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I Feel Bad About My Blog

“Good God, woman,” you must be saying to yourself right now. “What is it with all the blog posts about blogging these days?”

I know. And I’m sorry. This year I’ve already published Every Single Thing I Know About Social Media, Everything Single Thing I Know About Instagram, and, my personal favourite, When Did Travel Blogging Get So Boring? I always hear that you shouldn’t write about blogging that much on your blog, because it only appeals to a certain audience, but then I also think of my own advice, which is… do whatever the hell you want, because the day that I start ignoring my gut instincts to write what I want and instead try to conform to what I’m told in an overpriced blogging course is the day that this blog will die a slow, keyword-stuffed death.

And in all of those posts I’ve written about blogging, I repeat the same thing over and over again: no matter what, you have to feel good about your blog. You have to feel good about the content you’re creating, the message you’re sending, and the way that you feel about what you’re producing. You have to feel that you’re staying true to yourself and not endlessly comparing your work to somebody else’s work.

Most days, I feel this. Most days, I love what I’ve worked so hard to achieve and the business plans I have for the future. Most days – scratch that, every day – I feel fantastic about the supportive community of people surrounding this blog. Most days I cannot believe that this is my job, and that people will invite me to places like Antigua and Barbuda because of it. Most days I am filled with gratitude and happiness. Most days I love this blog, I love blogging, and I’m really proud of the content I’m creating.

But some days… days like today… GODDAMN IT. I FEEL SO BAD ABOUT MY BLOG.

Here are some reasons why I felt bad about my blog today:

-the design is outdated and clunky and I’ve never been totally happy with it

-I need to find a new designer, which takes tons of time… and OH MY GOD, it costs how much?!

-wait, when I find someone to design it, I still need to find someone to develop it? And that’s… how much?! *shakes fist to sky*

-and in order for my new design to work the way I want it to, I need to go back and re-tag every single blog post I’ve ever published? OK then. I’ll do that for all of them… all 758 of them

-a good majority of my blog posts were never optimised for SEO, meaning they are just floating around on page 72 of Google and potentially weighing down my blog

-someone just emailed me to tell me they found 404 errors on my site

-someone just emailed me to tell me they can’t access my blog from Facebook

-someone just emailed me to tell me they can’t read my posts in their email

-all of my photos on my blog need resizing. All of them… all 7,000+ of them

-I have never done H1, H2, or H3 headings in a blog post. Wait, what are those again? Asking for a friend

-all of my posts pre-2013 need reformatting, which seems like a really fun job that won’t require multiple bottles of whisky to get through. Side note: is it inappropriate to deliberately seek out a boyfriend in IT or computer programming? Like, a travel videographer would be hot and all, but what I really need is someone who knows how to speak binary code to me, you know what I’m saying?

my Instagram is at a standstill because I am just flooded by hoards of follow/unfollowers every day and WHAT THE HELL, IS THERE A NEW ALGORITHM alsdjflasjdfkaj

-I know, I know, I need to get onto that whole newsletter thing

-I know, I know, I need to get onto that whole affiliate thing

-I know, I know, I need to get onto that whole Pinterest thing

-my Yoast plug-in is telling me not to start consecutive sentences with the same words. I know, I know, but SUCK IT, YOAST, this is how I write!!

-my Facebook community is growing… yay!… but oh God, here come the trolls and the plague of inane, ignorant comments

-I need a new camera because I need to take better photos, because I will NOT go to Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, and Tanzania without having a good camera and adequate lenses. Wait… a good mirrorless camera with extra lenses costs how much?!

editing my book (again) is really, really hard and I have almost convinced myself I’m the worst writer alive, but then I remember the Twilight series exists and Stephenie Meyer made crazy good money, so I try to keep going

-my email inbox is out of control, and people will not stop emailing me to a) ask me to hawk car insurance and eye cream and their brand new app that is “totally unlike any other app out there” despite me receiving four emails a day about similar apps or b) call me Breanna or Brenda, tell me that they just found my blog today, and then ask me to help them plan a huge round-the-world trip

-I really need a Pinterest VA, don’t I? Or do I? Would I ever be able to hire someone to help out on this blog or would I be a horrible micro-manager? Wait, is my succulent dying? It looks kinda dead. Have I been worrying about hiring a Pinterest VA for so long that I let my plant die??

-I am currently not broke, but what if I get broke? Have I really been “leaving money on the table” all this time, as every single affiliate course tells me? I mean, I’m planning a trip to Africa this summer, which, wait… it costs how much?! *faints* (to be fair, I really don’t have to stay at Giraffe Manor, but c’mon… I also kind of have to stay at Giraffe Manor)

-no seriously, this blog design is killing me

With Victoria in London Fields on a beautiful summer’s day last year. All of the photos in this post are from that time, because it’s a good memory, and because I never know which photos to put in a post about blogging. I mean – there’s only so many photos you can post of a laptop and a stylish agenda, you know? This is also something I feel bad about – that I don’t want to use stock photography but that I never seem to have the right photos for posts like this. 

This post is not to complain, however. What I really wanted in writing this post is to show that feeling bad about your blog once in a while – hey, feeling bad about anything you do once in a while, no matter how talented or successful you are – is part of being human. Trust me, whenever I get together with other bloggers, even ones who have apparently “made it”, we always talk about the things on our blogs or social media that are annoying us, or things we need to do next. Everybody has something they need to work on or fix or learn. That’s the thing with this industry, or any industry, for that matter: you will forever be growing, learning, changing, and figuring out how to run your business even better. That’s why the most successful people are those who have learned to adapt, those who are open to new ideas, and those who work the hardest.

Most days, I feel bloody amazing about this blog and the career it has given me. But some days, I feel like it’s the shittiest, ugliest, clunkiest blog on the block. No matter what I do, however, even if I fix all those errors and get a new design and figure out how to block out the trolls and finally snag a date with that hot IT guy (I legitimately have my eye on one right now), I will still feel like that from time to time. You hear this from even the most successful people in the world – fear of failure and worries about inadequacy can actually drive ambition and make you work harder. The people who pretend it’s super easy and always rainbows and unicorns? They’re lying. Everyone feels bad once in a while; it’s just part of the human condition. Nobody has it all figured out… nobody.

I know I could just sit here and try to forget all those things that are plaguing me and watch another episode of Forensic Files (hint: it’s always the husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend), but I also know that that won’t solve any of my problems (although I do now know the difference between medium-velocity blood splatter and high-velocity blood splatter). Instead, I need to shake myself out of it, tackle my issues one at a time, and not lose sight of what really matters to me.

Today, yes, I feel bad about my blog. But tomorrow is a whole new day.

Have you ever felt bad about your blog or about something else that usually makes you quite happy?


92 Responses to I Feel Bad About My Blog

  1. Amy April 3, 2017 at 9:20 pm #

    Girl, I feel you. I freelance write on the side of my full-time job just to supplement, and I blog for fun. Right now, the trifecta of paid writing work, guest-posting to up my exposure, and writing actual content for my own blog is a state of constant chaos. I struggle to find a balance, with at least one of the three suffering as I focus my energy and time on the others. And I’ve been typing so much recently that I’ve developed wrist pain! 🙁

    BUT. I’m also thrilled that I am getting paid (even if just a little) to write, that the work I’ve been investing in guest posting and collabs is landing my blog on page one of Google searches, and that I’m crystallizing the aim and style of my blog.

    As for Instagram? That follow/unfollow game has KO-ed me.

    • Brenna Holeman April 8, 2017 at 1:30 am #

      It really is a constant battle with time management! I find myself spending hours doing some seemingly innocuous task and avoiding the really big stuff (see: newsletter, affiliates, Pinterest, ha ha). I’m glad to know I’m not alone! And yes, it’s a great feeling to be paid for something you love 🙂

  2. Rachel Elizabeth April 3, 2017 at 9:21 pm #

    This post seriously spoke to me. Just … OH MY GOD, I am so unhappy with my blog’s design too, but I can’t afford someone to fix it for me. Argh. And my newsletter? Biggest joke eveeeeeer. I totally feel your pain, girl, I do.

    • Brenna Holeman April 7, 2017 at 10:19 pm #

      Ha ha – thank you, Rachel! I’m glad I’m not alone 🙂

  3. Cate April 3, 2017 at 9:35 pm #

    Oh Brenna, no! I and many others absolutely love your blog, no matter what it looks like. I actually really appreciate the simple design and how its not all pop up ads and bright colors in your face (unlike many other blogs out there!). I love your pictures and everything you write. It is all so fresh and beautiful and has really changed how I travel and see the world, and has influenced my writing. This may sound super stalker-y, but I have actually recently been re reading and reading a lot of old blogs on here and I love them! Who cares what other people think- going against the status quo is much better these days anyway. I also feel self conscious about my blog a lot, as sometimes comments dont work or things dont load all the way- but I really love writing and taking pictures and that is all that matters.

    • Brenna Holeman April 8, 2017 at 1:32 am #

      Aw, thank you so much, Cate! You always post the nicest comments. I’m glad to hear that you don’t mind the design, although I think after four years it is time for a freshening up. 🙂 There will never be any pop-up ads, though! Thank you so much for supporting my blog… and thanks for rereading, that’s amazing!

  4. Victoria April 3, 2017 at 9:44 pm #

    Ha! You know I relate to this! I think it’s quite fitting that there’s a photo of me in the post 🙂

    Your blog is awesome. Rejoice!

    • Brenna Holeman April 8, 2017 at 1:30 am #

      Thank you, Victoria! Your blog is awesome, too 🙂 x

  5. Cheryl April 3, 2017 at 9:45 pm #

    Are you kidding? I love your blog, love your style.
    The content matters most to me and you’ve got that in spades.
    Keep it up.

    • Brenna Holeman April 7, 2017 at 10:20 pm #

      Aw, thanks, Cheryl. That really means a lot to me. 🙂

  6. Korii April 3, 2017 at 10:07 pm #

    I have had these feelings A LOT!!! Sometimes it all seems a little overwhelming seeing all this stuff I need to get done but then I just take a breath, keep whittling away at that list and surely one day it will get smaller.

    Also I really enjoy reading your posts about blogging, so feel free to keep it up. 😉 (In saying that, I enjoy pretty much any topic you write about!)

    • Brenna Holeman April 7, 2017 at 10:20 pm #

      Thank you so much, Korii – you’re the best! And yes, whittling away at that list is the way to do it…

  7. Bethen April 3, 2017 at 10:32 pm #

    Totally feel you Brenna!! I’m currently learning coding and web design and am realising how much my current (not even that old) blog design actually sucks because it’s a template on WordPress and really, maybe I should have waited and built my own website from scratch, but that would have taken soooooo long and did I really want to carry on using Blogger……???? There’s always something that you can be unhappy about and luckily it doesn’t often all get on top of me but sometimes, I definitely get days like this!! Yesterday I spent THREE hours trying to get an Instagram plugin to work. Three hours!! This is supposed to be easy for people with little or no experience to do. I have some experience and I struggled and eventually gave up!! So yeah, totally get where you’re coming from here!! On the plus side, super stoked to meet ya on Thursday at your get together! See you then 🙂

    • Brenna Holeman April 8, 2017 at 1:35 am #

      Oh god, I know – I spend HOURS doing stuff and then later think, wait, was that even worth it?? I am debating waiting for the redesign because I’m just not happy with anything I’m finding, and it seems as though I do need to build something from scratch. Might have to wait until after my trip this summer. 🙁

      Anyway, it was awesome to meet you! Thank you so much for coming to the meet up 😀

  8. Leah April 3, 2017 at 10:54 pm #

    Girrrrrl I feel this so hard. Every day it’s a struggle against my own mind not to compare myself to others. That’s really what gets me down the most is seeing other people have success where I am failing miserably. Not that I’m bitter toward them, I never let my petty jealousy burn bridges or anything, but I have trouble looking at their success and gleaning lessons from it–as in, “What are they doing that I’m not doing and how can I fix that?”

    Your blog is an inspiration to me and your honest writing has always been a big reason for that. Keep on keepin’ on, tomorrow is a new day. x

    • Brenna Holeman April 8, 2017 at 1:36 am #

      You are definitely not failing miserably! I love your blog. 🙂 I try not to compare to anyone and focus on my own thing… but, of course, we’re our own worst critics.

      And thank you so much for your kind words, I really appreciate it x

  9. Danny April 3, 2017 at 10:56 pm #

    I feel ya, Brenna! Sometimes I look at my blog and feel like just chucking it against the wall (well, I guess I can’t really do that, but I do feel like throwing my laptop at the wall). I think it’s human nature to be self-critical and wonder about the work we do. If it’s of any solace to you, though: I love your blog just the way it is – design, trolls, consecutive sentences, and all!

    • Brenna Holeman April 8, 2017 at 1:32 am #

      Aw, thanks, Danny! And yes, I have to fight the daily urge to throw my laptop against a wall, ha ha! 😉

  10. Paige April 3, 2017 at 11:33 pm #

    I don’t have a blog (though I sometimes feel bad about my lack of blog) but my writing has been in a state of extreme neglect since I finished my MFA…in December of 2015. I have two file crates of grad school stuff literally collecting dust and every time I look at it I feel bad. So this definitely resonated with me, haha. Like others are saying, it’s probably the trap of human nature to feel this way about the stuff we love, but it still sucks. I, for one, love your blog! 🙂

    • Brenna Holeman April 8, 2017 at 1:33 am #

      Yes, I think it definitely is the human condition!! And thank you so much for all of your support on this blog, Paige – it means so much to me. 🙂

  11. Anne April 3, 2017 at 11:44 pm #

    Hi Breanna. I mean Brenda. No, I mean, sorry what did you say your name was again? 😉 Have you got remote access to my computer by any chance? Because I think you just copied my to-do list. Oh and when you find that hot IT guy, will you check if he’s got a hot workmate for me please?

    • Brenna Holeman April 7, 2017 at 10:21 pm #

      Ha ha ha! I love this comment 😀 Thanks for making me laugh, Anne!

  12. Ben April 3, 2017 at 11:59 pm #

    Really love this post, Brenna, and just wanted to say thank you for being so candid. I feel exactly the same way. Started my blog about 5 years ago with the wild and seemingly impossible dream of becoming a full-time freelance travel writer/blogger. I feel so fortunate that it has (more or less) worked out. But all too often it has felt like I must be missing something: ‘How come all these other bloggers have the time and money to travel so much?’ ‘What do they know that I don’t?’

    I got to a point where I started obsessing over what other bloggers were doing. After all, they had “made it” and I obviously hadn’t. I pushed myself to be more open to new ideas, to try new ways to make being a freelance writer a viable career and approach it as more of a business instead of just my passion. In reality however I found this simply resulted in me going against my gut instinct and paying attention to poor advice. Worse still, it distracted me and made me lose sight of what really matters to me, which is to be the best writer I can be and share my passion for travel with others.

    So thank you for reminding me/us that it’s OK to feel bad about it all sometimes, and to keep on anyway. Thank you for reminding me/us that there are no unicorns to chase. And thank you for reminding me/us that no one really has it all figured out.

    And as I’ve already rambled on this far, may I also add how confident I am that no fancy new blog design and no amount of H2 tags/affiliates/newsletters/Pinterest pins could ever inspire us as much as your words do.

    Warmest regards,

  13. Tana Henry April 4, 2017 at 12:09 am #

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting this! I’ve thought every single one of those things (except for those that I didn’t even know I was supposed to be doing in the first place). ;). But seriously, yes! Guess we’ll both (all) just feel bad for a bit, then be grateful for blogging in the first place and get back to work on them. 🙂

    • Brenna Holeman April 8, 2017 at 1:37 am #

      Yes! That’s a great attitude to have. Thanks for your comment, Tana! 🙂

  14. Helen April 4, 2017 at 12:12 am #

    This is me every day!!!!!!!!! I don’t even know how I had time to work and blog before! Maybe I just cared less then! A happier time if you will! 😉 Let’s drown our sorrows again together soon! 🙂


    • Brenna Holeman April 7, 2017 at 10:21 pm #

      Yessssss much wine is needed, I think! Zanzibar…? 😉

  15. Nina April 4, 2017 at 12:46 am #

    Omg I needed this!!! Today was one of those days for me too! I literally have almost every problem you listed. I want to laugh/cry everytime I think about it. Uhhh!! But yes I can’t complain too much. I love it at the same time. Such perfect timing for me to find this!! Thank you! 🙂

    • Brenna Holeman April 7, 2017 at 10:22 pm #

      We’re in sync!! I’m glad to know I’m not alone 🙂 Thanks for your comment, Nina!

  16. Monica April 4, 2017 at 12:47 am #

    I have been reading your blog for about a year, so not that long, but all I can say is, it is wonderful the way it is! The reason your blog is my favorite is because I love your writing style and your entertaining stories, not because it’s got a sleek design and generic 10 Best Tips etc articles. Your blog is why I decided to get serious about my blog, because you showed me that you can have a travel blog thay doesn’t lose its soul amongst the code. Update your design if you want to, but just know I think the reason people keep coming back here has nothing to do with the design and more to do with that we enjoy reading your writing.

    • Brenna Holeman April 8, 2017 at 1:55 am #

      Aw, what an amazing comment, Monica. Thank you so much! And that’s so awesome that you are enjoying blogging, too, it can be such an amazing hobby/career/passion. I wish you all the best with your blog, and thanks again! 😀

  17. Henry April 4, 2017 at 2:08 am #

    I’m just restarting travel blogging again after a few years hiatus. The biggest thing for me is trying to figure out my motivation. I’ve vacillated between wanting to be an advice provider, a reviewer, or an “internet personality”. Since I’m not looking at the blog to fund my travels, or provide any real income, it might be easier, but I’m finding I get the most joy in writing as if I’m talking towards friends or family. Maybe I’ll toss in a few SEO friendly tidbits (you’re not kidding about Yoast being strict), but for the most part, as long as I’m having fun, that’s enough. I’d rather be out having fun and writing about it later than stressing out about the layout and not spending time outside.

    • Brenna Holeman April 8, 2017 at 1:57 am #

      Exactly. You have hit the nail on the head! I feel the same way. It’s so important to love it and to feel as though you’re having fun – and that it’s still personal and authentic. Thanks for the comment, Henry, and best of luck with your blog! 🙂

  18. Erin April 4, 2017 at 2:57 am #

    LOL this was awesome! Your blog is amazing and I always couldn’t believe how you didnt have ads on it or anything! I wouldn’t think any less of you if you did! 😉

    • Brenna Holeman April 7, 2017 at 10:22 pm #

      Thank you so much, Erin! No ads for me anytime soon 🙂

  19. Zoe April 4, 2017 at 5:57 am #

    I so feel you! Sometimes it feels like there a is mountain on your shoulders with all the things you need to do. I’ve found making some sort of plan or list (even a half assed one) to tackle it all makes me feel better or atleast it’s easier to convince myself I’m getting through it. As for your blog and stuff, have you considered getting a student to do some design/developing work? Speaking as a student, they can be just as good quality and won’t charge as much as they’re new and looking to expand their portfolios.

    • Brenna Holeman April 8, 2017 at 1:57 am #

      Thanks for the tip, Zoe! Might be something to think about. 🙂 And yes, lists help so much! I feel like I’m always making them, ha ha…

  20. Katie April 4, 2017 at 5:58 am #

    Yep – I had to re-size all the photos on my blog when I switched from WordPress hosted to self-hosted – it was a nightmare but I have NOWHERE near as many posts as you! I also need to re-do SEO on so many old posts – urgh. I will be your Pinterest VA! I have worked for a number of bloggers and I am cheap compared to a lot of Pinterest VAs as I have only been doing it for 6 months – email me if you are interested 🙂 (I love Pinterest but am terrible at Instagram – been meaning to try harder for a while now…)

  21. Ashley April 4, 2017 at 6:52 am #

    This entire post resonated with me SO much. I always feel like I’m behind in the blogging world and it has caused me to get suckered into a few overpriced courses/ebooks. I laughed when you referenced the ‘leaving money on the table’ course as I recently bought that one, ha.

    • Brenna Holeman April 7, 2017 at 10:23 pm #

      Ha ha – there are so many of them now it’s hard to keep track! Thanks for your comment, Ashley – it’s always good to know I’m not alone! 😉

  22. Susan April 4, 2017 at 7:25 am #

    Here’s the bottom line in my humble opinion. It’s hard to be self-employed, which is what everyone is really talking about. I’m in the design business, and it’s hard to take pictures of my work (is it good enough, do I need to hire a professional photographer—how do I pay for that person?), and will it develop more work or does it just allow every “wanna be” designer to copy my hard work, how do I have time to do houzz and Pinterest and still keep my clients happy and the bills paid? So….all we can do is do what we love, and try to take somewhat of a business approach to what we are doing, and hope in the end there is enough to pay the rent, have food on the table, and take another trip!

    • Brenna Holeman April 8, 2017 at 1:58 am #

      Yes – you have totally summed it up, Susan! And I totally agree with your last lines – it is so important to do what we love. Thank you so much for your comment!

  23. Erica April 4, 2017 at 9:36 am #

    Brenna! Firstly, I love your blog and I hope you don’t continue to feel bad about it. Secondly? Hi! I’m a professional web designer and I volunteer as tribute to help you with your blog, if you are indeed in the market for help. Please send me an email if you’re interested and I can send you some samples and/or chat more about what you’d like and what your budget is. I’d be honored to be your designer!

    • Brenna Holeman April 7, 2017 at 10:23 pm #

      Thank you, Erica!

  24. Ella April 4, 2017 at 9:48 am #

    Ugh, this totally resonates with me. I always feel like I’m behind, I’m not where I ‘should’ be after 2 years and that I’m not doing ‘blogging’ correctly. But there are just some things that despite everyone saying that these are the secrets to blogging success, I just don’t want to do. For instance, I really don’t want to include vertical pins in my post – I don’t like the look of them. I guess it’s good to remember that there is no one ‘correct’ way to blog and that your blog is perfectly imperfect because it’s yours and it’s an authentic expression of you. A perfectly imperfect being 🙂
    P.S. What you might consider flaws of your blog, might actually be part of the reason why others love it. All of your blog’s ‘imperfections’ have certainly not stopped you from gaining a dedicated, loving following 🙂

    • Brenna Holeman April 8, 2017 at 1:59 am #

      Yes – you’re so right, Ella! Sometimes the imperfections are what really makes you stand out. 🙂 Thank you so much for your comment and for you beautiful words… I so appreciate all of your support on this blog!!

  25. Caroline April 4, 2017 at 10:26 am #

    YES to all of this.

    I can’t bear the thought of re-sizing photos. Been putting it off for months and I know I’ll probably never do it.

    I work full time and my blog is just a hobby but I get so annoyed that I don’t have enough time to spend on it. Having said that, even with all the time in the world, I could never be arsed re-sizing hundreds of photos…

    • Brenna Holeman April 8, 2017 at 1:38 am #

      Ha ha! That’s how I feel. It’s just so overwhelming that I think, “Oh well, no point in even trying”. Not a good attitude to have! But thankfully there are lots of other things to keep me busy and happy 🙂

  26. The slow pace April 4, 2017 at 10:33 am #

    Well, that’s a lot to deal with but maybe I have a tiny solution for one of your problems. Why don’t you rent those lenses for your travels to Africa? If you won’t use them frequently, maybe it’s a nice way to save money!

    And regarding the design of the blog: I think your content is so good that design doesn’t matter that much. So if you have to prioritize, leave that for another day!

    • Brenna Holeman April 8, 2017 at 1:49 am #

      Aw, thank you! And that’s a good idea about the lenses, although I’ll probably just end up buying them knowing me, ha ha.

  27. Mimi Rose April 4, 2017 at 10:49 am #

    Hahaha this post made me laugh out loud! I wish you could just put “IT guy” into Tinder, it would make life so much easier.

    • Brenna Holeman April 8, 2017 at 1:39 am #

      Ha ha! It definitely would 🙂

  28. Katie April 4, 2017 at 12:19 pm #

    I often feel this way about writing in general. (Oddly, I never felt too bad about my blog. It was what it was, which was free entertainment for those who read and enjoyed it, and a type of therapy for me — not really a business, which is a whole other monster.) But when I’m trying to write something that I would need someone *else* to publish? I’ll start off strong and then make the mistake of re-reading what I wrote and it all feels and sounds completely stupid. The exception is a screenplay I’ve been working on for a while… when I go back and skim I know parts of it still sound juvenile (it’s my first attempt at this kind of writing), but the *idea* still doesn’t feel dumb to me, which is why this might be the first big writing project I actually finish. Yay!

    The boyfriend bits of this post had me cracking up. Have you ever watched Silicon Valley? Hilarious. Though I’m not sure I’d date any of those guys. Of course, there are plenty of IT/tech guys who are totally awesome, so if you find one you connect with, score!!

    • Brenna Holeman April 8, 2017 at 1:48 am #

      I have been meaning to watch Silicon Valley! I’ll have to do it for sure now. 🙂

      And yes, I totally know that feeling of overthinking my writing. It comes very naturally on my own blog, but, for example, the book I wrote that I knew would be edited?? Oh Lord, I totally screwed that up by overthinking it. Yikes.

      Thanks for your comment, Katie – and how cool about the screenplay!! Yay!

  29. Chris April 4, 2017 at 3:34 pm #

    You may have one of the best travel blogs going today, in my opinion, and I’ve seen a lot of them. You have a great voice. You know your topic and you make it interesting for readers. Your posts are sincere and uncommercial. And, almost most importantly, you have great stamina and consistency in your posting. Yours is a refreshing blog and I think if you didn’t already know that, you likely wouldn’t be putting the time into that you have. Thank you for keeping it up.

    Often, I’ve been in a position to work with parties responsible for an enterprise’s website and/or blog and most are either unhappy that they’re not overwhelmed by its success or, as you pointed out, unhappy (to a degree) because they are overwhelmed by its success. You are in good company. Hit me up if you need a volunteer to tackle Yoast, and those H thingies, etc for you.

    • Brenna Holeman April 8, 2017 at 2:02 am #

      Wow, thank you so much, Chris – that is an amazing comment to receive! I really appreciate your words, and it’s very nice to read something like that when I’m feeling low. You definitely made my day. 🙂

  30. Tuliyani April 4, 2017 at 4:07 pm #

    I needed this. I am in a constant struggle between “Is my blog good enough?” and “Man, just do what you want!” I am always looking for new things to fix even when they’re functioning well. This post definitely gives me motivation to keep on truckin’ because everyone has these days.

    Also, Twitter is the bane of my existence and I used to love Pinterest until I had to figure out how to do it myself. (Mumbles to self while one Pinterest: “Don’t look at wedding dresses, don’t look at wedding dresses … OOoohhh but what are the best ab exercises??”)

    • Brenna Holeman April 8, 2017 at 1:47 am #

      Ha ha – Pinterest certainly has those distractions! And to be honest, I wouldn’t even worry about Twitter… it seems to be on its way out (as all social media platforms will eventually be, I imagine, which is why it’s not very beneficial to worry about them too much). I’m glad that you liked the post, thank you so much for reading and for commenting!

  31. Kristen April 4, 2017 at 4:30 pm #

    LOVE your blog! I just found it. But I get the feeling. I’m now just starting my own website (without remaining anonymous, that is) and am finally super happy with a service (SquareSpace) and the beautiful/easy design options offered. But don’t judge it yet, because I only have a sample photo up while I prep a year’s worth of photos/stories (before I tell anyone about it). It’s all crazy, but finally feels good. So I guess I just want to reassure you that there is LIGHT at the end of the ol’ design tunnel and that you’ve done phenomenally. =)

    • Brenna Holeman April 8, 2017 at 1:45 am #

      Ha ha – there is light indeed! I’m so happy that you’re happy with your design… that’s a great feeling to have. 🙂 Thanks for reading, Kristen!

  32. Zoey (Book Editor) April 4, 2017 at 6:29 pm #

    This kind of transparency is awesome to read. I know you weren’t asking for advice, but I wonder if London has anything like the STEP program in Alberta (Summer Temp. Employment Program) which subsidizes wages of summer intern-type employees. Not sure if your visa allows you to hire people, but that might be an opportunity to hire someone looking to build a similar career to you and who would be DELIGHTED to read 700 of your blog posts, optimize them for SEO and more.

    • Brenna Holeman April 8, 2017 at 1:44 am #

      I’m not sure about that – but that sounds like an awesome program! I’ll have to look into it. Thanks for the tip and for the nice comment! 🙂

  33. Jessica April 4, 2017 at 10:43 pm #

    Your blog is the greatest <3

    • Brenna Holeman April 8, 2017 at 1:40 am #

      Aw, thanks Jessica 🙂

  34. Karlie April 5, 2017 at 12:44 am #

    This really resonated with me. I often feel this way about my blog, particularly with design aspects. I know the design I want it to have, but having the money to have the design I want is a whole different thing.

    Also, something that has been discouraging is the posts that I feel proud of, my essays that take research, time, and heart, aren’t nearly the most popular. Instead, the most popular posts tend to be on seeing destination photos that give a general overview of a place. But my heart comes out in my essays. It’s a difficult conundrum.

    I really enjoy your blog, by the way. I like your voice and writing style and the perspective you give on where you travel to. You were one of the first travel blogs I ever read, and you kind of became the standard!

    • Brenna Holeman April 8, 2017 at 1:43 am #

      Thanks, Karlie – I’m so glad that it resonated for you! And I understand that struggle re: the posts. The way I look at it is… the SEO posts may get the readers to come in the first place, but it’s those personal posts that are going to make them stay. I try to have a very healthy mix! I hope you keep blogging 🙂

  35. lamesha April 5, 2017 at 3:46 pm #

    I don’t feel bad about your blog. I come here to daydream, hear about your adventures, find new places I’d like to go to, and imagine what it’s like to not have three kids and a shitty job and my husband’s military career holding me here. Your life sounds so damn exciting and fun. I think as readers, we’re more interested in the content and your actual voice than your blog’s layout. Yes, having really good SEO would be awesome and I hope you get everything formatted exactly how you would like ASAP, but please don’t be too hard on yourself. Dating an IT guy would be pretty sweet, hope that works out for you as well.

    • Brenna Holeman April 8, 2017 at 1:42 am #

      Thank you so much, Lamesha – that is such a kind thing to say. 🙂 And yes, I know that it doesn’t really matter about the layout… I think it’s just a personal preference and a desire to freshen it all up! One day, perhaps. Thanks again – you’re awesome. 😀

  36. Lucy April 5, 2017 at 5:45 pm #

    So many LOL’s at this post dude. Brilliant Nora Ephron ref too 😉

    • Brenna Holeman April 6, 2017 at 12:55 am #

      YES! Thank you for getting that reference 😀

  37. Divya April 6, 2017 at 7:48 am #

    Yes, yes and yes! I am so in sync with all that you said. Your blog is lovely, btw. Content is the king and I find your content useful, always. But I love the fact that you openly wrote a post about how blogging is so hard, time-consuming and expensive. It brings so much peace to my mind that experienced bloggers like you struggle with all those issues that we thought only the new ones, like us, struggle with. Thank you for penning down thoughts so honestly. Loved the post.

    • Brenna Holeman April 8, 2017 at 1:40 am #

      Thanks so much, Divya! Trust me, I struggle every single day… but I love it, which is why we keep doing it, right? Thanks again for your comment!

  38. Christy April 6, 2017 at 9:02 pm #

    Your blog design stands out and your content is some of the best, and most honest, out there.
    Also, you definitely do need to stay at Giraffe Manor!

    • Brenna Holeman April 7, 2017 at 10:18 pm #

      Aw, thank you very much, Christy! And my reservation is already booked at Giraffe Manor 😉

  39. Bex Band April 8, 2017 at 1:48 am #

    This is the best blog I’ve read in ages. Brilliant!! Blogging is such a bugger sometimes.

    I’m starting to actively move away from all these new fancy designed blogs as I find them becoming more and more impersonal and showy. That’s why I think you should leave your website exactly the way it is!!!! I like it, dated and all. You are all about doing things differently 🙂

    • Brenna Holeman April 8, 2017 at 1:54 am #

      Thank you so much, Bex. And yes, the problem I’m having with all of the designers I’m looking at is they are all indeed so FANCY… plus they cost thousands and thousands of dollars, ha ha. I still very much want this to feel like a blog, not an impersonal website. Thanks again! 🙂

  40. Penelopi April 8, 2017 at 8:16 pm #

    I feel EXACTLY like this these days!! Sometimes i hate blogging and i am really wondering why the hell am i involved around this????
    Pain pain pain!!!
    The top of the mountain is when someones (that has no idea the amount of work) tell you: Oh come on what are you doing, you do not work, you do not do anything!! rgggrgr 🙂

    • Brenna Holeman April 8, 2017 at 11:09 pm #

      Yes, there certainly are a lot of ups and downs with blogging! Thankfully I love it far more than I… don’t love it. 😉

  41. Alina April 8, 2017 at 8:22 pm #

    It seems that quite a few of those issues could be solved by a bit of money (camera, redesign, developing) and a bit of time or help of others (VA for Pinterest etc). So when I get these blues for these reasons, I try to stay calm and think – in general, it makes me happy, right? Though I do get you, I have posted two entries this week that each were supposed to bring me closer to a new goal of unique visitors this month, but even with those posts my blog this month is performing like I hadn’t posted anything new and was just riding on organic search. Feeling down, but trying to stay motivated, month is not over, I can do it, I can! Sending hugs your way!

    • Brenna Holeman April 8, 2017 at 11:11 pm #

      Yes… time and (lots of) money… unfortunately they aren’t so easy to get sometimes! 😉 And yes, it’s always important to stay motivated… I recognise that sometimes I go through down days but know that I’ll go through great days, too. It’s all about balance.

  42. Victoria @The British Berliner April 14, 2017 at 4:55 am #

    ‘Love this post Brenna!

    Have I ever felt bad about my blog or about something else that usually makes me quite happy? Sure!

    I’m not on Instragram, Pinterest or SnapChat. I don’t even have a “blog only” Facebook site. I just use my personal one! And I have only blogged once a week. Right from the very day I started. All of 4 years ago. Gasp!

    Do I need a VA? Perhaps.
    Should I go on Instagram? Might be useful.
    Am I going to do the above? Probably not! :
    And why? Becasue I don’t want to! D

    • Brenna Holeman April 16, 2017 at 5:42 pm #

      Thanks, Victoria! And yes, it’s so important to stick to what you’re comfortable with. Not everyone’s path to success is going to be the same, so it’s crucial to find what works for you and what you truly love doing. 🙂

  43. Genevieve April 17, 2017 at 4:29 am #

    Oh my god Brenna, you took the words right out of my mouth! I’m glad I’m not the only one who has a constant nagging guilt about blog admin/tech stuff – my current bugbear is that my permalink structure sucks, I also have a whole heap of posts to optimise and I wish my blog width was wider. And I installed google analytics wrong so my bounce rate is suspiciously low – but do I care enough about my bounce rate to do something about it??? (The short answer is no, but I feel guilty for not REALLY knowing my bounce rate haha. And then I feel guilty for not truly caring).

    Made me giggle about the four emails a day about a totally groundbreaking app – if I had a dollar for every time I got an email about an app “connecting travellers with authetnic travel experiences” bla bla and being asked to populate their app with my content, I could quit my day job 😉

    Feel your pain with the useless followers/unfollowers on Instagram. Glad its not just me! It’s actually so comforting to read that it’s not just me with all these random blog techy/admin to do things that just never seem to get done 🙂

    • Brenna Holeman April 25, 2017 at 10:57 am #

      Ha ha ha oh man, I totally know the “I should feel guilty but I don’t but that makes me feel guiltier” feeling. 🙂 And yes, I think Instagram is starting to crack down on people who abuse the rules… hopefully it will change soon! Thanks for your comment, Genevieve. 🙂

  44. Mo April 19, 2017 at 4:45 am #

    Thanks Brenna! As always, it’s great to see every side to you. One of the things I love about your blog is just how damn human you are! I couldn’t help but notice though, that while all of your complaints are very legitimate and real complaints, the nice thing is that one thing you don’t feel bad about is your content. That’s an awesome place to be in! When I feel bad about my blog this is the thing that always worries me the most, as in: Was I being myself with that last post? Was it too long? Too clunky? Too boring? Does anyone out there care?!?! Totally agree with your gripes about Instagram too – the follow/unfollow game sucks!

    • Brenna Holeman April 25, 2017 at 11:02 am #

      Aw, thank you so much, Mo! I try, ha ha. And no, I don’t feel bad about the content, thankfully (although I should be doing more, considering how many ideas I have/rough drafts I write). We each have our own struggles, I guess! And yes, Instagram SUCKS right now… I’m hoping they start to crack down more and more on people who disregard the rules!

  45. Zalie Holeman April 25, 2017 at 4:00 am #

    I know how much stress you are under sister but you have, and always will, manage to find a way to overcome it all (with much success I may add), and your blog is no exception! xoxo

    • Brenna Holeman April 25, 2017 at 11:01 am #

      Thank you so much, sister, I couldn’t do it without your support xoxo

  46. Louise April 27, 2017 at 11:13 pm #

    Totally agree with you Brena, I was thinking about the virtual assistant thing as I was reading this then I got to the Pinterest virtual assistant part.

    I recently did that to my blog when I changed everything and got it properly designed. The re-tagging was horrible and I certainly don’t have as many posts as you.

    But in all serious, I would be happy to help with that part etc, If you ever needed anyone In between teaching in Spain.

    Great post as always

  47. Marie Landry May 15, 2017 at 2:42 am #

    I definitely feel you on a lot of this. My blog is a book blog and the main thing I’m feeling bad about right now is lack of fun, original content. Last year was a complete shit-show for me IRL and the blog took a back burner, mostly because I lost motivation and stopped caring. I didn’t want to give it up entirely because I’ve been doing it for so long, and I hoped the love I once felt for it was buried somewhere inside me…and luckily it was. This year I’m still trying to get back on track in a lot of ways, and while I post reviews fairly regularly, my mind is still stalling on original content like discussions. I’m afraid the blog is boring and if *I* think that, what must my readers think, you know?

    PS: reading this a month+ after you originally posted it, I’m happy to know you did get a new camera. At least that’s one thing crossed off your list! 😉

  48. Caitlin September 26, 2017 at 9:52 am #

    I don’t follow a lot of travel bloggers but I find you so relatable and you always crack me up in the process! Thanks for showing the “behind the scenes” of how hard you work! Respect! Good luck sorting things out 🙂 stop by Tunisia when you come to Africa!


  1. On Feeling Down After a Great Adventure - This Battered Suitcase - August 25, 2017

    […] sucks right now. And not in the same way that I wrote about a few months ago, where I proclaimed how bad I felt about my blog (update on that post, FYI: still no design change, still no Pinterest VA, still nod and smile […]

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