The Debilitating Mindset Of “Should Do” Blogging

When I first started blogging, I had no idea what I was doing. I wrote. I posted. I connected with other bloggers. I had fun. Then I realized that I could actually make a career out of blogging. I began consuming every post I could find about the mechanics of blogging.

I found out my images were crap, I lacked focus and that I really needed to up my game if I was planning to make any money blogging.

I learned a lot. I changed a lot. And I stressed A LOT!

I tried so many different things. I must have looked chaotic to my original readers but I chalked it up to the growth process. What I didn’t acknowledge was that in an effort to be successful, I lost control of what I really wanted. I let other bloggers dictate my vision and I got caught up in the debilitating mindset of what I “should do” instead of what made me happy.

It stifled my creativity and made me hate blogging. I even thought about quitting. It has taken me a long time to let go of the roadmap created by other bloggers’ successes and forge my own path. I’m in a much better place now. And guess what? I’m making a full-time income from my blogs! Sweet!

If you are on the brink of calling it quits, see if any of the following should do’s are responsible for your current mindset.

It has taken me a long time to let go of the roadmap created by other bloggers' successes. If you are on the brink of calling it quits, see if any of the following should do's are responsible for your current mindset. #blogging

The Debilitating Mindset Of “Should Do” Blogging

 

1) You Should Post Frequently.

While in the beginning I agree that you should post more frequently to get you into the swing of blogging and a consistent fan base, I do not subscribe to any set schedule. What is the point of trying to post daily or weekly for that matter if you are not inspired and are only going to put out crap. Sometimes I post a lot. Sometimes I go a month without posting. It’s all good. Maybe you need a longer break. Just don’t abandon your blog altogether. Post when you have something to say.

 

2) You Should Use Social Media.

Believe it or not, you do not HAVE to use social media. Just because you don’t have a profile on a certain platform does not mean that others can’t share your post there if they are so inclined. I know many bloggers that don’t use specific social media like Twitter or Pinterest and I still share their posts on those venues. If you don’t like or understand how to use a certain platform, it is actually better you don’t create a willy nilly account anyway. Don’t worry. Those social networks can still send you traffic even if you aren’t spending time there. Your time is valuable. Decide where you want to be and if social media makes your head spin, don’t stress or let yourself be consumed by the fear of missing out.

 

3) You Should Have An Email List.

I hate email. And outside of the blogging world, most regular folk hate it too. I feel like this whole subscription/newsletter thing is a evil machine created by bloggers.

Seriously, for the same reason you should not post if you don’t have anything to say, you shouldn’t have an email list if you are never going to do anything with it, it doesn’t supplement your income or especially if, you have to pay to have an email list.

My main source of income comes from running ads on my blogs. I don’t NEED an email list and if someone wants to be notified of my new posts, there are many, many different ways someone can do that, like in the WordPress Reader or Bloglovin’.

 

4) You Should Create Courses Or Sell Products.

Isn’t this the latest trend? Droves of bloggers are struggling to figure out what course or product they should offer. Some niches are super easy to find a good fit for a course or product. Good for you if you are in one of those. But for most lifestyle bloggers, not so much.

I’ve said it many times, I am a lazy blogger. Courses and products just sound like a lot of work. And a lot of promotion. It doesn’t get me excited at all.

If you don’t like video, are struggling to come up with concepts and can’t stand the thought of continually promoting said offer, maybe creating courses and products is not for you.

 

5) You Should Do Sponsored Posts.

Fashion and beauty bloggers are a natural fit for sponsored posts. And the general public loves honest reviews of products they are thinking about purchasing. If you are in either one of those niches, sponsored posts are probably fun for you.

For me, I get super stressed when I have to do a sponsored post. When do I have to have it done by? Will I like the product? What will I say about it? I do very, very few sponsored posts and only for products or companies that I have established a connection with.

If sponsored posts make you feel insincere, maybe you should stay clear of them too.

 

No matter how many posts you read, remember that there isn’t a guaranteed formula for success. What works for someone else, may not work for you. Don’t believe the hype. There aren’t any rules set in stone when it comes to blogging. In fact, the most successful , long time bloggers excelled because they made their own rules. Most of them had no idea what they were doing before they hit on their winning formula. And I dare say, they didn’t take any courses or read any blogs about blogging.

You don’t HAVE to do anything but stay true to yourself. Blogging is a journey. Make it one that brings you joy and readers will want to join you.

Are there any “should do’s” that you have refused to do?

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33 thoughts on “The Debilitating Mindset Of “Should Do” Blogging

  1. Thanks so much for this post! Well-meaning people have advised me to create a stronger focus on my blog but I just know that would be a bad idea. I’m looking to self-host so I can monetize but the timing wasn’t right. After reading your story I know that I have to make it happen – so thanks again!

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  2. I needed this SO much right now. It’s the self-promotion. I hate it. I’m also not monetising the blog in any way and I’m OK with that. I MIGHT consider ads if I could specify what appears on my blog. Is that possible? I feel like I ‘should’ know this!

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  3. Great tips, Elena! The one thing I hate reading all the time is how often we should post and how many words. Haven’t they gotten it by now? It doesn’t matter. Just keep it routine and consistent. I’ve always said, walk to your own beat. If you’re not feeling it, don’t publish a post cause it’s probably going to stink. 🙂

    Thanks for the helpful tips!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My wife has learned that starting a sentence with ‘You should…’ is pretty much a guarantee of not doing whatever it is, just to prove that, actually, I don’t have to. She loves me anyway, probably.

    I do my blogging in the same way, generally done when I feel like it, on my schedule and not tailored for any particular audience. Which probably explains a lot.

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  5. I don’t know how many times I’ve said ‘Blogging should be all about fun and enjoyment’ yet I still see many people throwing in the towel with Blogging because they replaced ‘fun and enjoyment’ with ‘stress and guilt.’ I do offer free blogging tips on my blog, but that’s because 1. I enjoy doing so, and 2. because I enjoy sharing what I have learned.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And you do a fabulous job! Of course there is nothing wrong with blogging about blogging. People will always need help with the technical side. Everything else is up to the individual. After all, variety is the spice of life.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Thankyou for this. My ‘blog’ is more of a platform/portfolio. Scheduling posts was something that I thought I should be doing, but struggled to make it work. I post as and when, and enjoy that lack of pressure on myself. I like to break a ‘rule’ or two 😉 I think doing things your own way helps develop your unique style 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Elena you are my blogging goddess – so much of what you’ve written is EXACTLY what I believe too. I don’t make a living from my blog so I often feel like I am getting away with murder by not doing all the things that we’re told are a must-do. The whole email list thing, needing to be on every single SM there is, running 85 pop-ups, and ads between every paragraph, thinking up courses to run, selling my soul for a product I wouldn’t pay for…… I don’t do any of it – and I think that’s why blogging is still fun for me (and strangely enough, lots of people visit me so I can’t be doing it too badly!) Great post as always xx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Goddess! lol More like Buddha these days! You are an inspiration to bloggers Leanne. I admire your style and your ability to make blogging fit you, not the other way around.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you Elena, for posting this.You confirm some thoughts I’ve had about blogging ‘shoulds’. I have a hard time sticking to a set schedule with blog posts. Sometimes I’m inspired to write 2 or 3 per week, sometimes none. I like the mindset of creating my blog the way I want it to be, and write when I have something worthwhile to say.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. To borrow a common fandom phrase: Bless This Post!

    The ‘shoulds’ put too much pressure on people – not only to do *everything*, but to do it just like everyone else.

    (Which results in identikit blogs which I can’t tell apart from each other, and can’t remember which blogger is connected to which blog. Just saying. Lol.)

    And if you have mental health problems (Hi!) then that is the exact opposite of good!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Isn’t that the truth! How many times have I said, ” I read that somewhere. Now which blog was it?”. I don’t understand why bloggers would ever want to be like someone else.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. We decided a while ago that our blog should be fun to do and something that we would like to read. We keep getting offers for sponsored posts and more but want our lives to dictate what the blog is rather than the other way round. Great post Elena, really makes you think.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thank you Elena!! I’ve seriously cut down on my should do’s because I was spread too thin and frustrated. I’m concentrating on adding content to my site and taking a writing class. Everything else is on autopilot at the moment. Since I’ve been focussing on content, my ad revenue is mysteriously going up … go figure … LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  12. This post seriously could not have come at a more appropriate moment, Elena! I’m making some changes on the blog and a huge part of that process is banishing the ‘should dos’. Thanks for the affirmation 😊 Sue x

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