7 Steps to Banish the Blogging Blues

Let’s be real. Sooner or later, all bloggers face discouragement and disappointment. We bump up our social media presence, but our stats don’t budge. We write the most brilliant blog posts known to mankind yet get zilch for comments. Worse still, we finally do get a comment only to discover it’s from a troll telling us how much both we and our blog suck.

Yep, we all have days like that. Sometimes we even have weeks and months like that.

When the blogging blues hit, it’s easy to give in to them, which is what most bloggers eventually do. Some delete their blogs in disgust, some slowly slink away from their blogs, and others post bitter rants about those who are experiencing success with their blogs.

The truth is, blogging is no different than anything else in life. Stuff happens, but it’s up to us to decide how we’re going to react to it.

In other words, just because disappointment comes knocking on the door doesn’t mean we have to invite it in for dinner.

When discouragement parks on your front step, kick it to the curb with one of these techniques:

  1. Consider the source. When the blogging blues hit, check in with yourself to see what’s really happening. Maybe you’re really upset over a fight with your spouse or are coming down with a cold. If that’s the case, take time to deal with the situation so when you resume blogging it’s with a healthy mind and body.
  2. Step away from the stats. Stats are great tools for providing feedback and direction, but compulsive stat-checking on a fledgling blog makes about as much sense as measuring a bean sprout every five minutes. Which sounds like something I’d do, by the way :) If stagnant stats are bumming you out, declare a stat-fast and only check them once a month. The world will keep turning, you’ll get way more done on your blog, and you’ll be a whole lot happier.
  3. Learn something. I’m a long ways away from being crowned Ms. Smarty Pants, but taking courses and joining membership programs has done a lot to scare off the frustrations I had when I was completely clueless. If your lack of knowledge has you feeling stuck, get on the fast-track to empowerment by picking up a new skill.
  4. Participate in a community. Talking online with readers and other bloggers has shown me we all experience peaks and valleys regardless of where we are on the blogging path. If you’re feeling low, get active in a niche-related forum with an eye towards encouraging others who may be feeling down. They’ll feel better and so will you.
  5. Detach from the outcome. I believe in tangible targets and measurable results, but I’m not in love with them. What I am in love with is the craft and process of blogging itself. When the wind goes out of my blogging sails, it’s usually because my mind has wandered into the land of outcomes and away from what I’m doing at the moment. Next time you feel discouraged about blogging, take a deep breath, bring your focus back to the work at hand, and see if that doesn’t make you feel better.
  6. Embrace a challenge. One sure-fire cure for feeling down is stepping up to a challenge, whether it’s some personal challenge or a group challenge like a blogging marathon. Speaking of challenges, my next challenge is preparing some guest post pitches. What’s yours?
  7. Get a life. Staying up until the wee hours night-after-night to write posts or spending weekends wrestling with technical issues can make blogging feel like a thankless, all-consuming endeavor. When this happens, try walking away for a few hours or a few days to rediscover life beyond your blog. Spending time with friends and family or out in nature has a way of rebalancing our lives and putting things back in perspective so we remember that blogging is a big thing in our lives, but it’s not the only thing.

Your turn: What do you do to keep going when you’re feeling stressed out, burned out, or downright grim about blogging?

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14 Responses to 7 Steps to Banish the Blogging Blues

  1. Ms. Freeman April 28, 2010 at 1:05 pm #

    I only post on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays just so I keep from getting burned out. I feel you have to get out in the real life world to experience things in order to relay anything to our readers. There are those that are of the mind that if you aren't typing until your fingers bleed then you don't want success enough. To that I say 'hog wash'….;)

  2. virginbloggernotes April 28, 2010 at 1:27 pm #

    I see we've got the same posting schedule. Great minds think alike :) I may add some super-short quick-tips type posts on other days but only if it feels right, they're of value, and readers don't feel bombarded. My definition of success includes enjoying a simple, balanced life and I'm really quite miserable if I get too far away from that.

  3. Keith Bloemendaal April 28, 2010 at 7:40 pm #

    I only write when I have something to write about, or am feeling creative, sometimes that is daily, sometimes not. But when I do write, I feel like I am able to get better quality because I am not doing it because of a schedule….

  4. virginbloggernotes April 28, 2010 at 8:25 pm #

    With me, having something to say is never a problem in terms of either writing or speaking. Putting it in a coherent form is another matter entirely though :)

  5. mark April 29, 2010 at 12:23 am #

    Hi Jean –

    I am a sucker for any post that has a sentence that starts with “I’m a long ways away from being crowned Ms. Smarty Pants…”

    I followed a link here from weblogbetter, and I am pleasantly surprised at your writing. Very nice writing.

    Anyway, I stumbled this because I want to be reminded of it tomorrow when I am going through the weeks stumbles (well, the virtual stumbles anyway).

    I probably write less than I should, though it is really easy to get distract with the Internet around. I think Ms. Freeman has a pretty good idea – a few days a week so that some of life can creep into your writing seems like a good thing.

    Have a great day!

  6. virginbloggernotes April 29, 2010 at 2:35 am #

    Glad you found your way here, Mark, and thanks for the stumble. I just ventured over to your blog and love your style. You're kind of a Mr. Smarty Pants :)

  7. kiesha_WeBlogBetter April 29, 2010 at 4:52 pm #

    Hi Jean!
    I totally agree with NOT inviting it in for dinner – LOL!
    I must tell you, it's #3 – Learning something new that has gotten me through those days when I was seriously on the verge of just quitting and throwing in my towel and the next-door neighbor's. But the more I learned about blogging, the better I got at it. However, in my opinion, there is always so much more to learn – you can never “Know-it-all” when it comes to this craft. I think that's why it excites me so much, because I love the challenge that learning something new brings.
    Thanks for this post and thanks for all of your wonderful thought that you share on my blog, too!

  8. virginbloggernotes April 29, 2010 at 5:51 pm #

    I'd better warn my neighbors to lock up their towels if I'm having a really bad day :) I've been working on curing my excessive daftness by working through David Risley's Blog Master's Club and also joined Leo and Mary's A-List Blogger's Club. Not only am I continually challenged by the material, but it's been good for me to experience the difference in philosophies and strategies. I love your blog, by the way, and you won't be getting rid of me anytime soon :)

  9. Madeleine May 1, 2010 at 9:07 pm #

    Jean, To keep going. I step away from the stats and participate in a community. But your most important point is the last, “get a life.” Just about everything that happens–good or bad–has the makings of a blog post. It happens with speaking and it happens with writing.

    Nice way with words, by the way. I particularly liked “Step away from the stats” and the “Ms. Smarty Pants” bit that Mark commented on.

  10. virginbloggernotes May 2, 2010 at 4:29 am #

    Thanks, Madeleine. I really enjoy writing for the blog because I can write in my own style and not have to bend and twist things for an editor or clients. It's probably ruining me for my other writing work but that's a chance I'm willing to take :)

  11. Madeleine May 2, 2010 at 3:25 pm #

    Jean, I don't think you need to worry about that. In my experience, it's possible to have multiple writing styles, examples being technical writing, humorous writing, informative writing for a general audience (which is different from technical writing), and inspirational writing. And writing speeches is different from writing articles or blog posts. It's being versatile.

  12. John Sherry May 11, 2010 at 3:45 pm #

    You see no sooner than I mention it than I come across it. Jean the optimistic blogger. This is a marvellous 'in-house' post for all bloggers as we all can lose momentum and become disheartened. The phrase 'step away from the stats' is masterful. I've not been blogging but get tempted to judge my blog by how much others judge it i.e.subscriber numbers. It's a fools paradise. You blog what you believe in and that's where the focus needs to be. Your passion, what you love, what gets you up in the morning. Your post lifted me up on what's been a long day – so very grateful Jean for you doing that. Nice!

  13. virginbloggernotes May 11, 2010 at 4:15 pm #

    Thanks so much, John. This is what it's all about for me, really. Knowing that something I write might pick someone up a bit or make things a bit easier for them is, in the long run, more meaningful than a tidal wave of traffic. Not that I am especially having to worry about that at the moment. Haha. Your blog has universal appeal and I predict it will gain a large and loyal following, one post and one reader at a time.

  14. Jacelyn November 4, 2012 at 10:44 am #

    This is a great tip especially to those fresh to the
    blogosphere. Brief but very precise information… Many thanks for
    sharing this one. A must read post!

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