The Dark Side Of Blogging — On Blogging Doubts, Insecurities & Frustrations {Discussion}

The Dark Side of Blogging

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Hi everybody!

I’ve been a book blogger for almost two years now. (Blogoversary’s coming up in January woop!) And it’s been a blast. I couldn’t imagine my life without blogging anymore. I’ve learned so many new things, both regarding to the act of blogging itself, as to just in general. I love talking about things I love. I love the bookish community. Every comment makes my day. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

But. Despite all the positives, there is also a dark side to blogging. There are days when it’s a little hard to think about all the positives and it’s just so tempting to focus on those few negatives. And I’m sure I’m not the only one. So why not talk about it with the people who would best understand, fellow bloggers? Let’s get into some of the most common book blogging issues!

bloggingishard

the Reading

Well, for a book blogger, it all starts with the books, right? And with regular posts going up, that means quite an amount of books to be read.

But what when life gets in the way and you don’t have time to read as much anymore? What about when you get into a reading slump (holla)? What if you’re just not that fast of a reader? I mean, there are book bloggers out there reading more than 100-200 books a year. In my reading prime, I can read about 8 books a month. Max. At the moment I’m happy if I read two. So yes, I’ve had moments where I wondered if I can still call myself a book blogger.

Forget about numbers for a minute, I’m also so behind on all the newest releases. I mean, these books keep on releasing so HOW ARE WE SUPPOSED TO KEEP UP?

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Well, we’re not supposed to. Don’t compare yourself to others. It’s okay to read a lot and it’s okay not to read as much. Everybody reads at their own pace. And slumps happen. Life happens. It’s OKAY. The most important thing is that you’re reading what you like, when you like, and that you love blogging about it. That passion is what makes a book blogger, not your Goodreads Reading Challenge.

the Content

You know what? Blogging is hella hard to do! It’s not just reading and typing out a review. There is so much more that goes into it that non-bloggers just don’t get. There is so much creativity involved as well, and guess what? I’m not someone with a whole lot of creativity on a daily basis. There are days where I have no clue what I want to write about. Or how I can actually create a visual I have in my head and make it come alive on my blog. So this is where a lot of blogger envy and demotivation comes into play.

There are A LOT of book bloggers out there. And they’re all so wonderful and inspiring and have so many great ideas and posts that look amazing and discussions that are so well written and thought out. So yes, sometimes the little green fellow called jealousy pays me a visit. Fellow bloggers seem to come up with so many fun and creative topics. How do they do it? Why can’t I?

typeeverywordIknow

But the important thing is not to focus on what other bloggers do better than you. There will ALWAYS be someone who’s better at something than you. Instead of letting it get to you, instead of letting it demotivate you and make you feel insecure, let it inspire you. Let it make you think about what you can still do to improve your blog. Maybe seeing that one amazing blog post will inspire you to make your own awesome blog post. Maybe seeing that amazing lay-out will inspire you to learn how to do create awesome graphics yourself. It shouldn’t be about putting yourself down, but about inspiring yourself.

Oh, and that awesome blog post or amazing lay-out you saw? Don’t hesitate to let the blogger in question know how much in awe of them you are. Chances are they are just as insecure as you, so it always helps to spread the love!

The stats

Like I mentioned before, blogging is hard. And it takes up time. A LOT OF TIME. Most of us bloggers only do this as a hobby, not a full-time job. So yes, it can be tough to come home after a long day and start blogging, when really you just also want to crash face-first into your sofa and binge Netflix. But it’s something we love, so we do it anyway. But even so, a little appreciation is SO WELCOME. And mostly, when we think of blogger appreciation, we think stats.

Even if we try not to, those stats are so tempting to look at. And they can be so, so, so disheartening. What if you just spend hours and hours on a post you’re really passionate about, but it hardly got any views? What if you finally took that hiatus you desperately needed only to come back after a week and see your daily views have dropped like crazy and it takes months of work to build them back up? What if you’re already a blogger for so many years, trying to get your follower count up to that beloved 100, when  you suddenly see a new blogger celebrating their 500-follower milestone? Well, let me be honest here, it sucks. These are things that happen to me all the time and it can really make me question whether or not I still want to be a blogger. Why spend all that time and effort when it doesn’t feel all that appreciated?

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Well, as addicting as those stats can be, the most important thing to consider is whether or not YOU still like blogging. Does it still make you happy? Do you still get excited to come home at the end of the day to finally write that post that’s been brewing in your mind all day? Do you still feel that little thrill when you click the publish button? Do you still love sharing your love of books? If the answer is yes, then that’s all that matters. No matter the stats, blogging is something you should do for yourself. So don’t just depend on the appreciation of others and start appreciating your own awesome blogger self!

Comments and bloghopping

Ah, comments. The heart and soul of blogging. Or at least, that’s what it feels like to me. Sure, blogging should be done for yourself first of all, but nothing can make my day more than a nice comment. It’s a little sign of appreciation by a fellow blogger and it is the best. So for me at least, a crucial part of the blogging process is the commenting. Replying to comments on your own blog and leaving a comment back on their blog – it’s standard blogging protocol. You can blog just for yourself and don’t need those comments or community and that all okay, but for me, it’s one of the reasons, if not THE reason I love blogging so much. The community and sharing the love.

But it also takes up a lot of time. It may even take up MORE time than actually writing, editing and lay-outing your posts. And that’s just replying to comments. Actively going out there, bloghopping and commenting takes even more time. And since we already covered the fact that most of us bloggers don’t do this as a full-time job, it means a lot of our free time spent commenting. And sometimes, life gets in the way. Things get busy and for me personally, I always feel like my commenting game is the first to suffer. And it makes me feel THE ABSOLUTE WORST. Nothing gets my blogging guilt going as much as a lack of commenting on my part. And that blogging guilt often leads to the question of whether I should still be blogging if I can’t find the time to at least reply to a comment…

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So what to do when this thought process hits you? Well, what works for me is reminding myself that fellow bloggers UNDERSTAND. They all have busy lives too. They’re probably beating themselves up for not commenting enough either. They will not be angry at you for taking a week to reply to a comment or for not having commented on their last post. They’ll get it. So take the time you need and do your commenting and bloghopping when you can.

Blogging vs Real life

How to deal with blogging vs real life? Well, this can go different ways, depending on if you have informed people in your real life about your blog or not. (See this post where I talk about reasons to tell people about your blog or not). It can be that you have chosen to keep your blog to yourself and not tell anyone else about it. Which is something that could potentially lead to conflicts, because how do you explain to the people close to you what you are spending all that time on?

Or you could have told people about your blog, which could potentially lead to other conflicts. Because what if they don’t understand? Or care? Or appreciate it? I mean, blogging takes up a lot of time, and we all want to feel appreciated for it. Both by fellow bloggers, or real-life friends and family if you told them. And honestly, that’s not always the case. I myself have told friends and family about this blog, and guess what? They don’t really care. I’ve written some quite personal posts on here that they’ve never taken the time to read.

you really never read my blog do you

But then again, that’s all A-OKAY as well. Because as much as we love them, non-bloggers will never really understand. How much time and effort we put into this. How much of our heart and soul goes into blogging. So as I said before, all that matters is whether or not YOU still love blogging.

We all have our doubts and insecurities. This blogging thing, it can be tough. But I think the most important thing to remember is: we all have those moments of doubt and insecurity concerning blogging. There definitely is a dark side to it. But there is also so much light. And as long as you still love blogging, love this community and focus on the fun parts instead of the bad, than it’s really all worth it. 

How about you? Do you share some of these doubts and frustrations sometimes? How do you deal with them?

35 thoughts on “The Dark Side Of Blogging — On Blogging Doubts, Insecurities & Frustrations {Discussion}

  1. Holly @ Nut Free Nerd says:

    I can relate with so many aspects of this post! I’m currently studying abroad for a year so I have little time to read for fun, never mind bloghop, comment on posts, and reply to comments on my own blog. It’s frustrating because I feel like I’m distanced from the bookish community a bit. Thanks for voicing these frustrations! 🙂

    • Lindsey Habets says:

      That’s so cool that you’re studying abroad! I can understand how that would take tme away from bloggish things, but it’s such a fun experience and blogging things will always be here for you when you have more time again 🙂 Glad to hear you could relate though, always happy to feel like I’m not the only one with these frustrations 😉

  2. Amber @ The Literary Phoenix says:

    I have no idea what ninja voodoo magic some of these new book bloggers have. I was hopping through yesterday and landed on a six month old blog with 5k followers?! But you’re right: we need to be proud of ourselves and the hard work we do! ❤️

    • Lindsey Habets says:

      Yeah exactly, it always baffles me how they do it! It must indeed be some ninja voodo magic or something, haha 🙂 But yeah, even with less followers we still can be proud of our own achievements!

  3. Angela says:

    Lindsey, this whole discussion is basically me on a daily basis, you’ve said so well everything I feel so often! I was nervous to even start a blog because I didn’t think it would ever be good enough and no one would care. At the same time, I’m SO glad I did it because I love the community I’ve found myself in. Yes, I get a little jealous sometimes when I look at other people’s beautiful blogs or see how many comments they’re getting on a discussion post, but I just have to remind myself that as long as I know I’m having fun and doing the things I want to do, that’s enough. We put too much pressure on ourselves sometimes.

    • Lindsey Habets says:

      Glad to hear you could relate! It’s definitely always nice to hear we’re not alone in feeling these doubts and insecurities sometimes. But you’re so right, we definitely put too much pressure on ourselves. As long as we’re having fun, that’s the most important thing 🙂

  4. Di @ Book Reviews by Di says:

    AWESOME TOPIC!

    I try to review a book a week… But that’s still 52 books to read in a year – minimum! But!!! If all else fails there are always the weekly memes and new ways to rave about books you loved in the past! I’ve got a ‘5 reasons to read Red Winter’ post lined up for when I need more content.

    Plus there’s blitzes and stuff you can do – I want to feature book 2 of Spell Weaver just to start my own little version of hype and buzz! Hopefully I’ll also get an ARC of that one… But who knows! (Is it just me or is Annette Marie featuring HARD on my blog lately!).

    And you’re so right that PASSION is what counts. Our love of books!

    Creativity. Yup. Loads of that! And there’s days when I’m just not inspired at all! But we have to sit back sometimes and just… CHILL. Maybe read and hope for more inspiration after that. 🙂

    I’m finally in a bit more of a happy place with my blogging – it’s not about the numbers/stats but more the interaction with other people because that’s what got me into this thing in the first place! I get a few ARCs that I want here and there, I have a HUGE TBR pile that I’d actually like to be able to read too, so if I don’t get ARCs that’s also fine! As I said, the quality interaction is where it’s at for me – the discussions, the debates and the fangirling! It’s a hobby after all.

    It can be tough getting back to all the commenters and keeping up with all these other AMAZING blogs out there – but lets face it, it’s where we discover new books, new things, excellent discussions! The thing I’ve found though, is that the blogosphere is always there. If I have to be offline for a while, it’s okay! Because I can always catch up. I might feel like I’m clawing my way up a mountain and I’m filled with guilt also, but hey – at least I am still participating and enjoying and adding good things to our community.

    I’ve also found that setting aside even 20 minutes of my time a day to either comment or blog hop REALLY makes a difference. Just that little bit of time devoted makes up a big bunch of time at the end of the week!

    And you’re so right about real life and non bloggers! I have a couple of real life friends that know about my blog and one who regularly visits and chats on there… But noone really cares! And as you said, that’s Okay. It’s a different part of my life and let’s face it, not everyone wants to listen to me rave about books all the time!

    Wow… Long comment. Sorry! Hope you got through it all! 😉
    Di @ Book Reviews by Di recently posted…Review: Chase the Dark – Annette MarieMy Profile

    • Lindsey Habets says:

      Thanks so much Di!
      Yes, a review a week sounds pretty reasonable, but then some weeks I get to read two books and other weeks I read none so it depends. And 52 is still a lot. But yeah, there are indeed other ways to get more content. I’m already looking forward to your ‘5 reasons to read Red Winter’ post 😉
      Haha, I love it that you’re featuring Annette Marie so much! Her books deserve more buzz for sure!
      I definitely agree that the quality interaction with the community is so much more important than the stats! It’s definitely more satisfying to have the good conversations than to just have the high numbers. You’re so right, it’s a hobby first of all and enjoying it is what matters most!
      I’m really struggling with the bloghopping and commenting things right now, but I think I have to spread it a bit more like you say – 20 minutes every day would defintiely make for less frantic catching up after weeks and less guilt 🙂 But yes, the guilt shouldn’t be there because the blogosphere will still be there for us.
      Yeah, it’s definitely true that not everybody IRL wants to listen to us rave about books all the time. Luckily we can still rave to eachother then 😉

  5. Rebeccah says:

    First off, Happy-Almost-Two-Year-Blogoversary! How exciting!!!

    Second of all, YES to this ENTIRE POST. Sometimes it feels like other bloggers are these perfect, unobtainable gods and goddesses that are unbelievably intimidating and you’re just sitting around going omg, what am I doing? But this post…this is nice. It’s a good reminder that we’re all just human, trying our best and I’m most definitely not alone is struggling to figure this whole blogging thing out. For what it’s worth, I always enjoy reading your updates 🙂

  6. Gabby says:

    Just speaking for myself, I like your blog! But, having been at it about the same amount of time as you, what I’ve found means more and more to me is whether I as the writer am enjoying my blog. The pressure to come up with constant, beautiful content is there and strong, and it’s hard to not feel the bite of the green-eyed monster when you see other bloggers get sent packages of shiny ARCs. When I think about the bloggers with the awesome content and super busy comment sections and the swag trains, though, I think about how much time they must put into it. Could I make that much time? Probably? Would I want to give up what I’d have to give up to make that much time? No. So I’ll be over here, with my old books and my slow, predictable content that doesn’t get much ~*engagement*~ but that I actually enjoy producing.
    Gabby recently posted…Book 100: The Confessions of Saint AugustineMy Profile

    • Lindsey Habets says:

      Thanks! And yes, you’re absolutely right! It’s hard not to feel a little envious sometimes, but it’s more important to enjoy what you’re doing rather than sacrifice all your time for something that you wouldn’t enjoy that much anymore 🙂 Definitely a great poinht!

  7. Suzanne @ The Bookish Libra says:

    This is such relatable post and definitely one of those where I’m so glad I’m not the only one who feels this way sometimes. I’m constantly in envy of those bloggers who seem to effortlessly come up with creative and fun discussion posts that are relevant to the community. I’m that 3rd gif in a nutshell “I’m going to type every word I know!” LOL.

    • Lindsey Habets says:

      So glad to hear you could relate! It’s always nice to hear we’re not the only feeling these doubts sometimes. And haha, yes that gif was way too relatable for me not to use it 😉

  8. Nina says:

    Very relatable. I think why I stopped blogging years ago was because I didn’t had any time to read books or review them. But, I did always missed it. A place on the internet to talk to other booklovers about a certain book or just about reading in general. One of the reasons why I started blogging again.
    Watching the stats can make a blogger very insecure. I try my best to not go and check it, because blogging should be all about having fun and not about how many views you got. It’s more fun to talk to other bookbloggers and read their reviews for books you find interesting. 🙂 I love this post and I totally agree! It’s so worth it.
    Nina recently posted…The Hidden Legacy by Christine ReesMy Profile

    • Lindsey Habets says:

      Thanks so much! You’re so right, our blogs should first of all be a way to have a fun and talk to other booklovers about books and share the love like that 🙂 The stats can be so tempting but they’re not what matters most and we have to try and keep that in mind. Happy to hear you decided to blog again after having stopped for a while though!

  9. Darque Dreamer says:

    Great post! It is a struggle to keep up with everything and not feel insecure sometimes. I have such a hard time keeping up with blog subscriptions now. I have my emails set up so I can open those and like and comment on other blogs, but if I skip a day of checking emails I get SO BEHIND!!

    • Lindsey Habets says:

      Thanks! I definitely relate to your story, I always feel like I’m so behind on blogging and commenting, like I can never really catch up. It’s for sure good to hear we’re not alone in feeling these doubts and insecurities sometimes 🙂

  10. Melissa (Books and Things) says:

    Oh yea, don’t compare yourself to others but it is hard to do. That is brilliant advice though. I always do try to comment but sometimes I do fail but then we are all human.

    I really loved your last point. No one in my family or IRL reads my blog. No one. LOL Just means I can tell their tales and they can’t say anything about it. Now if they would only do something to tell! LOL
    Melissa (Books and Things) recently posted…Arts and Crafts: Memorial Pillow and New Sling Bag!My Profile

  11. Nuria says:

    Yes woman! This is me through and through. I’ve started blogging some 6 years back, but never took it seriously. Until a few months back. And there are days where I find it really hard. Especially on days when I’m haunted by the non-existing numbers in my stats. But then someone leaves me a comment again and I feel like hugging them and snotting all over their t-shirts. Because man! These comments mean a lot!
    Nuria recently posted…Finally Fall Book TagMy Profile

    • Lindsey Habets says:

      AH yes I totally relate to that! There are days when I think about just quitting this blogging thing, but then someone leaves a thoughtful comment and I think I could never give this up 🙂 Comments definitely mean so much!

  12. Mikky @ Nocturnal Predators Reviews says:

    I can relate to so much from this post! I’ve been in slumps where blogging was becoming a chore and it’s a horrible feeling. Blogging is supposed to be a fun and exciting hobby, the moment it starts giving you unnecessary anxiety, it’ll be time to reconsider if it’s worth it to you or not 🙂

  13. Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight says:

    These are so, so relatable! I feel them all SO much. I lack creativity so very often. Some of my friends say they have all these great post ideas but no motivation to write them, but I am always the opposite. I want to write something but… what? And the commenting thing, my goodness I feel you! I want to comment a lot, but it is SO hard! Like- for awhile, I was literally giving up sleep to return comments and such. And it was so out of hand. So now I just have to realize that sometimes, it just isn’t going to happen, and that I have to be okay with that. And definitely the stats are a biggie- they’re like, the only number we have to assess progress with, so it makes sense that we care! I used to not deal with these very well at all, honestly, but then I just kind of started caring a bit less? And it was the only way I was able to be even a little bit calm. But it took me a LONG time to get there- like, 3.5 years at least!
    Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight recently posted…November New Release Giveaway Hop!My Profile

    • Lindsey Habets says:

      Ah I’m so happy you could relate! It’s always nice to hear we’re not the only ones feeling insecure or frustrated sometimes 🙂 Creativity’s definitely tough, but if it helps I always think your blog is SUPER original and creative! Commenting and stats can be so hard, but you’re right, we should really learn to care a bit less. It’s not the end of the world and as long as we enjoy it that’s all that matters. And fellow bloggers understand if we can’t always comment, that always helps me 🙂

  14. Katisha @ Reel Literature says:

    This post has come to me at just the right time! A week or two after I celebrated my first year of blogging, I hit a wall. I didn’t feel like working on content, and I didn’t think I could go on with blogging. I’m always glad to read that I’m not alone in my blogging frustrations and disappointments. Luckily, I feel my mojo is returning! I just finished a new post yesterday. 🙂

  15. Sam@WLABB says:

    I so relate to this post, except for the reading. I have a long commute and read like a beast. My Goodreads challenge is the only part of my life I am excelling at. But seriously, the one I struggle with the most — discussion posts. I feel like all topics have been done, and trying to find my twist is hard. I like to keep books in the picture, though I started an Off the Topic feature to help me out.
    Sam@WLABB recently posted…In a Nutshell ReviewsMy Profile

    • Lindsey Habets says:

      Oh yes, being able to read a lot is definitely the one huge plus of having a long commute! 🙂 I totally feel you on the discussion posts – it feels like everything has been done already so I always struggle with that too.

  16. Marie @ Drizzle & Hurricane Books says:

    This is such a relatable post, Lindsey. Even when I’m taking small breaks, like… I’m just not looking at blogs for a couple days, guilt come in and it’s so hard. I want to share the love, I want to feel part of the community and whenever I am missing out just a little bit, I feel so…well, not into the whole bookish community anymore and it’s CRAZY -also, very stupid, but tell that to my crazy mind hahaha.
    Thank you so much for sharing these frustrations. Know that you are NOT alone in this, at all, and I’m always here if you need to rant ahah <3 <3
    Marie @ Drizzle & Hurricane Books recently posted…Review: Otherworld, Jason Segel & Kirsten MillerMy Profile

    • Lindsey Habets says:

      Thanks Marie! Yeah I totally relate, the guilt can be crazy sometimes! Like, sometimes I even feel guilty for going to work or going out with friends or family because I can’t blog as much, which is CRAZY cause we’ve still got to live our life 🙂 So yeah, I totally understand how our minds can be a little crazy sometimes.
      Yes it’s definitely always nice to know we are not alone and at least we can always rant to eachother and we understand eachothers craziness haha 🙂

  17. Michelle @ Pink Polka Dot Books says:

    I totally relate to all of this 🙂 I’ve been blogging almost 6 years and ugh. Sometimes it feels like I’m fighting with myself to come up with something I haven’t already talked about. My new thing is that I’ve been trying to have certain posts that I do during certain times of the year– and that way every season, I have at least a few go-to posts to create.

    As for the followers and stats thing– It took me a looooong time to not get all caught up in that stuff. The last year, I’ve finally decided that I don’t care and I’ve really meant it. I just do what I do, and if people want to read it, they can.

    Great post!! Thanks for sharing– I know a lot of newbie bloggers are going to feel really good that someone who has been blogging a few years feels this way too 🙂
    Michelle @ Pink Polka Dot Books recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday– Class PresidentsMy Profile

    • Lindsey Habets says:

      Wow, already 6 years, that’s amazing, congrats! It is nice to hear that even experienced bloggers such as you have these doubts sometimes too. It’ll definitely help a lot of newbie bloggers, at least I hope so.
      That’s such a great idea about the seasonal posts, I should think about that a bit as well 🙂

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