‘just working harder’ is not going to make it.
I’m sure by now you’ve read all of the great advice. To be a good blogger, and survive, there are so many things you need to do every single day to make sure your blog is running well, profitable, and noticed. SEO, Google analytics, the right graphics, writing your blog, networking, Facebook live, Twitter…and the list keeps going on and on.
Without realizing it, your website can turn into a virtual nightmare. It is bossier than the worst boss you’ve ever worked for. The missed deadlines eat away at you. Busy days turn into sleepless nights until you get the work completed…that is if you get the job finished. If any of this sounds familiar, then here are six ways you can survive in the cut-throat world of blogging.
1. Schedule yourself and your work times carefully
One of the reasons you left the corporate world may have been to be done with the 9-5 work schedule, and that is great! However, the alternative is not working 7a-11pm at night because you are at home and you need to get the work done. As much as you can, be nice to yourself. Allow yourself to take a long lunch, naptime, maybe even a tea-party break with your daughter. While making your schedule, put a little reminder to yourself to be real. A fake can be spotted a mile away (or at least 3 web pages) So be real, be authentic, be vulnerable, but most importantly schedule yourself to be you.
Read Also: Transparency: The Key Factor to Beating Your Competitors. By Donna Merrill
2. Plan some extra time
If you can plan for the unexpected with time, it will help to decrease the stress that you are facing when the unexpected does happen. Not everything can be planned for, but if you can give yourself some breathing room, it will help.
There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full. Henry Kissinger
3. Schedule no-screen hours away from work
If my count is correct, my house has 2 computers, 2 laptops, 2 televisions, 5 iPhones, 2 Kindles (and sadly) 2 broken iPads. We are a very wired and technical family. We love our screen time…whether it’s binging on Netflix, watching football, Candy-Crush(Soda Crush and Jelly Crush versions), Facebook, Disney JR, PBS kids, or ordering food on the Chick-fil-A app…my family are on devices a lot.
Some other fun ways to get away from the screen is to watch sports! The Tennessee Volunteers playing football is my favorite past time, but other ones are softball, basketball, and hockey. Just like my friend Jo-Jo, and her love of Hockey (and traveling too!)**click here**
This summer one of my goals is to spend non-electronic time with my children. With the 4 that I have, finding something that all of them like to do is not always easy. For those of you who do not know me as well, my children are 8, 10, 12, and 14. Two girls and two boys (respectively). We are slowly getting away from times at the park, but one activity we all love to do is to go swimming together. So each week, until Labor Day, my goal is to spend one afternoon a week at the local pool. Yes, it cost 12 dollars to visit each time, but that $12 is so worth getting to enjoy hearing their giggles and laughter. Seeing the sparkle in their eyes and making memories is worth every penny to me.
How about a date night? If you are married, it is really easy to forget about growing your relationship. You might be thinking, “I mean, hey, the ring is on the finger, he said “I do”, so why keep at it?” No. No. and Oh my word, No! For your marriage to survive the years, you must treat it like a garden. It needs watering, fertilizing, weeding, and pruning. The more you keep talking with your spouse and showing love to them, the more you two grow towards each other. Some really good date night suggestions (that won’t break the bank) can be:
- Picnics at the park
- Taking a walk together
- Playing a board game
- Playing cards
- Cooking dessert
- Showering together
- Be intimate
- Plan your next vacation
4. Make (and keep) all physicals and doctor appointments
*Ahem* Yes. This is so important for all self-employed freelancers and bloggers. Your health is critical. As easy at it sounds, sitting is actually very dangerous for your health. Most people do not have an ergonomic friendly desk, keyboard, or even mouse (yes, I included!). There is a small section around my left shoulder blade that reminds me when I’m overdoing it at work, and I’m reminded to keep my chiropractor appointment and get up and stretch occasionally.
Do you know your most recent blood pressure? How about fasting blood sugar? Cholesterol levels? (Do these words even make sense to you?) If you are in your twenties, don’t discount these and think that only older people need to be worried about these. High-stress can cause high blood pressure and diabetic-like problems even in your twenties
Sadly, all three of these things have minor symptoms…or none at all. So unless your name is associated with *swoon-worthy* Captain America or Thor, you are a mere mortal, and you need medical check-ups to keep everything running smoothly.
5. Self-Care is as important as Good SEO
You’ve read all the critical posts. Google Analytics is your best friends. You have a smoothly running website. Your SEO knowledge is at the guru level. But what about you; are you going to survive? Your emotional and mental make-up? How would you categorize your emotional stability? Are depression and anxiety your focus as you struggle to keep your website going?
Read also: Healing is an inside job. Look for the source of your symptoms and you may be amazed at what you discover. By Dr. Erica Goodstone
When I began to learn about my website, I found a core group of people that became my friends. I could ask them anything about a weird error on WordPress, how to tweak various settings, which plug-in is the better option for me. I am so thankful for each of those people. Their friendship allowed me to have the nice website that I have.
The thought though remains, What do you do to allow your mind and body to refresh itself and find healing? Self-Care can be different for everyone; the task is not unique or magical. It merely allows your mind to relax. For women, it seems more straightforward. The functions are more acceptable; things like pedicures, bubble baths, massages, eating lunch with a group of friends is what a woman might gravitate towards. Men, however, need self-care just as much as women. Playing a game of football or softball, hanging out with the guys, watching a movie, changing the oil on the motorcycle, playing golf, wood-working, or (my husband’s favorite) online-gaming.
Ok, Ok. Yes, I do encourage time away from devices, but at 10 p.m. one of my husband’s favorite things to do is online-gaming. He likes Civilization V, Renegade, and Fortnight. He finds this relaxing, and it works for our marriage. He, and I, both make sure our self-care doesn’t get too expensive, but we each need time away from the daily demands to feel recharged.
6. Remember your Why
Do you remember back when you started your blog or website? The first few days that you got all excited about choosing layouts and colors. Now go back even farther. What was the catalyst that made you want to start your website? What was the need that you saw that you could fulfill? Why did you do this? Knowing this information will help you survive in your work.
Was your website ONLY started for you to stress about SEO and Google Analytics? Did you open your Twitter account to spend hours following and retweeting complete strangers? Ok, how about Instagram. Did you and Canva decide you needed an extra-marital relationship and spend hours crafting the perfect Instagram post with pictures and cute sayings…. so that you can have the ideal Instagram account? Oh. I’m sure it was Facebook. You wanted to make that Facebook business account to like and comment a million times…only to have the Facebook gods change the structure, again and again, to foil your plans.
Ok, yes, I’m (slightly?!!?) snarky and facetious, but you get the point. None of the above reasons are why you joined the blogging and website world. You did it for a reason. To help people, to encourage them, to tell others about you, and yes, to make some money in the process. But, when you get so focused on the process instead of knowing your “WHY,” it is easy to be jaded and lose your vision.
Take some time today, I encourage you, to step back and write down (pen and paper, no computers allowed here) your why statement. It doesn’t need to be anything long or crazy, but the simple act of writing gives your memory the ability to remember longer. And if you recall something, you might actually enjoy the process too.
So the next time you feel that you’re in survival mode, step back for a few moments and find a way to survive. You only have one life, so I encourage you to make the most of it and enjoy every moment of it.
What other suggestions do you have to survive in this blogging world? Please comment, like and share below, Thanks!