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.

140 thoughts

  1. Hi Sam (and Hugh), it seems to be something that hits most bloggers at some stage, that feeling of being anxious and concerned about the lack of time. You are an extremely empathetic person Sam, so it tends to hit harder when we care about what we read and want to show our support but just can’t manage to do it all. I applaud you for your honesty and telling it like it is. I’m also glad you didn’t give up on it as I always love reading your posts and connecting with you from the other side of the world. It’s all a learning curve and as long as you’re enjoying it, continue on!

    1. Thank you Debs, such a lovely comment, I appreciate it. You’re such a fabulous blogger, who I love to read. So happy you and so many others understand. I commend those who are so consistent with everything that comes with blogging, it’s the consistency I find difficult, but at least I’m learning not to beat myself up about it now 🙂 Thank you Debs 🙂

  2. Great post Samantha, I really enjoyed it. At times blogging has felt this way to me, to the point that it became more of a stressful thing than a nice hobby. But after a break I have found that I do really enjoy it again, and I am as relaxed about it as I was when I started.

  3. Great post, Sam! I have a feeling most of us have been there or are there now. I’m no different. To be honest, blogging is still overwhelming to me and I have ups and downs about “loving it”.

    I love the community and the interactions, but it adds a lot of time and energy to the writing, editing, selecting photos, captioning, reviewing, and posting of the blogs, and replying to comments on my own blog.

    Yet, I enjoy reading other blogs, when I have the time. All this blogging (and I try to post once a week), and I’m not even adding other social media to the equation, can get too much for someone who isn’t retired, lives on the road, is attempting to publish a memoir, enjoys sightseeing and exploring the world, and takes care of an anxious dog. Sigh! 🙂

    1. Absolutely Liesbet, Oh my, you just said it all! Like I’ve said before, if what ever you do starts to become a dreaded chore, then it’s time to change something, or find a way of managing it to better suit your own life. I’ve learnt this the hard way, but it’s still difficult to find that balance, because I do love blogging and interacting too 🙂 Thank you for reading and commenting. Have a great day with your lovely pooch wherever you are 🙂

    2. Liesbet, Sam and Hugh I wanted to say that when you and other bloggers post a comment I know that I’m very appreciative and I’m many others are too. I never expect a comment every time I post. I’m opting out of the social media a bit more as I find that more time consuming and unfulfilling. Have a good weekend 😊

  4. I’ve been only blogging for a few months, but I’ve experienced most of the things you described. Writing is something I enjoy doing, but I’m comfortable knowing that it isn’t what I’m going to do every day of my life. I retired three years ago, and I have a whole slew of things that I want to do. As I tell my wife (also newly retired) as soon as it isn’t fun, I’ll replace it with something else.

    I don’t follow that many blogs, and yet I still feel like I don’t have enough time to read and respond to each one already. I’m okay with only producing a blog post every one to two weeks, but more power to those who post each day (sometimes multiple times). From my perspective, it should be quality over quantity. I also find that half the day disappears when I read and try to react to their posts with something meaningful. I suppose, like anything, it’s all about balance.

    1. Absolutely, Pete, it’s all about balance and as soon as you get that right, I think things fit into place a little better. Thank yo for reading, I really appreciate it. Have a great day and happy blogging 🙂

  5. Sam, I’m glad that we are blogging friends and indeed pleased that you didn’t give up blogging. Starting about the same time, I have gone through the same issues. Writing one blog post a week feels doable though I do publish another one if I have the time. Lovely thoughtful post!

    1. Thank you Suzanne, yes I enjoy our blogging friendship, you’ve been a great help in the past and you always seem to be consistent with your blog posts, which is something I still need to find for myself, although as previously I would beat myself up about it, now I will go at my own pace. I have learnt that I love my blog and writing, so won’t be stopping any time soon 🙂 Thank you for reading Suzanne, have a great day 🙂

    1. Thank you, yes I do feel better, although still do slip into the guilt trap, every now and again. You make a great point, It isn’t one size fits all, we’re all different and work in different ways, blogging is about finding your own pace and like you say, having fun 🙂 thank you!

  6. This is a great post Sam, which I’m sure many bloggers will identify with, including me. I’ve experienced many periods of overwhelm in blogging. For a while I even gave up reading other blogs but I couldn’t stay away for long. As a blogger with 3 blogs I do struggle sometimes to keep up. But I love them all and love my readers so will continue, until hopefully, one day, when I retire there will be more time for blogging.

  7. I feel sad when I look at my first posts and they have no likes – then I remember they didn’t have likes on WordPress then! Maybe that was a good thing. I used to try to visit everyone who liked or followed, now I don’t, it’s too time consuming. I only follow up comments: trouble us, that often leads me to an interesting blog I want to keep reading and my list keeps growing! I try to weed it occasionally.

    1. Yes, that’s the problem Anabel, there are so many great blogs out there, which are interesting to read, but it can take all day to get through them all, along with interaction, which means not a lot gets done on our own blogs. I juggle such a lot in my life so time management is vital. It’s terrible to feel guilty because I can’t read all the blog posts I’d like to, but I can’t allow it to eat me up. Thank you for reading and commenting, it’s very much appreciated.

  8. Hi Sam, the words and advice from you and Hugh are very comforting to me at the moment as I struggle with blogging burnout and direction. I think it is a fact that many bloggers start out with enthusiasm and a little fear of ‘will they like what I write’ and so we push ourselves to follow the countless number of posts and emails providing advice on blogging. I love the interaction with others and have made some lovely friendships through blogging. However, over the last almost 5 years, I have pushed myself to read and comment, publish several posts each month, find monthly themes and so on. I have a desire to help people but have finally realised ‘after taking a step back’ and enjoying a wonderful holiday in the Canadian Rockies, that blogging should be enjoyed but paced. The only stress to ‘publish’ is self-imposed, or that is my case anyway. I’ve taken a step back, will continue my blog but at my own pace when I feel I have something of value to present. Thank you so much Hugh and Sam for this topic as if you read my blog you would have read about my struggles I’ve been experiencing over the last few months. Have a lovely day and thanks again. xx

    1. I do know about your ‘step back and re-evaluation’ Sue, and so pleased for you that you have come to a self realisation about pacing everything, because burn out is not good for anyone, trying to do many things at once isn’t productive, but putting yourself first is important and probably more productive in the long run. I love your blog Sue, I maybe miss a lot, but do check in and out and love your messages. Thank you for your valuable comment and take care xx

  9. What a great post and I feel totally what you wrote here. Been there… There comes the point where you really need to reflect on why you started blogging because you slowly drift away and then get overwhelmed in blogging obligations… which is definitely a sign that something is not right. I can totally relate to your experience…

  10. Sam, every blogger has been where you were. I’m so glad you stuck with it despite the time crunch (I know this one!) and need for inspiration. Other bloggers are a great source of encouragement and inspiration. Perhaps this inspiration led you down the path of your very popular Over 50s series, and honestly, a post a week is just fine for many bloggers! I for one, am inspired by your lovely leisure lifestyle and wonderful photos! Great post sharing your story, and thanks, Hugh for sharing more about Sam!

    1. Thank you Terri for your lovely comment and yes, being in touch with so many inspirational bloggers did give me the idea for the ‘over 50’s’ series. I appreciate your support and wonderful comment Terri thank you 🙂

  11. Sam, it took me a few years to really get to grips with the fact that I didn’t HAVE to be everywhere. It started with the following everyone who followed me, then the keeping up with all the posts. Then the Social Media bug hit.
    I think I was at my craziest when I was 100% active in certain FB groups. Then the pull started to slack, as I wasn’t able to keep up, unless Real Life took a backseat, and you know that isn’t right.
    At the moment I am stepping back (not that some believe me!) and it feels better. I make sure I read posts from bloggers who I really respect. Others who I follow and enjoy, I’ll browse on the reader. If I miss… I can’t help it!

    1. You are one of the experienced bloggers where I think, “how do you do it?!” From what people have said, it seems ‘a few years’ is standard when getting to grips with knowing you can’t be everywhere. I’m amazed to find out most bloggers have gone through this. Stepping back is key, thank you Ritu 🙂

  12. I think i need to pin Hugh’s words of advice onto a wall for those days when I feel overwhelmed by everything relating to my blog. Even though I am no longer in full time employment I still can’t find enough time in the day to write content, respond to comments, interact on other blogs and deal with all the social media stuff. I see the output of some bloggers and their level of engagement on Twitter and just cant imagine how they do it…

    1. As I have learnt, finding what works for you is vital. I was trying to do too much and getting wound up enough to be hating it. I agree, I can’t believe how some people keep up with so much engagement on social media, but I have stopped worrying about it and now work to my own pace 🙂 Thank you for reading and commenting

  13. Hi, Sam – Nice to see you here! Hugh’s tip to ‘take a step back’ is a good one. So many of us have found ourselves in the same ‘overcommitted blogging boat’ at one time or another. The difficulty is that there is no one magic ‘destress’ solution that works for each of us. I am not a big social media user. I usually write short posts and have tried to eliminate the word ‘should’ from my blogging vocabulary. This style works well for me but would not be a good fit for all writers. Like you and Hugh, I believe that engagement is key. Just like IRL, when I find myself in one-sided blogging relationships, I move on.
    I am happy that you did not abandon your blog. You are a great writer with very important things to say!

    1. Thank you for your kind words Donna. I too am glad I didn’t abandon my blog. It’s great that you found what works for you. It took me a while to do the same, but am in a happier place now with my blogging. I blog for enjoyment and love to have that engagement with people from all over the world. I too am not a big social media user, but tend to dip in and out. Throughout this blogging journey, I have learnt to relax and find what works for me

    1. I know what you mean Chelsea. There are so many great blogs out there and you can’t possibly get to them all, this used to get to me and why I felt guilty at not being able to keep up, but you have to draw the line somewhere. Thank you for reading

  14. Thanks for your honest sharing, Sam. While I haven’t forgotten why I began blogging (to connect with others) I do feel overwhelmed with the background/administrative aspects such as SEO keywords. In trying to uphold and honor my values, I have not signed up for much social media which is probably a disadvantage. Still, there is so much to learn and being largely non-tech, I don’t know where to begin. Do you have any pointers for managing the learning curve, of what is most important to do first, second, etc.? Any guidance you are willing to offer is most appreciated. And best of luck to you as you and Jon enjoy an active midlife with your beloved pets. (I also had a b/w b/c who I dearly miss…)

    1. Thank you for reading. I think the learning curve for me was trying to rush into so many different social media platforms, but just sticking to one or two that you know or can learn easily is best, also concentrate on your blog and writing first and read others as and when you can. You find your own way of working and your own time management eventually. Thank you for your kind words

  15. A thought provoking post, Samantha. I think the being swamped feeling affects most bloggers at some point. It certainly did in my case. The main thing to remember is blogging should be fun, when it becomes a chore that’s the time for a rethink. I just do what I can, when I can.

    1. That’s exactly right Cathy. Initially I was trying to do too much too soon and burnt out. Having a rethink was what I needed and relaxing a little about the whole thing helped. Thank you for reading 🙂

  16. Wise post.

    In the beginning its exceedingly easy to fall into the ” likes” trap. We often start blogging for the pure release and enjoyment it brings. Unfortunately it can become a monster we end up fearing. As in life, when we start to hate doing the things we used to love, it’s time to step back and rediscover why we loved it in the first place.

    Blogging is no different.

    Like others, I do what I can and when I can and try not to worry about the rest.

    I write/blog because of the enjoyment that brings. Not the endless hours promoting, updating etc on Social Media.

  17. Nice to meet you, Samantha. A great post! I appreciate your candor. I am at the approximate one year mark, blogging. Initially, I also read books and articles on blogging. I am nodding my head in agreement with all of your initial concerns and challenges.

    One year later, I find I have adopted my individual philosophy on blogging and yes, it is a steep learning curve. I have read where other bloggers call this “evolving.”

    I am still confused on the importance and impact of social media on blog sites. I do not spend much time on them.

    Great advice on the “why” concept when blogging.

    Thank you for sharing your wisdom and your lessons. Especially the “Why.” Thank you, Hugh, for featuring Samantha:) Erica

    1. Thank you Erica, Evolving is a great way to describe the ups and down we face as new bloggers. I feel I have come through a steep learning curve and I’m sure I have a lot more to learn. Social media platforms do help when it comes to promoting our blogs, but I don’t think you necessarily need so many, just the ones you are comfortable with. Happy blogging 🙂

    1. Hi Liz, Thank you for reading. Hugh’s blog is a fabulous one to follow. He has such great advice and helps with all aspects of blogging. I hope you are able to stand back and breathe and remember that blogging is to be enjoyed too 🙂 Please feel free to get in touch, I’d be happy to help if I can.

  18. Wise words indeed Sam. It’s so easy to get overawed by blogging and especially social media. You do get sucked in by the pressure of having to get involved all day every day and it can get shatteringly exhausting. Hughs advice to step back is perfect as most of us started blogging for reasons that didn’t involve statistics. I try and support as many other bloggers as possible but it is still a hobby.

    1. ‘Getting sucked in by the pressure’ is a perfect description Jon, I got so overwhelmed with it all, it was getting me down. I still struggle to read all the great blog posts there are out there, because life is so busy, but I won’t get ‘sucked in’ any more. I’m back to enjoying blogging and do what I can 🙂 Thanks

  19. What an interesting post. I enjoyed your thoughts Sam. I had several blogs in the past and burnt out on them quickly. Then I finally found my passion and blogging is quite fun and rewarding now. It’s taken over a year to settle into a rhythm of reading, commenting, and interacting with other bloggers. For me, I had to reconcile myself to the fact I can’t do it all. I’m now happy interacting with fellow bloggers when I can. The whole process is now much more enjoyable without trying to be on ALL the social media sites.

    Hugh, once again you have offered the best advice. I enjoy your posts and am very guilty of reading, absorbing, and moving on. I’ll be ticking that box from now on to interact with my fellow bloggers.

    Thanks for opening my eyes to what I’m missing.

    Gina

    1. Hi Carol, the guilt used to be terrible for me, when I couldn’t ‘keep up’, but like you say, you have to learn that you can’t do everything. I do still get those little twinges though too.

  20. Hi Sam, brilliant post. Glad to see it’s not just me that’s suffering. I’ve only recently started blogging and I’m already getting stressed out. I’m delighted when I get comments and I always answer them as, for me, it’s only polite. However, I’m getting so many emails every day (180 since yesterday) and I’m busy ploughing through them now to see which ones to read and like and/or which ones to comment on. I’ve never ticked the ‘Notify me ‘ button; I don’t think I could cope but should I be clicking it? Caz x

    1. Hi Caz, Thank you for reading. Please don’t get stressed out. Another good piece of advice I learnt, was to go into your reader manager, there you can un tick the, ‘receive emails’ box on some followers. I keep very few ticked. Instead, if you read the WP Reader every day or whenever you can, regularly, it’s easier to keep up with reading blog posts. Hugh wrote a good post on the ‘notify me’ button, not so long ago and why it’s beneficial. If you’re feeling stressed out, then it really is good to take a step back. Please get in touch if I can help in any way 🙂

  21. Recently I’m really struggling for time what with having a full time job, trying to write book two and entering anthologies, so my blog gets little attention compared to the time I used to give it. I get guilty too but keep reminding myself that there is only so much I can do!

    1. Hello everyone here. I do concur with Thailand Everyday. Thank you, Hugh, for supporting Sam. 🙂

      Hi Samantha Smith! Please keep up the good work and fun with blogging. Thankfully and fortunately, you had listened to Hugh’s advice and persisted in the blogosphere. What a very nice post you have done here! I have enjoyed reading about your trials and tribulations in becoming a blogger. It is delightful that you have found some resolutions and peace with your life as a blogger and blog reader.

      I, on the other hand, had been away from the blogosphere until quite recently, as a result of having to deal with the daily demands of filial piety and caring duties, as explicated in the post lovingly crafted and published as a special eulogy entitled “Khai & Khim: For Always and Beyond Goodbye.”

      Happy mid-October to all of you! May you find this autumn very much to your liking and highly conducive to your writing!

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