My Blog is Going Through an Existential Crisis (or maybe it's just me)

Cheha_Mtn_05.jpg

For a few months now I've been thinking about what direction I want to take this blog in. During my third trimester the only 'nesting' I did was blog related. I became obsessed with reading everything I could on monetizing, growing social media, increasing readership, and adding additional streams of income.

I learned a lot. I listened to dozens of podcasts, watched just as many inspiration or motivational videos, and I have so many ideas of things I could do to break through this blog rut I've felt myself in for most of 2015.

Cheha_Mtn_05Here I am contemplating life (or more likely boys) during a hiking trip to Cheaha in Middle School. 

When I started graduate school for psychology they asked us at orientation what our area of interest was. I was the only one who couldn't provide an answer. I knew what I wasn't interested in, but I couldn't narrow down what I was interested in. That's where I'm at now with my online space.

This blog began over three years ago as a way for me to attract in person clients. I was hoping to start a wellness coaching business. My interest wasn't just in personal training, which I was newly certified to do, but in acting as a wellness counselor of sorts. I knew from my own fifty pound weight loss that getting healthy was just as much mental as it was physical. While I'm not licensed to counsel I wanted to be a 'wellness cheerleader' to women feeling stuck on how to reach their goals.

I looked into renting an office space, and contacted local gyms to see about offering my services to their customers. I had nice business cards printed up. For a few months I was doing whatever I could to turn my dream into a reality and all the while I started blogging regularly. By January 2013 I realized the blog was becoming the main focus of my energy and it was beginning to pay off - literally.

This blog began in May 2012. In 2013 I made nearly $11,000 from blogging. In 2014 I made $19,000 from this blog, freelance writing, and social media management (all gigs I landed thanks to this blog.) As of today I've made just under $20,000 in 2015 and project to hit about $27,000 by the end of the year.

The original focus of my blog was primarily fitness, with a little bit of random lifestyle posts thrown in. Over the years I've maintained a focus on fitness, but I now love writing about a wide array of topics from finance and blog monetization to psychology and travel.

Blogging can take up a lot of time. It's not just writing posts. It's promoting them on social media, taking and editing photos, looking for sponsorship opportunities, keeping track of finances,... from day one it's been a legitimate part time job for me in terms of hours involved each week. I love it, but I wonder how sustainable it is for me to post 4-5 times a week. Or how sustainable it is in terms of longevity. Am I really going to be blogging when I'm 40? Will people still care about what I have to say or will they be completely tired of me by then?

 I'm at the point I'd really like to diversify my online income. I don't want to quit blogging, but I think I need a better focus for my blog and I'm not sure what it should be. All the blogging research I've done this year points to vague, 'life casting' type blogs not doing as well in terms of readership and income compared to blogs that specialize in one area. I have such a phobia of commitment I can't imagine picking only one topic to write about and sticking to it for the life of this blog. Would it still be fitness? Could I pull off a more 'lifestyle' blog? Should I just keep writing about whatever I want? Part of me feels it may be better to post 2-3 really well written informative articles with great photos each week versus 4-5 general life casting typ eposts.

Other ideas I have include creating an online course or coaching service for bloggers looking to grow their readership, social media reach, and income. My heart will forever be with teaching. Helping others learn how to do something that helps them reach their goals invigorates me. I've also thought of doing online health coaching either in a group or one-on-one. I've even considered focusing more on just social media (where I make about 30-40% of my monthly income) and stop using the blog as much for monetizing and just blog whenever I feel like, on whatever the hell I want to talk about.

So, that's where I'm at. Which is totally vague and I'm pretty much completely unsure of what I want to do next. Now that my son is here I realize how valuable my time is. I've only been able to work when he's nursing and I have this cumbersome laptop on my lap behind him. Going forward I want to be more selective about how I invest my time, and make sure I'm getting the highest return for it.

Help me decide. What should this blog be about? Should I even change anything at all? Would you be interested in blog or wellness coaching/classes? Feel free to email me directly at Erica@EricaDHouse.com and let me know!