One question has kept repeating in my head over the last year – Why do I keep blogging? I’m not enjoying it like I used to, my site has had lots of technical issues that I don’t know how to fix, and my traffic keeps falling, and falling, and falling.
Okay maybe it is more than one question
- why do I do it?
- why do I feel bad when I don’t?
- why am I pressurising myself?
I have a good idea why I keep blogging. It is part of my identify. I’ve been writing this blog for 14 years. I started blogging when you had to code your sidebar, commenting was one of the best ways to get traffic and images were both small and few because most people were using dial up internet. To really put it in to perspective, I’ve been a blogger for longer than I’ve been a mum.
My experience is filled with if onlys, coulds and shoulds.
If only I’d
- hunted out more UK bloggers when I first started in 2007, I could have many more followers
- connected with other mum bloggers when I had B in 2008, I could be a popular Mummy Blogger
- tried video when I heard about it at my first Blogging event, I could be where Brummy Mummy of 2 is (we sat next to each other)
- written more consistently I could have almost 1,000 more posts
- spent more time connecting with people, I could be working on collaborations
- treated my blog as a business, I might have discovered what makes my site special
Instead, I’ve spent too much time believing what some people have said, which has added to the bad feeling about my blog because most of it is not “me”.
Because I have a blog I should
- use it to create a full time income
- only write what people want to read
- be sharing content on all social platforms
- have a weekly email newsletter
I think I’ve lost the fun and it has become a chore rather than a hobby. Which is a shame because it has been a fun and rewarding hobby. Here are some of the benefits I’ve had from blogging:
- it helped me change careers after my previous role was made redundant
- I was able to help my sister set up Children’s Library Lady when she was contemplating a career change (and it is a pleasure to see how far she’s surpassed me)
- I’ve loved meeting people and have made some good friends
- blogging events have inspired me and kept me learning
- I’ve had fun opportunities such as wine tasting
- exposed me to new platforms such as Instagram which have inspired me in new ways.
So it is time for me to go back to basics.
Why did I start Darktea? My original reason was to find out what this blogging thing was, and to practice writing for an unknown audience. I think I’ve met both of those. After 14 years I feel knowledgeable about blogging, in fact I sometimes give a talk to students about how they can use blogging and social media to help them in their careers. And most of my readers have been unknown (although I’ve love it if you write a comment here or on Instagram so I can get to know you).
I’ve realised, if I’m spending time on this site, I want to enjoy the process. So I want to write about things that I enjoy or help me grow. I don’t want to write posts just because I think they’ll do well on Google or Pinterest. It is likely you’ll see more of the following topics:
- journal writing
- board games
- non fiction book reviews
- balancing life and productivity tips
- house renovation updates (as we might remove our lift in the next year).
I hope if I enjoy the process more I will feel happier in my blogging environment. Particularly as I have resolved a lot of the technical issues (and created a new theme) so it is a nicer place to be. I will review how I feel in six months and decide whether I want to make further changes, or possibly even stop.
Do you have activities that you keep doing even when you’re not sure if you want to? How do you check in with yourself?