have time to read, then ‘Liking‘ would at least show some support, wouldn’t it? 

The number of ‘likes’, when I first started, was very important to me, but now it’s more about commenting and communicating.

When the fun and enjoyment returned.

I took Hugh’s advice and I am definitely more relaxed and enjoying my blog again.

I take my time with writing as I am not someone who writes every day. I feel good if I get four blog posts out a month, although I admire those who can write daily along with commenting and fully interacting on social media, but have realised I am not one of those people. I have learnt to stop trying, and I now work at my own pace.

If I don’t have the time to be on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc. every day then so be it. I’ll get to it when I can.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Three years in.

I’m into my third year now, and although I do still get a little anxious and overwhelmed, I have realised that I enjoy my blog.

I have put such a lot of hard work into it and have learnt that the blogging community is wonderful.

The first few years had its ups and downs, but I’m glad I didn’t give up. I have learnt such a lot and met interesting, helpful people, both in person and through the internet.  

There are some great bloggers out there, all of which, I’m sure, totally understand what I’m talking about and so will fully understand if it takes me a while to get to their blog posts or in fact, if I miss one.

I now read peoples’ blog posts when I can get to them. Yes, I may be a little late sometimes, but if I’m reading a blog post, then I will read it properly and leave a comment.

I may have a hectic life, but I am happy with it.

Are you feeling stressed, anxious or making yourself feel guilty about blogging?  

If I were to give one piece of advice to a new blogger who was feeling a little overwhelmed, it would be to listen to Hugh’s advice; Take a step back, breathe and remember why you started blogging in the first place. 


Blogger and writer Samatha Smith.

Photo © – Samantha Smith.

Bio: Samantha Smith

Hi, I’m Sam, and my blog is Loving the fifty something, which is about hitting midlife with positivity and living life to the full.

Along with my partner, Jon, two dogs and two cats, we live on a wide beamed canal barge in Yorkshire, UK. You can read more about our boat here

Photo © – Samantha Smith.

As well as barging about, we have a camper van called Polly in which we’ve had many adventures. We like to travel when we can, which usually involves certain activities such as walking, snowboarding or mountain biking. 

I hope that we can inspire others to make their midlife journey an adventure too.

Sam would love to connect with you here:

Blog:-  Loving The Fifty Something

Twitter

FaceBook

Instagram

Pinterest


My thanks to Sam for writing this guest post.

Have you ever been stressed out with blogging? How did you deal with it? Do you have any questions or comments for Sam? Please leave them in the comments box. She would love to hear from you. (No comments for Hugh, please).

Copyright © 2019 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

Author: Hugh W. Roberts

My name is Hugh. I live in the city of Swansea, South Wales, in the United Kingdom. My blog covers a wide range of subjects, the most popular of which are my blogging tips posts. If you have any questions about blogging or anything else, please contact me by clicking on the 'Contact Hugh' button on the menu bar. Click on the 'Meet Hugh' button on the menu bar to learn more about me and my blog.

143 thoughts

  1. Thanks for sharing this post Hugh, and thanks for writing Sam. I had to comment on this as I relate a lot!

    There have been two times I nearly quit blogging:

    The first was in the early days and was the usual beginner ‘problems’ type reasons for quitting ‘running out of ideas, not getting enough likes, views, people aren’t commenting as much as I’d like…’

    Second time, I was slightly demoralised with blogging at this point as it felt like just as I was building up a loyal audience, they were gradually disappearing. Then my first child was born and it was an excuse to take time out.

    For nearly a year I thought that was it with blogging, but something (which I can’t remember) compelled me to keep writing, so I got back in it.

    This was hard as my audience had now disappeared almost completely, apart from two people, who continue to stick with me to this day. I decided to readjust my content, reflecting on some of the changes of my life. It’s been rewarding to rebuild and I haven’t thought about quitting since.

    “take a step back, breathe and remember why I’d started blogging in the first place”

    This is good advice from Hugh, it’s easy to lose your way – you start persuing likes and views, that you forget this is supposed to be something you enjoy (especially if it’s only a hobby). I think it’s also helpful if why you started doesn’t motivate you anymore, to redefine your blog so you write content that wants you to keep coming back to blogging.

    I recommend if you’re not familiar with it, checking out Simon Sinek and his ‘Start with Why’ theory – it’s applied to business to define why some are more successful than others, but I also feel it’s appropriate to apply to blogging – when you understand ‘why’ you do it, it’s much easier to continue and has been the source of motivation to keep me going on my second return.

    Engagement is a time consuming one and for every like/comment/follow (before children) I would return the favour (and more), this meant spending many hours, 3 or 4 times a week and like you say, you can get trapped into doing this than actually writing!

    The like game is a funny one and in my head is in totally agreement with Hugh about them being removed, but my heart fears losing them as it’s the only indication of who is being reached by the post.

    Considering all this, I think if any blogger wants to survive they should understand the analytics and set realistic goals to grow their blog (I prefer monthly/yearly rather than daily views), but recognise the ‘vanity metrics’ aren’t everything and sometimes some posts do better than other for reasons beyond your control.

    Something I’ve thought about giving ‘likes’ without properly reading is, what if you’ve just put your name to endorsing something hateful! Imagine going to your day job and being called into the manager’s office with a printout of a blog post about white nationalism with your face at the bottom ‘liking’ it. I joke about this, but there is a realistic possibility this could happen!

    If I had to give any other advice to a blogger it would be:
    1)
    ‘Stop comparing yourself with others’, so many sources of my frustration have been because I’ve seen blogs which have been running a lot less longer than mine with x10 the engagement, a much larger audience and being able to earn some money from their work.

    One of the my particular frustrations has been in my confident that their work is nowhere up to the standard of mine (a quote with a paragraph type content) – but seeing such attention still triggers insecurities what I’m doing wrong.

    To stop dwelling, I focus on getting better at my craft, posting, engaging, sharing my work and looking for new opportunities to grow.

    2)
    Set a publishing schedule you are comfortable with a stick with it – even if it’s once a month, I as a reader don’t want to read any post thrown together in 10 minutes so the poster could stick to their 5 times a week schedule – quality not quantity.

    For the blogger this is important for wellbeing so they don’t feel pressured and can balance their other life commitments.

    Thanks again for the great post!
    James

    1. James, thank you for both reading about my early blogging experience and also sharing yours. Very interesting to read your thoughts on this subject. These ‘blogging early experiences’ are, I believe very common and makes me wonder how many people actually start a blog with all good intentions, but then quit, I’m sure a lot of people do. I’m so glad I didn’t quit.

      “I think it’s also helpful if why you started doesn’t motivate you anymore, to redefine your blog so you write content that wants you to keep coming back to blogging”. You’re right with this James. The important thing is to ‘enjoy’ what we do, if not, what’s the point?

      Your reasons you almost gave up or in fact had breaks are very common and having your first child, (how wonderful!) is Life! That must come first 🙂

      Your advice is spot on! I was terrible at comparing myself to others until I realised it wasn’t the way. I enjoy learning from others, maybe even gaining a few ideas, but comparing yourself doesn’t help at all, in fact I found it was blocking my own personal creativity.

      I don’t have a writing schedule as such, (I tried that and I ended up getting stressed when I wasn’t managing to meet the set dates). I have such a busy life outside of the blogging world and now enjoy just dipping in as and when I have the time. I enjoy reading other blogs too, again, when I have the time and if I don’t have the time, then I decided not to worry myself or feel guilty over it, people do understand. I do get how a schedule would be helpful though.

      Personally, I am much more relaxed about my blog and because of this I have so many ideas I barely have the time to get it all typed up. There aren’t enough hours in the day for me, definitely my main problem at the moment 🙂

      I will look up Simon Sinek and also your blog. I’m pleased you didn’t give up blogging James.

      Take care
      Sam

      1. Thanks Sam for your response, I think like you say people start with good intentions – I imagine like most of us, they probably thought ‘I’d like to have a go at having my own blog’, then for whatever reason realise it isn’t for them – which is fair enough.

        The most difficult thing about starting a blog is knowing what to write about and you can end up procrastinating as you settle on a topic (I think it took me about two years to execute!), that’s where redefine what you blog about works because where you started isn’t necessarily where you want to keep going.

        Comparison is okay if it’s healthy competition or to drive you on, it becomes a bad thing when you start thinking “Well why isn’t my work being as well received…” etc…

        I do struggle with keeping up with blogs too! I just tend to pick sometime once a week (or every other week) and focus on engagement, prioritising the people who comment first.

        I’m glad that you are more relaxed with blogging and enjoying it as that’s what it’s meant to be, really recommend Simon Sinek as it’s a good way to think about why we blog (or why we do anything really!)

        And thank you re: my child, I now have two and it’s been a learning experience to balance being a parent with blogging and other things I love doing 😊

        All the best
        James

  2. Thank you Sam and Hugh for sharing this! I was so relieved after reading your post! I started blogging about 1 year ago and read an article that a blog must have something fresh everyday. Initially I had fun writing everyday but weeks later, I found myself struggling to find something to write. Blogging for fun had actually became a chore! The worst feeling was nobody read and like my blog! I was so disappointed and felt useless, so I gave up blogging completely.
    Now I learnt to take it easy and take control of my own blog. I had a sad childhood and by writing helps me emotionally and step out of self pity. I started writing again 2 weeks ago and your excellent post has reinforce the strength to continue blogging!
    Thank you so much!😎

    1. Hi, thank you for reading and I’m pleased this blog post has helped you. Hugh’s advice, which helped me, should help you too, although it sounds like you’ve already ‘stepped back and remembered why’ you started blogging in the first place. Really pleased you started blogging again! 😊🌸

  3. Thanks for sharing this. And you’re right… blogging is a LOT more time-consuming than I ever thought it would be. But you’re also right that we all need to take a step back and remember why we started in the first place.

  4. I can so relate! My enthusiasm easily out did both my time and energy. I had to regroup. And regroup again in order to figure out a system that worked for me. I have never been overly concerned about the number of likes, because my main reason for blogging is interacting with other bloggers. But it takes awhile to find those who also make interacting a priority. (I am always amazed when I run across those bloggers with the comments turned off.) I’m coming up on a year of blogging (this time).

    1. Thank you Michelle, yes I agree, interacting with other bloggers is very rewarding & also I find, very helpful too in some instances, as I learn a lot from other bloggers. Congratulations on your first year blogging!

  5. Hi Sam, I found your post on Esme’s #sensisal… I’ve been blogging for a year now and it is alot of work. I can’t keep up with all the blog post comments, I have blogs I follow that I haven’t read in weeks. Not because I don’t want to, but I’m writing two blogs, writing a novel and have two small children. The time to read through the wordpress reader is rarely there, so all I can do is my best. Still a year later I do get excited by comments on my blogs, and will respond to comments.

    Blogging is alot of work and it is easy to drown in social media, I now focus on my Facebook page and Twitter. For now I haven’t got time to work out Pinterest and I’m not social sharing as much as I used too.. trying to fit in life around writing and blogging.

    Well done Sam on three years!

    1. Hi, thank you and well done you on your first year! It’s not easy is it? I totally understand what you’re saying, but you can only do what you can do, I have learnt not to let it get me down any more. Like you, I have a busy life and do what I can when I can 😊 Thank you for reading and commenting

  6. Hi Sam: I’m visiting from Esme’s link up. I’m glad you figured out ways to keep blogging fun. I’ve blogged about once a week and haven’t got any burnout yet 🙂 #senisal

  7. *shaking my head in agreement* Such a wonderful post and I’m grateful you put it out there. People need to know that they don’t have to have superpowers. There is only so much time in a day. Not being able to interact as we’d like to doesn’t make us bad friends or bloggers. We show support whenever we can and that’s wonderful!

    Thank you for this great reminder of keeping balance where it’s needed!

  8. I’ve been blogging for 13 years now, and I know what you mean. I feel blogging is interactive, so there’s some interaction with other blogs–but then one could read and comment on other blogs all day and never get anything else done. And they’re good blogs, yet…one has to do life. It’s a continual need for balance. I don’t try to do all the social media. I’ve heard advice to just choose 2 or 3 social media avenues to spend the most time on, and that helps.

    1. Hi Barbara, thanks for reading and yes I think it was all the social media stuff which was getting to me. You can’t possibly keep up with it all, unless you pay other people to help you or if you’re a robot! Balance is key and remembering it should be fun 🙂 I’ve cut down on my social media time and it has helped me. Thank you 🙂

  9. Loved this, Sam. I have been blogging for almost 2 years now and I have gone through the same things. I think many bloggers can relate. Thanks for letting us know that we are not alone in feeling anxious and expressing the need to let it go. Blogging is not a job – it’s supposed to be fun!

    1. Absolutely Laurie. I’ve been amazed at how many people ‘Bloggers Burnout’ has affected and I guess I got swept away with the guilt of not being able to keep up. Stand back and breathe…it works 🙂 And like you say, remember it should be fun 🙂 Thanks for reading!

      1. I just took an enforced blogging break when I was walking the Camino in Spain for 2 weeks and had no access to a computer. Then I came home and could not get back in the blogging habit again. Just began posting again last week after almost a month.

        1. Yes once you’re out of a routine and had a good break, it’s always difficult to get back to it, especially when there’s only you to motivate yourself. Glad you’re back blogging and hope you had a wonderful time 😀. Thank you for reading

  10. Thank you, Sam and Hugh, for this excellent post. This is a topic we all can use at some point. I knew at the outset, nearly ten years ago, that I would never be able to keep up a blogging frequency greater than once a week for the long haul, so I never even attempted it. Turns out, once a week (every Thursday) was perfect for me. I visit lots of other blogs, but not more than once a week. If someone wants to post every day, more power to them, but I can only visit them once a week.

  11. Loads of comments here Sam!! Obviously all bloggers can relate to what you’re saying. I think we all hit a point where we have to figure out which bits of blogging we like and which bits we leave behind. I love the interaction, but I’m also struggling with all the commenting and replying to comments etc. I’m not sure what the answer is, other than to focus on the fact that blogging for me is a lovely hobby and it should be fun, if the fun starts to dwindle then I back off a bit. I post less these days and that helps keep things under control. Lovely seeing you on Hugh’s blog. 🙂

    1. I’m absolutely amazed at how many people this ‘Bloggers Burnout’ has affected Leanne, terrible isn’t it, although I feel better that I’m not alone! Yes, it’s about figuring out what works for you and remembering that blogging should be fun and not a chore 🙂

  12. Sam, you have written about something that many bloggers experience – blogger burnout. It comes from a positive place, people’s desire to be supportive of each other by acknowledging what other bloggers have written, and commenting when possible. But just like in our offline lives, we can’t always be there for everyone all the time.

    There are different ways to manage blogger burnout. One way is to post less often. Another way is to only read and comment on a few select blogs on a regular basis (and others on a more random, occasional basis). Even though it feels affirming to have a large readership and lots of comments, another way to reduce the sense of obligation of blogging is to not focus on developing a huge readership (e.g., through cross-posting on social media). Although this might seem counter-intuitive, it also makes responding to comments much more manageable. And it saves having to keep up with several different social media accounts.

    I guess it all depends on why you blog and how large a place you want blogging to have in your life.

    Jude

    1. You make such a lot of sense, Jude, thank you for this. I think it’s the cross-posting on all the social media which gets to me most, so I only choose a certain couple to interact with regularly and the others, I dip in and out. It works better for me. Thanks for reading and a valuable comment!

  13. There will be blogger burnout, I know as I wrote a post about it. Sounds like you’ve figured out a remedy!! Thanks so much Sam and Hugh for linking up at the #UnlimitedMonthlyLinkParty 5. Shared.

  14. Thank you, Sam and Hugh, for the encouragement offered here. I do believe the secret is in staying close to our primary purpose in blogging and not letting it become an end in itself.

  15. Excellent reminder about finding balance. I know that some people push the ‘Like’ button without reading the post – and when someone follows you, it might only be because they want you to follow them (so it looks good in their stats.)
    I use the ‘Like’ button to show someone I visited, but didn’t have anything to add to the conversation.
    I’ve been blogging for nearly 10 years. I’ve cut back the number of blogs I follow to a manageable number. It has led to a big drop in number of people who comment. Often people only comment if you comment on their blog. Sadly, I just don’t have time to do that – that manageable number again!

    1. Hi Margy and thank you for reading. Yes that ‘Like’ game and ‘I’ll follow you if you follow me’ lark! It’s not the way I like to work. I would like to think that the people who read, like and comment on my blog are people who actually like what they read. You are sensible in cutting back on manageable numbers, makes life easier, I’m sure 🙂 Thanks again 🙂

  16. A really good post that hits home with so many of us. Yes, time, something we all wish we had more of. I don’t ever hit ‘like’ just to show I’ve been there. But sometimes there are posts where I have ‘liked’ yet found the post didn’t command a reply, Balancing our blog time is an ongoing battle. Great post! Ya. I said that Hugh, lol. 🙂 ❤

  17. Nice to meet you, Sam and Hugh! 🙂 I can relate to ALL of this and have suffered from blogger burnout many times over the last ten years. Finding the perfect balance is an ongoing struggle. The best remedy, in my opinion, is to take a complete break from all online activity for a short period. Somewhat similar to dietary detoxing or fasting. It’s therapeutic, and your enthusiasm will return. Not stressing over blog post follow-ups is something many of us need to get a better handle on. Thanks for writing this! It’s always comforting to know others have experienced similar issues.

    1. Thank you Debbie, I also feel comforted that I am not alone in this. In fact I’ve been quite shocked at how many people having this pressure when blogging. I started blogging to enjoy writing and interacting with others and I mustn’t forget that. Taking a complete break from online activity is something I’ve never done, I think I will at some point. Thank you for this Debbie, a wonderful and helpful comment. Nice to meet you too 🙂

  18. Like you, Sam, I feel completely overwhelmed some days with keeping up with other blogs – which I fail at epically. I’ve gotten to the point where I visit friend’s blogs, then allow myself a certain amount of time to visit others. As you said, a person could spend literally all day attempting to keep up, but get nothing else done. Hugh offered some excellent advice.

    1. Hi Teri, It sounds like you need to take Hugh’s advice right now. Take a little time out, step back, think about what it is you’re wanting to achieve, why you started in the first place. You’ll be amazed how much it helps. It’s all about finding your own way of working, a balanced way of working. I’m certainly no expert in this at all, but was truly at that point of not enjoying it and wanting to stop. I’m glad I didn’t, I just stepped back and thought about it all, brought in a little perspective and structure. Yes it still gets overwhelming, but I’ve learnt to not let it beat me up, if I miss peoples posts then so be it, it’s not the end of the world, nor is not posting on my blog every day. If I don’t get to twitter or facebook, then so be it. I’ve found my balance and feel happier. Good luck to you, have a great day and enjoy your blog, don’t let it take over you 🙂

  19. Hi Sam,
    I don’t know. I’m confused……. I started my blog 3 years ago and I followed a few blogs and got return followers. I spent hours reading all their posts and commenting which as you said was good interaction but took a toll on my writing.
    Now I’m focussing more on my writing., but that means less time to visit other blogs. I’ve noticed the views have significantly dropped. My posts hardly get visited much. I’m basically a humor blogger and as much as I tell myself I’m in it for the joy of writing, all of us at the end of the day do need acknowledgement, reassurance and the company of others right!! 🙂
    Loved your post by the way. 🙂

    1. Hi Radhika, thank you so much for reading and commenting. I think what I have learnt is that it’s all about finding a balance between writing and interaction with others. I have to say, I do enjoy the interaction with other bloggers as I have made some lovely links with people from all over the world and have also learnt so much from them, so it is good to reach out and keep those links, and of course those links are what build your blog, but there has to be time for your own writing too. I hope you’re able to work it out as there is no right or wrong way, as every one is different and so has to find their own way. Have a great day 🙂

  20. Sam, I am also in my third year of blogging and can relate to everything you say here. I try to keep things in perspective by reminding myself that this is a fun hobby which offers a creative outlet and is not my livelihood. I write about our travels, hobbies and everyday life. It seems to appeal to a few folks, which pleases me and keeps me motivated to stay connected. Being part of the community has become more important than a posting schedule and I look forward to what others have to offer in terms of experience, knowledge, humor and advice. I have let the stressful parts fall away and am in a peaceful place that is simply good enough. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I personally appreciate your contribution to this arena.

    1. Thank you Suzanne for reading. I love your term, ‘letting the stressful parts fall away’, that’s what I need to do more of. I applaud you for making everything work for you and keeping everything in perspective. Thank you for a wonderful comment.

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