Hey Do You Even Tribe! Below is a wonderful, thought-invoking, REAL contributor post from Araminta Robertson at FinanciallyMint.com. I love these thoughts so much, I also recorded a podcast for it, which you can find on iTunes, Sticher, Overcast. Enjoy this read, and drop Araminta comments once you’ve read it. It means a lot.
I’ve been working on my blog for 3 months now, and every so often in a moment of self-doubt I come up with a very painful question:
Is this worth it?
I publish an article which took me 4 hours to write: nothing, 5 page views in a day. I then see newbie bloggers like me reporting 4,000 views in their third month.
Should I really be doing this? Is this blog that’s not really giving me an income and taking up most of my free time worth it? Am I wasting my time on something which won’t ever produce anything of value?
But then, my brain has a flashback: my boss screaming at me for spilling coffee on a client, messing up an order and for saying ‘please’ too many times.
I imagine myself depressed as I work at an unfulfilling job which takes up so much time that I can’t even start to dream of traveling to another city.
Yes, I could spend more time socializing, watching movies and probably earning more money through a stable job. But, would I rather have location independence and work when I want to and on something I’m passionate about?
And every day I’m grateful for having found the blogging and personal finance world. So yes, for me, those 5 page views won’t stop me. Blogging is worth it.
I have a 3-month old blog and after some considerable cost-benefit analysis, I’ve decided I don’t have much to lose if blogging doesn’t work out. But, that’s ME.
What about YOU? What is your situation like? Are you a full-time earner? A mum of three? How much do you have to lose if blogging doesn’t work for you? Is it worth it?
You might have all these questions but feel lost for answers.
In fact, you might be slightly scared of finding out the answers: ‘what if I’m doing the wrong thing?’
First of all, this is absolutely normal, and shows that you care about your blog and that you’re putting effort into it. Second of all, having no answers gets frustrating and can impact your motivation to work and to keep blogging.
Having gone through this process quite a few times, I know that the best questions to ask yourself are the ones that scare you the most.
A combination of Side Hustle Nation questions and the ones I have created through these ‘episodes of self-doubt’ will help you be brutally honest with yourself and get back onto your feet.
- What am I really hoping to accomplish with this project?
- What dent in the universe am I trying to make?
- Am I good at it?
- What could I be doing instead?
- Do I see myself doing this in six months? One year?
Let’s take a look at each one:
What am I really hoping to accomplish with this project?
There are three main reasons you’ve chosen blogging:
- to earn a side-income,
- to share your thoughts with the world,
- or a nice combination of both.
Of course, the ideal would be the third one, but it varies from person to person.
If it’s mostly monetization, you need to make sure you have a plan to earn money and know that you won’t be wasting time. If it’s mostly as a hobby, make sure it doesn’t become a chore; write about what you enjoy.
What dent in the universe am I trying to make?
Are you trying to make a difference in the world?
Write down your mission statement/tagline. What’s the main goal of your website?
Am I good at it?
‘Hard work beats talent’.
Yes, I agree, but only if it’s worth it. Do you see yourself laboring night after night, not feeling like you’re improving?
If you’re goal is to earn money online, look at all the options available apart from blogging and see which one suits your skills best. If, on the other hand, you feel the hard work would be rewarding, then by all means don’t stop. Just make sure you know what you’re doing.
What could I be doing instead?
Personally, this is the scariest question of them all
Could you be doing something more rewarding instead of working on your blog? What are the sacrifices you are willing to make? Instead of those 3 hours working one evening night, could you be doing something else instead (family, exercise, etc)?
Remember that with every big success comes a bit of sacrifice, so don’t be scared to admit that you could be having way more fun on a night out with friends than blogging.
Once you reach your ‘success’, you will be glad you made those sacrifices and laugh at those past moments of self-doubt. It really all comes down to evaluating the benefits and costs.
Do I see myself doing this in six months? One year?
An equally daunting question: What’s the future going to look like?
Many things can happen in 6 months and one year. Do you still want to be blogging? Where do you want to be and what do you want to be doing?
Take into account the fact that you will learn a lot in the next six months: success might mean something else, you might have a new business idea, you might discover something else you’re passionate about.
Will blogging still be part of all that in six months?
We’ve all heard successful bloggers say that it takes at least six months for a blog to really start producing results. Are you willing to put in six months? Be brutally honest about your goals and dreams. Will blogging help you achieve those?
I, just like you, have gone over these questions time and time again. They’re scary but they’re worth looking over. And even after being sure that blogging is what I want to do, I still feel discouraged when I’m lacking progress.
Here are a few thoughts and strategies I use to keep a positive mood and stay disciplined with blogging:
- Every Monday I spend 30 minutes finding ways I could improve on everything (marketing, organisation, writing skills, etc)
- The second I start feeling stressed or worried, I spend a few minutes writing down the problem and figuring out solutions. My biggest productivity killer is discouragement.
- Remember how much I enjoy writing: Look back on articles I’m proud of.
- Talking to friends and family: people are always interested to hear about the blogging world, and are impressed by the word ‘Personal Finance’. Remember how cool it is to have my own website.
- Think of all the opportunities this will give me in the future (a possible full-time income, location independence, my own business, etc)
- I’m acquiring many skills: writing, marketing and networking. It takes patience and time but I definitely feel I’m improving.
- Too many times we focus on all the things we’re doing wrong (me included). I’ve found that writing down what I’m doing right and hanging it on my bedroom wall gives me that mini boost of confidence every time I’m feeling discouraged.
As cringey as it sounds, boosting your motivation can go a long way.
All these questions stated above are there to give you a better idea of what your goals are, not to discourage you from blogging.
However, don’t be ashamed to throw in the towel if you feel it’s not worth it – you will definitely have learnt something from the experience.
I’m leaving you with a last question to keep your mind going: