I started my blog to chronicle our homeschool journey. I first posted about our weekly happenings, our art projects, and our curriculum. The blog grew slowly. Then I joined the Homeschool Crew and started writing curriculum reviews. My blog grew a little more. Next, I retired from the Crew and started blogging for myself, writing my thoughts on parenting and homeschooling.
I have many other things that are crowding out my time – personal Bible study, church functions, settling into a new state, keeping up with the house, cooking, exercising, parenting, and enjoying some down time. Basically, my roles as a Christ-follower, wife, mother, and friend are taking precedence over my role as blogger. And that’s ok with me. Blogging is not a priority.
So, in the interest of my sanity I’ve had to make some decisions. I’ve considered closing down the blog for a time while I regroup. I’ve also explored the idea of blogging less frequently. Since I hate to shut down my tiny corner of the blogosphere, I think I’m going to downsize a little bit. I’m going to cut down my blogging to 1 day per week during the rest of the summer. Once the school year picks up I may begin blogging twice a week. However, if life is too busy, the posts may stay at only one per week.
I feel I need to minimize my commitments and focus on other things.
Welcome to the new normal here at Lextin Academy – a once-weekly blog post that arrives on Monday (if I’m ambitious and on-time) or maybe later in the week (if I’m busy experiencing life).
And if you have any ideas for blog posts, please send them my way! I might need some creative inspiration to get me over this blogging slump.
Over the past few years I’ve learned a few things about blogging:
It takes an incredible amount of time
There are several steps: writing, and editing, and creating images, and promoting your post. Those are just the basics.
To be a successful blogger, a huge investment of time is necessary. This means lots of sitting in front of the computer; time I’d rather spend doing something else….
It can be lonely
Sometimes you wonder if you have an audience at all. Weeks can go by without a single comment and it feels a little bit lonely. Without the engagement of your audience, blogging can feel like wasted time.
So I wonder if my posts go out into cyberspace unnoticed by anyone other than me.
Social media is a necessary evil
In order to drive traffic to your blog and share blog posts, you have to be on social media. I find social media to be confusing. There are all kinds of guides that tell me the optimal times to tweet or share a pin on Pinterest. I don’t have time to wade through all of the advice.
I also find social media to be a giant time-wasting. It is like a black hole that can drain hours out of your day.
To be a successful blogger, you must utilize social media well. I’m fairly certain I am terrible at this.
Creativity is key
You have to write creatively engaging blog posts as a blogger. That’s a lot of pressure. There are tons of resources available about how to be a better blogger. I don’t have time to read these wise articles. I’m too busy trying to be creative and come up with blog ideas.
It also helps to have beautiful images and creative blog titles. If you read the above blog title you will notice that I’ve failed in that regard.
There is a learning curve
In the blogging world, there are terms like SEO (which is something I still don’t understand) and blogging platforms and self-hosting. You have to be a little tech savvy to keep your blog running smoothly.
I am the least tech savvy person in the universe. Usually, I have no idea what I’m doing. Simple things, like inserting a hyperlink, take far too long for me.
As a blogger, you hope to get over this learning curve. Even after several years, I can’t quite see around that curve to what’s on the other side. I’m not sure I ever will.
Difficult decisions have to be made
Do you monetize your blog? Host ads? Allow guest posts? Accept free products in exchange for a review? Write paid posts? Run giveaways?
You get spammed with all kinds of crazy emails about products and opportunities and articles.
You are asked to write for other blogs and websites and magazines.
What do you do? Do you stay true to yourself and your own audience (if you actually have one) or do you branch out with product posts and paid posts?
If you want to make money, it feels a little like you sell your soul for advertising and promotions.
I make no money off my blog because I want to write only for myself and to limit my other writing commitments. This means, that blogging is a hobby that costs me time that I feel could be better spent on other things.