You’re a blogger.
In fact, you have a particularly acute case of being a blogger. But don’t worry. We have seen cases like yours before, and we have outlined five steps that we see people deal with again and again. Consider it the five stages of blogging as opposed to the five stages of grief.
Here we go.
Stage One: Denial.
You’ve read a lot of articles and posts about blogging, and they’ve all told you the same thing.
It’s hard work.
It’s a huge time commitment.
Even those weirdos Stanford and Margie talk about the complexities of blogging. But you are not going to have these problems. The blogs are going to flow from your fingers like water flows from your faucet, and people will literally be begging you for post number two as soon as you finish post one.
Luckily, you’ll never run out of ideas and every idea you have will be pure gold.
Stage Two: Anger.
Um, why is no one commenting on your posts? Why is no one tweeting links to your posts, for that matter? And why is that person over there getting 34 comments on a 2-line post about printer cartridges?
Oh great, another story about a blogger who made 5 Google dollars after 3 posts. This stinks. This whole blogging thing is for the birds. And not just any birds. This blogging thing is for the birds that are falling out of the sky. Dead. For no good reason.
Stage Three: Bargaining
When you reach stage three, you may seem a little crazed.
At this point, the blogging bug has you good. You find yourself with strange new accessories like Evernote and a Posterous account in addition to your regular blog. You are waking up at 3 AM with ideas that you write and publish. “People in Australia are awake now,” you mutter. You start sending links to your posts out to people.
You comment on 27 posts an hour hoping to get the word out. You join every chat, from Alzheimers support to Zirconium Oxide fans. And in each one, you link to your post about rabbits and the carrots. It’s universal. They will catch the spark. You also reckon that those people getting 34 comments on every post are probably doing exactly what you’re doing, and they’ve been doing it longer. In another month, you’ll be where they are.
Stage Four: “I’m going to quit-itis.”
This penultimate stage is what gets most people. All of your hard work, all of your bargaining, all of your 3 AM ideas, all of your analysis of time zones, and all of your stalking…I meant, all of your engagement with big names has gone for naught.
People are complaining about getting “just” 57 comments. You’re getting goose eggs. Maybe this isn’t for you. Maybe there are just too many bloggers. You thought you really had something unique with that bunny post, but nobody liked it. You had a really good reaction to a couple of posts in a row, then it fell off again. You don’t know why either thing happened. It’s probably time to head into the locker room. It’s just no use.
Stage Five: Maybe it’s not so bad.
If you can make it past stage 4, which comes into play in no particular chronological or rational way, you find yourself most often at stage five. You realize that you probably need to loosen up a little bit.
You refer back to those documents you read during your dark denial period and realize that they all said that this was going to take time. “Oh,” you think. “By time, they meant literal, actual time. Hmm.”
You recognize that the bloggers who started out on fire didn’t just jump into the blogosphere. They had already built a community for themselves. Maybe it was on Twitter, maybe through their business. Therefore, there’s really no reason for the anger phase. Nobody misled you. You probably don’t smell bad. You’re probably not the world’s grey cloud of blogging. Unless, you know, that’s your thing.
So where are you?
Alright, so, now that you know what you can expect, where are you? Have you experienced each of these stages several times? Did any of them cause you to change your blog name or platform or voice or look or anything else? These are common side effects, after all.
Have a cookie, take a seat, and tell us all about it.
We’re bloggers, too. We’ve been there.
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