The Ten Stages of Blogging.

In the blogging world, individual blogs come and go faster than you can say, “I started a blog yesterday.” But those that survive? That hang on to their little piece of the interwebz, airing their thoughts and dreams for public consumption? All seem to go through the same ten stages of maturation.

1. Self delusion. When you first set up shop in the blogosphere, you’re convinced you’re going to become the next dooce. That readers will flock to your site, crash your server with their effusive comments and send all kinds of national sponsors your way. It won’t be long, you think, until you’re rolling in the cash money.

2. Depression. About the time you write your 45th post and, although you check your page hourly, realize you have yet to receive a single comment, you contract a serious case of the Woe-Is-Me’s. You feel invisible and think seriously about giving up.

3. Joy. Someone commented! Maybe even a few someones! God is good and the world is great! You’re on your way now!

4. Obsession. You begin reading everything you can get your hands on about how to grow your blog. You spend hours commenting on other people’s blogs. You get on twitter. Establish a facebook page. Start participating in memes and blog carnivals. Join SITS. And, of course, continue pouring your heart and soul into every post you write (and you write lots of posts).

5. Relief. All your hard work is paying off! You now have 50, 75…100… maybe even 200 followers. Someone likes you. Indeed lots of someones like you. But…

6. Envy. What did she do to get those 50 bajillion followers? Why does she get 45 comments on every post? You’re just as good as they are. Heck, you’re better. Why doesn’t the world recognize your magnificence?

7. Determination. Dag nam it, you’re going to be one of the A list bloggers if it’s the last thing you do. So you invest in a fancy design. Move to WordPress. Maybe even seek out a guest post or two. You continue commenting frantically, twittering endlessly and haunting social networks like BlogFrog. Your spouse begins to wonder what your face looks like when not lit by the glow of a computer. Your kids start feeling neglected. Your ass grows, as does your laundry pile. Your blog/life balance begins to feel hopelessly out of balance.

8. Burnout. What’s the use? It doesn’t matter how much time you spend in the blogging world—it’s not like you’re getting anything out of it (except a fat ass). Who are you trying to be, anyway? You’re just a mom/wife/9to5er. No one would even notice if you stopped writing. So you do.

9. Loneliness. You realize how many friends you actually have in the blogosphere. You wonder what they’re up to. You miss your daily conversations. You feel lost. Disconnected from so many of the people who matter to you.

10. Contentment. You return to blogging. You clean out your reader—narrowing it down to the bloggers who actually mean something to you. You post, but not quite as regularly as before. You tweet—probably more regularly—but the emphasis is on cultivating friendship, not grabbing eyeballs. You accept your place in the blogosphere and resolve not to let envy get the best of you anymore.

11. Repeat steps 6-10

That, my friends, is life in the blogosphere—at least for those of us who have no hope of becoming the next Scary Mommy or Mama Kat. It’s wild, it’s crazy, it’s emotionally draining…but at the end of the day, it’s well worth the pain.

We are bloggers. Hear us type.

54 Comments on The Ten Stages of Blogging.

  1. C @ Kid Things
    November 18, 2010 at 4:58 pm (5 years ago)

    It usually doesn’t bother me (too much) unless I write an entry then a few days later I see a more popular blogger write almost the exact same thing and they get like 200 comments remarking on their brilliance where I’m lucky to get 2. That’s when I want to scream and throw my laptop out the window. Luckily, the feeling passes quickly and I realize I’m pretty happy with my very tiny audience.

    Reply
    • Amber
      November 18, 2010 at 5:00 pm (5 years ago)

      I love your blog, for what it’s worth. And my readership – I feel like I know most of the peeps who come here regularly, and that makes me happy.

      Reply
    • Brittany at Mommy Words
      November 19, 2010 at 9:43 am (5 years ago)

      Oh C – that gets me too. I write something I love and it barely gets a mention and then someone else writes it and I see 100 comments and retweets for days. Such is blogging, and such is the not fun part.

      We are writers, and good ones. We spend our time and energy doing this and we need to be content with the community and the small recognition and with time and some luck (yes, huge bloggers also have some luck) we might get that push that takes us to the next level.

      Great post Amber! You have hit the nail on the head with this one. I am in total bummed out having trouble keeping up stage and JUST cleaned out my reader. I am now slowly but surely adding back bloggers I love…like you. :)

      Reply
      • Amber
        November 22, 2010 at 11:29 am (5 years ago)

        Glad I get to be on your list…I know you’re always in my reader!

        Reply
  2. Kelli
    November 18, 2010 at 5:01 pm (5 years ago)

    Hmm, sounds about right. I think I’m on my second round of 6-10 right now. I think my problem is that I’m not consistent with my topics. I could easily have a blog just about baking or just about house projects or just about my random crap. But I like throwing it all in one place-because that’s who I am. I have a few loyals and I love ’em!

    Reply
    • Amber
      November 19, 2010 at 9:27 am (5 years ago)

      Yeah, I have a hard time staying on topic too. But I figure, this is my space, I’ll write what I want. Those that appreciate it will follow.

      Reply
  3. one cluttered brain
    November 18, 2010 at 5:46 pm (5 years ago)

    I like this!
    It is so true!
    I know my regulars too. And I know people are reading me even when they don’t comment. I might not ever become the net Mama Kat or scary mommy, but I love writing and I will ALWAYS blog.
    No matter how many followers I have!

    Reply
    • Amber
      November 19, 2010 at 9:27 am (5 years ago)

      Yeah, lady, you better keep blogging. I’ll hunt you down if you quit!

      Reply
  4. Rebecca
    November 18, 2010 at 7:11 pm (5 years ago)

    Most days, I just blog to blog. To hopefully reach out to someone who identifies with me. Some days, rarely though, I blog something that I think is insightful or thoughtful or something that has a bit of meaning. Those rare days, it saddens me that that particular post didn’t get any attention. But who knows…………..one day someone may come across the post and comment and make me all happy inside.

    Reply
    • Amber
      November 19, 2010 at 9:26 am (5 years ago)

      Yeah, those unappreciated masterpieces are painful to be sure. But as long as they’re out there (and they’ll always be out there), eyeballs will still read and appreciate them.

      Reply
  5. Nolie
    November 18, 2010 at 7:16 pm (5 years ago)

    Love it and tweeted it. Hear us type!!

    Reply
    • Amber
      November 19, 2010 at 9:25 am (5 years ago)

      Thank you (she says, typing loudly).

      Reply
  6. Erin
    November 18, 2010 at 7:40 pm (5 years ago)

    WOW – it’s like you reached into my brain and saw what I was thinking…

    I thought about pursuing writing more ferverently – but…the truth is…I am just so relieved to be writing again – it has been so long.

    I love it – I love the rush – the rush of creating and crafting – and the rush of having someone read and admire is very powerful too …especially when it comes from other talented writers (not just my mom:)

    I love your work – I truly do –

    I can’t figure out Twitter….I am too slow…I nearly lost my marriage on FB so that ship has sailed….

    so I’ll be content to be here – connecting with you, with a few others – remarking how many INCREDIBLE writing talents there are in the world now…and how many of them are Mommies:)

    I’ll always keep you in my reader….not that I know how to clear it out anyway:)

    Reply
    • Amber
      November 19, 2010 at 9:25 am (5 years ago)

      Connecting is what it’s all about, lady. And you are a pretty terrific writer too! I’m glad to count you among my friends.

      Reply
  7. Jen
    November 18, 2010 at 7:53 pm (5 years ago)

    I really, really like this post but I am going to pretended that I have not gone through the steps. 😉

    Reply
    • Amber
      November 19, 2010 at 9:24 am (5 years ago)

      You, I am sure, are far above the weaknesses of us less evolved beings. 😉

      Reply
    • Alex@LateEnough
      November 20, 2010 at 7:23 pm (5 years ago)

      I love the post. Especially number 1. And this response is my favorite.

      Reply
  8. Coma Girl
    November 18, 2010 at 8:23 pm (5 years ago)

    I’ve been blogging for over three years and I have to COMPLETELY agree with this!

    I repeat these steps over and over and over again.

    Reply
    • Amber
      November 19, 2010 at 9:23 am (5 years ago)

      I think we all do. I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve considered giving up. But i keep on coming back…think it’s an illness?

      Reply
  9. AmyBlam
    November 18, 2010 at 9:26 pm (5 years ago)

    Sigh. I don’t think I’ll ever get over wanting a bazillion readers, subscribers, worshippers who send sparkly gifts as well as book agents wooing me and people trying to give me clothes and shoes.

    Reply
    • Amber
      November 19, 2010 at 9:22 am (5 years ago)

      I dream of a book agent stumbling upon this humble little blog and sweeping me out of obscurity…you never know. It could happen. I’ve seen Julie and Julia.

      Reply
  10. Chrissy MacCEO
    November 18, 2010 at 9:59 pm (5 years ago)

    This is quite possibly one of my favorite posts….ever. So so so so so true. I am totally hanging out between 7 and 8 right now….feeling more like then 8.

    Reply
    • Amber
      November 19, 2010 at 9:21 am (5 years ago)

      I hope your stay in #8 and 9 is very short…we’d miss you if you abandoned us!

      Reply
  11. Kristi {at} Live and Love...Out Loud
    November 18, 2010 at 10:55 pm (5 years ago)

    This is freaking perfection! I laughed the whole way through and identified with each and every stage. And that last line? “Hear us type.” LOVE IT!

    Kristi, Live and Love…Out Loud
    @TweetingMama

    Reply
    • Amber
      November 19, 2010 at 9:19 am (5 years ago)

      I don’t know about you, but I type quite loudly…especially when I’m feeling envious or unappreciated…

      Reply
  12. Cheryl D.
    November 19, 2010 at 12:05 am (5 years ago)

    Excellent post, although it hits a little too close to home for my liking.

    I’m at number 6 now. I’m suffering from major blog envy!

    Reply
    • Amber
      November 19, 2010 at 9:18 am (5 years ago)

      Oof. I feel your pain. Just remember, it’s a normal part of blogging…don’t give up (and that is your Friday morning pep talk).

      Reply
  13. Kelly
    November 19, 2010 at 1:13 am (5 years ago)

    Truer words were never blogged!

    Reply
    • Amber
      November 19, 2010 at 9:17 am (5 years ago)

      Ha! I certainly seem to have hit a nerve with this one!

      Reply
  14. Mommiev
    November 19, 2010 at 10:41 am (5 years ago)

    Im on the 8-9 phase right now. It’s really true ! I think you have to decide why you are blogging and be true to those reasons.

    Reply
    • Amber
      November 22, 2010 at 11:28 am (5 years ago)

      Yep, when you figure that out, then you can hang out in 10 for a while.

      Reply
  15. sara@domesticallychallenged
    November 19, 2010 at 3:30 pm (5 years ago)

    Amber, this was perfect! I have been through most of these stages myself. Fine, all of them. At the end of the day? I guess I write because I want too, not because I am good, or have an awesome story, I am just me :) I’ll have to take that, huh!?

    Reply
    • Amber
      November 22, 2010 at 11:28 am (5 years ago)

      If you stop wanting to, then you’re in trouble. But I think you’re very good!

      Reply
  16. Erika
    November 19, 2010 at 3:35 pm (5 years ago)

    This is just so spot on. I couldn’t agree more. Although even though I am on Twitter, I still don’t get it. It is so much more work!

    I go in spurts just like what you wrote, but after I hit 400 followers I found it super hard to keep up and then I felt so guilty not being able to keep up. I had to really work hard on the guilt thing and just try to do the best I can. When I do take little breaks I so miss blogging and writing and connecting.

    You reply to comments just like I do and it really makes blogging so much more personal. I do miss those connections when I am gone.

    Reply
    • Amber
      November 22, 2010 at 11:27 am (5 years ago)

      Yep, the connections are what keep me coming back, even when I am down with the flu (as I am now).

      Reply
  17. Noella Q
    November 20, 2010 at 1:37 am (5 years ago)

    Really great job with this post, I even had to share it with my husband. He laughed when he read stage 7 because it is ABSOLUTELY TRUE for me. I don’t scrapbook or keep a journal, writing has always been a huge part of my life and strangely enough blogging fills the void in a very fun, joyful way. Keep up the good work. Stop by sometime….goodgirlglam.com. Mahalo!

    Reply
    • Amber
      November 22, 2010 at 11:27 am (5 years ago)

      Sounds like you’re blogging for all the right reasons!

      Reply
  18. Gina
    November 20, 2010 at 2:06 pm (5 years ago)

    So very true. Great job bringing our little secret to light. Now we can all laugh about it, accept it and move on.

    I’m at #10 right now and hope to stay there for quite some time, but we’ll see. My state of calm and acceptance usually doesn’t last very long.

    Reply
    • Amber
      November 22, 2010 at 10:30 am (5 years ago)

      Ten is a good place to be.

      Reply
  19. Unknown Mami
    November 20, 2010 at 8:55 pm (5 years ago)

    What’s up insightful? I think you are right on with this post.

    I love blogging and I go through my insecure moments, but in the end I am not trying to be another dooce, I’m just trying to be me and at that I have been very successful. Success looks different for different people.

    I’m happy that anyone reads and overjoyed that some take the time to comment.

    Reply
    • Amber
      November 22, 2010 at 10:29 am (5 years ago)

      I like your definition of success, sister.

      Reply
  20. Kat
    November 21, 2010 at 11:08 pm (5 years ago)

    Totally agree with all these steps. However, I think for me there is also step “Foot in Mouth”. I am always wondering….oh wait, which family members or friends read this blog?? Did I really just say that or post that picture??? But then I quickly get over it, because hey, I’m a blogger…and therefore my life is an open book :)

    Reply
    • Amber
      November 22, 2010 at 10:29 am (5 years ago)

      Yep. It’s bad when your family starts to ask you, “you’re not going to blog about that are you?” But oh well. It’s the price they pay for being related to us.

      Reply
  21. Amber
    November 22, 2010 at 12:04 am (5 years ago)

    Great post.

    I’m not sure I’d like to be overly popular because then you get those rude commentors who are never happy and will be like, “Why are you feeding your kids McDonalds, why are you using plastic bags, oh my GOD, did you just admit to declawing your cat?”

    Reply
    • Amber
      November 22, 2010 at 10:28 am (5 years ago)

      You are absolutely right there. I’ve not had any of those commenters, but if I did I”m not sure I could be gracious about it.

      Reply
  22. Lady Jennie
    November 22, 2010 at 4:36 am (5 years ago)

    This is spot on. I’m on stage 10 now, but I actually went very quickly through stages 7-10. As soon as I realized doing a blog makeover wasn’t going to make me the next famous blogger, I surrendered and decided to be happy with the connections. I don’t even know how many people follow me, actually. So that works now.

    Reply
    • Amber
      November 22, 2010 at 10:27 am (5 years ago)

      That’s a smart move, actually. I wish I could make myself remove follower counts.

      Reply
  23. Alexandra
    November 24, 2010 at 10:26 am (5 years ago)

    Do you remember , when I met you? You were one of my first bloggy crushes. Your wonderful, intelligent, engaging style.

    I loved it.

    Now, that I started my own blog… I can’t keep up with even my faves.

    I had all the time in the world to just read, and comment, before I got the bright idea to start my own blog.

    But, that’s what I did.

    I still come back to you when I have the spare time…but what hours it takes when you do have your own blog.

    Reply
  24. Carol Wyer
    November 30, 2010 at 10:26 am (5 years ago)

    After reading your fantastic post I have signed up to follow you. I’ve been blogging for three months so every follower and comment is precious. I’d say with posts like this you’re on your way to stardom. :)

    Reply
    • Amber
      November 30, 2010 at 3:01 pm (5 years ago)

      Thanks so much! I look forward to getting to know you!

      Reply
  25. critters and crayons
    August 19, 2011 at 11:23 pm (4 years ago)

    Amber- I think I’m going to add you to my Mom Blogroll! :) You’re funny as hell-
    Tricia

    Reply
    • Amber
      August 29, 2011 at 9:07 am (4 years ago)

      Thank you! XOXO

      Reply

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