When You Feel Like You’re Shouting Into the Void
Have you ever looked at your blog stats and felt like you were shouting into the void? Are those few views real or just bots? Why isn’t your blog/website/business growing? Does it even matter? Should you keep going or give up?
Whether vanilla or sex content, I’ve never met someone with a website who didn’t ask themselves these questions at some point. For all the content out there that promises to tell you how to “Get 1 Million Views in 6 Months,” many of us know the cold reality. After a year, you might not even be breaking into triple digits yet.
There are a lot of technical things you can do to improve your chances of growing — blog post format, consistently creating content, and all the rest. But you’re going to need something to get you through the lull, when you doubt yourself and question whether your goals are really achievable or not.
Because it happens. To all of us. And it lasts longer than we want it to.
What is Your Why?
We’ve talked about this before…figuring out your why. What compelled you to start your sex blog or record videos or take those pictures? Why do you do it?
If “to make money” or “get famous” is your big answer, you’re about to be very disappointed.
The truth is that even if you do everything technically right, it can still take a while to see results. For every upturn in numbers or attention, there will be a slog to get through. So why did you start in the first place?
If you can get back to that reason, it’s easier to keep going and be patient — with yourself and the work.
Confession: As of the publication date of this blog post, Smutlancer is over a year old and barely bumping along the bottom in terms of numbers. But I continue to write blog posts and record podcasts (and come up with new ideas and features for the website).
Because I desperately needed this resource back in 2015 and 2016 and didn’t have it. And because I know I’ve helped people. We tend to think of success in terms of hundreds, thousands, or millions. But helping one sex blogger or one adult retailer is worth it to me. It means I’ve made a difference. And, ultimately, that’s my why — regardless of all my other goals.
Labor of Love
A huge thanks to my friend (I hope I can call her that) Quinn for getting me thinking about this. If your creation — blog, podcast, vlog, product — isn’t a labor of love, why are you doing it?
You don’t have to love the sound of silence when no one comments. Who does?
But what is it you love about what you’re doing?
I’m getting the noise out of my head, saying things to whoever might read or listen that I’d only say to myself. Frankly, I enjoy the craft of writing and recording. Even when it’s scary to hit publish, it’s still fun to do. And when it’s not “fun,” it’s satisfying on a visceral level. I can look back on it and think, “I made that. I put my mark on the world.”
And when I do make a connection with a reader or listener, it’s a fucking high, y’all. My thoughts, experience, and words touched someone. Maybe they helped someone. One day someone might look back and think of some piece of advice I offered and do better and achieve more.
That’s like a drug to me.
Anytime there can be love in your heart — for the work, for the process, for the audience (ideally all three but let’s be real here) — you’re doing what you should be doing.
It’s easier to get through the slog and what Seth Godin calls “the dip.” The dip is basically that long period between when you’ve gotten started and when you’re really damn good and people care about what you’re doing. A lot of people quit in this period. And that’s not always a bad thing. But many of us never really know what we’re capable of because we give up too soon.
And to me, the labor of love that I feel for the work I do and the content I create is that even in that dip, that lull, when I feel like I’m shouting into the void and flailing about, I’m willing to show up. I want to show up. It feels important to me, even when it might not be important to anyone else.
Let’s not get crazy over here. In the dip, it can get pretty miserable. Days and weeks of feeling like you’re spinning your wheels isn’t pleasant. But every time I wonder if what I do really matters, I get a random message or mentioned in a tweet. Someone, just one person, connected with my work. I helped them. They liked it. And that small blip helps me carry on and reminds me why I’m here.
So, what’s the point? Other than to tell you that you’re not alone? The doubts, the questions, the wondering if you’re on the right path — it’s all completely normal. You’re not the only one, and we all go through it.
If you’re curious about The Dip, it’s a book by Seth Godin (Amazon link) — notoriously not sex-friendly according to people I respect but brilliant in terms of audience-building. The link is an affiliate link, so if you use it, you’re keeping me in iced coffee. Which is what I stress-drink while staring at my stats.