Attention Bloggers: You Don’t Have to Do it All {Craft Your Blog}


I love our blogging community in Northwest Arkansas. We meet up once a month, and it’s one of the rare times I go out by myself, so it’s especially special. We go to a restaurant, talk and laugh.

We usually don’t talk about blogging all that much.

But last night we did a little, and it got me thinking about the pressures we put on ourselves as bloggers and writers and people.

Write When It’s Important Why not try only blogging when you have something to say?

It all started with my dear friend Peter, who writes an amazing food blog. He was talking about sometimes wanting to write about other things and what you do with that.

I usually just write about whatever I want, but his blog has a clearer focus than mine, so he might not want to bust out with a craft project or a parenting essay, it’s true.

I said that I’m at a point where I’m thinking again about what it is I really want to write about and have been feeling unfocused.

He said he thinks a lot of my recent posts have been great, which is, (1) really sweet to say and (2) a sure sign that we have no idea what goes on in other people’s brains, because I haven’t been feeling so confident lately.

He asked what I’ve been doing and I said “I’m only writing when I have something I want to say.”

Wow.

I don’t even know if that’s true, but what a statement.

Writing just for the sake of writing is great, but don’t force that on your readers.

You should be excited to write, not think of it as a chore or another thing to check off the list.

If blogging has become that for you, you have my permission to take a step back and only write when you’re really fired up about something or there’s really something you want to share. A radical solution for avoiding blogger burnout.

On Trying to Do It All

A couple other friends, Keisha and Ramona, were talking about blogging pressures, and all the little (and big) things we feel like we have to do in order to be successful, whatever that is, or to do it right, whatever that means.

We can’t just write a post and hit publish. We have to edit, take or find a cute picture, edit it, add a title or something to make it pin-worthy, think about keywords and intriguing titles and how to promote on social and…

It all gets to feeling like a lot of too much after a while.

And it occurred to me that all that stuff is great — especially if you’re trying to build traffic or make money from your blog — but maybe you don’t really have to do all that all the time.

Don’t feel like blogging today? Don’t do it.

Don’t want to optimize your title for SEO or choose a searchable keyword phrase? Forget about it.

Can’t find a suitable image or just don’t want to deal with it? Well, I’m a big fan of photos and illustrations, so I wouldn’t tell you to routinely go without, but maybe you can just pull out a quote (like I just did!) and use an app to make an illustration that may not be all that pin-worthy, but at least is something.

Don’t let the shoulds get in the way of the parts of blogging you really enjoy.

This may be really bad advice if you have a really big blog where readers and advertisers count on you to have new content every day and you need to be found by search engines to keep your income up.

But for the rest of us, it’s OK to ignore “the rules” a bit so as not to get burned out on this thing we really love.

Because that’s the important part. It’s about sharing this thing that you love, not about the perfect keyword phrase.

Really.

What blogging “should” is bothering you right now? Is there a way around it? I’d love to hear your thoughts, bloggers!

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3 Comments

  1. Love this, Sarah. Maybe we need DIFFERENT writing outlets. Places like an actual paper journal (I know, gasp), another site (hello, Medium), or another blog that can hold the things that don’t fit. Or maybe we realize we are whole packages and we write everything and when people are “buying us” they are actually buying us. Sounds like lovely convo – hate to have missed that, but Sam’s was calling my dear one’s need for expensive Irish cheese in bulk.

  2. We have a block of bulk Irish cheddar form Sam’s in our refrigerator right now. I just thought it was interesting that we so rarely actually talk about blogging but this was something several people needed to think about and hear. (I’m also all for different outlets, and notebooks, since I do morning pages.)

  3. Loved this. I go through phases. Phases where all the words are in my head but I cant get them on the screen. Or I have none of the words and all of the motivation. Occasionally I hit blogging bliss and everything is copacetic. Those are the moments when I feel legit.

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