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 every single day, multiple times a day, but I found myself stressing out too much, so I decided to just relax for a while, as something I absolutely loved turned into a chore and I wasn't happy. I still enjoyed preparing most of the content, but all the admin work was killing me! If blogging isn't you 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. 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 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. 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 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 will 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. Got to a point when  I started thinking about not 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, just unfollow them, so you don't have to see their tweets. 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. I was actually so upset that I cried! How can he hate something I love? But when I thought about it, I realised that I didn't have any time off, I was on my laptop constantly and I didn't have any personal space. 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 opportunities, hours spent on photography and editing, interaction on your social media channels. Your eyeballs are on fire 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 . 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 blogging whenever I feel like it.

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 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?



  
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