Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Stress-free Blogging :)


Let's be honest... some of us freak out about our blogging schedules too much. I definitely find myself worrying about not having a blog post ready for the next day, or not having time to write one at all. I try to be relaxed about it, but the voice in my head keeps reminding me, that I HAVE TO publish a blog post. My 'To Do List' gets longer and longer each week, but you know what? I don't even care anymore and I seriously need a break. This doesn't mean that I will be absent, not at all! I am just starting to enjoy blogging again, after going through some really bad times. At some point last year I was blogging full time, but I found myself stressing out too much, so I decided to just keep it as a hobby and decline most paid opportunities etc. It wasn't an easy decision to make and some might think it's crazy, but when doing something I absolutely loved turned into a chore I wasn't happy. I still enjoyed preparing most of the content, but all the admin work was killing me! If blogging isn't your full time job, don't take it too seriously, relax and keep some of the following tips in mind:

- Enjoy it! Write about things you are passionate about. Don't let people dictate to you what you should/shouldn't write about. It's your blog after all!

- Don't compare yourself to other bloggers and do not copy them. Just DON'T! 'Comparison is the thief of joy'! Yes, it's ok to admire other blogs/bloggers and feel inspired by their work, but being yourself and having your own style of writing/photography is the only way forward.

- Be happy for other bloggers, when they are offered great opportunities or achieve something amazing. Being jealous is normal and all of us feel it sometimes, but learning to be happy for others is the key to staying positive.

- If you don't feel like blogging - don't! Take time off and relax. We spend far too much time online these days and most of us need a proper social media detox!

-If you blog regularly on top of having a full time job and you simply find it exhausting, rethink it. Why did you start your blog? Do you want to use it as your creative outlet, or do you see it as your future career? Should you put so much effort into it, if it doesn't feel right and takes up all your free time? Maybe you are putting too much pressure on yourself? I can honestly say, that every single day, I see bloggers stressing out about being exhausted from blogging and working full time. Some of them have youtube channels as well and after editing a couple of vlogs myself- I have no idea how they manage to do it! I admire them, but... I just couldn't do it. I need time offline, away from my laptop. I can't live glued to my computer.

- Accept products and opportunities that you are genuinely interested in. Don't accept more than you can test/review just for the sake of it, unless you have specific features planned that don't require testing the products (like gift guides). Having a huge amount of products waiting to be featured can be pretty stressful and it's not worth the hassle in my opinion. I can't possibly test 5 moisturisers at the same time... 

- Don't feel pressured into featuring every single product you received in the post, unless you made previous arrangements with the PR/brand. 

- Don't let anyone rush you with your reviews, especially when it comes to skincare products. You can't possibly give a full review of an eye cream etc after a couple of days. First impressions - yes, but not a proper review. Take your time, most PR's are lovely and they won't harass you.

- Consider featuring products in group posts, like monthly favourites, makeup looks, skincare routines etc. This way you still give the brand coverage and save a lot of time.

- If you like keeping your content short and sweet with just one main photo, that's fine. If you love writing detailed reviews with lots of pictures of the products - go for it! Love writing long lifestyle updates that turn into essays (like this post)? That's fine too.

- Don't be scared to write negative reviews. We can't love every single product, right? Just make sure not to offend anyone and keep it professional and your readers will definitely appreciate your feedback. I see far too many bloggers worrying about saying negative things about products. It's ok!

- Ignore the haters and passive aggressive comments. They appear on my Twitter timeline every single day and it is hard not to say anything, but... I have more important things to worry about :) I actually very rarely go on Twitter these days, and when I do, it's to check my mentions and reply to any questions.

- The world won't end, if you don't post every day. Yes, I love adding fresh content daily, but sometimes I don't blog for a couple of days and it's not a crime :) haha. Unless you are trying to make blogging your full time job, don't worry about it. Blog whenever you want!

-If lists are your thing, maybe being very organised will help you feel less stressed about being the 'perfect blogger'. It is totally up to you how you do it! There isn't right or wrong when it comes to blogging, but I think that most of us should just take it less seriously.

- I very rarely schedule posts. I used to do it when I was blogging full time (multiple times a day), but now I just write a post when I feel like it and publish it once it's finished, no matter what time of the day/night. I tried bulk writing posts again, but I just can't do it anymore. It totally drains me and makes blogging feel like a chore. I can do one post in advance, but scheduling daily content for 2 weeks in advance, just because I am going on holiday isn't my cup of tea. If you can do it and it feel right - kudos to you.

- If you are going on holiday and don't want to 'disappoint your readers' (I am sure they won't mind, if you just enjoy yourself for a while), ask other bloggers to guest post on your website. I am considering it for September, but I might just take time off for the full 2 weeks, if my 'inner blogger' lets me :) haha.

- Don't let other bloggers make you feel like you are doing something wrong. If you feel like reviewing tons of products separately, multiple times a day - do it. If you want to blog once a week/month, or even take a couple of months off - that's fine too! If most of your blog posts contain PR samples and someone is moaning about it - ignore it. Don't ever feel pressured to buy things 'for the blog', just because people are judging you for featuring too many PR samples. If you are honest and have a disclaimer, there shouldn't be a problem and the issue is with them, not you. Obviously, I try to include products I purchased myself as well, but I don't stress out about the PR sample/own purchase balance anymore and I won't let anyone make me feel bad about it! I actually ended up in debt trying to keep 'the balance' so I know that it can get pretty serious!

- I also cleared out my beauty stash and sold most of the makeup I purchased with my own money. I felt disgusted with myself, when I added it all up and realised that because of my makeup/beauty addiction, I wasn't able to afford a holiday! Will you remember that £30 blusher or £50 foundation when you are older? I don't think so... Will you remember a fab holiday abroad or a weekend away? Definitely! I decided that I will only buy things, when I actually need them. If you can afford expensive makeup, without it affecting other areas of your life - that's fantastic! Good for you! If you can't afford it, don't add a 10th, 50th or 100th blusher or highlighter to your collection, just because it is pretty or it's the newest release.

-I get abuse for hosting giveaways for my readers! Why would anyone care about it, why would it be an issue? I don't know! I love the fact that I can give my readers a chance to win some fab products, vouchers etc! It's fun, it's a nice thing to do! If I feel like hosting a Twitter giveaway, I will. If I want to celebrate a milestone, I might put something together for the occasion too. I enter giveaways myself sometimes and I actually won a couple of times. It was a great feeling, so knowing that someone can win something thanks to me/my blog makes me feel better and I just ignore any negative comments on Twitter. You know what I am talking about 'OMG, she is doing another giveaway'. WHO CARES???? :)

- Say what you think, not what you think you should say. It's a tricky one, but sooo true! When you are a full time blogger and it pays your bills, you try your best to please everyone, because you don't want to lose any readers/followers. After a while, you might feel a bit restricted. For example, I noticed that every time I add photos of my baby boy to my instagram, tons of people unfollow me. When blogging was my job, I stopped mentioning my son on my social media, because people didn't like it. Other mummy bloggers confirmed it - I didn't imagine this! Now I don't care about people unfollowing me (because I don't need to boost my social media stats) and I can post as many photos of my child as I want! Yay! I was absolutely sick of it to be honest. I even started a new baby blog to separate the content, because I worried too much about some random people on Twitter making snarky comments.

-Numbers aren't important, unless you are trying to turn blogging into your career and PR's or sponsors want you to have high stats. If you don't care about a supply of samples, new opportunities and generating a revenue from ads, having a couple of readers is perfectly fine. 100 readers? That's even better. Imagine 100 people reading your blog-it's pretty cool!

- Declutter your social media (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc) - if someone annoys you or constantly makes indirect comments about you/your blog - just unfollow them, so you don't have to see it. Removing sources of negativity is essential to have a stress-free life.

- Make sure you spend enough time interacting with people in real life (preferably non bloggers). I really struggle with it due to severe social anxiety, but when I have conversations with my husband and family, they always remind me that there is a life outside of blogging. When my husband told me that he 'HATES MY BLOG' and that it really affects our relationship, I knew that it was time to step back and turn it back into a hobby. I was actually so upset that I cried! How can he hate something I turned into a job and loved doing? But when I thought about it, I realised that I didn't have any time off, I was working 24/7 and I didn't have any personal space. My house was my office and I felt like I was working all day. People don't realise how much work goes into blogs/youtube channels. It's not just writing a blog post that can be done in 30 minutes. It's lots of admin work, replying to emails, negotiating paid opportunities and advertising, hours spent on photography and editing, interaction on your social media channels. Your eyeballs are falling out from all the time spent in front of your computer/ipad/phone screen. It's not as easy and amazing as it sounds, especially for someone who stays outside of London and has to refuse the best opportunities and settle on questionable sponsored content. It just wasn't for me anymore and I decided that I've had enough. Now I am more relaxed and I am looking forward to the future with my blog being a hobby again :) 

Let me know, if you found this helpful :) I found myself stressing out about blogging on many occasions and I realised that I was just being silly. Blogging (as a hobby) is meant to be enjoyable and I am sure that most of us started our blogs as a creative outlet and a place to share our passion for beauty or other subjects. When it becomes a chore, it's time to take a break.

What other advice would you give to bloggers who stress out about their hobby too much?



  

42 comments:

  1. I love this post hun! Well done to you for staying true to yourself and the reason you started blogging.

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  2. This is a really good post, I created a blog and just hated the way it was going so I took 6 months off, got my passion and direction back and started again :)
    sophielfarrell.blogspot.co.uk
    x

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  3. I love this post Sandra :) I've been feeling the same, in Jan I decided to stop blogging every day. Yep my stats have dropped massively (two thirds) but I'm much happier and have more time in my life for my husband, friends and fun :)

    Georgina
    www.makeup-pixi3.com

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  4. I used to get stressed, I think it's hard not to but since I've become more organised and write down a weekly plan the stress has gone. I think it's knowing what I am going to post the next day and concentrating on that he day before rather than worrying about all the other posts I have planned in my head!

    Honey Go-Lightly

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  5. A lovely refreshing post & I was nodding along all the way through. Im like you & write my posts on the day I publish or at the very least the day before. I find it hard to schedule. I know what you mean about buying more than you can honestly afford & I stopped trying to keep up with all the latest releases & buying things just to blog about.
    I love your blog & your content, Im going to adopt your stress free approach to blogging xx
    http://www.letstalkbeauty.co.uk/

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  6. Love this post! I found myself nodding along throughout! I have to agree on the whole do what you want thing! There are SO many bloggers writing 'how to' posts telling bloggers what to do and NOT do to be 'successful', which is ridiculous! It just adds so much unnecessary pressure! Blogging should be fun - if it's not fun, then what's the point?! xxxx

    PS happy birthday Zachary xxx

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  7. This was a great post, some really good advice :) I find blogging very hard near my deadlines as I am at univeristy, which is when I have to take a break from blogging. I also find if I am loosing motivation I take a few days out and take time to read people's blogs which can be very inspiring. :)
    xox
    http://www.lipstiickandlemondrops.blogspot.co.uk/

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  8. This was such a useful post! I have found myself stressing out about sticking to a schedule recently, you are right, I need to take a step back. I find when I pressure myself, my blog posts aren't as good anyway.
    Great tips about negative comments too. At the end of the day, blogging should be fun and something for us all to enjoy, there are no 'rules'! Just do what you want to do :)

    Thanks again for a great, inspiring post

    Lyndsay | Fizzy Peaches

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  9. Iove this post to and found it very helpful, you have been one of the people I've turned to to ask questions about and advice and you have and are always helpful and lovely: I've found people to be judgemental and commenting on what people are putting on their blogs: it's our/their choice what they put on: ultimately mine is a hobby but when I do get asked to do sponsored posts and I like it I will after all I've got kids to feed :) thanks for this

    Laura

    Libertylovesmakeup.blogspot.com xx

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  10. This is so good, it's all the things I think to myself and hope other people agree when I don't manage to write a post for a week! I think you have adopted the right attitude to blogging, the online world can be a hateful place and it's good to rise above it all and do your own thing x

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  11. i often find myself stressing about not having a blog post up I seem to loss interaction if I stop posting for a while and that makes me get a bit down I love this post and it has to be admired that you turned blogging back to a hobby because many probably including myself just would have continued even if it wasn't the right thing. I would like to turn blogging into a career but then i might not enjoy it the same
    www.fashionandbeautytribes.co.uk

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  12. This is such an EPIC post xx www.emilybelleblogs.blogspot.com xx

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  13. Thank you for this post, I'm pretty new to blogging and it sometimes stresses me out when I don't have time to blog. It's impossible for me to blog everyday as I work full time, but I guess it stresses me out as I try to keep up with other bloggers and try to blog as much as I can! It definitely takes the enjoyment out of blogging.

    Natalie xx
    adorethee.blogspot.com

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  14. This was really helpful! Im guilty for not blogging everyday which is fine cause blogging at the moment is not my full time job, but im planning on it in the near future and I will keep your tips and advices in mind cause it is really helpful,after all you got them from your own experience so you do know what you're talking about. Thank you again dear for the lovely post <3

    www.beautylish-life.com

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  15. Such a good post. I think a lot of people seem to forget blogging is meant to be fun pleasure, not a stressful chore. No one would ever start a blog just to cause themselves more stress!

    Belle ♥
    Mascara & Maltesers

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  16. I loved reading this post! I only started blogging this March so I'm fairly new and i stress so much about putting up posts when really i shouldn't. I just need to find my feet and enjoy the hobbie. I don't think i could ever make a career out of blogging to be fair, i don't cope well under stress.
    www.blondebeautie.wordpress.com

    xo

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  17. Great post! I really admire bloggers who can manage their job / university life and their blog at the same time. As for me I really like to blog at least once a week, so I sometimes schedule my posts. But at times you just have to take a break.

    lovaiible.com

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  18. This is definitely a helpful post, Sandra. Lately, I have seen about half of the blogging world be relaxed about it and not at all stressed, and the other half totally and completely freaking out. I'm glad more bloggers are getting on the "stress free blogging train." As you said, if you're trying to make it your full time job, that's one thing, but most of us are not, and it's okay to have a life outside of what we put on our blogs. :)

    xx

    Shree | PorcelainShree ✝ Beauty & Lifestyle Blog ✝ |

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  19. Thank you for this wonderful post! Lots of great tips - I am currently working on making my blog a career, do you have any tips for that? Have shared this article with other bloggers :)
    www.lani-loves.blogspot.co.nz

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    Replies
    1. I don't like to give tips for making blogging a career to be honest. It's usually down to a lot of hard work, luck or the connections you have with more popular bloggers/youtubers. It is really hard to get noticed and 'make it' as a blogger these days. I would say that maybe 1 out of 500 people can do it, or even less. Once you've established connections, built a big readership and genuine following on social media, you MIGHT get some paid work. Many bloggers do brand consultancy, produce content for other websites, do a lot of freelance work or even have other part-time jobs to be able to have a steady income. You never know if your next month will be as good as the previous one. It's pretty stresfull. The only steady income is from google ads/network ads, which is pennies...

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  20. Loved this post! Good to see someone choose to keep their blog as a hobby! I think lots of girls forget that and just seem to be in it for the 'internet fame' and freebies. I'm pretty sure most of us started out because we love our blog topics and wanted something creative/social to do with our 'spare' time!

    I felt really guilty that my last posts were back in Feb, but really it shouldn't matter, I obviously didn't blog for a reason & that's fine!

    Brodie|brodu-soup xoxo

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  21. Thankyou, this is such a great post, and it was really helpful.

    Gaby x

    theglamdottylife.blogspot.co.uk

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  22. Really great post! I have those days way too often and end up posting something i'm not happy with x

    A Little Treat | Beauty & Lifestyle Blog

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  23. I loved it ♥ Sometimes (almost every day) I doubt about EVERYTHING related to my blog and it can't be so annoying (last night I had a dream about this topic: I sucked at being a blogger even in my dream! :D Ridiculous :D ) Clearly, I stress about things I shouldn't even care about, that's why I enjoyed this post, thank you for sharing it!

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  24. Just the kind of words I needed. Thank you for sharing these tips with us. x

    Regards.
    D. x

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  25. This is a lovely post. I use my blog to improve my writing and build up a portfolio - if people read it and enjoy it, that's a bonus!xx
    http://you-little-wonder.blogspot.co.uk/

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  26. Love this post - I started to feel like that too, juggling working full time, doing a masters, FABB events - everything got too much and had a negative impact on my health. Stepping away and having some me time has done me wonders :) x

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  27. Thank you so much for this, it was super helpful! Love your blog :)

    www.girluninterpreted.co.uk

    xx

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  28. I really liked this post and found it interesting :) I totally agree that blogging should be fun and not a chore xx

    www.krystelcouture.com

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  29. I love these tips, which I heard them before I started x
    http://blushingbeauty9.wordpress.com/

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  30. Great tips - I often feel pressured to write a post for my blog, worrying that I will loose all my followers if I don't, but you're right about taking a break and not posting if you don't feel like it, as it makes you so stressed!
    Mia xx
    http://miararaa.blogspot.co.uk/

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  31. Such a great and positive post! Needed this :)

    xoxo Brie at http://chicvadourbyb.blogspot.com/

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  32. When blogging starts to make you miserable I think that is a note in itself to take a step back and re-evaluate what you're doing wrong or taking to an extreme. This was a super informative and helpful post Sandra, I'm glad you're enjoying blogging again :)
    Amy x

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  33. I started to write again on my blog after a year of hiatus also because I wanted to feel the pressure you are describing in this post. I've become too lazy and critic I think this 'project' that is now my blog is helping me, through writing, to get more focused.

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  34. This post was really inspiring! I'm still pretty new to blogging, but this post will deffinetly stay in the back of my mind. I love how you stay true to yourself and embrace the fact that blogging should be fun and something you like. I deffo agree with that viewpoint x3
    xoxo
    Serainie

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  35. This is a great post and I agree with you, a really insightful post.

    http://beautyskooldropout2013.blogspot.co.uk/

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  36. This is such a great post! I started blogging about 2 1/2 years ago. I've always said that writing the post is the easiest part of blogging. The restg - advertising, following, tweeting takes the most time.

    Anyway, I am in a bit of a slump now. I hope it will get better soon.

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  37. Really interesting post, it's all the stuff I should know but somehow forget when I'm in the midst of a stress! I
    Blogging is my creative outlet need to get better at forgetting te rest.

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  38. Wow, Sandra... I have social anxiety too. I just connected with you on a serious level. Thank you for showing me that you feel some of the things I do, too. I love this post. You're absolutely right in all of your points. Thank you!!!

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  39. Lovely post and very inspiring as well <3

    xx,
    valencialala.blogspot.com

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Thank you very much for your comment. If you have an important question, you can contact me via Twitter: @TheBlackPearlB

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Love xxx Sandra

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