Anxieties of a new blogger

I’ve been blogging for just under 2 months now and when I decided to take the plunge, and become part of the blogosphere, I don’t think I fully realised what an emotional rollercoaster that would be. Truth be told, the image I had in my head before starting this consisted of me as a modern day version of Jo from Little Women when she would write in her attic room late into the night, as the words just flowed endlessly and effortlessly onto the page. There may also have been a teeny part of me that had visions of my blog becoming such an overnight success that it would inevitably lead to a book deal, as was the case with Julie Powell in Julie and Julia. Needless to say, the reality has been a wee bit different. The work involved was ten times more than I expected, the words sometimes need to be dragged out one by one and I’ve noticed the addition of a few new anxieties to my already over-active mind…

1. An obsession with site stats

At first I was thrilled with the fact that I could keep track of how many visitors I had and got a real kick out of seeing the different countries my readers were from listed in the stats. That’s still the case but if there was a support group set up called Site Stat Checkers Anonymous, I would need to be first in line. There are days where it goes like this:

  • Breakfast check-in: Hmm..the numbers are a lot lower than yesterday but it’s still early. Hopefully they’ll go up.
  • An hour later: Oh, one more visitor! Great! Β Still not as good as this time yesterday but I’ll check again later.
  • 15 minutes later: Ugh,still low! This is not a good day! Why is no one visiting the blog??
  • 20 minutes later: Calls/emails friends wondering why the numbers are so low.
  • After the 10th stats update of the day, friends start to wish they’d never encouraged me to start blogging.

2. What do I write?

There are times where I know instantly what I want to write about and there are others where you may well see me staring off into space with furrowed brow, muttering potential blog topics to myself. Do I write a review? But I haven’t finished anything. Maybe I should hurry up and finish my book so I can write one. Or maybe I should do a discussion post. But then what to discuss? A summary of books I like? A more general reading related topic? Maybe email my friends and ask for ideas? Although, after the 10th stats update of the day the chances of a reply are slim. Then hallelujah, I come up with a topic, spend a looooooong time working on it and wait to see what people think. Oh. Β No comments? Not even from my mum? Really? I was so sure that this was a good idea for the post. Maybe I’m just a terrible writer.

3. How often do I write? And when?

I didn’t have much of a plan in terms of how I was going to tackle writing the blog so I spent some time exploring the many incredible blogs there are out there. Some people blog everyday – should I do that? Hmm…how would I come up with daily topics and how would I fit writing them in with everything else? I’ve got a lot on today but I really need to write a blog post – if I skip it, what would that do to my visitor numbers? Should I come up with a schedule for posting or just post whenever the mood hits? What would that do to my visitor numbers? Have I mentioned my obsession with my site stats yet?

4. Amazon Wishlist Overload

Okay, getting one recommendation after another for potential new book obsessions might not actually be something I’m anxious about. It is, in fact, one of the very bestest things about being part of the book blogging community. Having said that there is a very good chance that one day, in the not so distant future, I will have to declare bankruptcy after having bought so many books based on these recommendations. At least I’ll have plenty to read though! πŸ™‚

The truth is that all of these anxieties are actually worth it – though when my friends receive the emails warning that the post isn’t one of my best or the sobbing, unintelligble, phonecalls when the site stats are low, they may well disagree. Getting to spend this much time writing about, talking about, and reading about one of the things I love most in the world has been such an amazing experience. After a long break from writing it feels good to do something like this and what’s not to love about getting to spend time with my people – the bookaholics. πŸ™‚ If you have any tips on how to deal with blogging anxiety though feel free to share. Both me, and my poor friends, would thank you.

Have/do any of you suffer from blogging anxieties? Would you also like to join Site Stat Checkers Anonymous?

Any new blogger stories to tell?

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45 thoughts on “Anxieties of a new blogger

  1. I just realized that our blogs are about the same age. I worry about all these things too! I think I could add the worry that writing about books takes time away from reading them. I’m kind of hoping I’ll get better and faster at it. Hmm. But, like you said, being connected to all these other book-lovers is so worth it! I was just looking over some of your older posts that you wrote before I ‘found’ you, and I think they are all great! I look forward to reading more!

    • So you’re a newbie blogger too? Yes, I can definitely relate to your worry too. I do love working on the blog but I think I need to get better at balancing my time between writing it, and actually reading or even looking for new books to read. Thank you! My friend says I’m my own worst critic which is probably true! I’ve really enjoyed catching up on your posts too! πŸ™‚

  2. Hi there! I started my blog in mid-August. I .also LOVE to look at my stats, but I don’t stress too much about how many folks are reading my posts–since I haven’t shared my blog with anyone I know in my day-to-day life, I figure the readers I get are just a great bonus! I have “met” some really interesting people so far who I regularly exchange comments with, which was a totally unexpected perk for me.

    I’ve found that the best way to get new readers/followers on my blog is by joining in some weekly memes/linkups (I tend to keep to a schedule of writing my bookish posts during the week, and then taking a break on weekends by participating in some non-bookish memes) , and by commenting on blogs with similar themes to mine–but only when I actually have something to add. I also don’t feel like I need to post every day–once it starts to feel like a chore, I know I’ll stop blogging–and I’m enjoying it too much to let that happen.

    I do agree with you about the ever-growing TBR lists–the more blogs I read, the longer my list gets. But since I don’t write formal reviews, I don’t feel pressure to “keep up.” I guess my hope is that I keep slowly but steadily increasing my views/followers, and most of all, keep enjoying the process. Once it starts to feel like work, I’ll know it’s time to quit!

    • It has been really nice getting to know people through their blogs and if they comment on mine. I think that’s definitely been the best thing about blogging for me. There are only a few people from my day-to-day life that know I blog and they have been very supportive thankfully, though they do probably get sick of me saying ‘I saw something in a blog the other day…’! lol

      I’ve done one linky post so far and I’m doing my first blog hop on 31st December so watch this space! πŸ™‚ I’ve heard it’s a great way to attract new visitors and I’m really looking forward to it!

  3. I’ve definitely had these problems! I love looking at the big blogs (big in terms of daily postings, comments galore and so much traffic) and then I look at my little baby of a blog (I only started blogging during the summer) and I wonder if my blog will ever grow like those blogs. Then I berate myself because some of the blogs that I love and aspire towards have been around for 2+ years so the person running it has tons of experience and time to build up their blog.

    I did really hit a blogging slump last month and I felt awful for it but now I’ve decided to focus on content rather than the numbers and also to keep interacting with book bloggers. There are still some days when I think, oh I should have posted today to keep up the numbers, but I’ve decided that I’m just going to go at my own pace. It’s much easier that way! πŸ™‚

    • I try to do that as well when I look at the bigger blogs because you’re right, those guys have got years of experience. Sometimes I find it easier than others though! πŸ™‚ I’ve had a good response to the blog considering I’ve not had it long but I think I’m just too impatient for my own good!

      I’m trying to remind myself too that it’s my blog so I should just concentrate on the content I want to do rather than worrying about whether it’s as good as the content on other blogs. Hopefully I’ll get better at that in 2014! πŸ™‚

  4. I still feel the same way and my blog is over a year now..At first I was posting, posting, posting..but lately with work I am WAY behind on everything bloggy wise..and I am trying to find that life/blogging balance myself!

  5. I completely, completely sympathise with you. I have been through precisely the same roller coaster ride and. after three years of blogging, the most valuable advice I can give you is just to relax and go with the flow. Rubbish I know but, over my many months of blogging I’ve discovered that your site stats don’t necessarily reflect the reach you have. I find that I have periods with no comments yet get twice the unique visits I usually get and vice versa. I also think that you need to decide why you’re blogging and who you’re blogging for. Even if you have designs on being a writer. etc and hope your site might snowball in that direction it takes a long, long time and you MUST have a life around it. I work 8am-6pm Monday to Friday in a completely unrelated field and long ago resigned myself to not being able to blog everyday (since I also have – shock, horror – a LIFE!) and I think that once I managed that, I became more relaxed and hopefully my writing reflects that.

    You’re doing amazingly well. I basically just spoke to myself on my blog for almost a year and I know people who write professionally who didn’t see any hits for YEARs. You’re doing great and everyone has been there. πŸ™‚ You’re also using WordPress, which is the best. Many people start out with Blogger because it’s easier to use but I think it’s pants and doesn’t give you half of the scope.

    • Thanks, it’s been great to have the support of experienced bloggers such as yourself and I am very grateful for it. I have noticed that thing sometimes with no comments but more visitors etc.

      I have really enjoyed blogging and getting to write again after such a long time away from it has been fab. I just need to focus more on what I love about it and not care so much about the numbers. That and patience are definitely things I need to work on in 2014! πŸ™‚

  6. You’ve just got to calm down and take it one day at a time. Stop looking at your stats. They don’t matter when you’re new. Of course they sometimes are fab and sometimes stink. People have to get to know you and see if they want to read you consistently. Just focus on getting out good content, and promoting yourself on social media, and of course, keep commenting on other people’s blogs! πŸ˜€ You’re doing great!

    • Thanks, Rebecca! πŸ™‚ You’re totally right and I definitely need to relax about the numbers. I have really enjoyed the blogging experience and I’m very grateful for the positive reactions I’ve had so far. I think one of my bookish new year’s resolutions will definitely be to relax and just focus on enjoying the ride. And be more patient. πŸ™‚ Thanks for all the support! πŸ™‚

  7. I’m totally a stat checker! I’m a new blogger too and I haven’t told my friends and family about it. I secretly want it to be a success before telling them. Silly, I know! It is a rush to get an email that someone commented. πŸ™‚

  8. I totally understand your fears and anxieties! And even though I’ve been doing this for longer, some of that never goes away, to be honest. I had a lot of hard days at the beginning — like you, pouring my heart and soul into a post, feeling like it was really good — and then getting no views or comments. So discouraging! I try to let some of my stats worrying go, but it can be tough on days when my expectations are high and then the results are low. And then there are the days when I’m feeling pretty good about how it’s going, then stop by someone else’s blog and see that they have exponentially more followers than I do, and suddenly feel like, “why am I bothering?” I’m trying to stay calm, not obsess, and just have fun. It’s a roller coaster ride, to be sure. But it sounds like you’re off to a great start! Hang in there!

  9. Believe me, I think we all went through these stages! πŸ™‚ But you have to keep the most important thing in mind: it’s not about stats, it’s about how much fun you have. It takes some time to figure out how you need to schedule. You will find out soon enough what is realistic for you to post πŸ™‚

    • It’s definitely been an enjoyable experience so far but working out a schedule that works for me and trying not to care about stats will just take time I suppose. And patience which isnt exactly a strength of mine. πŸ™‚

  10. I’ve just hit my six-ish month blogging mark, and I can tell you that #1 and #4 go away after a little while πŸ™‚ Once you ease into everything, you’ll calm down a bit and suddenly you’ll find that you haven’t added anything to goodreads in two weeks and you don’t check your stats till late at night!

  11. Welcome to the Blogosphere πŸ™‚ It can be really overwhelming and, truth be told, it goes in lulls. You’ll stop paying so much attention to stats and then you’ll discover some NEW way to track your stuff and you’ll become obsessed (I’m currently on a SocialBro kick). BUT, it’s worth it and eventually you’ll get used to it. Good luck and you’re doing great!

    • Nice to know I have new obsessions to look forward to. πŸ™‚ It has been great so far and everyone has been really nice. I’ll just have to try and wean myself off stat checking over time. Thanks! πŸ™‚

  12. I can’t definitely relate to all of this, I remember when I first started and I was constantly checking my site stats and was so excited when I got even a new page view. But it’s not the healthiest thing to do because after a while I put a lot of pressure on myself to meet a specific page view every week by posting daily.

    Just write what comes to you πŸ™‚ Don’t ever feel pressurised to have to write a post just because, let it come to you!

    • It’s definitely not the healthiest thing for a blogger to do. Hopefully in 2014 I’ll just be able to focus more on the exciting parts of it, enjoy the writing and forget all about the stats. Or at least not check every 5 mins! πŸ™‚

  13. It sounds like you want your blog to be a discussion blog. Just remember the variables of the online environment: a view on one of your posts with no interaction doesn’t necessarily reflect on your writing or how you’ve presented it. The online world (to me) is a bit like an enormous village where people stop in to say hello as and when they’re inspired. A view with no interaction could mean so many things. Many people browse the interwebs without feeling an inclination to personally participate. They may be quietly interested. Please do not view your own self-worth (as a writer or human) by your stats. That makes as much sense as determining your self-worth by how many waves you get as you stroll down the street. Life is about so very much more than numbers. x

    • Very good points and definitely something I’ll be trying to keep in mind as I move forward in my blogging journey. It’s just been so long since I was doing any writing I can feel a bit self-conscious at times wondering whether people will like it. I’ll get better at relaxing about it all. Hopefully. πŸ™‚

  14. I am not a new blogger I have been blogging for 2 years this Jan, I first started out on blogger and I can say I started with no idea about what the “book blogging” world was about. My blog on blogger got too crazy with giveaways, followers and comments in the masses. I know some people like that the more followers the better. But what I wanted and why I started was for a place to put my thoughts on books, I wanted to have followers yes, but followers that read my reviews and not just because I followed them. I wanted to have fun and the fun started disappearing when I had about 200 books staring at me to review. I no longer wanted to do it. So I shut down my blogger and went to wordpress. I also had to think I am in control here. No more accepting review request, yes some publishers send me books still some without even letting me know my address they have so they send. But I took control and review the ones I want and in my time frame no one making me feel a need too. I also only publish nice comments. I know that seems harsh but I only want to be positive about my review and I don’t need to defend them. I blog when I want, read what I want, and know that this is my life not a job so no one can tell me not to have fun. I am a mother with 5 children so books are important. Just have fun and cut out all the crap.
    Love the post! Oh and I agree with Mabel who cares the follower amount either I rather have 5 followers that read and care than 500 that don’t and just want a giveaway. Oh and I rarely do those too because that can go so wrong. LOL I say when it starts getting overwhelming take a step back and then come back when you want too that is what I had to do and now I love to blog and tell mine and my children’s thoughts on wonderful books. Don’t ever respond to the negative just fuels the fire.

    • Thanks. I think you’re absolutely right and it’s important for me to try to keep in mind why I set the blog up in the first place. I have enjoyed doing reviews but I don’t want it to become like a job or feel pressured to read a certain amount of books in a certain amount of time so I’ll have to just try and stick to that and not feel like I should be writing something else. You’re right it should be fun and I’d hate for my anxieties to get in the way of that. As long as I have people who enjoy what they read, it shouldn’t matter how many of them there are. πŸ™‚

  15. I’m amazed that you are rather new to blogging because I think you have such a “voice” — and often that takes a while to develop! I really enjoy your writing, ideas and your humor πŸ™‚

  16. Ah, stats, so addictive. This time of year blog traffic is low but don’t be discouraged. And yeah, sometimes it seems like the reviews that take so long to write and you put your heart and soul into don’t get any comments. But I do see you’ve struck a chord with this post! You’re a good writer and I think you should just post when you feel inspired, not on a schedule.
    Keep having fun with your blog πŸ™‚

  17. I’m a bit of an old lady in the book blogging community (9 years in February). I started when the community was much smaller and less “stressful.” I have definitely felt these anxieties over the years on and off, but what floats to the top after a prolonged period of time is that you have to make your blog your own, do what is comfortable for you (and that will inevitably change over time), and the best part of blogging is the community that comes of it. I have made amazing friends from blogging (all of my Christmas cards were from bloggers this year; one will be my matron of honor in March). Enjoy the ride! Book blogging is an experience like none other!

    • Thanks, I will! It really has been so great to get the encouragement I’ve had from bloggers like yourself in response to this post. I’ve loved blogging so far and I’m definitely trying to just relax and concentrate on writing things that I enjoy writing rather than worrying about the response they might receive. It’s been great getting to know other bloggers. That is fab that your matron of honour is a fellow bookaholic and blogger!

  18. I have absolutely no tips on how to deal with any blogging anxieties. I CAN say that I was ridiculous (RIDICULOUS) about checking my stats for the first few months and that eventually settled down a bit. My biggest anxiety-inducer with it is the interacting because I always feel like a moron when I say anything to people, lol.
    Also not knowing what to blog about is an issue. Sometimes I wonder how people come up with all these clever ideas to blog about and there I am sitting around, staring at the screen like this ~~> O.o.
    If you figure out how to get over any of it, be sure to let me know!
    πŸ™‚
    I wish you luck with it. πŸ˜€

    • I’ll write a book of tips if I crack it! πŸ™‚ There have definitely been times where I see how creative other people are with their posts and wish I’d thought of that. Sometimes I know what I want to write and others I am definitely sitting staring at the screen like that!

      • Please do!

        Haha. Most of the time when I see creative posts on here, I don’t wish I’d thought of them. It’s more, “How in the world did they come up with this?”
        It always baffles me.

        I’m glad you can ever figure out things to write about because I really can’t. That’s how most of my entries end up being about how much I suck at blogging. haha

  19. The part where you wrote about your stats is hilarious!! I use blogger…(when I first started blogging I read this was the easier of blogger/wordpress so that’s why). I always used blogger stats. Then I was reading other blogs that said blogger stats were very VERY wrong. It counts bots and spam and blah blah. What I thought was amazing page views was wrong!!! SIGH!!! Then I switched to google analytics which is correct and sent my dreams shattering. LOL!!

    I agree with everyone about going your own pace. I do think you should maybe post once a week but other then that .. whatever you feel! This is your blog and is supposed to be fun. I did participate in a bunch of memes when I started and now I realize that just gets one page view and then those blogs usually move a long and don’t come back. I really love to discuss topics on my blog. I find those are the most fun. Sometimes.. a topic will just pop into my head and I will just write about it. So fun!!! Be you!

    • I have started to suspect the stats counter is wrong but I don’t know that I want to find that out for sure! Lol I really enjoy the discussion posts too though it can be a struggle coming up with topics at times. Other times it’s easier. Trying to just relax and focus on doing my blog, my way will definitely be a resolution in 2014!

  20. Pingback: New Year, New Authors, New Books Blog Hop | Confessions of a Book Ninja

  21. I still deal with blogging insecurities, and I’ve been blogging for two years! Granted, I am not the most professional or steadfast of bloggers, but I still get a little jealous when I see other bloggers posting multiple times a week, reading and reviewing new releases, and gaining a lot of traffic. It’s been especially hard over the past few months as I’ve been in a reading AND blogging slump. I’ve still been keeping up with other blogs, and I want to blog, but I. Just. Can’t. I feel like I’m lacking the energy and creativity to get a post started. And then there’s the little fact that I haven’t read anything good to blog about. The past few books I’ve read (if I’ve even finished them) have been very lackluster. I’m not trying to drown you in negative energy. I guess what I’m trying to say is blogging is not a competition; it’s a community. One that will support you in times of great productivity and slumps. Also, if you love to blog, you should blog for you about what you want, when you want. It’s simple, but it will keep you true to who you are and will allow you to maintain the blog even when you are feeling insecure or overwhelmed. It does help to have some sort of blogging manifesto or guidelines – written and published or unwritten and private – just to keep you honest. You seem to be doing a great job though! I found your blog through Asti @ A Bookish Heart, and I hope you keep it up!

    • Thanks, glad you liked it. πŸ™‚ Guidelines is a good idea. I think it’s just going to be something that I’ll have to work on while I continue to blog and I’ll hopefully get better at it!

  22. Pingback: Top 10 Reasons I love being a blogger/reader | Confessions of a Book Ninja

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