by Meg Dowell
We all enthusiastically launch our blogs promising ourselves we’re going to give it all we have, every day, every week or month, until … forever? There’s no end date to a dream. But while bloggers fade into oblivion for many reasons, many of them fail to commit because they underestimate how much time and effort it takes to run a decent site.
But what if you’re not a quitter? What if you want to continue blogging, you have no intention of stopping … but suddenly, there’s just too much going on? How do you make posting things on the internet a priority, when it’s not your only priority?
Do you shake your head, log out, forget about it?
Do you continue dedicating the majority of your time to your blog, and let everything else fall apart?
Let me tell you how I’ve made it work. Because I went from attempting to blog full-time to dedicating a very small amount of time to it each week, and I’m still going strong.
Shortly after I re-launched my blog in 2015, my temporary full-time job came to an end. Let’s just say I had a lot of free time on my hands in the six months that followed. I started blogging every day. I was eventually able to start reaching out to other bloggers about guest posting, in addition to consistently commenting on as many bloggers’ posts as I could (and responding to the comments on my own).
I tried a lot of things during that time. A video series, a podcast. In 2016, I tried selling an ebook, and raising money for charity through writing.
Once I started working full-time again — as a writer, which meant blogging now added to the amount of words I’d already type daily — I quickly realized my blogging time was limited. Which scared me. Because I had GOALS! I’m the overachiever who posts something new every day of the week. Blogging daily helped build up the foundation of content that has quadrupled my subscriber count in the past two years. Plus, I knew that if I stopped, I might not start again, which was also a dark and terrifying thought.
So I stopped the podcast, the books, I let the video ideas collect in a virtually untouched corner of my brain — I realized I only had time for so much, and it was either use it wisely, or let my blog go dark.
Once I started focusing on growth, and providing the best daily content possible, blogging became fun again. I still have goals for growth, and I have a Patreon page in case any of my followers are interested in helping me fund future projects. But this year, I knew I couldn’t make blogging my main priority. It’s one of many. And the seven or so hours I spend on Novelty each week are some of the most rewarding.
Blogging full-time is hard. That’s not to say you can’t do it, but you also have to be realistic. If you try to do too much, nothing you do will be as good as you could make it otherwise. Your blog isn’t going to suffer if you can’t post every day, if you don’t have an email list, if your posts are 500 words instead of 2,000. Your followers want good content. How much or how little you’re able to give doesn’t matter as much as the quality of your work.
If you really care about your blog — and more importantly, your audience — you’ll find a way to make it work. It may not be your only job or responsibility, but it’s still important. There may come a point when your blog can take up more of the pie chart that is your busy life. For now, make it a daily/weekly/monthly task — even if it doesn’t take up the majority of your time.
Do the best you can — but make sure it really is the best you can do, and nothing less.
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a freelance writer and a nine-time NaNoWriMo winner with work published in Teen Ink, Success Story, Lifehack and USA TODAY College. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.