Something happened behind the scenes of this very blog. Even though I was reasonably happy with the content, the results made me a little sad, scared and embarrassed. People assume that a blog like mine just grows and grows. Here’s the thing, it doesn’t. It hadn’t in a little while. What it had done was flat-lined. My interest was waning, and I just didn’t feel that excited about blogging.
I thought to myself; I think my blog is dying.
What do you do when you look at your blog, and you think, uh-oh, this is the end? The life support machine might need to be turned off. End of days and all that. What happens to a blogger when they no longer blog? All good questions, all questions I asked myself in the process of taking this blog from a decline in subscribers, daily readers and comments to the best it has even been.
In just over a month.
The first thing I acknowledged was that everything I knew about my blog was gone. Dead and buried. I was losing interest if the content level was dropping and people were leaving in droves. It was time to acknowledge that I had failed. Your aim was world domination, and you failed. The objective was to be at the top of the world, and you failed. And would you look at that, you survived.
I had to say goodbye to all the things that I was doing out of obligation; for my blog and the people who invested money advertising. From that moment of realisation, I stopped promoting a lot of stuff and pared-back my commitments in those areas. I’d always had guidelines for myself, but I reinforced my rule of being super picky. Which was a lot of no, let me tell you.
Don’t get me wrong; I don’t blame monetisation for killing my blog.
That was me; I did that. Somewhere along the line, I was trying to follow a formula for success. I was following a formula even I wasn’t inspired by. It was boring and a bit of a chore to blog; it took all my energy just to make it happen. That became my new rule if I felt like something was sucking the life out of me; I didn’t do it.
A lot of people talk the talk on that one, including me, but it was harder to do than anything. The tricky part of these things is that sometimes you don’t know that something is bleeding you dry until you know it. Seek advice from friends and family. Conversations will give you an insight into what you feel. Excited and animated by the prospect, it’s for you. Not?
Then maybe you should pass.
After I saw all that and I’d acknowledged that I’d failed and that I wasn’t inspired by my blog anymore what did I do to resuscitate it? First stop was an overhaul; I cleaned the house by taking my frustrations out on the billions of categories on this blog now languishing in the corner. I removed them, restructured them and felt more focused because of it. Next up, I tidied my sidebar and unsubscribed from more than one affiliate program. Then, I took some time and made it easy to find me and the content people were looking.
Finally, I gave the branding a little facelift, and I was ready.
That very night, at well after 2 am, I started reading posts about blogging. I logged into my Bloglovin account for the first time in goodness knows how long and began to read. I bought eBooks and flicked through online magazines in search of something that would pique my interest. I stopped writing for the sake of it, blogging because I thought I should. Who knows when that started, but it had taken over.
One day, I just felt like writing, so I did. I wrote about whatever it was that I felt like writing about. But when I did, I framed my thoughts, in a way, that appealed to readers on a personal level. How to do this, why I did that, things I learnt.
Not just a complaint about being made feel bad about my body, but a guide to loving your body now to share all I had learnt. I answered specific questions and took a genuine interest in the people who were connecting with me.
In the end, what happened was that I stopped.
I stopped talking, dictating, and I started listening—listening to myself, to you all and to what was happening around me. Then I wrote; I would sit awake at night and jot down notes for posts. I would clickety-clack the keyboard furiously as the ideas and thoughts tumbled out of my mind with the ferocity of a crashing wave. Something had changed; I was inspired by what was around me.
Inspired not to be more exciting or to draw people into this blog but because being inspired is what life is all about. And sharing your experience is what a blog like mine is all about. Sharing your successes and failures, helping others to walk the path they are walking with your support. Posts became not just about having something there to fill the space but about delivering something of value, sharing something of myself or recording a moment too great not to have recorded somewhere.
Finally, I asked for feedback, and I got it.
The most significant step after that was that I took it. Everything was open to feedback and criticism, from the newsletter to the Facebook page and my Instagram account. All things were considered, and I questioned everything I thought I knew before. This was so vital to the rebuilding of the blog. Ask someone you trust to give you feedback. Choose five or ten of them. Ask a reader who has been a part of your blog for a while and email them so they feel they can be honest.
You don’t know what you don’t know until you know. So ask.
Then it happened. Day after day, people started to return to this blog because it felt like home to them again. My home and theirs. They shared my posts for the first time in goodness knows how long. Comments were left. The community here, they did all that.
When I say they, I mean you wonderful, exciting, too smart for your own good, group of blog readers. You brought this blog back from the dead with your willingness to contribute to its community and me.
I’m excited to see where we go from here and what blogging has in store for me. And for you. For us. Don’t panic if your blog is dying; it might be time, and maybe you’re done. But if in your gut you know you’re a blogger then don’t give up. Just forget everything you know and start again.
That’s what I did, and I’ve never loved my blog more.
Hi! I’m Suger; Chief Blogger at Suger Coat It. Blogging since 1901; love a casual ootd, taking photos + writing about things that irk or inspire me. I love wine and cheese, long days at the beach and spending time with my family. I make stuff for the internet; photos, create content, write copy and devise social media plans for personal brands, small businesses and bloggers. You know, living the sweet life.