Slow Success in Blogging {and Life}

How slow success in life and blogging can keep you from peaking too early.

In my many years of blogging (okay, it's only been 5 years but in blog years that's kind of a long time) I have watched bloggers come and go in this home decor niche I have found my small place in.  Some of the biggies started around the same time did.  We even rubbed shoulders a bit.  It was a privilege to start blogging in a time where it was not quite the boom it is today.  Many of these bloggers have made quite a business for themselves and in our eyes are blog celebrities.

But in this mix there have been a few amazing bloggers who seemed to peak after a few years only to throw in the towel because it was too much.  Their success too fast was more than they could handle.

Women who blog (at least in this niche that I have experienced) are amazing people.  They are creative, have families, and many have work or other commitments outside of their home life and blog life.

I read a recent article about the danger of peaking too soon in life.  It particularly pointed out the pressures many 20-somethings have in doing something big in their twenties.  While I don't think I have this mentality, I am still in my twenties for one more year and I wonder what my 40 year old self or 65 year old self would tell 29 year old Ashley.

In the article there are a few points the author makes to help us peak at a later age.  I think these are great tips for blogging in the long haul and finding slow success in the blog world.

The first one is to become a source of trust that people can rely on year after year.  Along with this comes consistency.  I think one of the problems bloggers face is feeling like they can not keep up.  There becomes this pressure to produce a certain amount of posts every week or to get so many page views a month.  Though these things can be good motivators and keep you on task, it is better to find a consistent blogging life that works for you and to not be afraid to stick with it even if it's different than everyone else.  Your own consistency you create for yourself will set the standard for your blog as well as keep you accountable to sticking with it.

If you feel like you want to throw in the towel because you feel pressured than something is wrong.  If blogging is consuming too much of your life than that is a different topic and maybe you should reconsider your participation.  But if your feelings are based on comparisons, jealousy, or pressure you are not doing enough, you need to reformat your purpose and goals in blogging.  It's not a competition.  The beauty of blogging is that anyone can have a place in the blog world.  Your blog can still have a place and purpose in your life and the life of your readers whether or not you become the next big thing.

Another important aspect in making your mark in blogging (and I believe in life) is finding your niche.  Just until this year I didn't want to label myself into a certain niche.  Sure I was a home decor blogger but that was vague enough where I could blog about anything I wanted.  But once I was able to narrow in what I really was passionate about and what I believed would stick with me for years to come and possibly the rest of my life, I began to see my blog and myself really begin to thrive in a new way.

If you feel niche-less that is okay.  I don't think you can necessarily just force yourself to pin it down.  It may be just your season of life.  But if you are ready to start finding your niche, start searching for it at least.  Consider what you truly love and what gives you life deep within you.

And the last point is to look at long term goals.  I am pretty content at where my blog is at.  Of course, like everyone else, I desire it to grow in readership but I see what it takes to make blogging a full time job and I do not desire that for myself.  My long term goal is to create a community where women are encouraged and can feel known in this space.  For me this means to continue to provide content that encourages and supports women who have a heart for their home as well as stay authentic in a way that readers can relate with.

My second long term goal is to have my home featured in a magazine one day.  This is a big goal and a little embarrassing to admit.  But it is a real dream of mine and so I desire to take the steps to maybe provide that opportunity one day.  I do not expect it to happen now or in the next five years but while I hope and wait I can work on my interior photography and build my readership to one day get noticed.

My point in sharing this is that you get to choose the goals and dreams for your blog and life.  And then own it and take the steps you can now to work towards that goal.  But unless you are ready to peak, be patient knowing that if you work hard for those goals you can achieve it one day.  But don't let today's lack of success get you down.  It takes hard work to get where you want and though it may seem like some have it so easy, chances are they worked hard and made many sacrifices to get there.

Honestly, in this season of life I struggle with balancing what is on my plate.  The success I desire I probably couldn't handle right now.  So instead of wishing for something that is unrealistic to my life season, I continue working on it at a pace that works for me.  I am still working for those goals and can make those dreams come true but in a way that hopefully at 65, I can look back and be proud of my life long success and not just the success 29 year old Ashley thought she needed today.

*And to show how I, my blog, and my home have changed over the past five years, photos from around the house through the years.  I sure do like to change up a gallery wall!