The Life Cycle of a Blogger - Ten Stages


Wash Rinse Repeat
Photo by Bill Stilwell

So lately there have been a lot of posts about blogging fatigue, twitter promotion overload (here and here), and the state of blogging in general. Also, many bloggers seem to have hit the overwhelmed point and are either thinking of stopping altogether or doing some major readjusting. And as I read through these posts, I often found myself nodding my head because I share many of the sentiments.


I've been blogging for almost 2.5 years now and have been on twitter about a year and a half. That's a lot of posts (both writing and reading.) And there are some days where it's still totally fresh and exciting; there are others where I want to crawl in a cave and forget all of it. There are also days where I find myself rolling my eyes at the constant promotion some people do or the same topics for blogs getting recycled over and over again.

But I realized as I was reading everyone's posts that many of us are in a certain stage of our blogging careers. When you've done something for years, there are bound to be points where you feel burnt out or annoyed or totally overwhelmed. And you may vacillate back and forth between those stages.

But for those of us who maybe have hit the cynical stage, we need to remember that every day there are new writers and new bloggers entering the blogosphere. It's all new to them. So a post on not using adverbs may be the hundredth one you've seen, but it may be another writer's first. And it will be an epiphany for them.

It's kind of like high school. When you're a senior, you look at the freshman and think--wow, I can't believe they're getting excited over that. But when YOU were a freshman, you had that same enthusiasm because it was new to you.

So I think it's important to recognize that, like anything else, blogging/social networking is a cycle. We're going to find ourselves in different parts of it at different times.


The Life Cycle of a Blogger - 10 Stages

Image via Daily HaHa

1. Bright, shiny newness. 
OMG, look at all this information that's out there for FREE!!! And look at all these cool people who want to be writers too! I must follow everyone I meet and we're all going to be BFFs and I'll comment on all of my friends posts because I want to be supportive and want them to comment on mine. And this is going to be amazing!


Dog chillin' with red sunglasses
Photo by Rollan Budi

2. People are following me! I must be a totally killer, kickass blogger.
I must blog every day because people will wonder what happened to me otherwise and they won't be able to function in their day if they don't hear from me. They like me, they really like me.




3. Lucy in the candy factory.
Wow, it sure takes a lot of time to answer every comment and to visit every blog in my blog roll and leave a comment for them. And boy, my twitter feed is scrolling by at the speed of a CNN ticker. And crap, I need to write an apology post for not being a great blog friend and must promise to do better! *stares at unfinished manuscript*



Head in Hands
Photo via Alex E. Proimos


4. Breaking down.
I need to take a blog vacation or an unplugged week or go to Mexico for a month because I'm not getting anything done and there's all this PRESSURE to blog and build my platform.



Photo by Nate Steiner

5. AHHH! Panic
Oh no, my Klout score has dropped and my follower numbers have stagnated. I'm barely getting comments! I must get back on the wagon because I must build my platform. But I don't know what to blog about anymore. I'm out of ideas. What am I going to do?



Crazy Sister

Photo by joseloya

6. Mania
I can do it all. Of course I can. I can be a parent and a spouse and a blogger and a writer and keep a clean house and pay my bills. Oh yeah, and write books and get published, because that was the point in the first place, right?



photo via BaileyRaeWeaver

7. Screw it All
I'm quitting. Blogging doesn't sell books anyway--especially ones I don't have time to write--so why bother? I need to dedicate my life to my art and writing alone. I need no one! No one I tell you!



Pioneer Zephyr Train

Photo by Mr. T in DC

8. Reinvention/Streamlining
Okay, so maybe I do need someone. I miss my writer buddies. I'm going to redo my blog schedule. I'm going to take the pressure off myself. I'm going to talk about things that excite me. I'm going to stop apologizing for not being the "perfect" blogger or blogging friend.


Photo by Tim Pierce

9. Fatigue with a dash of cynicism
Why are the same posts being re-written over and over again. It's all been said before. And would people just stop freaking tweeting about their books and promoting themselves non-stop?! I want to stab everyone with a fork. My online world sounds like blah blah blah white noise.




Photo by Scarleth White

10. Finding the sweet spot 
I'm only going to do the online things I enjoy. I'm only going to read/interact/participate in the things I have time for and like doing. There are always people coming up with fresh content, I just have to be open to looking in new places. There is always something new to learn and a new friend to make.


I have to say I've probably stopped in at each of these stages at some point. I hang out at 6, 8, and 9 a little too often probably. :)

So how about you? Do you recognize yourself in any of these stages? Where are you at right now? Have any stages to add?



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