How To Stay Sane After Six Years of Blogging

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


Spoiler alert: you don't.

I reached my six year milestone a few days ago. I've been coming to this site since 2009, have written 1800+ posts, and I feel like I should have an abundance of blog knowledge to share. I mean six years is a long ass time. I should be a pro at this by now, shouldn't I? So get ready for all of the wonderful advice I'm about to drop...

(crickets.)

Sometimes I feel like I'm moving at a snail speed in this world (because I am.) Every time I see a new girl on Instagram post a photo of herself holding a bouquet of balloons, wearing a tutu, and proclaiming "I just hit 30k followers, ya'll! Can't believe I've already been blogging for six whole months!" a little piece of me dies.

I just don't understand grown women in tutus. I get that Carrie Bradshaw did it, but she was fictional.

But then I also think, damn what's wrong with me? I get the urge to throw on my tap shoes and bring out a piece of cardboard, desperate for blogging attention. LOOK AT ME! I'M STILL HERE!

In the beginning (like for the first three years) I didn't care about the business/competition of blogging. I came here to push out a snarky post or two, hit publish and that was that. But once you start caring there's no going back.

2015 has been the year I've made the most significant part of my income from blogging, I've been able to travel to some awesome places thanks to blogging, and oddly enough it's been the year I've most thought about throwing in the towel. It just gets to be too much at times. The rat race is exhausting.

For those of you not in the blog world I'm sure you're rolling your eyes right now, like c'mon you're a blogger, wank wank... And I get that, but just like any job there's always going to be competition and envy and the desire to climb higher and do better. With blogging we just all blast it 100 times more for everyone to see.

But I'm getting off course and sounding super annoying. When I start to sound like a sour puss about a job that is actually amazing cool, I know it's because of two things:

I've been comparing myself to others too much.

And I've been analyzing my traffic more than I should.

Boom. As simple as that. If you want to stay sane in this dog eat dog world lay off Instagram for awhile, and stop browsing those other blogs that just make life look too damn easy.

And stop looking at your stats. The readers will come back, they always do.

Truthfully, the only reason I get mad at blogging is because I really do enjoy it. And there's a huge part of me that is scared (and insecure) that this little gig I've got going right now is too good to be true and could go away at any minute. So I want to be better and do better and grow this site into something more.  I guess you could say I want to be that girl in the tutu?

Except for not a tutu. Never. Ever. Never a tutu.

Thanks for sticking around for this ramble. More importantly, thank you for sticking around for six years of my rambles! That is incredible. People often ask me if working from home is isolating and I say no because I've got like 1000 online friends that I respond to all day.... and then I realize how sad that sounds.

Cheers to six more years of online friends. Maybe even sixty-six. Who am I kidding, I'll be here forever.

And as a thank you, I'm giving away a few of my favorite things today. Nothing grand like a Macbook or baby tiger, just a few things I personally enjoy. A Trina Turk makeup bag, some Ellen Tracy lip gloss, and nail files. If you want to enter it's really simple, there's just a few options below.

As always, thanks for stopping by.



a Rafflecopter giveaway



56 comments:

  1. Yay for six years! And double yay for no tutus!!

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  2. As a newer reader of your blog, I have to say that I'm thoroughly enjoying the insanity!

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  3. I don't even know how long I've been reading but you're the blog I look forward to each day!!

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  4. To me, you are incredibly successful. I really think success is always somethign you'll be reaching for - and that's a good thing, it will keep you on your toes. and you won't even have to wear a tutu to do so.

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  5. I just hit 5 years this week. I love this post and can totally relate!
    XO Ellen from Ask Away
    www.askawayblog.com

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  6. I think this is one of the things that keeps me from blogging. There are so many articles on how you're doing it wrong. And "Don't use this platform! Use this! Don't ever use hashtags or puppies will be killed!" Instead of advocating for new bloggers to start, a lot of bloggers are out there saying how every one else is doing it wrong and if you don't do it right from the start you are never going to be read. Ever.

    The advise coming out from many bloggers is, it should be second nature. Growing your blog should come easy because, well, they did it!

    Although you're right about the tutu...Tutus are adults are just odd.

    I have lots of thoughts and ideas and at times think to share. But the Blogger Rat Race is intimidating and can be very fake. If you're not the girl in the tutu, where do you fit in? Because only The Girl In The Tutu has the right ideas. Do people really want to hear me ramble about how I'm 99% sure my cat has a Southern accent while my dog has a Midwest Drawl? Or about the time I attempted to make salsa with minor cuts all over my hands? My life is a mess. I'm much more liable to knock over the display of flowers than to figure out how to stand next to it, take a selfie of just my feet (with killer shoes of course, a Felfie?) and wrist next to the display.

    Seriously, How do people do that? Am I missing a vertebrae that allows for these contortions? Because when ever I attempt that, I get a weird shot of my thighs and arm and look like I may be having a medical emergency in the store.

    Finding your niche is difficult. I'm not a fashion person. I love fashion and I love all aspects of fashion bloggers but I live in Phoenix and I'm five feet tall so all photos would be of a very sweaty, cranky woman child desperately wondering why I even went into the out.

    I have a child, but I am far from a Mommy Blogger, I don't spend hours on different crafts with her and plan great adventures. Most times we spend our time together in rapid fire quips back and forth that if taken out of context comes across as neurotic and sarcastic (Ok, so it is) towards each other.

    I work in social media. My entire professional life centers around creating and maintaining a Brand's social presence. I know that what is presented is just a well curated snapshot of the brand. Logically I realize this. But when you're reading about The Girl In The Tutu and how she created an entire wedding out of pinecones, Etsy and mason jars, all on a budget of $60 and it's going to be showcased in Martha Stewart Brides (Is that a thing? I think it's a thing) while at the same time saving the rainforest, advocating for her causes, running a super successful blog and also hand lettering a family tree as a gift for her future in laws (Going back 50 generations of course, Sponsored by Ancestry.com) You wonder, "Hmmm today I had broccoli and cheddar soup while carrying on a conversation with my Southern Gentleman cat about wether or not Jed Bartlett could legally run for President despite A) having already served 2 terms and B) being a fictional character. People TOTALLY WANT TO READ ABOUT THIS..right??" Meanwhile Girl In The Tutu looks at you condescendingly and offers to give you some 1 on 1 tips on being a good blogger (For the low price of $299 a session via Skype)


    I must say, your blog is one that makes me thing that perhaps people DO want to hear about my political ramblings with my cat, that perhaps having it all together isn't real. That even The Girl In The Tutu had a minor breakdown just before the photo was taken because her helium was running out.

    Keep it up. You're appreciated for running the rat race by those not wanting to just see scores of Girls In The Tutu running by.

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  7. Helene In Between tweeted about your blog so I stopped by to check it out.

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  8. It really is a blog eat blog world. I wish you'd bring that banner back. ;)

    JK - thanks for being here and being awesome.

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  9. I discovered your blog almost 2 years ago and it's always one of my fave parts of the day to check out your latest post!! You rock! Please don't throw in the towel, ever! :)

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  10. NO tutus. And I stay sane with wine. And my dog :)

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  11. I get you 100%. I really do. I've had my blog for four years, and when I see those tutu girls and their announcements, I've learned to just smile and move on. I love what I'm doing, and my small following of readers, and that's what counts!

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  12. But I wanted a baby tiger. Wearing a tutu.

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  13. I think I have been reading your blog for almost that long! Consistently one of my favorites :)

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  14. I'm a relatively new reader and I like what I've read so far! Congrats on 6 years!

    My weekly blog is purely a hobby for me and don't have any immediate plans for it to be any more than that. But I obviously care a lot about it so even for me it's tough not to look at stats and subscribers, so I can't imagine what's it's like for you!

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  15. I can perfectly picture the balloon/tutu instagram haha. don't let the instagram world get you down! Congrats to 6 years :)

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  16. There's so much pressure to write a blog that makes everything look so easy and perfect. It is totally a rat race! One of the reasons I keep coming back to yours is because it feels more authentic. Keep writing!

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  17. I'm a new follower, and I can already tell that your authenticity and sass make you one of my favorites :) Please don't throw in the towel just yet.

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  18. CONGRATS!!! It's a big year for you :) I have a feeling next year will be even bigger.

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  19. It's completely about perspective too. That's the hard part. I'm new to your blog, but I would LOVE to have the kind of following you have. I understand, though, that it's a constant competition to improve against yourself. So your numbers would be a HUGE improvement on my numbers, but someone with 300K followers would be a HUGE improvement on yours. So I can definitely understand.

    But what you have going for you, is that you're authentic. You're not governed by brands and products, and you're not pushing anything on us but laughs and sarcasm. Thanks for being awesome and a pleasure to read :)

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  20. I stay sane by not taking anything in the blogging world too seriously. The ones posing in the tutus are the same ones that are sitting on the couch in sweatpants watching Netflix. :)

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  21. Congrats on 6 years! I totally know what you mean, comparison really is the thief of joy. I LOVE your blog, and I'm not just saying that. You are unique, and when you said you thought off quitting my heart stopped for a moment - please never do!!
    August has been slow though, hasn't it? My pageviews and comments have radically decreased. It's just the summer slump, right? RIGHT?

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  22. I don't even understand those girls that can get so many followers in such a short amount of time! I've been blogging for about a year, and I'm all proud of my 267 Bloglovin' followers, lol! I can totally see how blogging for a living would get exhausting, it's just a hobby for me but I get burned out sometimes.

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  23. How do I stay sane? Who knows. Depends on the day. Time my with dog. Facetime with my nieces/nephew. Wine. Lots of wine. Exercise.

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  24. Well I hope you never get so overwhelmed that you stop blogging because I love reading your posts. I feel like we have the same attitude and humor so it's nice to read your posts. If you ever feel yourself becoming insane go pet that adorable dog of yours or eat some of that amazing Chicago brunch!

    Cheers to 6 more great years!

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  25. I just typed up a comment and posted it in the Rafflecopter which shows how much I know!! But the point was the blogs I want to visit daily are those like yours that have an authentic (and funny!) voice and don't seem like they're trying too hard to be polished and perfect just to gain traffic. And 15 affiliate links in one post gets old real fast.

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    1. also one of these days I should figure out how to post an affiliate link...

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  26. Oh and btw, I sent a friend a link to your page on Chicago restaurants for a recent trip and he said it was so helpful and every place they tried from the list was awesome, so thanks!!

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  27. You will always be one of my favorites. I only get mad at you when you post epic bloody mary's because it makes me miss the midwest. I get over it quickly though - don't worry.

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  28. I stay relatively sane through a little bit of yoga, good food, and hugging my dog <3

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  29. Happy six years of blogging! I love coming to your blog everyday to get a little bit of humor, and of course, some Harlow action!

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  30. Happy 6 years!! And staying sane...who does that? I think my dogs are the ones that help me try to be sane, it's definitely not my kids keeping me sane!

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  31. Its always the tutu girls. For the record, I love your blog and I think you;ll have this gig for some time. You will get that 30k - without the tutu.

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  32. Congrats on 6 years. Me too. And I don't have 30k followers on Instagram. Not even close!! I am not sane when it comes to blogging at the moment so I don't have an answer for that one.

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  33. Congrats on 6 great years! I just recently found your blog and am LOVING IT! I'm from central IL so it's awesome to see things from my home state :) Plus, I personally love your writing style. I love that you sound like a real person, who makes real mistakes, and lives a real life...all that perfect shit on Instagram can get to be a little much!

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  34. Yay to sticking to it for 6 years! I've done 4 I think and every single time I want to quit (approx. 6 billion times…) I get crazy pageviews or some big campaign or make some good money and I can't. And then sometimes I have none of that and get to write something that resonates with someone else and it makes me happy. Comparison WILL kill you in blogland, too! Though I may have a tutu skirt….;)

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  35. Keep writing!! I can always count on you for a laugh!!

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  36. I always wonder how the hell those girls in the tutus have so many followers. I love reading your blog way more than the tutu girls. Happy 6 years!!

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  37. Oh please never stop! You make me laugh every day!! The other chicks are just paying people to follow...just like the Kardashians :). Here's to another 6 years!! 🍻
    Kristin

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  38. Six years and we keep on keepin on! Long live blogging!

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  39. Six years here - wow, that's great! I've been blogging for that long but not on this site, I moved to this one after some bad experiences on a different site & a break. I love it & I just blog to blog & I'm just happy with the followers I have at this point & the comments I get. If it grows, great. If not, it is what it is. :)

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  40. I recently have struggled with whether or not to keep blogging or stop. The world seems to be changing and I hate that it seems to be so much about numbers.

    I love what you have to say and would love to extend an invitation to join my Facebook blog group #AuthenticBloggers. We'd love to have you!

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  41. Congratulations on six years of blogging! I hit four at the end of last month, but I guess my clientele is a lot different.

    There is merit in trying to dance to the beat of a different drummer... and not getting caught up in the rat race.

    (Rats!)

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  42. I stay sane in life by keeping at least one really close girlfriend that I can talk to about anything and everything and by trying to focus on what is right in my life more than what is wrong. What can I say, I poop rainbows and glitter. LOL

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  43. I stay sane by removing the bookmarks and forgetting about stats. Making my income from my blog just takes the fun out of it. Also-you will get more traffic if you change to a responsive template. Damn google is penalizing blogs that aren't. The template you have doesn't adjust on my screen :(

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  44. Well hi Tay! This is the first time I've stopped by, I think. Your post caught my eye on BlogLovin because I too have been blogging for six years and I totally agree with the whole rat race thing. It can be tiresome and daunting at times and sometimes not much fun....but something keeps me plugging away everyday.

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  45. Your blog always cracks me up! Congrats on 6 years. I didn't even make it 6 days.

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  46. I stay sane by listening to music.

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  48. Just came across your blog and this happened to be the first post I've read. I think I stumbled upon it for a reason.

    I started blogging less than three months ago, and oh boy, I already feel the pressure. The perfect Instagram posts. The impeccable outfit posts (who takes those photos anyways?). I relate to what you're saying, even though I've been in the game for a fraction of the time.

    I truly appreciate and admire your honesty and your sincere commentary about what blogging actually is, even for someone who loves it. I do hope to make this my career one day, but, in the mean time, it's enjoyable and it's my passion. And, that's enough.

    Thanks for being my little bit of reinforcement and reason to keep at it. And, congrats on 6 years! I look forward to reading more :)

    xoxo
    - Amanda
    heelsandhighrises.com

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  49. I started my blog about 2 months ago and I can already feel the pressure of coming with two posts a week. I can't imagine doing it for 6 years but this post inspires me to keep going so that one day I can have a milestone like yours! Thank you!! Check me out @ confessionsofthelostandfound.wordpress.com

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  50. I feel you....I've been blogging since 2003.......I still have less than 100 followers. I die every time some new blog just bounces off the page and into a billion followers but well...that is just the way it is I suppose! Still it is awesome that you reached 6 years. It is epic you have the following you do and even more so...that you still write posts that are not just sponsored crap! I always cry a little when a blog I love turns into a promotional blog all about the money instead of the writing.

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