Ever get a blogging blah day, where you really just can’t be bothered and nothing feels exciting? Me too. In fact, I’ve had quite a lot of those days this year where my mojo has felt well and truly lost. But, just when I think I don’t have another post in me, something comes along that feels buzzy and exciting again, and I’m right back on it.
But, I’ve been thinking a lot about why Bloggy Blah days happen and how to stop them happening in the future and thought I’d pass on conclusions just in case they’re of interest or help.
Can’t see the wood for the trees:
Sometimes there is just TOO much to take in. Personally, I struggle with complicated skin care – I’m not a scientist and I don’t have a special interest in science, so for me some brands are a nightmare. What I like to do is translate my press-releases so that people like me can understand what the heck it is all about; but I feel under pressure to understand it fully myself first. I’ve put my hands up now and realised that I’m never going to truly understand some science stuff, and maybe it doesn’t even really matter. It’s not a life saving invention; it’s a beauty cream and it will either work or it won’t regardless of whether I spend a few hours or a few minutes trying to get my head round it.
Occasionally, I feel overwhelmed with product. I have so much that is asking for attention that the mountain seems too high to climb. I’ve started to prioritise differently; I write about make-up and nails first and foremost, with all other aspects of beauty coming behind that. So, just making that decision means my priority pile is halved. From there, I look at something that if I was in a shop, I’d like to try. Pile halved again. And just making this reduction makes it easier to pick out things to review. I rarely, if ever, review every single piece from a collection; I’m happy to show the collections but it’s almost an entire day’s work to photograph, test and write reviews on every single item, so I pick one or two that I really love and try to review those. Or sometimes, I don’t review any of them.
The guilt, the guilt:
I know I’m going to feel guilty if I don’t review or show products that raise money for charity. I know I’m going to feel guilty if I don’t review products from small new brands trying to find a place in the beauty world. I am not going to feel guilty if a huge brand’s product doesn’t ever find a place on my blog. The bigger brands have a whole PR machine that includes a ‘social media’ aspect but just because they have that box to tick doesn’t mean it’s on my tick list too. I’ve totally dropped any guilty feelings in that respect. Most of them have a massive budget and if it’s SO important, they can put an ad on instead. I find when it comes to a hard buck, suddenly it isn’t that vital to be on my blog anymore.
Some days, I’m just so exhausted, flicking the remote control seems like an ask too far! But, because I’m committed to blogging every day, I will put something – anything – up to stay within that self-imposed rule. No matter what anyone says, if you blog every day you are serving your readers better, especially if you have an email subscriber list. If you’ve really got nothing to say, upload a picture of something pretty or interesting with just one line. Maintaining a daily contact is really important and readers do understand that some days, it’s not going to be a tome.
He says, She says:
I’ve long since given up minding what other bloggers think about my blog. It used to really, really matter to me. Making a break from feeling under scrutiny has totally changed the way that I blog and given me a bigger and better sense of what I want to achieve, without feeling that my ambitions are coming under peer review. I just don’t care anymore. The bloggers I now admire the most are the ones who have come under heavy fire from other bloggers and carried on regardless. The happy side effect of letting go of those feelings is that I am much less judgemental myself. Everybody just do their thing.
Nothing to write about:
While I’m swamped with product, I’m fully aware that new bloggers really struggle to find things to review. But, blogging never started out with PRs sending samples – it was a long, hard climb to be recognised as a legitimate form of beauty media and that meant buying what you loved and writing about it. PR samples weren’t a given then, any more than they should be now. There is no rule about what you review – it’s your blog and you can do as you please. So, borrow a squirt of your mum’s fragrance, your cousin’s lipgloss for a swatch, your friend’s shampoo or your boyfriend’s shave gel and review from that. You can still have an opinion whether you have a bottleful or a thimbleful. Check out the department store beauty halls for sampling, accept that spray of perfume and download an image from the internet to illustrate your review, and look out for magazine samples, too. Not being sent PR samples doesn’t mean you can’t legitimately be a beauty blogger with opinions and views. And, just as a heads-up, PR samples are going to get harder and harder to find, so now is the time to start being canny and making great reviews from the minimum of product. And don’t forget, everyone loves a bargain, so if you see a great offer – 3 for 2 for example, or products at half price – let everyone know. There is definitely a gap in the beauty blogging market for bargain beauty.
I can’t, I can’t:
If it’s really come to that, take a break and don’t feel guilty about it, but always, always leave a message for your readers saying you’re having a little rest from blogging. They’ll understand. And when you’re back, make some changes in how you blog and what you blog about so you don’t come to that point again. You can go away once, but any more than that and readers will move on.
Blog = Weblog = On Line Diary:
That’s how blogs started; they were a way to record and share thoughts and feelings for others to read and relate to. Subject matter is entirely irrelevant but the root of blogging was diarising. And, nobody’s diary feels like a second job, I am sure, whereas blogging sometimes can. If it feels like that and you’re loving it, carry on. If it feels like that and you’re hating it, maybe now isn’t the time for you.
My blog is not my life:
My blog is a huge part of my life, but it isn’t all I live and breathe for. Over investing emotionally in your blog means every stats drop hurts, every negative comment matters enormously, every good comment sends your heart soaring and every time nobody comments or reads is like a stab to the soul that can leave you feeling like nobody cares; you lose a follower and spend hours wondering why; or worse, you email or tweet them asking why they unfollowed. If any of this resonates, you’re over-invested. Caring what people think, wanting opinion and courting attention is all absolutely fine and essential to blogging, but it’s how much you mind that can tip the balance between a happy blogger or a sad one.
*NB: I have written a further feature on feeling the strain of peer pressure so if you would like to read it, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send it out to you.
*all products are sent to me as samples from brands and agencies unless otherwise stated. Affiliate links may be used. Posts are not affiliate driven.