a woman sitting on the ground frustrated with a text overlay about bloggers feeling like everything is going wrong
Blogging Tips,  Entrepreneurship

Attention Bloggers: What to Do When Everything Feels Like It’s Going Wrong

Just about every post that I write these days (for any of my four websites) is SEO-driven, or at least something I think will do well on social.

This post is not one that fits either of those criteria, but one that my heart feels called to write.

Because in at least some point in your blogging career, everything will feel like it’s going wrong.  You’ll feel like you’re putting a ton of effort in, and something (or odds are, multiple things) just continues to fail.

And that is a very hard place to be in.

I’m just here to tell you – I understand.  I’ve been there in the past, and in fact, I’m in that weird space as we speak.

It is not something that is isolated to new bloggers or inexperienced bloggers.

But you know what makes or breaks you in this field?  Your ability to adapt and weather through it.

In the past few weeks, here’s the short list of what’s been happening for me and my businesses (raise yo’ hand if you’ve had a few weeks like this):

  • One of my sites had a major error, which caused my traffic to become non-existent for several days. Of course, this was right in the middle of a Pinterest viral pin.
  • My email newsletter on another site had an issue where it wasn’t sending out my automated freebie properly, which prompted me to finally switch providers. To do so, I needed my tech guy to do a few things on the backend for me, but that itself led to another rabbit trail of a few website problems that needed to be fixed.
  • Taking one opportunity led to losing a brand partnership. I understood it was a risk going in, but it still was a bummer.
  • A major freelance gig modified my renewal contract, and I’m waiting to see if we can revert to my old set up.
  • I’m in a course to grow a certain social platform, and I keep hitting stumbling block after stumbling block. While everyone else in the course appears to be growing massively, I keep getting stuck.  The comparison envy is so real, and the frustration of putting so much time into something without reaping as many benefits as others definitely wears on me.
  • Meanwhile, as all this has been going on, there’s all the personal ish too: physical therapy for two injuries, getting a radon system set up for the house, cringing at the fact that I miscalculated the amount of taxes I thought I’d owe, a death in the family last month…. When it rains, it pours.

I’m not sharing any of this as a cry for sympathy or to complain “woe is me.”  (Anyone that knows me personally is aware that I am 100% not an attention seeker in this regard, haha).

Instead, I hope you can see that just because the grass looks greener somewhere, doesn’t mean that person hasn’t gone through their fair share of struggles to get there.

In fact, it likely means they’ve gone through this cycle of highs and lows over and over again – but they were simply persistent enough to endure it.  THAT, in my opinion, is what makes the difference between an entrepreneur who will eventually be successful and one who will give up before they got to achieve greatness.

So what do you do if you’re in that “everything is going wrong” space? 

A woman sitting at a laptop frustrated

Here’s my suggestions to you as you wade through the muddy crap-filled waters and swim out to a crystal-clear turquoise sea:

  • Don’t give up.  If you are feeling like you’re spinning your wheels, please don’t give up.  Flex those entrepreneurial muscles and realize that every struggle; every challenge; every failure is simply a stepping stone on the path to success.  (Dang, was that cliché or what?! 😉 )
  • Step away for a little bit.  My biggest stumbling block as an entrepreneur is the feeling that every problem has to be solved RIGHT NOW.  Do any of you struggle with this?  You don’t want to step away from something until you’ve fixed it, and before you know it 10 hours are gone and you’re still not done?  Step away, my friend.  Do something that’s unrelated to work for a few hours.  Not only will it relax you, but it will help get creative juices flowing in your brain in order to problem solve.
  • Ask for help.  For years, I used to try to fix every technical problem on my site myself.  After realizing my limited work time was being wasted, I quickly understood why hiring out for certain things was so important.  Problems that would have taken me 8 hours of googling to fix in the past now costs under a hundred bucks and it’s done in a half hour.
  • Reduce comparison envy and misery’s company.  I have a hard time with both of these from time to time.  a) Comparison envy:  Are there people you see in the blogging and social space that make you feel bad for some reason when their posts come up?  (It doesn’t have to be logical – that’s OK!)  Maybe they’re in the same profession and they’re doing amazing, and every time you see their posts you feel a little insecure.  b) Misery’s company:  Are there Facebook groups you’re a part of where everyone is complaining and it’s bringing you down too?  Friends who aren’t supportive of your hustle?  Feel free to unfollow or distance yourself from any of these things so they’re not in your newsfeed (at least for now).
  • Use just in time learning.  Pat Flynn has spoken about this idea on his podcast multiple times, and I love it.  In the online business space, we are constantly exposed to new information, courses, podcasts, etc about building your business.  This is amazing and wonderful – but it’s also overwhelming.  Try cutting back on those things and focusing on learning one thing at a time as you need it.  For new bloggers, I’d recommend prioritizing SEO and Pinterest.  As you get those solid foundations down, you can focus on other aspects.
  • Prioritize.  Between your website, all the different social media platforms, brand work you may be doing, etc – it can be a lot to juggle.  Prioritize the things that make the biggest bottom line impact for you, and let go of the rest.  For example, I don’t prioritize Twitter because it doesn’t drive traffic.  I have some “set it and forget it” social shares up there, but I rarely actively log on that platform (unless I’m browsing the Bachelor tweets – don’t share any spoilers!).
  • Don’t forget about sleep and exercise.  When everything is going wrong, it’s easy to justify staying up late to continue working on it, or skipping your workout because “there’s no time today.”  I can almost guarantee you that those choices will not result in any further progress on your business, and will almost certainly make you feel worse in general if they become a habit.
  • Create just to create.  Most of us in this field have some love of creation, whether it’s writing, photography, videos, or another aspect of that right-brain thinking.  We can get bogged down in SEO and heading tags and process photos and everything else.  While I 100% would push you to do those things most of the time, sometimes it’s good to step back and simply create in a way that makes you feel good.  (It’s why I decided to write this post.)
  • Remember your mental health.  If you feel like your work struggles (or home struggles) are starting to affect your mental health, get help.  That might be as simple as yoga or meditation, but it also might be finding a good therapist.  Blogging is a crazy fun profession, but it can admittedly be lonely sometimes, which can compound struggles you’re dealing with.  There’s no shame in getting professional help if needed.

I hope this post was helpful for you.  It’s probably got typos; I’m trying to write it quickly while my husband is giving my son a bath, before my son starts his usual game of “but I’m NOT tired!”. 😉  If you have more ideas to share, don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments.

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