“Writing is a lonely job. Even if a writer socializes regularly, when he gets down to the real business of his life, it is he and his type writer or word processor. No one else is or can be involved in the matter.”
– Isaac Asimov, I, Asimov: A Memoir
If you have actively and professionally blogged for at least several months, chances are you’ve encountered blogger’s blues: the creeping sense of isolation and loneliness that generally comes with regular blogging. Whether you blog full-time, as a freelancer, or as a hobby, sooner or later you are bound to ask yourself: what am I missing out on out there?
Dealing with this is a tad easier if you already have a solid and active following that you interact with on a daily basis. But for many bloggers without extensive online networks, the vast silence that meets their blog posts can eventually dampen momentum, and later, self-esteem.
Even full-time professional bloggers and diehard blogging enthusiasts encounter this social dead end. You begin to wonder whether all the trouble you take into crafting and perfecting your blog is worth it, and you end up questioning your own capabilities as a blogger, and more importantly, as a writer. So how do you handle this?
Consider the following angles:
You are blogging for the wrong niche.
Although you can’t always choose what topic you can blog about – and this is particularly true for professional and freelance bloggers – you can still make some adjustments to a certain extent. Thorough research can fill up the information gap, and you can tweak your style accordingly.
There are limits to how far you can stretch, however. Perhaps the subject at hand disagrees with your personal preferences or values, your current subject matter requires more time than you can allot, or maybe your client’s work ethics makes you question yours. Either way, perhaps a niche switch could be the answer to this, especially if you enjoy blogging per se.
Blogging is simply not for you.
Hobbyists have fewer problems with this, because most of them start off with the clear understanding that they do want to blog, and that they are fairly equipped to communicate their information via their platform of choice. Should they decide that blogging isn’t working for them, moving on to another avenue is relatively easy.
When it comes to earning money online, though, blogging begins to demand more and more of your skill, time, and commitment to the craft. If you see yourself faltering in any of these in the long run, then you could consider other online money-making choices – maybe you’ll fare better posting in social networking sites, where returns are quicker, and community-building is easier.
The truth is, blogging isn’t for everyone, so if you aren’t happy with it, try to explore your options.
You are experiencing mental fatigue.
Perhaps you enjoy blogging, but lately you feel less and less motivated about it. Even with ample source material, a niche that you love, a great boss or client, and a growing audience, you seem to be on the verge of burnout, and you can’t understand why this is happening.
Most likely this is caused by the mental fatigue that stems from hyperfocusing on your blog. When you do something repeatedly and constantly, even if it’s something you absolutely love, it will tire you out. Since blogging is a solitary activity, you won’t just feel tired, but also alienated from the rest of the world.
The solution? Break your routine. Go out, make arrangements to be with friends, take 24 hours off the Internet, or indulge in a fun activity that you miss. The point is to refresh your mind with new information so you can return to your blog, energized about posting again.
You’re still learning the ropes.
You don’t have an audience yet, and you’re required to keep plugging away at your work blog. Or you don’t have an audience yet, and you feel compelled to keep your personal blog alive with regular posts. You’re still quite new to the craft, and quitting now just wouldn’t be right. So on top of learning the ins and outs of blogging, you’re also wrestling with low to nonexistent activity on your blog. What to do?
Accept that the initial months of blogging will yield little to no returns. Don’t take it as an affront to your skills; this happens to all startup bloggers. Rather, take this quiet time as an opportunity to research on blog design, blogging styles, and social media strategies that would work well for you. This is also the perfect time to hone your writing skills. And as far as your audience is concerned, this is your chance to start building an online network to which you can promote your blog later on.
Almost all bloggers undergo some sort of downtime that leaves them a little lost, confused, and lonely. But remember, you aren’t alone.
Crafting a good blog takes time, and a case of blogger’s blues is simply one of the challenges you’ll face. Once you prove that you have the commitment, dedication, and skills to overcome this, more impressed readers will come flocking to you — and you’ll finally have your own active and interested community to interact with.
Image credits: 4wesomness.blogspot.com, www.marketingprofessor.com, www.schoox.com