How to Keep Blogging (even when stats are low & blogging is hard)

It takes a lot of enthusiasm, courage and craziness to start blogging. It can be super nerve-wracking to put your thoughts out into the world. And sometimes, when you first start you have LOTS of ideas. So many thing you want to tell everyone.

Then people start following your blog and that is so happy! Every time I’m notified of a new follower, I do this little happy dance. Well, not when I’m siting in class. but my heart is dancing.

But as you keep blogging, it doesn’t always stay easy. Stats fluctuate wildly – so many views one week, and practically none the next. Blogging can become hard, even discouraging.

Lots of people might say to just keep blogging. But how? When you run out of ideas, or are super weary of trying to be a fantastic blogger™, how do you keep writing posts?

Sometimes, take a hiatus.

This is probably everyone’s top advice. and there’s a reason why, hiatuses work! When you take a hiatus, you get a break from pressure.

I know a hiatus can feel like more pressure. What if I lose followers? What if I never start blogging again? How will I even take a break?

Those are all genuine worries. But, what will happen if you don’t take a hiatus? Will you become frustrated with your blog? Burned out? Stressed? Then taking an intentional break is more than worth it.

I haven’t taken an official, official hiatus yet. At least not since I started book blogging. (does starting a blog, randomly posting, and letting it sit doing nothing for 6 months count as a hiatus? Hahahah, not really) 

A hiatus is supposed to be an intentional pause. Time to relax, and focus on something else.

Some Hiatus Ideas

  • Take a social media break
  • Journal your thoughts
  • Take more naps. And eat strawberries.

I promise that deciding to take a hiatus is a good choice. And the chance to do something different. Which leads me to my next point.

Do Creative Things.

Creativity is incredible and is special. It’s important to build your own creativity and keep it fresh. Constantly being an amazing blogger can feel like it drains your creativity. Always thinking of new posts, new comments, new pictures.

You need to grow your creativity. Or keep it fresh. Or feed it? Whatever phrase you want to use. Just work at staying creative.

Some ideas to help creativity. 

  • Sleep. A tried brain is the worst creativity killer

  • Do something relaxing and creative.

Coloring is super relaxing for me. I love pulling out my colored pencils and doodling. Not drawing, because that requires lots of brain work. But coloring and listing to Hamilton. Perfection.

I’m taking piano lessons this semester, and I am so glad. While it’s not always easy carving the time to practice, playing music is a good breather. It helps me focus on something completely different from my writing, or major, or normal life responsibilities.

Now, I know everyone can’t lug around a piano. Maybe Grab a ukulele instead, and sing How Far I’ll Go. Just not at midnight in my dorm, ahem, hall neighbors. 

  • Work out, go for a run, sign up for yoga, jump on a trampoline. 

Being physical helps clear your mind. And also, work out your stress instead of stewing in it. At least, it works for me. In theory.

I am the most terrible at staying on top of exercising. But I’m trying to do a 30 day yoga challenge, and I’m on day 3! So we’ll see if I can follow my own advice.

Binge Read your Favorite Blogs

Sometimes, when I’m weary of blogging, I go and read all my favorite blogs. I can laugh over some of my favorite posts, and see how we’re all growing. No-one’s perfect. You don’t have to be perfect. just be you.

Some bloggers I love to binge read

Cait @ Paper Fury

Marie @ Drizzle and Hurricane Books

May @ ForeverandEverly

Lu @ It’s Lu Again

Abbie Emmons 

How do you binge read blogs? Simple: don’t worry about commenting, or interacting, or anything. Just read, have fun, and laugh.

Sometimes, reading blogs becomes all about being a Fantastic Blogger™

Commenting, and commenting back. Replying to other people. Checking out other blogs and showering down loads of encouraging comments.

None of that is a bad thing. It’s all great! But you can’t be absolutely epic ALL THE TIME. Just enjoy blogs, without worrying how they can benefit you. Or your blog.

Am I saying interacting is just about building your own blog? Not exactly.

Interaction is part of the blogging community – it’s important to be active. But it’s an easy mind hole to fall into, and then you’re stressing, DID I COMMENT BACK? WHAT WILL THEY THINK IF I FAIL TO REPLY????

Take. A. Breath. Read your favorite blogs. and just enjoy. 

Keep a list of ideas.

I try to always have a running list of ideas. I keep these ideas in my drafts, and scroll through them when I have nothing. Absolutely no ideas. No motivation. No desire to blog.

Rereading these ideas can help me remember what I love. That idea for a post that you were so excited about? Oh, yeah, you never wrote about it! It might be a good idea to open that draft and type away.

Where do you get these ideas? Pinterest. Or other blogs. There’s always these super helpful posts that someone has written. Pages like – 100 post ideas for book bloggers.
Not all of these ideas are going to work for my blog. But a few might. So I’ll grab that idea and try to run with it.

You can also eep up with blog memes and tags, and follow those ideas around. I wrote a whole post on coming up with blogging ideas. So check that post out if you’re writing creativity is dissolving into a puddle of tears.

Talk to other bloggers (& friends)

Talking about friends is a great excuse to include a gif of Simon & his incredible friends. 

One of the fantastic things about the blogging community is just that – it’s a community. We’re all reading books, writing reviews, and trying to keep up with our blogs.
If you’re struggling, reach out to your blogging friends. Share your feelings. Talk through blogging slumps.

I don’t really talk about my blogging troubles to people outside the blogging community. Mainly because it can be harder for non-bloggers to understand the whole idea of stats, and comments, and followers.

I’ll mention, Oh, I only had this many views.  And my non blogging friends instantly say, “Oh, that sounds great!”

Now, there’s a upside and a downside to this sort of conversation. My friends response helps remind me, Stats aren’t everything. 
That’s a good reminder.
But I really wanted them to commiserate with me. Bemoan my horrible life. Tell me it’s going to be ok. And tell everyone to subscribe to my blog, hehe. (that’s what friends are for, right?)

Sometimes friends don’t tell you what you want to hear. They tell you what you need to hear. It’s good for you. Friends are fantastic.

So, talk to your blogging friends. Who will cry with you. And your non-blogging friends, who will ask you what SEO stands for. And probably forget to subscribe, but that’s ok. Because they’re your friends.

Remember Happy Blogging Moments

All this may be great advice, but you still have a terrible page listing stats. And blog stats are rarely super encouraging.

It may be impossible to avoid knowing your stats. After all, WP dings you every time someone comments or likes your posts. So, avoiding stats is very, very hard.

But counteract this knowledge with something else! Realize all the good things about your blog. 

The friends you’ve made. Bloggers you’ve done buddy reads with, or guest posted for. Readers who always comment on your post. You know those comments that make you smile? Reread those nice, lovely words.

Fill your heart with happy information. Remember things you can be thankful for. 

And, don’t constantly refresh your stats page, and look at other people’s statistics. Just let it be.

Hakuna Matata to blogging stats

After all, you’ve grown a lot since you started blogging! I mean, you’re still blogging! You don’t have to be an active member of this community, and yet you are (probably, I assume) 

It’s great to want to work hard to improve, but it’s totally good to be happy with where you are. It’s probably healthier to be happy rather than worried about growing stats.

So, while it’s nearly impossible to ever say, My stats don’t matter. I don’t care about numbers at all.

We can say instead, I have a growing blog. And it’s pretty epic. 

Thank you for coming to my TED Talk. *bows, applause, viral youtube video ensues*

This whole post was my own little pep chat. I’ve been working at blogging super hard since January, and sometimes, I bite my nails over stats. And then Disqus went and LOST ALL MY COMMENTS for the entire month of March.

You can imagine how much I treasure each and every comment on every single post. To loose them all was not good. There may have been tears.
I am glad I’ve read all the comments multiple times, so I know what people said. But thinking about the comments situation, and follower count, and stats, it’s not a great place to leave your brain. Instead, I wrote this post!

Remember, everyone’s blog is growing. Your blog is special, so keep on working hard, being creative, and sharing your amazingness with the world. 

lets chat

Which blogs do you recommend I binge read? Any favorite creators you love following?

What creative thing do you do as a break from blogging? Are you great at working out? … Can you harass me to keep doing yoga …

Have you taken a blogging hiatus? Do you get off social media when you go on hiatus? How do you avoid worrying about stats? 

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9 Comments

  1. Jenn @ Bound to Writing April 18, 2018 / 9:40 am

    I love the Simon gif!! 😀 This is great advice for anyone that needs a break from blogging or get their creativity juices flowing! Taking breaks is so necessary to making sure that you don’t burn out. Even if you schedule a post, but don’t go online for the day really helps. Breaks are needed!

  2. emmareadstoomuch April 18, 2018 / 3:16 pm

    ah i love love love this post! especially that leslie knope gif <3 i'm a huge advocate for taking hiatuses (i do it compulsively) but it's reallyyyyy nice to see some other tips too. remembering happy moments is soso helpful too!

    • Elizabeth Hunter April 21, 2018 / 10:49 am

      Leslie Knope is so relatable! Kind of love including gifs with her. 😂 Someone told our college campus to think about happy things this week instead of grades, so it kind of inspired me to tell myself that about blogs.

  3. Norrie April 19, 2018 / 12:27 pm

    Great tips!
    I’m on a tiny reading break at the moment and it’s going really well 😀 I only wanted to not read for 2-3 days, and instead i want to binge watch netflix series… found some really good ones and i think i’m sorted!

    • Elizabeth Hunter April 21, 2018 / 10:48 am

      Binging Netflix is so fun! I watched all of of Troy last week and I’m working my way through Scandal. 🙂

  4. Marie April 19, 2018 / 2:39 pm

    Oh I love this post so much, fantastic tips! I was – and always am, if I’m being honest – afraid of taking hiatuses, because what if people forget me, what if they hate me, etc. That also comes with not commenting on blog posts for a while or something… I’m just really stressed out about blogging sometimes and it feels GOOD to take a step back, really, even if I stress out about it for the first couple of days haha. I think it’s so important to take care of ourselves and small breaks, and to remember why we enjoy blogging. YES to binge-reading blog posts or your own blog posts, I find that this inspires me and makes me want to blog again, too (also what the hell am I doing in your binge-read-bloggers??? I AM HONORED YOU ARE SO SWEET and I might have screamed a little bit. really, thank you, that means the world. <3).
    I have a growing blog. This is a GREAT sentence to use. It's hard not to worry or check stats, but… we all are growing, whether it's slowly or quickly or whatever, even if we are not growing with stats, we grow with every post we put out there too and that's amazing 😀 x

    • Elizabeth Hunter April 21, 2018 / 10:47 am

      yes, we’re all growing! I like how you mentioned that we grow with every post we put out into the world. It’s so easy to get bogged down, and nervous, and overwhelmed with blogging. And it is so hard to take a step back? At the same time sometimes we really do need to.

      And yes, Marie, your blog is so wonderful! 💕

      • Marie April 22, 2018 / 1:47 pm

        It is the hardest thing ever, taking a step back, somedays 😅 yet, it’s so necessary at times.
        Aww thank you so much <3 <3 <3

  5. Olivia @ Purely Olivia April 21, 2018 / 11:56 am

    Elizabeth, this post is amazing! It was incredibly well-written and served as a wonderful reminder for me. 😉 You’re so right, stats aren’t everything, even when we sometimes think they are. Thank you for sharing all these tips and your insight!

Drop some knowledge!