How to overcome self-doubt and grow your blog

overcome self-doubt and grow your blog

With the time and effort that goes into maintaining a blog, there’s no wonder that we constantly question if we’re doing it right, how we can do it better and why we’re not as successful as blogger X. From how many followers we have on social media, to leader board rankings and Domain Authority scores, our ‘success’ is constantly being measured and it’s impossible not to compare ourselves to others or question why we even bother.how-to-overcome-self-doubt-and-grow-your-blog

I admit that I’ve had a few instances over my two years of blogging when I’ve been obsessed with my blog traffic. And other times when I’ve become a little disillusioned with blogging entirely. It’s true that there’s always something to improve upon, but I feel like I’m at a place now where I’m content with my achievements so far and I’ve accepted that without so much to do, it wouldn’t be half as much fun!

So here’s ten sure-fire ways to help you to gain some perspective when you’re feeling ‘meh’, kick that bloggers’ doubt into touch and grow your blog.

 

1. Celebrate your achievements

As a blogger you find that you’re constantly moving the goal posts. What starts out as a goal for 500 Twitter followers, quickly shifts to 5,000 and whilst once upon a time you’d have been elated with 100 page views a day, all of a sudden that’s not good enough. You aim to get featured in the Huff Post, you want to monetise your blog, you’d love to win that award

If you’re looking to build your brand and monetise your blog then you most definitely need to have goals. But it’s important to celebrate all of those amazing achievements along the way and remember where you started – from nothing. So before you create your next list of ‘monthly goals’ write down everything that you’ve achieved and give yourself a big pat on the back.

2. Just keep writing

I’ve certainly found that the more I write, the more ideas I get and the more focused I become. Throughout the first year of this blog I would only post once or twice a week. I really didn’t have any idea where it was going and just posted because I enjoyed writing and hoped that my friends and family would enjoy reading it. Once I ‘got serious’ about blogging I started to post a lot more often and good things started to come my way – more brands wanted to work with me, my page views grew, social media followers increased organically and I was also able to hone my own style and tone of writing. Just keep writing and good things will happen…

3. …But only write when you feel like it

If you’re going to post often, a post schedule will definitely help you to stay organised. But how rigid you have your schedule is up to you. I’ve tried on a number of occasions to use the Editorial Calendar WordPress plugin, but it just doesn’t work for me. I find it difficult to sit down and write a ‘set post’ for that day – my head isn’t always in ‘that space’ and the words don’t come. On the other hand,  some of my most popular posts have been thrashed out in under an hour with no pre-planning whatsoever – the idea just came and the words flowed.

I like to have a list of post ideas to choose from in any given week, and then I write them up in any order that suits me (aside from any sponsored content with set deadlines.) If a post idea comes to me that I’m itching to write, I will scribble out a rough version in my notepad there and then. Find a balance that works for you and don’t put too much pressure on yourself to post every day if you really don’t feel like it – it will be evident in your writing if your heart’s not in it. Which brings me on to…

4. Be true to yourself

If you’re going to build a confident brand online, you need to find your own voice. Every day you will read a post written by another blogger that you wish you’d written myself. Finding inspiration from other bloggers is a must, but make sure that you don’t try to ‘be’ them. Realise that you have something special in your own viewpoint and tone of voice and stick to it in every single post that you write. If you try to be someone else, or write about topics that aren’t really of interest to you, it will be obvious to your readers. Find what you’re passionate about and stay true to your beliefs. Not only will others enjoy reading your posts, but you’ll also enjoy writing those honest posts so much more.

overcome self-doubt and grow your blog

5. Don’t sell yourself short

When you first start to get contacted by brands it’s really exciting and you will probably jump at the chance to review any product for free. And in the beginning, that’s exactly what you should do since it’s the only way that other brands are going to see you’re good to work with. But as you start to get more opportunities come your way, it’s important to know your worth.

Don’t forget that the time you spend writing those posts is taking up your personal time – and you need to be paid a fair price for that. If you accept every collaborative opportunity that comes your way for little money or low-value products, you will soon find yourself feeling like a sell out. You’ll forget what your blog stood for in the first place and the financial rewards won’t even seem worth it. I’m definitely an advocate of working with brands and think bloggers should never feel guilty about earning an income in return for all of the hard work that goes into maintaining a blog. But make sure that you call the shots – negotiate a fair price and only accept content that is relevant to your blog.

6. Be active in the blogging community

One of my favourite things that has come out of blogging is gaining a sense of community. If you only blog in your own little online space, you’re never going to get that sense of achievement or the feedback you need to feel like you’re on the right track (aside from the odd comment from your mum perhaps). Join in with linkys, engage on social media and set about finding your own tribe. If you engage with other bloggers’ posts, they will start to engage with yours. I find that the blogging community are like my ‘virtual work colleagues’ – people to bounce off, learn from and gain encouragement from.

7. Set realistic goals

There’s no point in setting yourself over-ambitious goals that you’ll struggle to achieve. Not only will you feel like a constant failure, but you’ll also stress yourself out and lose the enjoyment of blogging. If you want to grow your blog it’s a great idea to have long term goals of the ‘big picture’ (where you want to be at the end of the year, where you see your blog in two years’ time…), but try and stick to measurable monthly goals that are within your reach. Do push yourself a little harder, but realise that you aren’t going to become a blogging sensation overnight.

8. Stay focused

There’s so much more to blogging than simply publishing posts and at times it can get a little overwhelming. As bloggers we want to be good at everything! From photography, to social media, to SEO and vlogging there’s just so much to learn and we want to do it all – RIGHT NOW. But we also run the risk of not doing anything that well when we try and do everything at once. Instead, focus on one or two goals that you want to achieve right now and set about making them happen.

how to stay focused

9. Realise that not everyone will love your blog (and that’s okay)

When publishing your thoughts to the world, it can be all too easy to become a bit of a people pleaser and try to appeal to everyone. It can also be tempting to fall into the trap of providing content that you think other people want to read, even if it’s not necessarily what you want to write about. The sooner that you realise you can’t please everyone all of the time, the better. Accept that for every person who doesn’t ‘get you’, there’s someone else who will.

10. Believe in yourself

Never think that you’re not good enough. You will always think that other blogs are better than yours, cooler than yours, funnier than yours. But as long as you stay true to yourself and keep your readers in mind, people will relate to you, and your blog will grow. When I first put myself forward for the Britmums Brilliance in Blogging Awards earlier this year, I never in a million years thought I had a chance of winning. In fact, I wasn’t even planning to nominate myself and wouldn’t have done if it wasn’t for the encouraging words of some of my lovely blogging pals. Guess what? I won! People ‘got me’…If you don’t believe in yourself, nobody else is going to do it for you.

Do you plan to grow your blog? Are you often plagued with self-doubt?

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40 Comment

  1. Grumpy Mum
    November 9, 2016 at 7:43 am

    Fantastic article, really encouraging for a new blogger 🙂

    1. Natalie Mudd
      November 10, 2016 at 11:39 am

      Thanks – glad you found it helpful x

  2. Mess and Merlot
    November 10, 2016 at 12:29 pm

    Hi Natalie. This post title really grabbed me on the linky, I’m not overly stressed about my blog (been there, dealt with that, for now anyway) but at the back of my mind there’s always a niggling feeling of self-doubt where blogging is concerned. These points really make sense, I’ll bookmark to read again- they’re like a little pep talk, just what I needed thanks. #coolmumclub
    Mess and Merlot recently posted…OKIDO Subscription GIVEAWAYMy Profile

  3. The Tale of Mummyhood
    November 10, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    I really enjoyed reading this. Entering the blogging world is amazing and daunting at the same time, reading this certainly puts things into perspective.

    #coolmumclub
    The Tale of Mummyhood recently posted…Nim’s Fruit & Vegetable Crisps ReviewMy Profile

  4. Lucy At Home
    November 10, 2016 at 4:59 pm

    This is great. So encouraging. I’ve been blogging 6mths and I always appreciate advice from more established bloggers. I’m like you in that I have a scrapbook full of post ideas with bullet points and thoughts attached. Then when I sit down to write, I choose one to work on and generate posts that way. #CoolMumClub
    Lucy At Home recently posted…That Awkward Moment When… the parents’ editionMy Profile

  5. MMT
    November 10, 2016 at 8:37 pm

    All incredibly useful advice – as bloggers we ALL go through those phases where we get a bit lost… 4 & 5 particularly resonated – I was chatting to the hubby last night about declining some fairly lucrative collabs because they didn’t fit with my vision for the blog. (We disagreed on my approach!) I think it’s incredibly important to retain your authenticity and voice, because if you lose that, what do you really have to offer…
    Thanks for linking up with #coolmumclub
    MMT recently posted…#coolmumclub Linky week 44My Profile

  6. Mrsmummyharris86
    November 10, 2016 at 9:48 pm

    You make very valid points here. I’m about to hit my 750 Instagram followers which is amazing considering two months ago I had about 80! Every small milestone should be celebrated and continue to move goalposts to achieve what your end goal is. I personally want to make blogging a living but I’m under no illusion of how much work and time it will take until it finally happens. I think keeping that in mind can help with the blogger achieve what success is to them. #coolmumclub

  7. Natalie Williams
    November 12, 2016 at 6:36 am

    Brilliant post, as a newbie blogger I found this advice very useful. 😊

  8. Helena
    November 14, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    Love this post and I’ve bookmarked the others to read later. #coolmumclub
    Helena recently posted…Word of the Week: BeginningMy Profile

    1. Natalie Mudd
      November 18, 2016 at 3:00 pm

      Thanks so much! x

  9. […] How to overcome bloggers doubt & grow your blog – what it says on the tin. A must read for all bloggers! […]

  10. kristin mccarthy
    November 17, 2016 at 11:35 am

    awesome positive post!

  11. Rhyming with Wine
    November 17, 2016 at 2:09 pm

    I really needed this post right now. The blogging community is so overwhelming positive and supportive, but the number of plates to spin can leave me feeling a bit like I’m drowning at times. I often stop and think – “Why am I doing this?” and “Does anyone actually give a toot?” but then I know that I’d actually be a bit lost now without the brilliant people that I have “met” and come to know through sharing our blogs. It’s an addiction – but having some great advice and tips really helps to keep things on track. Thanks for sharing x #coolmumclub

    1. Natalie Mudd
      November 18, 2016 at 2:55 pm

      I too often think ‘why am I doing this?’ and then I realise that I am totally addicted and love it really! Unfortunately just writing is never enough and we do need to feel like we’re doing it right with the stats and rankings to back it up – human nature I guess! Glad it helped xx

  12. Cathy Lawdanski
    November 17, 2016 at 7:53 pm

    Hi Natalie! This is my first time to read your blog. Great reminders. I’m coming up on 1 year as a blogger on Dec. 1. I totally agree with staying focused and concentrating on one or two things at a time. I used to try to excel at ALL Social Media and just burned myself out. For now I am really working on FB & Pinterest b/c that is where my audience is. Look forward to getting to know you!

    1. Natalie Mudd
      November 18, 2016 at 2:52 pm

      It is so hard when you feel that there’s so much you need to be on top of. I switch and change my focus from month to month, but should really concentrate on the social channels that actually drive traffic to my blog, which I don’t really do now. Glad you found it a helpful read and I look forward to getting to know you too! x

  13. Now I am mum
    November 18, 2016 at 1:30 am

    Great topic for a post and just the encouragement I need as a proper newbie… although my goals are super tiny at this stage!

    1. Natalie Mudd
      November 18, 2016 at 2:44 pm

      Small short-term goals are definitely the way forward, if you keep at it you’ll definitely reach them x

  14. ShinnersandtheBrood
    November 18, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    ‘For every person who doesn’t ‘get you’, there’s someone else who will.’ Love this. I’m new and self-doubt is my middle name at the moment! Thanks for this. Inspiring and practical. #coolmumclub
    ShinnersandtheBrood recently posted…Hey You! You’re Doing a Great Job!My Profile

    1. Natalie Mudd
      November 18, 2016 at 2:44 pm

      The longer you blog for the more your confidence will grow – good luck! x

  15. Jodie, Matched Betting Mum
    November 19, 2016 at 8:05 am

    I’m a very new blogger taking only baby steps at the moment so reading posts like these are very inspiring. At the moment, I’m finding it lovely just to have a bit of a creative outlet. I’m starting to venture out and introduce myself to blogging land. Baby steps for me right now though as juggling my time is proving so tough! It’s scary too but I like that, I’m loving challenging myself with something completely new and out of my comfort zone. #TheListLinky
    Jodie, Matched Betting Mum recently posted…Monthly Matched Betting Diary…5 months onMy Profile

  16. Madeline (This Glorious Life)
    November 19, 2016 at 4:09 pm

    I really have made a point of celebrating all the little milestones my blog has hit! I think it’s so important to acknowledge all the work we put in to our blogs, and to be proud of them. I do need to start setting myself some goals though I think, so I know where I’m going with my blog! x #TheList
    Madeline (This Glorious Life) recently posted…Christmas gift guide – unique ideas for everyone on your list.My Profile

  17. Fiona Cambouropoulos
    November 19, 2016 at 11:14 pm

    What a fab post, everything you say is so spot on. I try to work a week ahead on posts so that if I have a couple of days when I just don’t feel like writing that’s fine, I don’t have to. #KCACOLS
    Fiona Cambouropoulos recently posted…Country Kids 19th November 2016My Profile

  18. Mummy TamTam
    November 19, 2016 at 11:41 pm

    Great post and so inspiring for new bloggers! I created my blog 2 months ago and it’s true that sometimes I have doubts if it is good enough… But you are right, we must be true to ourselves, it is the most important #KCACOLS

  19. Natasha Mairs
    November 20, 2016 at 10:36 am

    some really great tips here. I love to track my goals, but just for myself, no one else. #KCACOLS
    Natasha Mairs recently posted…Kids Christmas Gift Guide 2016My Profile

  20. Lucy's Locket
    November 20, 2016 at 11:28 am

    Some great tips, thank you. I’ve only been blogging for a few months but I agree with you about the community. 85/ fantastic and so supportive. #KCACOLS
    Lucy’s Locket recently posted…#My5Faves in the NurseryMy Profile

  21. Laura Delaney
    November 20, 2016 at 1:48 pm

    Fantastic post and very very helpful! I haven’t been blogging for very long but I have found myself obsessing over my traffic. Thankfully in the past few weeks I’ve been focusing on things much are more important. Thanks for sharing this. Xx #KCACOLS
    Laura Delaney recently posted…Gender Disappointment In Pregnancy – The Harsh TruthMy Profile

  22. Angela Watling
    November 20, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    Some great tips! I’m still nowhere near the daily page reads you mention – I can’t ever imagine hitting triple digits on a single day. But I’m just taking it all as it comes and I love your tip of staying true to yourself. It’s easy to be lured into a certain style or something in order to gain followers. To do that would be short-sighted though so I will continue doing what I’m doing and if people like it then they’ll read! Thanks for sharing your experience x #KCACOLS
    Angela Watling recently posted…30 Days Blogging – Day 10: my top 5 pet peevesMy Profile

  23. becca farrelly
    November 20, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    A great post as I have started to worry about beginning to monetise and start to charge for posts on my blog. I have no idea what my writing is ‘worth’ and means that I’m still taking on products to review that aren’t always worth my time however I will add, I only take on things I like and genuinely want to! Its difficult to make that move but your spot on when you say to write for you and when you want to. I’m the same, I sit and write posts when they come to me, not when they are scheduled as I cant write like that! 🙂

    #KCACOLS

  24. Nikki Frank-Hamilton
    November 20, 2016 at 5:05 pm

    Natalie, these are great tips, we all need to plan a little more, think about where we are going, but live in the moment. Setting large goals and breaking them down into smaller pieces is a brilliant game plan. It’s so easy to get discouraged, but keep on going. Getting out of our own way and finding our voice and our following is hard, but the only way to do this is to put in the time. Once you find that spot it’s sweet, isn’t it?

  25. Jo Sandelson
    November 20, 2016 at 6:06 pm

    Thanks for the reminders. It’s easy to get caught up in what you’re not doing and forget your own achievements so this is a great one to bookmark for one of those blue days. Jo x #KCACOLS
    Jo Sandelson recently posted…YOU’RE FIRED!My Profile

  26. Katy - Hot Pink Wellingtons
    November 20, 2016 at 7:12 pm

    I think number 9 is so important to remember – it’s just not possible for everyone to like you, so the best thing you can do is to write about what you want rather than trying to please other people, and to try to find your own voice. It’s so easy to find yourself comparing yourself to other bloggers and their successes, but they’re on a different journey and you need to find your own path. All great advice here, and a really good reminder, as I’ve been a bit down on my blogging lately. #KCACOLS

  27. Jeremy Barnes
    November 21, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    I think we all go through this. The last few months my numbers have been a bit down and it’s easy to get discouraged. I’ve purposefully stayed away from any kind of ranking system because I’m afraid I’d get too cought up in it #KCACOLS
    Jeremy Barnes recently posted…The Dog Ate Our HomeworkMy Profile

  28. Alana -Burnished Chaos
    November 21, 2016 at 9:40 pm

    I’m only four months into my blogging journey so this is really great advice for me right now x
    #KCACOLS

  29. Kayla Arnold
    November 22, 2016 at 9:57 am

    Very good post! I’ve only been blogging for just over a year so this is wonderful advice. #KCACOLS

  30. Monika
    November 23, 2016 at 2:56 pm

    Very concise and inspiring – thank you. As a new blogger and a hater of self-promotion I start to discover my place in the blogging world and I know there is still a long road ahead of me #TheLinkLinky

  31. Postcard from Gibraltar
    November 23, 2016 at 3:21 pm

    Thank you for this post – I’m 18 months into my blogging adventure and yes, I have plenty of doubts. Will anyone read it? Will they enjoy it? Will they visit again? I’ve had a few very successful posts and funnily enough they were written off the cuff when the moment took me. But mostly my traffic is pretty lowly. My goals are small but hopefully it will grow in time. Thank you! 🙂

  32. Sarah McDonald
    November 23, 2016 at 10:53 pm

    I love this post and agree with everything. Celebrating your achievements, even the small ones is so important. I have just reached 200 followers on twitter. Despite it being a small amount i am so happy as it is a milestone nonetheless. I definitely can say its because i have been more active these paas few weeks. Idefinitely agree that writing gives you more ideas. I think not forcing yourself to blog is important as it can take the fun out of blogging and makes you lose motivation and inspiration for your blog. Number 9 and 10 are so important! Thankyou for sharing

    Sarah’s Abode -XX

  33. Sonia
    November 24, 2016 at 9:01 am

    I’m currently at the stage where I’ve done a couple of collaborative posts and been paid what they offered (I didn’t feel justified to negotiate and just wanted to do it!). I did turn down one that offered more money but wanted a follow link and didn’t want it to say it was a paid post- I didn’t feel comfortable with that! I’d love to do more but just don’t feel I get enough views to justify asking- bit of a vicious circle really. On the plus though, I have grown the blog from nothing to something while holding down a day job and having 3 kids- achievement in itself! I’m just thinking that because of the time I have to spare, it will just take a little longer for me. Your post has encouraged me to keep at it though- thanks xx #KCACOLS
    Sonia recently posted…Damn You, Hormones!!My Profile

  34. jaimee
    November 24, 2016 at 11:31 am

    I’ve just started blogging so this is a helpful list for me to work with. Thank you #coolmumclub

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