Slow blogging: Why I’m ditching the schedule

5th April 2017

Since the summer of 2014 I have been publishing blog posts here on Empfire three times a week, almost every single week. Yes, sometimes I missed a day or two, or even a week or a month, but generally I’ve been quite good at keeping up with the routine of posting Tuesdays, Thursdays and one day at the weekend.

However, since I devised this schedule a lot has changed in my life; mainly the fact I now work full-time, and commute to work, which means I have less time to work on my blog.

Also, my views on blogging have changed massively over the last three years. I think 2014 was when I first discovered that bloggers were working with brands and making money from their blogs. I know bloggers were doing this prior to 2014 but I’d been living under a rock.  As I mentioned briefly in this post, I got swept up with current blogging trends and I tried to change my blog in order to fit in.

I wanted a “successful” blog and so I read all of those blog posts about creating a brand, growing a following, making money, etc. Because of these posts I felt like I needed to be blogging more frequently and that I needed to have a schedule.

So I created a schedule and I stuck with it…most of the time. I even stuck with it when I started to realise that I didn’t actually want to be a full-time blogger, or when I decided that I didn’t want to make money from blogging. 🙃

I felt like I couldn’t stray away from the schedule. God forbid I post on a Monday or a Wednesday or a Friday, or I post less or more. Even when my life changed and I started working full-time I felt that I needed to be blogging three times a week on certain days.

Then I got into this vicious circle. I’d have a few weeks of being really on top of blogging, sticking to my schedule, then I’d start to find it draining and I’d be writing half-hearted posts just for the sake of it. So I’d beat myself up about it, take a small break, and then get back on it.

I kept doing this for years. It really wasn’t working for me but I just seemed to be blind to it. I couldn’t seem to see what the problem was, even though it was bloody obvious!

Now I realise though. Now I know that it was because I was putting too much pressure on myself to stick to the schedule; so much pressure that I started to hate blogging and it became a chore rather than something I did for fun.

I know how stupid and ridiculous this sounds but it’s something that has really affected me and consumed me. 😔

And the thing is, people don’t care as much as you think they do. I’ve learned that I can take a month off blogging (like I did in November) and people will still continue to read my blog. Some people will notice if I haven’t blogged for a while but most people won’t.

So that’s why you are reading this post on a Wednesday. Because I have decided to break the habit. It feels invigorating!

I’m taking a new approach to blogging. Stuff the schedule; I’m posting whenever I feel like it.

I’m hoping that this approach of “slow blogging” will free up more time for me to take care of myself, to work on “side projects”, to focus on my career, and to go on more adventures. But more than anything I hope it will help me to fall in love with blogging again. Quality over quantity is my new moto. 😎

I’m curious to know if you have a blogging schedule! Let me know in the comments if you have one, and whether you think they’re good or bad.

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  1. Susanne

    Well done, Holly! I really am against all those so-called blogging rules and all those blogging trends and ideas that it has to be a certain way. Of course I like to read your posts and to see them coming frequently, but the most important thing is that you blog the way you want and that you keep enjoying it.
    I don’t really blog anymore (but will maybe start a music blog again) but when I do, I have a goal to post at least once a week, but I don’t stress about it, if a week goes by and I have no inspiration to write, that’s ok too. I blog because I like it and if it becomes a chore, there’s no point with blogging anymore.

    • Holly

      Thanks Susanne! It’s great to have your support. 😊

      It would be great if you could get back into blogging, but as you say, it’s not worth getting stressed about it.

  2. Liz

    I try to blog every two days, but it’s hard not having a laptop of my own (working on that). I’m one of those interested in making money via my blog, but there are underlying reasons for it I’m still feeling a bit ashamed to share. 😳 (It’s also a controversial topic I’m not confident I can touch on.)

    I think the important thing is to not disappear off the face of the planet, because that’s when people tend to give up — well, I give up on people who’ve not posted anything for a year. 😭

    Something a lot of meta bloggers fail to acknowledge/realise is that posting frequently is different from posting consistently. I try the latter, but if I want to post out of schedule, then I do.

    First and foremost, it should always be what you want and enjoy. 😊

    • Holly

      I think there isn’t anything wrong from making money from your blog. Personally I don’t want to make money from sponsorship or adverts just because I don’t really enjoy producing that sort of content. But I do have grand plans to sell WordPress themes and WordPress courses some day.

      I’m always on Twitter so I guess at least people know I’m still alive even if I’m not blogging haha!

  3. Something I spoke about in my two talks about blogging is that making a schedule or posting every x days can be helpful, but you should ditch it if you are feeling pressured. I don’t often like to set expectations like doing something every Wednesday or the same Thursday every month, because there are days when I don’t at all feel like blogging. I think that when you have been blogging for a while, like you and me, you start to notice patterns and sometimes you need to adjust your blogging “schedule“ so that it fits your ever-changing needs.

    It’s true that sometimes people don’t notice when you have not blogged in a few weeks. I used to be the kind of person to apologise for not posting frequently – and I probably still am – but to be honest, it means less for others to read if they need to catch up. 😆 I know some people who blog frequently and keeping up is hard! But everyone has things to do outside of blogging, and I think that is why people don’t notice straight away when someone has been quiet for some time.

    I wrote a post recently about how I am still doing the things I love, despite doing much less than I did before. I have other things I want to do with my time, and I am usually pretty tired after work too. The commute drains me. And some days I don’t find any time at all to sit down and write – or I don’t even feel like it.

    I read your blog anyway! Regardless of how often you blog, I will be one of those readers who are still around 😄

    • Holly

      Yes, I’ve tried to stop apologising for not blogging because it’s nothing to apologise for.

      I’ve starting working out more and I’ve also been trying to further develop my coding skills, but I’ve come to realise I can’t do all of this while writing three blog posts a week and creating imagery to go with those posts. I end up doing everything on a Sunday, and everything takes longer than I expected. At times it’s felt like I’ve had two jobs!

      Haha, good to hear!

  4. It’s good that you recognized the negative impact your schedule had and that you’re ditching it. I know all those posts about “how to be a successful blogger” say you should stick with a schedule, but what is the point if it only stresses you out and makes you not want to blog anymore? They say that you should stick to your schedule because then people will know when to visit your blog, you get a habit of writing, you seem reliable etc, but just because that works for some doesn’t mean it works for everyone. You should find what works for you, personally, and it seems like you’re working that out 🙂

    Besides, do readers really keep track of bloggers schedules? I mean, if I like a blog I will subscribe and receive notifications whenever they post. Their schedule is irrelevant as I’ll get the post in my feed reader and read it when I want to/have time, not necessarily when they post it. And people share their blog posts on social media too, right? No need to keep track of whatever schedule a blogger have because they will simply tell you when they post. I have never once in my life thought “oh, it’s Tuesday, I better go check on X blog because they post on Tuesdays” because that’s just not how I consume blogs.

    Similarly, I don’t unsubscribe just because someone doesn’t post very often. Quality definitely trumps quantity!
    When/if I notice that someone stops posting for long periods of time (like several months) I mostly just get worried that something has happened to them. Whenever that person decides to blog again I’m just happy to hear they’re alive, haha! I actually still have blogs in my feed reader that hasn’t posted in +1 year, but I keep the subscription in hope that one day they might come back.

    I like the term “slow blogging” by the way, it sounds all wholesome and natural. 🙂

    • Holly

      Yes, I think all these “successful blogging” tips should be taken with a pinch of salt. What works for one person won’t necessarily work for everyone. I’d rather see quality posts published sporadically rather than short pointless posts on a daily basis.

      Very true! When I think about my favourite blogs, I don’t know if they have a schedule or not because it’s not something I’ve picked up on. I’ll know they’ve shared a new post because it will pop up in my feed reader.

      I like the term too. I’m fascinating with this whole slow approach to life thing that a lot of people are talking about online at the moment. I’d love to read the book Chasing Slow.

  5. The issue is that we all read how to be a successful blogger, but not all of us want to be a full-time blogger. Of course other rules will apply.

    I have a schedule because it was a time when I didn’t post and there are things I don’t remember doing or seeing because they happened 4 years ago and I wasn’t bothered to blog about them. I try to post every other day, but I don’t get stressed if I miss a whole week of blogging. For April my schedule is full and I had to move a couple of posts in May as I have too many things to blog about. If I see that I’ll have more posts, I will post daily for a few days and that’s it. This happened because I was away and I did visit a lot of attractions and I want to talk about each one individually, as I always do. It’s an opportunity for me to read more about the places I’ve been to and review all the pictures instead of making a single post about 10 things I saw and say almost nothing about each one of them. I also have a collaboration with a brand or two and that is exciting for me.

    • Holly

      It’s good that you don’t get too wrapped up in your schedule. I think sometimes life is busier than other times. Sometimes I’ll have lots to share, other times I won’t have any inspiration.

  6. Cat

    I’m definitely a “slow blogging” type of person. I aim to post once a week, but I’m not consistent with it. If I need to take a bit more time to get the entry right, or if I’m just out of ideas, I’d rather wait than force it. I think for some people, a blogging schedule works out better for them, but if it starts feeling like a chore and affects your personal life, then it’s probably not worth it!

    I’ve noticed the same that even if you take a break, people will still come back and read your blog. Because of that, I don’t really feel the pressure of blogging on a frequent schedule. I actually have a hard time following blogs that post very frequently. I think people should post whenever they want, but I just can’t read everything when people post multiple times a week.

    I hope this new outlook will help you fall in love with blogging again too! Hobbies should be fun!

    • Holly

      Yes, there’s no point in forcing content. I’ve looked back at posts I’ve wrote in the past when I’ve felt like I’ve had to put something out there, and they do sound forced.

      I suppose if you write about life, like I do, then it’s just natural to see fluctuations in content. Sometimes life will be busier than others. For instance, I usually post more in the summer because this is when I get out and about and do things that I can then document on my blog.

  7. Well done! I feel like we get so caught up in what we are supposed to do that it takes some of the joy out of it, and by some of the joy, I mean almost all of it. Blogging is something to enjoy. It’s one reason I haven’t ever gone on a schedule, even though I would like to get better at posting more frequently. Couldn’t pick a day though, it would never happen!

    • Holly

      Thank you. The pressure of sticking to a schedule was definitely ruining blogging for me. My life is a little busy at the moment, so I don’t feel like posting as often, but once summer arrives I’m sure I’ll have plenty to talk about.

  8. It’s good that you’ve changed your views on blogging over the years. It means you’re getting involved enough to learn what fits you best. At the end of the day, this is your blog and you can define standards you want to follow. I’ve read so many “how to have a successful blog” posts that I’m convinced it’s very subjective. Eg. I don’t have anywhere near 100k followers but I’m still very happy with whatever I have going on with my blog.

    Keeping a schedule can be pretty pressuring, especially when you have other things going on IRL. It’s good that you’re going to blog at your own pace. Better to push out a heartful post at your own leisure rather than forcing yourself with an empty-hearted post.

    I have an “estimated” schedule where I would list what I want to blog about but don’t set a definite date to it. If I get to it *today*, great and if I don’t, maybe tomorrow will be the day. I also try to blog when I feel like I can return comments *soon*. I feel comfort with keeping my ratio balanced out.

    • Holly

      Those posts are very subjective. I feel like the advice only works for certain blogs and certain people. It’s not one size fits all.

      Yes! Here’s to more heartful posts!

  9. My motto with my blog is to do what I want to do. I don’t mind having a schedule because it helps me stay on track, but I need to also tell myself that it’s okay to deviate from it, but the type A personality in me hates that, haha. But in the end, do what you feel is right. It is your blog. If you need to take a breather, then it’s fine. If you have a lot to post about, then have a schedule. In the end, do what makes you happy.

  10. To be honest, I have always wanted to follow a schedule when it comes to blogging. I procrastinate quite a lot so I never really get to update my blog. However, I still don’t have a schedule, haha. Maybe it’s because I like to go with my own flow because this is something I do because I enjoy it and not because I have to force myself to it? Something like that.. I don’t really know what’s best for me right now though.

    • Holly

      I think going with the flow is the best protocol! I’m certainly enjoying blogging more now I’ve scrapped the schedule.

  11. Amy

    I’ve been trying to create a blogging schedule, but it’s mainly because I want to get ahead with posts, so I never have to rush a post. There’s nothing I hate more than not having time to do a post justice. Unfortunately, I’ve still not managed to get ahead with it yet, so my blog is still a bit all over the place.

    Before Christmas, I challenged myself to post three times a week, but I found it way too stressful. I think twice a week, maximum, is enough for me, plus it leave 3/4 days for people to read the post. If I’ve spent time writing something, I like it to be up as the latest post for a while. So many bloggers only post once a week now, anyway.

    As for making money through blogging, part of me would love to, but part of me loves writing for me too much. I love planning my own posts and topics!

    • Holly

      I originally started using a schedule because I wanted to get ahead with my posts, and sometimes I had an entire month planned out in advanced. But for some reason I found looking at the plan so overwhelming.

      Yes, I know what you mean about having your latest post up for a while. I often felt like some of my posts were being missed because I was posting too often.

  12. […] Forcing content for content’s sake is never what this has been about for me. After reading Holly’s brilliant post, I realised that I’d rather work at my own pace and stop trying to force myself into a […]

  13. Liv

    I think oftentimes “successful” and “frequent” bloggers are also doing it as their full-time jobs, at least the travel bloggers I follow on Instagram are. So that means us having a blog as a hobby wouldn’t be able to keep up! And it’s totally okay! I don’t blog for months and when I come back, people come back to read once I let them know I’m back.

    I’m glad you aren’t going to beat yourself up on writing however many posts, because anything that becomes a requirement gets tedious, even our favorite things to do! I told myself I’d journal this year, and I spent a whole night making myself a journal (digital one), then I couldn’t bring myself to write.

    I hope you enjoy your time in slow blogging, because that’s my schedule for sure! Also, I’m an extrovert so I have very little time to spend writing up something interesting. It’s just something I do once a week or every two weeks to connect with my blog friends. 🙂

  14. Cristina Cocioaba

    It’s funny because just these days I started thinking about making a schedule a keep up with it and blog about certain topics. Mostly I am thinking to put pressure on myself.

    After readibg this post I realize that it is not a good idea, because I might not enjoy it anymore. I guess I just have to go with the flow and blog about whatever comes into my mind. Thanks for posting this <3

  15. […] awhile, I adopted “slow blogging”, a phrase Holly coined that fits the process quite well. This isn’t working for me; rather, I find I’ve fallen […]