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.
This 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!
Ok, 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.
I 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.
Honesty 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.
Same as above, you’re not a sheep nor do you have bad taste – you’re just appreciating the finer things in life!
I 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 to become a career path. Different strokes for different folks, and all.
I 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!