It never fails to amaze me how many bloggers hate blogging. I’m not talking about getting burned out. Frankly, we all need a little vacation from blogging now and again. I’m talking about actually disliking blogging to the point where you get that feeling of dread when turning on your computer. It’s almost as bad as getting up every morning to go to an office job you hate.
Yes, some bloggers really feel that way. Of course, you aren’t one of them. Or are you?
Don’t be ashamed if you find yourself falling into this category. Few people get into blogging knowing that they’ll hate it. Most people just try it out and although they like blogging related perks, like working from home or being your own boss. Those perks might be enough to keep you from going back to a typical office job, but what about the hatred you have for the act of blogging itself? In actuality, there are things you can do to enjoy blogging more. It’s just about having a different approach!
- Step One: Identify what it is that you hate.
Before you can fix the problem, you have to know what’s broken. If there wasn’t anything you liked about blogging, you’d be working that regular day job instead, so let’s separate the good from the bad. Maybe you hate writing posts. Maybe you hate social networking. Maybe you hate the technical side of blogging. Whatever it may be, figuring out exactly what you hate is the first step.
If you find yourself unable to pin-point what you hate, maybe you’re just burned out. Line up a few guest posts and go on vacation from your blog for a week – feel better? Good. Sometimes that’s all it takes to stop hating blogging so much.
- Step Two: Identify what it is that you enjoy.
As you’re listing off what you hate about blogging, also list the things you enjoy. Ok, so you hate actually writing posts, but you love getting your message hear. Or maybe you hate using Twitter, but you love participating in community forums. What are the good things that keep you blogging instead of going back to the corporate world?
Can’t think of anything you enjoy? Ouch. If you’re in a particularly bad mood at the moment, you might just be frustrated. Sleep on it and come back to this question tomorrow. But if you honestly can’t think of a single blogging task that you enjoy, maybe it’s time to start doing some research on other jobs that would allow you the same freedoms you get with blogging, but with tasks you’d enjoy more. I know there’s a lot of crap to wade through, but legitimate work-at-home jobs do exist!
- Step Three: Make your own blogging rules.
The great thing about blogs is that the bloggers get to make the rules. What works for one blogger doesn’t have to be the way you approach blogging. If you hate writing posts, for example, maybe the key is to only post once or twice per week instead of every day. Or, maybe the key is to switch to podcasting or video blogs instead of writing. Maybe you love writing, but you hate social media. Maybe the key is to hire a virtual worker to handle promotion for you. Or, maybe the key is to do less social media and instead focus on building community in other ways. Just because an expert does things one way doesn’t mean that you have to on your blog.
Is it time to rethink your blog’s purpose?
After you’ve gone through the above three steps, if your action plan isn’t clear, maybe it’s time to do a little soul searching. Why does your blog exist? If you say, “I need an outlet to rant about things,” that’s not really a monetizable blog. I mean, it can work for some people, but if that’s the only reason you’re blogging, exploring non-blog job options might be for the best. For most of us, our professional blogs have a purpose. For example, on After Graduation, my blog’s purpose is to give new graduates career advice. Or here are this blog, the purpose is to teach other how to be better bloggers and comment on new media news, while also promoting BlogWorld Expo. What is your blog’s purpose? And now, the most important question: Do you feel passionate about that purpose?
Every so often, I get into a debate with someone about whether or not you need to be passionate about your niche to be a good blogger. No. If you’re a good professional writer, you can write about nearly anything. But we’re not talking about can you do it here. We’re talking about should you do it. And if you want to stop hating blogging, no, you shouldn’t blog in a niche where you aren’t passionate.
Because if you are passionate, those things you hate will melt away. Sure, you’ll still find that you love some tasks more than others, but if you’re super passionate about what you have to share, it will seem less like a burden to perform all the tasks necessary to get your blog noticed. For example, I hate adding photos to posts, doing photo editing, etc. I even hate the process of finding a good picture to use. But I do it because I know it helps my posts become more appealing to readers, and that’s exciting to me. I’m passionate about reading as many new readers as possible, so if pictures make that happen, I’m just going to bite the bullet and do it.
Passion or not, blogging isn’t for everyone, and that’s something super important to take away from this post. If you’ve tried blogging and really do hate it, there’s no shame in walking away. It doesn’t make you a failure or a quitter. It just means that you weren’t suited for this job. If you tried accounting, hated it, and left to pursue a different field, no one would call you a failure. People would applaud you for giving it a try and knowing when to walk away. Know when to walk away from blogging. Which brings me to the title of this post – if blogging is a problem for you, don’t blog. Life throws us enough crap already. Don’t do something you hate on top of it.