Let me guess. You’re:
- Drowning in information overload
- “Working” on something with no clear end goal in mind just to make a dent in your daunting, never-ending to-do list
- Suffering from paralyzing indecision from too many differing opinions online
If any (or all) of these statements apply to you, friend, you have a case of beginner blogger overwhelm.
I’ve been there too. Here’s a gist of how it went down for me:
Huh, starting a blog seems simple enough. (Did some casual research, got convinced that it’s worth a shot).
Okay (deep breath). I’m gonna to do this.
Opened flood gates. Researchresearchresearch. Signed up for every freebie I laid eyes on. Made a to-do list a million items long. Let blogging consume every second of my life, told myself I really need to slow down, but couldn't stop reading through more blogs and sign up for more things (seriously, why do I need 5 different Pinterest email courses?). Finally, reach a breaking point, became an emotional wreck, and hung my head in defeat.
Now at this crucial moment, I had two choices: throw my hands up and give up completely on the blogging, or, take a step back, and figure out a plan of action that would actually be within my reach.
Luckily, this is a tale of the latter.
And I’m here to show how you too can recover from beginner blogger overwhelm by recognizing the symptoms and then tackling it with a vengeance.
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Hands-down the best blogging resource that helped me turn my blogging frown upside down and shoot up to a 4-figure income by my 5th month blogging and not obsess over it so much so I can actually, you know, enjoy my life.
The Ridiculous Goals I Set for Myself
First, let me share some stats to put things into perspective. In the month of August/September, I:
- Read through countless blogs, free email courses, and freebies
- Started my blog on WordPress in September with very little tech background
- Learned Pinterest and Twitter from scratch (I only occasionally went onto Facebook prior to blogging)
- Learned Photoshop with zero prior knowledge
With the hopes that I would launch my blog with:
- 5 epic blog posts
- A killer opt-in email series with a launch prize to get subscribers
- A deadline funnel product with a countdown on a landing page that I would DIY for free (no, really)
- Have systems to schedule Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest down pat
- Content for the following month already set and would just need to publish
...all in one month. Along with raising a 7-month old son. And keeping my full-time day job.
In my defense, when you want something so bad emotionally, you think that you can do it if you put your mind to it. In hindsight, I can see how illogical and impossible I was being...but moving on.
Here’s what actually happened:
- Scrambled to barely get 3 posts up
- Created an opt-in that got 3 bites
- No deadline funnel
- Dormant Facebook page
- No Pinterest pins scheduled
- Nada on Twitter
So yeah, fail (as in matching my goals to my ability, not as in the progress made on my blog because that’s about par).
The worst part? I was so focused on my blog that I didn’t pay as much attention to my son (I missed his first attempts at mobility, which was this backwards scooting thing).
And I was a MAJOR grouch, hunched over my computer at every waking moment, screaming how much I hated WordPress and Photoshop, and snapping at my husband when he reminded me to feed our son, take a shower, go to sleep, etc (sorry, husband).
Umm, yeah. MASSIVE FAIL.
Symptoms of Beginner Blogger Overwhelm
The above were telltale signs of beginner blogger overwhelm, but in case you miss those signs (as I had), here are other symptoms which may or may not accompany or exacerbate your overwhelm.
Shiny Object Syndrome
Wanting every blogger product in sight.
I swear, I told myself I needed to stop inputting my email address as my fingers typed away for freebie after freebie. (Luckily, they weren’t typing my credit card numbers left and right, amirite? Though admittedly, I inputted that number way too many times than I should have...)
Fear of Missing Out Syndrome
Wanting to be involved in everything.
This explains my inclination to sign up for so many courses on the same concept (like starting a blog) to make sure I wasn’t missing out on any critical piece of information, but honestly, they have the same basic message and so I wasted a lot of time and energy. Oh, and I only retained like 5% of what I read.
This also refers to wanting to start up Facebook and Pinterest and Twitter and everything that every other blogger was doing. Yeah, I tried that, and probably followed through on <1%.
I felt like a fraud in two ways. First, I was so obsessed with gaining more knowledge about blogging for my benefit that I felt like I talked bigger than what I could deliver my target audience.
Second, my whole purpose to get into blogging was to be able to get away from the 9-5 and spend more time with my son, which is plastered on my homepage, about page, and any intros I did. In actuality, I wasn’t really focusing that limited amount of time with him during August/September.
If You Think You’re Immune to Beginner Blogger Overwhelm
So did I.
In my normal everyday life prior to blogging, I am level-headed person, carefully weighing my options before deciding what I do. I’ve never been a big spender, yet I was on the verge of making so many impulse blogging buys and ended up spending close to 4 figures on blogging stuff (most of which I could have done without...)
I’m also known for thinking two steps ahead of everyone else. Yet, I couldn’t get a handle on my life and felt so lost and off-track in September.
After blogging entered the picture, all the discipline that I built for almost three decades flew right out the window. Wanting so desperately to succeed at blogging turned me into a beast; it was pretty scary how easily I was overtaken by beginner blogger overwhelm.
It’s Not a Matter of If, But When
Beginner blogger overwhelm is an inevitable part of the blogging cycle because you don't truly understand everything that goes into blogging until you put yourself in it.
You will reach a really low of the lows. And when you do, it won't be pretty.
I would like to say that I had some sort of epiphany where I admitted my problem, but that is not how I came to terms with getting my butt kicked by blogging.
When did I finally buckle down? When my physical health was suffering (bloodshot, sore eyes and exhaustion).
This was rock bottom for sure. But instead of feeling depressed, it's actually cause to celebrate. Because from here, things can only go up. You are now ready to take the following steps to recover from beginner blogger overwhelm.
1. Admit There’s a Problem
Once you come to terms that it's not possible to do it all, then you can be more realistic with where to focus your efforts to actually move forward with your blog.
2. Give In, But Don’t Give Up
You may think that you need to constantly spend every possible moment on your blog or else you'll fall further behind, but on the contrary, the fatigue is cramping your style.
Don’t fight the losing battle. The best thing to do is to back away from blogging and take a breather. That’s exactly what I did, and I got a playdate with my son out of it, which was a nice change from constant blogging madness. And it totally made me refreshed.
3. Put Things into Perspective
Do you really need to be as stressed out about your situation? For me, I have a day job so my family’s livelihood is not riding on my immediate blogging success. There are only so many hours in a day, so dedicate a reasonable portion rather than trade my life for it.
It can be hard to accept that growth may be slow and steady when you read all kinds of income reports of bloggers making bank from the get go. But for the majority of people, this is not the case. In fact only about 1% of bloggers make enough to earn a full-time income blogging.
The reality is there’s no easy way to do blogging. It’s tough work that you gotta put in if you want to reap the results. But as with any good thing in life, it’ll take time to nurture. No one goes into blogging and becomes an overnight success (even for those that make it seem that way, I can bet you that they've also felt frustrations and setbacks that only propelled them to put in 200% to succeed).
Be patient yet persistent and if you continue to work towards your goals in a smart way by getting consistent traffic through Pinterest and Google and setting up your blog to make money, you will eventually reach where you want to be.
4. Connect with Others Bloggers
As supportive as my husband is, he doesn’t truly understand what I’m going through when the learning curve for blogging feels like a vertical cliff. I'm glad I reached out to other bloggers. Their support really helped me stay motivated to keep at it with blogging.
Seriously, you'll need to take a chill pill.
As my husband tells me, blogging should be fun, not a chore. So instead of fixating on how to SEO my posts up the yin yang (when I'm not 100% sure what I'm doing), I’m trying to enjoy the writing more.
I also reminded myself of the little guy whom I’m blogging for and am now making a conscious effort to spend less time on my blog and more time with him and my husband.
I actually exercise now. And take our son out on weekday nights. It's quite nice.
6. Work Hard, but Work Smarter
In line with not letting blogging get the best of you, try to find ways to cut down your tasks and come up with systems to work more efficiently so you don’t overexert yourself.
For example, I have a blog post template so I have the basic structure for my content every time I write. I also use a similar template for all my Pinterest pins.
7. Learn Where to Focus
You cannot do allthethings. As much as you want to be the person who will prove the rest of the million others wrong, unless you have a previous background in blogging or social media, etc, then you're gonna have a realllly tough time.
I stopped all social media platforms and just focused on my blog and Pinterest. That's it. I learned that one platform in depth and it has returned dividends.
It can be hard to judge what warrants your focus when you're starting out and have no clue. This is when I feel grateful to have joined this blogging community so I can have the knowledge presented to me and then just work from there.
8. Just Do Those Important Things
So easy to get distracted. But really, know what you need to focus on and just do those things.
If you find yourself spending way too much time reading up on things than actually implementing, set a timer to allot yourself the time to get the research out of your system.
If you are going to buy courses, set a max budget, spend only up to that much, then cut yourself off (or have someone you know do that for you to help you stick to this). Also, it is important to note that you do not need to buy tons of courses to succeed in blogging.
If you do have it within your budget, this blogging community has everything you need to build a solid blog foundation to grow to at least a 4-figure income.
And if you don't, you should at least sign up for the free blogging bootcamp, which covers the basic tenets for profitable blogging:
- write on popular topics that you know people are searching for
- make sure that content is good
- get that content in front of the right people
It's a one-time fee for any blogging courses that are developed in the future. The guy behind it has 10+ blogs in different niches to ensure that what he teaches is actually applicable for multiple niches, rather than making blanket statements from a single experience, as most bloggers do.
I made the mistake of buying way too many courses than I needed, thinking that the next one held the key to success. In all honesty, whichever reputable blogging resources you buy can probably produce results; it's just a matter of how much effort you put into implementing what is taught.
I think I feel so strongly about this blogging resource because by that time, when I was out about a grand and at wit's end, I told myself this would be the last purchase and that if I don't make it work, then I would quit blogging and accept defeat.
I then sat down, tackled every module, and pumped out everything that was taught to me (blog content, Pinterest pins, etc). And that I was able to experience massive growth in 2-month's time.
So yes, while the resource provided me with tons of knowledge, it was also on me to do something with that knowledge to make it work for me.
Having experienced a bad case of beginner blogger overwhelm has taught me some crucial lessons that help me in moving forward with my blogging. By following these tips, I have went from hot mess to having greater calm, confidence, focus, and balance.
Blogging has turned into something more meaningful yet still on track to achieving my goal to make this a true career.