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Getting Over the Blogger’s 6 Month Itch

A Guest Post by Annabel Candy – Get In the Hot Spot

In marriage they talk about a seven year itch. It’s the time when people get restless and think about giving up on their relationship.

For bloggers that itch and desire to give up comes sooner. In fact, most bloggers give up on their blogs after only 6 months.

I’ve been writing my blog for 6 months now and I can relate to people quitting at this time. It seems as if you have put a lot of time and effort into your blog, but it’s still to early to reap the rewards of that hard work. It seems as if you’ve made every mistake in the book but you still have so much to learn about blogging.

According to psychologists having grit, or persevering with a project, is more important than intelligence or any other personality trait when it comes to success.

With that in mind, I’d like to tell you why you shouldn’t give up on your blog and how you can find the motivation to carry on.

Why you should carry on blogging after 6 months

  • You’ve already invested a lot of time and energy into your blog.
  • Your blog may not have been ranked with the search engines yet.
  • You may have been working hard but there’s still a lot to learn. It would be impossible to learn everything there is to know about blogging in just 6 months. Even pro-bloggers are still learning and many of them have been writing blogs for years.
  • Your readers are growing slowly but steadily.
  • Your content is also growing and the more content you have on your blog, the better it will rank with the search engines.

How to find the strength to carry on blogging

  • Enlist help. Talk to friends, colleagues and relatives. Get their advice and feedback. Actually watch them using your blog. Set challenges for them to find a certain piece of information on your blog and see how easy it is for them. This will help you learn what improvements you can make to the blog to make it easier for your readers to use.
  • Relook at your goals for the blog and reassess them if necessary. Have your blogging goals changed? If so how? What did you readers enjoy best? Which were your least popular posts? Make adjustments to your blog based on these findings.
  • Do a survey on your blog. Ask you readers for feedback. What would they like to read about most? What topics have you covered that the would like to read about more?
  • Play to your strengths. Do a skill swap. If you’re great at writing content but the technical side of blogging frustrates you, find someone with the opposite skills to you and trade off. You’ll both end up with a better blog and a blogging ally too.
  • Stay motivated by using Twitter or the power of co-motivation with a like-minded blogger.
  • Understand that success will only come from preserving. Most businesses make little or no income in the first year and your blog may not either. To gain benefits from blogging you need to carry on for more than a year. Congratulate yourself on how far you’ve come with your blog so far and resolve to keep up the good work.
  • Stop comparing your blog to other people’s. Rejoice in their success, congratulate them on it and see what you can learn from them.
  • Compile a testimonials page with all the positive comments people have left on your blog. It will cheer you up and impress new readers too.
  • Learn from your mistakes. We all make them. Successful bloggers learn from their mistakes and press on regardless. They don’t give up blogging at 6 months and neither should you.

Look at anything you’ve achieved in your life. It probably didn’t come easily. There may have been times when you wanted to give up. But you’re glad you didn’t. Take heart from that and carry on blogging.

Press on writing and improving your blog for another 6 months and then another 6 months after that. It will be worth it in the end.

Annabel Candy writes Get In the Hot Spot: a blog to inspire and inform people on how to live their dream. If you dream of travel, writing, self-employment, or just being happy then Get In the Hot Spot by email. If you know someone who dreams of change or wants to be more daring with their life, please tell them about it so they can stop day-dreaming and start living their dream.

Annabel has four obsessions: writing, travel, Internet design and helping people follow their dream. Annabel ran a successful Internet marketing company in New Zealand for 10 years before following her dream and goofing off to Central America with her husband and three kids. After 18 incredible months in the jungle the Candy family moved to Australia where Annabel is now doing what she does best: writing  and exploring.

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, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Thanks for the post Annabel and Darren. I’ve been blogging for over a year and a half, and things are improving. But there is so much guff out there it’s too easy to get tempted to swap and change as you go with the Next Big Thing.
    I’m going to go back to what I started with and hope to slowly build that way, and maybe pick up more friends and followers.

  2. Nice piece. There aren’t a lot of bloggers who maintain a blog or two just for grins. There’s usually an ulterior motive, i.e. create another target to drive traffic to a web site, sheer vanity, to exchange family information, plan a class reunion, etc.

    It takes drive to get up every day to write another post, and no, not all pro bloggers shave their heads. Some of us are just going bald naturally.

    PL

  3. kalyan says:

    Very nice topic to write about and posts like these inspires people to “keep Swinging” and that is more imp.Thanks for Inspiration.

  4. As with most things in life, consistency is key. Whether it”s fitness, weight loss, money making, we’ve just got to keep on keeping on.

    Ironically Darren it’s your feature article that I refer to if I am lacking motivation.

    Also don’t make it just about money. A blog is way more than that…
    Amelia

  5. Congrats for your 6 month of blogging life and thanks to inspire me to at least keep blog for six month. Keep the good work and good luck!

  6. Thank you writing about this topic. I just launched my first blog and will definitely learn form all the experience that contributors like have to offer.

    The one thing I could anticipate being the biggest demoralizing factor is the lack of readers. I wonder what is the right time frame before one could expect some readers and visitors?

  7. kpb says:

    I am also glad I stuck with mine.
    Its a great feeling when someone emails me, or posts a comment telling me “Thanks” or “This post was exactly what I was looking for”. That’s what keeps me blogging.

    Thanks Darren, and keep up the great work.

  8. Great stuff Annabel,
    I got a 7 month itch just recently and was frustrated and down, but after reaching out and telling my readers how I was feeling they cam back with so much support and great advice. I will keep on blogging!

  9. I use this method and it works great.

    However, comment redirect works only for first time commentators. Many times, comments of even regular comments are marked spam. I use Ajax Edit Comments to display a custom message when comment is marked as spam. This can also help!

  10. Annabel, to not compare our blogs to others’ reminds me of this awesome quote…

    “Do the kinds of things that come from the heart. When you do, you won’t be dissatisfied, you won’t be envious, you won’t be longing for somebody else’s things. On the contrary, you’ll be overwhelmed with what comes back.” ~ Morrie Schwartz

    Isn’t that a super-cool quote?!

    Thanks for your inspiration in this post, a nice little shot in the arm.

  11. When I was trying to set up my blog last year, I found that all the names I wanted to use were taken…by blogs that were no longer active! It was so frustrating, but after nine months of blogging, I understand the frustration they went through. I have wanted to end it too.

  12. Very true post! I’ve been starting to get the itch lately but quickly pull myself in line.

  13. Mike Consol says:

    The statistic I’ve heard is that 50 percent of blogs are fallow, abandoned by people who are either discouraged or don’t consider them a priority.

    This post is terrific and timely for me. I’m going on just three months of blogging.

  14. At 6 months I am just starting to hit my stride . . . EVERYTHING is working. Want “things” to go faster; but happy with the progress so far. I have already proven that it works for the original intent . . . now to GROW that. I have had a HUGE number of hits and have (what I think) is a good number of hits each day. Working on more comments is the next thing.

  15. Thank you for the great post! My current blog is one and a half months old (if you count the blog I moved away from because I wasn’t happy with wordpress. If you don’t, then my blog is not quite 2 weeks old. I have comments on most posts, am slowly building followers, have a domain, and am just waiting to hear back from my graphic designer, to see what my custom made layout will look like.

    This is an exciting time, yet I can see how easily bloggers could get the ‘itch’. Great to have a warning, and advice.

  16. Thanks for your great post,it will help to all the new blogger.

  17. Basant Singh says:

    I think for 1st six months we should NOT concentrate more on the periphery of blogging like SEO, marketing, traffic, design etc. Our focus should be on the Content. Everything else will auto-follow

  18. I think the most important thing to remember is that everyone started somewhere, no one has instant success and no one makes money from home instantly people work hard to get where they are today and they learn from people on similar blogs.So need to focus on the new assertive assets.

  19. Delighted that I’ve encouraged so many people.
    Amelia – I have to agree, checking back to the Problogger site when you’re not sure what to do next is a good plan. I always find a new nugget of info I want to try out which keeps me on track.
    Everyone – Reading your comments it’s great to see that many of you already have plans for what to do next to improve your blog and are relaunching or rethinking the concept. Keep reassessing, tuning and fine-tuning and try not to watch the stats:)

  20. Twitter Tips says:

    I also had the same experience with my music blog. After about 6 months, I gave up on it.

    Not because of the money but because I wasn’t getting the traffic I wanted.

    So I stopped blogging for about 2 months and in that time, I started to get more traffic without doing anything and that’s what encouraged me to continue blogging.

    The sky’s the limit now.

  21. panduantnx says:

    i guess, i should try my bext to make money from blogging. Need to be serious.

  22. mirc says:

    Thanks for the motivational post. I’m just over 6 months with my Illustration blog, and I feel like I’m getting my second wind by reinventing the scope of the site and moving into more of a community phase..

  23. Regardless of the time period its really important to press on if you are making any progress at all. Too many bloggers call it quits after just a few months. They mistake the success they are having for complete failure.

    Patience and perseverance are two of the most important traits for blogging success.

  24. This is a great tip,
    and thanks for boost,
    You do feel like giving up sometimes,
    but if you stick with it the rewards are
    there,

    this is a great reminder for every blogger,
    thank you.

  25. Steve says:

    I think for me the important thing is to ensure you still enjoy blogging – if it is fundamentally the case that you do, then it is worth continuing. If you don’t, there’s no real point, as that lack of enthusiasm will come through.

    I also think, just like a shark, a blog needs to keep moving or it will die. I’m playing with shifting my focus a little, and thinking about some design changes and that’s certainly given me the motivation to carry on. Even small changes can stop a blog appearing tired, and can give you some more impetus to blog.

    Setting new challenges and goals, whatever they may be, can’t hurt.

  26. With a low entry barrier, such as free WordPress, the itch is much higher..in some cases as less as a fortnight..

  27. Excellent Post!
    “The race is not always to the swiftest, but to those who keep on running”.

    Thank you for the motivation! I have bookmarked this in Delicious to refer back to.

    dziekuje!

  28. i believe, six months is a very long time if you have blogged for that duration and most of newbies expect the results the next day.

    i would suggest, have a forecast or plan for your blog and stick to that (irrespective of the time that takes to achieve). Generally, if you are clear about the plan and your activities, you may not think about the end. For sure, it yields you credits back some time !

    - Mr.Ven

  29. Golf Gurl says:

    Great post Annabel – I appreciate your ideas. I’ve started two or three blogs over the past years, and now realize how hard it is to keep them up while working full time. I have decided to focus on one blog rather than the two that are now active. Focused energy should help me grow traffic as I continue to add content.

  30. work at home says:

    Yes blogging is not only for money. Most of new blogger things that only by setting up one blog they can make lots of money, but truth is that for make money by blogging they should have to wait and work hard for development of their blog.

  31. pochp says:

    I can’t imagine why someone would quit his blog after 6 months.
    Not to contradict but if someone doesn’t get his desired results in 6 months, I think he should really quit because he’s got the wrong motivation and weak skills for that to happen.
    Anyway, I salute you for encouraging those who deserve it.
    Great work!

  32. I saw this post through email and was like “that was totally me.”.

    Any blog I started up seemed to slowly die out into a blue-moon-post area for selfish dribble.

    The blog i’m currently with and working on I found had that same time slope. But the thing that changed for me was the fact that simply going out into the community was enough for me to find more inspiration, connect with other bloggers, or connect with readers.

    In live as in college,every now and then you need to get out and see what else is going on.

  33. This rocks!

    The biggest truth in the entire post was the lowest common denominator. All success takes perseverance.

    Instant success usually leads to instant failure., but an honest and well worked effort will reap the rewards of a lifetime of success.

  34. Hi Amanda,

    Thanks you for this wonderful post that is so timely because I was having a “blah” day. It’s a great idea to having a testimonial page and thanks for the suggestion because I wouldn’t have thought of it.

    Sometimes I find it difficult to come up with article titles but I do not give myself a break, I force myself to write a post and it turns out okay and often better than okay. I have been blogging for about eight months and I really enjoy it. I keep going because I have a great newsletter Ambeck Edge and I took a break from sending it out, and for two years now I have been trying to get back into the routine of writing it every month and it’s been difficult, so I do not want to do that to my blog.

    You have given me much food for thought and I will take a lot of the advice that you have given in the post.

    Thank you! Avil Beckford

  35. Galvahaha says:

    I would say have a 4-5 year outlook on blogging before you even start. That way when you hit the one year mark it’s not that big of a deal.

    I would also say it will probably be easier to stick with it if you’ve had a reference point for persistence before you started blogging. If you’ve gone through something before that took persistence and really overcame the obstacles of it only because you stuck with it, you’ll really understand why you shouldn’t give up.

  36. I am curious to see if the “rule” still applies to me…my blog has been an idea in the making for over a YEAR but only “live” for about two months now.

    What can I say? LIfe kinda got in the way there for awhile but ideas they were a percolatin’! ;)

    Plus, it is something I feel very strongly about: I didn’t get started by thinking of dollar signs and my motivation doesn’t come from there, either.

  37. Beth Andrus says:

    I was so relieved to read this. I started blogging last spring to bring attention to my book. I really love doing the blog, but the burnout factor creeps in sometimes. It helps just knowing that this is a normal part of the experience. Thanks.

  38. Brandi U. says:

    This is just the motivation I needed today. Thanks for posting this!

  39. Kelsey says:

    These are GREAT hints. I started my blog and July and am already feeling the itch. However, I was lucky to find guest bloggers and writers who would write great content for me for a minimal cost, in exchange for a short bio at the end of the article.

  40. Thanks so much for sharing all your amazing thoughts here.

    It looks as if some bloggers burn out faster than others. I speak to people who give up after only 2 posts! I suppose they didn’t think about what their aims were and how much time they were prepared to put into it before they started blogging.

    Broderick – I like the idea of having a 4 or 5 year plan but I think it could put some people off. I know a lot of bloggers who understand the importance of blogging in the longterm but the longest period they can commit for is a year. That seems fair as it should give you enough time to start to understand what you’re doing and why. Hopefully there will have been positive results after a year and at that point you can project that if you carry on for another 4 years the good results will multiply.

    Steve – Loving the idea of keeping moving our blogs forward like a shark:) It is good to assess, fine tune and make changes as long as they’re for a reason. Pointless fiddling for the sake of it won’t get you too far though.

    Jessica – I jumped right in to my blog and wasted a lot of time altering and changing it because of that. I’m a web designer and spend hours planning my client websites to avoid making mistakes so why I missed this vital step before setting up my own blog is a mystery. Your year of peculating your ideas will have been well spent.

    I’m delighted to have inspired and helped so many people by having an article posted on Problogger. Personally, I’m having fun writing my blog, keeping myself engaged and my mind active because there’s so much to learn and giving myself a creative outlet too. Keep blogging everyone – who knows where it will lead and what you’ll get out of it?

  41. Randy Primm says:

    Nothing comes easy and thats the truth. I have been working on an interactive travel blog for six months exactly…hmm weird I just noticed that. Anyway there is a rush at first especially since I’m on the road in my RV while I blog, but after a month or so it slows down and the energy and determination seem to to fade.

    But if you are truly determined to make your blog work, you must believe in it no matter what the results. For “there is no trying, only doing or not doing”

    Also unless you quit… you cannot truly fail.

    I have just hired a Blog Manager to assist in my blog and I have found a new sense of determination and passion in the fact that I haven’t given up so far so, and don’t plan on quitting anytime soon.

    Cheers!

    Randy

  42. Great post on blogging.

    i found that my blog is getting good readers and also i got pagrank. so now i will continue my blog.

  43. Paul Hassing says:

    This was a ripper, Annabel. A lovely end to my week and a great introduction to your writing. Many thanks for your beautifully articulated insights. Best regards, P. :)

  44. Kory Taylor says:

    You did a great job with the article Annabel. Gives a lot of value on how to persevere when times get you down. I really like the pep-talk you gave: “Look at anything you’ve achieved in your life. It probably didn’t come easily. There may have been times when you wanted to give up. But you’re glad you didn’t. Take heart from that and carry on blogging.”

    Best Regards,
    Kory

  45. Vanessa D. Alexander says:

    You can grow out some blog topics and need to move on in that case. A number of bloggers have had several blogs before landing that topic that stabilizes. It’s a growing process. I think you have to enjoy blogging. It’s like a home based business, why try it if you don’t like being at home?

    I’ve been blogging since 2003 but not the same blog. I finally landed in my zone after I took up photography along with writing. It is a learning process. You can grow out of a blog like growing out of clothes as you get older. It’s not always a bad thing. You get to a point where you mature and no longer grow out of clothes, you just improve on your own style. Good article…

  46. dsi r4 says:

    Leave your blog. No blog is an island, and the bloggers that leave their blogs and ‘join the community’ by participating in the comments on other blogs are rewarded with more visitors, not to mention the benefit of learning from other bloggers.

  47. Chris Mollo says:

    It’s funny you wrote this post right at the time I’m approaching the six month mark. I wrote a post just the other day about how I was getting so frustrated and thinking of giving up. After five months I’ve managed to get listed with the search engines and get my PR up to 2, but still don’t have many readers. I do have over 100 feed subscribers and over 100 followers, so I guess that’s a good thing. Heck, it’s keeping me going! Your post helped a lot, too.

  48. Bill Morgan says:

    Just saw this article. I am 4 months into it and it’s tough to keep it up consistently as it’s an evening projects to help my career. I’m a recruiter and my blog is for all people to find the job they seek.

    I’ve learned so much though:
    1. Keep the blog topic narrow, not so broad (mine is a career blog that speaks generally on jobs and careers. I now realize it should be much more focused towards certain demographics, types of careers, etc..
    2. How more people use RSS Feeds then email and Twitter (which I’m just learning) is incredibly huge.
    3. Videos get so much more traction
    4. The people that blog are generally some of the coolest people I’ve ever met. Bloggers really like helping other bloggers.
    5. You’ve gotta blog about what you’re passionate about
    6. The wackiest topics often get the largest attention.
    7. Don’t pre-judge what people want to read
    8. Making money at this is very difficult and what worked 2 years ago may not work today
    9. Be genuine
    10. Don’t crowd your blog

    I make most of these mistakes still so I have a lot to work on. Anyone else have inspirational things they’ve learned?

  49. It seems that the 6 month itch is definitely a common thread with bloggers. And if it doesn’t happen at 6 months it’s because the blogger has already given up.

    Vanessa – You have a point. Some blogs may have a natural life cycle and end quickly because of that. But any blog you’ve maintained and written for even a short amount of time will have given heaps of valuable lessons that should make your next blog quicker to get off the ground and more successful.

    dsi r4 – Great idea to connect with other bloggers by reading their blogs and leaving comments on their posts. You’ll be encouraging their writing and many of them will then visit your blog and leave a comment which will give you a boost.

    I love reading all these stories about how people nearly gave up but hung on in there and are now being rewarded for these efforts. Thanks everyone!

  50. Jason says:

    I want to thank you for writing such a great post. I have been doing this for less than a year and wanted to give up many times, but kept pushing on. I still have a long way to go, but I feel as if I’m starting to see a little something starting to happen and I feel a whole new level of excitement! One word I would use to describe what it takes to start and see the mission through is, relentless.