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8 Ways To Keep Blogging Fun

8 Ways To Keep Blogging Fun | www.foodbloggersofcanada.com

When you started your blog, what made you do it?

Many of you probably have reasons like for fun, for saving and sharing recipes, to have a creative outlet, for keeping in touch with long distance friends and family, or even, to make a little money doing something I love. For me, it was a combination of all of the “fun” reasons – it took me a year of blogging before I even understood what an ad network was!  But, once I knew, it was hard to un-know, and hard to hang on to the original reasons and keep the love and passion for blogging alive for the right reasons. If income had been my driving reason for starting I would have stopped writing long ago.

We all know that some people start blogs with a specific marketing plan, a target niche, a goal of quitting their full time job in 6 months.  But is that the majority of bloggers?

Absolutely not.

Is that the majority of bloggers we compare ourselves to?

Absolutely.

It’s easy to lose sight of the reasons for why you blog in the onslaught of big blogs, big money, big conferences, and big networks.  It can seem that the more we learn, the more we don’t know, and it’s amazing how much time can be sunk into learning, developing, and growing.  But if we really do want to blog for ourselves, for fun, and, of course, for our readers, are we losing focus?

Like any hobby or small business you can be proud of, food blogging takes time, effort, and commitment.  Is it ok if that commitment only pays off in personal satisfaction and, in the case of food blogging, really good eats?  I don’t want to work fulltime on my blog.  So how do I keep perspective, be happy where I am, and be truly thankful for every reader, comment, and bit of income?

Here are my rules for keeping blogging fun:

The DOs Of Keeping Blogging Fun:

1) Have goals

Want to post once a week? Three times a week?  Once a month? DO IT.  Action plans and deadlines exist for a reason – things get done.  You’ll feel accomplished and you’ll see improvement in your work because you are practising regularly.

2) YOUR best

Don’t try to do someone else’s best.  Yes, there are people out there who take better pictures, write more eloquently, make more friends, and have more followers.  Yes, it is good to have role models and to strive to do better.  But today, right now, do your best.  Some people will love you and your work, some people won’t.  That’s life no matter what field you’re in.  Create something you’re proud of.  Don’t copy other people’s content and call it your own.  Do your own work, and be happy with it.  As you grow, don’t hate your past work – look at it and smile.

3) Cultivate offline relationships more than online ones

This can be easier said than done, since online relationships are there when you want them to be, and you can craft your responses outside of the boundaries of real time.  Offline relationships need to be cultivated because they are naturally much harder.  People get tired, grumpy, and busy.  Don’t let your online world be the cause of your tiredness, grumpiness, or busyness at the expense of your face to face relationships.

Recommended Reading:  You Are Worthy: Putting A Value On Yourself

4) Invite people over to share your food {but talk about something else}

Be ok with making something delicious and not taking a picture of it.  Be in the moment, and make people feel welcome by sharing yourself and your food.  The online community is fantastic for never getting tired of you talking about food – use it for that.  Tell your company about your week, ask about their lives, and let great food be the backdrop to your life, not the star.

The DON’Ts of Keeping Blogging Fun:

1) Compare

You’re reading everyone’s highlight reels.  Don’t imagine you’re getting the whole picture just because someone says on their blog, “I tell you guys everything.”  Also, people who make a full time income from blogging spend full time hours working on their blog.  Don’t kid yourself otherwise.  If you want this to go from a hobby to a full time job, you’ll need to put in your 40 hours+ a week.  Count on it.

2) Laugh at what you do

Do people say “I paint” or “I play basketball” with an embarrassed chuckle, passing it off and hurrying to the next topic?  Nope.  Don’t feel silly saying you’re a blogger unless you also laugh at other people’s hobbies.  You are committing time and doing your best, and that’s no joke.  You’re creating work you’re proud of and you’re having fun.  That’s something exciting, not something embarrassing.

3) Make spreadsheets

Nope, not a single one.  Not an income one, not a schedule one, not a statistics or analytics one.  Unless spreadsheets are your second hobby, don’t make a single one.  They are no different than obsessively checking stats and worrying over growth potentials and referring sites.  It is what it is – if you’re producing great content you’re proud of, be thankful for anyone who reads it instead of worrying about who doesn’t read it.

4) Cut into that birthday cake before the candles have been blown out

It’s about people first, not food first.  You just don’t do it if you want people to feel more special than your blog.  If it’s so good you have to share, and you feel you can only share with the full-cake-minus-one-plated-piece shot, make the cake again, another day.  Your family or friends will be thrilled to eat a random cake, and no one gets hurt.

What do you think?  Is it possible anymore to blog for fun?  Can a person still insulate themselves from the pressure and success of the big bloggers?  Can we blog quietly and confidently, or do we need to be noticed to gain confidence?  Does everyone blog with the goal of it becoming a good source of income?  What DOs and DON’Ts would you add to help keep blogging fun?

How to Keep Blogging Fun was written by Anna Nienhuis. When her babies are in bed, Anna blogs about food and family at Hidden Ponies, where cooking and baking are necessary evils to feed her distinct fondness for eating.  She loves how food brings people together and is passionate about real food that doesn’t take all day to prepare.  Join the fun of putting the “joy” in “enjoy” on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Bloglovin’, and Pinterest!

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11 Responses to 8 Ways To Keep Blogging Fun

  1. Paula February 19, 2014 at 8:00 am #

    This was a great article! Love “Do #3” and “Don’t #4”

  2. Kristy @ She Eats February 19, 2014 at 1:06 pm #

    Anna! Great post :) I especially like the points about having goals, being YOUR best and cultivating relationships.

    I’d also add that to keep blogging fun, we need to be inspired! Both by other bloggers (as allies, not competition or comparing) as well as real life! The best way to come up with new topics and inspiration is to get offline! Go outside, be social, do things! Makes all the difference :)

    PS. You’re amazing.

    • Anna (Hidden Ponies) February 19, 2014 at 3:20 pm #

      Thanks so much, Kristy! I definitely agree with your addition – blogging when you can’t think of anything to say is NOT fun, inspiration is huge!

  3. Michelle February 19, 2014 at 1:11 pm #

    This is such a massively perfect article for me right now. Thank you SO MUCH… you have no idea how much reading this has helped me!

    • Anna (Hidden Ponies) February 19, 2014 at 3:21 pm #

      SO glad to hear that, Michelle! I found even writing it reallllly helped me refocus and realize that I didn’t want this to feel like work. It shouldn’t be a chore to do something fun!

  4. Joanne T Ferguson February 20, 2014 at 12:44 am #

    G’day and a great reminder for all! I have seen MANY occasions spoiled because bloggers just HAD to get that food photo vs the disappointment of family and friends not having that blogger just simply relax and enjoy the precious moments rather than documenting every aspect of one’s life to share!
    Cheers! Joanne

  5. emily February 20, 2014 at 1:17 am #

    I loved this post! very inspiring and reassuring. I am new to blogging and I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to blog about at the beginning, so it varies, but I especially enjoy the food posts, they are FUN. I really enjoyed your line do YOUR best, that is so true. This is so true, not just in blogging, but in life too.
    xo, emily

  6. Karen @ The Food Charlatan February 20, 2014 at 1:55 am #

    I love this, especially the part about doing YOUR best today. And I like the sad but necessary advice of “don’t talk about your food/blog all the time.” In the end, your blog is about YOU, and who really wants to have a dinner party with someone who can’t stop talking about themselves?

  7. Lesley February 20, 2014 at 6:55 am #

    Blogging is a lot more fun when it’s a conversation with your readers rather than a lecture to them. Embrace your blog’s comments.

  8. Charmian Christie February 20, 2014 at 12:08 pm #

    A very timely post. It’s so easy to get caught up in worrying about page views and SEO and whether or no you’re “on trend”. Oh, I hate that phrase. Blogging should be fun and rewarding. Thanks for the reminder!

  9. marzia February 25, 2014 at 11:59 pm #

    thank you for the tips

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