Real talk: I haven’t really been into blogging lately. Some time around the holidays, I just felt like I was running out of steam. All year I was really good about posting twice a week, I was excited about my content, I was enthusiastic about sharing on social media…but then all of a sudden, I started feeling a little bit blah about it. Maybe it’s a little bit of burnout or maybe it’s a lack of inspiration due to the grey winter weather (seriously, I hate the cold), but blogging isn’t really all that fun for me right now.
***BUT! Don’t worry. This isn’t me about to tell you that Ampersand is over. It’s totally not. But I always try to be honest & authentic here with you so I figured I’d let you know what’s going on. Also, I thought it would be a good opportunity to shed some light on what it’s really like being a blogger (hint: it’s not as glamorous as it seems). Of course there are some not so good parts, but there are a lot of great parts too. So read on to find out the real truth about being a blogger.
(Side note: Seriously though, thank you to all my dedicated readers who keep coming back here week after week. Even when I get frustrated with blogging, I’m really humbled that you guys read what I write & even like it!! So thank you thank you thank you. You guys are the best).
The not so great parts…
Sometimes, you’re not inspired.
Hello, writer’s block. I’ve been a writer all my life, so writer’s block is extremely familiar to me. As much as I LOVE to write (and I do, I truly do), sometimes you just don’t feel like it. All those ideas you put in your editorial calendar at the beginning of the month aren’t fun anymore. Sometimes you’re just not in the mood to write. Luckily for me, blogging is just a hobby and not my full-time job, so I have the luxury to opt out of writing when I want to. But some bloggers–whose income depends on writing posts–have to be inspired every.single.day. Seriously, shout out to you guys because sometimes it’s hard to write.
Growing is frustrating. Like very frustrating.
Of course having a handful of very loyal followers is awesome. When I first started Ampersand, having 10 people read my posts was great. But after years of writing, researching how to reach new audiences, putting in the time and effort to gain a social media following, etc. etc. etc., sometimes seeing low traffic numbers is just…disappointing. Blogging is hard work (see next point) and when you put in so much effort and not a lot of people see it, it’s easy to get discouraged. Of course, this gets balanced out by the awesome parts of blogging (see more below).
It’s a lot of hard work & attention to detail.
Yea, blogging is a lot of work. One blog post can easily take me 3+ hours depending on what it is. There’s the writing, editing, linking, picture-taking, picture-editing, tagging, categorizing, social media scheduling, sharing, commenting, engaging, Pinteresting…it’s a lot. It’s a lot more than people think. Sure, my friends see me taking a million pictures at brunch & you might find me typing away a WordPress draft at a coffee shop, but there’s a hell of a lot of things that go on behind the scenes.
Instagram is the best/worst.
Oh Instagram. I love/hate you. I used to love Instagram when I only had a personal account. But when you’re Instagramming as a blogger? Totally different story. There actually is a strategy to posting/commenting/liking/following to grow a following but of course it always changes because the algorithm is always changing. Yes, you get to connect with a lot of other cool bloggers/brands through Instagram & I love scrolling through my feed to see what other people are up to. But when you followers jump to 1,000 back to 600 in a day or you don’t know why one post got 100+ likes & the other only 37? It’s a tad annoying. (And I know all bloggers/Instagrammers agree with this–fix your algorithm, Insta.)
…and the awesome parts.
You meet some really awesome people.
It is true that you meet some really cool people through blogging. I have a handful of blogger friends now–some I’ve met in person and some I’ve only interacted with online. And generally, everyone is really supportive of one another. It’s easy to fall into the comparison trap among bloggers, but there’s definitely a move towards being more collaborative vs. competitive. I’m thankful for the people I’ve met through blogging.
Connect & support brands/companies you love.
It’s a pretty cool hobby.
I like being a blogger! It’s a cool conversation starter & people generally like to hear about it. Yea my friends may give me sh*t for taking a lot of pictures, but they’re also the same people to ask “wait, are you going to feature this brunch on the blog?” ;) It’s fun that the thing you think is cool, other people think it’s cool too.
People resonate with your writing.
This is by far the best thing about writing. I can’t tell you how many thoughtful messages I’ve gotten from people–friends & strangers–saying that they’ve resonated with something I’ve written. As a writer, that is the best compliment that you can get. And honestly, that’s why I write. Because I figure if I feel/think something, maybe someone else out there feels/thinks it too. Maybe we can help each other out, right?
Again, thank you for continuing to read Ampersand. If you keep reading, I’ll keep writing. &.