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Why Stress Can Kill Your Success Or Help Your Blog Succeed Wildly

Posted By Darren Rowse 14th of November 2009 Miscellaneous Blog Tips 0 Comments

Today’s post by Rob McPhillips of Stress Management and Beyond.

If you knew that your blog was vulnerable to hacking or some similar security breach, would you take the time to secure it?

I ask, because I want to warn you about a greater, yet almost unknown threat to your blog’s growth and success.

That threat is stress and as today is National Stress Awareness day in the U.K, I would like to share with you why I believe how you respond to stress is perhaps the most critical factor in determining the future success of your blog.

We’re all gathered here because we share a common goal. To grow our blogs to be more successful. And what’s at the core of a successful blog, is a Blogger that has developed a high level of skills at;

  • Traffic generation
  • Community building
  • Writing attention getting posts
  • And the other tasks involved in a popular blog

Put more bluntly, a Blogger with 100 Readers and averaging 3 comments a week is at an entirely different level of skill and capacity than one with 1 million Readers and 3,000 comments a week. The difference isn’t just luck. If you have the skills and capacity of a successful blogger than success is only a matter of time.


However, in the case of most of us, success is a journey of mastering these skills. That doesn’t mean we are less worthy, less capable or have any less potential, only that we need to develop new skills that we haven’t yet developed. Isn’t this why we read Problogger?

And as any journey involves uncertainty, risks and hazards, so too does our journey to success. In order to grow our blog, we have to grow our skills to a higher level. In the course of this, it is natural that you will experience stress because you are stretching beyond your comfort zone and developing new or refining existing skills.

In fact if you don’t experience stress on a regular basis, then you either don’t care enough about what you are doing or you aren’t coming close to your potential.

Re-framing Stress

Let me give you a new way of looking at stress, that will be more useful in aiding your evolution as a Blogger.

rapidsStress is like the river between two lands. On one side is your current situation. On the other, is the end result that you dream of. If you refuse the risk of getting to the other side, success will forever evade you and you will have to resign yourself to this being as good as it gets. But if you are successful in your attempts, you get to live your dream.

Therefore the key to your success (and that of your blog) is going to be entirely determined by how you respond to stressful challenges.

Every stressful situation is actually an indicator of where you need to upgrade your skills in order to be more successful. You only feel stress because the road to your goal is blocked. And when you are capable of overcoming the block, the stress will dissolve. And you are closer to reaching your goal.

Let me try to make this clearer with some concrete examples. Say your stress seems to be about dealing with negative comments or wondering if your next post will be popular.

Sometimes negative comments or unpopular posts are helpful because they guide us back when we get off-course.

Mostly though, negative comments are just someone who isn’t really our audience reading or someone misunderstanding. Equally unpopular posts are often those too simple or too complicated for our Reader’s level of understanding so that they don’t see the relevance in it.

These only really bother us, when they hit upon something we doubt in ourselves.

What it’s really about is gaining the clarity to know what your purpose is and who the right audience is for you. When you gain conviction and clarity in what you believe and what you are doing, it is like standing a flag in the ground and so the Reader’s that are right for you will gather around it.

If instead, you are all the time only seeking praise and approval from everyone, then there is nothing solid, consistent or certain about your blog and so ultimately it will never gather a sizeable core of die hard fans. Only drive by Readers who scan a post and never look back.

Or maybe, most of your stress comes from having too much to do and too little time to do it in.

In this case, your success depends upon you resolving this conflict. Which ultimately means identifying the critical core tasks, finding more efficient ways to get them done and being capable of doing all that needs to be done.

The Mistake Most People Make In Dealing With Stress

Typically people see stress as an irritation that interrupts them. And so almost all stress management materials are focused on stress relief. Go for a walk, exercise, breathe deeply etc. These are all tactical ways to deal with stress. Which is perfect if you are stuck in the swampland of stress and need to get some perspective. But tactical stress management, in itself will never lead to growth and development.

What if your stress is caused by the problem above, of too much to do and too little time to do it in. Well feeling stressed about it, is only going to make things worse and so you’ll end up running around like a headless chicken and getting nowhere.

Relieving the feeling of stress will be helpful, as it can enable you to look at the situation more clearly.

But the only way of resolving the situation, once and for all, and so growing your blog, is by getting clearer about what should be done and becoming more productive.

So as a Blogger looking to evolve you are really needing to develop your skills at strategic stress management.

What Is Strategic Stress Management?

Say you are struggling for ideas to write original posts. Tactical stress management would try to dull the pain or ease your emotional discomfort about the situation.

Yet the fact that you have a problem bothering you, indicates a deeper problem that it is critical to your success. So changing the way you feel is only part of the problem.

Strategic stress management focuses on identifying what caused the problem and why. In addressing the root core of the problem, you not only overcome the emotional discomfort, but you become a stronger and more evolved person. Which in the case of your blogging leads to a more successful blog.

How can you use this new perspective on stress to grow your blog?

We are as successful as our limits allow us to be. And so as we remove our limitations, we become more successful. Stress is an early warning indicator of a problem, or problems, that will limit you, or your blog, from growing.

  1. So take a few minutes to think of the most stressful issue in your life.
  2. Then you need to separate your feelings from the issue. It is getting stuck in strong negative emotions that pulls us into the grip of stress, from where we can see no resolution, which is why many people get great results from coaching and consulting that they cannot achieve alone.
  3. Now try to identify and analyze what limitation is causing the issue.
  4. Solve that limitation and your potential for success is much greater.
  5. Repeat for continual growth.
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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. wow. the steps help me a lot. thanks!

  2. Even not in blogging, stress can be harmful. It’s a matter of how you handle it or how you overcome the stress.By the way thanks Rob for sharing how to manage stress

  3. I find stress comes from not being organized and prepared and from over-obligating myself. That’s why I have my own daily/weekly success ritual that prevents me from doing too much. For example, I don’t attend more than two evening events per week and during the weekend I always plan on one day when I can do whatever I want without obligation. I also include meditation daily.

    Unlike Jaime above, I did take up drinking – one glass of wine now and then to destress and relax.

  4. Rob,

    Great post and a refreshing look at stress. This post is an encouragement to me and turns stress into a goal to make things better.

    I thrive on stress, but it has to be the right kind. If my jib takes me into mundane work, I get discouraged easy, so I have to challenge myself at work, on my blogs and at home.

    On the other hand I’ve fought with the strong desire to do everything right. Then if I am not sure I can do “it” right the first time, I many times won’t start “it”. Then that causes frustration and anxiety which leads to stress.

    Recently I’ve looked at my life and decided to drop some things of no value and concentrate on other things which provide results and hit goals along with managing my family time.

    I printed the post off and will read it a number of times so it all sinks in.


  5. “Every stressful situation is actually an indicator of where you need to upgrade your skills in order to be more successful.”

    Great take on stress! This is a powerful statement! Channeling stress more productively is key to success.

  6. Really very nice post. We blogger should not have to work in stress, we should have cool, our mind before we start our work. Otherwise we can not concentrate in our work.

  7. Actually im also stress with blog when i have no idea what to do with my blog

  8. Wah… Stress la! I often face stress both in business and home. Business not making money and mother isn’t really happy that i am going to quit my military job.

    And when mother isn’t happy, she nagged…
    Stress and pressure are filled to the max man…

    Haiz… Like try what you suggest la ar…

  9. i mean will try what you suggest. :P sorry about the typo

  10. I like it, more of a personal development touch than most of the articles here. You make a good point that I think will help me – I don’t need to avoid stress, I need to step back from it and tackle the issue.

    I have to admit that I often prefer to avoid stress – a condition called being “lazy” :)


  11. There are many factors that contributes to stress. One example is when I became lazy for a while and forgot to continue what I suppose to do and wake up someday that I’m going nowhere, then I panic when I see other newbie bloggers way ahead of me. That really is a stress!

  12. @Technology Absolutely

    @Battery Good point. The more competitive business becomes, the more pressure life brings.

    @Christine Loved that post.

    @Matthew Very true. I think the excuses correlate to the first step of denial in the stages of grief.

    @Pat One of the big things that keep us stuck is feeling that we are the only one and everyone is coping perfectly. We all get stuck. I think computers especially interfere with our ability to think clearly.

    @Blogger and @free You’re welcome.

    @Suzanne Sounds like a good plan for you.

  13. @Jim I think you’ve hit on the key to growth, personally and in business, to refine what you do as you have by dropping low value activities and replacing it with things that are more valuable for you.

    @Denny Everything in life has some value. The more things you can use to your advantage, the more powerful you will become.

    @work Clarity is king.

    @moon Everything starts with vision. If you don’t have clear sight of your vision, the most effective task will be to develop it.

    @Manferd Good luck. When you are absolutely certain what the right thing is for you to do, other people’s opinions will hold much less sway over you.

    @Andrew I think we all like to back off from things that frighten us. The first few steps can be a drag, but once you actually focus on the task you can get into the ‘flow’ state.

    @Filipino It isn’t so much a race as a development of your personal vision.

  14. Stress can kill your blog if you react on it negatively and will affect your blogging routine, if you learn how to overcome stress and take it as a challenge then i guess it will help you to be more productive on your blog ;-)

  15. Really amazing tips!

    Most people think of stress as a purely negative thing. However, stress is a great thing – just like with anything else, too much of it is only when it becomes bad.

    Stress boosts my ability to do more things efficiently! i know its weird but it works!

    Thanks for the helpful post.

  16. Stress is just an emotion. Emotions tells us things. We have to recognize emotions for what they are and nothing else. However, most of us are not skilled at reading our emotions.

    It is definitely one area where we all need more eduction to help us clarify the mysticism behind emotions. Stress only tells us that we are experiencing something new and something we are not used to; something that is making us uncomfortable.

    We can either take that emotion and just run with or try to avoid it. The best thing we can do is to try and understand why we are experiencing and realize what it is telling us so we can learn from it.

    Otherwise, we just start the game of running of seeking emotions that give us pleasure and avoid emotions that cause pain.


  17. I get stressed very easily, in fact I have to take lots of medication to stop my bouts of depression. It does effect my blogs but I have days when I want to write a million articles, these surplus articles are used when I’m feeling streesed.

  18. hmm.. start wasn’t that good i guess… didn’t read it sorry… stress maybe

  19. I know these obstacles,I’ve been sandboxed at least two times in two different websites and I left the sandbox in both cases, to give you an example.

    Blogging is something that in the beggining you are asked for the amount of money you earn, but what you have are lots of problems.

  20. I wanted to post comment to article “Did you open your blog for paasion or money”, bur the comment field isn’t available, so I post here. I opened all my sites, and my blog for the passion of money, yeahh.

  21. The sad thing is that almost everyone’s life is filled with stress nowadays. However, it is possible to manage stress and achieve success by planning in advance and setting targets. Since the new year is round the corner, it would be very beneficial to make take some resolutions and setting targets.

    All the best.

  22. Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.

  23. There are many factors that contributes to stress. One example is when I became lazy for a while and forgot to continue what I suppose to do and wake up someday that I’m going nowhere, then I panic when I see other newbie bloggers way ahead of me. That really is a stress!

  24. I enjoy reading your posts and articles and point it out to my readers. Just want to say congratulations, well done and a big thanks for the tips!

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