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Thinking of Quitting Blogging? The Tale of One Blogger Who Did (and What Happened Next!)

Posted By Stacey Roberts 3rd of August 2015 General 0 Comments

Thinking of Quitting Blogging? The Tale of One Blogger Who Did (and What Happened Next!) on ProBlogger.netThere has been a definite shift in the blogosphere over the last 12 or so months, and I’ve heard story after story of people who feel a real sense of transition in the air. Blogging can take a toll on the strongest of people, what with its 24-hour cycle, it’s relentless need to be updated, and its ability to totally take over your life if you let it.

What I’ve noticed, though, is how hard it is for people to let go. Either to let go of their blogs completely, or to let go of the parts of blogging that don’t serve them (me included!). It could be fear holding them back, or resistance to change, the motivation is different for all – but I wondered how helpful it would be to hear from people who dealt with all of these feelings very differently.

From someone who straight-up quit, to someone who hung in there, to another who merged blogging with other pursuits, the experiences I’ll be sharing this week have given me hope. I always find it useful to see how others have made huge changes and not only survived, but thrived, and I know you’re going to find some solace in the stories  from Megan Tietz today, Nicole Avery of Planning With Kids Wednesday, and Heather Armstrong from Dooce on Friday.

Megan blogged at Sorta Crunchy for eight years before finally laying it to rest at the beginning of 2015, and setting off for pastures new. If you’ve ever thought of just walking away and starting afresh somewhere else, this one’s for you.

When did you start to realise it might be time to stop blogging?

I happened across a post from my archives a few weeks ago, something I had written in the summer of 2012. That was shortly after my book had been released, and I know now as I read back over it that in my heart, I knew it was time to stop blogging back then. But I had a book to promote and a platform to maintain, so I powered through and kept at it for a few more years.

In the late summer of 2014, I had one of those rare but wonderful epiphany moments where out of the blue, the thought “I’m closing my blog” rolled through my mind, and it felt so incredibly hopeful and liberating, I knew that the time had finally come to be finished.

Were you making an income?

Sort of. I experimented with different income streams including private ads, sponsored campaigns, and affiliate work, but it was only ever enough to pay my blogging bills and have a little extra play money on the side.

Did you know you had a different direction you wanted to go in, or did that come later?

My friend Tsh Oxenreider had been generous in asking me to be a frequent guest on her Art of Simple podcast, and that experience gave me the confidence to being exploring creating my own show. I knew that I was deeply burned out on writing, yet my personality is one that craves connection and community. I’m solidly in my late thirties now and the thought of teaching myself how to work in a new medium was exhilarating and inspiring.

How did you finally make the decision?

I know this sounds a little woo-woo, but I genuinely feel like the decision was made for me. Once I knew it was time to close the blog, I found it excruciatingly difficult to write anything. It was as if after writing easily and frequently since I was in the fifth grade, I had finally used up all of my words. I couldn’t have kept blogging even if I wanted to. The well had run utterly dry.

What were the factors that led you to stop? Were they internal reasons or external?

I would say it was 95% internal and only 5% external. The external reasons include the pressure to create Pinterest-worthy posts, click-inspiring headlines, and content that would perform well on all social media platforms. But as I said above, it was mostly this internal assurance that the time had come to move on and move forward to taking on new projects.

Have you felt/seen/heard evidence that this feeling of discontent is widespread among bloggers?

It’s funny, having been part of the blogging community for over eight years, I’ve certainly seen bloggers far more widely-read and well-known step away from their platforms for a variety of reasons long before I chose to do so myself. Yet I think it’s one of those things when once you’ve tuned into a certain vibe, you start to feel it everywhere you turn. Yes, I think there is a feeling of discontent amongst my peers who are still blogging, but I think that’s the nature of this beast; a beast which on the one hand has done away with the gate-keepers and made a path for creatives to share their work in ways never possible before, but on the other hand, it requires of you the creation of awesome, amazing, share-able content day after day into perpetuity.

Why podcasting?

I have dreams of exploring lots of new mediums in the realm of new media, but I decided to start with podcasting because I am an unrepentant podcast junkie. The more shows I discovered and the more I found myself delighted by what others are creating in this realm, the more I became consumed with the idea of creating my own show. Even just a few months in, this is one of the most exciting, rewarding, and thrilling things I’ve ever done. I’m in love with the process and product, start to finish. My only regret is that I didn’t start sooner!

What advice do you have for people who are thinking of stopping, but are a bit frightened to totally pull the pin?

When you are dating someone seriously and begin to ask, “is this person The One?” you’re often told, “when you know, you know.” I feel it’s the same way with blogging. When it’s time to stop – not just take a break to recover and rediscover your purpose and mission in blogging, but truly stop blogging – you just know. And it is absolutely scary. I spent a few months scribbling in my journal thoughts revolving around the question, “but now what am I going to do?” So take the time to work through the fear and any other negative feelings that surface as a result of such a big decision, but know that everything good and valuable and important that you learned from blogging can be put into practice in a dazzling number of ways outside of this medium.

What’s life like on the other side?

Liberating. People often ask me if I miss blogging, and I can genuinely say that I don’t! I think that’s because I didn’t take my own advice and pushed myself to keep blogging long after it was time for me to be done. I didn’t realize how much mental real estate blogging was taking up in my mind, but now that that chapter is over, I feel so much more free. There’s a wonderful lightness that comes with following your intuition, no matter how scary the path is that it leads you down. It’s a newfound freedom that I am enjoying immensely.

Do you feel a bit like quitting? Like there’s something else on the horizon you’d like to explore, but you can’t just walk away? Let’s chat in the comments, cos I feel like that too…

Stacey is the Managing Editor of ProBlogger.net: a writer, blogger, and full-time word nerd balancing it all with being a stay-at-home mum. She writes about all this and more at Veggie Mama. Chat with her on Twitter @veggie_mama or be entertained on Facebook.

About Stacey Roberts
Stacey Roberts is the Managing Editor of ProBlogger.net: a writer, blogger, and full-time word nerd balancing it all with being a stay-at-home mum. She writes about all this and more at Veggie Mama. Chat with her on Twitter @veggie_mama, follow on Pinterest for fun and useful tips, peek behind the curtain on Instagramand Snapchat, listen to her 90s pop culture podcast, or be entertained on Facebook.
  1. What interests me about this story is how Megan doesn’t give up on publishing content online altogether, she just switched mediums. A good lesson here is that if you are feeling sick of what you’re doing, to simply mix things up a bit and see what happens!

  2. I’ve thought about quitting lots of times, and I was always pulled back into it immediately, by a note / comment / conversation from someone who thanked me for something I wrote.

    But starting this week, I’m taking an extended break . . . at least until the end of the year. A little scary, since blogging has been a great outlet and tool for communication for what we are doing. But I want to do some other things, and need to free up some time.

    We’ll see how it goes!

  3. Loved to read this interview. I like the “when you know, you know approach.” I have no feelings of wanting to quit blogging but I have felt that way with other projects.

    Love Megan’s new podcast. It is one of the best!

    • I wish I could say the same! I’ve thought about quitting plenty of times! And I totally agree about the podcast, it’s so interesting!

  4. Good interview!

    It’s funny how you already thought about quitting in 2012, but only chose to close it in 2014. But i imagine it was the best strategic move at the time. It’s brave that you took the leap. If you feel like a slave to your blog, it’s definitely time to let go.

    Letting go can be very freeing, generally in life. It’s funny. I just finished reading Ryan’s Kindle Book called “Why Trashing 3400 Blog Post Was My Greatest Blogging Success”. He let go his old blog, because it wasn’t targeted enough – and didn’t serve him anymore.

    However, these days you don’t really HAVE to blog anymore. You can do podcasting, youtube video’s, periscope, whatever floats your boat. It’s crazy how far podcasting has come. When Pat Flynn started his show, his friends told him it wasn’t a smart move. It turned out to be his best decision ever.

    Podcasts never had my full interest, until i installed an app on my phone called “Podcast Addict” a month ago. Now i AM an addict!

    I find it perfect for traveling, the gym or doing other things where reading isn’t possible :-)

    I wish you the best of luck!

    – Jasper

    • *runs off to check Podcast Addict*

    • Great article… I’m just getting started, but after a year+ of building the site (and all the learning curves involved~ software ain’t my thing) I’m just getting started with the writing and social media. Feels like a lot of plates to keep spinning, already.
      Jasper, those are some great ideas for alternatives. Thank you.

  5. I can totally relate to Stacey. From 2009 to 2014, I was blogging on the startup niche with a fairly successful blog that was making me a few thousand dollars a month. In 2014, I sold the blog. One of the reasons was that I was moving away from the start-up niche. And I was running an event business that kept me occupied. I didn’t miss the blogging space, but a year later, that is now, I realise I have so much expertise that I need to get back. There’s something about taking a break, and then re-analysing, and starting fresh with a new perspective. I’m already getting far more results in one month than I ever did. Sometimes, a break helps. I just love expressing my emotions on a daily basis. A blog is a perfect platform for that. Should you quit, everything has an end. Anybody who’s started a business will tell you that the exit is far more important than the entry. Just be honest with yourself.

  6. Hello, Stacey

    First of all thanks for your great post.

    In 2012 when i quitting from my first blog, i was unaware about that taking backup is most important specially for WordPress blog. I lost my all contents when i updated my WordPress site, that i have been written since 2011.
    I lost my all of efforts, also that time i choose a wrong niche that not suit with me. Finally i quit from blogging, after 2 years in 2014 again i started my new blog and it’s made me a good blogging gamer.

  7. looking forward to this series. I have thought about quitting a fair few times over the last 4 years. Usually a break revives me. Changing gears completely with new name and a business and cutting down to twice a week means I will be comfy for a long while now. I think it is so important to keep deciding for yourself what is right. Sometimes people burn out because they think they have to blog Monday-Friday or a set schedule indefinitely. I have done everything from 2-6 days a week, started and quit link ups, rebranded etc. if your blog is a burden I think it is possible to shake things up and try something different on your site. If nothing floats your boat then definitely shutting down sounds right. Love how Megan has pivoted to podcasting.

  8. I have started and closed three blogs over my 5 years as a blogger!

    Now I blog for fun on my own blog, it’s not commercial so I don’t have much pressure at all to write and I work as a Free Lance Writer/ Blogger for other companies.

    There are no mistakes, there is no wrong, everything you have done has taught you something and brought you to this point.
    If I didn’t take so many chances, I wouldn’t have learnt as much as I have learnt and met all of the people I have met and now have my dream job.

    It’s all learning, its all experience.

    I agree when it’s time to close your blog down you just know. I felt it was right to shut it down but put it on private for a while until I was sure (well until I got the note saying I had to pay to renew my domain and then I knew for sure that I really did want to shut it down for good).

    Running your own business really makes you appreciate having a job. It’s so easy!!! You don’t have to worry about sales or invoicing or chasing people for money – you do your job and you get paid – so awesome!!!

  9. I felt like that a couple of years ago, after working feverishly to “make it” in the blogosphere. But as thousands of new blogs kept popping up, I realised that I couldn’t compete with the energy and determination and resources that these new bloggers had. So, rather than stop blogging altogether, I rebranded, moved to a new domain and now blog simply for me. It’s therapy, not a commercial enterprise. I also have a blog on my business website, but that’s a different kettle of fish altogether.

  10. Great post!
    An important point that Megan makes is “everything good and valuable and important that you learned from blogging can be put into practice in a dazzling number of ways outside of this medium”

  11. I’m thinking about quitting blogging too, or at least scaling back how often I publish posts. I agree that it does take a lot of mental real estate and that it can take over your life if you’re not careful. I know why I want to blog, but if – even after applying as many of the tips you learn about effective blogging as best as you can – you still can’t get your audience to engage, well… it kinda gets tiring. It’s like talking to a wall. Pointless. I’m thinking it over.

    Thank you for this post. I appreciate it.

  12. I m in middle of my decision, or may be this is just a break for me.
    If you are unsure about anything then lay back and give yourself time until you go for a right decision. Analyzing your decision is must incase of carrier options along with listening to your heart.

  13. Thanks for the encouragement! I haven’t tried, but maybe I need to look into that!

  14. I’ve been blogging for 8 years this November; more than once I’ve considered throwing in the towel. It’s frustrating to feel like your forcing your content, that no one is reading or commenting, and that the whole thing doesn’t really matter. I go back and forth between feeling like I need to do a better job of stewarding my content {the high-end quality and deep pieces} and just blogging for me….I still don’t know the answer.

  15. This was a wonderful post to stumble upon! I’m currently at the other end of the spectrum – just starting my blog. However I have been a graphic designer for years and starting my blog was a way to switch creative outlets. I love that instead of giving up a creative outlet all together, it went from blogging to podcasts. It’s nice to know that people are able to make switches like this work. For some reason it makes starting up a bit less daunting – things will work out if you put effort in, even if the path changes.

  16. Laura says: 08/04/2015 at 2:26 pm

    I quit blogging when I saw the pattern of my posts becoming a complaint blog. I would mostly feel compelled to blog about things that caused me angst in the world. While I felt I my writing was entertaining because it was sarcastic and funny, it had an overall negative edge to it. I started to think that there are enough “haters” out there, and I didn’t want to be one of them, so I stopped. I just can’t find good sarcasm and humor in the positive. I did love blogging, so podcasts might an alternative. Negativity can be lightened so it doesn’t seem so harsh as it might in the written word, and of course humor and sarcasm would come across well in audio.

  17. This has really inspired me.

  18. Nope, not thinking of quitting–AT ALL. I’ve always seen my blog as a portfolio of my work and vehicle for connecting/interacting with those who buy my cookbooks. Maybe because I’ve never yearned for it to be a means to a book contract, or to make money, or to get famous, I don’t feel stressed. I’ve also been interested in honing my photography skills and blog posts are a great way to show off my improved pics and get feedback on topics I’m working on. I have made the decision to only put up a new post about three times a month–that seems to be enough for readers and doable for me.

  19. Interesting interview and fascinating comments. I’ve been blogging for five and a half years and haven’t had any thoughts of quitting. My wife encouraged me to blog because of my interest in personal essay and poetry and because of my quick comebacks when watching the evening news. My own blog is primarily personal essay, social/political commentary and poetry. For me it has served as a motivation and an impetus to write. In recent weeks I have been involved in a project on my blog in which I write a poem each week in response to paintings by master artists. Having a weekly deadline for poetry has helped me to be more connected with the creative process. My essays have also led to being invited to write for AMERICAblog which has far more national exposure and is helping me to hone my social commentary style of essays.

    For now, my blog is serving as both a creative outlet and an energizing connection for the creative process.

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