Some days I hate my blog.
In fact, for most of last week I could hardly stand to look at.
I’d crawl out of bed at a shameful hour, drag my feet to the office (couch) and power up the laptop like it was the most horrendous task in the world.
Maybe it was because I’d spent the Easter break with my brother in the country hitting golf balls and witnessing actual real life hover boards (proof on my Instagram).
But a much more likely scenario is that this is a phenomena that every blogger goes through from time to time. In fact, I can almost guarantee that you’ll go through it at some point if you haven’t already.
So what the hell do you do?
The danger of blog hating
I don’t want to turn this into a self help article (I can’t get my own issues together, let alone help with yours!) but I can say that “work hating” is something that everyone goes through.
And it’s especially dangerous if you work for yourself.
Even more so if you do something creative like writing or entrepreneur-ing.
That attitude can stick and when it does it really starts to affect how productive you are and the quality of work that you put out there.
I can think of quite a few times when a successful blog has started to lose its flavor and you can almost always tell that they’ve begun hating the whole deal.
The passion is just gone.
So if you feel like you’re having more “I hate my blog” days then it’s important to come up with a few strategies.
What to do when you think you hate your blog
It’s so important to discover the root cause of your problems. Unless you know why you’re feeling like this towards your blog/work it’s impossible to find a good solution.
The most common reasons that I’ve been through myself include:
- Too many unproductive hours
If you work for yourself it’s so easy to get into the trap of working long hours, late into the night, even when you don’t really need to. Half the time you’re just fiddling around because you feel like you should be working. It causes resentment.
- Not enough results
It can be so frustrating pouring all that work into your blog and not seeing things like more comments, more email subscribers, better Google rankings and more traffic. If it happens for too long you start to see your blog as a source of feeling let down.
- Final conversions failing
Obviously the final conversion for most professional bloggers is the money. Even if you’re getting a lot of the other small wins but you fail to see the cash follow it can be hugely annoying – especially if you don’t have another source of income.
- Mismatched intentions
Something that I picked up on a few years ago was that I get really bored with a blog if it doesn’t match my intentions. For example, if you quit your job because you love writing and blogging but then end up writing about topics you hate, eventually you’re going to start hating that work.
- Problems in other areas of your life
The last thing that has happened to me is that I’ve started blaming my blog for other crap that’s been going on in my life. We all do it. But it’s really important to develop enough awareness so that you know you’re blaming one thing even though it’s not the cause.
Of course there are probably thousands of different reasons out there. The most important thing is that we have a really honest look at what is going on with our own individual situation.
The next step is to actually do something that will solve the problem.
Depending on the reason you’re feeling blog-hatey one of these might work for you:
- Do something different for a quick win
Pat put this in a post recently and said it a lot better than I could. If you’ve been working hard and not seeing results it’s time to try something totally different in order to get one small, quick win. That is sometimes enough to give you an energy boost.
- Change your location
It seems silly but changing the place that you work can have a huge impact on your productivity or emotional wellbeing. I work at cafes most days now just to get a change of scenery. My recent trip to Europe was hugely motivating for me, even though it had nothing to do with work.
- Harden up!
This will insult some people but hopefully motivate others. Running your own business is hard. It’s stressful. Sometimes things don’t work out. Sometimes you fail. But, unless you want to starve or go back to an office job you just have to keep at it. If you can push through the hard times life will get easier.
- Re-assess what it is you do daily
Last year Glen and I had a big chat about motivation and one of the interesting things that came up for him was that he loses motivation when he moves away from SEO-based articles and tactics. So, for him, finding the right topic and sticking to it has hugely revitalised his business. Anyone noticed how good that blog has been since he started taking on Google?
- Get help with the crappy stuff
No one with an entrepreneurial bone in their body should be doing things like book keeping, editing, coding and so on. You might be hating your blog because you’re not actually spending any time writing on your blog! Free yourself up to be creative and work on your business. I talked to Chris Ducker about this recently.
Of course, it will sometimes be a combination of these things that brings about a solution. It’s also not usually a quick fix but one that takes time.
But there’s one last thing…
This is something that will resonate with a lot of bloggers.
The reason you hate your blog is because you don’t know what you’re doing with it.
There is so much confusion out there about blogging strategies and tactics. You need to know about titles, email marketing, SEO, servers, affiliate marketing, product development… it’s entirely overwhelming.
Well, in a few weeks I’m going to be doing something VERY different to help you with that. And it’s only going to be open for one day. And only five people will be selected. Just five.
Once you figure THAT out then blogging will become your favorite thing in the world. Just like the photo at the top says – even when you’re doing wonderful things you’ll be wishing you were on the laptop blogging. It’s incredible.
Lastly, you have to be on the mailing list to hear about it…
Have you ever hated your blog? Please leave a comment and tell me about it.
122 CommentsJoin in. The comments are closed after 30 days.
Great post mate, timing is pretty impeccable as well.
A lot of the points you make are similar, in the fact that you just aren’t seeing a monetary return for your time invested.
Unfortunately I think it’s generally the case with blogs that you have to put some hard yards in up front before you see any cash coming back your way…
Yeah, I agree. I used to clean toilets at a gym from 6am to 10am and then go home and work on my blogs. Did about a year of that before I felt comfortable living on the blogging income.
With Blog Tyrant itself, probably took 1.5 years before I could live off this one site – and it’s a pretty big site. People underestimate the time needed but it’s just like any small business.
Oh hell yah, we can all relate to hating our own blogs. And you are correct. one of the smartest things a business owner can do is LET other people more qualified then us to do the admin stuff. Business owners need to focus on strategy and top level stuff so we can come up with amazing blogs that humans love and that people are inspired by.
Yep. Totally agree. Thanks for commenting Chrystal.
I blog to feed my freelance business. But sometimes I don’t feel creative and run out of juice. I can relate to your post. I have been an entrepreneur for over 5 years and its more stressful than a day job. For sure.
Any strategies for us, Tara?
I’m guilty of … just about everything you mentioned.
I especially don’t know what I’m doing, and spend way too much time coding ( although I’ve gotten a lot faster than I used to be ).
Funny how timely this post is for me personally ( you seem to have a knack for that, Ramsay ), as I’ve been pushing hard to climb out of my editorial pit of appalling unproductiveness. I sometimes pretend I’m just really good at editorial minimalism, but deep down I know I’m just slacking … and waking up way too late, because of that damn video game we’re both addicted to 😉
Anyway, I just wrote more here than I’ve written on my own blog all year!
Thanks for reminding me we’re all human, and hate our beloved blogs no and again.
PS — Looking forward to see what you’ve got planed for the coming weeks.
I feel ya man.
Interestingly, I haven’t played that (or any other) video game since Christmas. Seems to have coincided with a much higher level of all around wellbeing in my life…
Ahh yes this is actually exactly how I’m feeling right now! I feel like it’s even more difficult to overcome a blogging rut when you’re a full-time student and do not use your blog as a source of income! I am a fashion and social activist (I love your blog by the way!) and when I stay up all night working on a post that receives little engagement with my readers I look back and question what incentive I even have to be spending so much of my time to my blog.
I’m definitely going to try out your first tip of trying something different! Thanks for the suggestions!
Sorry you’re feeling the blogging blues!
What is a fashion activist?
Oh sheesh that was a quick response!
You should take a look at my blog and see for yourself! (;
Haha no just kidding–my blog discusses social responsibility (well, lack thereof) in the fashion industry, encourages the boycott of unethical brands, and collaborates on shoots with brands that are doing good!
That’s a very interesting topic.
As someone who travels to India a lot I’ve often thought about the garment industry that uses children and so on. One of my friends who works there said, “Yeah it’s bad but it’s the only job I can get”. So I wonder what’s the best course of action.
Yes! I don’t advocate the shutting down of garment factories, as that does create more problems than it solves, but rather more brand responsibility of what goes on in their factories, greater transparency, etc, etc.
I actually just wrote an article on the Bangladesh factory tragedy the other day on the 1 year anniversary of its collapse!
I was going to guess it was someone picketing the trend of non-matching socks. 🙂
Hoda, I would love to know more about your blog. I am a blogger who blogs about body positivity and fashion, too. And I so know what you mean when you put your heart and soul into a blog and then crickets. So demoralizing.
(Haha sorry Ramsay on the slightly-off topic thread here (; ) Chrystal I just checked out your site–you blog about the empowerment of curvy women–good for you! That’s a beautiful cause!
My is site (www.joojoo-blog.blogspot.com), if you’d like to take a look around! c:
And yeah, it’s the worst? Currently in said self blog-hate phase :/
I liked your page on Facebook, Hoda. So love what you’re doing.
Oh my thank you so much for the love, I really appreciate it! xx
I wanted to disagree with you when I read the title of this blog post… but after reading the post… I must say that I agree with you. 🙂
What about the title didn’t you like? Just the idea that I assume that everyones hates their blog?
I’ve mentioned this before in a comment on one of your articles. For me, it’s a lack of response. 3500 blog posts since 2000 and still an embarassing meager following (despite some of the changes you so graciously mentioned). Still manage 4-5 blog posts per week because there is so much to share. But the time away from my family and free time associated with blogging is hard to think about, especially since I could barely buy a nice dinner with my “blogging money” per month!
What are traffic levels like?
About 700 on my subscription list and about 150 opens for my weekly or bi-weekly newsletter (depending on how much sleep I need). Get maybe 5 new subscribers / month. The website gets about 4500 unique visitors / month, but this is probably just because the website is quite large that I’m bound to pick up some traffic!
Hmmm… that’s definitely not right. Let me know if you ever want an in depth study. I do them for $500 for a couple of hours plus recommendations.
I would be. Best contact info?
This is bold post. I admire your honesty in talking about this stuff.
I think most bloggers started blogging because they wanted a platform to express their thoughts , share their learning. And to the core of their heart, they LOVE writing.
Having said that, it becomes really overwhelming to many of us doing so many things apart from writing. This sometimes surely takes toll on our health as well as stress level.
As you rightly pointed out, we should free up time for “writing”. Eliminating unwanted distractions (emails, reading blogs, social networking, chats) can help us to get back in “creation” mode rather than succumbing to “consumer’ mode.
Great comment Naveen.
I don’t know if I hate my blog or hate Google! As you say, free up time to write … and I have done this by using good hosting and SEO tools. But, we all want an audience. And, every time I seem to make good progress Google changes the rules.
PS. Actually I don’t hate my blog … but I do put myself under pressure to post each week. With other commitments I couldn’t sustain two posts every week.
I don’t think it’s a good idea to rely on Google for traffic. For me, referrals and mentions are much more important.
Ramsay, I don’t. But search traffic is important and accounts for around two-thirds of visits. I don’t think that’s atypical. What I’ve observed is a lot a changes with Google over the last 4 or 5 months.
I am new to blogging just being setting up the website. So I haven’t had that hatey feeling, but I do put off writing because I feel so overwhelmed by the stuff that goes with it. The seo is something I’d never heard of before and delving into it leaves me feeling like I have so much to learn and do before I can set to the blogging bit. Sometimes I’m not sure where I should be focusing my time when there seems so much that I want to do. Thank you for your blog, it has been a great source of information. Any help seo-wise would be very much appreciated.
Just focus on getting your brand tight, producing some huge quality content and then trying to get connected with the big bloggers in your niche.
Yes, definitely hate my blog at times. You often browse through your past articles and think: ‘hey, why did I write THAT?!’ But then I read through the comments and I start feeling better again. I mean, at times where those numbers are dismal and your rank isn’t getting any higher – sometimes all it takes is a single person to make your day good again.
I’m thankful for my readers and viewers. I know every blogger has ‘that day’; but we have the power to prevent that feeling from spreading over ‘the following days’.
Thanks Rams. Very insightful.
That’s the first time someone has called me Rams on my blog! My childhood nickname! Awesome.
Good advise and great to hear you are keeping on top of it. I pretty well gave up for the past 6 or so months, it just wasn’t happening for me, even after a pivot. The nice part about working for yourself is that you really do have the power to make the changes required to keep you going. It can be harder in a workplace, or so I’ve found anyway.
Keep killing it and finding ways to keep it fresh, plenty of people love what you do, but ultimately you have to love it too.
Plans to get back into it mate? Maybe we should organise a lunch again?
I haven’t given up completely, just waiting for inspiration 🙂 you last point is a very big one, I can’t make myself do anything now until I have a clear plan. Blogging for bloggings sake has lost its allure over time, I need to be able to see a real purpose and I’m still working out the details there.
Definitely need to catch up again, having people to talk to that understand the online world helps a lot when you are trying to nail down a strategy!
Sounds good man.
Very excited to see your offer 😀
Great post by the way, I think just about everyone has felt at least part of the frustration you describe.
I am heading to Europe as well, hopefully it will revitalize me and my efforts with the online business.
Where are you heading bro?
I know I’ll be in Germany and the UK but no real plans apart from that.
Will try to do some face to face networking with a few people in my space.
Let me know if you are ever around, id love to share a beer or two and talk shop 😉
P.S If you are in Australia I’d love to do that locally as well
Yeah man I’ll be in Oz all year.
Just sent you an email 😉
I actually love my blog, because it has allowed me to share so much about my work , hobbies and information that I found useful. What I hate is that not enough people are leaving comments on the blog.
It seems that most people seem to live on social networking sites and prefer to comment there instead of clicking through. 🙁
Yeah I know a lot of people have been saying that lately. I’m still not so sure. Do you get more engagement on the social sites?
Ramsay. Didn’t you try using Facebook comments at one stage for all your comments?
Nope, not me.
I have begun to hate blogging – but I realized it was because what I started blogging about (family stuff) wasn’t what I have started blogging about (my Stampin’ Stuff).
I want to write about stamping and showcasing my designs – but on the previous blog it just looked – wrong. So, today I finally bit the bullet and locked in my new domain and have started working on the site (it is no where near ready, lol) but I already feel refreshed. Like I can now focus on what I WANT to do instead of what I felt obligated to do.
I still want to do the family blog (mostly for my momma, lol) but I think I will find more joy in both by having them separate instead of mix-matched together.
Awesome! Congrats on making the change.
Nice post, Ramsey, good reminders, too!
I have not yet hated my blog and I really don’t know if I ever will as my key objective with it is helping people, not income, at least for now 🙂
But when I am feeling unproductive with my work, I gotta tell you – nothing recharges me better than turning off the computer and going dark for a couple of days 😉
Someone above in the comments said they had a more stressful life when running their freelance business – for me it’s to the contrary.
Running my freelance business has given me back control of my life and one of my tactics to eliminating stress is staying away from the internet at least one day per week and traveling for a few days once per month.
Does traveling helps you stay on top of your blog and productivity?
Haven’t forgotten about your prize! Been so busy.
I used to love locking myself away in a dark room and being alone and creative. Now I get more energy from moving around and working in short bursts. Not everyone can (or has the opportunity) to do that but it works for me.
No worries about the prize – no rush 🙂
Locked yourself in a dark room? I think that would depress me, on top of feeling unproductive. A day at the beach, or in the mountains, or just riding a bike or a picnic outdoors – those are my preferred methods for recharging…
I just read your other post you linked to from this one (with the pic of the cafe where Harry Potter came to life) – and I agree, trying new things boosts my creativity, too!
Have a fantastic week, Ramsey – and happy blogging, you are doing a lot of good here 🙂
Thank you so much! Means a lot.
Excellent title and article as usual Ramsay.
I’m a tad Meh about my blog and site and biz lately.
That’s ok as I can then dig in and work out why – and the list is growing.
I’m doing some online biz courses and I can see a lot of things I want and need to do to the site to make it work better and better.
I have a plan that involves some time away later in May to really dig down and be a lot clearer about my whole biz strategy and then my multi media/social media strategy which includes the blog.
When a biz is in transition then all elements are up from grabs and my blog is going to be shaken down big time.
I’m learning a lot on these courses and it’ll take time to put it all into action so I’m taking a long view on my blog and the whole biz.
When I get it sorted I think I’ll pay you that few hundred dollars for an outside eye Ramsay.
have a great week mate
What courses are you doing? Worth the money?
The thing with me is that I’m still not certain what my overall branding should be. I mean, it’s a blog about quitting what you hate and living life on your terms – which covers everything from quitting your job, changing your diet/health to even changing your perception about society and its rules/limitations.
The in depth articles with examples tend to get the most comments/shares however, I like writing the personal opinion/humour articles but they do a lot worse for traffic and interest.
I still don’t know which area to move towards – so at the moment I see my blog as an experiment and I’m letting it take its natural course.
But I question myself with every posting. Asking myself ‘is this the right angle here? Am I writing for myself or my readers?’ and this can suck some of the pleasure out of it.
I suppose this is natural right, to feel this way?
It’s very natural. But I am sure those things get solved when the branding gets sorted out. You really have to know the end result you’re trying to achieve I think. Make it quite specific.
New blogger and follower here. I’m working on setting up a blog as part of an online sales course.
I’m not a natural writer so finding topics for the blog posts is the hardest thing. That and keeping the blog secure. I’m learning new things daily though, which is good, but I can see how having to blog daily – even if it is your only income – would become draining.
Take heart in all the followers and visitors, they are waiting for your new posts.
Make sure you get some help for the stuff you don’t like doing.
I will remember that advice. Thanks
I love blogging (or website building – whatever you want to call it). I love it so much that I have to restrain myself daily from creating new sites. 🙂
I am only gutted that my time is so limited and that I have to currently restrict myself to one. 🙁
If you are feeling bored, I recommend starting a new website that is nothing to do with blogging / seo etc, and use your skills to dominate in a ‘real world’ area that you love. Then this site can just be where you discuss / contemplate approaches, but other sites bring the excitement, and this site just keeps delivering the expertise that you gain in the process.
I mean, I’m sure you do have other websites on the go, but just in case you don’t! 🙂
Nice one Amiria! Thanks so much for sharing.
Hey – I’m an editor! It’s not a totally crappy job.
More seriously, the same idea carries through to anything. If you focus on the boring tasks, such as editing boring text in my case, then the job you love can easily become the job you hate.
Ha ha. Thanks Cathy.
I think all bloggers lose their blogging mojo at one point. I’ve had offline things that have taken time away from my blogging and just being sick one day can make me feel overwhelmed and so far behind. (today being that day!) Could not help but have to read this post.
I find taking a fun day off and going to the beach or outdoors in nature is the best way to come up with new and ideas and put me back on track.
I’d love to re-access what I do daily, thanks for the tips Ramsay!
I got down to the beach today! Helps a lot.
Love my blog and just hate the tech side, I’m currently in B-School and it’s opening up lots of ideas and recreating my site as I am able. A big gain in clarity and direction for me.
I also love Danielle La Porte and her core desired feelings (sorry not sure if I should mention other bloggers here but they have made a difference for me as you have x)
How was your trip to Italy or haven’t you gone yet?
ciao ciao lisa x
No we didn’t make it to Italy. It was too expensive from where we were. Ended up in Scotland, Spain, France and England.
I go through cycles of this, once or twice a year. I think looking back it’s when I’m overwhelmed with work and feel like I can’t get away from it and it’s taking over my life. I feel tied to the computer and get depressed.
I guess the trick is to take a break away from it for a bit or to realise it is not everything. I think we become so personally invested in something we’ve created ourselves but have to remember there is more to life than just a blog or website. I have to remind myself of that every now and then 😉
Really good point about realizing that it’s not the end of the world. Thanks Fiona.
Been there, done that. In the past, I used to have a serious love-hate relationship with my blog, and every time I leaned towards hating it more than I enjoyed it, I’d find myself blocking up on writing.
Thankfully, I learned how to bring myself back from the edge, and I’ve never since hated my blog. There’s an important key in preventing blog burnout, and it’s this simple:
You’re right on all the reasons for getting discouraged with a blog, and you’re absolutely on target with the ideas you mentioned… but bloggers need a break from the metrics and hard work – they need rewards and fun and a reason to keep at blogging in the first place
Add playtime to the mix, schedule it in on a regular basis, and beautiful things happened.
Sooo… when’s your next trip and golf game, Ramsey? 😉
Funny you’re here. I Google this articled to see if it was ranking about 20 minutes ago and landed on a very similar article that you’d written. Probably should have done that BEFORE publishing! Ha.
I played golf yesterday. Does that count?
Great minds think alike!
And yes, that counts – but what ELSE do you have planned for this week? 😉
I was going to do some work at some stage. 😉
Right now I am hating my blog as well. I’m in the starting up process and struggling to find my writing voice, not to mention all the tasks of website design. Yet this is something I’ve always wanted to do.
Keep at it! It’s hard in the beginning but gets easier all the time.
Thanks for another insightful post! It’s funny how you can start with such passion, and watch it slowly grind away. For me, this usually happens because people around me think it’s a waste of time. That may seem trivial compared to the daily effort it takes to blog, but can be even more damaging. It can be tough at times, but I just keep at it!
That is really hard man. When I was in uni my mum thought it was a waste of time. Then I sold a blog for $20,000 and showed her the bank balance from the transfer. I’ll never forget her face.
This is so helpful!
I haven’t been blogging for a terribly long time, but I’ve definitely been losing motivation because the results just aren’t coming as quickly as I’d expected.
I know they say to give a blog about 2 years before any real results will appear, but it’s disheartening. Sometimes it feels like you’re writing to absolutely nobody.
Thank you for helping me know I’m not alone and for providing some much-needed encouragement!
It’s like any small business. The first year is usually a loss. The second is break even and then after that it’s much better. Of course you can do better than this but that is an interesting guide to think about, I think.
That’s a really great way to look at it. I guess so much of yourself is put into writing it feels really personal when there isn’t anyone reading it. I think viewing it as a small business is much more practical and sustainable. Thanks again!
It may sound funny but I hated my first blog even before I had 5 posts up. It really was in a niche that I knew little about so my solution was to pass it off to my wife and create something that interested me. However I am finding that I like the building more so than the posting. Thanks for the ideas on how to change things up.
Thanks Don. Hope it helps.
I’m also hating mine right now! Luckily I don’t rely on my blog for income, but it’s a dream to be able to someday. I wanted to get more serious with it so I switched to self-hosting last week, and some of my research on blog improvement led me to your blog.
Let’s just say self-hosting has been more of a pain than I’d thought! Now I’m stuck with having to figure out improving site speed, a new design, etc when I just really want to focus on my writing and content improvement.
My blogs kinda on the injured list at the moment with the need for a new theme, no widgets, and missing SEO strategy. It’s gona take some time to get it up and running again with a full-time job, but looking forward to be able to focus on writing again at some point.
Your blog had been an inspiration to continue on as much as I hate it right now (I think it hates me too).
You made the right decision. In my opinion, going from free to self-hosted is like going from a toy truck to a real one. Lots to learn but you’ll get stuff done.
I totally go through blogging apathy at times. I don’t think I feel as strongly as hate towards my blog. But I do get into a bit of a rut at times which is perfectly natural for a creative and entrepreneurial pursuit. I think once I started monetising and working on the business side of blogging that it changed a little as there is more pressure.
For me, it’s a matter of finding balance, making space for my mind and generally keeping at it.
I’m glad you wrote this. I know so many bloggers who pretend to have this perfect blogging existence which I know is just not possible.
Have a great week!
Thanks for sharing Elizabth. Good to know we all go through it.
Awesome post! A change of scenery and not working late hours worked for me. Also jogging or working out helped. I think you just need to do something different too. Take a break to do something fun then you might look forward to going back to finish your blog.
Yep. Totally agree. Thanks Darius.
Thank you Ramsey ~
I am so new to this game, Blogging about my journey with breast cancer, from the perspective of a woman of color. I am only able to write when I am in a certain zone and I have to get past that.
I don’t hate my blog. I hate not knowing all that I should be dong with it and I am very happy to have connected with you…….
Thanks Renee. Keep going with it. Your blog could be a really important tool for some people.
I loved reading this. I had a baby in November and found my passionate spark: being a mom! So I JUST started up my blog (with the help of your many articles, of course….loving Bluehost so far!), and each night after bathing, feeding, and putting the baby down to bed, I sit at my computer and look at an overwhelmed list of things that I still need to do. I’m trying very hard not to resent it already. It’s a pro and a con that I work full time already, so I’m not looking to make a living off of this. I would, however, like to break even with my investment into it.
Thanks for all of your great posts! While I just stumbled across them last week, they’ve already provided me with an abundance of help!
So glad to hear that Karrie!
Please do let me know any road blocks you run into after the sign up stage. They could be very good articles for me to write.
I don’t know if I would say I hate my blog but when I get behind with my blogs and I have to play catch up…. you can believe I don’t do my best. BTW, to break things up a bit I had my daughter blog for me about her game or I will have my husband blog about the game – that helps me and it is entertaining. I actually have two sites I am trying to keep up with (very different from one another) and sometimes it is overwhelming because I do still have a full-time job. Once, I had to play catch up on both blogs with about 2 months worth of blogging. I won’t ever do that again. Right now I am two blogs down so enough chatting with you….I’ve got to get to blogging.
Ha ha. Know that feeling!
CLOSE UP SHOP!
That’s the option I gave myself several years ago. I felt my blog (biz) wasn’t gaining the traction it should have. Comment frequency was dropping. The newsletter subscription rate was pitiful. Weekly visitor counts started dropping. So I stopped.
I stopped thinking about what wasn’t working. I started thinking about what I’d done. I’d tried a lot but realized in an effort to draw more readers / subscribers that by trying a lot, I didn’t do any one thing very well. So I made a plan.
My plan was to focus on regular posting of high-quality easy-to-apply content, a simplified social media plan focusing on twitter, a better newsletter (read “less rambling”). And then I did the hardest part of all.
I set a hard deadline. If I couldn’t grow my readership and newsletter at a reasonable rate, if it was obvious I didn’t have what it takes to succeed, then in six months (I think it was six), I was going to close shop.
What happened? Success happened. Hard work paid off. My site and my reputation grew in ways I’d never expected. A few years later, I was in Chicago for a related conference and I heard two phrases I’d never thought I’d hear;
1. While dining at a restaurant: “Are you Chris Huff? I love your blog and read your book.”
2. At the conference: “Can I get a picture with you?”
I’m not saying that to brag. I’m saying that years earlier, I doubted I was making an impact in anyone’s life. I was ready to give up. All I ever wanted to do was help people in my field.
DO YOU HATE YOUR BLOG? If you do, then stop. Stop working on it for a week and evaluate what you’ve done, what you haven’t done, and what you could do better. Then make a plan and set a date.
One of two things will happen;
1. You’ll find out the blog (the biz) you’ve been trying to start takes more time and energy that you have or it’s not your real passion.
2. You’ll have that breakthrough moment. It might be the week you make your first dollar or your first $100. It might be the week you see your visitor stats start growing. It might be the week your newsletter subscription rate takes off. Or, it might be something as small as an email that reads, “thank you so much your web site. It’s helped me in so many way. I can’t wait for your next article.”
Yeah this is the SH#T! 🙂
Thanks Chris. And well done!
I love my blog.
Its my favorite site on the internet and the one i use the most.
Brad, I love your blog, too!
Except that it currently throws this error based on your URL in your name:Forbidden
You don’t have permission to access / on this server.
Thanks Chris. Will look into that.
I absolutely agree with the “get help with the crappy stuff” point.
I used to run an e-commerce business where I was spending so much time bookkeeping, updating the website, etc. that I hardly had enough time to grow the business.
I have learned from that experience and now do WP website support services for any bloggers and businesses who don’t have the time to maintain their sites properly on their own.
Well, that’s a bit of an exaggeration. No small business or blogger has the time to maintain their site properly on their own – I’m not that big yet 😉
But in all seriousness, a blogger could spend their time coming up with new topics to write about, or they could be worrying about whether or not the latest update is going to bring their site crashing down. That’s enough to make someone hesitant to click the update button and eventually more likely to end up with an unhealthy site…that they now really hate.
Thanks Scott. Appreciate the comment.
Very powerful post, Ramsay.
I hate my blog for a number of different reasons (business and personal), which is a shame because I love the niche.
I’ll keep plugging away very slowly at it, but I will be starting a new blog taking on board everything I’ve learned over the last few years.
The main criteria: the ability to offer a service first before moving onto books and membership sites.
I’m still in love with the concept of blogging though and that will never change.
Yeah I think it’s a bit of a line graph. Ups and downs but as long as it’s trending upwards you’re winning.
I don’t currently hate my blog, but have many times in the past. The best thing I did for this problem was read Refuse to Choose by Barbara Sher. Most of the time when I’ve hated my blog, it’s because I am no longer challenged. I typically couple that with a commitment I have to keep. For example, if I’ve promised my readers something and then I’m bored with it, I resent it. I have learned not to commit long-term. My blog isn’t as much my passion as challenge is. However, there are definitely ways to keep a blog challenging, as you suggest, Ramsay. Love the topic!
Thanks Melanie. That’s a really interesting suggestion.
Hi Ramsey I read you article with interest as i am about to start my first blogg. Not sure where to start so look forward to hearing more from you.
Have you seen my tutorial on getting started? Might help.
Ive been there and done that, and ive only been blogging for 6 months… but i took a step back and cleared my head and set out a strategy… changed my whole theme and layout and im in love again! 🙂
I’ve been reading blogs all morning and this is the first post that made me smile. Thank you for writing something so great. Very curious about this special product for 5 but guessing it is very expensive??? Cheers:)
Glad it made you smile, Meg. 🙂
More info coming soon on the other thing.
I am a very new blogger but have already found myself brick-walling. Like someone else has already mentioned, it was that feeling of overwhelm to get it all correct along with processing a myriad of ideas.
I have held off reading this particular article because I didn’t think I hated my blog though…..but actually, I think I do/did…..but now I believe it boils down to a self belief aspect.
So really, in one rather large nutshell, I just need to harden up, get clarity on my why and then, well, just do it! Thanks for this article 🙂
Hope it helps, Julie! 🙂
I also noticed that you responded to every comment on here. That also has to have some effect since readers probably feel like they are being heard too. There’s something about having people comment that lets you know you aren’t just putting in the time on your blog for nothing. It’s enough to encourage you to keep going, don’t you think?
I agree completely with you. Anytime I comment on a blog and do not receive a response, I completely forgot I even left it as time passes. If I receive a response back, it lets me know this blogger truly cares about the readers and wants to build a community with me in it. That alone is what will bring me back to a blog.
Having my own blog (currently under-construction) and receiving comments really is the cake. It makes all the time and effort put into the post worth it, and is the reason I blog in the first place. Just to connect with other bloggers of similar interest.
You can be a great blog, but you just can’t beat an engaged conversation.
Hope I’m not intruding on your comment direct to Ramsay!
I agree with everything everyone has said here! 🙂
I do not know that I hated my blog, but sometimes I resented having to run a business, since my life, as s full time mommy and jack of all trades, is already full to the brim. But I always remember that if I did not have my blog, my audience and my subscribers, I would be forced to work outside the home and miss out on all the times and moments I create with my little one. So, seeing her every day is my motivation to stick with it.
When I do feel like I am not getting where I need to be (with final conversions), I reevaluate things and cut out everything that is not working, even if that means trashing some of my eproducts that I poured hours into creating. I have learned that staying focused on fewer things increases revenue and keeps me more fulfilled. I think that every business owner should always go through this process of elimination. It is not just about things that are fun (like they are when we first start blogging), it is mostly about the bottom line–am I happy making as much as I am making and what am I willing to give up to be happier… But I am rambling 🙂
I know exactly how you feel (minus the kids). It can be really hard.
Being grateful to have a blog changes your energy, then you can like it again 😉 Been there done that of course. Change your view, express gratitude for your creative outlet and all the folks it can reach and you’ll love your blog again.
Smart tips. Thanks!
Alright, I definitely would rather be blogging than golfing. But any ways, good headline dude.
I’ve hated some blogs I’ve tried to start, while always knowing I’ve got to give it that solid year or two before it takes off for sure. Because of one other blog’s success though, I learned that persistence is the key. That graph doesn’t jump until you get noticed. And I used to laugh every time someone says “this doesn’t work!, I’m not making money at all” (with 0 traffic).