I’ve recently been reading some posts and messages on social media where people are asking for advice because blogging has got to the stage of stressing them out and/or making them feel guilty.
I’ve written about this subject before, and know exactly how these bloggers are feeling, having been through the whole blogging ‘feeling guilty’ trip, myself.
One of the reasons why I signed up for WordPress was because I thought blogging would be fun.
One year in, I found myself becoming very stressed and feeling guilty because I wasn’t able to keep up with reading all the new blog posts being published by the bloggers I was following.
Some days, I was finding myself doing little else but reading and leaving comments on blog posts. Some of the bloggers I was following were publishing more than a few blog posts a day, and I soon found myself apologising to people for not reading their posts or for not being on WordPress 24 hours a day!
Then it struck me that I was not doing the main thing that I’d come here to do – to write!
Now, although I do possess a few superpowers, I’m afraid that one of them is not being able to read every single new blog post from bloggers whom I follow.
I began to see this as a problem, and my blog was a monster that was doing everything it could to make me want to fight it.
Then, one morning, I woke up, switched on my computer and got that horrible feeling I would get when I didn’t want to go to school or go to work.
I soon realised that I had two choices about blogging. Either I gave it up, or I had to change the blogger I had become.
It didn’t take me long in making my choice. After all, I’d created my blog so that I could write and share my thoughts with anybody who stopped by and wanted to listen to what I had to say.
I decreased my reading time and began to write more.
I took some time to make a list of the people who were commenting on my blog posts and who were sharing my posts on social media.
I stopped following back every single blogger who followed my blog. If they didn’t have an ‘about me’ page, so I could find out more of who they were, or they blogged about subjects that did not interest me, then I passed on by.
As time went on, I began to unfollow bloggers whose blogs changed into the content I didn’t find interesting anymore.
I stopped reading blogs posts that did not interest me regardless of who had written and published them.
I unfollowed some bloggers who continued to fail to respond to questions or acknowledge comments other bloggers and I were leaving on posts.
I didn’t feel guilty about this because it was freeing up time for me; time which I could either spend writing or supporting those bloggers who took the time to read and comment on my posts.
If you find yourself in a situation where blogging is making you feel guilty and/or stressing you out, then you need to face the questions I was asking myself.
I’m afraid there’s no magic answer. What worked for me may not work for you but, whatever you do, ensure you do all you can to make blogging fun again.
Isn’t that the reason why you came here in the first place?
Take control of both your blog and your blogging habits and stop feeling guilty about not reading and commenting on every single blog post or unfollowing blogs that you no longer have any interest in.
Sure, you may lose some followers along the way (don’t we all?), but it’s not going to finish you off as a blogger.
In fact, most of those that do unfollow you probably don’t comment or read your blog posts anyway, so it’s no big deal (unless your only interest is as a ‘follower’ hunter).
If like me, you decide to stay (and I hope you do), the passion you had for coming here in the first place will come back and put you back on the right blogging track.
Have you ever found yourself feeling guilty or stressed out because of blogging?
Are you somebody who keeps apologising because you’ve not been able to spend as much time as you like reading and commenting on posts?
What did you do to get over feeling guilty or stressed out by blogging?
Leave me a comment and join in the debate.
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277 thoughts on “Let’s Keep Blogging Fun”
Very helpful advice Hugh. Thank you for pointing to this post. I am searching for the “balance” so I appreciate your wisdom.
You’re welcome. I hope the post helps.
Absolutely where I am right now. I have to find a good balance. Thanks again for helping 😊
You’re welcome, Sam.
You nailed it again. It is so true that we can, at least I did, get obsessed with making sure I read all my follower’s post. The ones that held an interest, I made sure I made a comment. Next thing I knew, four or five hours had elapsed and I hadn’t done anything else. Thank you for the wise advice to put my priorities in order. I like the idea of weeding out those followers that never reciprocate. Now that my book is launched, I need to make my list of “To Do” and prioritize the task. That should also include some time for my husband. He has been so understanding and patient these last weeks while I got the book out. Thanks again.
Hi Chuck. So pleased you found this post interesting. I had to write it, simply because of all the posts, tweets and messages I had read where people kept apologising for not reading and commenting on blogs 24-hours a day, or where they had posted an article late because other parts of their life got in the way! We shouldn’t have to apologise for anything on our blogs unless we’ve perhaps published something which we then have second thoughts on.
And yes, make sure you give your husband some of your time, as well as the rest of what goes on outside of the blogging world. Every one of us should cherish every moment of life and make time for it.
Happy blogging, and keep on making blogging all about fun. 😀
Hello Hugh – yes I have gone through all these things so I completely get what you are saying. It is really important to put some distance between you and your blog. I do it to relax and think through my real life. When something big in the real world requires my time, I turn off the blog. I always know that my true blogging friends will be there when I get back. That said, when I have the time I do become a little obsessed! Thank you for sharing these important thoughts…and happy blogging!
Thanks so much for your comments, Barbara. So pleased to hear that you have managed to get that balance right between blogging and the rest of what life presents us with. It can be a difficult hurdle to jump, and many people fall because they become a stats hunter and/or the guilt of not reading and commenting on blogs 24 hours a day become overwhelming and end up taking out all the fun. Keep on enjoying the blogging experience and ensuring that blogging is all about fun. But, most importantly, keep on enjoying life outside of the blogging world as well. The blogging world always has an open door.
I figured this out with my last blog,I discontinued than apologise happened twice before I totally had to completely stopped I realised I was thinking a lot about posting and reading , blogging was not as it used to be.I have a new blog now I have decided on rules I will follow like what you said and happily I’m back.
That’s great to hear. Welcome back to the world of blogging. Keep it fun and it won’t go wrong. I’m speaking from experience and am so glad that I decided to change what I was doing. Now, it’s all about fun and enjoying the whole experience.
I realize this is an older post from March, but your post really made me reflect on the guilt I feel when I feel I neglect comments. A famous blogger, Adam Connell, turned off comments on his blog since it eats into the time he could be creating content. I am a teacher with papers to grade and a yearbook to make. So, I reflected hard. Guilt isn’t fun. I think you knew at the time I was wrestling with these issues.
However, I realized that blogging is a community. It IS fun because it is a community. Instead of turning off comments, I dropped out of the Blogger’s Pit Stop. I still have my Monday Linky. I again felt guilty dropping out, but my overall mood is elation. Now, I have more time for the commenters.
Hi, Janice. Thanks for your comments. It’s difficult giving up on something or even saying ‘no’ to any invites we get to hold or join in a weekly challenge or feature. I gave up hosting my weekly photography challenge because I was struggling with the time I had to write, I also gave up on a number of social media platforms as I could not give them anytime and they were not driving any traffic to my blog because of that reason. For me, the interaction between author and reader is at the heart of blogging and we can always switch off comments with a click. I much rather do that than not respond to comments at all. I’m so pleased to hear that you have done something about it. Keep on having the fun that blogging is all about.
Thank you so much for writing me back. Learning that you dropped your photography challenge makes me feel better about dropping out of the Linky party. I respect you so much I figure if you can do it it’s OK for me.
Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. I had to learn to stop apologizing, Then I had to learn that it’s ok not to be the best or most popular blogger on WordPress as long as I’m doing my best. There is a difference and knowing it relieves most of that pressure.
Yes, I agree, Rob. The ‘fun’ element in blogging is so important, but can easily be lost. It’s easy to find it again, but the difficulty is not losing it again. I’ve seen people return to blogging, only to disappear again and again. Changing and adapting to the blogging world can be very difficult, but I also admire anyone who says it’s not for them and decide to give up blogging instead of keeping coming back and not changing the way they look at blogging.
The point as I understand it is that one is engaged in the creative process in real time.
And there’s something else, at least for me; blogging is a political act. For some of us being who we are without shame is a political act.
I think we all feel (as you described) same sometimes as a bloggers. And as you comment on ‘great post or nice article’ – this nothing but spam. I don’t have time
But i have a question what do you mean “change into material” here?
Thanks so much for your comments. What I mean by ‘I began to unfollow bloggers whose blogs changed into material I didn’t find interesting anymore’ are blogs that start out as one thing, and change into something else. For example, I once followed a blog that gave lots of great writing advice. Gradually, the blogger began to publish posts about ladies shoes, clothes, and makeup which, eventually, took over her entire blog. I guess she found a new niche, but it wasn’t for me, so I unfollowed the blog.
Oh i see you mean change in niche. Yes off course anyone can loose interest. I joined your blog seeing your writing, it’s sharp. I liked it. Hope in future many useful things i shall receive to read and learn.
Thank you very much. That’s a lovely compliment about my writing.
Thank you for the important reminder, Hugh, that blogging is supposed to be fun! For most of us, we choose to blog (it’s not a job or life requirement), so why would we choose something that doesn’t bring us joy? I co-host a link party that was becoming overwhelming for all of us, so we recently made adjustments that should make it more manageable. As for writing, I’m trying to do it from a more relaxed space–writing for the love of writing again. This is my first visit to Hugh’s Views & News. I’ll be back for sure. I found you on the AIM Link Party. Have a lovely day!
Hello, Chistie. Thank you for your comments on this subject. I once ran a weekly photography challenge that became overwhelming to manage. Even though it brought lots of traffic to my blog, I couldn’t manage it as it grew and I finally decided to discontinue it as it was causing me stress and I was feeling so disappointed that I could not visit all the blogs that participated. Many of us came to the world of blogging to have fun. When that fun disappears and is replaced by guilt and apologises, it’s time to take action. It a shame, but I’ve seen so many excellent writers give up or abandon blogging because they allowed their blog to rule them.
Thank you so much for visiting my blog and for leaving a comment. I really appreciate it.
Hi Hugh! I did like this article, it struck a lot of chords. I must say I didn’t want to even start a blog, but was nagged at so much by agent and indie publishers and social media groups and Amazon and Goodreads etc etc when I first published my to date only novel, that I did. To my surprise I loved it, straight away, and still do! But maybe that’s because a) I only post once a week and b)I’m a little bit parsimonious about reading and commenting on other people’s. I do, sometimes, but a rule of thumb is never to let it take up more than 30 minutes of my time every day.
Hi, Jessica. Thanks so much for joining in the debate.
It sounds as if you have your blogging habit well and truly under control and don’t get stressed out by it. It seems to work in different ways for each one of us. The most important aspect of blogging is that we should keep it fun and never allow it to feel like a chore. When it starts to lose its fun appeal, then we need to think about changing the way we blog, or even giving it up.
Keep on having fun with blogging.
Did you see Debby linked to both of our Flipboard articles? Exciting! I really love our blogging community. Like your article says, blogging is fun! I’m stumbling your post.
Hi, Janice. I did. I’ve had over 600 referrals from Flipboard so far this month. I’m so very glad I took it seriously. Keep on ‘flipping.’ 😀
Thanks for the Stumble.
Any tips on what might be resulting in your 600 referrals this month? Thanks!
I’m going to have to investigate, Janice. Ivan, who guest posted on my blog on Saturday, said that he believed the more you use Flipboard, the more results you will get from it. However, I also believe it has something to do with the title of the post and the name of the magazine you put that post into. It’s still early days for me and Flipboard, but I do intend on writing about it some more.
I would appreciate it
I wrote you on your blog. Can I see the link to Ivan’s post? I tend to agree with you. I go in all the time, and I’d like to see my Flipboard traffic increase. I’m guessing it has to do with the magazine name.
Hi Janice, I’ve just sent to link over to you with another comment.
Yes, I believe magazine names are a very important point on Flipboard. Just like having a great title for a blog post, we need something that will entice a reader to follow and read our magazine articles over on Flipboard.
I wanted to thank you again for the Flipboard tips. I went into Flipboard after reading your comments, changed some of my magazine titles and tightened up the descriptions. We shall see. I’ll keep you posted.
You’re very welcome, Janice. I hope you’ll see an upsurge in traffic from Flipboard. Since telling you my referrals numbers from Flipboard yesterday, I’ve now had 990 over the last 30 days.
I compared our magazines looking for a difference that might explain things. We have 4 with the same titles. Are you commenting on people’s articles?
No, that’s something I’ve not done yet. I’ve had a good look around and I haven’t seen many comments on other Flipboard accounts. I think it’s more about reading articles that interest you and then flipping them. For example, I found an article that told me how to increase the size of the font on my iPhone. I liked the article and then flipped it. The more ‘flips’ one of your articles gets, the more people will get to see it and, of course, as they are directed to your blog to read the article, they are more likely to leave a comment there rather than on Flipboard. That’s my thinking of how it works anyway, but I could be wrong.
I have over a hundred followers while you are just getting started there, so it couldn’t be that. I often go in and flip articles, sometimes daily.
I’m ‘flipping’ articles daily as well. I guess it’s like anything else on social media. If somebody shares it and they have a huge following, then that article is probably going to get a lot of views.
On your dashboard, when you click the plus sign next to Flipboard, can you tell what article people are clicking? What topic are most of your Flipboard clicks for? Thanks so much!!
Blogging tips, Flash Fiction, and Humour are the three most popular from Flipboard (in that order).
Hi Hugh, found your links on the Mostly Blogging Stumble Upon group and so glad I did! Really looking forward to reading your posts and putting them into practice on my blog! I’ve stumbled, tweeted and pinned
Hi, Claire. Welcome to my blog. Thanks so much for the follow and for sharing this post.
Have a great week.
Great to see you here on Hugh’s blog. There’s nothing like a community. It’s the best! Thanks again for all your help with the stumbles from our StumbleUpon group.
How funny, my blog post tomorrow refers back to a previous post of mine where I was stressed out about blogging. I talk about dealing with perfectionism and how we often forget why we started blogging in the first place!
‘Great minds and all that’, Jo. I look forward to reading your post. Please feel free to leave a link to your post in the comments section of this post.
Nice to meet you Hugh, I appreciate your input on blogging that seems to have helped a lot of others. I am going to feature this post on Friday in The Blogger’s Pit Stop. Congratulations and well done.
Blogger’s Pit Stop
That’s wonderful news. Thank you so much, Kathleen. 😀
Thanks, Hugh. We sometimes end up caught up on similar routines we had in other arenas (work comes to mind) and I agree. Each person knows why they blog but if it starts making one feel bad, it’s time to change something or quit… Great advice. Thanks!
You’re welcome, Olga. Thanks so much for your comments on this delicate subject. I’m certainly glad I opened the subject up to everyone.
I really enjoyed the post, and the point you have discussed is popular among beginners.
They try to be everywhere, I myself have made this mistake for long time. And I was feeling the same as you were, ( hard as going to school in the winter morning) Lol.
So now I meet 5 people on daily basis of same taste.
You are number 2.
Thank you, Zada. ‘Trying to be everywhere’ is a great way of putting it. I try and read and comment on at least 5 posts a day as well. After that, I’ll only continue to read and comment if I find myself with time to do so.
Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on this subject.
Welcome, I look further to see best post from you.
I have had to cut back too but I do take the effort to visit and reply to my 70 or so most loyal followers .Unless it has to do with cartooning I have stopped subscribing to new blogs and deleted those who post dozens of things every day.
Sounds like you have your perfect blogging plan underway, Carl. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts with us on this subject.
Wonderful advice, thank you!
You’re very welcome. 😀
Reblogged this on Writer's Treasure Chest and commented:
Hugh W. Roberts tells us how he handles blogging – and the guilt that seems to come with it sometimes. Thank you very much for this post, Hugh!
Arrgh Hugh…I read your post and tentatively hold my hand up from the back of the class and squeak, ‘Yes, that’s me, always apologising and getting stressed over not being able to keep up with reading blogs…never mind posting my own blogs!’ But…we’ve talked about this before and you’ve always encouraged me greatly not to feel guilty and I know that there is no way I will be able to finish my memoir while blogging at the same time. In fact, I will be signing off again soon for several weeks as I have now reached the point where I know I won’t have any peace until my memoir is ready to hand over for editing and I know if I can focus 100% on it (and please no more derailment…) I can do it. Writing my book is more important than blogging at this moment and I have faith in my true followers, so lovely they are, including you. And as you say here, those who disapper, well they are not following for the right reasons anyway so why worry about them? Thank you so much for this post Hugh, it’s come at just the right time for me… xxx
That’s great to hear, Sherri. This seems to be a subject that many bloggers don’t want to approach, so I thought talking about it in the open would help many of us.
I’ve said many times that there is nothing wrong with taking a break from blogging. I’ve done it several times and I have reaped the benefits of it. My only advice to those considering taking a break is to take that break and not come back to publish the odd posts or to comment. And, let people know you are going to take that break. That way, folk won’t worry about you while you are away getting on doing what you need to do. I know you’ve done the latter and you always inform your followers what is happening in your world and why you are taking a break.
Good luck with getting the book to your finishing line. You’ve so made the right choice in taking the time and getting it finished. The world of blogging will still be here upon your return and although many people will miss you, they will just as much congratulate you when you get back and be very happy to see you back in the blogging world again.
Hugh, you have made my day with your reply…thank you so much. You know, I read your words and it’s as if we’re chatting in person! You have such a lovely, calming and wise approach 🙂 My mind is chiming full with so much noise that I know absolutely that now is the time to make that break..and you are so right, not be tempted to return for the ‘odd’ post or comments. I need to make a clean break until I’ve accomplished my goal. Otherwise I think I’ll go quite mad!!! I will miss you and everyone very much but I’ll take your encouragement with me which will help greatly. I will be around for another week and will let everyone know. I want to read a few more of your post too, I see you’ve posted about the BB – can’t wait to see you again! – and your ‘orb’ post, I read and replied to your comment on Debby’s post. Fascinating! Hugs Hugh…and thanks so much again… xxx
That’s so very nice to hear, Sherri. Thank you so much for your kind comments about my comments. I always like to extend a friendliness in my replies. If I can, I’ll always include the first name in my reply as I think it makes the reply that little bit more personal. But, that’s a post for another day. 😀
So pleased to hear that you have acknowledged that now is the time for that blogging break. I’ve seen people say they are going to take one before, but then they come back and continue to publish posts which, of course, generate comments, unless comments have ben turned off. Go for that clean break and you’ll achieve your goals far easier and quicker.
Hugs to you.
You are naturally a lovely, friendly person Hugh, and that comes across in your writing and comments in a wonderful way. And yes, another good idea for a post, always important to use a first name, definitely. And I do mean every word – your support and wisdom really does help me tremendously. That clean break is the only way forward, otherwise I’ll be here saying the same thing over and over again. Blogging is hard to leave behind even if just for a short while but it really does help get the job done when it’s important. And writing our books is very important isn’t it? Thanks again so much Hugh…you’re a star…and big hugs right back…until the real thing in June of course 🙂 xxx
I think it’s easy to become stressed or feel guilty about the flip side of actually writing a blog. Writing is the easy part. The responsibility that I think some people feel about not commenting or having the time to read other blogs who comment on their own is difficult. I never considered that when I began blogging but then I never considered or imagined the number of very nice, fun people I found on here. So I comment when I can, which is usually in spurts. I may not get to read posts for a couple of days, then carve out a few hours to read them all. I comment when I I think I’m not repeating what others have said but always like something when I like something.
It’s complicated, but it’s rewarding and fun…:)
All makes perfect sense to me, George. Sounds as if you have found the right blogging balance. Couldn’t agree more with what you say about comments. I’ve stopped replying to those where there really is nothing to say but will acknowledge the comment with a like.
Thanks so much for your thoughts on this subject. I appreciate you sharing them with us.
If you’ve been blogging for a while, most come to this conclusion. You need to priorize your time. Burn out isn’t fun and it drains your creativity.
Personally I’ve cut back alot on blogging and I’ve stopped feeling guilty. I do what i can. My baby takes up much time. This is a phase that will only come round once. I won’t feel guilty for enjoying my time with my kids and husband.
I agree, I think most bloggers do come to this conclusion at some point on their blogging journey. Finding the right balance can be very difficult, and what works for some may not work for others. I am so pleased that I opened up a subject that many bloggers find themselves in and which many didn’t want to admit to.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this subject.
So it’s not only me then – some of my linked blogs post almost a dizen times a day, so i changed them to weeky and now, come Monday morning in they flood and i cringe. it takes me until Thursday in between other stuff to get through. Yet there is such good stuff out there – sigh
No, it’s not, Lucinda. I think just about every blogger goes through this stage at some point. Some go through it more than once, and all it does is make many give up on the world of blogging because something that was meant to be all about fun and enjoyment becomes a bit of a monster. Still, at least there’s lots of advice out there on how to handle the situation.
I’m not surprised there are so many comments on this post, Hugh! I think it’s something quite common in the blogging world, unless you actually blog full time. I’ve felt the guilt too and ended up turning off all my notifications as my inbox was so stressful. Like you, I actually want to write as well as blog, and so I’ve had to make the decision to put my writing first, then blog when I have the time (including looking at other people’s blogs). Also my work situation has changed, which is a good thing, but means I have less time than before. So, like you, I have a list of bloggers I check in with whenever I can, and that’s all I can do. Hope you’re well and looking forward to seeing you at the Bash! xx
Well, I’m glad you too have got over feeling the blogging guilt, Helen. Life changes for all of us, but we should always remember why we first started to blog. We all need our ‘fun’ time and should cherish it and what we do during it. What’s the saying I hear so much – “Life’s too short.”
Can’t believe the Bash is only just over two months away. Looking forward to seeing you there.
That’s it exactly, remembering why we started to blog. This journey has been more than I ever imagined it would be, but the key thing is that it remains fun, rather than becoming a burden 🙂 Looking forward to seeing you too xx
Always good for some sensible advice Hugh! I’m with you in the way I go about it all. I enjoy some blogs more than others so check them out first and then have a look around others when I have some spare time. I enjoy the interaction the most and having genuine comments left for me. I always try to reply to comments and attempt to do the same on others’ blogs. In my eyes, it’s all about fun, sharing and being creative. Enjoy your Sunday 🙂
That all sounds great, Deb. Seems to me that you are enjoying blogging for what first brought you to it. Keep on looking at it that way and you certainly won’t need to find the right blogging path again. Fun and enjoyment are what it is all about.
EEK! It is one thing to put up with a boring job but a boring hobby makes no sense. When blogging starts being a source of stress I will hang it up and take up knitting or something.
I hear that knitting can also be quite stressful, so choose wisely if you find yourself going down that route. 😀
Very wise words Hugh! I have long since come to terms with not being able to read every post of every blogger, but I do enjoy it when I get the chanse to catch up with a few!
Sounds like you have found the right balance. Keep on doing it that way.