I’m only three posts into my new blog, but I love minimalist blogging already.
I’m not a stranger to blogging. I’ve had a blog since 2008. Back when it started, it was considered a “mom blog” and what started as just a hobby quickly grew into blogging for money. I enjoyed many perks from mom blogging. I got to review some great products and was even paid to showcase these products and services on my blog. It provided a nice little side gig income of anywhere from $200- $500 a month and sometimes even more. That may sound like chump change to some, but I already had a full time job and this little “extra” was just that. It helped pay for some frivolous things we didn’t necessarily need.
Blogging Competition is No Fun
Blogging was so easy in the first few years. It was more personal and there weren’t that many other bloggers. Social media was in the infant stages and quality of content mattered. “Influencer”, “building a brand”, “sales funnels”, and other terms such as that didn’t exist. I haven’t really enjoyed blogging since 2012, but I’ve hung in there and plugged along, certain that any day now it would suddenly provide me with a full time income. Isn’t that why most people even start blogs now? I have a close, core group of blogging buddies. We all started out at the same time. Many of them have gone on to achieve internet fame and all but a small handful have quit their day jobs and blog full time. That was always my dream. I just wanted to be home to take care of my family and my home.
I never started my blog with the intention of it replacing my day job, but a couple of years in, I saw where it could definitely become a reality if you just worked hard. So I invested money in expensive, fancy blog designs. I participated in a blog course that could have paid more than half of my mortgage, but it promised me that if I just did all. of. the. crazy. things that I would be blogging my way to a full time income in no time! I bought every e-book I could get my hands on dealing with how to increase blog traffic, become a social media expert, take stunning blog pictures, and write fantastic content. I sunk money into blogging resources like Tailwind, stock photography, virtual assistants to schedule out my posts to social media channels, and joined every forum for women bloggers I could possibly join and read. The only thing I didn’t do was purchase a fancy DSLR camera, and I can’t believe I didn’t even do that!
Reaching Blogging Burnout
So where has sinking these thousands of dollars into my mom blog over the course of nine years gotten me? Certainly not blogging full time where I can quit my day job. My photography still sucks. I can’t make an affiliate sale to save my life. My traffic has tanked. I can’t keep up with all of the social media channels or posting attention-grabbing content around the clock to drive traffic to my blog. The best of the best bloggers had it down to a science, and they made it hard for the rest of us to keep up. I had to feature fabulous organic recipes with top notch photography, in-depth product reviews, dispense expert parenting advice, make my home look like Pottery Barn threw up all over it, dress like I only shopped at Anthropologie, and make these picture-perfect Instagram shots. It was all so exhausting and mentally draining. I’m fresh out of creative ideas to blog about and just left wondering how all of my blogging tribe has achieved success with their blogs and I’m so far behind them when we all started out at the same time. They were getting featured in magazines, on major news outlets, and commanding thousands of dollars for one post. It seemed as if by the time I had learned a new blogging trick to make things better, the industry was changing yet again. I’m a glutton for punishment, so it has taken me a long time to admit defeat.
Choosing Minimalist Blogging
Starting this minimalist blog has been so freeing. It’s actually a topic I have so much to write about. I decided that if I started this blog I wasn’t going to sink a ton of money into it. I’m blogging on a free blog theme. I paid exactly $9 to make my own logo and $10 to set up a domain name. I’m hosted on another account under my main blog, so that wasn’t an extra expense. Compared to all of the expenses for my other blog, this is definitely minimalist blogging for me.
I feel no pressure to be on all of the social media channels and follow 14,000 people just because we’re in the same blogging niche or because someone followed me so I *have* to follow them back. I’m not worrying about SEO or getting chosen for ambassadorships or sponsored posts. I no longer feel the need to participate in blogging giveaways or roundups to gain followers on social media and boost my traffic. I haven’t set up a Facebook page or an Instagram page for this little blog yet because I just don’t really even like Instagram and Facebook and I have a love/hate relationship at the moment. And you know what? I don’t even care. It gives me more time to read relevant content on things I actually care about and I prefer discovering that content through Twitter and Pinterest. Speaking of Twitter, I got so excited when I finally got my first follower yesterday! And when someone retweeted me just because they wanted to and not because I was participating in a sharing thread where bloggers tweet one another in return for other social media shares, you would have thought I had won the lottery! And because I don’t want to be a slave to social media just to keep up with different blogs, I finally set up a Feedly account so I never miss a post. I prefer this to signing up for updates from blogs on an individual basis because that’s less clutter in my inbox. I want to use social media to strictly share ideas and interact with like-minded people and not just a place to share my latest posts.
I also feel no pressure to have to compare myself with other minimalist bloggers. The minimalist niche seems to be a very open and helpful community as a whole and I love to read what others think about minimalism because I always come away with a different way of thinking about something or a great idea for living a more intentional life. It doesn’t feel like a competition and I’m grateful for that because I have no desire to compete with anyone for anything at this point in my life.
Minimalist blogging just feels very freeing. I will never make blogging my day job, and I am fine with this now. I actually enjoy my day job and even though it gets stressful at times, I really have a great job, a great boss, and work with some fantastic kids. I have so much to be grateful for.