Every since I injured my shin and pulled out of the Boston Marathon, I just haven’t felt myself. Maybe I lost site of my “end story.” I feel a little lost without a goal. It’s like blurry vision… I need a pair of glasses to help me see the path.
Maybe it’s just hormones, lack of sleep, no running, or chronic migraines… I dunno, but whatever it is, I’m in a funk.
Reading this article by Bon Bon Break really hit home for me. She summed it up perfectly: that blogging has changed and there are many days I’m not sure I can or want to keep up. But, as she says and I agree, “I can’t not write.”
The few of you who consistently follow this blog know that I love to write from my heart. However, writing from my heart brings very few visitors.. that kind of writing is not Kardashian, it’s not mainstream, and, as much as I hate the thought, writing from my heart is not good business. Since I’d like to make a little money to justify the time spent working on here, I have made the commitment to create a variety of content.
I don’t always love the responsibilities that comes with a blog. I’m a creature of habit, once I start doing something, I can get so focused that I lose site of where I’m going. I started cleaning up old blog posts and before you know it, I was on a Hamster wheel of creating “searchable content,” “Pinnable images”, “optimizing”, and “verifying.” I suppose there is nothing wrong with cleaning house, but maybe I went a little crazy and I couldn’t stop. Now, I feel drained and burned out.
Luckily, my kids’ last day of school is Friday and Summer vacation will officially be in full swing. I need to say this out loud more for myself than anyone else, but I refuse to spend my summer blogging, commenting, thanking, sharing, pinning, tweeting, and with my back to my kiddos. I won’t let this time slip past us with me saying things like, “one minute,” “just a sec,” or “let me finish this quick email.”
So I have established some boundaries for myself that might be useful to other bloggers too. I understand that this will not apply to everyone. Some bloggers are very organized or perhaps rely on their blogs as their full time income, but for those of us who do this “part time” (can’t believe I typed that because it’s really full time with part time pay), if you don’t plan on being the next internet star, here are some tips for scaling down the blog for summer.
1. Less Traffic – I have been blogging since 2008, for me personally the consistent trend over the course of the past 7 years is that traffic slows down in the summer months. Readers go on vacation, spend less time online, and are spending time with their children while they are out of school. It’s a good time to slow things down on your blog, too. Be aware of your blog’s trends, and ride the natural ebb and flow of your traffic.
2. Sleep when the baby sleeps – This is something countless people told me when I had three kids in diapers. It’s horrible advice because in my case there was always someone awake… I digress. This goes along with number 1, what I’m trying to say is that bloggers need a vacation, a break, a life outside of social media just like our readers do. It’s okay to take a break when traffic is slow. Sleep when the baby sleeps, unless you have someone awake at all times in your house… get it? And, I’m happy and sorry for you all in the same boat if that is the case.
3. Throw Caution to the Wind – Having too much “to do” stifles your creativity. When you fill every waking moment with something “to do” there is no room for creative ideas to come into your mind. Take a vacation. If you can’t afford that, give yourself permission to take a week or two off completely. No phone, no computer, no internet. You will be amazed at how refreshed and happy it makes you, and you will come back stronger with fresh new ideas.
4. Put Your Family First – Bloggers with school aged children, spend your summer months with them. Get on the ground and play with them, plan an outing or two, run barefoot in the grass, be a kid and make some memories for your children other than you facing your computer. They are young and want to be with you for only a very small window of time. Before you know it, they will want to be with their friends over you. Cherish the few months of summer vacation. If you are an empty nester or single, spend time face to face with friends and family.
5. Don’t Worry – If you have created good searchable content in the past, then you have nothing to worry about (even if you’re a beginner– you don’t need to worry). People will come to your site whether you blog or not. Sure, it might slow down a tad, but not much, especially if you only take a week or two off. Everything will be fine when you return. Go have some disconnected fun.
6. Schedule Posts and Guest Blogs – Now is the time of year to stock pile some posts and guest blogs and schedule them. That’s what Co-Schedule is for. Don’t worry about sharing (it’s scheduled) commenting, thanking, or anything else that comes along with publishing an article. Just publish and forget it.
7. Lose the Stress – It’s road blocking you. It’s holding you down and it may even be killing you. Identify the stresses in your life and get rid of them. Change, evolve, replace stress with meditation, yoga, hiking, or running.
8. Clean House – Literally, take the time to throw out old stuff in your house, in your mind, and on your blog that is unnecessary and no longer of use to you. When you do this, you feel free, light, and open to new opportunities.Why You Should Scale Back On Blogging This Summer #fitfluential #sweatpink #bloggers Click To Tweet
I realize that these tips may not work for everyone, and that only a few of you who read Runwiki are bloggers yourselves. I really wrote this for myself.
This summer, I plan on blogging, but a lot less. I am giving myself permission to not read, comment, share, etc. for the majority of the summer. I stay devoted to those who are devoted to me, and that’s it.
I also give you permission to not comment, share, thank and tweet my stuff. I get it, you’re taking a break, and you know what? Nothing could make me happier!
Throws papers up in the air, jumps up with a gleeful smile on her face and yells “Let’s get out of here for summer vacation.”