Blogging – Is It All That You Want It To Be?

In February 2022, I passed a blogging milestone. WordPress informed me that I’d been blogging for eight years! But that notification asked me questions while I looked back at those eight years.

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Eight years? It doesn’t seem that long ago that I started to blog. I know of bloggers who have been blogging for much longer than me and who continue to write and publish posts full of interesting content that are always of the highest quality. Not only do they care deeply about what they write, but what they publish. That makes all the difference – knowing what to publish and what not to publish.

I’ve seen thousands of bloggers come and go in those eight years. Some disappeared without a trace, while others hung up their blogging gloves and announced their departure. The ones I felt the sorriest for were the ones who stopped blogging because they couldn’t get the engagement or the number of hits and followers they craved.

Some came here solely for making money, while others came here more for collecting numbers rather than engaging outside their blog. They don’t last long and end up cluttering the world wide web with abandoned blogs in the blog graveyard. It’s a sad sight.

From the beginning

I can count the number of bloggers on one hand who have been with me since that first year. I often ask myself why they’re still reading my posts and leaving comments, but that lack of confidence in myself isn’t something I will dwell on here. All I will say is that I must be doing something right.

Unfollowing blogs

I’ll be honest: I have unfollowed many blogs over the years. Why do some bloggers not like talking about unfollowing blogs? It’s as if it’s a taboo subject.

Unfollowing blogs is something I witness many shy away from speaking or writing about. It’s as if it’s a ‘hush-hush’ subject. Something that gets swept under the carpet. But not me, no. I’ve written about it and had great discussions about it in the comments section of those posts, but never on other blogs. Perhaps I’m looking in the wrong places?

Why do I unfollow blogs?

For many reasons, but mainly when I lose interest in the content.

One of the biggest mysteries is the bloggers I stop hearing from because I unfollowed them. I probably stopped following them because I was no longer interested in their publishing content. That’s a simple enough reason. But why then go silent? Surely not for the same reason? Or was it a coincidence that we simultaneously lost interest in each other’s content?

The different faces of bloggers

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting some bloggers face to face. For me, that’s been one of the highs of blogging. However, I know that some bloggers like to remain anonymous. And they’ve every right to remain anonymous. Being behind a screen can feel like a safe place, but it isn’t always that way. I won’t talk about the trolls here because trolls like being discussed.

Ups and downs

I’ve had my ups and I had my downs with blogging. It’s like being on a rollercoaster that some bloggers can’t get off. I’ve alighted the blogging rollercoaster a few times when taking blogging breaks.

Some of those breaks lasted months, while others lasted a few weeks. But they all had something in common. They helped me step back, take a look at what I was doing, how I was doing it, and most importantly, helped me change the way I blogged. I always came back refreshed and, despite what some say, readers do not stop following you because you’ve taken a break.

Barbara, who blogs at Book Club Mom, has evidence of blogging breaks. She recently wrote a terrific post about taking a blogging break. Read it here.

Like everything else in life, blogging changes. It would be a very dull place if it didn’t change. Can you imagine what life would be like if it never changed?

Changes

Since I first started blogging, things have changed massively. I’m talking here about the WordPress platform. I was never a fan of change, but I’m confident that the changes I’ve witnessed here on WordPress have made blogging much more fun and enjoyable. Blogging has finally moved into the 21st century.

Those changes helped propel my blog to an even wider audience. Unfortunately, some bloggers got left behind, but I didn’t want to be one of them. There’s too much at stake when remaining stagnant.

At first, the changes looked like they were going to cause problems, but rather than complain about what I believed were problems, I adjusted to the changes and saw vast improvements for me, other bloggers and readers. It’s like climbing a ladder. The higher you get, the more you see and learn, and the more you can make a difference.

When I look at some of the blogs I’ve been following for years, I’m amazed by the changes that have taken place. That shows me how far they have all come on their blogging journey. They’ve adapted, welcomed change, and become better writers and bloggers. But they have also updated and improved their blogs. It’s made them blogging figureheads with their readers and in the blogging world. They have my utmost respect.

They continue to adapt to changes and continue to roar on their journey. That roar is one of achievement rather than the cry of complaint while refusing to adapt to change.

Change can make some problems frustrating, but you become stale by taking no action or hoping others will tackle your issues. Don’t allow your sparkle to dim by not adapting to change.

The biggest blogging trap to look out for

Most of the people I have encountered in the blogging world are friendly. However, some don’t help themselves. By this, I mean that some bloggers seem to believe they have to be everywhere all the time to not upset anyone. It’s one of the biggest blogging traps bloggers fall into that can turn blogging upside down, inside-out, and become something that causes stress or a feeling of guilt. It’s a horrible place, yet it is easy to escape – if you allow it.

Many bloggers fall into the guilt and stress trap during their first few years of blogging. I was one of them, yet some don’t seem to learn the lessons of falling into that trap and continue slipping through the net, making blogging a not-so-lovely experience.

Some bloggers apologise for dealing with life outside of the blogging world. I don’t know why they believe they need to apologise, but it’s sad to see. Some apologise if they publish a post a few minutes late. It’s as if their readers’ lives depend on those posts going out on time; otherwise, something awful will happen.

Of course, the truth is that nobody cares if a post is published a few minutes late. Nobody cares if a post is a day late. But if it goes over a week late or your absence is out of character, care becomes a concern. Another lovely element of the blogging community is looking out for each other.

It’s my life

Something I’ve never been comfortable with on my blog is revealing everything in my life. Why? Because there are so many scammers out there looking for information they can use when they steal your identity. Plus, do people really want to know every detail of my life? Would I give that information out to total strangers?

Those are tough questions, but I decided to only give out a limited amount of information, most of which can be found on my ‘Meet Hugh‘ page.

Some bloggers pour their hearts out on their blogs, telling readers every bit of detail of their lives. Years ago, life was different, and many of us wanted to keep our lives private, but now it seems to have been turned on its head, and people complain if nobody reads their blog. I couldn’t help but laugh when I saw this tweet.

Be careful when giving information out about yourself. You don’t know everyone who reads your blog and the information you are giving out on it.

That’s my quick look at the last eight years. There will be more posts like this because I’ve lots more to share.

How long have you been blogging? Is blogging all that you want it to be? Let me know in the comment section.

Copyright © 2022 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

183 thoughts on “Blogging – Is It All That You Want It To Be?

  1. Hey Hugh! Congrats on your blogging anniversary and thanks for the great post. I got a lot out of it as I’m recently back from a long break and feel so rusty in the blogging world. And yes, so much change. Your post motivated me to keep staying above the water and keep up with the changes. I’m currently looking for themes that are more interesting and working on the look of the blog and individual posts. There’s so much information out there, so I’m gonna delve into some of your other posts for help.
    Thanks.

    1. Thank you.

      I’m glad you got a lot out of reading this post. Sometimes, I think being honest with ourselves is the best policy. That’s why I wanted to share my thoughts on blogging with my audience.

      Good luck with your return to blogging. Remember to keep it a fun and enjoyable expereince.

  2. Hi Hugh, one of the most satisfying elements of blogging has been seeing the noticeable improvements not just in my writing but how it has helped make me a better person- so always embrace that change!

    Last year I struggled with my job, and it had a knock on effect with my blog, with a few bits of rough drafts I’d written but never finalised and other content I’d written elsewhere I managed to keep my routine- except for one week where I just couldn’t make the deadline. It surprised me when I next posted people were commenting that they wondered what had happen to me as no post appeared on Wednesday- its nice people noticed my regular schedule!

    My view on sharing details from my personal life – I use it gently if it’s appropriate to use as a story to help drive the point I’m trying to make with my work – and often use experiences from my past rather than the present.

    Thank you Hugh for your posts, they inspire a lot of thoughts and have helped me level up my blogging.

    Congratulations on 8 years and here is to the next 8 years!

    1. It’s always nice when people notice something out of the usual when a blogger doesn’t publish a post, James. Many bloggers are known for looking out for each other. It’s just a shame that some feel they have to blog during times that are not good or when dealing with illness. I don’t think any of their readers expect them to continue to blog during those times.

      I’m amazed by what personal information some bloggers share on their blog, James. I always ask myself, ‘would I share that information with a group of strangers?’ before deciding what information to give.

      I’m glad these posts help so many readers. They’re also an excellent way for me to get something off my chest, so they work for me as well.

      I’m not sure why, but WordPress marked your comment as spam and placed it straight in my spam folder. Fortunately, I check my spam folder every day, so I was able to salvage it.

      1. That’s odd with the spam filter – and yet Hugh, we both get our fair share of comments that simply say “great post” getting through! 😅

        My view if someone’s health or personal life gets in the way take the time off, no explanation or apology needed.

        My wife often checks in with my blog to “see what I’m saying about her and (maybe much to her disappointment) she finds I don’t divulge much!

        It’s worth noting when registering domains it goes on public records, so if we reveal even details like our pets names it can help someone guess your personal passwords!

        1. The spam filter system on WordPress is very temperamental, James. It amazes me what it does and doesn’t let through. It’s a good job. I check the spam folder at least once a day.

          And that’s a good point about not using pet names as passwords. I expect many people do it, though. The same goes for using your birth month as a password and telling everyone when your birthday is.

          My partner also reads my blog, but as I don’t publish posts about what’s going on in my life right now, he’s nothing to complain about. Besides, I don’t want to bore my readers with what I do day by day or week by week. I can’t think of anything worse to bore my readers with.

          Have a great weekend.

  3. Congrats on your eight years of blogging! I know for me, I’ve been a blogger for almost seven years now and enjoy it a lot even though I know I need time away occasionally. Glad to have stumbled upon this post as this is the first time I’ve read your blog and am interested to see what else you’ve written about over the years.

    1. Thank you, Michael. I don’t mind being called a dinosaur because I always think they are full of wisdom many tend to have forgotten about. Plus, my great-niece also thinks I make great dinosaur noises.

      Thank you for the reblog.

      Have a great week.

  4. Great post. I set myself a challenge of posting once a week for 2 years, and I have nearly reached it! I’m thinking of taking a break after that and reviewing my aims. This was a timely post. Made me laugh too!

    1. Congratulations on almost reaching your milestone.

      Blogging breaks are excellent and a must for all bloggers. They are always a good time to step back and look at how we’re blogging. Proving blogging never becomes a chore or makes us feel stressed or guilty, then we must be doing it the right way.

  5. Thank you very much for this very interesting blog post and for very helpful tips. I’m blogging for more than 10 years now and enjoy it. At the moment I’m more quiet than usual and that’s okay. I still love blogging.

    1. You’re welcome.

      Congratulations on blogging for more than 10 years. We all have our quiet periods, and there are no problems with that unless we find it too quiet and need some inspiration to write. I usually participate in blogging challenges when that happens.

      Happy blogging.

  6. Oooo thank you for sharing all of your wonderful insights into blogging. I have to admit. I had a blog that had nearly 1,000 followers then I transitioned to bluehost instead of wordpress.com so it could appear more professional and we could do more with it. It was a great decision that we made. I don’t regret it but now I have to build my audience. I’m fine with it but maybe I’m thinking I should of let them all know. Either way it’s done. So, here we are.

    1. Thank you.

      Unfortunately, your comment went straight to my WordPress spam folder. Not sure why WordPress deemed it spam. It may be worth checking that other comments you’re leaving on other blogs are not doing the same. You’ll need to get WordPress to fix the problem if they are.

  7. You raise some valid points. As a blogger for over a decade I have been through several of the phases you describe. I think for me now, writing a post is a way of parking a thought.

    1. That’s a great way of putting it, John. Many bloggers go through some of the stages I’ve described in this post.

      And congratulations on blogging for more than 10 years. I hope to reach that milestone in a few years.

  8. Hi Hugh,
    I’ve been blogging for seven years. You and I have known each other for seven years. I’ve connected with MJ Mallon (Marjorie?) on TikTok. She told me she’s met you.
    Janice

    1. Doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun, Janice? It only seems like yesterday that I started my blog.

      Yes, I’ve met Marjorie a few times at the Bloggers Bash events in London. She is such a lovely lady who has gone to new heights with her writing.

  9. Hi High, an interesting and honest post as always. I too have had to cut back on blogs I follow regularly and blogging in general because it was taking over my life. My writing and marketing also takes up a lot of time as well as work and family so I just do my best now. Congratulations on 8 years of blogging.

    1. Hi Robbie, thank you.

      I’m glad to hear that you realised you had to take action with your blogging.

      It’s a shame that many don’t take action and often abandon their blogs. I’ve seen many good writers and bloggers go. It’s all about finding the right balance and being honest with ourselves with how much we can do. Oh, and also getting rid of any guilt for not being able to read blog posts all the time and unfollowing blogs we no longer find interesting.

  10. An interesting share of some of your thoughts about blogging, Hugh. It is indeed a journey that requires some learning and adjustments in order to keep it sustainable for years. We need to find what works individually, while honoring our time, interests, and outside obligations. Congrats on the milestone and Happy Blogging!

    1. Exactly, Diana. Yet I’ve witnessed many good writers fall into blogging traps because they’ve not adjusted the way they blog. It’s such a sad thing to see happening. It’s taken me a good time to find what I call my perfect blogging balance. But I’ve always adjusted the way I blog when I’ve felt overwhelmed by it or stressed by it. I’ve a post being published tomorrow with more details about it.

      Thanks so much. And let’s keep blogging a fun and enjoyable experience.

      1. Our blogs aren’t static and those adjustments are essential. I’ve learned to take breaks and make adjustments when I feel burned out, and never has the sky fallen down. Lol. Happy Blogging!

  11. 8 years, you’ve come a long way. I’ve been here for past 2.5 years and I must say that whatever I learned will always there with me now. I do write because I enjoy it not because I’m bounded. I just love sharing my perspectives before they die prematurely. Doing this makes me feel happy about me as people genuinely engage and share their own values and beliefs. What can be more exciting that in this busy world, there are people who wants to hear you.

    I would like say thanks to you for sharing the honest views and advices, otherwise it is so easy to fall into a blogging trap.

    Btw congratulations for this incredible journey of yours. Here’s to many more ❣️🙌

    1. Thank you.

      I’m glad that writing continues to be fun and enjoyable for you, and it is not something you feel obliged to do. I agree that when readers actually engage with us with valuable comments that prove they’ve read what you have written, it makes writing and blogging all the more better.

      Being honest about what you’ve learned is always the best way to write. I’d hate for anyone to end up not liking blogging anymore because it has become overwhelming or stressful. I’ve witnessed far too many excellent writers falling into that trap.

  12. Congratulations Hugh.
    Love the way you expressed your blogging journey and the rich experience you shared.
    Thank you so much.
    This year May- I shall be completing 4 yrs of blogging and I am glad to come across your blog.
    At one stage I was addicted to blogging and soon realised that it’s not the correct way to lead the life.
    Lots of lessons learnt and knowledge gained.
    As you rightly put, majority of the bloggers are friendly and nothing like meeting them in person.
    I agree with you about revealing too much of oneself and danger lurking at every corner.
    🙏🙏🙏

    1. Thank you.

      I’m glad this post has gone down so well with readers. I’ve learned a lot about the blogging world over the last 8 years and want to share it.

      Some people can allow blogging to take over their lives. Of course, if you’re blogging for a living, then it will take up a lot of your time; otherwise, my advice is to always allow it to be fun and enjoyable. If it ever becomes a chore, it’s time to take a good look at how you’re blogging.

      In my experience, most visitors to your blog will be very friendly, but some will do all they can to try and spoil it for you. They’re best ignored.

      Thanks again.

  13. I just discovered your blog and have really enjoyed the wisdom from your first 8 years. I’m a new blogger. My first post was in late December. I am enjoying it and look forward to longevity like you.

  14. I am quite amazed of this post Hugh. It’s like you can read my mind, I too ask myself such a question. Is blogging all that I want to be?

    Quite frankly, I do enjoy blogging and I have to say it is what I enjoy doing because I adore fashion hence I thought of a Mens fashion blog where I showcase my ideas , outfits and tips for looking dashing in that selected outfit.

    I have to say for me blogging is my everything🙏

    1. I’m glad that blogging is the fun and enjoyment it should be for you. When you have a passion for it, that is when it is at its best, although no one should ever allow it to rule their lives (unless they make a living from it).

      Keep up the great work. And never allow blogging to become a chore.

  15. Congratulations Hugh and you have enjoyed an amazing journey with your blog and wonderful that you are passing along the experience and knowledge from the last 8 years to others. You are right there is no right or wrong way to blog and it is not about the number of follows but the engagement of the ones who interact on a regular basis. We have lost far too many incredible writers whose blogs were must read in the last couple of years such as Sue Vincent and Mary Smith. They are missed as are all those who decide for one reason or another to cut their blogging out of their lives. This community is very important and has been there as a support, particularly during Covid… I cannot imagine not being part of it.. hugsxx

    1. Thanks, Sally.

      Losing bloggers is something we all fear. It’s such a shame that some stop blogging because it becomes overwhelming for them and causes stress or guilt. I’ve seen many feel obligated to follow blogs and leave comments on posts simply because the blogger follows their blog and does the same. This is despite them not being interested in the content. Likewise, those who feel they have to read and comment on every published post. My days of reading and commenting for up to 8 hours a day are well behind me. None of us expects or demands that all our followers read and comment on every post we publish, yet some bloggers still tell me that they feel guilty for not doing so. Unfortunately, this is one of the dark sides of blogging. But the blogging community, on the whole, is very supportive and helpful. At least that’s what I have encountered, apart from the odd troll who visits from time to time, but they’re best ignored.

    2. HI Sally, it is interesting that I should read this comment of yours which mentions Sue and Mary today. I was looking at the books I have written by both of them just yesterday. Sue passed nearly a year ago and I still think of her often. I will probably write a tribute to her on 26 March.

  16. I enjoy coming and hearing about your experiences and your stories. I think I was one of your first followers. Thanks for keeping me around. Someday I will get back to my blogging. Nursing school is almost done and getting life back together after my husband’s stroke and my own health issues. Take care and much success to you always.

    1. Pavanne, it’s lovely to hear from you, especially because you were one of the bloggers on the online course with me that WordPress used to hold online. I think there is only one other blogger from that course who I still hear from.

      I hope you get back to blogging soon. In the meantime, look after yourself and your family.

  17. I enjoyed your post Hugh. Blogging means something different to everyone, but it is a delightful way to reach out to people in other places. I often think of it as the modern version of pen friends. On the subject of unfollowing, our interests change over time. There’s certainly quite a different flavour to the blogs I follow these days to those I initially followed 6 years ago. I’m eternally grateful for a quirky little blog that without that intention, taught me to draw. From the authoring perspective, it does help us to see the world differently, to look at something in more detail than we normally would and then describe it to others.

    1. Thank you.

      I remember those penpal days. But at least back then, all the information was for your eyes only and contained in a sealed envelope, unlike blogs which are open for just about everyone to read. Of course, you can password-protect your posts, but in the eight years I’ve been blogging, I’ve only ever come across a handful of blog posts that were password protected.

      You’re correct in how our interests change. However, during those first years of blogging, many bloggers follow and read as many blogs as they can regardless of whether they’re interesting or not in the hope that those bloggers will follow them back. As the number of blogs followed grows, it can become overwhelming and get out of control. That’s when those feelings of guilt and stress tend to surface.

      I love that you learned to draw by reading and following a blog that advised how to do it. There is certainly a lot of great information out there, so why do some bloggers feel obligated to follow and read blogs they’re not interested in reading? I guess that’s where the guilt comes back in?

  18. Like you, Hugh, I don’t post too much about my personal life. Mostly because I can’t think of anything more boring 🙂
    Thanks for sharing @craigfza’s tweet. Funny, because it’s true 🙂

    1. Aimer, I think that’s what I was probably trying to say in this post about sharing the inside and outside of my life. Who’d want to read it? If I was writing nothing but posts about my life, I’d be sending most of my readers to sleep.

      And yes, I’m amazed by how much people share on their blogs. We must remember that anyone can read our blogs, including total strangers.

  19. This is great, I haven’t been blogging long and I while I very much enjoy it. At times it is demoralising. I’ll keep writing for as long as I enjoy it

    1. Yes, that’s the correct way to blog. Only do it while you enjoy it. If it becomes a chore or starts to make you feel guilty or stressed, then it’s time to step back and look at how you’re blogging or stop doing it.

  20. Hugh, congratulations on your 8 years of blogging!! I have only recently found your blog, probably seeing some of your posts on Twitter. I really enjoy your content, although I don’t always comment.
    I have been writing a travel blog since 2013, but have never been a serious blogger, for me it is just a hobby, it is just for fun. I don’t have a schedule for blogging, often going for many weeks and even months without any posts. I don’t like to feel obliged to blog, but saying that I do enjoy the writing process, it feels like re-living my travels and I love reading old posts as a way of reminding me of places visited.
    I have met a few fellow bloggers face-to-face and that has been great fun. The blogging community can be very supportive and I appreciate that.

    1. Thank you, Gilda.

      It’s good to hear you saw one of my posts on Twitter because I get a lot of traffic from it. It’s my most significant referral after the WordPress Reader and search engines.

      And I never expect anyone to read and comment on all my posts. I certainly don’t comment on all the posts I read. I only leave a comment if I have something worthwhile to say.

      Likewise, blogging is also a hobby for me. I don’t make any money from it, although I never intended to make money from it when I first started to blog.

      No blogger should ever feel obliged to publish a post or read and comment on somebody else’s blog posts. Yet I know of many bloggers who feel obliged to publish and read and comment on posts they are not interested in reading. Such a waste of good time.

      You sound like you’re having great fun with blogging. That’s exactly how it should be. When it becomes a chore, makes you feel stressed or guilty, it’s time to step back and take a hard look at how you’re blogging. It should never feel like hard work unless, of course, you’re a blogger who is making money out of it.

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