Why I Almost Gave Up Blogging

blogging, giving up on blogging, why I blog, blogging as a business, blogging for creativity, writing, writers life, this stuff is golden, laugraeva,

Am I even a blogger? Sometimes I’m not so sure.

I don’t have any advertisements, I don’t seek out brands to work with, I never receive PR emails, and I don’t do giveaways.

I’ve written about blogging a few times before, about how there is no ‘right’ way to blog and how I’ll never be a ‘pro-blogger’. I mostly write these things to make myself feel better about how I blog in comparison to a lot of other bloggers that I see on social media.

I’ve been blogging for over five years now. I started a few days before my 20th birthday. I had always wanted to do it, always enjoyed writing, but never had the courage to post my thoughts online. However, around the time of my birthday (which is in January) I always end up feeling very reflective about my life so far and what I want to do with the rest of my life, so just before I turned 20 I started a very personal and silly blog called LauGraEva (you may recognise that from my personal twitter account).

LauGraEva was full of random thoughts, stories from the many places that I worked, and curious opinions I had about the world – all kinds of things. There were even a lot of selfies on there(!) which I would never dream of doing now. I built up a decent following on that site – I think it was about 800 subscribers (which is so much more than I have for This Stuff Is Golden). It was a fun blog where I didn’t take any notice of SEO, alt text or even the quality of the images I used. I just wrote for fun and to express myself.

After about two and a bit years, I realised that I loved writing and wanted to take it a little more seriously. I realised that I would love to be a paid writer, and that LauGraEva wasn’t how I wished potential employers to see me. So, I tried to think of the blog that I would be proud of, something that had meaning, something that showed off my skills as a writer.

Months later, This Stuff Is Golden was born. I took a long time thinking about the categories it would have (I wanted a much tidier blog than what LauGraEva had been) and the actual name of the site. I then tried my best to not only write about things that I thought mattered, but also keep some of that personality that had won me those subscribers on LauGraEva.

This Stuff Is Golden is just over two years old now, and I have a love/hate relationship with it. I love it because I love you wonderful people who actually read it, who comment on it, and tell me that they actually like it (thank you!). I hate it because I take it too seriously. I am glued to my stats. I constantly compare my stats to those of other bloggers. I am jealous of bloggers more successful than I. I sometimes even bite my tongue when I see a hugely successful blogger publish blog posts with numerous spelling and grammar mistakes in them. How are they doing so much better than I am when I can form a better sentence than they can?

As you may know, I’m somewhat taking a step back from the blog to focus on all the changes currently happening in my life. I’m hoping that this will also re-awaken my old love of blogging and the reasons behind my writing.

I’ve always wanted to create a blog where people can find some sort of comfort, whether that’s in reading wonderful quotes from classic novels or finding some relief in an essay about mental illness. I want to focus more on that, rather than how many subscribers I have or what my social media engagement is like.

The funny thing is, I actually enjoy the marketing side of blogging. I enjoy thinking of ideas to bring in more followers, creating little plans in my bullet journal about how I’m going to reach a new stats goal. They don’t always work out, but that’s fine. I’m no expert really, and as I said, that’s not at the heart of why I blog. I don’t do it for the opportunities to work with brands or the paid advertisements; I do it to try to help others, and to help myself as it is my way of expressing my thoughts.

Recently my stats obsession has made me think of giving up, of potentially leaving the blogging world behind and just creating a newsletter, but to be honest, I think that killing This Stuff is Golden would leave me with a heavy heart.

I can only try to keep my focus on the writing rather than the numbers. That, to me, is what blogging is all about anyway. It’s creative expression. It’s a place to sort your thoughts and feelings into words. It’s somewhere you can be anonymous if you so wish. It’s a little bit of freedom.

24 Comments

  • Nabeela says:

    I resonate with this so so much, it’s exactly this kind of honesty and rebellious attitude that I admire in the blogging world since it’s so rare these days. A good friend of mine recently said that he’s content with his little space on the internet (he was talking about Instagram) and that’s all that matters, no amount of likes, followers or comments is going to change that. It really stuck with me and encouraged me to adopt the same mindset, both with my blog and other social media platforms. As long as we’re content and proud of the hard work that goes into our blogs, we’re doing it right. Hope you have a lovely day!

    Nabeela x
    http://nabsticle.blogspot.co.uk/

    • Lauren says:

      That’s such a good mindset to have – even for Instagram! I think I am already beginning to care less about likes and just enjoy putting my content out there. Thank you so much for the lovely comment! x

  • Gosh this is so relatable. Regardless, some of the works I’ve read are beautiful. Never give up! Taking a break? Yes, that’s completely fine. In life, breaks are sometimes a really really good thing. Give up? No, take some time to think about your wants and wishes, but continue to write your beautiful blog pieces! I aspire to have my blog like yours and then some one day. Keep writing!

  • I completely relate to this. It’s the writing that I live and that I’ll continue to focus on. It doesn’t help that I have a case of writer’s block mind! Yours is one of the few blogs I regularly read for what it’s worth. You have an engaging voice.

  • Courtney says:

    You and I are similar in so many ways! I have to constantly remind myself to stop comparing what I do with other bloggers, especially because I’m only two months in! Our time will come! And I think you’re doing fantastic, so far ❤️

  • Suma says:

    I recently forced myself to let go of the need for my blog to become “successful”, whatever that even means. And slowly I’m finding that I’m more happy with the things I’m posting now, even if they are much less frequent, than before. It’s hard to get out of the SEO/counting followers/PR mentality once that becomes all you think about, and it does creep back in every once in a while. But I’ve been learning that if I’m not writing stuff I’d want to read, it’s really not worth it for me. I almost quit too. But I’m still here.

  • Hi Lauren!! I really hope you continue to blog as I truly believe the blogosphere needs more brilliant writers. This post resonated with me SO MUCH because I love to write as well and I completely understand the frustration of comparison. It’s difficult to see others find success when they don’t seem to take things as seriously as you do. That said, I think we have to avoid comparing (or overly comparing) ourselves to other bloggers and focus every ounce of our energy on our own content because that’s what’s going to get us where we’d like to go.

    As you said, there’s no right way to blog and truly there’s no right version of success either. Only you can decide what you want out of blogging – be it a method of inspiring others, a means of income or both (there’s nothing wrong with both!). I’m sure all the perfect readers and opportunities are on their way already. You just have to keep on making content you love and enjoying the entire blogging experience!

    Here’s to being bloggers who love to write and never giving up! x

    • Lauren says:

      Thank you Nicky! I do wish there was a magic button to press to stop me from comparing myself to others (not just in writing, but all aspects of life!) but I guess it’s just a process and a build of confidence that will get me there. Thank you for such a wonderful comment! x

  • Jenny says:

    I’m so glad you’ve decided to carry on lovely. I totally get what you’re saying – it can be so easy to compare your stats to everyone else’s! I find my stats can start increasing and I feel like I’m doing really well, but then they will start decreasing again – it’s so hard to know how it all works! x

    LuxeStyle

    • Lauren says:

      Thank you! I’m trying my best not to check stats everyday, and just put the blog posts out there for whoever wants to read them. To be honest, I need to remember that I started this blog as a form of creative release/therapy! x

  • Quinn says:

    Please don’t close up the blog!

    In February, about a month after starting my blog, I don’t know what sort of wormhole I went down but I ended up reading all these things about how I should have a niche and watch my stats and have a pinterest and an instagram and a facebook page and spend three times as long promoting the blog as writing it etc etc etc…..

    I did it for about a week, and started to not only hate myself but also hate the blog. When it comes down to it, I blog because I love to write and it helps me tease out my thoughts. I also write because I like to connect with other people and read about their lives and feel proud of their little triumphs. I don’t blog because of stats, I don’t care about having an instagram for my blog, and promoting my blog makes me miserable. All that follow-unfollow, “commented!” “Liked!” stuff just makes my soul want to wither and die.

    So I’ve found a happy medium. I kept the facebook page, and have my posts set to automatically be posted there so I don’t have to worry about it. I don’t look at my stats. I don’t have a niche. I write about whatever I want to write about, without worrying about SEO (and not only because I don’t really understand it)! I do what I don’t do any of the stuff they advise you to do, and instead focus on what I enjoy about blogging; writing, and reading other people’s blogs and commenting. I think finding your tribe online is it’s own way of promotion I guess, but it’s definitely a more fun one!

    You are an amazing writer. This: “I sometimes even bite my tongue when I see a hugely successful blogger publish blog posts with numerous spelling and grammar mistakes in them. How are they doing so much better than I am when I can form a better sentence than they can?” is certainly true – there are way too many blogs out there with RandOm CapitalisAtions and trrible typos. Your blog is like an oasis of calm, always honest and thought-provoking and lovely. Don’t take that off my reader because there aren’t enough blogs like it, I swear.

    Would I like to make money from writing? Yes. Of course! Which of us wouldn’t? Am I going to “hustle” (for lack of a better word) for it? Hell no. I am not a hustler. There is nothing even remotely hustle-ey about me, and sometimes I wish I had a little of it in me but I don’t. I’ve accepted that.

    SO I think maybe take out your bullet journal and write down what it is you love about blogging, and for a specific amount of time – a month? two months? – just…. do that. Just do that for a while and see what happens. Don’t stress yourself. Just do what you love for a little while and see how it goes!

    Sorry for the novel of a comment!
    x

    • Lauren says:

      Thank you Quinn! Yet again you are a wise owl 🙂 I’ve decided to stop obsessing over stats/marketing my blog and to just blog for the pleasure of it. And yeah I think I’m the same as you – I’d love to be that sort of hustler but I’m not! I’m creative but that’s about it! Plus, I don’t think I would feel comfortable pushing a product just because a brand had given it to me for free or whatever…
      Besides! What would I do without my blogging crew (which very much includes you)?! xx

  • Bo says:

    Hey I’ve been feeling similar. But for some reason I cannot seem to just get rid of something I felt so strongly about just a few weeks back.
    Seeing yours gone would be sad since it’s one of the few websites I come to check regularly.

  • Gloria says:

    I love the name of your blog. 🙂

  • Alessia says:

    I kinda feel the same, I think.. I’ve reached a stage where I wonder if I should have done things differently and more “professionally” so I wouldn’t need a job other than writing instead of being purposefully a contrarian of the blogging world, but I don’t like obsessing with stats and results and marketing 😪

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