when your blog makes you feel like shit

This is going to get rant-y. But you know what? I just really feel like I need to unload.

You all know I just celebrated my fifth year of blogging.

I didn’t really start to get serious about blogging until August of 2010. It was then that I had a blog redesign and switched to WordPress. I also started playing along on Twitter more and created a Facebook page.

In 2010 I had more time to blog. At least it certainly seemed that way. In 2011 my work situation got, um, busy and complicated. I’m  not able to blog or tweet or be on facebook as much during the day. I can’t comment on blogs like I used to either, which I know is one of the big ways to gain followers and find what I call “equal” blog friends i.e. I comment on your blog, you comment on mine.

Now it seems the only time I have to do any of this blog stuff is at night or on the weekends, which just happens to be the only time I get with my boys.

I have so many good ideas that never get written. I want to think of this blog as my business. Oh alright, I’m just going to come out with it . . .

I want to be a work at home mom. I don’t want to work at my job anymore. Like, AT ALL. I am completely uninterested in working for someone else. The ONLY reason I go to work is so we can pay off our debt. That’s it. I’m not ashamed to admit it anymore. I would LOVE to be a stay at home mom. Whew, I never ever in a million years thought that would come out of my mouth. But you know what? It feels good to finally admit that to you guys.

I want to be a professional blogger but with my numbers it won’t happen. It feels unattainable.

I tried to do sponsorships but I’m not sure it’s for me. I want to do awesome giveaways but I don’t always have the time to devote to them. I want to see other opportunities come my way and sometimes they do. But for the most part, they don’t. I try really hard on what I am able to do. But it’s not enough.

I thought going to BlogHer might have raised my stats and helped my position in the blogosphere. But I royally messed up and it didn’t seem to help much at all.

I know what you’re thinking. Quit complaining. You either like what you’ve got or you can quit.

But I don’t want to quit. I don’t want to hold back what I’m really feeling about this whole blogging gig. I want to come out with it . . .

I am jealous of other people’s blogs. And it stinks. Because I want to be happy for my friends who have eleven billion-ty subscribers. The blogs I read are amazing. There are some that I read and comment every time they write something. I guess I just feel connected to their stories somehow. Or I know that I’m going to like what I read.

But I don’t understand how I have been doing this for five years and have such a small following. The only thing that comes to mind is:

I’M DOING SOMETHING WRONG. DUH.

I can’t pinpoint it. If you say I need to spend more time on my blog, well, I’m shit out of luck. Because more time is what I can’t give. If I do, I lose precious moments with my family. And that’s what matters in the end, yes? I probably won’t be thinking about the time I spent on my blog when I’m 90-years-old. I’ll be thinking about the time I spent with my kids and wishing I could have had more.

I think maybe people just aren’t connecting with me and my life. If I don’t have a large following then it must mean I’m not interesting enough for people, right? I’m interesting to a small amount of people (thank you for reading, by the way!). But in a sense, people don’t care.

This used to make me feel good. But lately I just feel like shit. Blunt but true.

I probably shouldn’t have posted this. But I’m in a I-don’t-care-mood today. I feel like giving up the rat race sometimes. I’m never going to win. I’m never going to live my dream of being a freelance writer, making money for myself. I’m never going to do what makes me happy, which is this. Writing for the masses. I’m never going to get to be home with my children.

Ugh, this feeling sucks. But thank you for “listening.”

/end rant.

Comments

  1. says

    I’ve written this post 10 or 11 times in 2011. I’ll write something, especially my fiction, and think it’s brilliant and it draws tumbleweeds and 5 attaboys. Then, I’ll do some dumber post about my teenager’s cheetos conenction to me and suddenly I have stalkers. It’s weird.

    The truth is you have to write for yourself and appreciate when people do pay attention.

    I struggle with how you feel every day. Yet, I just keep writing. I believe that’s the key. Happy blog birthday, again.
    Lance recently posted..The Articles

  2. says

    Molly, I feel the same way. I started my blog as a baby book, if you will for my kids. I see myself getting jealous when others have hundreds, and sometimes, thousands of followers. I wonder what is so appealing about everybody else. I am like you that I don’t have a ton of time to devote to my blog. I don’t want it to consume my life, or take away from the most important things in my life.

    If thought about investing more into it, having a profession design, advertising more, etc. I am saying, from the heart, that I love your blog. I’ve always looked at yours as one of the ‘higher quality’ ones and put it on par with many of the top bloggers out there. Your topics are from the heart, you have a great way with words, and it’s visually very appealing. Keep going, Molly. :)
    Tessa recently posted..Wordless Wednesday, Anniversary Edition

    • says

      Thank you, Tessa. Your blog is much like what mine was for the first 3 years. A baby book of sorts and I loved that. Sometimes I daydream about going back to just an online journal for my boys.

      Anyway, you are one of my BIGGEST supporters and I want you to know how much I appreciate your visits here and your tweets. It means a lot!

  3. says

    My blog has a small following, too, so I don’t have any good first-hand advice, but I say reach out to the blogs you like that are big. Ask the authors what it is they’ve done that helped them gain traction. I bet they’ve all done slightly different things. One of the blogs I follow, http://babydickey.com/, has a pretty big following. You could reach out to Emily and I bet she’d share what she’s done. Good luck — I say keep your eye on your dream and good for you for voicing it.
    Laura recently posted..Screaming Shelby vs. Happy Shelby

  4. says

    Do I wish my blog was more popular/famous/coveted? Sure. But at the end of the day, it’s my blog, my way. I turn down a lot of opportunities because, even though they’re great and wonderful and would give me an in, at the same time, I would be selling out and not being true to myself. It’s a really, really, really narrow line to walk. I write because I like to. Sometimes, I’m bummed that more people don’t comment on something I thought was particularly inspiring, but that’s ok.

    I also run into the whole “not enough hours in the day” thing. And it is what it is. I’m not going to be a slave to my blog or social media. I have a life with my family and that’s what matters most.

    I’m sorry you’re having a hard time with this. I think the answer is to either keep writing or take a break to reassess. Hugs.
    Jenn recently posted..{ we’re going on a trip: a honeymoon trip }

    • says

      You seem like such a level-headed person, Jenn. I do appreciate your comment. I agree with everything you’ve said but my heart just gets in the way. I guess it goes all the way back to wanting to be “popular” and feeling bad when you’re not.

      I’m sure I will keep it up. Maybe I’m just worn out after a year of trying to “keep up.”

      Thanks for visiting and for your thoughts.

      • says

        Oh gosh. Next thing you know you’ll be accusing me of having common sense and it will all be over!

        I’ve had those nights and weeks, thinking about things and getting down on myself about the State of My Blog. I’ve driven MacGyver insane analyzing offers – do I take it and make some cash and get the publicity or do I say no thank because I don’t use/believe/care for/agree with the product? I think to myself that I’m a better writer than some bloggers who enjoy higher traffic and more popularity, but I also know they work harder at it than me. I don’t begrudge them their success, and I’m not willing to put in more hours than I do. There are also parts of my life that are for me and mine alone. And I am fiercely protective of that, knowing it comes at a blogging cost.

        When my heart gets in the way, I tend to snuggle Turtle and the pugs, eat some chocolate, drink some wine and then go on to other things. You’ve reached out and touched people. I see that in your comments all the time. You’ve done something good. Tell your heart to cut you some slack.
        Jenn recently posted..{ we’re going on a trip: a honeymoon trip }

  5. Jenna S says

    This might just be me, but I am not a fellow blogger. Just a blog reading lover. I love your blog and check it daily for updated posts. But I don’t think I am a subscribed reader. I normally only do that when there is a contest that makes me sign up. Not that I don’t want to sign up I just never rememeber my username and password to get signed up if that makes sense. You are book marked on my computer along with the other blogs I follow so that is how I check your page. Or if I notice something on facebook then I will check there. So long story short, maybe if you had a contest or something that made your readers sign up to follow you…you might see how many people actually read your blog every day? Or can you tell on how many hits this page gets? Sorry for rambling…I don’t know how the backend of all this works but you are doing a great job from my side and please don’t go away! Just write what you can and spend most of your time with your boys! That’s what matters most :)

  6. says

    I hear you Molly. In the past year my blog has grown tremendously, and I’m so thankful for it … But at the same time, it is a LOT of work. There have been a LOT of late nights of responding to emails, writing blogs, editing photos, setting up giveaways … And I can feel myself getting dangerously close to that ‘burnt out’ feeling. Because of that, starting in 2012 I am completely redoing my posting/review schedule, because you’re right, there’s no point to having a ‘mommy blog’ if I’m actually not spending most of my time being a mommy.

    And for the record, regardless of your numbers, I think your blog is one of the highest quality blogs out there. I know that when you post, 9 times out of 10 you have something of substance and well written.

    You shouldn’t feel like you need to strive to be like others, others should be striving to be like you. ::hugs::

    • says

      Well, let me just say that when you did the blog redesign and changed your focus, it reminded me A LOT of when I made the move. Both you and I work and have two boys and try to keep up with a blog. So we have a lot in common, I think. You have done a wonderful job, Steph. I love you blog. I really do. I just get so down and negative sometimes. That’s how I’ve always been though.

      I need to refocus and think about all the positives of this blog. Friendships like yours being the BIGGEST positive there is!

      Thank you for the last sentence. You certainly know how to make a girl feel loved and appreciated!

  7. says

    Molly,
    Oh how I feel you. Trying to find a place in all of the social media/blogging world can seem darn near impossible! And how hard is it for people to read what you write and just appreciate? Turns out, pretty difficult.

    I have realized that blog stats are so much like that number on the scale. I can spend all day staring at the number of hits, the followers, the comments and still feel so lame; just like I can weigh myself morning, afternoon, and night only to feel disappointment and disapproval with each step on the scale. Then you add Facebook and Twitter, Bloglovin and Stumbleupon and it seems that ugly number just posts itself up everywhere!

    You’re beautiful and so is your blog. I so look forward to your honesty in your posts and so often find myself laughing, thinking you put it so perfectly in a way I can’t seem to write! I’ll be here reading, laughing, praying, and loving it regardless of how many others join in!
    amber recently posted..Kitchen Goals for Myself

    • says

      Thank you SO much, Amber. I really do appreciate your words. They are like butter on a biscuit to me :) And thank you for coming back and reading time and time again. My readers are amazing!

  8. says

    Molly,

    I love your honesty in every post. I know you’ll tell it just like it is and that’s why I come back!

    I’ve been blogging since 2006, but I didn’t like the feel of my old blog and just recently changed directions completely with a brand new blog. I didn’t have a whole lot of followers to begin with so I’m pretty much starting from scratch. I definitely know how you feel!

    At any rate, I love reading your blog.

    I also just ran across this website and it has inspired me immensely. Just thought I’d pass it along if you are interested: http://goinswriter.com/

    Hang in there!
    Leanne recently posted..Bake Cookies

    • says

      Thank you for the suggestion, Leanne! I’m definitely going to check it out. I feel like I’m constantly reading other blogs to figure out how to be better and do better. I appreciate your visits to my blog!

  9. says

    I completely understand. Someone posted recently that blogging is like a big online high school… there’s the popular kids, and the rest of us are just trying to be like them.

    I get caught up in my lack of followers/comments/etc sometimes and I have to remember that I’m blogging for the memories. It’s hard to remember that when you wonder why someone else can post that the sky is blue and get 47 comments. :)

    I came across a handful of posts that I wrote years ago that made me smile because I didn’t remember the things I was talking about. So… that was my drive to keep going.

    I’d encourage you to evaluate what you’re doing this for — if it is for the money or followers (not saying that’s a bad thing) then maybe you should take a break and reevaluate, and figure out a game plan. That way you’re recharged and refocused!

    I think you’re great and will continue to read no matter what. <3
    Megan recently posted..Reflection.

    • says

      Megan, when I look back on my posts from yesteryear (hehe) it makes me feel so good. I can’t believe I have kept this up for five years! I usually quit everything I do after a few tries. But not this one. That might be why I’d have a hard time giving up.

      I feel like I need to just take a deep breath and start again. I’ve been thinking even a new header or color scheme would give me my mojo and confidence back!

      Anyway, I appreciate you so much. I shudder to think of the friendships and support I would have missed out on had it not been for my blog. I never would have “met” you, for example and that makes me sad. I have to believe there are more opportunities in all of our futures, if we just keep at it!

      p.s. We still need to officially meet!!!

  10. says

    I love your honesty. I can completely relate to this post. I want to do something more with my blog and social media, but I’m not sure what and I don’t know how to get there. I feel like I constantly compare myself and my blog to others, always feeling defeated when I see their numbers. It’s a cruel game that I somehow just can’t quit.
    Kimberly recently posted..Don’t Ever Forget

    • says

      See, I know there are a lot of people like you and me out there. That’s probably why I felt compelled to write this little rant out on my blog for people to see. At least they know they’re not alone. As with any industry, there is going to be competition. I think it’s what drives us to be better and try harder. But it’s when you start to let it affect your self-esteem or your mood. Well, that’s not good. Not good at all. I feel like I just need to take a breather over the holiday and reassess. Then I can come back in 2012 with a renewed sense of purpose for this space.

  11. Cindy says

    Amen to everything. I swear we are soul sisters.

    I often read other blogs and get jealous. I get jealous when I see posts that says “Sponsored by,” I get jealous when I see blogs that have these awesome giveaways.

    Just the other day BA from the Heir to Blair posted about a vacuum that she was given and one she was giving away. I am not going to lie – while I was vacuuming that afternoon with my hand me down piece of crap, I was pissed. How and why did she get so lucky?? Where can I sign up for freebies??

    Jealousy, stinks. BUT I do love your blog and will continue reading giveaweays or not!

    • says

      Yes, it’s difficult to keep it in perspective.

      I try to remember back to when I had three followers and how I thought I sucked then. I think success is all relative. Because I know that there will ALWAYS be someone bigger and better than your blog, no matter how popular we are.

      There will always be opportunities that someone else has and we’ll feel left out. But I’m certain they feel the same way from time to time.

      It’s a losing battle, this jealousy thing.

      p.s. I love BA and she did a way better job of the vacuum giveaway than I ever could have! I, however, would love to give away a car, a la Oprah.

      You get a car. And you get a car. And you get a car!

  12. says

    Unfortunately, I have no advice to offer, and I wish I knew how I found you and started following you. I got talked into doing a blog by my sister-in-law so the out of state family members could follow along with my pregnancy, and eventually, the life of my now 2-year old. I do updates mainly for the few family members who want to read about our mostly boring lives and look at cute pics of my son. But I somehow started clicking on links from my SIL’s blog to other blogs, and became almost obsessed reading about others’ lives! You were probably a link I clicked from someone else’s blog 10x removed or something. I’m glad I found you. You are a great writer and you are honest about your struggles. Never mind did it take me over a year to comment on any blogs I decided to follow, but I used to just bookmark blogs because I was afraid to follow people’s blogs as I thought they’d wonder who is this chick and where did she come from? (I know…weird!). I eventually overcame my insecurities and got brave and started following SELECT folks like yourself and a few others – folks I felt some sort of connection with. And then I got braver and made some comments. Today I’m commenting to let you know that no matter how many followers you have, you are a beautiful writer and a beautiful person, and I appreciate you sharing yourself with us!
    Suze recently posted..Christmas Photo Shoot

    • says

      Thank you, Suze. You are always commenting and it makes me feel so good that you follow along!

      Like you, I used to “hide” in the blog shadows and wouldn’t follow people. I just didn’t know how this big blog world worked at the time. I didn’t even realize people were making money at it until I was two years into it!

      I guess I’m curious (nosy?) about how people get such a big following. I’d like to know their secret. I know for some of them they put in a lot of hours and hard work so I would NEVER begrudge them their successes. But damn, sometimes you just want a little success for yourself too, ya know?

      Thanks for reading, my friend.

  13. Dawn says

    Molly, don’t ever give up on your dreams. You can have it all. Imagine it, feel it, believe it and it will happen. Just because it is taking a long time doesn’t mean it won’t happen. Look at me, I’m still believing for a husband after 20 something years of being single. You are a fabulous and interesting writer. Yes, family is the most important thing. I think most people would agree with that sentiment. I think that probably your audience is doing the same as you – trying to spend as much quality time with their families and friends as possible. Unfortunately, this does limit the amount of time one can spend in front of a computer. At any rate, I have a work-at-home business opportunity you may be interested in. Contact me after the holidays and we can get together for coffee or something and I’ll fill you in. Love and miss you. Kiss those babies for me!

  14. says

    I’m only growing because I’m always out there. And by “out there”, I mean, in the Blogesphere. I’ve pretty much given up on Twitter and Facebook. I don’t find them fun at all. I know they serve their purposes but I like to get to know folks slowly and Twitter is too fast for me. I’ve been advised that if I want my blog to grow quickly, do guest posts, giveaways, Twitter my heart out. I don’t feel like doing any of it. You have some wise people before me commenting that they started their blogs to journal their Families. Whenever I feel stuck with my blog, I have to keep reminding myself that it’s main objective was/is to journal my children’s youth. And I’m doing that! My other reason for continuing to write is that maybe, one day, you’ll come and visit me again. Believe me, I won’t bite. ha!
    Your Friend, m.
    p.s. I appreciate the honestly of your post. Thanks for that! m.
    Mark recently posted..November’s Photo Dump

  15. says

    I think everyone who blogs feels like this way more often than most of them admit. Every time one of the bloggers I read says “I just found this new blog that I love!” I click through and compare every photo, every post, every sponsor, every word to my own and wonder why someone LOVES them but only likes me. Or maybe doesn’t like me at all. Because most days I think everyone on the internet secretly hates me.

    There is not magic potion for growing your blog or turning it into a job instead of a waste of time – I mean HOBBY. Some people get really lucky and grow really fast. Some people blog for 10 years and only have 20 readers. There are definitely things that make a blog MORE likely to gain readers – great design, meaningful content, a dash of humor – but you definitely have those already. I would say just keep doing what you’re doing and don’t be afraid to reach out looking for freelance work.

    p.s. This might be an unpopular opinion but guest posts are THE MOST overrated way to gain readers. I do them because I like helping people out (like with content while they’re on vacation) but I don’t ever count on them for traffic.
    Suzanne recently posted..I Kind Of Miss Diapers

    • says

      Thank you for saying that I already have some of what it takes, Suzanne. You’re right, all the way. I know this is not just a math problem I can’t figure out. I try my best and that’s all we can do, right? I love the readers I do have and should just try to keep them instead of ranting about wanting new ones.

      It was a very bad, no good day when I wrote this.

  16. says

    I don’t think that you are doing anything wrong.

    I know the majority of the people who read my blog- I found most of them first and then they came to me. Yes, it took a lot of time. And since I don’t have as much lately, my growth slowed.

    I also don’t make very much on mine. I occasional posts where I do make money, but trust me, it’s not enough to be considered even a part-time job.

    I’ve had opportunities for other positions because of my blog- but not directly on my blog, if that makes sense.

    If you figure out how to just blog and get real $$ from that- oh, please share that secret!
    Shell recently posted..Switching From Blogger to WordPress

  17. says

    I cannot offer an advice b/c I struggle with the same things. I want to grow more, but I don’t want to be on the computer all day either. If we’re not living life and making memories, then what will we have to write about?

    You have to write for you! Don’t write to gain traffic or a following. Just write what’s on your heart. Be real. That’s how people connect. It’s quality not quantity. You wouldn’t want to have a huge following and a ton of people reading that don’t really know you or hear your voice through your posts. What’s the point of that?

    Just keep writing for you. The right following will come. Continue to build on the relationships you do have online. :)
    Adrienne recently posted..5 gifts I won’t be buying my teen son!

  18. Jennie says

    I go back and forth on this with my book blog too girl. I want to be super successful with getting ARC’s and lots of followers…but then real life happens and my plans don’t pan out because I can’t give it that time.

    I think you should keep going with the blog. I have no idea on the job thing, because as you know I’m stuck in similar shoes.

    PS. I totally miss you – I need to see your face!
    Jennie recently posted..Review: Perfect Fifths by Megan McCafferty

  19. says

    Not to knock the blogs that have crazy amounts of followers, but I really like reading blogs that have smaller followings, because I know that the author actually has time/energy to interact with every single commenter. (If you had 10,000 followers, you would likely feel guilty that you don’t have the time to follow up on every single comment.)
    Besides, I wonder somtimes about the pressure that accompanies doing this “professionally.” As it is, when I have a post I’m particularly proud of, I have a hard time following it up with something that’s just “eh.” I can’t imagine the stage-fright I would have if I had thousands of people following my work.

  20. katie f. says

    I am blog ignorant, so I don’t really know how stats work — but I will tell you that I’m a huge lurker (through a reader, no less) and read each and every one of your posts. Your writing is compelling and I can relate to you on many levels. As moms and women in general, we try to be everything to everyone. IT IS EXHAUSTING. Just keep doing what you are doing. Keep it honest, keep it real. You are so good at that.

  21. says

    Big hugs, girl. I say keep on writing and screw the popularity contest—-if you enjoy writing, what better way to express yourself than on a blog?? Of course, I’ve never felt driven to make mine anything ‘big’ so I can’t say I totally understand the frustration you feel here, but just know that you are a fab blogger and there will ALWAYS be someone else that has more followers/commenters/etc. Silly old popularity contests are never a healthy thing. So keep doing your thang, sista.
    julia recently posted..15 weeks: mister orange

  22. says

    Hugs to you. I don’t have any advice really, but I understand what you’re saying, and I want to let you know I like coming here. And I am pretty new to your blog, so you are still gaining followers :)

  23. says

    Honestly, I have this same conversation in my own head like 3x a week. It is SO hard to be a blogger because you are forced to constantly see the achievements of others. It makes you feel like crap after a while when nothing is coming your way.

    Here’s the deal: I am a terrible commenter. I feel bad about that, but I usually get sidetracked reading a post and forget after. But you are a good writer, and you are interesting. And it’s not always about being the best or the shiniest star (because even great writers get overlooked) – it’s about how hard you try. You may not have all the time in the world to do this, but make the time you do have the very best work you do. Use it wisely because a lot of us that do have quite a bit of free time tend to squander it.

    You work hard. Look what you did for NaNoWriMo – that was AMAZING. I was super jealous of your ability to finish what you started. <3
    Diana @Hormonal Imbalances recently posted..Would it be TMI if…

  24. says

    Girlfriend, I am so glad I stumbled upon your blog tonight. After reading just one post I threw you onto my google reader (And I only add a few special must reads.) I love your honesty and raw writing. I’m just started to enter this blog world as I am pregnant with my first baby. Thanks for sharing your story with us :)
    Emily Henning recently posted..Boy Or Girl?

  25. Apes says

    It’s funny that I found this blog. If it makes you feel better, here I am… random person reading your post… I’ve been feeling exactly the way you are feeling (except I don’t blog – just feeling this way about facebook, internet discussions, life in genereal….LOL!) I like the honesty – something I have a hard time with for fear of somebody not liking me. Don’t know why. It’s nice to know there’s someone out there that feels the way I do!

  26. says

    I read your post apologizing for this post first. You shouldn’t apologize for it, because this post was very heartfelt, and although you may have felt in a crappy place when you wrote it, I think most of us can identify as we all have days like this. I’m glad you published it, as I actually enjoyed reading it.

    Blog stats are enough to drive you crazy. I just started blogging in October, but I already feel stressed about checking the numbers, and I spend hours looking over other blogs, joining clubs etc to get my numbers up.

    My son is 10-months old, and therefore can’t entertain himself for long, so I feel awful on the days I have my head in my computer and am not concentrating on him. You hit the nail on the head, my blog is inspired by him, but my world is nothing without him. My priorities get a little confused sometimes.

    I loved your honesty, and it’s intrigued me enough to go and read more of your posts. Congratulations on your 5-year bloggiversary! It’s quite an accomplishment.
    Corinne O’Sullivan recently posted..Laundry Day

    • says

      Thank you for all the kind words! I feel the same way. My boys are sometimes tugging at my shirt saying, “Mama, get off the ‘puter’!” And then I have to take a step back and remember that my time in front of them is more important than ANY blog will ever be. Don’t worry, I struggle with the same things. I think we all live in a very distracted world.

  27. says

    There are so many ups and downs in this industry. Things can be going great and then bam – something happens. Just remember to do what you love and everything will fall into place. I use my blog as a platform for opportunities and gigs.. I don’t try to make money off of it – it will never happen. Maybe you can start writing for a big website or something along those lines. It’s tough. Take a small break, step back to clear your head. Works for me :)

    • says

      Thanks so much for dropping by, Tina, and for your encouraging words. I truly appreciate it. I look up to your blog and to you in the social media world. You were one of my first “follows” on twitter and your blog has grown so much! I hope to take a break the week of Christmas. I need to regroup and make some bloggy goals for next year!

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