sly : marketing

How to survive life as a blogger

I’m currently living in a tent by the ocean. I’m not working, not like before. I used to keep working while on vacation, but I’ve come to realize that I need the time off. So, I’ve written this post just before I left.

tent by the ocean

The reason I want you to read this, is because I need your feedback.

During my vacations I’ve been thinking about how important a community really is and that comments on my blog is actually part of building a community. It’s not just a method for people to give me feedback on what I have written, it’s a powerful way to connect and build a strong relationship. Being part of a community is how to survive life as a blogger.

How to live

I have been telling myself a lie, the lie is that I am writing no matter what’ll happen. And that the reason I keep writing is that it’s part of who I am and it’s part of what I do. In other words, it’s part of my calling, my passion.

It’s not.

I really enjoy storytelling, and I believe storytelling is an important part of marketing. But the reason I keep writing is the community. I need the community not just to live, but I need it to survive.

I believe that as a business and as a human being we need relationships with other people, and we need to be part of something larger than ourselves (a community and/or a tribe). Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy writing, but I think that I’ll enjoy close to everything if I just practice it a lot and get fairly good at it.

Now that I’m on vacation I focus on my family and being aware and present. It’s similar to how life in Tuscany made me rethink work.

The change in blogging

We’re all different and we’re all unique, and that’s how I run my business and it’s how I live my life. What I’m writing is how I see things, it’s not necessary the truth or facts, and it’s not always based on research. But, it’s my opinion and it’s my truth.

You probably won’t see a big change in my writing, but I’ll be more focused on building a community than before. I’ll be more focused on giving something of value. I’ve realized the importance of accountability, and having a mentor, and learning.

My next step, as soon as I get back from vacation will be to find an accountability partner and a mentor to help me improve my business.

Here are some old posts I wrote while on vacation:

16 responses to “How to survive life as a blogger”

  1. Hi Jens, How wonderful that you’re taking a true break while you’re living in a tent by the ocean this summer. You have so much going on and need to get your rest and reflection time.

    Building a community is such a wonderful part of blogging. I hadn’t anticipated how amazing the blogiverse would be when I started my site. But I think that’s the part I would miss the most if I quit blogging.

    Have a wonderful time and I look forward to reading your new style when you return.

  2. [ Smiles ] On the bright side, you are gifted with health and strength and you get to spend some time blogging by the ocean (Lucky you).

  3. Christo van Zyl says:

    Hi Jens, thanks for the post. From the many many subscriptions I get, I almost always preferentially open your emails because you write like a real person. Your writing adds value. I must say I personally prefer the ones where you tell us how you do things, as opposed to the what you are doing ones – although they are an interesting read too.

    I have had to make some adjustments to my writing also, because I see that I have to think: what problem can I assist my readers with, rather than sharing what I want to share because I can. I have started to use Evernote more for my personal journals and stories (for myself) and spent more time re-thinking my public posts to what problem does it solve for me, and thus likely for them. Please keep on writing because you are very good at it and it adds value and enjoyment amongst a sea of product selling broadcasters. I hope that you ha e enjoyed your vacation by the ocean!

  4. Angela says:

    thanks for this article,i hope you do enjoy your holiday and get all the rest you need,it is true blogging now is all about getting a large following.

  5. Totally understand what you are getting it. Im actually in the process of trashing/redoing my already preplanned editorial calendar to tweak it to what I’ve learned recently. Looking forward to what you have in store

    Enjoy the vacation Jens! Always great to have some away time from the tech/work and more time with the kids and wife

  6. Tim Bonner says:

    I hope you’re having a great time Jens! We going on holiday on Sunday. I can’t wait.

    I wrote a while ago about going it alone as a blogger. I’m still following that path, although that doesn’t mean I don’t want to be part of a community. It’s more about having our own ideas and being open and honest – not following what everyone else is doing. I suspect that’s similar to where you want to go too.

    I told myself a similar lie about writing. I enjoy it but it doesn’t matter to me as much as I thought. I don’t need to do it to put bread on the table. I do want to contribute to my family monetarily as well if I can though rather than just being a stay at home dad.

    I’m biding my time until the kids are both full time at school and at that point, I need to take on freelancing and niche sites like I mean it!

  7. Luna Darcy says:

    Hi Jens,

    First of all, I hope you are having a blast while on vacation. You deserve it!

    I feel you here. Nobody wants a site that’s a ghost town. I often told myself earlier that I will write, even if nobody reads what I’m writing anymore. But I know a part of it aint true. We write because of the community who responds to us and who feel us and what we are writing. Maybe we write for ourselves sometimes, yeah. But for the most part, it’s because we want to inspire and motivate people out there. We want to make a difference.

    I look forward to your future posts! And I hope I can take an off, too.

    Have a beautiful day!


  8. Anna says:

    Sometimes truth is a subjective matter, you are right saying that it is your truth and you should stay with it. Also, in my opinion, when we get too stressed about creative activities (like some types of blogging), we lose the enjoyment and eventually our creativity.
    Have a lovely vacation and keep enjoying writing.


  9. Louis says:

    It can be quite a challenge sometimes to grow your page as well as your readership and survive as a blogger, but the trick is to just keep working at it, continue to write inspiring posts, and enjoy yourself while you’re at it. The more unique content you have, the more likely a visitor is to come back to your page, want to read more, and ultimately end up following your content and enjoying every post you make. Don’t give up, and hopefully you’re enjoying your vacation!

  10. victoria says:

    excellent article, well you wrote that people should be part of society, and not just for business, it is necessary for humans, we’re social creatures and don’t deserve them, thanks for the article

  11. Len Bowcott says:

    Great post. I found it so relevant to my life as a writer and blogger that I found myself identifying with it as if I were the person being discussed. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Hi Jens,

    A tent by the ocean sounds like my kind of thing for sure! I absolutely love being by the sea.

    I totally hear what you’re saying about both storytelling and building a community. I think think that these are very important business strategies but, more than that, they are essential for a blogger.

    I have regular readers who visit my blog and those with whom I communicate regularly. I believe that engagement is the lifeblood of a successful blog. But I, too, am looking deeper into the community aspect of things as I think that there’s more that I could be doing in that regard which, in turn, will help me to give even more value to those with whom I connect.

    I’ve never had an accountability partner myself, but I do have a coach/mentor and this has made all the difference for me. Some people will say that you need neither and, if you can manage to succeed and get to where you want to be without them, then fair play to you. But not everyone is the same and some people need that guidance, feedback and, at times, kick in the pants! But I know for sure that if I hadn’t partnered with my mentor then I would never have made it to the point where I am now.

    I hope you’re having great vacation! 🙂


  13. Josh says:

    Thought I’d check in and tell you we are anxiously awaiting your return. Hope your break has been great.

  14. Vitória says:

    thanks for this article,i hope you do enjoy your holiday and get all the rest you need,

  15. Sharad Gupta says:

    Having a great blogging community around us is a signal of a successful blogging life .

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