Venus Trapped in Mars

12 January 2016

Where Do I Go From Here?



Eight.

That is the number of blog posts I've done in the past month. Eight. That has got to be the lowest blog post output I've had since I started blogging nearly 3 years ago. Shoot, the saddest part is that I'm counting CB's donut post as one of those eight, so technically I guess it is seven. My lack of posts has nothing to do with my love for blogging, I am still absolutely in love with this blog.

I'm not sure if there is one main reason why people quit blogging, but I can't imagine that those people are in the same boat that I'm in. I would think the reason most people quit is because they just don't care for the blogging world anymore. They are either over the negativity that sometimes surrounds it, or maybe they don't like the way blogging has changed over the years, or they have a million other things going on and don't have the time and energy that blogging requires. 

None of those scenarios pertain to me. I don't mind the negative, I don't mind the changes that have developed in the blogging world over these past three years and I still have and want to devote the time it takes to run this blog. Blogging is, and I hope will always be my favorite hobby. I'm proud of what I've created in this space and I want to continue to maintain and grow Venus Trapped in Mars. 

So what's the problem then???

Well, I am just at a complete and total loss on what to write about. Blogging has for sure changed, and I remember the days when I would write a post as simple as listing some things that annoyed me and it would get 75 comments in a few hours. I can't put my finger on why, but those posts just don't seem to be popular anymore.  Blogging is going in more of a direction where it now feels like you need to list secrets, share a recipe or give a tutorial to have a successful blog post. If your post topic is something someone would pin, then you're on the right track. As an example, no one would pin The 28 things I'd Rather Do Than Attend My High School Reunion, but that kind of post is what I've been doing for the past 3 years, and that is the post I'm most comfortable with writing. 

I feel like I haven't made anyone laugh in a very long time, and I hate that. Nothing about hashtags, or fashion poses for lifestyle bloggers is humorous.... BUT.... it does gain followers.

So where do I go from here? What should I write about? Do I change with the blog world, or do I stick to what I've been doing for the past three years? Is it possible to do a little of everything and still keep readers? 

It's for sure a dilemma. I think existing readers, those of you who have been around for a long time, enjoy MY posts, the posts that are silly, funny and sometimes very heart-felt and serious. In order to grow and attract new readers though, I HAVE to get their attention with posts that are helpful and likely to be liked on Bloglovin or repinned on Pinterest. Can I write those popular posts that attract new readers, like my hashtag posts that are so popular, but also throw in a mix of things that will make you laugh? 

I think so..... well at least I sure hope so, because that will be my goal going forward! For tomorrow's post I'm going to brainstorm WHERE DO I GO FROM HERE, and hopefully get your opinion and insight for the NEXT 3 years of Venus Trapped in Mars!

Also,  on an unrelated note, if anyone sees a black and red bag weighing 51.5 pounds floating around either the Chicago airport or the Dallas airport, if you could let American Airlines know because they can't seem to find my luggage anywhere........





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42 comments :

  1. girl i understand. i am lacking with blog posts lately. and you're right. Most of my posts are some sort of advice which is great for my traffic but i struggle to think of new ones to write. I try to do 2 informative posts a week, and then some sort of funny one.

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  2. write what you know. what you're good at. you always make me laugh and I for one, will always stick around VTIM!

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  3. I've always been the blogger who disappears because of work and school, but now that I have more time, sometimes I'm just like, who the heck would care about my lifestyle posts?? I dont write tutorials or have any big talents, so it feels like even a lifestyle blog has to give something away in order to gain an audience.

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  4. Your usual list posts are the posts that keep me coming back! I think you can definitely find a balance between writing the posts you love and writing the posts that help you continue to grow.

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  5. I feel ya. I'm queen of the lists about nothing, but I've also begun to feel like no one cares about lists about nothing anymore. Of course, I can always just say screw what's popular and "write for myself," but seriously... If I wanted to write for myself, I'd write in a diary, not on a very public blog. -_-

    For what it's worth though, even though they're the "thing to do" now, I find tutorial and "blogging about blogging" posts incredibly boring. I've stopped reading a lot of blogs just because they stopped being interesting... but I've stuck around for yours. So I vote keep doing whatever you're doing. :D

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  6. I don't think blogging has changed. I know, i know but hear me out. I think we change our concepts of what blogging means once we've been in the game a while. We focus on different things. I miss my funnier posts, but I feel like people don't read them as much. So we react to what others want (or what we think works.) I think there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with taking a break. I mean it. write as much or as little as you want. it's your blog afterall!

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  7. I'm very old school when it comes to blogging. I don't mind people adapting, but when every post is about shares and pinnable images, I'm out. I keep people on my blogroll because I like them and their original content. I love YOUR posts, especially the ones about sports. :)

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  8. It's interesting to see that you are finding that those "buzz feed" type posts which have been all the rage in the blog world for the last few years are not as popular anymore. I kind of stuck to what I wanted to do which isn't necessarily good for popularity, but that's exactly what I suggest. Write what you want. Readers are fickle. They will change their mind, but at least you will still be blogging.

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  9. I think you gave yourself the answer. I used to really like your blog. Sports, humor, adorable dogs, all of my favorite things. You're funny, relatable, likable, and real. Being a blogger, I understand the push to monetize and make money for your work. Completely understandable. But, in the last year you content has shifted to mostly promoted or ad-based post which seem un-genuine, and, no offense, uninteresting. I miss Sarah.

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    1. Hey, no offense taken at all!!! That's exactly why I put this out there, for the feedback. Without a doubt I've had way more sponsored content recently, especially in the month of December trying to get extra money for the Holidays. I'd actually agree with you, it's hard to really be yourself with a lot of content is sponsored, I really appreciate your feedback, and the kind words too :P

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  10. I think there can be a happy medium. So what you want for 2-3 posts and then do what you think will gain followers for the other ones. If younjustbdi post that you think people want then you might be blogger burn out, so keep doing what makes you happy!

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  11. OMG American Airlines is the WORST! They left my bag in Dallas when I flew from Sydney to home over the holidays and I didn't get it for 2 days.

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  12. Blogging hiatus always come for me when I can't figure out what to post. It is definitely hard trying to attract new followers when you like the same content you have been putting out. I like your posts and I like variety so I say keep doing whatever makes you happiest!

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  13. Be true to you. That will carry through onto your blog. Your true followers, your true tribe will stay loyal to you. Remember the WHY you began blogging in the first time!

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  14. Be you. Do what you want to do. Don't write for the readers, write for you. That's ultimately what brought us here in the first place.

    And also, that TOTALLY sucks about your luggage. I had luggage get lost each way of a trip once and it really was lame.

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  15. I really like your blog. You're my go-to for anything sports related; they're my favorite. You have a way for explaining the ins and outs so a novice like me can understand.

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  16. Well, I sure have missed your posts! I enjoy your posts how they are now and I think people enjoying your writing is way more important than getting 'likes', comments or pins. However, I completely understand because my little space at Miss Southern has been looking very quiet lately and it's sad.

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  17. I love the lists! I'm tired of every single blog post being about how to blog this, or how to gain followers. I like some of those in case I ever decide to blog but I'm not a blogger, so I like the blog posts that are listy and funny! I say keep writing the way you want to write. I love your posts. :)

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  18. HOpe you had a good time in Toronto and that you escaped before last night's snow! Would love to hear what you think of the city in the post since you've been a few times now :)

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  19. I feel you. I really do think blogging has changed and it's almost like personality in posts turns people off to a blog / social media feed in general. Readers definitely seem to love tutorials and pretty pictures (or at least it seems that way...). However, I love blogs about PEOPLE and their stories, so those will always be my personal favorites!

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  20. I totally agree! I'd love to hear more of your thoughts on this because I feel like I'm in the exact same boat.

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  21. I actually love your travel posts and weekend-recap type posts. They've always been some of my favorites to read and write, even though they don't lend themselves to those Pinterest-worthy graphics. However, you always have great photos to go with those kind of posts!

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  22. I have moments where I can't figure out what to write about either, but fortunately, it usually doesn't last too long. Write about what YOU love, it's your space! And I'm way more into the funny posts than seeing fancy outfits every day!

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  23. I totally feel ya. Though my blog is not nearly as populated as yours, I have been feeling lately that if you don't have a niche or something truly inspiring to share, you should keep it to yourself. And that makes me sad! At this point I now just look to read blogs that are truly genuine and they write what they want to write because it makes them happy, not just to gain followers. Love your blog P.S.!

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  24. I'm in the same boat as you some days, but I'm still here and even though I suck at commenting because life has been crazy, I never miss a post and I think of you every time I see a giraffe. Write what feels right - pun intended ;)

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  25. oh man, I totally understand what you're say. every time I write a story versus buzzfeedy post, I'm really proud of it... but it doesn't get me new followers. it's a really tough/annoying balancing act. I totally love your humor and DID share your 'things I'd rather do then go to my HS reunion' with multiple people. you're hysterical - don't go anywhere. I think the truth of it all is that this whole blogging thing is going to be chore for you if you're not enjoying it. do write and share whatever it is that you enjoy, ditch the rest.

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  26. you will get back in to the grove again. We all need a blog break here and there.

    http://www.amysfashionblog.com/blog-home/

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  27. Before I was a blogger I fell in love with blogging for the sole reason of people putting themselves out there. Whether it's through some things about your life or your latest cocktail recipe-- I still enjoy reading. I think the pressure of blogging has changed from some years ago, even though I've only been doing it for a year and a half. It's funny because some of the posts where I receive the most comments is my Currently or Confession posts. Do they have bright pinnable images and lots of things I could post to Buzzfeed? No, but it's still me. You need to do what makes YOU happy...it's not always about the comments, money, etc. I'm not trying to be rude in saying that- because GO YOU for all the sponsored posts, and all that's to come with the growth of your blog. I'm just saying that this is Sarah's blog and you need to do what's best for your heart in the end. :)

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  28. Right there with you. This September will be my 5 year mark, which is crazy to me. Blogging has most certainly changed in the time I've been doing it seriously and it's so much to keep up with. You want to grow and gain readers but you want to stay true to yourself as well. Personally, I prefer honesty. Sure pinable things are great, and I do save posts for later, but I like to be able to feel that I could be IRL friends with the author. If I can relate to a post and share something about myself and have a small conversation, that is more beneficial. I'd rather have 20 readers who I truly interact with than 2000 who leave half-hearted comments.

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  29. Girl I'll read whatever you write. I actually recently stopped writing on my blog around Dec due to a broken laptop, but I have one that works now and just haven't gotten back to it. Sale vi for me. But you keep writing and I promise you'll have readers!

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  30. Okay. I'm going to put this out there, with you know my whole month of blogging experience haha - but seriously - i LOVE original content. It's not that I don't love informative posts - I read & write them - but I love hearing about the person behind the blog more. I feel like informative posts get really repetitive after you've read 5 of them. There CANT be THAT many secrets to posting a picture on instagram. I understand the pull for new readers - but I do love original and funny content. So make sure to fit that into your schedule too ;)

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  31. I totally feel you on this! I'm trying to grow my blog and I'm constantly feeling everything I write isn't funny or intelligent or just.. right. I'm not crafty or fashionable enough to do those kinds of posts so that's out.

    Today I had plans to write about what's annoying me lately (spoiler alert: everything) but I know posts like that are not the siren's song I've been looking for.

    My favorite (the only) blogging advice I've ever received was to wrote about what you think. What I take from that is anything goes. Keep writing what you like to write about. If people like it, they'll come back and maybe tell a friend.

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  32. I think you can definitely write both types of posts! I love reading your funny posts and would never want you to stop. And that totally SUCKS that they lost your luggage. I'm so sorry!

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  33. I understand what you mean...I was reading up on Pinterest strategy the other day and was thinking "I hardly ever pin my blog posts," then I remembered it's because I don't really write things that are begging to be pinned. I think it's most important that you write about what is meaningful to you--trying to conform and keep up with what the crowd wants is what usually leads to burnout.

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  34. Write about what you like. I mainly blog because it is the one way I can be creative. I really don't care about numbers or if anybody reads it or not. I just take pics of things I see or do and post them. That makes me happy.

    I say do what makes you happy. Be you. Don't worry about strategy or numbers, be true to yourself. If you build what you like, people will come.

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  35. I love how raw and real this post is. I have been struggling too. Blogging has become this weird world where people blog about how to blog, lists and other things that don't seem genuine anymore. I'm guilty of it too, because that's how you're successful at playing the game. I struggle with finding the happy balance between blogging about what makes me happy and blogging about what people want to see and blogging about things that give me side revenue. It's all very tricky and weird so I applaud you for being honest and genuine about it. I hope you find your happy balance. I vote for more dog posts, personally :) XOXO

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  36. Okay so how I see it is how you want to make your money. If you want to be funny, I don't think you can't gain and keep new followers just from that. Bitches Gotta Eat posts like, not even weekly and she's hugely popular. Not a sponsored post in site. BUT she makes money from her books, not necessarily her blog. Blog got her the book though. Same with Allie from Hyperbole and a Half. Not a sponsored post in site, actually doesn't update any more, still a huge hit and makes money from her book.
    That's my two cents anyway. You'll get more new readers from pinable posts but are they loyal and sustainable? who knows. Are they the readers that Allie or Sam have, who'd go out and pre-buy whatever book you released? Those are the readers that I would want, personally, if I wanted to bank on making people laugh.
    Where I think you should go - funny posts. About sports. Straight to a book deal about a humorous and NOT DUMBED DOWN sports guide for girls. Because 'sports for girls' books on the shelves make it seems like girls are idiots. We're not, we like sports. We just want cute fantasy team names, and jerseys without pink glitter, is that too much to ask?
    Sorry for the novel.

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  37. I go through the same thing. It's why I've gone back and forth blogging. I find it frustrating that blogging isn't the same way it used to be, but I guess if I want to keep writing without compromising myself and my style, I just gotta roll with it. ;)

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  38. well I'll never be able to help with the "70 comments in a few hours" thing becuase I am perpetually reading blog posts late. But I still read them, and enjoy them. And as cheesy as this is, your personality/making people laugh IS what makes you unique. You could write about anything and if your personality shone through, it would be a good post. That's how I feel, anyway. I feel that way about the daily tay, too. I think it's a fresh and welcome thing in the blogging world, you feel REAL. anyway my two cents!!

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  39. I mean, I get the need to not get stale around here, but what does it matter if you are consistent (rather than "growing")? Your long time readers like you and what you have to offer...is it essential for the numbers to keep going up, or could consistency be enough?

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