Discussion: 7 Things Bloggers Should Almost Never Apologize For!

Discussion-No-Apology

In my experience, being apologetic over the way you blog is the first step on a fast track towards misery. Ever since I reached my 6 months milestone in blogging, I have been taking a step back and putting things into more perspective. Personally, I want blogging to remain first and foremost a hobby. In the previous months, blogging was increasingly taking a toll on other parts of my life, I have yet to learn time management. I found that the surest way to stop stressing over my hobby was to quit apologizing for imaginary flaws. This is more a post to myself, but I hope that others will find it relatable.

Discussion-No-Apology-01This was the biggest hurdle I had to overcome. After all, a blog’s stats go hand-in-hand with the frequency of your posting. However, keeping a schedule of 4 posts a week between my two blogs. I even considered shortening the length of my blog posts to accommodate this – but I’m just too rambly for this to happen. Now, I post maybe 2-3 times a week and I have never been happier. Yes, I took a trade-off in stats count, but as I have more time doing things like commenting, reading, watching TV, hanging out – I have never been happier!

Discussion-No-Apology-02Ok, I know that commenting back is kind of like the thing that keeps blogging interesting and how we establish/maintain connections – however, you should never let it get to the stage where it feels like a chore. I do think that commenting is incredibly important – but I would personally prefer that people who comment on my blog do it because they want to, and are interested in engaging with my content, rather than out of a sense of obligations. I would much rather that you be happily commenting at your own pace than be stressed over it. Yes, take an interest in other people’s posts. But don’t force yourself or you’ll quickly forget it’s the best thing about blogging.

Discussion-No-Apology-03I completely agree that ARCs are a privilege, however, I also don’t think that as hobbyist – we should get too worried if we can’t read every single one of them. Sometimes, it’s OK to put down that calendar and just read whatever you want. Nowadays, I mostly read my own purchased books, with a couple of review copies which truly interest me. Reading should always be a joy, and there’s little happiness in trying to beat a clock. Feeling that obligation to read books you don’t want to read will only reduce the enthusiasm and gratitude you feel for ARC copies.

Discussion-No-Apology-04Honesty is infinitely better than pretending you love something you don’t. Not everyone will agree on every book, move on and find something you love. State your honest reviews with reasonings to back it up on the blog and no one reasonable will take issues with it.

Discussion-No-Apology-05Same as above, you’re not a sheep nor do you have bad taste – you’re just appreciating the finer things in life!

Discussion-No-Apology-06I know this is a hot topic in our corner of the internet lately, so I hesitate to mention it. I personally do monetize part of my blog through my graphics design, so I am obviously not against the idea. I also think that everyone who has found an avenue to make money/do professional work through their blog most inspiring! However, I do think that the push towards wanting to monetize your blog might make others who want to keep their blog as strictly hobby feel… inadequate? Maybe it’s just me projecting. But you know what? It’s OK for it to stay a hobby, just as it is OK for it toΒ become a career path. Different strokes for different folks, and all.

Discussion-No-Apology-07I have sometimes felt that people who have access to the funds or the review copies to host giveaways have an advantage in cultivating their follower count – and I have certainly hosted giveaways to show appreciation for my followers in the past. However, if this is not something within your means, please do not ever feel bad for celebrating your anniversary with simply a thoughtful post. People who are truly invested in your content will stay regardless of whether they get to enter a giveaway.


Basically, if your blog started out as a hobby – you should be generous with yourself and acknowledge any shortcomings as inspiration to do better – rather than a factor to cause stress. Do you agree with any of these? What are some of the things you worry about? Let me know below!

98 thoughts on “Discussion: 7 Things Bloggers Should Almost Never Apologize For!

  1. I agree with everything you said here. ^^
    The only one true worry I have is that my posts are messy or something. I’m not sure how to explain. My blog is only for fun and acts as a type of online ‘journal’ to keep memories that I can go back on so I think I worry about how it’s too boring.

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  2. I want to hug you right now! A lot of what you wrote rings true for me. Blogging is a hobby. I don’t do it because I love books, not because I want to make money or turn it into a career. I’m super self conscious of what I write and it drives me insane. I compare myself to those who can host giveaway or whatever. It’s just nice to read this and say yeah, I’m not sorry for doing what I want. Thank you for the great post!

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  3. *slow claps because this post is amazing*

    I definitely agree to all of the things you listed above! A few months before, I was always ashamed for not commenting back to people who share their thoughts on my post. I do my best to do it earlier, but I’m just really busy with life – and school – to do so. I just reassure myself that I’ll reply back, just not as early as other bloggers do. (Hey, at least I did, right?)

    I also felt bad when I see others hosting giveaways for their blogs while I’m here sulking because I have no idea how I can afford to do that for my own readers. I’m planning on earning some for my first blogoversary, but until then, I’ll just sit here and stop sulking. >.<

    Really great post, Aentee!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Definitely put school and your own finances first before blogging. I hope you’ll find a happy medium soon. Thanks for stopping by!!

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  4. First off: THANK YOU SO SO MUCH. I seriously needed this today. I’ve been feeling SO down on my blog today, and a lot of it has to do with the fact that I’m trying to get my personal health better before blogging. Which, I know, I shouldn’t have to apologize for… but part of me can’t help it. I’ve gone down to blogging about once a month (which is crazyβ€”I mean, in my HSC year I managed to post literally every day, but now that I’m out of school I seem to be having so much trouble!) A lot of my fear too comes from the fact that I’m worried that if I DON’T post enough people will lose interest in me/stop commenting on future posts of mine, you know? Which I think is a valid concern, but I know I shouldn’t worry about that too much; sometimes, you just need to put yourself first. (and I admit I do sometimes feel terrible for not commenting on others’ blogs as much as I feel I should.) Incredible postβ€”and something that all bloggers need to hear sometimes. ❀ πŸ™‚

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    • I’m glad you found it helpful Kara, and never ever feel your blog is inadequate because I know myself and many others do love it! Keep your mind and goal on your real life achievements first and best of luck for your publishing endeavours. People who love you will always be there when you are ready to post often once more!

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  5. This is great, Aentee and especially something that we all need to hear from time to time. I’m an apologetic person by nature, so I’ve felt guilty about not commenting enough, not having enough posts or not reading the most up and coming books. But I don’t need to nor does anyone else. It’s a hobby for most and shouldn’t feel pressuring or stressful!

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    • Thank you so much Nick! This is totally inspired by you and Nere and your unapologetic blogging mantra πŸ˜‰

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  6. Really good post! I am the WORST at commenting back, and I feel bad about it. But sometimes I don’t comment back because I truly have nothing to say to the blogger who reads completely different books than I do. Also, trust me when I say that hosting giveaways will NOT bring more followers. They will bring giveaway junkies and your stats will spike for a couple of days, but most of those people will never leave comments on your reviews. (Do I sound bitter???)

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    • Thank you I am glad you could relate. And I completely agree I do giveaways do give back to my followers, but the people who joins your site just for the giveaway will likely not be loyal readers.

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  7. I definitely feel guilty sometimes if I go a few days without posting anything or if I don’t have the time to reply to a comment right away. I struggle a LOT with trying to remind myself that I don’t need to read 20 books a month either – I only read about 5 books a month on average and seeing other people read so many more makes me feel a bit inadequate but I just keep reminding myself that everyone reads at their own pace and that I still need to put my schoolwork before reading/blogging.

    Great post!!

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  8. I get so many of these. The posting and commenting issue. I do feel so bad when I don’t do this regularly or enough. I feel like I am letting people down. I feel like I do or will lose readers. I have notices there are some that will not visit my blog unless I have commented on theirs lately. That is a bit hurtful. I feel like i have to comment to get comments. I don’t like that. I do have some though that come see me all the time I love those bloggers. makes me feel good.

    Reading all the ARCs. I got over this a long time ago. Yes I feel bad I get more than I read.I had full intentions of reading said ARCs when I got them but I am a mood readers as most are. So sometimes my intentions fall short due to my mood.

    liking hyped books don’t feel bad for. I do feel bad or embarrassed or ashamed if I didn’t like a hyped book. I mean i know everyone else liked it but I just didn’t get but don’t want to say so on the account it hurts someone’s feelings. yea I need to work on that.

    I don’t do giveaways. when I did I would forget to mail them in a timely manner. It was hard for me to keep up on. It was money I didn’t always have. I didn’t get too much interest. So I stopped. I don’t feel bad for this. I may go back to it after BEA. I may have lots to give away and don’t have room to keep everything. So I will do it then. but I don’t like it being a regular thing. Its too much. Although…. I enjoyed it when I did it from the excitement over giving a book away. I didn’t like the disappointment of I messed it up.

    love this post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • On the one hand I like that people comment on my blog out of their own volition. On the other I do see how on very large and busy blog they might not have time to comment on blogs that has not interacted with them recently? I know it doesn’t seem fair but the blogging world is so vast some of it is dependent on how much you make an effort to connect with them. I’m glad you found this post helpful!!

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  9. This is such an important post, Aentee. Thank you so much for writing it! I totally agree with you on everything. Blogging is meant to be fun, and there shouldn’t be any pressure to do anything you don’t want to do. I can’t believe people feel the need to apologise for not hosting giveaways! No one in the blogging community should put pressure on people to host giveaways. We’re so lucky we have people in the community who are willing to give back. It’s a privilege, not a right. Also, sometimes it’s important to take breaks from blogging. We shouldn’t feel sorry for taking a breather! ❀

    Denise | The Bibliolater

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    • I’m glad the post could help you! And i know no one puts pressure on us giving giveaway but sometimes it’s tempting when you see other people’s follower count eh? You are absolutely correct to say it’s a privilege!!

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  10. This is such a great post, Aentee! As with everything else, sometimes blogging can stress you out, like it did with me. I’m currently on a posting hiatus because it gets too much, sometimes. Trying to figure out what to post, because you don’t want to half-ass anything, but you can’t think of anything decent to post either. It’s the same with commenting. It’s so great to interact with fellow bloggers, but it’s not fun if we’re just commenting meaningless things.

    Hope you’re doing well. ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  11. All great points! I definitely subscribe to the you-do-you policy of blogging. You’re not getting paid for it (well, most people aren’t), it’s not your day job, and you’re not beholden to anybody. Don’t let it become a source of stress. Reading, and sharing your love of books, is supposed to be something enjoyable.

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  12. I completely agree with this post!

    One thing too is you shouldn’t feel sorry for not liking a book. Even if the author emails you a copy. I’ve just gone through that. And I did try to like the books. But I just couldn’t do it. Like you said it’s better to post your honest opinion and move on.

    Wonderful post πŸ™‚

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  13. This post makes me feel so much better about my blog. I basically suck at keeping a schedule, and at commenting. My blog is pure hobby and sometimes I feel like like it’s really inadequate, and I apologize a lot…

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  14. Absolutely loved this! I can relate to this on so many levels. When I started blogging I was obsessed. But it got in the way of my actual life. Seriously. I refused to do anything but read and blog. Reviews take me a lonnnnnnng time to write. It’s just not something that comes naturally for me, so I would get really jealous seeing people pump review after review with such ease. It made me want to try harder, which only left me to burn out and become frustrated. My house was a mess, I was basically a hermit, coming home from work to strictly blog. It seriously took over my life. I felt like I couldn’t keep up. Same went for social media. I felt like I had to check Twitter 24/7 a day. I didn’t want to miss a thing. Fast-forward to now, though … I’m pretty much the opposite. I’ve decided to call myself a casual blogger. I blog when I feel like it. It has put a lot less pressure on myself, that’s for sure. I feel like I can finally enjoy myself when I read. I’m not worried about reviewing every single thing I read, and I’ve actually been enjoying TV shows again, which I basically abandoned before. I think it’s awesome that people can invest so much time into their blog and perhaps even make a little income from it, but I guess I figured out I’m happy with keeping it a casual hobby!

    You’re awesome! :’)

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    • Omg I am totally someone that get obsessive very easily so I 100% relate. I am still struggling to scale back but I hope to one day be truly zen about it! Teach me your ways.

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  15. ABSOLUTELY YES. I think it’s awful how bloggers start apologising for things they really do not need to be apologising for. It actually is a pet peeve of mine, tbh?! I get so frustrated going on a blog when they’re like “I had a really busy week and got sick; I’m so sorry!” THAT’S NOT YOUR FAULT! I believe in apologising for our mistakes, but that’s it. (Hehe, sorry, I won’t rant. :P)
    I also looove what you said about ARCs and posting less-frequently to be more-happy. Omg, you’re wonderful to have learned that in 6 months. It took me 4 years. πŸ˜‚ This year I’ve been posting around 3-4 times a week…compared to my previous years’ 6 or 7! YUP. INSANE. It did a lot to grow my blog, but also ended up making things so stressy. Gah. Blogging does need to have a huge element of fun in it because, I mean, even if we do monetise our blogs a little, we still always put in more than we’ll get back money-wise. (Well, probably. πŸ˜‚) So yes! No to apologising for everything!

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    • I like your stance on things! You are still phenomenal with how often you post though, especially with your quick replies. You are a queen and I will bow and try learn your secrets hahah.

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  16. I LOVE, LOVE THIS POST. ❀ I think the biggest thing I struggle with is giveaways. I see everyone else giving away 1 (or even multiple) hardbacks/paperbacks or even ARCs. And I'm just over here like: mailing 1 book out in the US is like $9 (JUST FOR ONE), how do these people mail out multiple?? So I'll just think of giving away a giftcard to B&N or Amazon but then I'll doubt myself and think 'that's too boring, nobody will like it or enter it. ' & I'll feel bad about it.

    This post definitely helps a lot & I'll be keeping it in mind always! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow I never knew postage was that expensive in the US! I think going through Book Depository is a safe bet shipping wise. However I think you can just NOT host a giveaway if you don’t want to!

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  17. THIS POST! Yes, I think we all need these reminder sometimes. 3 and 6 for me. Because I am a slow reader, I don’t feel that I can get to all the ARCs on time, but I try my hardest. Also because I’m a slow reader, I feel like I have to read a new-to-me book always so I can have a new review ready to go. I wish I could be more selfish and re-read a favorite. I’ve been wanting to pick up some of my favorites as a re-read, but I’m afraid of falling behind on reviews.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I recently reread HP and it was amazing so I say go right ahead and reread your favourite every once in a while! If you’re worried about falling behind on your blog just take a short hiatus!

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  18. Awesome post. You know what I’m also not sorry for? For reading a lot. Some years, I read up to 200 books or more. People always look at me funny when they see that, like they think I don’t do anything else but have my nose in a book all the time. In fact, I only have about 1-2 hours at the end of every day when I’m lying in bed getting ready to sleep and that’s when I do my reading. I’m just a fast reader naturally and I am not ashamed to read a lot! πŸ™‚

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    • Yea, people “in real life” always gives me that judgemental side eye when I say how much I read. It’s cos we prioritise the right things in life πŸ˜‰ I’m a really slow reader though ahahah I just spend a lot of time reading on my long commute to work.

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  19. This post is everything ❀

    I'm always so insecure about my blog and trying to keep things on a schedule – but sometimes I miss it. It's really hard. I work two jobs and I'm a full time student, so finding time to read and do what I love is becoming more and more difficult. I hate feeling guilty about it, but it bothers me so much when I plan for something and then it just doesn't happen.

    And commenting, and reading, and just… everything XD This post is amazing. Thank you.

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  20. This is such an amazing post. I honestly feel so bad because I’m not the fastest reader and I only post once a week but I blog because it’s fun not because I have to. It’s great to see other people discussing these things
    – Yasmin

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  21. YES we are in complete agreement re: comments. Is there anything more cringe-worthy than seeing one of those comments that says “Great review! Here’s a link to my website [link]. Comment back!” *shudder* People work hard to create content, so in my opinion if you’re going to comment and least try to make it relevant to the content! /rant over

    I also have a lot of trouble with apologizing for things that I really shouldn’t be (maybe it’s because I’m Canadian? Saying sorry is as commonplace as breathing here). Your point about not apologizing for liking hyped books? *standing ovation* I remember reading Truthwitch earlier this year and having to deal with someone on twitter telling me that I must not have read much YA fantasy because it was pure trash compared to other YA fantasies. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you how absolutely infuriating that was. UGH. I ain’t sorry for liking that book or any others!

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    • Omg when I see those comment I deliberately don’t comment back on their site because blatant rudeness. ahaha Joey above also said that as a Canadian he will always apologise as well so you’re not alone.

      I enjoyed Truthwitch so I completely understand, it’s not because we don’t read enough people just have different tastes!! Sorry you had such an unpleasant experience.

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  22. SO TRUE. Just…all of it. And I definitely fall into the trap of getting stressed about not reading fast enough/posting enough/commenting back quickly (I swear my strategy with everything is to stress about it. I need to start meditating or something). BUT I’m definitely requesting way less books from publishers which gives me more time to read the ones I want πŸ™‚ Definitely a plus.

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    • I am currently commenting back right now and ahhh the stress I should take a leaf from my own book haha. I have definitely stopped requesting books unless I know I will love it. I didn’t even ask for ACOMAF since I only gave ACOTAR 3 stars? πŸ˜‚

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  23. This is a great post. It took me a while to realize that posting too often doesn’t work for me. Now I can schedule 2 posts a week, answer comments and actually comment back and/or comment on other blogs I like. It’s much more relaxing – like any hobby should be! This is meant to be fun.

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    • Yes commenting back was draining so much reading time when I used to post more often. Relax and do you first πŸ’•πŸ’•

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  24. Preach girl! I will never understand why people feel the need to apologize for this stuff. This is a hobby! Sometimes I go weeks without commenting and I never apologize, I shouldn’t have to πŸ™‚

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    • Yeah life’s too short to feel bad about a hobby. I was about to go on a commenting spree today but will indulge my new bookstagram obsession instead πŸ’ƒπŸ»

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  25. Omgosh Aentee, this post really speaks to me. I’ve been hobby-blogging for almost four years now (wtf!!!) and at first I was trying to keep up with all the ARCs, and just generally trying to appease everyone. It obviously did not help with my sanity, and I found myself in multiple book slumps because I wasn’t reading for myself. I have learnt a lot in the years since, and I have definitely been posting at my own pace these days (usually once a week if I’m lucky) – but I definitely need to learn to stop saying sorry!

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    • I’m probably going to end up posting once a week at the rate I’m going, too πŸ˜‚ but whatever look after ourselves first!!

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  26. I’m one of those people who get so low based on stats lol. Not posting often, which is a mammoth task with uni being so time consuming in itself, is so frustrating. I’m a naturally apologetic person, and ofcourse there is so many things I end up saying sorry for! I loved this list as you have so correctly worded out some realizations I have come to recently regarding these aspects of blogging!
    One of my biggest peeves (if you can all it that) is knowing there is unreplied to / unchecked mails/messages in my inboxes, so I do reply back pretty soon πŸ˜› No problem there. Great post!

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    • I have to reply to messages in my inbox right away as well or it will never happen haha! Glad you found the post helpful πŸ™‚

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  27. This is such an accurate post. I have felt bad over all of these things at least once – some more than others – and I love that you’re taking the time to share your thoughts on this as well as reassure us that there’s nothing wrong with not being the “ideal blogger”. I also love that you sacrificed your stats in order to blog how you’re comfortable ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am definitely much more happier not counting stats. It works for some people but not for me haha.

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  28. Hey, just found your blog and already really loving it! *followed I can relate to almost everything you mentioned and I really try to not stress myself too much but it’s kind of just a thing I guess. Some people might feel a lot of pressure because of the fact that there are sooo many awesome blogs out there.. I had that problem before but I know that there’s no point on being stressed out because of that precisely because it is a hobby for me πŸ™‚ however thank you for this post, it helped me a lot!! πŸ’•
    xoxo Lea

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  29. Yey, love this post! I’ve been having a really hard time fitting in commenting time and I feel bad, but try to remember that people understand and probably don’t even really notice at this point since I’ve been quiet so long haha. As life has gotten crazier in PhD land I’ve definitely reverted to doing what I enjoy about blogging and not caring much about the things I don’t feel driven to do. If that means I get fewer page views, oh well!

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  30. Aentee, I’m so proud of you that you’ve managed to find that balance. When you first started – and I absolutely LOVED your blog and how far you had come – I was a bit worried that you would reach the burn out stage to quickly! But it definitely seems like you’ve put things in perspective and found a happy balance ❀

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    • I definitely got burned out Jeann which is why my corner of the Internet has been gathering dust. It’s also so hard to juggle multiple different platforms. Like Instagram is so much work omg.

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  31. […] β˜… Annika from Hiding Books confessed ‘I read because I can’t not read.’ β˜…Β  Carrie from Paper Bindings shared with us all HTML all book bloggers should know β˜… Josephine from Word Revel talks about stealing photos β˜… Alicia from A Kernel of Nonsense is hosting a comment challenge the next few months β˜… Aentee from Read at Midnight shares 7 things bloggers should almost never apoligize for […]

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  32. I’ve made a conscious effort in the past few years to stop being sorry for things that I don’t actually need to be sorry for. I think it does make life less stressful when you start to realize things you were feeling guilty over for no real reason. So I love that you made this post and this list. You’re right that for most of us blogging is a hobby, and reading is our passion, and we don’t need to be sorry just because we’re not doing it the same way as everyone else (or because we are doing it the same way as everyone else lol). The one I struggle with most is the giveaway one, especially since my first blogoversary will be in August, but I just keep reminding myself of what you said, that I shouldn’t feel bad or be sorry if I can’t do a giveaway. Really great post πŸ™‚

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    • Ahh I am glad to hear you have always had such a measured and wise approach. I was too covetous of stats so I definitely burned out a little. I wish you all the best for your upcoming blog anniversary- giveaway or no!

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  33. Love this post, Aentee! πŸ™‚ I’ve never had a problem with feeling guilty about my reading habits. I’ve always been a slower reader and I’m okay with that. However, I definitely used to relate with numbers 1 and 2 often. Actually I probably still bad about not replying to comments as quickly. Probably because I still publish posts during my time away from the blogosphere (and it appears like I’m ignoring people when I don’t reply to comments). And I like how you mentioned that you rather people comment on their blog not out of obligation but because they truly want to comment. I’m one of the bloggers that do that “I always comment back” thing and sometimes I feel bad because it’s like this endless cycle. Like you said, interaction is good and what makes this community thrive, but I hope people aren’t only commenting on my blog because I comment or theirs, or vice versa. That’s why I never say, “Thanks for visiting Xingsings” because then it feels like I’m only commenting on someone’s blog out of obligation. Anyway, I think I’m totally rambling now (it’s 2 am), haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I used to be so dedicated to reading and commenting when I started a year ago but although it was good for stats- life is so much more pleasant when I have taken a step back. I do still feel bad for not commenting back on time though and I have a ginormous backlog!

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  34. The irony of your post is that I have been meaning to comment on it since I got back from BEA, and it has been open in my tabs ever since.. but I WON’T say I am sorry πŸ˜‚ Eh, who am I kidding, I am kind of sorry. I am the WORST at #1 and #2. The worst. And I am not great at #3 either- the only reason I am not sorry YET is because I have kept up- if I hadn’t? Yep, I’d be apologizing somewhere.

    Seriously though, I have been “sorry”-ing all over the place, and you’re right- I shouldn’t feel like I have to do that! Before I left for BEA, I was so stressed and overwhelmed, maybe more than I had ever been with blogging. SO I am taking a step back. Not an official one, and I am still posting, BUT I have decided that I am making a clean slate. All comments before right now are being chalked up as unresponded to (though of COURSE I read them!), and anyone who doesn’t like it… well, too bad, I need more than an hour or two of sleep a night! I think taking this little break helped me realize that I DON’T have to be sorry all the time, and I LOVE your post for helping validate that- for me, and for a lot of others who I know struggle with this on the regular!

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    • Ahahaha you must resist the urge to be sorry Shannon or what was the point of my 800+ words essay πŸ˜‚ and honestly. Sleep over blogging any day. I’ve been neglecting my blog for Korean drama and making graphics of my book boyfriends lately and I have NO REGRETS.

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  35. I completely agree with everything here, and your last point spoke to my heart! I’d actually been meaning to write about giveaways, and how sometimes I DO feel inadequate, because I don’t have a lot of connections who can sponsor them, or the means to pay for the gifts myself, or at least, not as often as some bloggers do. They’re awesome! I did a small giveaway last year for my blogoversary, but besides that, not much of anything else. :/

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