I’ve gone on and on about how much I love blogging a million times and I could probably spend hours going on about how great it is – but any blogger can tell you how it’s not all sunshine and collaborations. When you start blogging seriously for business, things can start to get more than a little stressful. A big question that I’ve gotten lately is how do I deal with the stress that comes along with blogging.
And if I’m being honest – that question has come at the perfect time. The past few weeks I’ve stressed more about blogging than I ever have amidst writing my e-book and working with a lot more brands than usual. I forced myself to sit down and evaluate what it was about blogging that was making me so anxious the past few weeks and after identifying what was stressing me out the most, I was able to take some steps towards helping reduce blogging stress.
Stop worrying about the numbers.
This is one I’ve heard preached over and over again – and never really got. Until September I had only ever seen growth, so to me numbers were exciting and a point of pride – and then came September. On the first day of September I saw about 10% less page views than expected. That’s fine, it happens sometimes. And then it happened four days in a row. On the fifth day it was closer to 15% less than what was expected and I panicked.
Basically I made a few desperate attempts to get my numbers up, using tactics that have proven not to work for me in the past and (spoiler) again, they proved not to work. I read post after post offering advice for getting more page views, and basically I wasted a lot of time.
The solution: As of now I haven’t even looked at my numbers for over a week and it’s been a good feeling. I don’t want to admit how obsessive I used to be about checking, but I’ll suck it up and tell you: There were some days that I’d check my progress up to ten times in a single day.
I simply got rid of the Google Analytics Widget on my dashboard, so now I’d have to go to the Google Analytics Website to check. This isn’t going to be long term (because numbers definitely are important) but I am taking a month long number detox and so far I feel great!
Don’t bite off more than you can chew.
Here is where I’m the most guilty. In the past, whenever I’d get an email from a brand I liked that wanted to work with me and I’d be afraid to say no. I didn’t want them to think that I was being rude, or that I thought their product was bad. So instead of taking into account my workload, I would work with anyone I liked no matter how many other obligations I had that month and even if they offered me less than what I normally charge.
The solution: First off, I grew a backbone. I have recently turned a few brands down explaining to them that there is currently too much on my plate but I’d love to work with them in the future. I’ve also raised my rates by a pretty significant amount. I did this for two reasons: First (and most importantly!) I was previously undervaluing myself and the work that I do. But also, this has helped me take on less sponsors. In the past I was really just accepting whatever I was offered (to a degree) but now I’m not accepting less than my set rate.
Make a plan.
I am ashamed to admit this one: for over a year I’ve scraped by without regularly using an editorial calendar. A few times I would use one for a week or two, then quit, but never consistently. My blogging process was as follows:
- Open computer.
- Stare at screen.
- Brainstorm some more.
- Come up with a half baked idea.
- Pray that the post I came up with was worth publishing.
It was inefficient and very unorganized. Some weeks I would have all of my ideas in my head and have no trouble creating content – but other weeks there would be crickets.
The solution: Take an hour and make a detailed editorial calendar. I brainstormed (almost!) 50 post ideas and have them scheduled out throughout the next two months. Of course this schedule is very flexible, but it is nice to know that I won’t need to have those panicky moments that leave me wondering ‘what in the world am I going to write today?’ Having the calendar is also great because for the first time ever I’ll have a very consistent posting schedule. From here on out I will be using that time I used to waste brainstorming to produce more content, publishing each weekday.
Also (something I’m the worst at) schedule your social media! The weeks I do this make me so happy because I only have to worry about social media for like half and hour on Sunday and that’s all!
Stop pressuring yourself.
Until recently I had a very strict idea of what I thought a ‘good’ blog post was. I needed it to be 1000 words and very informative. I wanted to make sure that I was teaching something and helping people. I always thought fashion blogging looked fun, but I wouldn’t do it because I wasn’t helping anyone so therefore it wasn’t worth posting because no one would read my posts if they weren’t directly helpful.
The solution. Shhhhh. Stop all of that self pressure. This summer I started posting a few fashion posts and I was right – they are fun! But not only that, but they are also a lot faster to write and photograph meaning if I know I’m going to have a stressful day, a fashion post is a quick and easy post that my audience is still going to enjoy. Plus, even fashion posts can be helpful, personally I’m always looking up how to wear trends and style different pieces.
I still aim to post 90% helpful posts in the forms of guides and how-tos, but a few fashion posts are great! They don’t bring in as much traffic, but I like them and I am going to continue publishing them because they help relieve stress and they are really really fun.
So basically, if you’re telling yourself that there is a ‘right’ way to blog (even though you secretly want to break your own rules) then break them!
And if you are too stressed – take a break! Spend an hour using the internet the way that you used to before blogging. Pin on Pinterest for fun, strategy to the wind, tweet your celebrity crush, or binge watch YouTube videos. Bloggers see the internet differently – but sometimes you should still use it for fun!