How To Stop Feeling Guilty Or Stressed Out About Blogging

Author, writer and blogger Robbie Cheadle recently published a blog post that asked the question ‘How Do You Keep Up With Your Blog?

The title of Robbie’s post intrigued me, and I immediately clicked to read it.

To me, ‘keep up with your blog‘ made it sound like a bit of a chore; something no blogger should ever feel about blogging.

However, in the post, Robbie describes some of the struggles she faces not only writing and publishing blog posts but also with reading and leaving comments on other blogs.

Never get stressed out by blogging

By the time I read the post, many other bloggers had already left comments, and many made as compelling reading as the post itself. 

A call for help?

Some of the comments mentioned how stressed out and guilty people felt because they couldn’t keep up with reading and leaving comments on all the blog posts of the blogs they follow.

Other comments mentioned ‘skimming’ blog posts (especially long blog posts) because they didn’t have the time to read everything. To me, this made reading those posts sound as if the reader was on some kind of time-trial where they had to read and comment on a certain amount of blog posts within a particular time.

  

#time #blogging #bloggingtips
Photo by Stas Knop on Pexels.com

I also got the impression that some readers left short comments because they didn’t have enough time to leave longer comments, which may have given Robbie lots more feedback and answers had they done so.

Why did you start a blog?  

One of the reasons why I decided to take up blogging was because I thought it would be fun and enjoyable. Some of the comments left on Robbie’s post didn’t sound as if bloggers were enjoying blogging. 

I’ll be the first to admit that I have found myself stressed out and feeling guilty because I wasn’t able to keep up with all the new blog posts published by the bloggers I was following. It was a low point on my blogging journey. 

Some days, I was finding myself doing little else but reading and leaving comments on blog posts. 

Some of the bloggers I followed were publishing more than a few blog posts a day. I soon found myself apologising to people for not reading their posts or for not being on WordPress 24 hours a day! 

But did anyone care or expect an apology from me? I don’t think so.   

So I know exactly how some of the bloggers who left those types of comments on Robbie’s post were feeling.

At that low point in my blogging journey, I knew that I had a choice to make. I either had to give up blogging or change the way I was blogging. 

#blogging #bloggtips
Photo by Athena on Pexels.com

Blogging had become a chore, and I saw my blog as a monster that was doing everything it could to make me want to fight it.

I dreaded switching on my computer every morning to see the overwhelming numbers of new blog post notifications. 

All of this had to end.

The turning point

While thinking about what I should do, it struck me that I was not doing the main thing that I’d come to WordPress to do – to write!

Although I like to believe I have a few super-powers, I’m afraid that one of them is not being able to read every single new blog post from all the bloggers I follow.

And you know what? Just about every single blogger I know thinks precisely the same thing. 

It didn’t take me long to make my choice. After all, I’d created my blog so that I could write, have fun, and enjoy the experience of being a blogger.

I decreased my reading time and began to write more.

#winner #writing #competition
You’re a winner!

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 about them) or they blogged about subjects that did not interest me, then I didn’t follow back. 

Best of all, I didn’t feel guilty for not following them back. Why waste my time reading something that doesn’t really interest me? I wouldn’t read a book that didn’t interest me, so why a blog?

Always follow a blog for a reason, other than just because they followed you

When we follow a blog, we do so because we enjoy reading most of its content. Therefore, when somebody new follows my blog, I know the reader has at least enjoyed reading some of my content (or so I like to think).

Hopefully, they’ll also occasionally engage with me by sometimes leaving me some comments. 

As time went on, I also began to unfollow bloggers who changed the content of their blogs or whose content I didn’t particularly find interesting to read anymore. It happens, so get over it.  

I didn’t feel guilty doing this. It freed up valuable time for me; time which I could spend writing and supporting those bloggers whose blog content I find interesting and which motivates me to leave comments.

#bloggingtips #blogging
Click the above image to find out how to get readers to leave comments on your blog.

If you find yourself in a situation where blogging is making you feel guilty or is stressing you out, ask yourself some of the questions I asked of myself.

Are there any magic answers?

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 started a blog in the first place?

Take control of both your blog and your blogging habits and stop feeling guilty or apologising for not always being around. 

You may lose some followers along the way (don’t we all?), but it’s not going to finish you off as a blogger. And who cares if they lose a few followers along the way? It happens to all of us. 

In fact, some of those who do unfollow you probably don’t comment or read your blog posts anyway. Don’t worry about losing them. 

How to save yourself some extra time

Only read the blog posts that interest you. Avoid skimming blog posts, because it’s likely that you’re not enjoying reading them anyway. Save yourself some time and move on to the next post rather than read half a post and leaving empty and meaningless comments on it.

Remember – Blogging is a marathon, not a sprint.

Never feel that you are obliged to read every single blog post of the blogs you follow. I don’t know any blogger who thinks that all their followers must read and comment on every new blog post they publish.

Never force yourself to read blog posts. If you don’t feel like reading or writing them, then don’t. Spend your time doing something else. Forcing yourself to do something you don’t want to do will only make you resent what you’re doing.

Are long posts worth reading? 

Of course they are. Don’t be put off by the length of long blog posts. Just because they’ll take longer to read doesn’t mean they’re not going to be interesting.

You may believe you can use the time you would have spent reading a long blog post to read a handful of other shorter blog posts, but they may not be as interesting as the one you deleted because it was too long.

Take some breaks from blogging.

#blogging #bloggingbreak #tea #break
Photo by Eli Verenich on Pexels.com

As a rule, for every hour I spend on my blog or reading blogs, I take a 20-minute break.

I always come back feeling refreshed.

If I don’t get around to reading all the new blog posts in my email box, then so be it. I don’t allow myself to feel guilty for not reading them. And I certainly do not feel guilty deleting those emails without having read them. Life’s too short to worry about that.

If you don’t want to blog, it’s perfectly fine. You don’t have to.

If like me, you decide to continue with blogging (and I hope you do), the passion you had for coming to the blogging world in the first place will grow and put you back on the right blogging track.

Let’s keep blogging a fun and enjoyable experience.

What about you?

  • 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 do you do to get over feeling guilty or stressed out by blogging?

Join the discussion by leaving me a comment that I can respond to with more than just a ‘thank you.’

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Author: Hugh W. Roberts

My name is Hugh. I live in the city of Swansea, South Wales, in the United Kingdom. My blog covers a wide range of subjects, the most popular of which are my blogging tips posts. If you have any questions about blogging or anything else, please contact me by clicking on the 'Contact Hugh' button on the menu bar. Click on the 'Meet Hugh' button on the menu bar to learn more about me and my blog.

108 thoughts

  1. I think this post needs to be said. Lately I have been busy maintaining my site because I recently just changed into a self-hosted one. And as I havent been uploading new posts I started missing it more than worrying. I missed interacting with my fellow bloggers who also became my friends and with this post I realized that, yeah, we’re here to write and to communicate as fellow bloggers. I shouldnt worry if I havent been consistent with posting, I can always catch up with them if I want to. Thanks for sharing! ☺️

  2. Thanks for this Hugh. Sometimes it’s good to know that others are feeling the same or similar! I took a whole year off blogging and came back on early this year, and it was definitely good for me. I don’t have a large following, but what’s interesting is that I had exactly the same number when I came back as when I took my ‘sabbatical’! Seems that everybody was still around even after a year. What I also find helpful is to take a break from my Followship from time to time and just follow the tag option in the Reader. Its quite fun to make your own list of tags of things that interest you (type in Blogging or Nature or Baking, or whatever) and just see what comes up for you.

    1. You’re welcome, Amanda.

      I think one thing that many bloggers are terrified about when thinking of taking a blogging break is that, when they come back, all their followers will have disappeared. I’ve taken several breaks from blogging over the years and have never come back to an empty theatre.

      Yes, I occasionally use the search bar in the WP Reader to look for some new blog posts to read, and always end up having great success with it. In fact, last weekend, I found two great new blogs to follow, one of which has already linked back to some of my blog posts.

  3. I know what you mean about blogging feeling tiring. This post is a breath of fresh air, filled with great reminders.

  4. Thanks for sharing your great advice with us at The Blogger’s Pit Stop! I know for me I would see other bloggers posting at least once and sometimes more per day and I felt like I should do the same. I created my blog to share things I’ve created as well as information about my health. I finally came to the realization that I just need to post when I have something to share and that I don’t need to keep up with others.

    1. You’re welcome, Roseann.

      You’re absolutely right in what you say. I often see bloggers giving advice to other bloggers that to be a successful blogger, they must publish content daily. It’s a complete myth and does not work like that. I’ve seen many great bloggers give up blogging entirely because of the stress they encountered with it. It doesn’t have to be like that. For the majority of bloggers (myself included), it should always be about the fun and enjoyment.

  5. This is a great post, Hugh. I try to keep a good balance between writing and reading and working. Blogging can’t be work, but it can easily become that way if you’re not careful. Now I only engage on blog posts that interest me, and that feels more genuine. Since the stay-at-home, I’ve started writing 3 blog posts a week for my library job as well as running the Twitter account, so doing my own blog and social media have become a chore at times. I find when I feel that way, I stay away and don’t force it until I’m ready to go back. I think other bloggers feel the same way. It has to be fun or it’s no good!

    1. Thank you, Barbara.

      I agree with what you say. If blogging becomes a chore, then it’s time to step back and rethink how we blog, otherwise the fun and enjoyment it brings can be lost forever. If it continues to become a chore, then I think most people gave it up and move on to something else they enjoy.

      1. Agreed – for me, if I take a little break I feel refreshed and excited to get back. You have to listen to yourself and not get caught up in the statistics (though I do at times!).

  6. I don’t feel guilty or stressed out right now, but when WordPress switches its editor on June 1, I’m going to be wishnig I had followed your advice about learning it in advance. You can bet I’ll be returning to your post soon for more help!

    1. From what I read, they’re only retiring the classic editor, Michele. It’ll still be available to use, although they’ll be slowly withdrawing support for it. Therefore, any bugs or further problems with it may take a longer time to fix. At the end of this year, they’ll remove support for it completely. So, you still have some time to practice with the block editor before using it.

  7. A very wise post, Hugh. I remember you have written about this before, and I think most of us who have been blogging for a while have reached a similar point at one time or other. There are only 24 hours in a day and far too many things to do, blogs and books to read, and well, life in general. No good becoming a slave to anything and losing any enjoyment we got from it.
    Thanks, Hugh. And keep safe. ♥

    1. Yes, I wrote about this subject several years ago, Olga. Robbie’s post prompted me to revisit the topic. After reading some of the comments left on her post, I knew it was time to send out another reminder to everyone that nobody cares if you don’t read and comment on all their blog posts. Blogging should be all about the ‘fun’ and enjoyment. It should never turn into some kind of monster.

      Take care, and keep staying safe.

  8. I think I finally learned a couple of years ago that I can’t follow and read every blogger I’ve come into contact with, Hugh. As you say, many bloggers change their content to something different as time goes by, I know I did. We also should not feel obligated to read a post from someone who likes, reads, and comments on ours. While I do thank each person who’s commented, if I don’t follow their blog, I don’t click to read just to reciprocate. Great advice as usual!!

    1. Totally agree with you, Terri. It’s good to hear what you say. I hope many reading your comment take your great advice. I’ve seen too many good writers and bloggers give up their blogs because they couldn’t get over the stress and guilt of not reading and commenting on everything.

  9. Thanks for this post, Hugh. It felt like it was written just for me. I have experienced all of those feelings of guilt that mention because I have not been able to read all the blogs I want and leave meaningful comments. Your post gives me a little more confidence in being more selective with which blogs I read and comment on, as well as with how much time I spend doing such activities.

    1. I’m glad it’s helped, Jim. I think a lot of bloggers go through this ‘guilt’ and ‘stress’ feeling at some stage on their blogging journey. Nobody will care if you don’t get around to reading and commenting on all their blog posts – I promise. Now it’s time for you to put back all the fun and enjoyment into blogging and to get rid of any remaining blogging stress.

  10. Love this, Hugh. I really resonate with this, actually. I was really productive with my blog at the beginning of lockdown, and now I’m falling behind with having content pre-written and ready to post. Recently, my motivation to blog has become much lower, and I do definitely feel guilty about it. I think you have definitely made a good point about thinking, “why did I start this in the first place”. Thanks for the reminder!

    1. I’m glad my post has helped, Joanna. It’s strange, but at the bargaining of lockdown, I lost all my motivation to write and blog. Once I found out what was causing it, I soon bounced back. It seems the lockdown has affected many of us in different ways.

      Thanks so much for joining the discussion.

      1. You’re not wrong there! Fingers crossed I bounce back soon! Thanks Hugh 🙂 I look forward to reading more.

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