Why I Put My Blog On A Diet

Over the last few days, both my blog and I have gone on a diet.  Now I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions anymore and somebody said to me ‘why go on a diet in the middle of Winter when you’d have far more success of losing some weight in the Summer?’, so I decided to go on the ‘Hugh Diet’.

Why I Put My Blog on a DietThe ‘Hugh Diet’ is very easy to follow and I’ve already had results.  All I have done is eat smaller portions, cut out snacking, cut down on alcohol intake, and gone out on at least one long walk a day.  Having Toby around helps, as the pup needs walking, so I make a real effort and, weather permitting, join him and John on their afternoon walk instead of sitting at the computer.  I’m taking two ten minute breaks a day and sit and close my eyes and take some time for myself to do absolutely nothing.  I get bored very easily, so ten minutes is enough for me.  I managed to lose two pounds in weight last week and I’m already sleeping better and have far more energy.

Toby - Did someone mention walk?

This got me thinking (no not the walk, the diet) and I informed my blog that it to was going on a diet.  So, what is a blog diet?

First of all, I gave my blog a lick of paint.  I kept the same theme as I only changed themes a few months ago, but I played around with the colours, tidied up my sidebar and widgets, and this has resulted in it having a bit of a new look (what you never noticed?!).  It was like taking it to the hairdressers and giving it a shampoo and set.  Then I got to work on looking at how many blogs I was following, and was shocked at the numbers.  No wonder I was having days where all I was doing was reading, trying desperately to get to the top of my WordPress reader list, which I rarely did.  Something had to change, so I started to look closely at all the blogs I was following.

A new blogger friend, Sherrie, over at ‘A View From My Summerhouse‘ recently mentioned in a post that a fair chunk of bloggers burn out after two years. Next month, I will have blogged for one year, and I didn’t want to become one of the statistics Sherrie had mentioned.  If anybody followed my blog then I would follow them back, especially new bloggers – as I was once in their shoes – and I now had a list of nearly four hundred blogs I was following.  It was making both my blog and I feel over inflated and something had to be done to cut this number down.

It’s a sad fact, but going through the list of blogs I was following, many seemed to have been abandoned.  They were the first ones to go, so any blog which had not been posted on, or where I’d not heard from the author by way of a ‘like’ or comment for at least six months, were deleted from my list.

Then there were the blogs where the author never answered questions about a post they’d written or responded to any comments left.  They were the next to be removed because I couldn’t understand why anybody would write a post and not want to interact with their blogging community and followers about it.

Next, I looked at blogs I followed because the author had followed me first. There were quite a few I’d been visiting for at least six months, leaving ‘likes’ and/or comments but the author never seemed to come and pay me a visit. No visits, no liking of any of my posts, no comments left.  Why follow me in the first place if you are never going to come and visit?  The clue was also in their ‘about me’ page where there were comments after comments saying “thanks for following my blog”, nothing else other than that.  To me this clearly showed that all the author wanted was followers, nothing else but followers.  No trying to build a blogging community or helping promote other bloggers, just in it for themselves.  I can only compare it to being in a busy room of people at a party and standing in front of a person who does nothing but talk about themselves, never giving you a chance to say anything or ask you any questions.  You’d want to try to quickly move on to someone who wants to interact with you as much as you want to interact with them, yes? The axe quickly fell on these blogs.

Now I may lose quite a few followers for reducing the number of blogs I follow, but boy, do I and my blog feel better for it.  Because of the love-hate relationship I have with my WordPress reader, I’ve also started to follow many of the blogs I still follow, over on Bloglovin’.  I get one email a day from Bloglovin’ with a list of bloggers who have posted the day before, with a link to their post.  It’s easier to catch up with them like this than scrolling through that reader list hoping I’ll come across their post.  For those not on Bloglovin’, I’ve turned on the WordPress daily ‘notify me of new post’ icon so that every time they publish, I get an email with the link to the post.

So that’s me and my blog and the diets we are on.  My blog has finished it’s diet for now but, come six months time, it will be on the same diet again for a few days.  It’s given me back a huge amount of time for reading, writing and catching up on some books I need to read and review over at Lit World Interviews.  And, you know what they say don’t you?  “A Happy Hugh is a Happy Blog.”

I’m linking this post to “Mindful Monday” which is new feature Colleen has created over on her blog, Silver Threading.  Go check it out and see what Colleen is doing to help look after her health and wellbeing.

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104 thoughts

  1. Hi Hugh! Been through a lot of the same things lately – both with my blog and losing weight! Managed to shift two pounds of leftover festive bulge so far. It has been too hot to sit at the computer here. We have had heatwaves and today it is going to be about 37C (again!)

    Last Sunday when I sat at the computer the sweat was dripping off my face. These days it’s more perspiration then inspiration. Have you had any snow this season? Mind sending some over here if you have?

    Thanks for the great blogging advice Hugh. I’m going to do a bit more culling myself. I hope you’re enjoying your lovely winter weather over there. Have a wonderful week. Best wishes form your friend downunder, Maria. 🙂

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    1. Well done, Maria. The Christmas season always seems to get people to put on weight, but I’m not at all surprised what with all the goodies on offer. I’ve still got a stack load of chocolate I have not touched due to being on the ‘Hugh diet’ and I’m pleased to say I’ve now lost 6 pounds. However, unless I do more, like exercise and the likes, then I think my weight will plateau out and I won’t loose as many pounds as quickly as I have done.

      I’m not liking your summer weather at all, Maria. That is why I usually dislike Summer so much. I really do not like it when the temperature is over 30c and the air is humid. Give me 25C and a fresh breeze and I’m very happy.

      It has been cold here and, last Tuesday, we even had a small covering of snow. However, it was all gone by lunchtime and Toby was very disappointed by that. We are in for some really cold weather later in the week so, hopefully, he’ll get some more snow then.

      I hope the blogging cull goes well, Maria. It’s a real shame to see so many of our blogging friends from the class of April 2014, no longer blogging.

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      1. Yes it is a shame to lose touch with people over time.
        I still have some chocolate I bought in Tasmania that I am rationing out now that I am determined to lose some weight!

        Today was another corker here – 37C! This sort of heat is really energy sapping. But I managed to get a post done anyhow. Hope you get lots of snow for Toby to run and play in! Fascinating to think it is so cold in your part of the world and boiling here! Happy blogging Hugh. 😊

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    1. Yes, he gets far more attention than I do when out walking with him (but I don’t mind that).

      Thanks, Paul. I got to the stage where I had to do something, and this diet seems to be exactly what I had to do to get my life back from the mistress we call ‘blogging’.

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