For the past few months, blogging hasn’t been making me happy.
Here’s what was making me unhappy in a nutshell:
- It was very time consuming. I wanted so badly to write awesome reviews, write discussion posts, comment on blogs, and cross-post to social media but I found the amount of time I needed to do all that was about 10 hours a week, which I didn’t have anymore with a busy family life.
- The interaction has gone down on blogs so much that I felt like I was blogging alone.
But happy news! I figured out how to get the joy I used to get out of blogging and fix these two problems. These are the things that blogging did to make me happy:
- I loved discussing books
- I loved the structure
- I loved the intellectual challenge
- I loved the accomplishment
In fact, this list above is what I used to get out of school and I started this blog soon after I finished college to fill those gaps in my life. I love being a stay-at-home mom. I love, love, love it. But being a stay-at-home does not really lend itself to structure (kids are barely contained chaos) or mental stimulation (watching Mickey Mouse on repeat) or the feeling that you accomplished a lot (almost every thing I do as a mom must be done again the next day). My blog helped combat these challenges of being a stay-at-home mom for me.
So, how can I get those things I love about blogging in less time? I can commit probably 3 or 4 hours a week at the most to blogging. I decided to experiment.
I quit blogging all together in April with the intention of not coming back. I replaced it with Instagram and immediately the joy I had lost came back. The book community on Instagram (#bookstagram) is very active and friendly. They will leave comments and have conversations. It’s so easy to find people to talk to with hashtags. As a mom, I can almost never find 2 consecutive hours of free time that I would need to finish a blog post, but I can get on Instagram in the short 5 minute breaks I do have during the day. In fact, posting on Instagram was everything I used to get out of blogging. I could discuss books with people again! There was structure and accomplishment to it and I had to learn more about photography to get the pictures to look the way I wanted.
In all honesty, Instagram has replaced blogging for me.
So why am I here, writing this post?
I had worked on this blog for so long that I couldn’t quite abandon it completely. After taking a break in April, I realized that I still wanted to keep my blog. But if I was going to keep it, something had to change. I still wanted to blog, but it needed to be a lot less time consuming. Part of the problem is that blogs were designed for a desktop world and we live in a mobile world now.
I think the reason that interactions have gone down so much on blogs is because it’s hard to leave a comment on a blog from your phone. I’ve tried leaving comments several times on other blogs and 9 times out of 10 I can’t get it to work. In this mobile world, blogs have adapted to be more mobile friendly but that’s different from being designed to be mobile like social media is. To keep my blog, I decided to post things that do well on my blog. Here’s what does well on my blog:
- Book Reviews
- Reading Lists
- Book Club recaps
This list is based on my google analytics. Book reviews do really well on google searches. The reading lists and book club posts do really well on Pinterest. I will spend a lot less time blogging now because I will only be writing about 1 post a week in those three categories. All my other posts (that don’t do well on my blog anyway) will move to Instagram–especially memes. Memes are soooooo much easier on social media. You just type in a hashtag. Memes with blogs take forever. Copying links to the host, clicking on blogs, logging in to each blog individually and leaving a comment. I’m exhausted just thinking about it. Not to mention that you need a laptop to do it. I only get on my laptop once a week to pay my bills.
So my blog is changing. Most of what I used to post on here is moving to Instagram. But my blog isn’t going anywhere for now and I will still be posting on my blog. I will post on my blog about once a week but I will be posting on Instagram more like every day. I would love if you followed me on Instagram! Let me know in the comments if you do!
I’m so happy to have found joy again in blogging. Blogging has changed a lot even in the last 2 years. If you find yourself unhappy with blogging, I hope my story helps you find a way to get joy out of it again.