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.
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?