How Blogging Ruined My Marriage
Blogging takes time, energy and effort. Marriage takes time, energy and effort. Sometimes there is not enough of each to go around.
My wife and I are both very busy people. Her job requires lots of long hours and travel, and I am a full-time professor, working with a major publisher to co-author a textbook and I am running a new blog and a business. So time management is a big deal in our family, as is finding time for each other.
It seems that every waking minute where I am not sitting down and writing, I am listening to some type of training. When I am sitting down and not writing, I am reading other people’s blog posts, posting to websites, tweeting, posting, stumbling, tumbling, and more. Whether it is about building a list, using Facebook, or choosing the right plugins, I am always trying to learn something more. So if you are like me, then in the words of my wife, “YOU ARE ALWAYS ON YOUR PHONE!”
Now I know some of you have been blogging for years. God bless. Because after 90 days of serious blogging, I can really see the strain on the marriage already. And I have at least 9 more months of this before I can slow down? (Based on my research, it takes about one full year to really get a blog up and running.) It’s not that I will quit working on the blog, its just that either:
- The blog will have enough organic momentum that I can slow down a bit OR
- I will be making enough money from the blog to justify the amount of time I am spending on it
The great part about relationships is that they all operate about the same. So the solution to maintaining and strengthening those relationships also remains the same. COMMUNICATION!
1 – Communicate with Your Spouse
Communication is seriously the real key to any strong marriage – or any strong relationship. That means if you read somewhere that you can make money blogging and start to secretly blog so you can surprise your spouse in three months with enough money to pay off the mortgage – you are seriously kidding yourself and putting your marriage in harm’s way.
Instead, sit down with your spouse and explain that you would like to start blogging – for fun or money, depending on your situation. I did a 4-minute TV interview on relationships and money you might want to check out. Or you can read Money and Couples – Putting the S.P.A.R.K. Back in Your Relationship.
2 – Set Realistic Expectations
Don’t tell your spouse that you will spend 1 or 2 hours per day on the computer and be making $100 per month in no time. Don’t say that you will only be on the computer in the afternoon when he or she is at work. Explain that you will need to tweet and retweet and reply all day long and in the evening.
Discuss blog parties and how they open at different times on different days and you need to post early even if those times are inconvenient. If you are blogging as an outlet then explain why it is so important to you and why it means so much and why you need his or her support. If you are blogging to earn money then explain that like any business it will take several months, or maybe even a full year before you can really expect to earn any noticeable income – and why you will need his or her support.
Talk About Agree on a Budget
If you are blogging to earn income – at some point – then you are starting a business. Sure, there is no rent and inventory with retail space and expensive signs that light up at night. But you are renting space, you do need to invest in some equipment and software, you will need to create your own signs. They are just digital instead of physical.
You have a larger potential audience (the world) but you are competing to get the attention of these people against a larger pool of competitors (every website in the world). This doesn’t mean you spend $500 per month on Facebook ads or Google ads. Most likely your investment will be about time. But you will need to use self-hosting, own your own domain name, get a quality theme, purchase a few highly recommended plugins, and perhaps enroll in a course or two and purchase a few books and workbooks that help you reduce that learning curve so you can get setup properly in short order and begin making profit sooner.
By agreeing on a budget ahead of time (for the year) you will be able to control your urge to purchase every type of training in sight and at the same time, give yourself the freedom and flexibility to purchase the right things for your business without feeling guilty.
Did Blogging Really Ruin My Marriage?
My wife is very understanding. And as I said, we both have demanding jobs that require work outside of “regular” hours – if those exist anymore. But I can see where my being attached to the phone or computer all hours of the day is starting to take its toll.
So I need to be more cautious and use better time management. I need to do a better job scheduling posts, tweets and pins with Hootsuite, Tailwind, and Buffer. I need to plan ahead and know exactly what I want to get accomplished each day and when I will accomplish them. That way, in moderation, I will still have to use the computer at night and on the weekends, but my wife will know my priority is with our marriage.
What is the real reason I wrote this post? So I can read it every once in a while as a reminder – I don’t want to be sitting in a bowling alley with my friends a year from now explaining ‘how blogging ruined my marriage.’
What has your blogging journey been like? How do you balance time between your family and your blog? Please share in the comment section below.