A Blog Identity Crisis: Why DO I Do This?

Who knew that a quote from a movie about a kid skipping school would turn out to be something we all need to live by?

Who knew that a quote from a movie about a kid skipping school would turn out to be something we all need to live by?

Things do happen, sometimes in a hurry.  I feel like I need to look around a little bit.  This past month has been a blur.   I’ve been running around like a chicken with its head cut off.  One thing that I wonder is how people who work full-time all the time manage to have blogs.  It is work.  Not just some work, a LOT of work to maintain a blog.  Especially one like mine where I post most days of the week and insist on putting images with my stories.

I really thought that getting out of the house would breathe new life into my writing.  I figured that I would be a fountain of ideas, and that I would have more than enough material.  It has actually been quite the contrary.  Truth be told I’ve been having a hard time coming up with ideas.  I’ve also struggled to maintain the quality of the work I had been doing pre-temporary employment.  That is, if you consider quality work to feature stories about peeing your pants…

I’ve shared with several fellow bloggers the fact that I am drained.  I feel like someone has sucked the creativity out of my body.  It’s not just working 40 hours a week, commuting an hour a day, and spending every rest of your waking moments with kids and a messy house.  Things have happened that I can’t really talk about that have made the whole experience that much more challenging mentally.  I’m not complaining by any means. It has been nice to have the extra income for awhile and being able to pay off some of our outstanding debt has been wonderful.  I was looking for employment when this came up and will continue to look for something after this is done, though most likely part-time, since my son will be out of school soon.

I’ve also found that if you don’t linger around and do things like read and comment on other blogs regularly, use social media to post updates several times daily, and just BE THERE it will really cause your blog views to sink like the Titanic.  This was not from lack of trying.  I found that you can’t cut and paste your stuff into an android phone like I do on my computer.  Where I am working, well, there are RULES.  You can’t be on Facebook and Twitter on your laptop computer or phone, unless of course you’re on your break.  When you work in a childcare center with no lounge, you want to go as far away as possible when you’re not working.  This is because they can still see you.  They all go down to the bathroom and they are waving at you and yelling hi-unless I go crawl under the tables I can’t really get away.  Especially since my daughter is one of them-she still doesn’t understand why she can’t go with me on my breaks!  I’ve been going to the gym on my break time, which has been lovely.

Imagine a whole class of them...

Imagine a whole group of them…

So I figured out some stuff here.  I write the post the night before.  I get up very early in the morning and publish it.  I share it to Facebook, Google Plus, StumbleUpon, etc (Twitter is the only automatic format that actually gets my stuff seen.)  I check on a few things from the night before, then it’s time to shower, get the kids up, etc.  On my break I check my phone, write down the url of my blog post and post updates and sometimes respond to comments.  Then I go to the gym.  After work I rush to pick up my son before it’s too late, fix dinner, do dishes, laundry…  By the time I can sit down, it’s almost time for bed.  And I wonder why I am not coming up with much these days.

The irony of all this is while my views plummeted, I have had a big increase in people who are fans.  More followers, more likes.  More than ever before.  Then this past week I was feeling accomplished because I had finally got my blog views back up to where they were before I started the job.  I was back over 100 views a day.  Yet I have over 800 people who follow my blog in some way.  I may not be a math genius, and I realize that some of these people are actually the same people following me (like my fellow blogging buddies “like” my page on Facebook but also follow me on Twitter so they actually know when I do something) but that makes me think that while these people may be following me, they aren’t reading my posts.

So I have a few hypotheses:  a) There’s something I’m missing here about how they count page views.  b)  All of these people like me, they just aren’t reading me.  c)  There has been some big mistake, and no one really likes me?

I won't bore you with stats.  This is more fun.

I won’t bore you with a pie chart of stats. This is more fun.

It’s discouraging when you feel like your hard work isn’t getting the attention you want it to.  Today I lost two followers on Facebook.  I’m used to it on Twitter, on Facebook not so much.  I’m sure it was one of those “Hey I liked you, now come like me” people who then got what they wanted as soon as I liked them back.  Kind of like a girl who puts out and then the guy dumps her. Ok, not really like THAT.  You get the idea, though.

I know it shouldn’t be all about page views.  Or how many fans you have.  This did start off as nothing more than a personal thing where I vented and told some stories.  Yet that day I signed up for the social media junk was when I maybe started caring more than I should.  I realize that I’m probably over thinking all of this.  In just a couple of weeks I’ll be back to doing what I was doing, and pursuing the hope that someday I might just be paid to do this.

Tomorrow is Wordless Wednesday. Then it’s Theme Thursday-I have finally picked a controversial topic to write about and hope that I don’t offend anyone with it.

Then I’m taking a break.

No I’m not quitting.  I’m not going to stop writing.  I’m just going to take the rest of the time I’m doing this job to rest my brain.  I put out a call for help this past week, and eight epic bloggers have stepped up to each do a guest post on my blog for the next week while I air out my shriveled up brain.  Please come back to read their stuff, and go show them a little love on their own blogs.

Menopausal Mother leads the pack out of the gate on Friday.
Following close behind is Ranting Seriously on Saturday.
The Wild and Wonderful World of Gingerssnaps is not having a day of rest on Sunday.
Mom’s World shows us something positive about Monday!
Something Clever 2.0 comes over with her own unique view on Tuesday.
Go Cheap or Go Home saves us big with her post on Wednesday.
When Crazy Meets Exhaustion is the woman of the day on Thursday.
Friday is the oops day.  I realized after I put out this call for help that it’s Fly on the Wall. Technically this doesn’t count in the whole week of Guest Bloggers.
Saturday PenPaperPad helps us cross the finish line!

I’ll have two days left of work after that, then kindergarten roundup, and a flying trip to swap my broken glasses frames that will have been waiting for me for a whole six weeks.  Then I start fresh… and I’m hoping to make some changes, or not.  I’ve been debating things like whether or not to purchase my domain.  I can’t decide if I have the skills or the patience for such a thing.  I am debating whether to only post certain days of the week.  I am trying to decide which ways I can best promote my writing without drowning in all of the social media outlets that are available and perhaps focus on those.  I am also trying to change the look of my blog itself, but trying to find something that has everything I need is a process…

Fellow bloggers, have you ever gone through an identity crisis?  How did you handle it?  Do you let your page views or number of followers or things of that nature bother you?  I’d be happy to hear from you and how you handled it.

I often feel like I'm saying nothing...

I often feel like I’m saying nothing…

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55 thoughts on “A Blog Identity Crisis: Why DO I Do This?

  1. Awwww Sarah, I love your honesty here! I don’t think you have lost your muse–I ALWAYS enjoy everything you post and even though the pictures take up more time, they are always like the cherry on top of the sundae. I wouldn’t worry about the numbers—you have QUALITY readers and look how FAST your blog has taken off!!! I was at it for the first 6 months with only 23 followers and 1000 page views. I got excited if i got 15 page views a day, haha! I don’t think you have to work so hard at being creative–it comes by you naturally because you are so quick and clever–I love your sense of humor and your blog. It ALWAYS puts a smile on my face. You are loved, my friend, and you will always have a HUGE fan in me! XOXO

  2. I think we have all had our moments. I have been wondering how you have been doing this and working full-time. God bless you seriously, because blogging in itself can be full-time and teaching on top (I am a certified teacher and taught before having my girls) is truly a full-time gig and then some. You do need a much needed break and seriously take it. We will be here when you return, but sounds like you have a great lineup while you do 🙂

    • I wanted to do something fun-it’s obviously not a total break for me, but it will help. I’ll still be commenting and all that jazz! Thank you for the support and understanding. It’s so nice to know that some people know exactly what I’m talking about!

  3. Gotta try this again since my last comment was accidentally deleted. Let me first tell you how much I loved your honesty here! We’ve all felt the same way about our blogging and hitting dry spells, so you are in good company with that one. I wouldn’t worry so much about your numbers–the point is you have QUALITY readers & followers, and from what I can see, you have a great fan base. Look how far you have come in such a short time! In my first 6 months I only had 23 followers and averaged 15-20 page views a day! I don’t think you have EVER lost your muse, Sarah. You don’t even have to work at it–you are just naturally quick witted and clever and it shows in your writing. Your post always bring a smile to my face, and the pictures you post are the cherry topping on the sundae. I know it’s a lot of work, but it is SO worth it in the end. I am HONORED that you asked me to guest on here Friday and I am so excited to share that with you. I just wanted to tell you how wonderful this post is today and to let you know you have a HUGE fan in me. Who loves ya, baby? Bring on the ear wax casserole and ham!! XOXO

  4. I feel your pain on so many levels. My blog has gone through SO MANY changes. I have a couple thoughts…. 1. A change in design, layout, theme, etc. does help reinvigorate the juices. So does posting less. That said, if you don’t have the time for self-hosted, maybe just work on a professional upgrade on WP.com? Buy a custom URL, a premium theme, and pimp out your WP.com one. Of course, I normally reccomend moving to self-hosted, but based on your lifestyle, I think it’ll be overwhelming to you. You want to focus on the writing right?

    2. As for the views/followers thing, when it says you have such and such followers, it’s basically counting all your Twitter followers and facebook fans. Obviously not all of those follow your blog, but they follow you because of one reason or another. I have 1000 followers according to WP.com but I know that it’s counting my facebook likes in that number.

    3. When your views tank after not feeding the blog monster, it is depressing. I know the feeling. But sometimes, I do it on purpose, kinda like shaking out what the real numbers are. If I get 500 views a day when I run around whoring the Internet, is that number even accurate? But when I stop and get less views, I know that those people are coming without reminders and because I have something interesting to say. I’d rather that, than inflated views that aren’t even real.

    Hang in there! You’re just going through a blogging crisis. It’ll pass and you’ll figure it out!

    • It really helps to know people that have been there! I so want to upgrade to WordPress Pro. Unfortunately I don’t have the fundage to do it. I’ve been researching just having my own domain, but that scares me. I went theme shopping yesterday-I can’t decide what would work and what wouldn’t. I love the current format of my site-I just don’t like the look of the font. It’s hard to differentiate when I have something in bold vs something not.

      Meanwhile, I am stuck at the end of my driveway,. Oh what fun! I guess it’s giving me more time to comment…

  5. I can so relate to you here!, I often lose my blog mojo! things just get crazy here and it goes to the bottom of the pile. It’s v hard to keep up as you say with reading and commenting and posting. I reckon to be really successful at it you have to post daily and keep commenting etc, which I just can’t do! some people seem to but they must be like supermum or something!
    Anyway I always LOVE your posts and you always make me laugh. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  6. I think you’re in the middle of way to many things to even think about changes right now. Wait until the job ends and you’ve got more time to think. I will say this, I used to post more often and I understand that fresh content does entice viewers to come visit. However, not everyone can or will read every day. I find that posting every 2 – 3 days gives more people a chance to read each post, and I get more comments that way. It also takes some of the pressure off, if you’re going through a time when you’re not as prolific as you’d like to be. Either way, I know you’ll do what’s right for you.

  7. Hahaha! Funny (cartoon at the bottom)

    Ok about followers that do or do not read. Here’s my two cents. Ppl who follow your blog on yourblog. Probably read your blog most days or catch up. Everyone else probably reads your stuff on a whim, and then randomly because they do like it. But may or may not have time on the regular
    I read your posts on Thursday, or if we’re on same link up. Also when you tweet link and O happen to be on break or weekends…

    • I’ve been reading everyone’s blogs on the weekends when I can. I feel so guilty! I used to be the first commenter on a lot of my favorite blogs. I read Crappy Pictures’s post the other day and when I went to comment, there were 700 plus comments on there!

  8. Love the pie chart! Cannot wait for the “controversial” topic, sounds like something your passionate about! You tease! Thanks for the shout out, I have never been called epic before! Awesome!

  9. I’m a very new follower of your blog (and a brand new blogger myself) but I feel like I can relate to what you’re saying. It’s easier for me to post every day because mine is more of an informational type blog with about a million and one subjects. For a blog about day to day life, you want it to be more creative and spontaneous.

    I keep a box of recipe cards and on each card I write down the 5 subjects for the week and the dates. Then, on Tuesdays and Thursdays (my days without a lot of meetings and such), I prepare the posts and then schedule them all out. That way, if I get sick or need time off, my blog is still humming along.

    When I started considering the idea of a blog, I read somewhere that if you don’t blog 5 days a week, Mondays and Thursdays are the best days to post. I wish I could remember why!!

    And blogging is FULL time. The writing, the pictures, the commenting, promoting…it can be taxing. Can’t imagine doing it with a full time job outside of the home. I work from my home so it’s much easier.

    I think you need to give yourself a break and enjoy your time off. Use it think through your priorities, take a breather, and know that the blogging community is behind you. We enjoy your blog and will be here for you when you return!!

    Penny at Green Moms and Kids
    http://greenmomsandkids.wordpress.com

    • I like the idea of the cards! You are, like, organized and stuff!

      Mondays and Thursdays, huh? I wonder why that is? My weekends are a bit abysmal, that’s why I quit doing regular posts except for the wrap-ups and for awhile I was doing “Reblog Saturday” where I regurgitated old stuff that my newer fans may not have read yet!

      I’ll figure it all out. Now I may have to work another week beyond the original agreement. I guess that’s ok! More $$ to pay off bills!

  10. I can relate. And sometimes I just take a break from my blog for a week. Maybe it interrupts the momentum but my sanity needs it. After all, no one is holding a gun to my head to blog. It’s supposed to be for me with my rules so why can’t I take a break when needed right? Your brain just needs a rest and then you’ll get back into it. 😉

  11. I recommend that you download HootSuite. You can schedule your tweets and Facebook posts in advance, so you could put up a whole day’s worth the night before. I share my posts three times a day, so I’ll just write and schedule them all in the morning. It’s also good for when you come up with an awesome tweet at 11pm and you want more than three people to see it. Just schedule it to post in the morning.

  12. I love your blog! It’s funny and unique. I think we all go through questioning why we are blogging. I guess you just need to figure out your motivation for the blog. Is it an outlet? Is it to make money? If you don’t know why you are doing it, what’s the point? I usually take a day or 2 off a week because sometimes I can’t think of anything or I’m just to busy to post. It’s no biggie.

  13. I’m a new blogger, but I can definitely relate. It’s exhausting, and there is so much out there in the blogging world. I feel like my “blogging” job is simply never done. I notice that I go through days of feeling in “crisis” — when the whole blogging attempt is hopeless and I feel like I’ll never find success as a writer — but that will be followed by exhilaration, often the next hour or the next day (when something great or unexpected happens). It’s truly a whirlwind, but I think — based on my limited experience — that great things can come from stopping to pause and think about our larger goals.

  14. Every blogger feels this way, at least at some point. I’m sure of it. Unless you’re trying to make this into a career, don’t stress about page views, followers, posting every day, etc. Isn’t this supposed to be a fun way to express yourself and document things in your life? It’s not fun if you’re stressing yoruself out over things that are the result of a variety of factors.

    Enjoy the time you have in this life, and if you have time to blog, then do it. If you don’t, then do that too. Between working a million hours a week, doing my animal rescue stuff, and writing my blog (along with a newspaper column and submissions for other blogs), I’m exhausted all the time. A few months ago I took about 2-3 months off. I just told myself I wasn’t going to do go back to it until I got things in my life under control. I didn’t want the blog to be one more stressor. It’s supposed to be something fun and entertaining, and if it stops being that to you, then you should take a break.

    And word on the street is that the guest blogger you have lined up for Saturday is hysterically funny, so I’d say you’ll do just fine!

    Let me know if you need to vent. I’m always around via the interwebs and we can complain and eat cookies.

  15. I wish life was an easy path, where the turns of our journey be well defined. Alas, it is not.

    Trod along the path that is being shown to you, my friend. I am sure if and when you are destined you will come back to what you desire.

    Hugs!

  16. I’m so glad to help! I wanted to help because I’m a fan of yours. Not like a Justin Bieber teen fan, who will cry and scream if our eyes meet. I think your blog is great, you make me laugh. It’s fun to read. I was reading last night about how often to publish. This lady said that really you just need to post once a week, and to not post every day, especially if you’re still trying to hit having a thousand subscribers.

    I think you need to do what’s best for you. I’ve bought my domain thing, but I still use wordpress. It’s just easier for me, and I don’t really want to spend a lot of time/money on professional themes. Man, you’ve gotten some great advice up there. I think with the fluctuating of numbers, you identified it. You know the people who are all about the “followback.” They’re not really authentic readers.

  17. It’s crazy how much of blogging is actually social media networking. I have a really hard time keeping up with the very little of it I do, and I don’t even work full time! You make real connections with people, and your content is interesting. I like the Hootsuite suggestion, and I’m happy to hear you have guest posters for next week so you can take a breather. Hang in there!

  18. I think you are overstressing too much. I try to think of my blog as a fun thing. More like it is my writing prompt for the day. I do it quick… probably not epic 99% of the time. But I do what i want and if I can’t get to it… I don’t worry. The followers will come eventually! Good luck. Remember bloggin is suppossed to be fun!

  19. I’ve been wondering how you are keeping up with it all! Blogging really does take up a lot of time! You are doing an amazing job with your blog and it’s so fun watching you grow! You’re becoming famous! I can’t wait to tell people someday, “Yeah, I knew Sarah before she was famous!”

  20. I revamped my blog 3 times this week and have finally settled on something that will WORK until I find that PERFECT look for me. I am still debating on changing my blog name, and am nowhere NEAR ready to purchase my own domain. I just don’t think I’m ready for that amount of commitment. Although, I am very committed. I’m hopefully going to find a job and start work and I want to keep blogging but In reality I know I may not be able to handle everything on my plate and blogging unfortunately is lower on my list of priorities. I hope I will be able to handle it. As far as Facebook likes, Facebook has been closing down accounts. Including my Queen Mommy account so it may not be that people don’t LIKE you it’s just their account has been deactivated and no longer counts. 🙂 stay positive!

    -Queen Mommy
    http://www.mt2sm.blogspot.com

    • That’s good to know about Facebook. I’m subbing for now, hopefully finding some part-time work in the evenings once I’m done. Got all the extra bills paid off plus regained some much needed confidence, which has made it all worth it!

  21. I am a walking, talking, blogging identity crisis. But I found that only blogging on certain days (Mon – Wed – Fri) helps. On the days I don’t write, I try to find the time to visit other blogs.

    I hope you find your balance. As Julie once told me: your loyal readers will be there…waiting…when you come back. 😉

    • I’ve already had a little inspiration to write. Some ideas that hopefully will come to fruition. The pressure is off a little bit at work for this week, but next week is the one I’ve been dreading. Spring break in a college community! Short staffing! Arrrrrgh!

  22. I am an identity crisis in formation. I found your post on Julie’s blog because I was having an inkling of an identity crisis. My blog is over a year old and NOT famous. When I first started to blog I only did it as an outlet for the things stuck in my head, and to reach a very specific audience of people who needed information on Sensory Processing Disorder. But the things stuck in my head posts, not about SPD, were getting page views. And I ran out of things to say about SPD, cause my boy was getting better. Then I realized there was actually a WAY to get people to get to your blog and I started to wonder if I should try to be famous. Then when I tried that the SPD posts got more views and I was lost cause I only wrote about that every once in a while. That fame thing, that will suck the life out of you. I homeschool, and I started letting the kid watch TV so I could write, or post on social media, or comment on other blogs. Then I thought WHAT THE HECK AM I DOING? Well, guess what? I still don’t know. What I do know, is this blogging thing is good, the stress thing is bad. Paying attention to my child, good. Too much TV, bad. I know you know finding the right balance is the key, but it is clear to me you have an amazing bunch of loyal followers (not I’ll follow back followers) I don’t think you need much more than that. And, now you have one more too 🙂

    • I’m interested in Sensory Processing Disorder, but it’s something that I haven’t found a lot of info about. As I continue to try to figure out what else is going on with my son, various things like that come up. I do have a bunch of great followers-they have stuck by me through the thick and thin. Thanks for the follow! I went over and visited your blog too! 😀

      • Well if nothing else, I sure have a lot of info on Sensory Processing Disorder 🙂 If you ever have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!

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