“How do you handle the stress of blogging? I have so many emails and contacts to make or respond to, on top of my own blogging duties, that I’m a bit overwhelmed by it all!” – Angieleigh
Great question, Angelieigh! It’s actually one of those topics I’ve wanted to talk about for a while, so here’s my story and what I think.
I’ve always loved reading. I’ve always preferred a quiet night in with a good book and a cuppa tea to going out, no matter how sad it sounds. But there was a time when I realised that none of my friends read as much as I do and even if they do pick up a book, it’s not something I’ve ever heard of or would ever pick up. It would have been nice to know someone who had the same passion as me. A few years later I discovered someone’s blog while I was searching for a book on Google – and I thought, that’s what I need! So I signed up on Blogger and joined the blogging world.
During the first few weeks and months of blogging, we all went through a phase where we had no idea what an ARC or a blog tour meant. We loved reading and we wanted a place where we could talk about these things without people telling us that ‘no one cares, love’. Then, slowly but surely we learnt the meaning of these words, discovered NetGalley, and requested our first ARCs. In short, we were in book heaven and we had no intention to leave.
When people start noticing your blog and you become “known” in the blogging word, life gets a bit hectic. You get lots of blog tour invitations, review requests, reading challenge invites, and you get a bit overwhelmed. And of course, you know you’d feel bad for saying no so inevitably, you say yes. At least that’s what I did and that’s where I made a huge mistake. I know you want me to shut up now and tell you how to handle the stress of blogging, so here’s what I’m trying to do.
1. Don’t feel bad about saying no.
I think this is the most important thing we need to keep in mind. Just because you get x review request a day, it doesn’t mean you have to say yes. You probably have tons of books in your TBR / review pile so would you really like to add another one? When you get a review request, go through the synopsis and only accept books you’re interested in. If you’re like me and you know your free time is limited but your review pile is endless, just update your review policy and let people know that you’re not accepting any requests at the moment. If someone still emails you with a request (because I know they will, even if your policy clearly states that you won’t say yes…), just send them a message saying that you’re sorry but you’re not accepting any requests at the moment.
2. Think before you act
I know it’s super hard to resist the urge to request a review copy from a publisher but before you send that request, stop for a second and think it over: do you really need that book? Can it wait for another month? Try to cut down on these requests and only ask for/accept books that are really a must.
3. Be methodical
I think we’re pretty much in the same boat here – you get a couple of review requests each day, on top of everything else you need to remember and respond to and you just don’t know where to start. Here’s what I do: I’m trying to organise my messages into different folders. I have a separate folder for review requests, for blog tours, etc. When I respond to a message, I put it into one of these folders so that I know I’ve already responded.
4. Schedule posts
This is one of the things that worked for me the best. When you have a day off or a weekend you can spare, you can sit down and dedicate some time to your blog. For example what I did was, I sat down and scheduled 4 WoW posts for the next 4 weeks. It saved me a lot of time since now I don’t have to worry about these posts until May. You can do the same with discussions or reviews you still need to post. Of course it doesn’t work with certain weekly memes, but that’s when my next tip comes in handy:
5. Use a cheat sheet
This one is a definite time saver. Danielle @ There’s a Book has a wonderful article about what cheat sheets are and how you can use them so I’m not going into details, but all I can say is, it works. I’ve started using it about one or two weeks ago but it makes blogging much, much easier! You’ll find the article if you click here.
6. Nothing is compulsory
Just think about it this way: are you going to lose your job is your post doesn’t go up on time? No. Is anyone forcing you to post it? No. People won’t hate you if you don’t post every day. As long as you don’t disappear for months without letting your followers know, I don’t think people would mind. If you have too much to read, just post whenever you have some time, even if it’s just one or two times a week. We’ll understand.
7. If everything else fails, take some time out
If none of these help and the pressure is just too much, it’s time to take some time out. Let your followers know you’ll be away for a week or two and relax. If you read, read something you’d like to read, something you purchased a while ago Blogging supposed to be fun and not another thing we’re required to do. We have enough stress to deal with in our everyday lives that we don’t need an extra burden. When it becomes too stressful, it’s time to stop for a while and relax.
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Are you a stress-free blogger? If not, how do you unwind at the end of a long week? How do you make blogging less stressful?