The Truth Behind the Blog

typing 150x150 The Truth Behind the BlogI sobbed uncontrollably at the thought of ending my blog. I debated in my mind if it was worth it. The long hours, the hard work, all the tasks that remain undone.   The guilt of spending too much time on the computer, the fear of saying good-bye to something I truly love, the skepticism about balancing priorities.  I wondered, is it so wrong to want it all?  

To put this into context you should know I was having a bad day.  A long, long day at work filled with meetings and reports, conference calls and a “to-do” list that just keeps growing.  School bus arriving in only a few hours, dinner not prepared, homework to be done and all those after school activities.  A blog post that still sits in draft, family and friends that need and deserve return phone calls, a husband with his own hectic schedule, a birthday party to plan, kids with sniffles, laundry piling up, a floor that needs desperate mopping, a refrigerator that needs constant replenishment. A report due to my boss in 2 hours.   I don’t think I need to continue.   I know you get it. 

I seriously debated turning the lights out on my blog.  Something needs to give.

I wondered who would notice. On Jan 18 many blogs and websites went dark in protest of SOPA/PIPA. I admit to enjoying this day off.   Lord knows, I got lots of laundry done that day.

I understand better now why they say most blogs fail.  I understand now why most blogs fail after only a few months.  This is extremely hard work  and time consuming.

But I love it.  I absolutely love it.

I quickly decided that I will not fail. That’s simply not my style. Not to mention, I don’t want to say goodbye. That would not be fair to you.  That would not be fair to me.   I was just having a bad day.

What I decided was that I need to look at things differently and impose some guidelines and rules for myself.   Here is a short list of what I came up with. I’m hoping you will offer some additional new suggestions.

#1 – I will better regulate my posting schedule  
I’ve heard many bloggers say that it’s wise to post blogs same day each week. This way your readers know what to expect from you.  I’m going to think about this and come up with a plan that works for me (and hopefully works for you too).

#2 – Finding “me” time to write
I need to do a better job to allocate dedicated time to write. Period. 

#3 – Automating my tweets
Tweeting is a huge part of how I stay connected with my readers. Many bloggers think that automating your tweets is not a wise move that it takes the human factor out of blogging and sharing. I disagree.    If I am not tweeting then I lose the opportunity to reach many new readers. By automating my tweets I can still circulate my content and have that circulate at hours I can’t sit in front of twitter (which is generally 9-5 Monday – Friday). I have selected Hootsuite as my platform.

#4 – I will stop being so darn hard on myself
Yes, there are many things I want to change about my blog. I’m going to instead make a list of priorities and balance them out over the year 2012 so that I can feel accomplished and that I’m tackling things one step at a time.   From following many other blogs out there, there is a continuous stream of new knowledge. I tend to be too impulsive in my implementation of many new features. Instead, I promise to write them down and prioritize. 

#5 – Social Networking
I have decided it’s time to be selective.   There are just so many social networking sites out there that I love.  However, my sidebar is getting too crowded.  Kludgy Mom recently warned about this in one her recent blog posts that I really appreciated.  I will be more selective about which I spend most of my cycles with and determine in six months if a change is warranted. I realize this may come with an impact. I’m willing to accept that.

My hope is that by implementing a few minor changes it will enable me to continue to do all the things I love to do.

Do you have any other suggestions?  I sure hope to hear from you!

pixel The Truth Behind the Blog
 The Truth Behind the Blog

About 

Melissa is the founder of the Girliemom Blog. Melissa has over 15 years working in Information Technology. Her career has spanned Professional Services, Mergers & Acquisitions and Global Operations. Melissa has 3 daughters ages 9, 10 and 12.

Comments

  1. Like you, I am trying to regulate my time. Smiles! Donna
    My Life. One Story at a Time. recently posted..Highway to Vengeance by Brian SpringerMy Profile

  2. Hi there. WheeeeW! Sounds like a busy schedule and you are right and just to be a little easier on your self : ) Usually, but not always it seems to be our “expectations” that cause these type issues. Maybe look again at your goals for your blog, which it seems you really love, and see if possibly your expectations there might be what is causing you a lot of your stress. Sometimes just making slight adjustments in timeframes for our expectations can help us immensely. BTW…I am learning as well. Keep it up. You have a great blog : D
    Teressa/NashVegasGal recently posted..Technology a wondrous thing, right?My Profile

    • Thanks Teressa, I belive you are right. I impose very strict standards on myself and easily get frustrated if I can’t meet my own goals. So, I do think I need to take it down a notch, with myself, so that I continue to love it as much as I do. I appreciate you took the time to write and I am grateful for your kind words. – Melissa
      admin recently posted..The Truth Behind the BlogMy Profile

  3. I think it can be so easy to get overwhelmed with everything. And, for me blogging can become somewhat addicting, in a good way, but the work it takes to build your site and stay connected can become a drain. I post once a week, on Sundays. I enjoy that schedule and it’s worked very nicely for me and my blog. It also gives me time than to network and grow. I spend my time on one mommy blogging networking site where I get a lot of support and learn a lot at. This cuts down on spreading myself to thin. Great to find you on Twitter. I look forward to reading more and seeing how you deal with a problem I think all of us mom’s deal with! Thanks!
    Kathy Radigan recently posted..Mommy BlockedMy Profile

  4. I think one blog post a week is sufficient. Many blogs I follow do that and the content is interesting and carries me through the week. Similar to manic mommies podcasts…..once a week if.
    -love your blog!

    • yes, i have decided in my mind that once a week should suffice. I’m living thru the guilt right now of not doing more…. I think this feeling … soon shall pass. Thanks for your thoughts and for reading girliemom!
      admin recently posted..The Truth Behind the BlogMy Profile

  5. Please do not quit your blog. I LOVE Your blog! I enjoy reading it and getting tips. I completely understand the whole taking too much time. I have that same issue. Keep up the good work…..PLEASE.

    I did nominate you for Versatile Blogger. You can check it out at http://www.momlifelessons.com/.

    I look forward to many more posts, even if they are not quite as often!
    Mom Life Lessons recently posted..Thank you!My Profile

    • OMG. an award! To little ‘old me? I’m completely flattered! you rock ! thank you. I promise i will not stop. just trying to manage my time better and that ultimately for me meant less about the actual act of time management and more about placing realistic goals upon myself.
      Thanks for reading girliemom!!!
      admin recently posted..The Truth Behind the BlogMy Profile

  6. Found your blog via Twitter, I think many bloggers go through this. I have been blogging since 2008, and the way I stay sane is to do what feels right to me. Unless you are trying to monetize there is no reason to do anything other than what feels right for you. If that means you blog only once a week, so be it. I am on the mind it’s better to blog 1-2 posts that you love a week than to throw something up for the sake of having something up.

    As for using social media in conjunction with the blog, absolutely limit what you do. There are simply too many platforms to be on for a blogger unless this tied to their job. Personally I love twitter so a lot of effort and time is spent there, but I have a job and lifestyle that makes tweeting throughout the day fairly easy since most of the time I am doing it while doing something else.

    Good luck to you!
    Blackgirlinmaine recently posted..To feel, to emote….oh eff itMy Profile

    • Thank you so much for your thoughts. I really appreciate you took the time to write. One thing I found recently is Hootsuite which allows me to automate my tweets. This allows me to keep my content rotating. To keep things fresh I will often “live”tweet with personal thoughts whenever I get the opportunity which is normally evenings and weekends since there is no opportunity for me to tweet 9-5. Your note made me realize that I am not alone in my endeavor to keep blogging and that it’s okay to just apply some boundaries around how much is “right”. So, thank you.
      admin recently posted..February 2012 Beauty ReportMy Profile

  7. Hello Melissa, I am a member of the Blogaholic group Follow Me I Follow You. I decided to hop around group members blogs instead of joining a blog hop this weekend. Following you on GFC.

    Enjoyed the post. I have an Etsy website, a book review blog and a Handmade craft blog. I stay pretty busy between the household chores and blogging. I made a comment to my husband the other day about being tired and he laughed and said “You poor thing you have it so hard blogging all day. ” Bad move buddy!
    He drives a big rig and is gone all week. All of our kids are grown. I told him “Well I guess I could lay around and watch TV all day if you think that would be better.”
    He had no response. With my blogging I get free patterns for my sewing, free books for reading/reviewing and a shop that cost me very little run. All I pay is my free time. Download free coupons to save on groceries. I don’t spend a lot on my wardrobe or makeup, don’t use much gas in my car, not to mention saving wear and tear on the car. Also I get to visit with my four grown daughters and grandkids that live in another city miles away.

    So long story short I do not feel guilty about my blogging.
    Patricia recently posted..Host Swap – Amanda at School House ScrapsMy Profile

    • Hi Patricia, first be sure to subscribe via email since I will be taking down GFC this week. So, we can stay in touch and you won’t miss posts!
      Second,I understand what you mean about being tired and maybe your hubby does not realize how much we put into our blogs and the effort involved to keep them going, fresh, with good well written content. My sister just started guest blogging for me as well on the Twilight series and I told her if she spends less that 2 hours writing a single post then she didn’t spend enough time. We shall see how long she sticks with me :) haha. I am glad you don’t feel guilty. I am trying to get over this myself. So long as it makes us happy then this is all that matters!
      admin recently posted..It’s Nice to DreamMy Profile

  8. Oh, I’ve been there and made similar changes that really helped!
    Katie E recently posted..Memories Captured: Comic Book Conventions Are CoolMy Profile

  9. Great post…although I know it’s a little old. Lord knows we ALL struggle with #4! It’s just good to know that “you’re not alone” as we ALL go though times like this. Thanks for sharing!!
    Allie recently posted..UNDER PRESSUREMy Profile

  10. I think the time thing is something that we all struggle with. I am trying to build a business while building my blog and with the kids schedules, my life is crazy. I am looking forward to summertime and trying to get it a little more under control and putting some systems in place. I must say, I am very glad to have discovered your blog, thanks to SITS. I’ll be subscribing through Bloglovin. I know you don’t have that up as as option but Bloglovin still allows it, and it makes it a lot easier for me to scroll through the blogs I like that way rather than getting a zillion emails. Following you on Facebook and Twitter now as well.
    Michelle recently posted..3 Ways to Protect Your WordPress Blog from HackersMy Profile

  11. I see why you chose this one. It’s still relevant for several bloggers! Happy SITS day!
    Joi @ Rx Fitness Lady recently posted..10 Gifts NOT to Get Your Dad for Father’s DayMy Profile

  12. Great tips!! I love the fact that you said you will dedicate more time to writing for yourself! We all have been there, this bloggy thing is never ending! :) Enjoy your SITS day!
    Nellie recently posted..Bloggy Boot Camp Charlotte + The Amazing Tips I LearnedMy Profile

  13. Those are tough moments. I hope you’re pleased with your decision to go forward.

    For me, I blog because I love it not because I feel an obligation to it. If it’s a chore, I simply won’t do it. It feeds my soul — if I let it become a chore it won’t do that anymore. If it feels like work, it’s time for me to take a step back. Especially if it’s keeping me from my family.

    Best wishes.
    misssrobin recently posted..Being ThereMy Profile

  14. My blogging time isn’t huge. I manage to blog every day but if you read today’s blog it is definitely short-shrift. I usually blog about 400 words. My crying and what to give up was Friday when I found out that next year, my last year teaching would be four preps. It means about six more hours of work a week. Six hours I don’t have. I haven’t done any of my novel writing in about two months due to the exhaustion factor. Fortunately a friend knew of my dilemma and didn’t let me go home without helping me process the news and come up with some time savers. One-resign as department chair-it’s unpaid, and a lot of work. Don’t worry about filing next year since I won’t be there the following year. I needed this but I’m still hurt, angry, and so very tired. I wish I could blog this but I don’t want any repercussions at work. Thanks for the post. It was certainly timely for me. Enjoy your SITS Day.
    Sheila Skillingstead recently posted..Sunday is a great day for companyMy Profile

  15. HAppy SITS Day! I loved this post.. …and I loved the tips!!

    I started my blog as a part 2 to my interior design business website. It’s been a labor of love trying to figure out what to post…but now I’ve made an excellent blogging calendar and editorial calendar that has helped me manage all of these things.
    KG recently posted..Easy Summer Decor Ideas For Your HomeMy Profile

  16. You can automate more than just tweets! That’s the beautiful thing of social media – it continues to grow and open up new opportunities, and a lot of those opportunities help us bloggers out by balancing our time better. Great post. Never give up something you love!
    MomChalant recently posted..Officially Saying Goodbye To My YouthMy Profile

  17. This was spot on! Oh how I can relate to it all… I want to read Gigi’s post about social media… I am still trying to juggle it all and find a balance so I can actually LIVE too!!! Great post here to share! Happy SITS day my new friend!!! :)
    Chris Carter recently posted..Devotional Diaries: Hope… Jeremiah 29:11My Profile

  18. I think you have a good plan of action and some of these things I already do. I have a blog posting schedule (Mon, Tue, Thu) and I automate my tweets with posts often! I also take scheduled breaks. This time is usually the last week of the month.
    Britton recently posted..Motivational Monday: Are Vitamins Really THAT Important?My Profile

  19. It’s hard to find that blogging balance. I know I’m always changing things up a bit. If I get overwhelmed, I make new priorities. No one said maintaining a blog was easy, but I don’t know what I’d so without it!

    Happy SITS Day!
    another jennifer recently posted..Pinterest-Inspired DIY Recycled Bird Feeder. Sort of.My Profile

  20. Great tips! I’m a fairly new blogger and I can easily get overwhelmed with all the networking. I’m still figuring out how to automate tweets, etc without sounding impersonal – always a work in progress!
    Dana recently posted..How to save money while still in your pajamasMy Profile

  21. it IS HARD TO KEEP UP! yOU ARE SO RIGHT! lET ME KNOW IF YOU FIND THE SECRET TO DOING IT ALL!
    Kimber recently posted..{Mastering Light} How to Take Great Pictures With The Camera You Already OwnMy Profile

  22. I cannot imagine blogging with three young children and a full-time job, blogging is a full-time job! I agree, social media is another full-time job. Keeping up with all of them can drive you crazy! Happy SITS Day :)
    Lisa@ Cooking with Curls recently posted..Snap It or Bake It GiveawayMy Profile

  23. Great advice…I’ve only been blogging for a few months and you are right…it IS hard work and time consuming, but like you-I love to do it. I love learning things about blogging from other bloggers and it’s nice to know everyone goes through the same blog struggles. I’ve been going through my first (of many, I’m sure) writer’s block period. Now that summer is here, kids are home all day, housework is neverending, the garden and flower beds need my time and at the end of the day it’s hard to find the creative energy needed to write good stuff. I’m getting better at making time for my blog because it is important to me, and I loved reading your post. Thanks for sharing your feelings about blogging. -Adrienn/This Uncomplicated Journey
    Adrienn recently posted..Have you heard of Bloglovin?My Profile

  24. I really liked this post. As a new blogger, it was helpful to think about some of these strategies. I’d love to see a follow up post as to how these tips helped you. Did things get easier for you?

    Happy SITS day!
    Happysuz recently posted..We’re Keeping Busy With These 5 Fun Summer ActivitiesMy Profile

  25. Good to know we all feel the strain from time to time. I have been wondering how things are going to go when I go back to work and I feel like you just gave me a glimpse into what might be lying ahead. A bit overwhelming…I think that by prioritizing it will be manageable, I hope! Here’s to better days!
    Embracing The Good Life recently posted..One Day Cold Sore Home RemedyMy Profile

    • So glad you wrote in and left a comment. At the end of the day, you have to feel proud about what you are doing – some days will be good, some days won’t. There is absolute truth to… good things come to those who wait – but with that will come a tremendous amount of hard work on your part. You will make mistakes, but you will learn from them. There is something wonderful about that. All the best to you and keep it going and keep it real !
      Melissa Potvin recently posted..Pamper Me Fabulous!My Profile

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