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.
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.
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.
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.
This hit home with me, as he explained how he’d felt that same ‘drowning’ feeling that I’d experienced. Hugh also explained how he had played the ‘click-happy like a 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.
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
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).
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