Blogging is depressing

I hate to say it. But my efforts to be a success have made me more miserable.

The more I learn about blogging, the less I want to do.

So much advice constantly leaves me feeling that I’m just not that good, that I’m not trying hard enough.

What is with bloggers who blog about blogging? An endless dream of tip sheets, how to’s and ultimate posts.

It may all be useful, but bloggers like me, we don’t have time to do it all. What should I focus on? I often thought it was the writing itself.

But now we have to include social media presence, SEO, design, images, relationships and more. Who has time to read all this and act upon it?

Not a single one of these experts seems to grasp that not all of us are professionals. None of them offer advice for beginners, amateurs writers.

It just and endless supply of, ‘you should be doing this and this’.

After each of their posts there are loads of comments praising it. How many of those commenters put the advice into practice? I have my doubts that many do.

I don’t know if my writing is any good or not? I find it hard enough to get the writing done. I constantly feel it’s never good enough, and it takes to long.

I’m filled with questions about what I should be doing.

Social media. Everyone seems to advocate every social site. You can’t do them all. Each site requires its own posts, links, and engagement with comments. Which one should I use? How many?

SEO. Don’t understand it, don’t want to. Some of my posts are based on keywords that people don’t search for. A post has to be specific in order for it to be keywordable. Mine are often not.

Analytics. I don’t have much traffic, a few persistent readers and little engagement. That’s all to be learned. Delving into analytics is nonsense when traffic is so small. You can’t draw meaningful conclusions based upon so little data.

Writing. Remember when writing was a thing? Becoming a better writer, that’s what it was supposed to be about.

Not anymore, now we need to be expert marketers, SEO gurus and more.

Niche. What’s my niche? I don’t know.

It may be a mistake on my part, but I wonder how much blogging advice is useful.

The more I read this advice, the less I write. These posts are a trap, a way of procrastinating.

Here’s a thought, why not get rid of the emails or the RSS feeds and read a book. Something in depth, not a set of keyword stuffed sound-bites that appeals as click bait and social media shares.

Good content is not always shared I have learned.

All this leaves me utterly depressed by the whole enterprise. All the posts, books, advice just leaves me feeling utterly powerless and hopeless. Sucking the motivation and the joy from the work.

I just want to write.

Maybe I’m wrong. Perhaps it’s me, my inability to focus, and be disciplined with the work? Or perhaps I’m so desperate for change that I try and do too much too quickly.

The desperation itself become the enemy. I’m trying desperately not to be desperate.

It’s here that advice is needed. I need advice and support, not some perfectly packaged post.

Or maybe it’s all those bloggers who blog about blogging. Filling my head with so many desires, aspirations, goals, tips that I can’t possibly meet them all.

Reading all this advice is no doubt helpful to some, but I get the feeling the advice has a darker side. It demoralises writers because it asks too much of us.

Phillip Pullman wrote a article explaining that most writers can’t be professionals. Is this what I’m aiming for? If I’m lucky, I might make it.

Maybe I’m a book writer more than a blogger. At least books have endings.

I have my suspicions about expert advice too.

These experts don’t know how they succeeded; they just think that they do. It’s the Self-Serving Bias. Where we attribute success to our own actions and choices, but failure to external problems.

These experts have a distorted notion about how success is found,  which they are now sharing amongst us.

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell showed us that success is often based upon forces outside our control, even awareness. Luck plays a role in success far more than we think.

Perhaps this is the real lesson here.

It hard to accept so much uncertainty. So we desperately grasp for whatever advice we think will help us. All the information about blogging is perhaps not good for budding bloggers like myself.

What we need is not advice, not endless tips on social media strategy, SEO and the rest.

What we need is help on how to deal with the avalanche of advice, the choices in front of us. What to focus on, what to ignore. Particularly with beginning, or floundering blogs.

We only have so much time and energy. Those who work like myself especially so.

I want to know where to put those resources.

I don’t want to read one more post on ‘5 secrets to massive growth’, how some blogger wrote a viral post, or ’10 essential SEO tips.’

In my experience it leads to feelings of despair.

If you’re having problems with blogging I’d like to hear from you.

How do you feel about all the advice out there? How much of that advice have you acted upon?

Comment below.

4 thoughts on “Blogging is depressing”

  1. Be yourself, I don’t want you to blog “professionally”, just want you to keep doing it!
    I found exactly the same thing ‘trying’ to be a Network Marketer – even after reading ‘Network Marketing for Introverts’, and other books and going to workshops and watching U tubes, Periscope etc. etc. It’s a full time job just doing all these! I received the same advice re Social Media – ‘Do it all…Be brilliant at it alI- Went on a Twitter Workshop last weekend but have not had time to ‘Twit’ yet! lol
    The truth is I would have had to be a spectacular sales person BEFORE I started network marketing and I’m not, I’m an artist and a dreamer, a writer, a poet, an artist, a carer, a comic. I don’t have and don’t want a NICHE. I do this stuff because I have to, my god given gifts – I don’t think God (or the Whatever…) cares if I’m a ‘professional’ at any of them or not – they are just what makes me, ME.
    If “…success is based on forces outside our control…”, does it even matter? Lets give up the striving and just be us! Life is short – Let’s do whatever makes our souls sing. For me anyway – thank you for the blogs. xx

  2. Glad to see someone feel the same way as I do Kira. It’s all too much, this writing and now my art. I’m a few social networks. It’s like they are ravenous beasts, but I can’t keep feeding them all the time. Chasing after an impossible ideal is one way to mess up your own happiness.

    ‘I’m an artist and a dreamer, a writer, a poet, an artist, a carer, a comic’
    Sounds a lot like me. But being a dreamer can’t pay the bills. So we all need to connect to others. But how many ways can I manage?

    Thanks Kira xx.

  3. “…‘you should be doing this and this’.

    After each of their posts there are loads of comments praising it. How many of those commenters put the advice into practice? I have my doubts that many do.”

    – Totally agree. Blogging an article these days is more about ‘appearing to’ give good advice, than genuinely supplying the promised ‘ultimate’, profound nuggets of wisdom which readers could actually benefit from. In researching my last book I was amazed how many people praise poorly written tutorials on the internet- full of grammar and spelling errors and badly communicated instruction. I was experienced on the subject I was reading about, so confidently knew what I was being presented with was seriously low-quality advice. Yet the writer had an audience. How? It seemed that the advise ‘looked as though it could work’ and seemed to be all that mattered.

    I realized the web (and this may be similar for off-line content in many cases also) is a system designed to promote whoever can exploit it and other people’s psychology. High-ranking click-bait to meaningless, shallow or poorly constructed content will win every time.

    Without knowing how to exploit the system- i.e. use SEO, and online-marketting, there’s virtually zero chance of getting your words out to readers, no matter how genuine, original, interesting or entertaining a blogger or writer may be. It’s therefore understandable that many writers and creatives feel frustrated by a lack of audience.

    I’d say it’s a good call to ignore the ‘typical’ advice. Do your thing and perhaps in time the system will change and there will be an outlet and an audience for a wider range of informed, unique content?

    • Thanks an interesting insight Ben. Book are just the same, you can read so many. Reading becomes the substitute for the doing. So much one the net is writers trying to keep an audience I feel, because if they don’t put stuff out readers might unsubscribe. Becoming a successful writer does involve different skills, writing alone is not enough. But being bombarded with so much advice gave me very little time to write what they want to say. One skill then is discernment, knowing what to advice accept and what to ignore. Recognising at what stage of development you are. Some of the advice doesn’t apply anyway, as is more suited to established bloggers with larger audiences.


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