Returning to Hobby Blogging

Hi there, I took a year off.

I’ll admit, I’m surprised to see my stats haven’t dipped much. So thank you to everyone who has kept coming back, and I’m sorry I haven’t written anything new in a while. But the stats are where my problems began.

I started this blog 4 years ago as a way to share my experience with mental illness, and the response I got from sharing my first post was overwhelming. Putting myself ‘out there’ and sharing such raw and vulnerable moments was terrifying, so I was relieved when my writing was well received, and I wasn’t alone in how I was feeling.

From that nerve wracking first post came guest posts, (paid!) writing opportunities, free products, and even a few invites to Edinburgh Fringe Festival! I never expected this much success from publicising journal entries, and I felt like I had so much potential to take it further.

I upgraded to WordPress business and converted my blog to a self hosted website, utilising plugins like Yoast to try and rank on the first page of Google. I was eager to get my next viral post and I was basically addicted to social media in my race to the top. Then the pandemic hit, and I was all alone with no job. I thought this was a blessing; I could put all of my time into my writing, and really have it take off into a decent income.

I tried to write, but I couldn’t. My mental health had taken another dip, and I realised I’d lost sight of what I wanted this blog to be. Here I was, in the middle of a pandemic where people were losing their jobs, homes, and loved ones – and I saw it as a business opportunity. I started No Light Without Darkness to help people like me, not help myself. The financial success of my blog should have always been secondary to the outreach.

And I was helping people – I’ve had many private messages and emails over the years. Some hopeful, some harrowing. But I read every single one, and try to reply to as many as I can. But I wanted to do more to help people, so I’ve made the decision to return to education to study psychology. I want to have a career doing something I really care about, and I’ll be able to help people in a much greater capacity than I am right now.

People come to a blog to read personal stories, not soulless corporate jargon, and I worry that I’ve alienated some of my readers. So I’m returning to blogging, but this time it won’t be for DA scores and brand deals. Don’t get me wrong, you might see a few sponsored posts from time to time, but I’m taking this blog back to its roots. I’ve downgraded back to the premium plan and am no longer self hosted. I will write whatever I want to write about regardless of trends, and I will post as often as I want to.

I don’t care about dizzying success, and I’m done chasing it.

7 thoughts on “Returning to Hobby Blogging

  1. Welcome back to blogging! I took a bit of a break too last year. I’m glad you are back and hope you enjoy your hobby blogging journey. It can be hard not to get trapped into looking at all the numbers!

    Corinne

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Looking at it as a steady income is the best way to look at it not at numbers. I understand how it can be a wonderful feeling but it’s about giving yourself room to breathe not getting consumed by social media. I’ve learned myself how you can get carried away. Our Mental health is so very much so important. Taking time away such as you did, Zoe was the best to do. Going back to basics is far better for mental well being.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It took yrs for me to adjust to social media as I went in full tilt with my writing ambitions. I knew nothing at the beginning. Self taught myself. Being an entrepreneur, social media influencer is hours upon hours online. It can really get to a person. So glad you found you’re balance Zoe. I’ve been having my good and bad days lately.
        Maybe sometime soon we can catch up.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I can relate to this. I also have a blog where I write about mental health/trauma and there are times where I have thought about doing things to get more traffic to my blog or ways I could make money from my blog. It really gets in the way of WHY you started blogging in the first place. So I post randomly now and I like it better that way instead of feeling like I have to try and stay relevant. Congrats to you for deciding to do what feels right for you!

    Liked by 2 people

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