|This article has been a few months in the works and is quite different from any other article I have written for my blog so far. With 7 total years of university experience, it's safe to say I have done my fair share of research for assignments and projects and although it can be a lot of work to do, I have a deep appreciation for critically analyzing data, exploring the themes that emerge, and learning from the outcomes.
This post will highlight the outcome of a survey that asked bloggers about their experience of feeling stress as a result of their blogging efforts. From personal experience, the learning curve that happens when you first start a blog is quite steep and the amount of time that goes into running your own blog can be quite overwhelming.
I was interested to find out how others felt and to also share some tips on how to lower the stress and overwhelm that can overcome bloggers. I hope you find the following information both insightful and helpful!
Results: Stress from Blogging Survey
The survey was comprised of 5 qualitative and quantitative questions in which respondents had the opportunity to answer regarding their experience of feeling stressed from blogging. In total, 28 people provided answers to the survey and only 3 respondents asked for their information to be kept confidential (for these 3 respondents, their qualitative [written] responses will not be shared but their quantitative responses will appear anonymously in the charts below.
Some general themes from this survey include:
Survey Results: Niche
The majority of respondents had a website or blog that was identified in the lifestyle niche, with personal and other coming in close behind. This result seems typical as many blogs I have come across are in the lifestyle niche as this can capture many different categories including do-it-yourself, health and wellness, and others.
Here is the breakdown by niche:
Survey Results: Time Spent Blogging
I was excited to see the results from respondents about the length of time spent blogging - the majority had been blogging for more than 1 year and with all of the rumours about bloggers burning out within the first year, this was very encouraging to see so many continuuing to put their soul and passion into their blogs.
The comments from respondents highlighted the ongoing effort required to be a blogger. Many individuals (including myself) work jobs and have families and life responsibilities on top of the time commitment of having a blog.
"Blogging takes up a lot of time. With the commitment to write, edit pictures, and put it all together in a coherent post. Not to mention, the dedication one has to have to promote and engage on social media and in Facebook groups. It's a lot.
Add a second blog or content creation for webinars, eBooks, eCommerce sites or other blogging-related activities, and it adds up to a lot of work!
"I have two blogs and just creating content for both is stressful. I don't have the time now that I've started my own business to devote to my personal blog. I hate that it's being neglected.
Survey Results: Causes of Stress
I was most interested in finding out the causes of the stress generated by blogging and as we saw above, time management is one of the main reasons for bloggers to feel strained or overwhelmed. Many bloggers post more than once a week and feel the pressure to post on a certain time of week to maintain their readership.
Other reasons for stress caused by blogging was related to finances and feeling that there was just too much work to get done. Many bloggers are solo-entrepreneurs or wait to hire a virtual assistant, which means there is a lot of work to get done by just one person.
Most interestingly, over 50% of respondents attributed their stress to comparing themselves to other bloggers. From my own experience, this can be very easy to do - especially when you are a new blogger and are just learning the ins-and-outs of blogging or have not yet solidified your brand. It can be too easy to look at other bloggers content and feel a sense of doubt within yourself.
"The process of monetizing my blog has been longer than I would have hoped. Everything always seems easier than when you have to actually do it. It stresses me out that I've spent SO many hours building something that isn't providing a full-time income as yet. I'm still doing consulting work. Then again, I know it takes time and I'm not giving up or walking away. Also, having a lot to do, all the time can get stressful since you're "always on."
Survey Results: Taking a Break
With all of the commitment that goes into running a blog (not to mention work, family and general life commitments) it can be easy to spend all of your extra time working on content, editing posts, or marketing yourself.
Yet 64% of the respondents surveyed shared that they had taken a break from blogging at some point. I feel like this highlights the importance of being able to step away from your blog to spend time on yourself or with your family, and to incorporate ways of managing any stress or overwhelm that does surface from the commitment of blogging.
"Getting readers has been a challenge. I do have a fair Facebook following, but I would like to get enough traffic to monetize my blog. I end up spending a ton of time doing research about blogging and find that I don't have much time left over to implement what I learned. I am a stay at home mom of three and I don't want my blog to take away from my time with them.
5 Tips to Feel Better
The results of this survey are quite clear: There are many passionate bloggers who are pouring their heart and soul into their blogs, but perhaps not taking the time to take care of themselves in the process. Let's try to fix that!
1. It's okay to take a break.
A quick glance at my blog and it's quite clear that I am a huge advocate for self-care. It can be important to remind myself to take a break.. step away from the computer.. and spend time doing activities that help me to relax, regain focus and clarity, or are just plain fun.
Self-care activities can vary widely, and it's important to find a way of taking a break and caring for yourself that fits with who you are as a person. Some examples might include:
"Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for. Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us. ~ Maya Angelou
2. Find your method of organization.
It can be important to find your own method of organizing your tasks, thoughts, insights and goals that often times become too overwhelming to keep inside your mind. For me, I use several calendars and separate my personal and professional tasks. I have giant chalk calendar on the wall above my computer with the monthly tasks happening for my blogs and use a planner to organize my year ahead.
Other ways that help me get organized:
3. Join a community for helpful advice.
You don't have to do it alone! There are so many fantastic communities of hardworking entrepreneurs like yourself that you can join and receive encouragement and helpful advice along the way. In order to find these groups, I encourage you to head to Facebook and search for those in your niche, or general blogging groups to be able to share your own content and reciprocate by sharing others with your own social networks.
"Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.
4. Create work & play boundaries.
As bloggers, we tend to work anywhere we can.. in bed before we fall asleep, getting in a few more words using our laptop.. responding to emails and messages while we ride the train to our day job.. or sending a quick tweet about our latest blog post at all hours of the day. We have all been there!
It can helpful to have ways of creating boundaries or work processes that keep your personal and blogging areas of your life more clearly separate. Some ideas for achieving this:
MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCE VAULT
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the Mental Health Resource Vault.
5. Step back and appreciate your hard work.
It can be easy to be thinking ahead, always planning content or your next eBook or webinar. But when was the last time you took the time to just browse your website, admire your work, or even take your own advice?
I challenge you to block out a portion of your day once a week to do just that. Take a look at all of your blogging accomplishments without thinking about what you have planned next. Think about all of the connections you have made with other bloggers and all of the advice or encouragement you have been able to give to others along the way.
Find ways of building self-compassion into your daily routine. Identify moments that you struggled or even failed as a blogger and recognize that this is normal and a part of being human. Think about the lessons learned or experience gained from these moments you compared yourself to other bloggers and recognize your own strengths and achievements.
If you are finding it difficult to move past the feeling of failure or notice changes in your mood or behaviour, consider reaching out for support from your friends, family, or a therapist or doctor.
Above all else, recognize your hard work and your passion as a blogger and be proud to be part of a community of so many talented people from all walks of life.
I would like to extend a huge thank you to all of the bloggers that took the time to fill out the survey whether it was anonymously or by giving me their permission to share their quoted experiences. If you are a blogger yourself, I hope you found this article helpful so that you can continue contributing your passion and voice to the blogging community.. keep up the fantastic work!
Share your own experiences of stress and how you cope in the comments below. :)
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