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On a Mission of Self Improvement

  • September 23, 2016
  • By 50 Shades
  • 22 Comments
On a Mission of Self Improvement

This year I have been on a mission of self improvement, and not just trying to be a better person but trying to be a better writer, blogger, photographer, graphic artist and more techno-wise. In fact I have undertaken so many short courses, workshops, podcasts, challenges and joined so many Facebook forums that my head is in a constant spin!

I’m constantly worried about my SEO (site engine optimization), blog content, photo sizes, website speed, Google analytics, website presentation, social media presence and the list goes on and on. I think I have reached the point where I want to scream from the rooftop: “Enough! I can’t possibly absorb anymore information to help improve my blog”.

 

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Do you ever feel this way? This overwhelming feeling of not being good enough or smart enough to learn and understand the deluge of new information that is thrust at us every single day? It is pure and simple “information overload” and I believe it is making a lot of us feel inadequate and not good enough.

And if that isn’t “enough” the rules are constantly changing. Every other day I read a Facebook post that informs me that Google SEO has changed the rules, Facebook has also made a lot of changes on their social media platform, Instagram is forging ahead and Pinterest is the new “go to” social media. I was recently told during one of my workshops that it is best to select one social media platform and concentrate on that, which is probably very good advice.

Problogger Conference Presenters

Problogger 2015 Conference Presenters

Recently I made the fatal mistake of having my website critiqued by a highly experienced website designer and blogger, who recommended a multitude of changes to my website and even told me “to put more of myself into my blog posts” and that my travel posts “was like reading the history section of the Lonely Planet”. Ouch, that hurt! I think if I put anymore of myself into my blog posts I would be describing my dull daily routines and I’m sure my readers don’t want to know about that!

Hence I am in the middle of re-designing my website to make it more attractive and user friendly to my readers and this I don’t mind doing as it was long overdue for an overhaul. However when I was advised that there were some critical errors with site speed and that my website lacks a site map, I was completely overawed. I got this terrible feeling of being in over my head in deep poo poo!

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Four years ago when I started up my little blog I had no idea that it was going to absorb me body and soul and take up so much of my precious time. It was at that stage just an interest or hobby. Now I find myself creating a living from the blog and associated freelance writing assignments, it is as though I live and breath it.

I know I harp on about self improvement and updating your technical skills all the time, but at this present moment I feel as though I’m in “information overload”. I don’t know whether I want to have the “perfect” website with all the latest plugins and widgets. I also don’t know whether I want to spend more time promoting it via social media a hundred times a day and sending out countless email newsletters.

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So I have decided to be “good enough” as I am. I will keep plugging away but I’m going to try and ignore all the articles about how to improve my blog, grow my readership and monetise my blog. Sometimes I feel you have to be content with what you have rather than striving for perfection all the time.

I think our biggest downfall is the competitive world we live in and desiring everything that others have. You know the saying “the grass is always greener on the other side”? I look at other travel blogs and compare them to mine all the time and think “they are much more attractive, better written, more informative, etc, etc”. It is difficult putting a handle on it, keeping it real and working within your limitations.

So my message is: Yes, by all means seek ways to improve yourself by undertaking courses and such, but at the same time keep it real and don’t let yourself become overawed or out of your depth with the experience, (like I have!) Be good to yourself and remember as long as you are happy you are “enough”.

What are your thoughts? Do you think we all put a lot of pressure on ourselves to be perfect?

 

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By 50 Shades, September 23, 2016 Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.
  • 22

50 Shades

Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.

22 Comments
  • Jan Wild
    September 23, 2016

    I hear you Kathy. That sense of overload caused me to scratch the ProBlogger Conference off my 2016 goals. I knew I couldn’t take on all that extra information.

    • Kathy
      September 23, 2016

      It seemed timely to talk about this because I think like a lot of other women, young and old, we are constantly bombarded with so much information that we are setting ourselves up with illusions of grandeur. We need to start thinking that we are good enough. I’m rather glad I didn’t do ProBlogger either because I still haven’t implemented all of last year’s information!

  • Jo
    September 23, 2016

    I think you just got into my head! Exactly right. It started out being all about the writing, photography and connecting with people. Recently it’s all been about the technical side, and marketing and social media algorithms – and me too I’m in constant overload and not sleeping at night.

    • Kathy
      September 23, 2016

      Jo when I read your email newsletter a few weeks ago I was also feeling terribly overwhelmed. Hence the reason for this post. I think we are all putting too much pressure on ourselves to have the “perfect blog” with all the latest technical stuff, but at the end of the day it is still about creating good content and connecting with our readers. We are “good enough” Jo! :)

  • Rae Hilhorst
    September 23, 2016

    Hi Kathy, your writing is great. It’s hard not to compare ourselves to others but my advice is don’t. I stopped and feel much better, less pressure. I also thought about why I blogged, for the enjoyment it gave me. So I go back to my roots and my reasons for blogging. I feel better now as will you xxx

    • Kathy
      September 23, 2016

      Exactly right Rae. We all need to stop comparing ourselves to others and begin to “love” ourselves for own attributes. I also blog because of my passion for life and travel and from now on I’m going to ignore all the techno geniuses that are out there promising to make our blogs more successful! :)

  • Michelle Weaver (@pinkypoinker)
    September 23, 2016

    I wish I was harder on myself to tell the truth. It’s not that I’m lazy it’s more that I can’t see the point. If I had a proper blog that dealt with informative things like yours I’d try harder. I think being compared to Lonely Planet is a good thing isn’t it? I love your blog.

    • Kathy
      September 23, 2016

      You shouldn’t underrate your blog, I think you do have proper blog Michelle. It is always light, entertaining and extremely enjoyable to read. I have just completed a travel writer’s course and they have also told me my writing sucks, so I’m licking my wounds at present. I guess I could take being compared to one of the biggest travel guide books in the world as a compliment. I think the ‘expert’ who critiqued my blog was being a proper little bitty!

  • Darren Rowse
    September 23, 2016

    Great post and while it might seem odd that a guy who dedicates so much of his life to providing information on how to improve a blog would agree with you I do.

    I see a lot of people who almost become addicted to the learning about blogging that they don’t actually do much. Others get paralysed by the rules and techniques that they see others doing and teaching and don’t really do anything.

    The comparison game can be something that holds a lot of people back like I say.

    While I think it’s healthy to learn from others and to pay attention to the new strategies, techniques etc the reality is that the reason most blogs succeed or fail is because the people behind them spend most of their time creating great content that serves those who read them and that they work on building connections with their audience.

    I said in one of my sessions this year that I’d spend 95% of my time on content/community/engagement and the other 5% techniques/tactics/tools etc.

    • Kathy
      September 23, 2016

      I am humbled that Mr ProBlogger himself has taken the time to post a comment on my article! I was worried initially that you would be disagreeing with my little spray about the pressures of the technicalities of blogging. It is refreshing to hear someone like yourself echo my thoughts on the subject. Thanks Darren for your supportive comment and giving me clarity. I will always keep learning and implementing new technology to keep my blog up to date and I think I will more than likely attend the ProBlogger Conference again. Unfortunately I was in Bali for this year’s conference. :)

  • All Around Oz
    September 23, 2016

    Kathy….I read this about five times and I LOVE everything you had to say. Yes I love learning too and devour everything I can about blogging but even then there is stuff that I just don’t understand. I did spend a little bit of money on getting my blog to look how I wanted it to. But even after doing that it’s still not perfect and I sometimes I still don’t consider myself to be a ‘real’ writer. But you know what? I’m doing something that I really love and I bet you are too. So keep going….cause I think you’re little piece of the ‘blogoverse’ is wonderful!

    • Kathy
      September 23, 2016

      Mel, I’m so glad that I’ve resonated with a few fellow bloggers. I think it all needed to be said because a lot of us are feeling a little overwhelmed with all the info that is out there in the blogosphere. Although I constantly strive to improve myself and my blog it always seems that I am still not good enough. As for your blog, I think it is fantastic and always very well written – otherwise I wouldn’t bother reading it! Thank you so much for your kind words and continued support. It is people like you that make it all worthwhile. :)

  • Jenny
    September 23, 2016

    Hi Kathy,
    As I’m now back at work I’ve not been blogging or reading blogs but your headline reeled me back. In only four years you’ve learned so much and had lots of fun doing so. That’s enough as it is, but to be making an income and enjoying yourself, well, that’s got to be more than enough. Congratulations on your year of learning!
    Ciao,
    Jenny

    • Kathy
      September 23, 2016

      Hi Jenny, it’s been a while and I am so glad I have enticed you back to my blog. Yes I’ve been on a learning curve and also doing a lot of travel along the way. You will be happy to learn that I’m planning a big trip to Italy next year mainly because of following your wonderful blog of your experiences in this wonderful country. Thank you for your kind words and yes I am still enjoying blogging, learning and travelling! :)

  • leannelc
    September 23, 2016

    Hi, I just found you through Middle Aged Mama and I can so relate to your post. I’ve only been blogging for a couple of years, but boy it’s been a steep learning curve. I didn’t know about HTML, SEO, Google Analytics, ant the list goes on. My facebook has been swamped by my blog stuff – half my friends have probably unfriended me because of it and despite it all, I think I’ve finally found the balance of blogging for fun and not worrying about views (much) or money or writing sponsored posts about stuff I don’t care about etc. Lovely to meet you btw x
    Leanne @www.crestingthehill.com.au

    • Kathy
      September 23, 2016

      Lovely to meet you too Leanne via the blogosphere. Blogging is a very steep learning curve, albeit a sometimes frustrating and frowned upon occupation. When I first set out on my blogging journey I lost two good friends, my family thought I was ridiculous and yes many people ‘unfriended’ me on Facebook. However despite all the hurdles and bumps along the way I still find it the most rewarding and satisfying thing that I have done with my life (apart from marriage and children!) I have popped over to your blog and think it is fantastic. :)

  • Janet Camilleri (@middleagedmama1)
    September 24, 2016

    The more I learn about blogging, SEO, social media etc, the more I realise I *don’t* know. But as long as I keep enjoying what I’m doing I’ll keep doing it, and along the way I am learning so much.

    • Kathy
      September 25, 2016

      Ha ha me too Janet! I agree totally with you. I think I was trying to learn too much and got completely overwhelmed. It is back to the simple approach for me. :)

  • Anna At Lifestyle Crossroads
    October 2, 2016

    I also see myself in between all these lines of “info overload”! I genuinely miss that innocent time I did´t know what SEO was :-))) On one hand improving things for you blog makes you grow (both personally and professionally), but on the other hand it could become so exhausting at times! Like a vicious cycle :-D You update things to keep up with the times. And the next day – the rules of the game have already changed and you need to rush around again ;-)

    • Kathy
      October 2, 2016

      You got it Anna! It can be a frustrating experience being a blogger in such a technical world. I am handing my website over the experts now! :)

  • Sunny
    November 11, 2016

    Excellent post Kathy! I shall hang on to your words ” keep it real and don’t let yourself become overawed”

    Best lesson on the week! Thank you.

    • Kathy
      November 11, 2016

      Thanks Sunny. Sometimes we do become overawed with all that is thrown at us daily. We do need to keep it real and learn to say no. :)

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