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How Stressful Do You Find Blogging?

Posted By Darren Rowse 11th of January 2008 Miscellaneous Blog Tips 0 Comments

StressThis is a guest post by Lea Woodward from modern nomad.

Some people find blogging relaxing, a release and an outlet; many others don’t. It often depends upon your reason for blogging.

I’m guessing that most of you who read ProBlogger do so because you’d like your blog to become something more than just a personal monologue of your life. If so, then it’s likely that you take your blogging seriously…seriously enough to get stressed about it sometimes.

Before I go any further, I’m going to define “stress” as anything that takes your body of homeostasis (normal, balanced state of functioning). This means then that even when you don’t ‘feel’ stressed, your body might be.

Some of the things I personally find stressful about blogging are…

  1. The pressure to earn something – for me, this is mostly indirectly rather than directly from my blogs
  2. Receiving unpleasant and negative comments
  3. Meeting deadlines for writing posts (my own and others)
  4. Constantly coming up with killer content
  5. An unhealthy obsession with stats and figures

The thing about stress is that you can be stressed and not even know it…

Your body has some subtle and not-so subtle signs to tell you all is not right in its world.

Typical symptoms of acute stress are:

  • Rapid heart beat
  • Rise in temperature
  • Short, shallow breathing

Typical symptoms of chronic stress are:

  • High blood pressure
  • Increased allergies
  • Depression
  • Weight gain or loss
  • PMS and hormonal disturbances

Unfortunately, you can’t remove all stress from your life – a small amount is good for you – but you can help your body better deal with stress and create strategies to lessen the common blogging stressors that have you reaching for a hammer.

If blogging is causing you more stress than joy at the moment, here are 5 things that can help…

1) Treat blogging like a business not a hobby.

If the pressure to generate an income is the cause of your blogging stress, then make sure that you’re treating your blogging like a proper business and not just a hobby.

This means creating a blog business plan, a marketing strategy and setting financial (and other) targets to achieve.

Get proactive about what’s going on with your blog and rather than sit and hope that that affiliate program wil start generating an income this month, go out and take some action to ensure it will.

Simply working according to a plan can help relieve the stress of not feeling in control; it can help you be proactive rather than reactive and ensure that you remain specifically focused on the end game.

2) Get things in perspective.

Unpleasant and downright nasty comments left on a blog that you pour your heart and soul in to every day, are not only stressful but can be emotionally upsetting. If you want to see my personal experience of this, check out some of the comments on this post – eeek!

If, like Kathy Sierra, the comments are threatening or somehow violate your personal safety, then serious measures should be considered. On the other hand if the comments are merely just others disagreeing with you, expressing their own opinions or sounding off, then a measure of perspective is called for.

If you let them unpleasant comments can knock your confidence, make you question what you’re doing and even put you off blogging for a while.

To help put things into perspective, try removing yourself from cyberspace for a while and taking a look at what’s going on in the outside world. Go play with your kids, meet a friend for coffee or do some exercise and you’ll find it’s amazing how the sting of those comments can fade to nothing.

3) Know when to walk away.

It might sound strange that a post on ProBlogger is advising you to walk away from your blog when it’s all about becoming a better blogger, but there are times when it is best to just walk away….at least from a blog that’s not working in the way you intended it to.

If you are blogging for money but the topic/niche/market you’ve chosen hasn’t yielded any success – despite your best efforts; and if you’re no longer enjoying it and it feels like more hassle than it’s worth, then perhaps sometimes it is and it’s time to move on.

Knowing when to cut your losses is part of exercising good business sense and making the right decision at the time. Greater opportunities will come when you take your learnings and apply them to your next blogging venture.

4) Proactively plan your downtime.

Removing the stress of blogging may sometimes require you to extract yourself from the computer.

If you, like me, are a bit of a laptop addict then this is harder said than done. One of the more successful strategies I’ve found is to not only plan time away from your computer but plan specific activities to do away from your computer.

If you just plan time away from the screen, then more often than not time will run away with itself. Before you know it you’re saying to yourself, “Oh well I may as well just keep going now. There’s no point in stopping”.

The more attractive, fun, compelling, exciting and appealing the activity you plan, the better.

5) Stay off the caffeine and sugar.

Ouch…the last thing many bloggers want to hear, I’m sure. But if you are currently stressed (chronically or acutely), then neither caffeine nor sugar will do you any good at all.

Sugar suppresses the immune system which in turn lowers your resistance to bugs and germs. Combine this with elevated stress levels from the effect that caffeine has on your nervous system (it stimulates it to create a manufactured ‘stress’ response) and your body could simply go on strike, succumbing to an illness which prevents you from blogging even if you want to.

If going cold turkey and cutting out caffeine and sugar isn’t an option for you, then at least consider restricting your consumption – especially when you’re feeling stressed.

I’m sure you’ll all agree…blogging can be great but there are times when it’s not so great and times when it’s downright stressful. You can’t always plan for these times and you can’t always prevent them but you can certainly help yourself cope better when they arrive.

Lea Woodward is a freelance writer, business coach and modern nomad. She is editor of a health and fitness blog with a holistic approach to Get Better Abs.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. As a problogger myself, I find blogging as serious work but also also a good distraction. A great source of income and also a great outlet of frustrations.

  2. Thankfully, I blog what I am passionate about. I would blog about it for free! It’s de-stressing for me to blog, not stressful at all.

    You can tell from my latest post that I enjoy every minute:

  3. “know when to walk away” – from what you’ve said above it’s like as if blog is a drug or something.

    bloggers annyonmous

  4. It should be a cool addiction if you get to earn from your blog. I’d keep this addiction anytime! LOL

  5. I find it stressful since I dont have another job. Blogging full time is very stressful especially if you have two children and a wife to look after and a house to pay.

  6. @esvl – I do agree with you on that because we’re on the same boat. I find a little planning goes a long way. I don’t have to be facing a monitor the whole day but I could if I wanted to.

  7. But I did not mean I dont enjoy blogging full time :)

  8. Yeah, very recognizable – even when I am still rather amateur about my blog and have about 60 mins a day to spend. Well, that is, spend writing. Getting my mind off it …. now that is something different.

  9. I found this post extremely helpful. Blogging can be stressful, especially the amount of time you have to devote to it.

    It’s better (for you and the people around you) to make it a business. Set hours for work and define your objectives. Ever since I began doing this a few months ago I’ve produced better quality posts.

    The extra free time also made my relationships with other people and commitments smoother…

    Good advice, thanks again.

  10. Great practical tips. The 4th one is a big one for me. I’m in the middle of building a new blog’s readership and it’s definitely addictive. My wife gets seriously ticked sometimes.

    Lately, I’ve had to set aside specific times during the day to stop reading, commenting, and discovering new blogs. At night, I’ve set a policy to leave my laptop in my office, but since I run my business from home, my office is only a few steps away, making it difficult to stay away.

    Thanks for letting me know I’m not alone in this frustration.

  11. Writing is easy for me. I’ve been a journalist for many years. So blogging is fun except I put pressure on myself to earn more money. I do want to turn it from an avocation into a vocation.

  12. Blogging is easy and fun for me. Since I have nothing to lose, there really isn’t that much pressure for me to perform.

  13. I’m with patrick. The most I can lose is £100 a month if I stop blogging. Not a huge amount, but nice to have :)

    I find myself that whenever I get overwhelmed, I leave the computer to do it’s thing. I’ve even not stopped for changes (I woke up last night thinking I double posted on a day, I restrict myself to one post a day. Found out that I did, and said “meh, it’ll wait until the morning”)

  14. Darren this post is a real eye opener.

    Just last night my wife and I were talking about the caffiene and sugar. I haven’t taken the step to rid my body of caffiene and sugar but I am getting closer. :)

    As for negative comments, well I haven’t learned to deal with them yet and they can knock me on my butt for days.

    Just walk away, good point. I have walked away from a few of my blogs that didn’t make money online like I was expecting but I still have a couple that don’t produce. I have been humming and haaaing, if that’s a word, but now that I’ve read this post I may just walk away from them and put that effort into my blogs that are producing income.

    Thanks for the great content you have Darren.

  15. Great post, I find it stressful sometimes coming up with posts that I dont know wether people will like and not like.

  16. First, as a new blogger, I’d like to thank you for your valuable input – dipping in here has both given me guidelines and helped me to think outside of the box over the last couple of months as my blogs evolve.

    Second, suspect the type and degree of stress someone faces from blogging may be partly related to the length of time they have been doing it and the stage they are at, so its tricky to generalize.

    From the ‘handling everything at once’ phase to the building up a contact network and maintaining it, and balancing life and blogging generally.

    A time boundary sounds like a good idea – for every hour spent blogging, spend x hours doing something else….?

  17. I don’t feel stressful about the negative comments since I only have 10 subscribers to my blog!
    For the same reason I can feel the stress sometimes..

  18. Thanks for the tips.. honestly.. the worst part about blogging is having to deal with so many different kinds of visitors. You can’t control it at times.

    I had the worst possible blogging experiences which caused me a lot of stress. I had constant hate mails, rude people who kept insulting me, and this is the worst one, I got hate sites dedicated to me. Isn’t that sick? I had to go through processes of filing complaints against such people. They think using fake accounts and using blog sites such as blogger will keep them selves hidden, then they were wrong..

    Anyways.. bleah.. yes.. blogging is stressful and to deal with it, I just end up blocking ip address and telling people off. Some people want to hide behind their screens, so let them do that. I will just tell them off. I don’t care if they come back or not or drives people away. At times I rather not have so much traffic. Having a high trafficked site is not a good thing at times at all! Simple as that!

  19. Read Scott and I are in the same boat as I am currently in the process of building readership for a new site. This seems to be the most stressful part of blogging – the constant desire to increase readers/subscribers. I imagine as the numbers increase over time one relaxes a bit, but that probably depends on personality – some are always driven.

  20. It occurred to me that I FUBAR’d my web address in the previous comment. There, that’s better.

  21. Wonderful article. I am also a full time blogger. The most stressful thing for me recently was issues with my host.

    Writing killer content is a big one for me, I am a perfectionist so I am constantly re-writing and deleting.

  22. Know when to walk away is a key to my sanity. If the content isn’t flowing freely from my head through my fingers, I need to do something else for awhile and go back later. I use the same “walk away” strategy when I become frustrated with the technology I’m trying to use (happens a lot as I’ve been building a new Joomla site for my blog). Sometimes I leave it for a couple of days and when I get back to it, things magically come together.

  23. mucho agreement on dealing with stress from commenters…

    I wrote a post yesterday outlining 9 tips for dealing with flame wars:

  24. Real nice post. I love how your writing makes you feel as if you are talking specifically to me! Good stuff, thanks.

  25. Nice post Darren! I’m not feeling stressful while blogging, it’s more a pleasure. Come up with a killer article is becoming harder everyday. :P

  26. I enjoyed the post, several good tips.

    But at the end of the post, I wondered, who wrote it. The top of the article says it was written by Darren. The bottom has a bio blip that many freelancers use on their own pieces.

    Technical, though it may be, as a fellow writer, I want to know – who wrote it?

    Sincerely, (And with professional love & respect)

    Meg Meyer

  27. What I find most stressful is trying to find things to talk about. I either get the “someone has already mentioned that” thought or the “that is too boring” thought.

  28. Wow!

    That’s true!!! In this period I’m very stressed … quality blogging need time and good work! The equilibrium is very difficult to maintain.

    Hard times for hard man!

    Good work to every human

    Daniel – GenitronSviluppo.com

  29. I find negative comments the most stressful part of blogging, along with maintaining the back end of the site (deleting spam, hunting dead links, and site design updates).

    Successful blogging requires choosing a niche that you love, because you’ll be stuck writing about the topic for years if your site finds an audience. For me it’s easy – I have more topics than time, so I get to pick and choose from my “upcoming topics” list to write stuff that inspires me.

    I also have a blogging partner who does a great job of filling in when I’m busy/under the weather/having an off day. Backup is essential in this business.

  30. hi darren

    The most stressful thing for me when you have nothing new to write about..even u spent long time thinking.. i agree with you in num#3 to run away is good solution when there is no progress at all!


  31. Great Article! Blogging is as stressful as you make it. You have to treat it as a business, as a job and not as a hobby. At least if you want to make money. You have to have clear goals and a well thought out business plan or checklist. What I find most stressful is when you have so many tasks to do, that you don’t even know where to begin. For me at the beginning of everyday I go through my business plan and make a to-do checklist for the day. I do exactly that, nothing more and nothing less. So many Bloggers get caught up with reading and reading all the forums and blogs, and they never get down to “just doing it”. Procrastination is the worst and most stressful thing! After, I finish my day…THEN I take some time, 30 mins or so and read all the forums and posts, while I relax with a nice cold Canadian Beer!!

  32. I stress over not writing every day, or even every other day. But then I read the excellent Finding Your Blogging DNA and I try to remember that I’m a muse, not a reporter.

  33. A certain amount of stress in life by undertaking any activity is unavoidable and is actually healthy. But if you are overly stressed then you have a problem which must be dealt with including, as this post suggests, walking away from that activity.

  34. I personally find it as a release, but only after I finally posted something. The stress that it builds trying to come up wit that killer content does hinder my ability to work, but as running like a business sometimes you just have to focus and get rid of all the distractions.

  35. I find that the bigger the blog gets the more stressful it is becoming. For example, in the early days, when my blog went down, I didnt’ worry about it at all. Just fix it and move on. Now with a decent following, when my blog went down this morning, I almost had a panic attack. :)

  36. As in any business, you must be prepared to fail and learn things if you fail, so you can correct it the next time. Many bloggers start with a great plan and expectations and then, 2 months later, they are disappointed because the things don’t come out like they want. The results: another abandoned blog.

    It is better if you are prepared to fail and your mind is always open.

  37. i’m not aiming to go pro with mine, just put out a really fun, consistently good blog. but even that provokes a decent amount of stress on days where i just don’t have it in me to be funny/clever, and feel a lot of eyes on me judging my opinions/humor. i’m enjoying myself too much to let it stop me from moving forward. but there are “off” days for sure, and on those i feel a very overwhelming sense of, “whyyyy am i doing this to myself??” worth it, i say, though. :)

  38. I treat this as a strict business, but I don’t depend on it for income; I have a good stream from my shopping centers. I would certainly LIKE to see a good income stream as it IS a business, but with less than 90 days into it I can’t expect much. I was probably more excited about my first AdSense click than about any recent real estate deal, so no doubt I am obsessed.

    In my “real” job we have to wait for two to three years to know if we’ve succeeded; here we know within minutes or hours. I love that. My only stress is providing content, that takes more time than I had planned, and like you, D, obsessing with analytics.


  39. i write for so many blogs that it becomes seriously stressful at times to get content up in a timely manner

  40. I find the writing kind of a release so at this stage it’s not stressing me much at all, sure it’s harder to write when its a slow news week but these days they’re quite a rarity..

    At this stage I’m only writing for 3 blogs, maybe if that picks up or my writing becomes more in demand, then I can see that my stress levels might skyrocket!

  41. Stats and making a living from it are my biggest stressers. The actual writing I don’t mind as I tend to just write about whatever brain farts are floating about in my head.

  42. I enjoy the writing as I think that most bloggers do. I am still working on building up relationships, and probably find the marketing and building traffic to be most stressful. I look forward to the day when I have built successful relationships and have a strong readership.


  43. I was with you until number 5: for me its coffee in the morning and diet coke at night. Maybe we need a blog that functions as a 12 step group for caffeine addicts like me, and MANY of you.

    But you are right.

  44. The greatest horror for me is checking the states. I do it every quarter hour. Awful!

  45. The way I see it if you don’t enjoy it you shouldn’t do it.

  46. I don’t generally feel stressed when I’m blogging, I just wish I had a bit more time to spend doing it.
    although having signed up for blog365 I am feeling a bit more pressure to post, at the end of the day though blogging, for me, is about having something to keep my mind active when looking after 2 young kids. It’s a great release from the babytalk, even if I do end up gushing on about them in it… like now…

  47. @ Meg Meyer:

    I clicked on the link provided about the personal experience regarding the negative comments, and it goes to Lea Woodard’s blog. Plus the bio blip you mentiioned, I think it’s safe to say the Lea Woodard, not Darren, freelanced this article.

    Great article, Lea!

  48. Darren, there are many good reasons to limit sugar intake — obesity, tooth decay, empty calories — but I’m not sure immune system depression is one of them.

    Nice try though :-).

  49. Lea, nice article. I can add a few symptoms, but one I’d like to note for chronic stress/anxiety is digestive problems. From personal experience I found that I can have trouble swallowing food and get heartburn more often when my anxiety levels are higher.

    Paul, there’s plenty of evidence on the ‘net to support the fact sugar affects the working of the immune system.

  50. I actually wrote a post about dealing with criticism on my blog


    I find that we all deal with this at one point or another .. as a new blogger, not knowing how to deal with the negative comments can easily discourage someone from remaining true to his voice on his own blog

    in regards to stress.. well I do feel a healthy does of it when I start the stat watching thing
    it takes a moment of refocusing the purpose and the kind of quality I want to put out there to remind me that this is something fun that I chose to do

    I love watching my blog grow- I’m proud of what it’s becoming and it would sadden me if it became something that I’ve come to dread

    these tips are useful – this article was a good read. Thanks!

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