Feeling 'meh' about your blog?

Heather, New Forest
Heather, New Forest

Pull yourself together soldier! *slaps you round the face with a wet kipper* 

Did that work? No? Oh. Then here’s some random thoughts for those who are going through a bit of a blogging lull patch at the moment.

Read Less Blogs

This sort of goes against everything I have ever said about blogging, community and getting involved. But if you are the sort of person, like me, who suffers from ‘comparison fatigue’ it’s the way forward. This is a deeply personal thing, some people can read beautiful blog posts and only feel love and inspiration and that’s a truly lovely quality. However there are some of us that feel that love and inspiration with after feelings of something like ‘I wish I could write like that’, ‘I wish my photos looked that good’, ‘If only I came up with a cool idea like that!’  which soon translates into ‘I’m a crap blogger, why do I even bother?’ 

Those feelings do not make you a bad person. They just mean that you need to focus on re-kindling the love and enthusiasm for your blog, think back to a time when you were loving the bones of it – what’s changed since then? It’s easy to get caught up in a ‘well everyone else is doing blahhh so that must be what people want to read’ mentality. Sit down and write a list of what you enjoy doing, what you love, what you are good at and ideas for how you can actively be different, try and think of  one thing that you do that not many other people do.

I’ve started to read less blogs (more on that further down) for this very reason and I personally don’t think there’s any shame at all in admitting that although I know comparison is the thief of joy that actually it’s something I do far too much. 

Heather, New Forest
Heather, New Forest

Handle

It’s an app that I stumbled across whilst looking at customer examples of Squarespace templates. I instantly fell in love with it’s ethos, how time spent wisely moves us towards the quality relationships, career progression, health, and well being we desire. How unshepherded, time is easily squandered leading to days ending with an unsatisfactory answer to β€œWhat did I get done today?” Handle is about directing your attention with care. 

Handle helps you stay focused by bringing your email, to-dos, and calendar together in one place so you can make better decisions with your time and relax without things falling through the cracks.

— handle.com

I have been using the free iPhone app (it’s not on android – soz), there’s also a Chrome extension for desktops but to be honest just having it on my phone has been all I have needed. It syncs with my Gmail, making my email look way more beautiful than the Gmail app, and it gives me the option to add an email to my Calendar or To Do list. Invitation to an event email that I accept goes into my calender with a quick swipe. It’s genius.

The Read Later option is what I am using to be my blog reading list. This ties in with my earlier comment about reading less blogs and also into the ‘creating a ritual’ aspect of the ‘7 Steps to Slow Things Down‘ free email course that Eleanor from Creative Countryside offers. I subscribed by email to a handful of blogs I really love, when their emails come in I mark them as ‘Read Later’. Then, when I get a quiet moment, maybe a mid-morning cuppa or when I am early for the school run, I dip into the Read Later list and click straight through to a blog post. For me that works wonderfully as it’s enriching little moments of the day. I’ll  still sit down maybe once a week with my macbook and my ‘Blog Reading List’ on there and catch up with other blogs, but very much as an when, no pressures.

The To Do list is really handy, I pop in the blogging work I need to get done, setting two reminders to poke me, I simply check them off when done. The whole ‘doing it all from my mobile phone’ thing works perfectly for me. I’ve tried personal organizers and Google calendar in the past but they never clicked – Handle clicked instantly, because it’s all wherever I am, in my pocket, in my phone.

Do check it out here, it’s seriously changed the amount of time I have to myself and pigeonhole work time.

ferns
ferns

Remind yourself what you love to blog about

I’ve done that this week and it’s made a huge difference to my blogging mindset. I’ve been back out in the forest taking photos and loving every minute of it. This reminded me that I started the year with my ‘Year in Footsteps’ promise, to walk a different walk every day. That lasted a month till I wandered off the routine, in hindsight I put too much pressure on myself to write a post about where I had walked everyday. Now although that didn’t work it does hold some key things that I love – the love of being outdoors, in the forest, taking photos for no other reason than I enjoy it. So I’ll be doing that a lot more from now on and my content will reflect that. I’m not going to overthink this, there’s no need to ask myself questions like ‘Won’t everyone get bored if I keep posting photos of the forest?’ because frankly that’s not the point is it? What people think, what you think. It doesn’t mean that I don’t care what my readers think, more that I know that I will produce better content if it’s content that I can be proud of.

If you are in a bit of a blogging state of ‘mehhhh’ the good news is that it’s nearly the Summer holidays, the one time of the year when everyone de-camps for family time and blogging in general becomes more quiet. The perfect time to reassess what you blog about and if it’s making you happy. Don’t just look back and think of content that really made you happy and worked, think of the things that didn’t work so well too. That will help guide you going forwards.

Ferns
Ferns

You do not need to start a new blog because you are unhappy with the one you have

Now I did that last year with the whole Manneskjur thing so here’s my nugget of advice from someone who has been there. If you have been blogging for a while your blog is an asset. I bloody hate the name Mammasaurus to the bottom of the pits of satanic hell. You know why? It scream mummy blogger, the first impression when you hear that name is ‘mummy’, it’s irrelevant to 99% old my content these days. Hence why my new logo only has an M in it. Obviously think long and hard about your blog name before you start it kids.

Because my blog has history it means that new content will be more likely to be found, people will be more likely to want to work with me. Starting a new blog and getting it’s name out there is not easy, way more harder than it was 5 years ago, bear that in mind. A blog is more than a name, it’s a person, it’s you. You can dye your hair if you fancy a change and your blog is no different, change if it is you want, what you write about, the focus or design. Defeatism is the easy option, not the smart one when it comes to this. 

Forest walk
Forest walk

Make alliances

Most bloggers live near other bloggers, whether they know it or not. Why not ask around on social media to see if there’s anyone who lives near to you and take the plunge and suggest meeting for a coffee? Talking, like proper real life talking can be great for supporting you as a blogger, the opportunity to bounce ideas off each other, find similar interests, learn of new connections and opportunities and to just make a friend who understands blogging. 

If there is a blog that you follow and relate to, one that has similar qualities and who you feel a connection or common interest with then consider dropping that person a line and introducing yourself. A comment is nice obviously but an actual email that reaches out and lets someone know personally that you like what they do is a beautiful thing. 

Collaborations between bloggers are great too. You don’t have to run a blog together to collaborate. Some bloggers run linkys together but there are other ways to consider, such as working on a series of posts as a collaboration. For example, say you like foraging and you know someone else who does too, one of you could post a series of foraged savoury recipes and the other one a series of sweet recipes, linking to each others, sharing a readership, supporting each other. I really do believe that this era in blogging where there are so many of us, that there’s a really good opportunity to help each other along.

wild honeysuckle
wild honeysuckle

Obviously this post is WAY TOO LONG, but that’s the first of blog club, there are no rules…If you have any advice or words to add to this do feel free to share in the comments.

0 replies on “ Feeling 'meh' about your blog? ”
  1. Reading your posts like this just makes me breathe out. Not realising I have been holding my breath. I just read them, breathe out and then think "ah yes. That. It’s not just me".

    Great post with some really useful info.

  2. Smashing advice and I concur! I just sent you a rambling email about my mid life blogging crisis and a plan to collaborate and then I saw this πŸ˜‰ When Becky and I did a talk about blogging at Blog Camp we really stressed how there are no right or wrong ways to blog and that you have to do it the way that makes you happy – someone reminded me after that ‘comparison is the thief of joy’ – so true. I’ve found blogging at times when I am less likely to be distracted by email and social media, and when the mood takes me helps. Some of the posts I need to write from a paid POV are quite complex so it is immensely freeing to write a quick creative post where the words just fly and I don’t need to edit pictures or add links or fact check! The kind of posts i started blogging with, before it became my job. ButI remind myself daily it is an amazing job. Yesterday, instead of rushing making a cocktail for a post, I really took my time over the preparing, the photos and the drinking of it – my blogging mojo came back.

  3. I guess I need Handle to come out on Android. I too am a bit meh – I have lots to post and lots of pictures but I’m using my online time to try and work ahem coughs looks shifty and my evenings (when I used to blog) are a laptop free zone. Hope we can do the meeting up thang in the summer hols xxx

  4. I nearly spat my tea out at pits of satanic hell. LOVE THIS. Definitely the summer to reflect I think. I was away for a few days last week and for the first time in a long time didn’t feel any guilt in not posting for a week. I find keeping up with the platforms I love takes so much pressure away. So for some it’s FB, others Twitter. For me I think it’s a.ok. if I struggle to squeeze a post in, in a week because I have a mini blog over on IG. It’s a great relief not to have that pressure on ourselves and I would much rather post less some weeks but love it rather than feel I ought to. Because I can see when the passion goes downhill… ps we need that date in the diary don’t we!!! xxxxx

  5. THIS!!!!!
    How did you get inside my head oh wise one… it’s kinda freaky.
    You are turning into the Dahlia Lama of blogging. Change the blog name to Dahliasaurus or at least wear the robes? Free entry to Glasto, with every religion led.

  6. I think many people are feeling this way at the moment and oddly, it often coincides with the end of a massive blogging conference. I felt like this last year and made some changes to how I blog, what I read and how much time I spend in the whole blogosphere. I feel much better for it. I still sometimes get hit between the eyes by the comparison monster but try my hardest to push those thoughts to one side. Thanks for sharing this. x

  7. See, this is another one of those posts that’s likely to have me going off on a giant rambling comment that will end up longer than your original post! But, in a nutshell, yes to all of it.
    Yes to going back to the writing you love, Yes to me keeping Margot & Barbara as my blog name even though it makes NO sense to most people and is bloody ridiculous if I want to do more travel blogging – purely because I’m still the person who chose it in the first place. Yes to meet ups (at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, lets make a date!) and chatting to other bloggers, making friends and collaborating properly. And yes to an August of slow, thoughtful blogging and reflecting on what’s to come. I shall do August Break with Susannah Conway (if she’s doing it this year) and I shall BREATHE… But first, I’m going to have a look at your planning app, it sounds good.
    PS; Also a huge yes to your globe logo, it may well be my favourite one so far…x

  8. A very timely blog post and full of useful tips. I have been looking for something to streamline my poor organisation when it comes to my personal life. Just downloaded Handle, fingers crossed!

    I equally feel that when I see other great blog posts I’m critical of myself, why can’t i do that, i need to work harder, be better etc. So not good for any of us!

  9. Ha ha, yet another to add the "me too!" to the list. Hooray for the August wind down coming up… I am hoping for more inspiration to hit in September. Fingers crossed eh?

  10. You’ve pretty much summed up everything I think and believe – again! I’ve not heard of Handle – off to check it out now. Also love the new logo, brilliant stuff. I seem to live slightly further out than the bloggers I follow, but I’m definitely going to try and take part in a meet up over the summer!

  11. all valid points indeed. i like your blog this way. it is easier for me to navigate. and it may be because i am getting older and need glasses but i have a hard time reading this small font. although it does look really good! xx

    1. Heh heh now I remember your old font being tiny too – I wonder how long before my mum emails me to tell me she can’t read it!!! Thanks for the feedback Claudia x

  12. This is a brilliant post, and so helpful. I’m experiencing a life and blog ‘meh’ and trying to work out one is bound to help the other.

    The bit about making bloggy friends is so true, mine give me a kick up the bum when I need it and commiserate when that’s what I need.

    Handle didn’t push my buttons, my bullet journal is rocking my world right now, I think there’s a solution for each of us, the tricky bit is just finding it.

    Good luck with un-‘meh’-ing yourself xx

    1. Love that ‘there’s a solution for each of us’ line Em. It’s so true right across the whole blogging board – what works for me might not work for you and vice versa, but we share and muddle along and get there in the end together πŸ™‚

  13. Annie, by heck girl, you are a bloody genius. You manage to convey all the thoughts in my head and get them written down brilliantly. I too loathe the name of my blog and have done for years, but feel a bit stuck with it for all the reasons you’ve given above. Love your ‘M’ logo and the description of your blog nails it too. I’m so looking forward to the summer holidays and am just going to post when I have something to share, but more importantly I’m looking forward to embracing the moment, lazy breakfasts, camping under the stars and a break from the norm. Have a good summer. x

  14. I’ve been TOLD many times by ‘professional’ bloggers I need to reinvent my blog, name and stick to one theme………grrrrrrrr I’m sure people are only trying to help in their mind but I’m sick of advice about my blog. I enjoy what I do and why I do it.
    I usually only read blog posts if they pop up in my timeline. I’ve enjoyed the linkys and joining up every week actually gives me a purpose to get out and do things to fit the blog post. As an expat for 5 years, I’ve been unable to work and now the kids have left home, blogging has become my saviour. I am careful who and how I interact though as I have been slated publicly for leaving comments on some blogs when I’ve disagreed with something. I don’t do platitudes and sucking up.

    1. There’s nothing so divisive as the phrase ‘pro blogger’ is there Suzanne? I think the thing with any blogging advice is to take it very much as ‘what worked for someone else’, you instantly know if it’s helpful or just going to cause you stresses. I always used to get the guilt re: the ‘don’t change your theme’ thing, as I change my every couple of months. I work to the ‘if it please me I’ll do it’ ethos – sounds like you do too.
      Sometimes I wish there was more open discussion in comments – people tend to think that if they don’t agree with a post that they can’t possibly leave a comment explaining why, polite open discussion is good for everyone I think x

  15. Aah such wise words Annie.

    I’ve not yet experienced this state of lethargy myself. Since I took my blog self hosted back in January of this year I’ve been full of enthusiasm but quite a few of my blogging buddies have spoken about feeling exactly this way, quite recently.

    Such great advice about not setting up another blog. Good that you’ve done it and can speak from experience. I think the biggest knee jerk reaction, when folk find themselves out of love with their blog, is to set up a new one. Although to me, that smacks of ‘same shit, different location’.

    The most interesting for me is that you’ve moved from WordPress to Squarespace – why is this? I read one of your posts about the merits of WordPress, before I went self hosted; what is it about Squarespace that’s made you change? And has the transition been an easy one?

    Apologies for the essay xx

    Caro | http://www.thetwinklediaries.co.uk

    1. Good questions Caro!

      For me, I loved WordPress to bits but when Squarespace came along I liked the styling of their templates. But I stayed with WordPress for 6 more months, looking at Squarespace all the while, not really sure about making the move.

      For me the downside to WordPress was the same as the upside – the vast choices it gives you. A gazillion plugins, so many themes and styles. I was hacked at one point and that made me very wary of plugins – always ensuring they were up to date, never installing ones that weren’t tested with my current version of WordPress and so on.

      Squarespace only have a few templates and no plugins (or the need to ever update anything again) just seemed like a simpler life for me. I still have Love All Blogs on WordPress but that’s only because I can’t run it to do what it does now on Squarespace (long story), but in the future if I can I will move it.

      The transition was easy but like anything it took a while to get used to how it works. I would always recommend anyone makes use of the free 14 day trial Squarespace has to offer because it is very different to WordPress and some people are better with change than others.

      I hope that all makes sense and answers the questions x

  16. It’s rather freaky how you manage to capture what many of us are thinking.
    I’m in such a a blog funk, with honestly no idea where to go with it. I shall take to heart some of your tips here and just focus on why I’m blogging and what I love about it.

  17. You don’t half make sense Mrs Spratt, I am struggling with the juggling (am a poet and didn’t know it)

    So not only do you have a gorgeous blog, you talk a lot of sense too! might have to stop reading your blog! ha ha – just kidding x

  18. This is me. I have been hiatus and I dont know how to go back. I never thought that I would struggle. Its always easy for me to bounce back into writing before =(

  19. Ah I like the sound of Handle. And I totally agree about remembering what you love writing about. It’s hard not to get dragged in to other stuff, but the posts you really want to write are the ones that read the best too.

  20. Annie you are a very wise woman, some great advice that I think everyone can take something from.

  21. What great advice and so spot on. I’ve only been in the ‘game’ for 15 months or so but I know what you mean about this. I have only recently been thinking about changing my blog name because I am no longer blogging about the twins as much. BUT you’re right, starting again means a lot and it’s not as easy as setting up again. Really enjoyed this. Jess x

  22. I’m enjoying watchign you find out what suits you Annie. Isn’t it great to be your own boss and pick and choose what/ hwo you blog? Mich x

  23. I enjoyed reading the comments to this as much as the post itself Annie.

    I recently re-assessed my blog plan (not that it’s an actually plan yet!) and decided that I wanted to make a change. I cut out the things I didn’t enjoy about blogging which for me that was Twitter, Stats and writing posts that I thought people would want to read rather than posts I wanted to write.

    I’m still not completely where I want to be but I’m getting there!

    Thank you x x

  24. I totally agree with you on naming your blog. I hate my name now because I swear people think it’s some sort of safety tool for babies when it was more like "Ah help, I’m pregnant. Mummy alarm!" I’d love to have a new name now, but have decided against it for the reasons you’ve mentioned in your blog post.

  25. you summarise it so well. I have a few other sites but i love my Romanian Mum Blog because I started with it. I started to read less blogs because i was comparing myself with others too much. I am the way I am and for now i am happy with it!

  26. Nodding in agreement here.I started a new blog because it was time for me to move on and my blog was technically broken, don’t regret it as me and the kids had physically lived those memories we shared.I did a blog audit when Karin from Embrace Happy shared her blogging advice on BritMum’s a few months back and I’m working through that plan now.It takes time, kids, housework and a crippling back condition don’t make things easy for me.I have made myself go out and connect with other people over the past year, through the Friday At 11 hangouts and meeting local bloggers who live in my town.I’m certainly more happier with blogging but not blogging, I mean I’m do more reading, crocheting, drawing over the past month during my social media detox.

  27. Oh I enjoyed reading this! For all the reasons so eloquently put already. My problem is I’m a bit of a flbbertigibbet. I do stick to writing about stuff I love, but that’s turned out to be quite a lot of varied stuff! A little muddled and confusing sometimes I think. Because I’ve always blogged gently, it hasn’t bothered me that much over the years – until now really, when being more focussed would have helped! Feel it’s too late to change though. Or maybe the desire’s not there.
    Great advice about the benefits of meeting up with other bloggers, definitely something I’d like to do now.

  28. Totally agree about the name thing, I had to change my original one as I really hated it, it was beyond being saved in anyway! I like Mammasaurus though, it’s original and different which I think is always a good thing. I’ve naturally had to step back from reading lots of blogs as with running two and home edding the kids I just have no time, it definitely helps with the comparing situation and as much as I feel bad for not being as active in the blogging community I also feel like I wouldn’t want people commenting on my blog just because I had commented on theirs. It might mean I don’t receive as many comments due to non bloggers not really leaving them but that’s okay with me πŸ™‚ x

  29. Oh Annie, I really relate to this and I was nodding along agreeing with everything you have said here. I am the worse at loving and admiring beautiful blogs but then secretly thinking why can’t my blog be that beautiful and amazing? It’s so hard not to compare and I am so happy for those that have successful amazing blogs and I try to read and comment on as many as I can to show support. It’s good to step back sometimes and rethink why I started my own and what I love about it. Positive thinking I suppose. I already realized my name with have a shelf life and I wish I would have known that about my blog way before I started. I love reading this from you and knowing I am not the only one that may think this way about their blog. While it’s my third baby and means so much to me I really like to keep learning and making it better too. πŸ™‚ Great post Annie as always love how you write from the heart.

  30. Oh Annie you always know the right things to say. I am actually feeling that I don’t care what others may feel about my blog etc anymore and have really gone back to the roots of doing what I want AND more importantly spending time making myself healthier and actually living life with my family.

    Off to check out that app – thanks.

  31. I did feel very MEH about my old blog which is why I started a new one. I am feeling more comfortable with it though and hope it works. It feels like a new lease of life to me as I have grown and changed over the last 6 years. It has made me fall back in love with blogging again x

  32. This post really resonated with me. I’m currently running around like an idiot, trying to balance family commitments, a fledgling career in writing and art, a house move and blogging. As a result the blog has taken a backseat of late and I’m just about managing to keep things ticking over.
    But I do want to continue with it, to make it great (in my eyes). It is indeed about being true to yourself. Not comparing your blog to others or trying to compete or writing about things you think might make you successful. I too often worry about whether people will get bored with photos of my outdoor ramblings but that’s what I’m passionate about, along with snippets of family history and the little details from our lives.
    I’m thinking of making the leap to Squarespace (again) once I’ve met a few deadlines. Hopefully in a month or two. I almost did it once before but this time am feeling ready to be brave and go for it.
    Thanks for the post Annie, really inspiring reading.
    S x

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