Author, writer and blogger Robbie Cheadle recently published a blog post asking, ‘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 in writing and publishing blog posts and reading and leaving comments on other blogs.
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, reading those posts made it sound like 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.
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 on Robbie’s post didn’t sound like bloggers were enjoying blogging.
I’ll be the first to admit that I have found myself stressed out and feeling guilty because I couldn’t 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 published more than a few blog posts daily. 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 bloggers who left those types of comments on Robbie’s post felt.
At that low point in my blogging journey, I knew I had a choice. I either had to give up blogging or change how I was blogging.
Blogging had become a chore, and I saw my blog as a monster doing everything possible to make me want to fight it.
I dreaded switching on my computer every morning to see the overwhelming number 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 I’d come to WordPress to do – write!
Although I like to believe I have a few superpowers, 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.
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 blogged about subjects that did not interest me, 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; the time I could spend writing and supporting those bloggers whose blog content I find interesting and which motivates me to leave comments.
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 will not 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 leave empty and meaningless comments.
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 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 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.
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 reading 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 fun and an 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 a comment that I can respond to with more than just a ‘thank you.’
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