Just over a week ago, I created my monthly summary for February.
This is something I publish for my email subscribers who are following the progress of my strategy to increase visitors, engagement, and email subscribers.
If you’re interested in learning more, simply click here.
Anyway, the results left something to be desired, and I got a little frustrated with my progress (or lack of it) for the month.
So that experience gave me the idea for this post. Something along the lines of dealing with the frustration of blogging. Because lets face it, blogging frustration happens to everyone.
It just so happened, as I was working on this post, one of my mentors (I like to call her that) who’s been doing this blogging thing for quite a while wrote a similar post on her situation.
If you are not familiar with Adrienne Smith, she’s a guru on building relationships. At least she is for now. Her blog is going through a bit of a transformation, which you can read about in her post titled How My Blogging Journey Got All Screwed Up.
Now in Adrienne’s case her situation wasn’t so much about blogging frustration, it was more about loosing her way. Kevin Duncan actually wrote a guest post on this topic, ironically over at Adrienne’s blog.
This really got me thinking. If this can happen to one of the more successful bloggers I know, it can happen to anyone.
They say the primary reason a blog fails is because of a lack of results. I mean who wants to put all this effort into something and get nothing out of it. As Derek Halpern says on Social Triggers, it’s human psychology.
The more time you spend working on something without a reward, the harder it is to continue doing it.
You spend hours maintaining your blog, creating new posts, leaving comments on other blogs, responding to comments on your blog. For what?
You check your stats at the end of the month and realize your visitor count is down (again), and your subscriber growth has slowed to a crawl. There’s only so many excuses you can make for this month in and month out.
So why do we keep at it?
You Do Have A Plan Right?
Well at least I’m assuming you have a plan.
Where do you expect to take your blog? Is it a future out for your day job? A way to make some extra income? Perhaps it’s your primary business.
Whatever your plan, you always have to deal with setbacks in some form or other.
You won’t be very successful if you just pack it in the first time something doesn’t go the way you plan.
You need to adapt, adjust to your failures, learn from them.
Address you blogging frustration!
Working Through Your Blogging Frustration
Say you just reviewed your metrics from last month, and things aren’t going exactly as planned. What do you do?
You can quit. However, that’s not the most practical solution is it?
You have to adapt to the situation. What’s the source of the frustration. Chances are there’s a solution to the problem, you simply need to step back and evaluate things a little more closely.
Here’s 5 options that may help you get over your blogging frustration:
Don’t Get Frustrated Too Soon
Don’t expect your blog to go viral overnight. It takes time.
Perhaps you need to reset your expectations. If you’ve only been blogging for a few short months, it’s too early to panic.
Sure there are always exceptions to this rule, but for the most part you need to establish your blog. If you’ve implemented a solid strategy for you blog, stick with it.
- Continue creating great content for your blog
- Step up the networking and blog commenting
- Promote your posts
Alter Your Strategy
Do you have a strategy in place? If not, you’re blogging aimlessly. You need to step back, identify your goals, and implement a strategy for your blog to meet those goals.
Let’s face it. Without a strategy, you’re not going to succeed.
- If you don’t have a strategy, create one
- If you are following a strategy, and it doesn’t seem to be working, it’s time to review it and make the appropriate changes
- Be sure you are following whatever strategy you have in place
Focus On One Thing At A Time
It can be a little overwhelming if you are trying to tackle too many things at once. Jumping from one task to another without completing anything leads to frustration (not to mention a lack of focus).
- Create a checklist of all the tasks you want to complete for your blog
- Prioritize the tasks on that checklist
- Focus on the top priorities, and complete a task before jumping to a new task
Take A Break
Maybe you just need a break from blogging. Step away from it to reinvigorate yourself. It doesn’t need to be an extended break, just some time away to help you refocus.
Your goal is to come back feeling refreshed and have a new outlook on things.
- Put up a new post on your blog letting your visitors know you are taking an extended vacation.
- Send out an email to your subscribers letting them know you will be away from your blog for a few weeks.
- No blogging, responding to emails, reading blogs, or commenting
Perhaps you need something a little more drastic.
If you’ve lost that energy or passion for your niche, it may be time to look elsewhere. You can create a blog on anything.
You’ll discover how much fun blogging can be if you’re writing about something you truly enjoy.
- Find your passion
- Start a new blog
- Create a strategy for that blog
- Network with other bloggers in that niche
I’m sure you’ve been there at some time or other in your blogging career. How did you overcome your latest blogging frustration? Did it work?
For me, it was reinventing myself.
I was frustrated by a whole lot of things, and I almost gave up. I changed the focus of my blog, and created a strategy to network with other bloggers.
Is it working?
Yep, so far. That’s not to say I’ve got this blogging thing down pat. I still have my share of frustration from time to time, but I do have a plan to deal with it.
If you want to learn more, simply click here.
Renard Moreau says
[ Smiles ] My downfall is, not taking a break.
If I decide to go on a vacation, I would schedule my posts (If I set a post today to be published a week from now, it would be posted one week from now; I do not have to be glued in front of a computer in order to make that happen).
The only frustration for me is the technical aspect; which is, tweaking my theme, or experimenting with widgets.
Luckily, I am highly passionate about the things that I blog about.
Since, I like to deal with miscellaneous topics, I decided from day one not to go with a niche (And, that worked out quite well for me).
And, networking with other bloggers makes it worthwhile.
Craig Emerson says
Good for you Renard. I wish I had the discpline to crank out posts like that.
I think that’s the key, being passionate about what you did. That helps avoid some of that frustration. You do what works, and that’s what matters.
Thanks for the comment Renard.
Well amen to this my friend and since you used me as an example I would love to give my two cents worth. Oh and thank you by the way.
I applaud anyone who wants to take on blogging who has never done anything like this before. I doubly want to give a shout out to those who are holding down a full-time job and on top of that have a family. I don’t know how they do it because I can honestly say I’m not sure I could.
Blogging isn’t exactly the easiest thing to do but it can be one of the most rewarding. Anything new to us will be a challenge, we all have that huge learning curve to conquer. But if you really want this it can be done. Finding people like me who has been in your shoes and can offer some great advice, well that’s priceless. I didn’t have that when I started and I blogged for about two and a half years with very little success. I was doing other things too so that’s why I stuck it out.
You definitely have to have a plan even if you aren’t quite sure what it is you should be doing. Research, visit other blogs, talk to people and find out. You will get frustrated and you will be disappointed with your results but you will get past it. If you’re willing to do the work on a consistent basis then you will get results.
I love what you share and I know there are so many people in these shoes but please don’t throw in the towel. Not unless you just honestly feel blogging’s not for you. You meaning your readers in general cause I know you’re not going anywhere! 😉
I wish you all the very best moving forward. It will be worth it.
Craig Emerson says
Thanks for the kind words Adrienne!
You’re right, blogging isn’t the easiest thing. I think people look at it and think, how hard can this really be. But if you start factoring in all of the things that will make your blog a success, it is a lot of work. And it is rewarding when you can help someone, or you get an email or comment from someone saying how much they appreciate what you are doing.
Having a plan helps, because inevitably, you will get frustrated at some point in time. Having that plan gives you that out you’ll need.
BTW – If know I’ve said this before, but really looking forward to where you take your blog. Can’t wait!
Thanks again Adrienne, and have a great week.
Carol Amato says
Yes, blogging frustration DOES happen to everyone, most definitely! Have been frustrated with lack of progress more times than I can count.
Now I have a systematic plan and Standard Operating Procedures in place to help me along the railroad track. They are like rungs…Taking me down a predetermined track. I feel much less frustration than I used to feel, that’s for sure. Planning and setting goals really help this, for me anyway.
Love Adrienne – she is an awesome blogger, and I love what she teaches – how to have success in blogging. She shares her journey, what works and what doesn’t. So glad we became friends last year.
Absolutely, it happens to us all. Setbacks for me have come in the form of something taking a lot longer to happen than I planned, even though I’m very conservative in the planning and leave a window for change. Things just happen and plans become de-railed and frustration sets in. Using that energy to follow your awesome tips is a good way to get back on track.
Love your tip of focusing on one thing at a time. Gone are the days when you could be proud of being a multi-tasker…No way. Being able to focus on ONE thing is the best quality to have, and I benefit immensely when I do follow this.
Thanks for the mention of Richard’s guest article on your checklist point, I appreciate it. 🙂
Have an awesome day.
Craig Emerson says
Thanks Carol. It’s funny hearing other successful blogs say how many times they’ve been frustrated. I think that really can give some encouragement to the new bloggers that are just starting out. As you said, it happens to everyone.
Adrienne is the best, and I’ve learned a lot from her already. As I just said in my reply to her comment, really looking forward to where she takes things.
The focusing on one topic at a time comes from personal experience. I’m one that always seems to have multiple lists and I’m usually working on multiple tasks. Pretty soon you’ve got 5 different tasks you are working on, and you haven’t completed anything. So that’s one thing I need to work on.
Appreciate the comment Carol, and you have a great week.
Donna Merrill (@donna_tribe) says
This is the first time on your blog and it’s nice to meet you. I found you via my BFF Adrienne Smith on Facebook sharing this post.
There must be something in the air because you have written about this, Adrienne has and so have I in a way.
Indeed, Blogging Frustration will happen to many of us. As we grow in business, so does our blog. Sometimes we want to have that reflected without tearing down a good blog and switching a niche. I call it tweaking.
To prevent frustrations, your advice is spot on. One must have a plan, then write down some kind of sequence where you are going with your blog posts. I find that when I do this it keeps me on track instead of throwing out random articles.
The best advice you give when blogging gets frustrating is to take a break! Not to worry when you come back because your friends and followers will be there. I find that taking a break, going on vacation or just unplugging for a bit does wonders. You come back with “fresh eyes” and new thoughts.
I’ve done it and at first it was a bit scary letting go, but after that, I have no problem at all. At the end of the day, we all need a break for clarity.
Nice to meet you,
Craig Emerson says
Hi Donna, nice meeting you here as well, and I’m glad you found me through Adrienne! She’s awesome!
You know, everything in life revolves around having a plan doesn’t it? It does help keep you focused, and it’s a good thing to have when that day comes and you start getting a little frustred.
I’m always worried about taking a break, but I know I shouldn’t be. Like you said, your loyal readers will be waiting for you on your return. This is probably one of the best things you can do to invigorate yourself.
Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment Donna. Very much appreciated. Hope you have a great week.
Welcome to the club! Hey being temporarily frustrated is just part of the deal!
But look at you, you managed to channel it and use that energy to create some extremely
valuable content, that will most definitely someone out, but now and down the.
So it looks like the real question is, not a matter of whether or not you’re going to be frustrated,
it’s more a question of how will you turn your temporary frustration into something meaningful!
Just keep looking for your silver lining and keep writing about it once you find it!
Craig Emerson says
Thanks Mark, appreciate the kind words and you taking the time to stop by and leave a comment.
I love you point here – turn that temporary frustration into something meaningful. We all know it’s going to happen at some point, the question is what are you going to do when it does.
Thanks for adding to the post, and have a great weekend.
Andrew M. Warner says
I’ve gone through that … blogging frustration. It’s frustrating when you put in a lot of work into a post and it doesn’t get shared as much as you’d like or commented on much either. It’s frustrating when you don’t get as much subscribers subscribing. A lot of blogging is frustration … but everyone goes through it. It’s something we all, unfortunately, have to go through.
But, a lot of the steps you provided can help remedy that.
Like having a sound strategy. If you’re not experiencing growth, maybe you’re not targeting the right audience. Maybe you’re not writing about topics they WANT to know about.
I like your tip about reinventing yourself because I’ve done that. Before I use to write how I write now, I was all robotic in my tone and really not conversational. But, since I switched it up, I’ve gotten more engagement.
I’m in the process of doing another re-invention as we speak (testing it out) and see where that lands me.
Awesome post and discussion here, Craig. This is a major problem that a lot of people go through and I’m glad you addressed it here.
Craig Emerson says
Thanks Andrew. It seems like quite a few people have gone through that. I think that’s the one thing I’m finding is the most interesting, everybody does through this at some point in time. That should give a lot of encouragement to the new bloggers out there.
Appreciate the kind words, and I guess we’ll find out what you experimenting with. I’m interested to see that.
Have a great weekend Andrew.
Richard Martin says
I really like Derek Halpern’s quote you have here – the longer you spend working on something without reward, the harder it is to continue with it.
Sounds like my marriage.
Just kidding 🙂
I think the key thing in this post is finding something that you have a passion about. Every site I currently have, I have a passion surrounding it. Every defunct site I have ever created, I wasn’t really interested in the subject matter. That’s interesting. I know not everyone will have a passion around something they can blog about or create a site around, but it’s a great starting point.
Super post with some great ideas Craig.
P.S – thanks for linking to Carol’s blog with my guest post.
Have a great weekend.
Craig Emerson says
You’re going to get yourself in trouble Richard 🙂
I love that quote as well, and it’s so true. You nailed it. If you don’t enjoy, I mean truly enjoy what you are doing, chances are you’ll tire of it after some point. In your case, that’s a great example where the sites that don’t exist any longer are the ones that didn’t intrigue you as much.
Thanks for the comment Richard. Have yourself a great weekend.
Steven Wilson says
I think frustration part of everyone’s journey for sure. We can’t control everything.
I like you tips. To me these help with managing frustration which is critical to meeting our goals.
Frustration can be a brutal hit to our success. Frustration is the beginning to the end in many cases.
Your tips will help keep us focus and working toward what’s important.
Craig Emerson says
Great point Steven! I don’t think any of us can avoid frustration, but there are things we can all do to manage it a little better.
I was glad to hear I wasn’t the only one that got frustrated with things.
Thank you stopping by and taking the time to comment.
Candice Alvarez Scheets says
“2. Step up the networking and blog commenting” – This has to be the hardest thing for me…well the networking part at least. Sometimes I feel like a traveling salesman. Its one of those things where I KNOW it has to get done, but I cringe when I have to get to doing it 🙁 I made a Buzzfeed list about it lol http://www.buzzfeed.com/cascheets/why-content-marketing-makes-you-feel-like-a-door-t-x8bb
Craig Emerson says
Hello Candice. I know what you mean. I don’t find it the hardest thing to do but it is one of the more time consuming tasks I perform. At the end of the day it seems worth it though!
Thanks for the comment. I glanced at your post but will come back to it later when I have more time. I’m interested to see what you have to say
Bonnie Gean says
I’ve had my share of blogging frustrations, too.
I think all bloggers go through this at one point or another. The difference between the frustrations and the success stories are the “tweaks” that one does to overcome the problems they’re facing.
At least, tweaking works for me.
Some could be failing because they’re trying to follow too many mentors. If this is true, it’s time to hone in on one person’s teachings. Or, perhaps a blogger isn’t following an expert at all, and it’s time they did?
Currently, I am enjoying the time I take to blog, but if I weren’t, I would certainly look into another niche. It’s never too late to change direction. Hence, never waste time changing your focus.
Imagine all the fun you could be missing!
Blogging is not easy, but I like doing it! The hardest part of blogging isn’t the writing part — it’s the TIME part. Blogging takes time to create posts that touches hearts or helps people.
Simply put, you cannot rush genius! 🙂 However, you can become something “special” in the blogosphere if you put in the hours and stick with it. Blogging can be challenging, but the end results are sweeter than honey!
Craig Emerson says
Thanks for the comment Bonnie.
Very good point about following too many mentors. It’s easy to get sucked into everyone’s line of thinking, and when you start to do to much things can get a little overwhelming. Great add about trying to hone in on one person’s teachings.
It does come down to the time part doesn’t it. On top of creating your own content, you need to find the time to network, or create guest posts. It’s a never ending job, and it does take a lot of work.
Thanks for the great contribution Bonnie. Have yourself a great week.
Nanda Rahmanius says
It’s really motivating article!
I really like it. 🙂
Of course, I had experienced frustration because blogging. But I had no idea that there are many bloggers who experienced the same thing with me. In some ways, I am happy because it meant I was not alone. 🙂
I agree with all the tips that you provide. Indeed, we have to focus on one goal. I have no doubt about it.
When we have reached the one goal, then we may set other goals, although I’m sure, when you pursue one goal, you will reach another goals without you realizing it. It’s the power of focus, I guess. Because most people fail because they do not focus on doing one thing.
Thanks for sharing this great post, Craig.
I will sharing it. It’s great one!
Have a great week ahead!
Craig Emerson says
Thanks for the comment Nanda, and for sharing as well!
It seems like everyone is experience frustration to some extent, so kind of glad it’s not just me. I was thinking the same thing. While I did realize bloggers experienced frustration to some extent, I was a little surprised when I saw just how many bloggers were experiencing it.
Appreciate you stopping by, and have yourself a wonderful weekend.
Luke Jordan says
Great post, Craig.
It’s funny, I find that with the posts that don’t succeed as well as I’d hoped they actually give me *more* motivation to go out and either improve the visibility of that post (or my whole site) or through making a post even better next time around. Of course, I try and make each post as good as I can each week, but naturally some end up better than others.
It’s the posts that do really well that make me take my foot off the gas, simply replying to comments and social shares, whereas I know that if I worked extra hard on promoting the post that’s already being successful, I would see much greater returns long-term.
Regardless, results have such an impact on mindset; negatively or positively.
All the best,
Craig Emerson says
Hey Luke, thanks for the comment.
When I read your comment I was thinking to myself, he’s right (I mean of course Luke is right). When you see a post doing well, getting shared, getting all kinds of comments, it kind of makes you a little complacent doesn’t it. I find myself doing the same thing.
I like your advice. If you have a post that isn’t doing as well as you hoped, why not let that motivate you a bit. Tweak it or better yet learn from it and channel that energy for the next post.
This all leads back to your last point. Regardless of the result you get, it does impact your mindset.
Great feedback, appreciate it Luke.
James McAllister says
Man, I’ve been in your shoes and let me tell you, so have thousands of other people. The difference between those that go on to achieve great things and those who give up and say blogging is a scam is how they deal with it.
I’ve had a few ideas I thought were great at the time that I did have to eventually kill, but I learned a lot from those experiences and who knows if I’d be where I’m at today if I never had them. I’m just glad I didn’t let my failures bring me down!
But hey, it looks like you’re one of the people that are able to take things and make something positive out of them and those are the type of people that do well. The fact that you were able to take your own experience and make this great post out of it rather than just preaching theory shows that you’re going to do well in this space.
And I’ll be honest with you, you seem to have a great strategy in place now and the level of engagement here on your blog proves that. You’re heading down a great path for sure!
My latest blogging frustration has been creating the first few episodes of my new podcast. I did run a trial about a month ago but the majority of it wasn’t published anywhere. Anyhow, I’ve restructured it and actually have been taking that seriously, and I feel it’s going to be a great way to expose my brand to an entirely new set of people.
But wow, I was not expecting it to be so challenging. 20 minutes of audio? Two hours of work. I’m sure I’ll speed things up as time goes on, but preparing two episodes for publishing next week took quite a chunk of time out of my day. I’ve come to realize though that we learn and grow the most when we are put in hard and uncomfortable situations, so I know this was a good decision.
Anyway I’m writing this at 4 AM and I tend to ramble on when I’m tired, so I’ll cut this off here before I end up writing a book.
Talk soon Craig!
Craig Emerson says
Thanks for the kind words James!
I’ll be honest, I was a little surprised at how many bloggers actually experienced some level of frustration. I mean, I kind of knew it had to happen, I wasn’t expecting everyone to say – yea I’ve been there.
You nailed it. The harder the challenge, the more you’ll learn. If life didn’t present us with challenges, I can’t imagine where the world would be today.
Knowing how you are, you’ll nail your Podcast. You’ll learn and adapt and make things better. Interested to see how this ends up for you.
4 am? Are you crazy. You need to get some sleep James. I’m a night owl, but you’ve got me beat by a long shot.
Thanks for the comment sir, and I’ll be getting over to your site (haven’t forgot about you). Life has been keeping me busy lately. Have yourself a great weekend James!
Donald McLeman says
Hi, Craig, I’m so pleased to hear I’m not the only one who gets frustrated 🙂
You follow advice and you never get quite the result expected. I want to learn from each thing that doesn’t work but there’s always something new! And I’m definitely a reward-oriented person, so like you say in that quote ‘without rewards the harder it gets’.
I like the idea of a change of niche – I wouldn’t think abandoning a current niche is the answer but it could be good to add another blogging niche alongside so you’re writing about something totally different to a different audience. It’s a bit like what you say in your About page where you steered this blog in a new direction. I’m pretty sure if I create a separate blog it’ll be more planned right from the start so I’ll know where to steer it right from the start, we live and learn 🙂
Craig Emerson says
Hi Donald, thanks for taking the time to stop by and comment!
Just reading through all of these comments, it’s amazing to me how many of these great bloggers have said they get frustrated. Wasn’t really expecting everyone to say that.
Reward oriented. You and me both Donald! If I’m not seeing the results I expect (and I kind of set the bar a little high), I get… Well I get frustrated! Just need to learn from things and keep working through it.
Your point about adding another niche to your portfolio is something I’ve done. Actually, started that before I started this blog. That actually leads to some of my frustration on this blog. I really don’t do much to maintain that blog, and I haven’t written a post there since last Fall. But without fail, the visitors I get on that site, outnumber the visitors on this site by 5 fold. Maybe I should focus on that. 🙂
Appreciate the comment, and hope to see your around!
OK I was nodding when I read the intro. Amen to what you say here. I’ve got frustrated so many times (and was so close to quitting twice) when I see the traffic plateau. It can be really really hard to cope with the frustration given that we put so much effort to keep this blogging thing up.
At some point it usually feels as if the efforts are not at all adding up and everyone else is doing so well. The concept of “luck” gets in the picture. I’ve been there before and it is all illusion 🙂
While it is hard to totally avoid frustration, it is not impossible to cope with it. In fact, stepping away and taking a deep breath has helped me so many times. I view my vision board with motivational quotes. I then think about the root cause!
I change my strategy. And boom – a magic happens. Or is it luck?
If changing the strategy doesn’t help, I end up sitting with plain paper and pen. I reinvent my why. I go back to square one and I get myself clarity for one more time. And then everything just flows.
Thanks for writing this wonderful, supporting post. Very helpful for all bloggers 🙂
Have a great weekend!
Craig Emerson says
Hi Jane – Thank you so much for the wonderful comment!
As I’m sitting here replying to comments tonight, there’s been 5 of them over the last 2 days, every single one of them has said they’ve been frustrated at some time or other. In fact, I’m guessing if you look through all of these comments, every single one of them will say the same thing. That really surprised me.
You’re right. You can’t necessarily avoid being frustrated, it all comes down to how you deal with it. I do the same thing, if I start to get frustrated, I just need to walk away for a few days. Luckily this isn’t my full time gig, so I can afford to step away like that. Typically when I come back, I’ve got that extra motivation. It really does help!
Thank you so much for the kind words Jane. Have yourself a great weekend!
sherman smith says
I came at the right time. I feel frustrated with my blog every couple of months! That’s a lot huh?
But with that frustration I use as a bridge to refocus and look for alternatives. Maybe I need to step up my game or maybe I need to try another strategy.
In either case, there’s always a solution. We just have to be open to it. I plan on changing my strategy again as a matter of fact. For the first 3 months out of the year, I commented a lot more. Specifically using my mobile phone to read and comment since i have very limited of time. Also I started commenting on more blogs of different influencers. With that I notice a spike in my traffic. So definitely I’ll keep doing this strategy!
Also I’ve been emailing my subscriber list more. What I want to do by the summertime is revamp my email list, and segment it more. I also want to reorganized my goals in Google Analytics. Right now it’s look like a tornado went through it!
Thanks for sharing Craig! It’s good to know that we’re not alone when it comes to frustration!
Craig Emerson says
Sherman I’ve got you beat. I feel frustrated every other week or so. 🙂
We can only learn from it right? We usually know the answer, and it’s probably sitting right in front of our face. At least for me, I simply need to revisit my strategy, as I usually find I’ve strayed from that somewhat. So I need to redirect myself.
Thanks for stopping by and leaving a great comment.
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