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”
This is great advice, Hugh. And, I need to remind myself of this again and again. Thank you for reposting! 🙂
You’re welcome, Donna. I think this post acts as a reminder to us all.
Such super advice, Hugh. I need you to repost this every 6 months! Ha ha. You’re an inspiration. 🙂
I’m sure I’ll update and republish this post again, Diana, so consider it done.
Wise words, Hugh. I have officially acquired over 860 followers to my blog in the 6+ years I’ve been doing it, but a very small – albeit loyal and regular – hardcore appear to actually read and comment on my posts. I admit that the same is true in reverse though, like you, I don’t follow everyone back, and don’t read all of the posts that I am emailed about every day. I regularly read my favourites and pick up other posts to read either from the emails or the WordPress reader, when they pique my interest. But there isn’t enough time to read every post and it does rather feel a bit like cheating! Do I feel guilty? No! As you say, blogging should be fun and we all need to find a way that works for us. For me, that must include reading other blogs, commenting as I see fit, and I like to think that my regular followers are doing that for me. Commenting is key: without that interaction the whole process would be pointless for me, and I’d quickly lose interest in someone who didn’t have the courtesy to reply to my comment. I rarely leave comments on my blog unanswered, though hitting the ‘like’ button on a comment is always a good way to bring a conversation to a halt!
It’s so good to hear from somebody who says they don’t feel guilty because they don’t read and comment on all the blog posts of the blogs they follow, Clive. When you start following as many blogs as I do, there isn’t enough time in the day to do so, and we should never allow it to make us feel overwhelmed. I’m strict when it comes to which blog posts I do read. For me, the title has to be eye-catching. If I click through and the layout of the post is not attractive and makes me cringe, then I’ll leave quickly. After all, I want a comfortable read. If by the first few lines, or first paragraph, I’m not grabbed by the content, then I will probably leave (It depends what the subject of the post is about). And I’ve stopped thinking that I have to read and comment on every single blog post of some bloggers just because they always read and comment on all of my posts. I’ve not only saved myself a lot of time by adopting all of this, but I’ve also become a better blogger (I think so, anyway).
The ‘like’ button on comments is also a great way to stop further comments when the subject of the comments has completely changed from the subject of the post. Those kinds of comments should be taken offline. Likewise, I delete any comments that are nothing but a line of emojis. I can’t see the point of leaving a comment with just emojis, although I don’t mind seeing the odd one as part of a comment that is thoughtful and adds value to the post.
Thanks for chipping in your thoughts on the subject of this post.
We appear to be of like minds on this. But remind me not to sign off a comment with an emoji. 😊 (oops)
You have nailed it Hugh! I began my blog in February 2013 … for the first 4 1/2 years, I had 18 e-mail subscribers, and no WordPress followers. Two people commented regularly – the other 16 yielded perhaps 5 comments in 4 1/2 years. All of a sudden in November 2017, someone on WordPress discovered my blog – I never tagged anything (stupid me), but all of sudden people started coming out of the woodwork. Just like you, I dutifully followed back each and every one of them, whether they were a genre like mine or not. Not so smart to do that and you and I have touched on the “liking” without reading in the past. Everything you said has happened and here I am about 15-16 months later and it’s hard to keep up … there have been days where I skipped writing a blog post as I was overwhelmed, having not delved into Reader in two days. I am trying to wean myself away from those who do not comment or interact on a regular basis, but at times the blog is still “a beast” … I’m behind in my sleep, in getting things done in the house – I have no words sometimes! I know once I have retired it will be more manageable but for now, it is an ongoing battle to tame the beast. I must say that since I live alone, work from home, have no living relatives and my friends are scattered around the U.S. – I basically live in a virtual world. I have met some wonderful bloggers here whom I feel I could sit down and spend an afternoon with them like I’d known them all their life. You are on point Hugh. I enjoy your perspectives on blogging – I have a lot to learn yet. 🙂
Oh, how I remember those days of doing no writing and spending all that time on reading and commenting on other blogs, Linda. Of cousrse, I did so because I was so frightened that bloggers may take offence if I did not read, comment and share every post they published. Blogging lost it’s fun, and that was the time when I knew I had to either stop blogging or change the blogger I had become.
Now, I try and read and comment on at least a couple of blog posts a day. However, if I fail, I don’t get any hangups about it. Life sometimes gets in the way, and blogging is now something I do as and when I have time. I admit that I’d be lost without it, but I don’t allow it to rule my life anymore.
On the plus side (and something which you touched on) I’ve made some wonderful new friends in the blogging world. I’ve even met some of them through The Bloggers Bash event, but I don’t read and comment on all their posts. The blogging community is a vital part of the blogging world. I’ve seen many give up blogging because they’d refused to be part of communities or thought they could go it alone in the blogging world.
Thanks so much for your comments and thoughts on the subject in this post.
Well this leopard must change her spots like you did Hugh. And, you probably had the same issue with me in regard to bloggers and the time difference. I can go to bed (and always late anymore – grrrr) being all caught up with Reader and comments on my own posts or others’ posts, and the following morning there are a slew of comments again. There are many fellow bloggers across the pond, but others in a three-hour time difference, i.e. West Coast of the U.S. and Canada. I try to address them in the morning, but then I have found myself running out the door, missing a few miles to be walked as I was trying to keep up here on WordPress. What a vicious circle! I started the blog to memorialize my walks as I am an avid walker. I began defeating that purpose as well! I’m glad I read your post as I do feel harried and terribly behind and am going to start being less diligent about commenting on each and every post as well. Just the main people I interract with.
Life is way too short. Have a good day Hugh … I am off to walk, one of the few times I’ve had an opportunity to do so this last month. Too much ice here in Michigan to walk safely the entire month of February.
Yes, responding to comments can be very time-consuming, Linda. Sometimes, I can take up a whole morning responding to comments, but I wouldn’t be without them. It just means I have less time to read and comment. Also, if one of my posts generates a lot of comments, I postpone publishing any new posts until I see a decline in the comments coming through. As you say, the time difference can have such an effect. I can clear comments before switching off my computer, and the following morning come back to lots more needing attention. However, as I mentioned, I wouldn’t be without them and I much rather have them than none at all.
I hope you enjoy your walks. Take care when out in the ice and snow.
Thanks Hugh – It was a little icier than I would have liked at the Park and I ended up walking on the grass down there. I have a following of squirrels at the Park and the ground has been so cold, they can’t dig up their peanuts, and I was worried about them going hungry. Most of the walkers have their own treadmills, or walk at the mall. I wouldn’t be without the comments either, especially after so many years of only two people commenting – what a difference. When I have a long post with a lot of pictures, it could take hours to get it ready to publish and back-to-back posts on the weekend will literally do me in. 🙂 Have a good weekend Hugh.
Just as relevant now as it was when you first wrote it Hugh! We all need to take note of what we’re feeling when we open up the computer and if it’s dread at what is in store for us in blog land, well that’s a give-away that things aren’t fun anymore! I have flipped and Mixed this as it’s such useful and much needed advice for some bloggers. I’m happy to say I make my own fun these days and do it on my terms but there are times when I get a bit grizzly, lose my confidence and feel overwhelmed. Thanks again for sharing your tips.
Thank you, Debbie. I appreciate you sharing the post on social media.
I still sometimes get overwhelmed with blogging, but I now walk away when that happens. It seems to do the trick. And I have no hangups about deleting posts I’ve not had time to read. There will always be plenty more to read.
Thank you, Hugh!! Great advice, I will listen too!💗
You’re welcome, Jordy.
Reblogged this on anita dawes and jaye marie.
This is a perfectly-timed throwback as far as I am concerned, as I have been feeling blogger’s guilt myself lately. I had to take a break due to pregnancy-related illness and, since coming back, about a month before the birth of my daughter, I have felt like I will never catch up – so many blogs to read, so much news to catch up on and very little time to write (all whilst severely sleep deprived 😉 ). I shall take a leaf from your book and just try to relax and enjoy writing when I can and to read what I can, when I can, without worrying too much about being the best follower possible. Thanks for the reassurance that I am not alone! You always give such good advice 🙂
I remember feeling like a hamster running on one of those wheels when I think back of how I felt guilty in trying to keep up with the number of blogs I followed. I still follow a lot, but now I only read posts that interest me regardless of how long I’ve been following a blog and who the blogger is. I try and read at least a couple of blog posts a day, but I don’t beat myself up if I fail to do that. Blogging then became fun again, and I’ve never looked back. If anybody has a go at me for not visiting and leaving comments on their blog posts, then I see it as a problem they have rather than it being my problem. Blogging should always be about fun and enjoyment.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this subject.
Yes it is easy to develop guilt and also lose time reading everything and commenting, sometimes I will be absent for a certain period of time, long and short, because of work, either job or art….one is providing $$$ the other is costing $$$$$, and other period I am trying to update my sites and blog and found myself spending lot of time doing that but not producing art….like right now, for me blogging is a good way to share my art, maybe I should go to my studio and work on a painting, since the job is quiet these days…:) sharing is important, and leave it for people to find interest or just pass by.
I guess it is a question of balance and as you said, learn to drop a few things or be more selective, still learning that…we should almost set up a schedule, like some freelancers do, allotting periods of time for work, art or whatever is your interest and managing things, including household….the latter being for me the easiest one to forget…so on this I will take my leave and get those brushes…:D
That’s what I was trying to get over in this post – that we all have lives outside of the world of blogging, so we should never feel the need to apologise for dealing with what everyday life brings us. I get frustrated at reading a blog post that starts off by saying ‘I apologise for not being around…’ week after week. It’s almost as if we’re doing something wrong by not being on our blogs 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. That’s not what blogging is all about, is it?
Finding a balance is key. And if we can’t find one (or take our time finding one) not to keep apologising for lack of blogging. And, of course, blogging isn’t the only thing in our lives that should be fun.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this subject.
Yes I tend to ‘apologize’ sometimes…I will not do it anymore…will find another way to say it 😀
Blogging should be like many other things, take it when it is there…
The only thing I’d ever apologise for in the blogging world is if a comment of mine was seen as rather rude. However, I rather not leave a comment at all than leave one that is seen as rude or nasty. We should all leave those types of comments to the trolls.
You made some very good points. Thank you so much for sharing.
You’re welcome, Lee. I’m glad they helped.
Hugh we writing bloggers have ulterior motives for blogging, we require a platform and love to share and connect. I sometimes, in fact a lot of my time go to my blog to procrastinate from my W.I.P. So a guilty feeling of blog or write hangs like a wet dog, too weighed down to shake dry .. When I blog, a guilt for not working on my book flops thickly over my soul. A balance is needed and I just knew it would you who would make me see clearly what I need to do. Thank you my wordy hero. X
Thanks, Ellen. I’m so glad this post has helped.
I never want to go back to those days of allowing blogging making me feel stressed or feel guilty. I came to blogging to not only write but to also have fun and to enjoy the experience. Why do something if it does nothing but make you feel like it’s a chore?
Once you find that balance, it should never make you feel guilty or stress you out ever again.
It is more me … doing it to myself. As we do Hugh as we do.