Many of my blogging buddies know that I regularly take breaks from blogging. I highly recommend it. Just this past July, I took a long break.
I think that when we start blogging, many of us give ourselves self-imposed goals such as:
- I will blog everyday. / I will blog at least 3 times a week.
- I will comment on at least 3 posts by other bloggers each day.
- I will write at least 1 review per week.
The above goals are pretty easy to achieve, in my opinion. I’ve done all of them. Here are the ones that are a bit difficult and frankly unrealistic expectations, especially if you’re just starting out as a new blogger:
- I need to gain 100 followers on my first week as a blogger.
- My blog needs to have at least 50,000 blog views in the first month.
- By the end of my first year as a blogger, I would be included in the top 10 most popular anime/manga blog on the Web.
I mean, seriously? Unless you’re already an international celebrity, I don’t think that you’ll achieve any of these at all. But of course, you might be one of those extremely lucky bastards who hit it big the moment you click “Create Blog”.
After the initial excitement, disappointments and insecurities will start to creep in
All of these self-imposed blogging goals, whether they’re realistic or not, will take a toll on you. You were brimming with energy and excitement in the first 2-3 months of blogging; posting every idea that pops in your head, and dancing the rumba whenever someone comments on your post. Then slowly but surely, disappointments and insecurities start creeping in.
Why is no one reading my posts? It’s already been a week, and still zero blog views? It’s been a month since I gained my last follower. My blog looks better than X’s blog, but why does he have more likes, comments, and followers than my blog? I bet he paid for those followers. What is he doing that I’m not doing?
What am I doing wrong?
What’s wrong with me?
. . .I can’t do this anymore.
And that, my friends, is why a lot of newly-created blogs are deleted within the first 6 months of their creation. Fortunately for me, I’ve already experienced all of these unpleasantness back when I was still a teenage blogger. I was such a naive blogger back then; lacking in direction, harbouring all of these unrealistic blogging expectations, when the truth was that I was easily discouraged by disappointments. But even with all of these, I never gave up on the idea of blogging. I learned so many things from past experiences. And after a lot of trial and error, I finally created Fujinsei and here I am now, enjoying every single moment of being an anime and manga blogger.
Treat Deleted Blogs as “Learning Experiences”, Not as “Failures”
Fujinsei is only 1-year old, but I’ve been blogging for longer than that. Before creating this blog, I considered my previous blogs as “failures”. But after a change of attitude, I now see them not as “failures” but as “learning experiences.”
So why am I sharing all of these to you? It’s to show that I’m not just any ignorant blogger who don’t know squat about what I’m talking about. One of the things that I learned from past experiences is the importance of taking a break from blogging. And now we return to my main point.
Energy, Enthusiasm & Willpower are NOT Unlimited, So Take Regular Breaks from Blogging
I don’t know about you, but I’m the type of person who has only a limited amount of energy, enthusiasm, and willpower. I NEED to take regular breaks to replenish them, so that I can perform tasks in the long run with the same or higher quality that I’ve been doing them.
Back when I was still a naive teenage blogger, I was quick to give up and to delete my blogs whenever I felt burnt-out. Now I’m a little wiser, and I learned that these burn-outs are just temporary. I just need to take a complete break from blogging whenever I’m burnt-out to recharge my energy, enthusiasm, and willpower.
Your Blog Can Wait, So Can Your Readers
I noticed that many new bloggers feel the need to blog regularly and to keep an active presence on social media—which are good, mind you. But if you obsess too much about doing these things all the damn time, you’ll develop a needless fear. What kind of fear am I talking about? It’s the fear of losing your readers; the followers that you painstakingly obtained.
Your Readers Are Smart, So Don’t Underestimate Them
Take a deep breath, calm down, and stop freaking out. You don’t need to blog all the damn time to retain readers. As long as you focus on creating good content every time you post and maintain good relationships with other bloggers whenever you can, your readers will come back whether you’re online or not. Give credit to your readers. They’re smart enough to figure things out, so you don’t need to be always explaining things to them. Besides, if you continue your obsession of blogging all the damn time for fear of losing the followers you have gained, you’ll just end up losing them because your readers are smart enough to smell desperation. And once they smell desperation, they’ll run as fast and as far away from you before you can even say “Come back”.
Completely Stop ALL Online Blogging Activities
So what can you do? Take a break. Simple. Distance yourself from blogging. When I say “distance yourself”, I mean to TOTALLY stop any online blogging activities. This will be difficult, I know, because you will get the urge to reply to those comments and check your blog stats. Resist the temptation. It’s for your own sake as a blogger.
Distancing yourself from blogging will calm your anxious nerves. It will help ease any of your disappointments and insecurities about blogging. Your brain will cool off. Most importantly, you will regain a level head. Once you’ve purged yourself from all the negativity, THEN you can rethink your next steps. Reflect on the things you think you are doing wrong as a blogger. Then think of ways that you can fix them. Research. Strategize. Outline a plan. Finally, take action.
Use Breaks to Strategize Your Blog’s Growth
This is more productive than losing all of your hopes, deleting your blog, and creating a new one every time you feel discouraged. Because if you’re serious about blogging for a long time, you need a level head to accomplish that. Passion and strong opinions are important in blogging, but these will get you nowhere without a proper and concrete plan. Taking regular breaks from blogging, in order to strategize how you want to grow your blog is important if you’re thinking of long-term blogging. During a break, you can focus all your time and energy into improving your site.
Take Advantage of the “Schedule” Function in Your Blog Post Editor
Many of you are already aware of this, but it bears repeating. Use the “Schedule” function. I personally love it! I use it every time I write posts. That’s why even though I took a break for almost the entire month of July, my blog still kept on pumping posts. It made my blog appear active, even when I wasn’t actually online.
Take a Break Whenever You Want To
Even if I said all of these, it doesn’t mean that I go into strategist mode whenever I take a break. Sometimes I take a break because I just want to. The hell with blogging. I just want to sleep all day long and laze around without any interruptions. Besides, I have confidence in my already published posts, so that even if I don’t post for a while, my readers will still have plenty of good and entertaining posts to read.
If you’ve read my previous “Blogging Tips” posts, then you know that I’m a huge believer of having fun while blogging. Whenever I feel like blogging is becoming a chore, I stop completely. I know that it’s the first sign of a blogging burn-out. I take a break. No questions asked, no complaints. It’s my way of fixing a problem before it gets worse. I don’t worry about how long my burn-outs take. I just focus on replenishing my enthusiasm, energy and willpower, so that I can return to blogging stronger than before.
Don’t Be Afraid of Taking a Break From Blogging
Finally, I think that the most important thing you need to learn from this post is to not be afraid of taking breaks from blogging. Why be afraid? It’s not like your life is going to break into pieces if you stop blogging for a while. Unless you’re getting paid to blog for a big-ass corporation, I don’t see any reason for you to put unnecessary pressure on yourself. Enjoy blogging. If you don’t enjoy it anymore, stop. Take a break. Once you regain your enthusiasm, return. Then you can start enjoying blogging all over again. It’s as simple as that.
How about you? Do you take regular breaks from blogging? If not, will you consider trying it?
That’s it for today, folks. Thank you very much for reading. Have a great weekend. Cheers!
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