Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post here on Rainy Day Ramblings where I discuss a wide range of topics from books to blogging. Weigh in and join the conversation by adding your thoughts in the comments. If you want to do your own post, grab the question and answer it on your blog.
This week's conversation starter:
How do you keep blogging fresh and exciting?
I am now into my sixth year of blogging. I still love to blog, even though it is a huge time commitment and undertaking. I have a busy life, and there are days when it is hard to keep up with the blog, as I am sure you can all relate. Not to mention, there are times when you go through periods of burn out, or life gets so crazy that blogging feels like a chore, and this often leads to bloggers going inactive or giving up their blogs.
I don't know about you all, but I hate it when we lose another voice in the blogging community. I can think of many wonderful bloggers that have vanished from the blogosphere. So the question is, how do we keep blogging fun so we will continue the adventure?
First if you are feeling burned out, it is time to take a step back and reevaluate. Ask yourself, are you struggling because of the books you are reading? Is it the time commitment? Or is it hard for you to keep up with the content?
If you are finding that the problem stems from the books you are reading, shake things up. Try a new genre or set aside the ARCs and pick something off your shelf. Sometimes when I am slogging through several mediocre reads, I reach for a book that is highly recommended, and that usually helps me break out of the slump. It is much easier to stay enthusiastic about blogging when you are reading and reviewing books you love.
That brings me to my second issue, if you are reading a bunch of books you aren't loving, then you need to figure out why you are stuck with so many books that aren't appealing to you. Is it because you are requesting/accepting too many ARCs and not finding enough time to read what you want? I know that is what happens to me, so if that is the case, cut back on your ARCS and requests and start setting aside time in your schedule for books you want to read. How many of you have a whole stack of books you have purchased but never gotten around to reading? Time to change that. Once you are reading what you love, you will find it is much easier to write reviews and blog about the books you are reading. Reaching for the books that are fresh and exciting will make you a happier reader and blogger.
Moving on, if you are having a hard to time because of the time commitment, then pay attention to where your time is going. I think one of the biggest time sucks is social media. It is enough to have to keep up with a blog, but then to have to wade through all the social media can take hours. I alleviated a huge amount of time by cutting out the social media. I don't do Instagram, I am rarely on Twitter, I do check in on Facebook and keep up with a few blogs and such, but I limit my time there.
I also set a specific amount of time aside each day where I quickly comment on blogs and prep posts. I limit that time to no more than two hours a day, and I try to keep it under that even further if at all possible. Once I have reached my time limit for the day, I set aside any emails and such that come in after my allotted time until the next day. You are not a slave to your blog, and emails can wait to be answered as well as comments. If you just don't have time to comment, don't sweat it Do what you can and catch up later. Your time is too valuable to be wasting.
Are you stressing yourself out over content? If you are finding you are struggling with coming up with posts, then I strongly suggest a schedule.
If you can only do one or two reviews a week, consider some memes and such that you can fill your blog with in advance, or better yet, come up with your own discussion posts or features that you can do on your time. For me, doing Tell Me Something Tuesday and Friday Forecasts is a way for me to prep posts months in advance. I can work on Friday Forecast six weeks in advance, and TMST I can prep way ahead.
If you can't post every day, don't worry about it, just make sure you are actively posting a few times a week.
If you are doing numerous posts every day, consider cutting back. If you are looking closely at your posts, you will likely notice that people usually only read the first post on the blog, and the rest of the posts are often ignored. So why put together posts that aren't being read? I post once a day.
If you are still struggling, consider skipping weekends. I cut out Saturday posts a couple of years ago because Saturday is the day with the least blog traffic. You owe yourself a day off.
Finally, shake things up and try different review styles or posts on your blog. I love seeing all types of different posts on book blogs from recipes to fashion tips to personal posts. Do something fun and different and see if that helps. Don't feel like you have to do the same old same old. We all love a little variety.
Also consider taking a small break. Just make sure to post that you are going on break so readers won't be wondering what happened.
Most important of all, have fun. If you aren't having fun and doing something you love, you won't last.
Hopefully this helps. I would love to hear your suggestions on how you keep blogging fresh and exciting.
Next week's TMST:
Deserted Island books: What five books would you want to have if you were stranded?