I’ll be honest, I really suck at blogging. I go through a good patch for a while where I’m writing every week – and then radio silence for months. Well hi! I’m back, again. At least I keep trying to get a handle on this whole blogging thing? So, rather than continuing to make excuses for why I suck at blogging (I had to mow the grass… I just don’t have enough head space… the dishes aren’t going to do themselves…), I’m going to give it to you straight. I’ve identified 5 legitimate reasons as to why I suck at blogging and what I’m going to do to stop sucking at it.
This may look like a long daunting post but I promise, it’s good.
1. Some days I’m just too long winded and other days I have absolutely no words.
I’m much better at writing what I have to say, rather than speaking it, which is why when I write posts I end writing novels and sharing all that I want to say at once. I need to remind myself that my blog is not going anywhere, it will still be here next week. I should be writing multiple posts about similar ideas, over a span of time. Silly Ashley, that’s how this whole blogging thing works.
And then… there are times when my mind is completely blank. Or I fear that what I have to say isn’t “that interesting”. Why are people reading this? Why would people even want to read this? I ask myself self-doubting questions like that and then I never get anything done. I end up being more frustrated than I would have been if I had just committed to writing the dang post in the first place.
2. This is a complete waste of time and no one is even reading this.
I feel like this every time a blog idea even pops into my head, and most times as soon as I hit publish. Thinking, someone else has already wrote about this… I’m probably not even good at writing so why should I bother… I should / could be doing something else more productive and actually be making money…
Thinking like that is the complete waste of time.
I’m one of those people who like to have a tangible outcome when I spend x-amount of hours on something. That’s why I enjoy making books or mowing my grass because at the end, I feel super accomplished! You can actually see the outcome! But I’m realizing blogging is SO important. The tangible outcome isn’t the amount of likes or comments I get, it’s the fact I took the time to write about an area I’m knowledgable in and actually hit publish. Even if I helped out or made just one person smile, that is more than enough.
I always need to remind myself, this is for me as much as it is for my readers. My life experiences are different from the last person who wrote about these topics. I’m offering a brand new perspective, I’m brushing up on my writing skills, I’m potentially teaching something new and well, sharing is fun.
3. Who even am I? (Not existentially speaking.)
I find myself having to play so many roles that, at times, I forget who I am. That felt so silly to type, I’ll have you know. But it makes sense! Somedays I’m Ash, the UI/UX designer + developer and brand experience creator. Other days I’m Ashley, the small business owner who has to prep for taxes and manage customer complaints. Just to name a few.
There’s a sort of mindset that comes with each different role. There are times when I need to be professional and friendly (I’m most always friendly, except when people don’t use their turn signals), there are times when I can be silly and make jokes, and there are times when I need to focus and have a stern conversation about a late payment. Different mindsets, different days. I need to hone in on the overarching Ashley, the one that is always there during work hours and after, in order to make this blog be exactly what I want it to be; a representation of who I am in the hopes of helping others!
As much as I’d love to write like I have life & business all figured out; I don’t. Who does? As much as I want to post pictures of my flawless, everything is white and pristine home – I can’t. Because whose home IS that way? I want to share who I am, really.
This blog, along with my Instagram & Twitter, I’m using to share glimpses of my life so that you can understand who I am in real life. I have an odd & snarky sense of humor, I’m a firm believer that Jesus Christ is our savior, I enjoy shooting at (nonliving) things – with guns, and 80% of my possessions were thrifted or handed down through generations. It’s who I am and it’s what makes me and my writing style unique. And in the past, I’ve tried to hide that. I tiptoe around specifics about myself because I’m afraid I’ll loose followers, prospective clients, etc. But I’ll be honest, it’s impossible to write like your someone else.
4. The balance between planning, over planning and under planning.
I over-plan 95% of the time. I like to have to-do lists and game plans set it place for literally everything. I have 6 different to-do lists on my desk right now and another 4 on my fridge. You don’t?
When I first started this blog, oh! I had it all planned out. I was posting every single day with a different topic for the different days of the weeks. Each day had it’s own template and it’s own post category. You get the picture. I had this whole thing set in motion and I stuck to it… for about 2 months. I got bored. The overly planned repetitive nature just didn’t work for me. I felt like I couldn’t be creative outside of those constraints, mind you I set them myself for myself, and I just stopped writing.
Then I under-planned and said, “Hey I’ll just write when I feel like it, and I’ll just write whatever I have in my head at the time!” That sporadically took place for the next couple of months and then radio silence again.
Since then, I’ve been writing down every blog post idea that pops into my head. Rather than writing the post in that instance as soon as I think of it, I just write the main idea down in a notebook. I now have quite a few post ideas which I can use for future, more planned out postings! Yay!
My new plan? I will be posting on Mondays (the name of this blog is Simple Mondays) and the posts will fall under the following categories: Business, Lifestyle, Wellness. Three areas I am passionate about and love learning about – and hopefully I can help you learn and grow as well!
5. My post is ready to go and I have to share it on social media and figure out how to optimize it for search engines!?
Yeah. I burn out at about this stage of the whole blogging thing. Woo! I just wrote 1,500 words about this awesome topic, now what? I have to create MORE graphics and share it in more places than just my blog? Does this ever end? No. It doesn’t. Not if you actually want people to read what you write.
I get discouraged because social media algorithms are constantly changing. That fancy word just means social media outlets like Facebook & Instagram own you and your followers and they can show and not show what they please. Without having some sort of marketing budget, to pay for people to find me, it seems impossible to spread the word about my blog.
Just don’t get discouraged and keep sharing! There are a number of ways to maximize your outreach, just by being a little tech savvy – I’m going to share a post on this later. I have some tricks up my sleeve and am working on trying them out now. I want to see first hand which are worth pursuing or not worth pursuing, before sharing them with you.
So, how do you start to stop sucking at blogging?
WRITE. Just do it.
If it’s something you enjoy or something you feel like you need to do, just commit to it and do it (my husband always tells me this). Don’t let fear drive you away. And remember – the more you do it, the better you’ll get at it. If you have some grammatical errors, or your writing style isn’t the most loved, who cares? Just keep going and do you! Also, repetition works wonders my friends.
Don’t fret about what people will think. You’re amazing and talented! Just be yourself and speak with your own unique voice. Find a balance in planning, don’t overthink things and just do the work (any Being Boss fans out there?). And don’t worry about the little nuanced silliness – like SEO. I’m here to help and there are a ton of resources out there that I’ll be sharing with you.
Happy Monday! Let’s make this week amazing.