Blogging is one of my favourite things to do.
It’s not my job, it’s just a hobby, and it’s definitely not something that I should get stressed about.
At least, that’s what I should be thinking. But recently, I’ve been getting far too stressed about it. I’ve almost been treating it like it’s my job, like if it doesn’t grow it’ll be the end of the world – but it isn’t, and it won’t.
I’ve been trying to stick too much to a schedule, a detailed plan, and it’s not working. I’ve been so uptight over not having too many reviews together, trying to read and review books when they’re popular so more people will potentially read my post, and trying to get those little lights to go green on my Yoast plugin (if you have it, you’ll know what I mean.)
All of that needs to stop. (Or, at least just calm down a bit.)
Noticed my new post header? There’s a different one for each type of post I write. That’s just one change that I’m going to be making to my blog.
To help structure my thoughts, I’m going to write down a worry I have (and maybe worries that you have, too!) and answer them. Here goes… prepare for an essay, because an essay is what you’re gonna yet.
My Worries and How to Fight Them
No one reads my posts, so what’s the point in writing them?
Right, look, get a grip. Do I enjoy writing posts? YES I DO! Do I like scrolling through my own blog and my Index page and seeing how much I’ve written? YES I DO! It feels damn good when you realise you’ve written so many posts, and created your own little piece of the internet from the ground up.
And guess what? People are reading them! People are commenting on my posts, and I’m getting page views. And okay, it might be a small number, but those are still real people, actual real people, who chose to click on your blog post and read it. And how cool is that? Out of all of the hundreds and thousands of blog posts, they’re reading yours. That’s pretty great.
I don’t make any income from my blog but I’m spending too much money on it!
Well… stop. Find ways to stop spending money on it because the likelihood is, it’s not necessary. Since September I’ve been spending $10 (about £8ish, I guess?) on a Buffer subscription to schedule my social media posts. Did I need it? Definitely not. I went on the other day and realised I had 4 posts in my queue. FOUR. That’s not worth $10 a month!!! So, in two clicks of the mouse, I cancelled my subscription. It felt good. I’m now saving that $10 a month, which I can spend on other more important things.
I also did a giveaway recently. It started cheap (I got 3 copies of Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell for 20p each (!!!) in WHSmiths and thought “Wow, this would be a great cheap giveaway!”). It rapidly got more expensive when I decided to open it up internationally, and EACH parcel cost £4 to send abroad. I was almost a tenner out of pocket, all for a few Instagram followers. Don’t get me wrong, I love giving things away and being generous (it’s in my Hufflepuff nature). But that just took the biscuit. So, I’ve learned that any giveaways I do in future will be UK-only. It’s little lessons like that which will make all the difference when saving money.
My blog post header images take so much time and effort to make and it’s getting a bit frustrating. What can I do?!
The easy answer: simplify them. At the moment, it takes me roughly 10 minutes to make a decent header image for a post. That includes sourcing the images (taking them myself or finding suitable stock images), finding a font to match the book cover (I’m that picky), editing the photo, and making the picture. It just takes so long, and sometimes, it actually turns me off posting something because I haven’t made a header image yet. That’s ridiculous!
In a discussion I had with my wonderful friends Sophie and Sarah, I said about this, and they said exactly the same thing: simplify them. Sarah did that recently, and I’m going to do the same thing. Make a collection of header images, like a basic template, and then I can post what I want and when I want without worrying that I haven’t made a header image yet. The more I write about this, the more I realise how silly it is to worry about!
I’ve made a collection of new blog post headers for each type of post I write (reviews, blog tours, etc). That way, I won’t need to make a unique header for each post, and it’ll stop me worrying that I don’t have one. It means I can bash out a post if I want to, and publish it straight away with a simple header. Bam!
I’m almost obsessed with planning and scheduling my posts and it’s really limiting my creativity.
This is the biggest thing I’m going to change, and probably the thing that stressing me out most of all. I currently use a handy thing called Trello to plan out my blog posts. It’s incredibly useful and I love it, but I’m being too regimented with it. I’ve planned my posts for the next month, and have been doing that for the few few months.
Posts are planned as far as the date they’ll be posted, and in an order so there aren’t too many reviews together, etc. I thought about posts I wanted to write (one about A Series of Unfortunate Events on Netflix, for example), and I tried to fit them into my schedule. This meant I wouldn’t post it until almost the end of February. By then I would have finished it a couple of weeks ago (I only have 1 episode left!), and I wouldn’t care to write about it as much.
This is why I need to change the way I blog.
So, here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to completely do away with my uptight schedules, and just have a big list of ideas. If I fancy writing a post, I can just write it. And if I want to post something even though I only posted yesterday, god damn do that. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that!
Make Blogging Enjoyable Again!
If you made it to the end of this essay, thank you. By writing it all out, I feel SO much better! A huge weight has been lifted now that I know I’m not going to stick to crazy schedules and rules that rip the run of of blogging.
These are my main take-aways from this:
- Write because I love to write. When a small number of people read it, that’s great! Well done!
- Stop spending so much money on blogging when I don’t make any back. It’s unnecessary spending.
- Worry less about silly things like blog post headers. If I want to write a post and post it right away, do that. Have a few easy templates that can be thrown in to a post, and away I go!
- Stop with the mad planning. It’s a fun hobby, not a life-or-death situation. Have fun and don’t be scared to break away from a schedule! Want to post 4 reviews in a row? It’s a book blog. DO IT.
This has helped me so much, and I hope it’s helped you too! If you have the same worries as me, I really hope you rethink, de-stress, and calm down. I know I need to. Let’s making blogging fun again.