Thursday, November 28, 2013

How to Deal with Blogging Challenges

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Being a blogger is one of the funnest things I have ever pursued in my life. At the same time, it is one of the most taxing, tiring and challenging interest.

When people say to me, "Wah! You blogger ah? Must be real fun since you get lots of free stuff!"

I smile and tell them its not at all always nice because it isn't easy to multi-task, especially when reviewing projects becomes more than blogging.

Then some will claim, "But women can multi-task right?"


Despite the challenges, I still enjoy blogging very much because blogging helps me reflect on my thoughts and actions, and it has helped me unravel creative blockage while I am helping others to break free from their own. Plus I enjoy sharing my ideas and other good recommendations.

In my 5 years of blogging, I learned 2 important things:

1. Expect the hi's and low's. It is normal in everything we do, and understand that it will balance out on its own.

2. Educate yourselves to roll with the changes.

I learned that it is very important to constantly update myself on the tips and tricks on blogging, not just on the techie stuff but on how to maintain a blog and dealing with blogging challenges. Whenever I am on the searchfor informative blog posts about blog-well being balance, I often find that most of the issues and advises are sugar-coated. Of course there are also exceptional blogs like Independent Fashion Bloggers that would share really fruitful tips, thanks to founder Jennine Jacob.

As for the rest of the other topics that are not very clear cut, this isn't useful to me since I am the sort of person who prefers no-nonsense.

Secondly, most of the blogging challenges topic that I come across focuses on blogging techniques, designs, etc. I often try to look for topics that discusses about how to balance blogging and well being. I want to prep myself, but unfortunately they don't seem to meet my requirements.

I have experienced my own share of blogging downswings, and there are times it gets demotivating. Well, since I prefer to be straight up, I will provide here a list of my own problem-solution list and how to deal with blogging challenges.

By the end of this topic, I hope you do not see it as a discouragement because it is definitely not my intention to scare you aspiring bloggers out there. My intention is to simply prep you to get you ready just like how I wish someone could share theirs with me too.

Let us learn this together:

Challenge 1: I am not motivated

Let's be realistic. I am sure that there are days you feel downright demotivated to even do anything. And when you picture yourself sitting in front of the computer, you resent the idea of cracking your head on writing a blog post. Believe it or not, not feeling motivated can affect your blog's story; in fact, it can affect anything you do such as painting, editing a photo, etc. You lose focus whenever you are feeling demotivated, therefore to avoid a boring blog post, give yourself room to rest and relax and get yourself together again before you are inspired to write a fresh post.

Yes even if you don't feel like doing anything! Just stay away from the freaking computer!

I know that every blogger's advice is to make sure you keep your readers up to date by making sure you blog on schedule. But sometimes, you need to fill that cup of yours to be SELF-FULL before being able to satisfy your readers' needs (or in this case, readers' reading needs).

Trust me, once you have gathered yourself together, you will be typing your keyboard away with lots of interesting stories.

Challenge 2: BUT I MUST BLOG!

Well, another alternative to Challenge 1 is to temporary switch to micro-blogging such as Twitter, Facebook Wall Post or Instagram for the time being.

Why? Because you don't need to write much, and those one sentence post still work like magic. Your readers would eventually follow you everywhere to find your latest updates so you will still be able to update them.

For me, Instagram work best for me because I enjoy taking photos with my phone, editing them and sharing it with a couple of words. I like my one sentence posts accompanied with pictures so that my readers can experience what I am experiencing. After all "a picture is worth a thousand words."

Challenge 3: I don’t know what to blog

Sometimes, the best inspiration anyone could ever have is their surroundings.

Most of the time, I often find myself observing things around me and situations in my life. Sometimes the situation doesn’t have to be good, it can be a bad moment and still be an inspiration to you or your blog post. After all, everything and everyone in our lives are teachers to us; we learn from experiences and that makes your journey interesting.

If you are not keen on blogging a personal experience, you can always go for something simpler and less wordy like thematic pictures, ie. favourite things on the sea, local places to eat, the works.

Sometimes it can be out of topic and you don’t have to allow yourself to be rigid about it. The more flexibility you give yourself, the less stress you will feel. That way, blogging becomes fun!

Challenge 4: I hate a lot of writing (not writing a lot)

Well, I won’t say that blogging are for writers; but then again it does involve a lot of writing you see.
I have some friends of mine who aren't much of a writing person; some of them are artists, or photographers and some of them just enjoy sharing things with other people. Basically, blogging doesn't mean you have to write a lot.

If you don’t feel like writing, then don’t! It is your blog, your world, and you are free to create it however you want.

You can stick to posting up pictures you find interesting.

Or if you are an artist, just share your drawings.

If you like to teach, perhaps share step by step tutorials? The sky is the limit and it doesn't have to involve writing.

Challenge 5: I can’t find time to blog

I have heard this before, and I have said this too.

Yes it is true; you do need to find time to blog. So is with everything else you do in life.

If you find that you don’t have the time to sit down and write a fresh blog post, perhaps carry around a notebook with you and write down what’s interesting to you and then later on transfer it to the blog.
OR you can do it on your phone, since technology is so advanced these days.

Another way is to ask yourself; when’s your favourite time in the day; perhaps that’s your most productive hour. Everyone’s got one and it usually gets you cracking and fast at work.

Give it a try, unless you find that blogging is not your thing, you can always switch to micro blogging.

Challenge 6: My family doesn't understand my blogging game

Most families don’t usually understand the whole idea of blogging. Not all but they are some who would wonder why the need to share and write so much on the blog.

Someone used to ask me why I am exposing my personal life on the blog. To be honest I am not. I am only using my personal life as an example to my readers so that they can relate to me and not feel as though they are alone in any relevant situation or obstacle they are experiencing. Plus, there are some things in my life I have acceptance in; therefore I don’t see why I should be embarrassed to share it on the blog.

And for those who are taking their blog to the next level, into a biz, some families would doubt the idea of a blog biz. I don’t blame them because in this world that we live in, everything has a dollar sign on it. And in everything we do in life, we use the dollar sign as a benchmark.

Here’s the thing, you don’t need to do anything that you don’t like. And you are also entitled to do what you love. Everyone deserves a passion and a dream. If you believe what you are doing is good for you; balances your lifestyle, beneficial to your well-being; then by all means you have your own blessings.

Challenge 7: Why can't I be like the other Blogger(s)?

I face this one too, not just you.

Sometimes I can't help comparing myself with other bloggers. Especially when my blog isn't like the other mainstream blogs with contents mostly about partying, latest make up, latest style etc. When you are different from the rest, it is most likely that you won't get as much attention as the common ones. But look on the bright side, if your blog is a niche, you will definitely have a special amount of blog followers that would appreciate you for being you and see you as a living inspiration to them. I think, this is more important than anything else.

I was honestly very touched when a fellow crafter/friend of mine told me that my blog has an "international" quality. I don't really know what it means, but I kind of guessed that my blog has one of those elements that are meant to inspire women/people all over the world, just like my 2 favourite blogs: Leonie Dawson and Wild Sister.

Which works out well for me anyways because my main objective was to become an inspiration.

So if you ever feel incompetent, or feel you are not good enough; stop for a moment, take a step back and try to see your blog/work from a whole different level. Check with your intentions constantly by asking yourself, what is your aim? Why are you doing this? What do you want out of this blog? etc. etc.

Challenge 8: Why do I feel like giving up?

I think the 8th challenge is a little bit unique; you only feel like giving up when you assume that there's no way out. To be honest, blogging challenges is a small matter. There's much more problems in life, but perhaps the idea of feeling unproductive makes you feel like giving up. Fret not! If you feel like giving up, don't give it up too easily. Perhaps, take a couple of days, weeks or even months away from the blog, and then come back to it when you are ready. Who knows, you might be even more ready than you know it. Plus, you might come back with greater ideas to make your blog a better space.


My personal blogging experience

In my years of blogging, I have given up a couple of times in between. Thank god, I didn't delete the blog though because then I would have to re-create a new blog each time I feel like trying again. Somewhere in the 3rd year, I came very close to giving it up entirely because I was facing a little competition.

Now, competition is pretty normal in anything we do, it is when our inner battle is put to a test. I was on the verge of giving it up because a local blogger came up with a new blog that had the same sounding name as The Artsy Craftsy. Many people was getting confused and I was also losing my readers. I knew very little about blogging too at that time, and without much guidance, I stopped blogging. In a strange way, my interest for creativity was renewed at the same time; I suppose it was my eagerness to share with the world about my experience in breaking creative boundaries that I said to myself: F*** it! I'm doing this my way! From then on, I switched my blogging methods and redirected my readers back to me.

Ever since I was a kid, I noticed how I give up easily whenever I feel it is too hard or too tough for me. With blogging, I decided to stop and start making a difference. After that, no matter how challenging it gets, I never look back.

Blogging is still fun as always; try to see less as task and more as a time for you to reflect as you are writing.

Happy blogging!

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