Blogging can be overwhelming, no doubt about it. I remember when I first started blogging. I had no idea what I was doing and it seemed as if there were an impossible number of things to learn. Now, almost two years later, I somehow feel as if I have even more to learn! Luckily I’ve been able to nail down what seems to get me most stressed about blogging, and actively try to avoid them. Here are a few ways I use to prevent and reduce blogging stress.
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Don’t Do Everything at Once
When it comes to blogging, there is literally an endless amount of things to do and things to learn. I know for a fact I will never be finished. The most frustrating thing about being a new blogger is that from Day 1, it seems you’re behind on everything. It’s just really overwhelming the amount of tasks you have to accomplish. From the beginning there is your blog’s design, narrowing down your mission statement, and making sure your hosting is up and running. Then you add actually writing the blog posts, learning how to design blog graphics, etc. Social media itself could take up your entire day, so it’s difficult to find balance. Then, once you’ve managed to make time for all of that, you have to find time in your completely maxed out schedule (and brain) to figure out how to consistently monetize your blog. Yikes.
Honestly, the paragraph above is a big reason why I waited an entire year to start monetizing my blog. I literally just didn’t have the time or the brain capacity.
I know it can seem impossible not to do everything at once, because how do you decide what comes first? Here are a few strategies that might help:
1. Start with content. When you first start your blog, spend some time just focusing on your blog’s aesthetic and content. That way, when you start to focus on social media, you have a solid foundation.
2. Choose one social media to focus on at a time. I would set them all up right away, or at least the basics (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram), and then really focus on them one by one. I would start with Pinterest, since I find that to be the biggest traffic driver. Once you have a solid Pinterest strategy and you’ve found a way to automatic it, move to the next one and implement your strategy. If you’ve got the time, pick two at a time to focus on.
3. Start small with monetization. This is the part of blogging everyone is eager to get to, but start small. If you want to start taking on sponsored posts, I would start by taking on one sponsored post. As you become more proficient in blogging, you can start having more in the works at a time. But you’ll be kicking yourself if you take on too many projects, and forget to write a sponsored post because it fell through the cracks.
Each and every time I have hit some level of blogger burnout, it’s because I wasn’t planning ahead. I’m a planner by nature. Lists and calendars are my bread and butter. And the moment I can’t look at my planner and tell what’s coming in the next month is the moment I stress. Here are a few of the things I’ve learned I have to do ahead of time in order to keep the blogging stress at bay:
1. Keep a content calendar. Ideally, I have it planned out a month at a time. At the very least, two weeks.
2. Schedule social media. I try to do this continuously. Then every Sunday evening I sit down and make sure everything for the coming week is ready to go. I’m currently using Hootsuite to schedule my Twitter and Facebook posts, and Board Booster and Ahalogy to schedule my Pinterest.
3. Write a daily to-do list. How many times have you had of those moments where you finish your blog post for the day and then, thinking you’re done for the day, hop on social media or Netflix and waste the rest of your day. Undoubtedly, later (or the next day) you’ll think of something else you wanted to get done and kick yourself for not being more organized. This is totally me! I find that writing myself a to-do list each morning (or the evening before) helps me stay on track. I try to never add more than one big task and 3-4 small ones, just to keep things manageable.
4. Keep a long-term to-do. Yes, I have multiple to-do lists. Often times I’ll think of something I want to do for my blog or Etsy shop, but I know it’s going to have to wait a few days, weeks, or months. When this happens, I simply add it to the long-term to-do list. Then, when I’ve got some extra time on my hands, I try to tackle a few items on this list.
Don’t Stress About Numbers
When it comes to blogging, it’s so easy to get caught up in the numbers. I’m sure I’m not the only blogger who has obsessed over their Google Analytics numbers, or repeatedly checked my Instagram to see how many “likes” my newest picture has gotten. We constantly check how many email subscribers, Facebook followers, etc we’re getting. Before long, we’re wondering why we don’t have as many [insert social media plafterm] followers as the next blogger, wondering why people don’t like us as much. It’s enough stress and anxiety to make anyone quit blogging.
I’m not sure what flipped my point of view, but I learned to stop letting these numbers control my life. Sure, I still obsess over them occasionally. But I’ve learned not to make it a constant thing. I think the tipping point was February, actually. In January, I had gotten a record high (for me) page views with over 200k. February rolled around and I barely cleared 100k. I almost had a panic attack and then realized that wasn’t how I wanted to live. Though it may not always seem like it, you do have control over it!
There’s no doubt we’re all still going to check our numbers (because numbers are still important when it comes to blogging), but limit yourself to how often you’ll allow yourself to do it. And when you do, instead of panicking because your Facebook post only reached 7 of your 2,000 followers, change up your strategy until you find something that causes the numbers to go up!