I recently did some blog housekeeping. I unfollowed a bunch of inactive blogs and Twitter accounts and visited the blogs of my followers to find that they’re also mostly inactive. It’s not the first time I’ve done this, though I really should do it more often because it literally took me all weekend. The last time I did this, it spurred this post about empty followers and how they really take a toll. This time, the chore brought on the following thought explosion.
Blogging isn’t for everybody. And it shouldn’t be. Obviously some people love to write and others don’t. But there are people who genuinely want to write and like it, so they start a blog. I’m always really hesitant to follow brand new blogs. I like reading their first posts and supporting them to start, but something like 60% of blogs started don’t last more than a few months, and most blogs in existence are inactive. It worries me when a new blog says something like “this is my fourth attempt at blogging!” because while I know they’re being honest and optimistic, it is a very clear warning that they may fall into the same pattern. Respect to those who overcome! (If you want to check out this great experiment run by a fellow blogger who tracked random blogs’ inactivity over a yearlong period.)
And I get it, life can be crazy. I only blog once a week and when I clock out at work, I have essentially zero responsibilities or plans, but even I have trouble keeping up sometimes. I am in awe of people who balance blogging and a more busy life. But I’ve made blogging work for me, and that’s not because I’m special or love writing more than others.
I’ve noticed that blogging has become more about just writing online. It’s become a process. You can’t just post when you want. You have to have a schedule. You have to network. You have to have social media accounts. You have to have great content. This side of blogging is huge, and it’s very easy to get sucked into it.
Blogging, for a lot of people, is a part-time job, and that can’t work for everyone. Even me with my free time, I don’t have the time to do everything….nor do I have the drive. Blogging is fun for me, and I don’t want the stress of upkeep and goals ruining it for me.
I’d love to know how many people with inactive blogs quit because they couldn’t keep up with the demands bloggers have placed on each other. Or how many felt so guilty for taking a break that they don’t come back at all. I’ll admit that sometimes, the pressure to post and be active on social media has helped me because it forced me to be productive at times when I didn’t want to, but it also makes me feel a bit guilty for sometimes considering a week off or not tweeting as much as I feel I should to build a brand. But overall, since I only post once a week and only focus on a few social platforms, I’m not as overwhelmed and stressed.
See, blogging for me is a hobby. I like to write and share my nonsense. I doubt I’ll ever get so popular that my blogging will ever be anything but a hobby. Almost all bloggers start doing it as a hobby (honestly if you go into it for any other reason, you’re a fool), but there’s this push in the blogosphere to eventually transition to a full-time blogger. I see a lot of young ladies quit their jobs to blog full time. They’ve got the passion and drive and obviously better stats than me, so they take on the work-from-home freelance hustle-hard life, and I respect that because it does take balls. I could never do it. And I shouldn’t. We can’t all blog full time and we can’t all have companies wanting to work with us and we can’t all be invited to events. And I wouldn’t want to anyway, because if I’m always so concerned about making money and what post will do that, I won’t be able to post the nonsense I like.
This happens outside of the blogging world, of course. A friend on Facebook shared this article a few weeks ago about why turning a hobby (blogging, sewing, jewelry-making…) into a career isn’t always the best path because it can lead to resentment and a dislike for what was once a passion and an escape. At least YouTube has a system to pay big creators, but other industries don’t have that. So you gotta work really hard to make what you would at a regular job with benefits and whatnot.
If there are any new bloggers reading this, I urge you to find a schedule that works for you and draw the lines if you want to maintain blogging. Don’t get pressured into what others think blogging is because it’s a battle that may cause you to lose a passion. If you like to write and are fine doing it for no other reason, then great! Welcome to the blogosphere.
Blogging isn’t for everyone, but it may be for you.