I’m going to be honest with you—I have only been blogging seriously for about a year, and there were some months where I was too overwhelmed to even think of a great blog post to put out there. The posts I was putting out were not me; they were what I was seeing or thought I needed to post in order to be a successful blogger. After stepping back a bit and removing myself from what I thought I needed to be doing in order to grow, I have been able to go down a new path for blogging. I am extremely happy with this path and it still puts me somewhat out of my comfort zone.
“There is no growth in the comfort zone,” as I am sure everyone has heard by now. I believe that saying to be true, but I also believe that if you’re too uncomfortable you can get to a point where you won’t be able to function, and you will need to take a step back and analyze what to do about your situation. That is what happened to me in October of 2018. I was, in my eyes, doing so amazing with my blog. I had been consistent with blog posts since about April. Some weeks I would even post two blog posts a week. My blog traffic had never been higher! I was growing, and it felt awesome. I was at a level I was proud of for myself, and I was obsessed with growth.
In October of 2018 I was in the middle of my second to last semester of college. I was extremely overwhelmed with school, and that same month I actually found out I was pregnant again. Unfortunately, I miscarried that baby. After that, I lost a lot of motivation for many things in life, and blogging was something I had to take a break from.
I think even if I hadn’t had a miscarriage, I would have taken a break from blogging regardless. It got to a point where I wasn’t feeling joy; I was just feeling stress. I was wondering things like Am I growing enough? and How did these other bloggers grow so much and so quickly? I was happy with my growth, but when I’d talk with other bloggers around me I would get discouraged because I wasn’t growing as fast as them. My obsession with growth quickly became my downfall, and I was putting too much pressure on myself to grow. I was feeling so much pressure that it became counterproductive, so I took a break. I was lacking motivation, I wasn’t putting my all into blogging, and I had a lot of other things in my life that I had to prioritize over my blog.
Returning to Blogging
After my quick hiatus from blogging (a solid six or seven months off), I was itching to get back to it. I did a lot of research during that time off, and here is where my advice to you comes in.
Blogging Facebook Groups
I was part of a few really helpful Facebook groups for bloggers. They are what helped me kick-start my engagement on my blog. They have tasks you can do where you interact with other bloggers, comment on each other’s’ blog posts, Instagram accounts’, things like that.
I think these groups can be great for so many bloggers! But, I actually left those blogging groups because that was one of the main things that made me feel overwhelmed, and it wasn’t how I wanted to grow. I still am apart of some blogger Facebook groups, but not the ones where you have to go interact with others on their blogs. I am part of some where it is more advice that you can be given, and you can talk more with people instead of doing interactive threads. It is your blog, and your journey, so decide what you want to do to grow your blog.
If you have ever searched how to grow your blog on Pinterest, I am sure you have come across at least a few posts that talk about how amazing Tailwind is and why you need to use it for your blog.
At first, I was like yeah right, I am not going to waste my money on that. I literally thought Tailwind was a waste of money, but I was so wrong. Tailwind has been one of the major helps for my blog and its growth. I literally went from having no followers on Pinterest and a couple of thousand monthly viewers to over a million monthly viewers and 600 followers. Using Tailwind also upped my site traffic when I was posting consistently on my blog. Tailwind posts pins at prime times throughout the day that will help them get the most exposure possible. So when I would share pins each week with my blog posts attached to them, it would help those pins be seen by a wider audience than if I were to just manually pin those links myself.
I swear by Tailwind. It has been the most amazing help for my blog. I recommend Tailwind to everyone I know if they are trying to grow their own online boutique, their brand’s website, or their blog. It is worth the money, and it is LIFE CHANGING. Trust me, I am a very skeptical person, but this is a purchase I have not regretted and I think it is a MUST HAVE for you if you are blogging. I do have a link for you if you would like to get some money off of your purchase if you decide to use Tailwind. I am NOT an affiliate, but they give all their users a referral link for anyone interested in opening up a Tailwind account, so here you go! Click here for the link.
Blogging is not a race. Some of you may see quicker results in blog traffic than others. Either way, the first few months—or years—are not going to bring instant success. I have read so many blog posts on the “secrets” to growing your blog fast, and they may work for some, but for many those tips will not work because they are too vague.
Stop comparing yourself to other bloggers who have been in the game longer than you or who have been more serious about their blog than you have been. It is not a competition. People will become attached to certain blogs because they like the person behind the blog, so if you want to attract a bigger audience, be true to yourself and be patient.
I am not a huge fan of podcasts, but the one podcast I love and that I recommend is Goal Digger: The Podcast. I think Jenna Kutcher has so much great advice and tips to share. She does have some classes she offers to coach you further, but I think she gives a lot of good advice and information via her free podcasts for those trying to grow their business or blog.
For a while there, I lost who I was when it came to my writing style and blog. I wanted to be like the other bloggers who were more successful than me, but their writing style was not me, and the content they shared was not my passion either.
Please, don’t get lost in trying to be like the other more popular bloggers. There is only one you. How you write, the personality you share across your blog, that will all show through and people will love it. What you can write about will speak to the audience you are trying to grow. If you wouldn’t read the posts you are writing, then it is going to be hard to attract a true audience.
I have begun to feel so proud of the work I am starting to put out because it is more personal to me, and I feel it is more who I am. My writing style will change, and continue to change, over time. My “niche” has probably changed three times within the past year, and I think I am finally settling into more of a niche for me, though I still have random posts like this that don’t fit my blog at all, haha.
This is NOT your typical “blogging tips” post; I get it. This is more what I have found works for me and my encouragement to you, with a few tools thrown in there that I have truly used and tested. If you don’t find any of this applicable to you, that’s fine, there are a lot of blog posts I read and feel the same way about.
Keep at your blog, though. If you take a few months off to get your life more in check, don’t worry about it. You can get back on track for growing your blog after your break. Feel free to apply this advice if you found it helpful, and let me know, have you experienced any setbacks or long term breaks with your blog?