Thoughts about blogging after 18 months.

I’ve been Blogging for 18 months now and it’s good to reflect on the blog every 6 months or so. In doing so, I hope to create a better reading experience for people but also it is a good way to focus on what I want out of blogging and Oldhouseintheshires.

The joy of blogging

I have to admit that I’m not enjoying blogging as much as I did. It could be a stage, who knows, but my life is so busy I just don’t know if I’m writing the quality posts that I would always like. With teenagers taking A’ Levels and GCSE’s, the house build going nowhere (building regs and planning is taking sodding ages!) and teaching, there is very little time for my first love, gardening, never mind blogging. Do I take a break or do I carry on as I am? No idea at this point! What do you think?

Self hosted 

I’m finally self hosted which I did in March and I’m really pleased I did. My stats have fallen in April and will probably do in May too but that’s ok. Paid work has taken a tumble but with so much going on in my life, I don’t know if I’d fit them all in anyway. Being self hosted gives you so much more control on what you do and although it’s been a steep learning curve, I enjoy the technical side of blogging which I didn’t think I would!

Thoughts about blogging. Oldhouseintheshires. #blogging
Have I lost my blogging mojo?

Direction

I expect the reason my views have fallen recently is because I have been blogging less about parenting and more about gardening and the home. It’s been a natural shift as my children are now aged 18 and 16 . Although I work with young children, my parenting has changed. In fact, my parenting life has really changed in the last 2 years! This weekend, my daughter was at work and my son was at his girlfriends so Hubbie and I went out for lunch, pottered in the garden and walked the dog. No child was in sight! This brings me to the question of, what direction to take the blog in? The parenting and educational posts bring me readers there is no doubt about it and many of my followers want to read these types of posts however, my garden and my home are becoming more relevant in my life. Do I scrap the parenting and educational posts all together and just blog about the Old House or do I carry on with my eclectic mix?

Social media

I have been using Socialoomph for the last few months. Sceduling my Tweets has made a marked difference in engagement so this month I have also scheduled my Pins on Pinterest. This has really worked for me in getting more people interested in my blog. It is costing about £15 every 4 weeks which I’m happy to pay at this point. I hope to build my Pinterest in the next few months so do pop over and take a look at my boards! Instagram still eludes me but I have over 870 followers now. I paid for a promotion this week just to see what would happen and got over 1200 likes on the photo. It drives me nuts that I have to pay for my photo to be seen though and I don’t think I’ll do that again! Last month I paid for a promotion on Facebook too and got stupid amounts of views but this just proves that it’s all driven by money; I don’t think I will do this again but it was a good test. I’m still loving the interaction I get on Twitter and consider some people on there ‘Twitter friends!”

Does blogging make me unhealthy?

This is something that I have thinking a lot about recently. I may spend most evenings blogging or on social media. This can take up 2-3 hours and means that other hobbies are taking a backseat. In the last 18 months, I have slowly put on half a stone in weight and definately am less toned than I was. Of course, this may be because I eat more 😳 but I am definately less active that I was before. My back is also much worse than it was 18 months ago and again, this could be due to my job or gardening but I’m sure sitting on the sofa using my IPad is not helping! This has led me to be much stricter with myself and I’ve decided that instead of 3-4 posts per week, I’m going to only post 1 or 2. I think this will be more manageable in general but will also give me more time for doing other things.

The blogging world

I love that blogging is such an inclusive and friendly community. Most bloggers are a lovely bunch of people from all over the world doing their blogging thing and supporting each other. In fact, I haven’t ‘met’ any other blogger that is not nice to be honest. Blogging is a strange game sometimes though; especially in link parties. Now I love joining link parties! I try to link up a post each day and support my fellow bloggers but the weird thing is that we are actually a small community of bloggers all commenting on each other’s posts. If you think about it, if we all stopped blogging, would anyone read my posts? Of course, I’m a hobby blogger with about 6500 views a month so maybe I have fewer readers than many other bloggers have but that random thought was something that struck me in the middle of the night!

Musings of the blog after 18 months. Oldhouseintheshires. #blogging
Perhaps I need a blogging holiday?

Final thoughts 

I’m happy that I started blogging and I have enjoyed the journey so far. I’ve worked hard to get my DA to 34 and am proud of Oldhouseintheshires. However, I’m feeling jaded and I think I need a break. This may be due to life stresses rather than the pressure from the blog. If I do decide to take a little break, please don’t forget me! I will be back I promise. Hopefully, there will be more to blog once the house renovations finally start. So, if I quietly disappear you know it’s not you, it’s me.

Thank you for reading.

 

Mission Mindfulness

Thoughts about blogging after 18 months. Oldhouseintheshires. #blogging

46 Comments

  • What I honestly think is that when something feels like a chore or the joy feels jaded or it becomes hard to fit in, it is time to take a step back and take stock. You have a hugely busy life and blogging can be a time-bandit, stealing precious time when you have precious little. If you step away and miss it chronically then there is your answer, if you step away and it feels like a weight has lifted then there is your answer. Take good care of you! xx

  • I feel you should follow your heart..but not without saying that parenting never stops..there is still things to give people who want to know about curfews and boyfriends and girlsfriends of your children and as they grow what expectations have changed..I feel you have plenty of help and advice to give parents and you can still share your gardening and home. Most importantly, if you need a break I totally feel you should be supported! Take care and I won’t forget you.

    • Ahh that’s so kind. I’m actually very touched -great advice. I think I may take a break for the whole of June to see if that helps. X

  • You are an incredibly active blogger Sophie and a busy woman. Almost everyday I see a new post bring published I honestly don’t know how you do it.
    So firstly, I think one post a week is plenty. That’s all I can manage. I know we are travelling and people would think I have a lot of time but honestly, I struggle with one post a week. So go with one post. Remember, quality over quantity!

    Secondly, nobody will ever forget you because they love the way you write. But. You must write about what excites YOU. Personally, I love your teenage posts because I have Sonny and Tess, but like you said, writing about your teenagers will soon dry up and you love your garden ( that’s apparent from your writing) so why not just concentrate on the garden posts? Yes, you may lose a few readers (and by the way, your stats are reallt impressive! I have 3000 a month and think I’m doing well! So go you!) but that’s ok because you will gradually gain more readers who share your passion.
    I loved doing the linky too, and when I stopped (simply because I was too busy with the trip) my numbers went down to less than half. But now they are back up there and I know that the people who are reading my posts are doing so because they want to and not because they are obliged to.
    I too have met some fabulous, loyal friends through blogging and don’t worry, we’ll all have your back. Sorry if this is a rambling, emotional comment, I know exactly how you feel, it can be a bit of a mobster can’t it?
    Go and take your break for June, you deserve it, and see how you feel after the summer xxx

    • That is what I needed to hear Liz -thank you for your sensible, kind words. I don’t know how I do it either frankly so I need to stop. Im going to take June off foe sure. xx I hope you are somewhere amazing as we speak. xx

  • I felt the same after a year. I decided to quit posting on Saturday and Sunday and follow my heart. I write about what I want to write about. If it’s five days worth of chicken posts then that’s what it will be. I focus on my life and what I know. I write for me. If people want to read it great. If not, no worries. My blog is for me. 💚💚💚

    • You are so right, Roda. Personally, I love your chicken posts but some people may not but who cares? I think I’ve got bogged down in WHY I blog and I need to reassess. Thanks for your kind words. x

  • You sound very wise to be doing a ‘check-in’, and yes, blogging does take a lot of time and energy. I’d advise you to listen to your body too: get moving, release that back so it doesn’t get worse, and enjoy the break… Life is too short to feel too pressured by too many things in my opinion. All your points about the delightful blogging community, and the topics/direction etc crop up for me regularly, so know you’re not alone! Take it gently, G

    • Thank you for your kind words. I will listen o my body and I think it’s telling me to stop for a bit!

  • I agree with the previous comments. If, after stepping away from blogging, you feel a burden has been lifted from your shoulders, then reassess whether you want to return to blogging at all or just reduce the number of times that you post to your blog.
    Take time for yourself and enjoy the summer and come back in the fall.
    From my perspective, I enjoy the gardening and renovation parts of your blogs.

    • Thank you Sandra. I going to take June off from the blog as I have a few commitments before that but hopefully, that will make the difference. I’m glad you enjoy some of my posts.

  • Sometimes you just have to take a break. I did about 18 months ago and have just recently returned. I write about what I want to write about sometimes its food related and sometimes craft and sometimes life in general. Its nice to see that lots of people visit your blog even if they don’t comment. Equally its lovely when you get nice words of encouragement left as a comment. Those that followed me before some are still around others too have given up blogland but I don’t tend to get too stressed about who is following me here on instagram or facebook as long as I enjoy doing it and I haven’t given in to the constant adverts enticing you to boost your posts as you say that would appear just to be a money making scheme to me and I’m not up for that. I’m not running a business just entering to a community of like minded people sharing life trials and tribulations. I’m sure you will work out whats best for you but I have been following for a while on instagram and have now discovered your blog. I will find you on pinterest too when I next have a look on there.

    • Thanks Mitzi, how kind of you to stop by and make such a lovely comment. I agree with all you say…I think I just get carried away. I’m a very driven person and I set stupid, high expectations for myself and I’m always on the go. The problem with that is I then crash and feel stressed but it’s all self driven! I need to take a pause and will do for June I think. X

  • 6500 views a month! I’m only at 1500 (2k at best). Sometimes the best thing we can do is take a break. I’ve been known to do it from time to time. Ultimately, the direction your blog takes now that your kiddies are nearly adults is totally up you. It’s your blog, do what you want with it. You’ll lose some readers with the change, but you’ll gain new ones. Good luck and I love the reflection…

    • Thanks Eric. My stats vary but that’s a good month! Your blog was one of the first ones I found and I miss popping I’ve to yours so I must do that! I am going to take a well earned break in June. X

      • Feel free to stop by. Lots to read! Enjoy that break. I bet you’ll still think of blogging, or at least some topics to write about! ( be sure to jot them down somewhere)

  • I have enjoyed all your subjects and look forward to your posts. I wouldn’t want you to quit, but for your own health, it might be good to take a break. I hope that’s all you need and that you will be back to write whatever pleases you.

    • That’s very kind Anne. I love the blogging community because they are so kind and inclusive. I don’t always have time to ‘chat’ with everyone but your comments and time are very appreciated. X

  • Hopefully this will cheer you up: I discovered OldHouseInTheShires because of your gardening posts, and am looking forward to more of those!
    Best,
    Tatiana

    • Ah that’s great! I will come back with more posts I promise. X

  • Sounds like you need to step back a little Sophie. I posted every day for a good part of a year then reduced to twice weekly. This year I have posted only once or twice a week and my stats have not suffered. I also take breaks when needed and I always come back with new ideas and enthusiasm. You will know what feels right for you and your well being. 🌼
    watchingthedaisies recently posted…A Great Review from Author Jacqui MurrayMy Profile

  • Oh Sophie we need to meet and have that cup of tea and a chat! In the meantime rest assured we have all either been there or are in the same place now. Two years on and I am now starting to work more (the paid kind) and blogging is taking a back seat. I like you am less active, have put on weight, ignore quality time with my family to read and comment on posts and sacrifice real life for the virtual one. It is tough and this year I have really thought about quitting so many times. It is the camaraderie and support of people like you that have kept me going but I have decided not to take it as seriously anymore. 1-2 posts per week max and if I decide to duck out some times for days, weeks or months so be it. Real life has to come first. Please don’t disappear completely You would be sorely missed. #TweensTeensBeyond
    Jo – Mother of Teenagers recently posted…Fabulous Females Interview – Tessa DunlopMy Profile

    • You are lovely Jo and honestly, a cuppa would be brilliant! Bloggers are such a friendly bunch. I would disappear completely but I’m not posting anything new for a few weeks (just need to round up for my linky) to clear my head and see if my heart is still in it. There is so much going on in real life that I must prioritise. Thanks hun, you are very kind. PS the book came today!

  • Well, I have been blogging for just under 2 1/2 years, I have less than 50 followers, I don’t know what socialumph is, I don’t do twitter and have no idea how or why you pay for post.

    But I love blogging, I do about 1 a week sometimes more, sometimes less,. I started as a means of encouraging me to do things and to help keep me positive. I started with the garden, but it has evolved, I do more recipes to get me cooking different things, and more posts on here in the Lakes.

    Should I try harder? should I aim at getting more followers? don’t know how to start…… But what I am doing is achievable, in January each year I get my blogs published with Blook so I have a record of what happens in my life on my bookshelf.

    I say go with your heart, don’t feel guilty for not posting,

    take a break, but do come back, just perhaps a bit more on your terms? SLx

    • Thank you for this. Sounds very sensible. I suppose we impose our own rules, of course. I’m just finding that th enlighten is becoming too much of a thing in my life so I need to scale back. I will and life will continue. I like the sound of getting posts in a book form. I will look into this.

  • HI Sophie – keep going! I enjoy reading your posts on gardening but what you write about has to be driven by what you feel like and enjoy writing about. I totally know the feeling of being busy and trying to fit it all in – rather than take a break as this will lose lots of momentum for your blog – i would suggest cutting back to a number and frequency of posts that is manageable and realistic, but however often you publish i think its worth continuing to publish. Best of Luck!

    • Thanks Paul. I’ve decided to stop posting for a while but I will still round up for Mays #MyGloriousGardens and I’ll be about on social media. I’ll then see how I feel i think.

  • Well I adore your posts Sophie and all of the topics that you cover. As someone who has never really been that ‘niche’ blogger, I do understand how you feel. I think we come to this juncture every so often and it usually prompts a bit of a rethink about what we are doing and where we are at. I think they key to remember with this blogging lark is that if we aren’t writing for us and it’s a chore, it isn’t working. I guess I’m in a similar change of direction/other things more pressing period at the moment. It’s always good to have a stock take and then move on as the direction takes us. Like you one of my passions is the home and gardening is creeping up the list too. We evolve don’t we. It’s only right that our blogs reflect that. It’s our choice. Thanks for sharing with #tweensteensbeyond and I look forward to seeing your posts as and when they are published.

    • Thanks Nicky. I will be back, definitely. Just going to take this week, half term and possibly the week after that off. Last post went live today. and…relax. x

  • This is a great read Sophie and I am exactly where you are with blogging, even behind you since I don’t even know what a DA is after 19 months on the circuit!! I feel for me a break is in order to get a bit of focus and back on track. Your blog and linky is wonderful and it’s good to hear you’re taking a break but will be back soon. Enjoy the time off and thanks for the continued inspiration!
    Kids of the Wild recently posted…Open Farm Sunday – Free Farm VisitsMy Profile

    • Thanks Lucy. It’s good to know that there are others feeling the same way! I think it’s good to take a break now and then so I’ll be back in June. You take care now. You can check your DA at Moz (google it). It’s just quite interesting. I was surprised mine was so high tbh but in the scheme of things, it doesn’t really matter!

  • Oh Sophie I totally understand where you’re coming from – even so far as agreeing about the impact on my back ache too! And the linky thing…..oh the linky thing – I hear you! I’m so sorry you’ve been feeling s but meh and think it is very wise to take stock and reflect and then if you miss it do a little more and if you don’t then don’t! Social media is definitely a lovely way to keep up to date with blogging friends lives when blogging slows down. Your stats and output are PROPERLY impressive (especially when you are fitting blogging around teaching) so people are reading your posts because they want to not because they feel obliged. And I personally love the balance of your blog – gardening, advice posts about kids (from a teachers and parents perspective) and ‘from the heart post’ too – very reflective of the person you seem to be. Take care lovely xxx #thesatsesh (but you weren’t one of my designated reads I read you anyway 😘) xx

    • Bless you Hayley.
      And now…
      Report writing! Oh and supporting teens who seem to be taking exams in their stride…so far! Although history is after half term 😉

  • #thesatsesh I’m the CEO and cleaner of my blog. If I want to break, I do – If i want to post once or a zillion times I do. If i fancy writing about a topic I do and If i can’t be bothered…I drink a cuppa instead. I couldnt care less about stats and I love linky’s because they make me read other blogs, i’d probably forget without the obligation. However, the crucial part to any aspect in life is feeling good and enjoying it. Best of luck and I’m totally jealous of your garden, so hope you continue to post on IG 🙂 hurry back.
    Fridgesays recently posted…Good shoes take you to good places.My Profile

    • Thanks darlin’ I will be back after I’ve finished my reports 😳

  • Hope you are enjoying your summer garden. I had to look up linkys and what they are. I write for myself as a kind of gardening diary. Also for my children who are in their 20s now and might need information about their family history in the future. I also put family recipes on there as I’m sure they won’t be able to find the bits of paper they are written on. Enjoy your holiday. All the best. Karen

    • Hello Karen! Lovely to get to know you. I will pop over to your blog later. x

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