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’.
The ‘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 go 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.
This got me thinking (no not the walk, the diet) and I informed my blog that it too 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 it 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 had 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 overinflated, 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 talks 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 promptly 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 reading 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 tremendous 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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