There’s no doubt about it friends, blogging is is time consuming! And I think it’s the case for a lot of us that sometimes, life can get in the way. You might have a month where work takes over, or things happen in your personal & social life, and for one reason or other, you find yourself taking your foot off the pedal and having a bit of a blogging break.
I’m all for a bit of a social media/internet detox now and again, and sometimes switching off & stepping away is the best thing you can do. Buuuuut, the problem is getting back into the swing of it! Keeping on top of your content and your social media is a daily job and, annoying as it is, even a week or so without posting can set you back.
I thought I’d pull this post together because, after another little blogging sabbatical, this time round I’ve been really daunted by how tricky it is to get any momentum going again. My little blog has just turned 4, and over these 4 years I’ve had great periods where I’ve had some amazing work and a bit of a small income, to rubbish periods, where I’ve lost motivation and almost given up.
But no matter what, I always get drawn back to it. So if you’re feeling a bit like Bambi on ice trying to get on your feet again in the blogging bubble, I’ve popped my 5 top tips below for getting back into things after a break.
1. Set small but attainable goals
It’s so easy to look at bloggers with followers into 5 figures, feel instantly disheartened and vow to gain 5000 new followers ASAP, drowning in a pool of your own stress and sweat as you do so. But success and lots of followers didn’t happen overnight for these bloggers, and they’ll have been plugging away for a long time to get to where they are now. So trying to set unreachable goals is just going to make you feel rubbish, because lets face it, drumming up 5000 new followers quickly these days is HARD to do. So instead of putting yourself through the labours of Hercules (which will probably force you very quickly into another blog break), I’ve found that setting small but attainable goals is best. So, for example, my goal at the moment is to aim for 1 – 2 blog posts a week. I’d like to improve engagement on my Instagram and perhaps hit 2000 Twitter followers by the end of the summer. These are goals that feel attainable for me (and you can pick yours depending on where you are in your blogging journey.) This way though, you’re not setting yourself up for failure and you can celebrate each milestone as you hit it!
2. Post quality over quantity
If you haven’t posted anything on your blog for a while, I think the urge to mass produce a load of content quickly and get it live can end up making you start panicking and chasing your tail. But, badly thought out or boring copy isn’t going to entice anyone back to your blog. I think if you’ve been out of the loop for a while, you need to give people a reason to go back to your site, and re-capture their attention somehow. I’m certainly guilty of whacking up a load posts just for the sake of it (oh hey there 2013 blog posts) but now, I see that one or two really well thought out blog posts with interesting content and photos is so much more appealing than churning out loads. Blogging has also changed so much since 2013 when I started and now it’s more than just popping up some outfit posts – the copy and your reasons for writing are way more important now, and all it’s become much more editorially focused. I actually love this and love the think-pieces and personal posts that people are doing, so it’d be great to start writing some of those myself.
3. Don’t forget your social media (OR get disheartened by the Insta algorithm)
There’s soooo much to think about when it comes blogging, because it’s not just your website, it’s your social media too! Staying on top of Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Bloglovin AND creating interesting content can be challenging when you come back from a little hiatus. What on earth do you do first? It’s like getting back to work after a holiday and you can end up feeling totally overwhelmed. But, just like with your first day back in the office after a break, I’d say the best thing you can do is just gently start back up again. Somewhere. But just make a start. Slowly start posting and interacting again, and if your struggling, use one of the apps to start forward planning your Instagram (ATM I’m using the Preview app) which has been a huge help. Also, the Instagram algorithm is just rubbish. BUT everyone is having trouble with it. I seem to lose followers daily and my engagement is awful….but, I took my foot off the pedal to a while and I have to remember that it’s not just going to bounce back over night.
4. Engage with other bloggers
Engaging with other bloggers is one of the best bits about blogging for me. I’d say on the whole, most are super friendly and supportive and it’s quite a unique thing where so many people who’ve never met can be so supportive of each other (give or take a few of course). It’s amazing that now so many actually end up meeting and becoming friends – it’s worth looking for bloggers in your local area to see if there are any meet-ups or ways to connect past the computer screen. But your fellow bloggers can be a constant source of inspiration and support when you return from a little blogging break. I love reading other blogs and checking out the instagrams of bloggers I’ve followed for years, and new ones too. It’s amazing how much they’ll keep you going by commenting and liking your posts and you’ll widen your reach into new audiences if you make an effort!
5. Remember why you started blogging in the first place
For me, it’s always been an amazing creative outlet – even if no one reads my posts or like my pictures. Lets face it, the fashion, beauty & creative industries are tough and in a lot of cases, not desperately well paid. I think a lot of us hit that fork in the road where we ask ourselves is it worth it in creative industries, are we really happy or earning enough to move forward with life goals? Especially when you wake up and realise that even in the creative world, you’re still sitting in an office half made up of people you can’t stand, there’s still a hell of a lot of admin and boring stuff to do (usually on a really rubbish wage) and, oh wait, it’s no different to any other industry! But no matter how fed up I’ve been in a job, I’ve always had my blog as an outlet, something to turn to that’s mine and something that gives me a buzz after a bad day in the office. I love clothes and photography and playing around with flatlays, and so in the midst of stressing over instagram or losing page views, I’ve realised it’s so important to remember why I actually do this. If you lose the fun in blogging then it could be game over. So if you’re beating yourself up over slow progress, just remember why you first started, whether it’s your hobby, or something you want to slowly forge a career in. If you aren’t enjoying it anymore and it feels like a chore, scale things back – don’t put too much pressure on yourself, things always tend to unfold in the end.