Cleaning Out Defunct Blogs & Tips to Blog Successfully/Keep Going

Hi, friends. I’ve been cleaning out blogs from my followed sites, which got me contemplating why people quit blogging. In this post, I’ll muse a bit on those reasons and follow up with tips to help you succeed/keep going with blogging.

I generally keep up with bloggers by lapping my list of followed sites alphabetized A-Z, knocking out 1-2 letters each day. Every couple weeks, I check out bloggers who have followed me lately to see if I want to follow back. I don’t know if I will ever have a cut-off point where I won’t follow any more blogs because I could miss out on some real gems.

I knew I needed to commence with some spring cleaning when I had followed over 500 blogs. So I scrolled through the list and started unfollowing people.

Why Do People Stop Blogging?

I was amazed to see how many people hadn’t posted in four months, eight months, a year. I asked myself why this was the case and came up with a list of potential reasons–

  1. They no longer have time.
  2. They can’t think of things to write about anymore.
  3. They are discouraged by a poor engagement level.
  4. The work required isn’t worth it/It isn’t fun anymore.

#1-3 are fixable. #4 is broader, and it may or may not be fixable.

Tips to Keep Going/Succeed

Below I am providing some tips that can help with the issues I listed. I wrote “keep going/succeed” in the header because everyone’s definition of success differs; for some, having a few loyal readers equates to success, while others will feel their blog isn’t successful unless their readership continuously grows; some don’t care about their readership as much as enjoying the writing aspect; some measure their blog’s success financially (book sales, affiliate link purchases). So, whatever your metric of success is, I hope these tips (which are numbered according to the above list) help you keep going.

[Obinna at Shards of Bards wrote a similar post called An Open Letter to Bloggers Who Feel Like Giving Up that partially inspired this one. Follow him for quality posts + insightful comments on your posts.]

Prioritize What Matters to You (#1)

Whether the subject is completing some chores or reading the Bible or anything else that requires self-discipline, I’m wary of the “I don’t have time” excuse. Yes, some people genuinely have almost no spare time between work, school, their families, and/or volunteering/extracurriculars. But I happen to follow several SuperMoms who find time to blog once or twice a month…

More often than not, “I don’t have time” translates to “It’s not a priority to me.” It’s fine if that’s how you feel about blogging, but either way, you should take responsibility for your time management and prioritize what matters to you. And if something simply isn’t a priority to you, just own it!

Don’t Put Yourself in a Box (#2)

Life constantly teems with inspiration, and writing ideas should flow abundantly…so why don’t they? I have found that this struggle often arises from bloggers putting arbitrary limitations on themselves (I have to write about these certain subjects, I have to write in this certain way, etc.). Stop doing that and think outside the box! You can do whatever you want in YOUR corner of the interwebs.

Here are a few tips for coming up with content when your brain feels empty

  • Come up with a series; you can fall back on a series post when you have no other ideas. (Some of mine include Classics, Blogging Tips & Tricks, My Disability Experience, Disability Chat, Dueling Poems, Story Behind, etc.)
  • Tell us about yourself; Favorite show, movie, book, band, etc.? Ten random facts about you? Pets? Places you’ve visited? An issue you deal with or experience you went through? What you’ve been up to lately (this kind is always popular when I do it)? When in doubt, remember the saying “Write what you know.
  • Read books, articles, etc. or watch documentaries, videos, etc. about the topics that interest you so you will have more to say about those topics.

Also, if you type a phrase like “blogging ideas” in the WordPress search bar, you will be bombarded with posts that give suggestions.

Provide Worthwhile Content (#3)

Worthwhile content does not have to be intellectual; the “ten random facts about you” post can be worthwhile. But your blog post needs to do something for the reader–make them smile/laugh, teach them something new, help them get to know you, inspire them, etc.

If you haphazardly throw some things together and publish it with little thought, you will probably struggle to build a following because, whether this is true or not, you are sending out the vibe that you don’t take seriously your readers or your own blog. [Sidenote: some people really don’t take their blog or their readership too seriously and just want to have fun, and that’s perfectly fine.]

Engage With the Community (#3)

I sound like a broken record because I bring this up in almost every “Blogging Tips & Tricks” post…so I will keep this one brief. Bottom line: you get what you give.

Reflect on Why You Want to Quit (#4)

In the list I made earlier, #4 was the broadest category. If you feel like blogging isn’t “worth it” anymore, reflect on the specific reasons you feel that way. For many, the root of the issue is one of the first three reasons–poor time management, lack of post ideas, poor engagement level–all of which can be fixed.

However, some things aren’t fixable.

The issue of just not wanting to blog anymore may not have a concrete solution. It might be time to throw in the towel if you–

  • don’t enjoy creating posts and don’t enjoy engaging with the community either
  • still feel “meh” about blogging even if you hypothetically had a large following and lots of post ideas
  • are unhappy with your site yet aren’t willing to exert effort to improve your site (take time to produce better posts, engage more with bloggers and/or promote on social media)

Thanks for reading! What are some reasons you would quit or that you think motivates others to quit? What advice do you have to grow a readership, make blogging fun, or encourage those on the verge of quitting? Let me know in the comments.

P.S. Logo Update

My intelligent, kind, and supportive blogging buddy, Steven at Perfect Chaos, pointed out that logos should err on the side of simplicity so you can shrink them down or enlarge them if need be. Hence, despite its overwhelming popularity, I didn’t pick the flower wreath logo. [I instead chose the purple background mandala.] When I made the flower wreath smaller, it became a blurry mess! Since everyone including me loved the flower wreath, I made a photo with it for my homepage so it could revel in full-sized glory. โ™ฅ

79 comments

  1. These are all good tips. I definitely place emphasis on the idea of interacting with other bloggers–if you don’t interact with other bloggers, you’re likely to not get much readership, let alone an engaged readership.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. As is typical of the quality of your posts Lily, this one is well-thought out & to the point.

    I believe the motivation behind blogging is the one single factor that determines a blog’s shelf life. Sure, every blogger relishes positive audience feedback as motivation to keep the midnight oil burning.

    However, one will invariably be quickly disappointed if that is the primary reason … at least for me. I have found it takes 8-12 hours to put a meaningful post together. And my early blogs were sparsely viewed.

    And as you point out, there are a lot of blogs out there to the point of blog saturation, especially those with a spiritual, God-centered focus. Who is to choose which blogs to keep following?

    My approach to blogging has always been to be: honest above all (to the point of vulnerability in some instances) & encouraging. If only one person’s eternity will be affected by something I’ve written, it’s been worth it.

    Sorry to be so long-worded here. Besides, I had to comment to avoid your BBBL (Blog Bucket BlackList). ๐Ÿ˜€ Be good Lily & Blessings!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. David, thank you for your kind words! You make a fair point that motivation matters a lot in blogging, regardless of the other elements like audience size. I would think, though, that becoming discouraged could zap out a person’s motivation. As you point out when you talk about how long it takes to to put together a good post–blogging is fun, but it’s also work! You have to be highly motivated and self-disciplined to keep going. Just like with everything else in life, I think most are not willing to put in the work to get the full reward. It was not so long ago that I clicked my heels in excitement if a blog post of mine got ten likes. I worked hard and continue to work hard on this hobby. But I really do enjoy it!

      Your point about blog saturation is important and makes the tips I’ve given throughout my “Blogging Tips & Tricks” more vital. You have to find a way to stand out! With the issue of Christian blogs in particular, it often comes down to interaction for me. As I cull my list of followed blogs, I come across blog after blog after blog that produces devotionals. Since I don’t have the time or mental energy to read 100 devos every week, I’m unfollowing people who will not interact with me or my posts despite my liking and commenting on several of theirs. Since we interact, you are not in danger! ๐Ÿ™‚ I appreciate your engagement.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. So much truth and wisdom in this post! Love how you keep it real, Lils! I think these are great tips and I’m certainly going to keep them in mind as I consider my own blogging schedule. Thanks for the lovely mention! I have to admit I feel a bit guilty because so many people loved the flower wreath design. But I’m glad you’ve found a good use for that image as well, great idea to use it on the homepage, it looks lovely ๐Ÿ™‚

    By the way, I currently follow around 1000 blogs and am trying to scale that back. It’s manageable, but if I scale back it means that I can add new ones as and when I discover them. Even 500 is a lot. I would say there are about 30 (including yours) that I love and get excited about reading.

    Might actually do a blog subscription spring clean tonight (I know how to party on a Friday night! ๐Ÿ˜‚)

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Thank you, Steven! Don’t feel guilty; I’m glad you gave that pertinent advice. I saw it for myself when I had to shrink it way down to put the logo next to my site header anyways. Even with the mandala, “Retrospective Lily” was so hard to read that I replaced it with “RL” in that particular spot. (Sorry for copying you, hehe! Imitation is the highest form of flattery โ™ฅ)

      Dang, 1000 is a lot!! I’m like you in that I have that core group of 30ish who are like my blogging buddies whereas everyone else is a blogging acquaintance, so to speak. Have you cleaned out some yet? I am still cleaning as I go, getting rid of defunct blogs and bloggers who seem determined against ever interacting with me despite my attempts. I’m down to about 350 so far!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Haha I’ll take any kind of flattery I can get! ๐Ÿ˜I don’t see it as copying me at all (just to give you peace of mind); I think a lot of people use initials on their favicons. By the way, are you planning to update your favicon with the RL mandala? Just curious!

        It’s weird, I think what I’ve learned about logos is that so much of it is about association โ€” i.e. if you have good feelings about about a person and their work, then when you see their logo you will have a good feeling too. I mean, aesthetics comes into it as well, and there are logos which are very clever (not mine, haha), but at the end of the day I think it’s best to go for something simple and distinctive, and then work on creating the ‘good feeling’ by trying to be the best blogger one can possibly be ๐Ÿ™‚

        I have been trimming down my blog follow count, thank you for asking! I’m down from over 1000 to about 800. As you pointed out, it’s amazing how many bloggers have given up. I started blogging back in 2012, and it’s really interesting revisiting some of the first blogs I ever followed! Actually, nearly all of them are no longer active. It makes me feel a little proud of myself that I’ve kept going for all this time. Well done for getting down to 350, that could take me a few weeks but I’m up for the challenge! ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 3 people

      2. This is really fascinating to me that so many blogs have died out. I hope I can keep going and persevere through any ‘dry spell’. In some ways, these sort of statistics actually motivate me to pursue blogging more seriously. ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 3 people

  4. Excellent post, Lilly. You are a blogger extraordinaire and an excellent writer. I doubt there are too many bloggers whose blog has grown faster. Hence, all good tips.
    For me, it’s important to give myself the room to step away from time to time. Engagement is important, but I don’t think it has to be quid pro quo. And, for the most part, if someone follows me, I usually follow them back. Some of those followers I engage with, some I don’t.
    Ultimately, I write for myself. I don’t write what I think my followers will like. If I did that, it would feel too much like an assignment or a J-O-B. But yes, I agree that it’s compelling and refreshing to read the unexpected.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Thank you, Pam! I have grown a lot, and there’s been lots of work AND lots of fun involved! I’m glad you are giving yourself space to step away when needed. We all have our own motivations for blogging, and for people who really only view it as a laidback hobby, it’s not worth sweating this stuff too much.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t know, my friend. After 1,000 blogs I felt really I’ve said about what I wanted to say. Really, I now desire more engagement with topics as opposed to just writing. Thanks for your effort and the tips.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. Well put. Sometimes though, people stop bogging because they fall off the perch. It’s probably more relevant to the virtual friends I’ve collected, but I’ve found more superannuated bloggers out there than I expected

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks, Cathy! That’s interesting! Do you mean that some bloggers have grown older and “retired” from blogging or that the technological updates are leaving them in the dust or something else?

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Thanks for the post, Lily. When I began blogging I was encouraged to write a mission statement for my blog. I answered the question, โ€œWhy do I want to blog?โ€ The answer to that has guided me during this past 15 months of blogging. That was the best advice I could have been given.

    Liked by 5 people

  8. Good tips! I do think there’s validity in the “Life gets in the way” rationale, but often it’s simply a case of being overwhelmed. I’ve found that committing to a weekly short post keeps me going when I simply don’t have time for a longer one.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks, Alisa! Agreed that life really does get in the way sometimes. It’s just that a lot of people say they don’t have time for something then turn around and watch three 45 min episodes of a show back to back, haha. I’m with you that weekly posts is a good schedule that’s not too demanding. IDK how people post 3x a week or more. Twice a week is my max.

      Like

  9. Great tips on keeping going, especially when it comes to not putting yourself in a box (I find that can really stunt creativity and the joy you can get from blogging when you feel ‘stuck’). Good choice on the logo with the mandala over the flower I think, I agree with simple being better & it’s distinctive, easily recognisable. xx

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Wow! Thanks a lot for the shout-out, Lily! Thank for all the kind words!

    Your post โ€” particularly the first two points โ€” has got me thinking. I know I say I don’t have enough time or energy to blog these days, but then maybe I’m not prioritising my blog as I should. I mean, if my school asked me to blog once a month while doing other school stuff and that failure to blog meant attaining a low GPA, I would do it wouldn’t I? So yeah, I don’t have enough time, but I can put the little time I have to good use.

    Sometimes though, I’d force myself to write, and then I’d read the article and say, โ€œNo, this sounds nothing like meโ€, and so I wouldn’t post the article. But maybe I’m just assuming or overanalysing things. Maybe I’m putting myself in a box.

    I promise to take blogging more seriously henceforth!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. You’re certainly welcome, Obinna! Since I can’t peek into your life, I don’t know how your time management is, but from what you told me recently, you are very busy! When I wrote the tip about time management, I was mostly thinking of people who say they have no time for something but binge-watch a show on Netflix. ๐Ÿ™‚ If you spend large chunks of time on something like that or playing video games or other entertainment, you could break that up by typing a rough draft of a blog post, then edit it another day.

      Separating writing from editing could also help with not putting yourself in a box. You can write much more freely if you’re not constantly hitting Backspace.

      I look forward to whenever your next post is!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, I wish I had the time to binge watch my favourite movies. ๐Ÿ˜‚
        I have them all piled up for the summer holidays. Thanks for that valid advice about separating writing from editing. I’ll definitely put it to practice.

        My next post should be published this week, hopefully on Friday, if nothing gets in the way.

        Liked by 2 people

  11. Sometimes I wonder if people are really interested in my content, but I came to the conclusion that it helps me too. This outlet gives me an avenue to practice expressing myself and my ideas, which I’m hoping will help others by giving them new insights and new ideas to help them through their journey in life.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Daphne, take my words for it as someone who has seen a lot of blogs, your content is high quality. You could definitely build a readership with some time and effort. Feel free to ignore my advice, but I’m about to give you some. When I click on your page in the WP Reader, you have no photo or tagline with your name, so if I were you, I would add a tagline and either a logo or a photo of you in that spot. (I know you have a profile pic, but it’s not the same thing)

      Hypothetical tagline for you– “Sharing Ideas About Education & Personal Development” (it could be anything though)

      I recommend comment hopping as a way to connect with other bloggers b/c you can be sure that people who comment on others’ posts are at least willing to engage. I used to also search tags to discover bloggers. Create 1 or more social media accounts and promote your blog through them. (If you do this, let me know and I will follow you)

      You don’t have to do these things, but your blog is a gem, and the people of the internet simply need to be directed towards that gem to discover and appreciate it. You’re right that, at the end of the day, blogging is still good just to practice stating your ideas and explaining them.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Thank you, Lily!
    Your #2 tip was especially helpful for me to consider. I want to always stay grounded with my original vision for my blog, but recently, I’ve been contemplating doing more ‘fun’ posts. Sometimes, I feel weighed down by the goal of writing long, meaty, heavily-researched posts and simply want to share my opinion on something or use my creativity in a more light-hearted way. Do you this is worthwhile (especially considering my reasons for starting the blog)?

    I find I’m inspired every time I simply read more posts on blogging. I’m still fairly new to the blogosphere, so that could very well be why. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You should do it! I blog devotionals, blogging tips, classic lit reviews, and everything else under the kitchen sink, yet my readership is growing, so I must be doing something right, hehe. I think part of it is having a writer voice so that you sound like “you” no matter what the post is about. I can’t tell you how to be “you,” though, except to just write how you speak (but with editing lol) and “keep it real.” Looking forward to checking out your blog! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I often wonder why really successful bloggers randomly stop blogging. I wonder if something horrible happened to them only to find them on other platforms like Instagram. Why they stopped blogging completely is a mystery to me.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Beautiful logo first off!!
    Great post! I often wonder when bloggers donโ€™t post for a while why that is, thereโ€™s three of my used-to-be favorite bloggers who no longer blog and I miss reading their stuff:(
    Thanks for posting this, I always enjoy reading your posts!

    Liked by 3 people

  15. Insightful post! I donโ€™t understand though how number 2 reason that people stop blogging โ€“ โ€œThey canโ€™t think of things to write about anymoreโ€ โ€“ can ever be true. Surely, a person is interested in something at any particular time and they can blog about it. I think even the opposite may be true โ€“ a person may be overwhelmed by the ideas related to future posts and many things to write about, and they would stop blogging because of that ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Diana, I agree that it’s kinda crazy that people could completely run out of things to say! People really do box themselves in sometimes, though, especially b/c lots of advice posts emphasize “sticking with a niche.” Some people are good at that but not me ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

  16. LOVE all of this! My second blog I took a little over a two month break partly because difficult things came out, I was stressed/burnt out already. I was in a winter fog. And ultimately it goes to priority, you’re so right. My main blog is a huge priority and I knew I could step away from my second blog. I just did not intend to step away from so long. o.o Have tons of posts ideas : ) for it, just need to get to it. I decided to break up my schedule to be much looser. I write about 5-6 posts a week alone for my main blog. I hope some new bloggers see this because it’s perfect. And I stress community, too, in these types of posts, so I hear you, but it’s so true! We must interact with others.

    GIRL 500! HOW! I, this past weekend, found a system that will help me keep up to date better with the main community I follow, and then I can use reader for others.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I left WordPress a few years ago because I could not understand how to use the site. I tried to post a new blog, and it came up as a second site. Then I had two WordPress blog sites. I could not correct that. I get dozens of replies on Facebook for my posts/blogs involving my diabetes. I would like to wipe out my old blog site(s) here and start a completely new blog site. I do not how to do any of that. I have been a type 1 diabetic for 73 years, and I have a lot of uplifting and inspirational topics to post here, but I donโ€™t know how to start. How do I get help?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Richard, could you go to your account settings and delete your account, then use your email to make a new account? Or do you want to keep your current account with your followers but start a new blog?

      Like

      1. Lily Pierce, I am having difficulty with deleting my old account. I completed the procedure for deleting, but my Richard’s Rambling Review account is still there. I do not know how to open a new account. Are there step-by-step instructions for doing that?

        Like

  18. Thanks for your reply, Lily. I want to wipe the slate clean, and start over again with a new blog.I will see if I can find “account settings” and delete my account, and then start a new blog. I am not good at doing these things, I am almost 80 years old, and not so “sharp” as I used to be.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Brilliantly expressed, Lily! Having restarted my blog earlier this year, Iโ€™ve found that keeping a consistent weekly schedule has certainly improved my blogging quality compared to previously panic-posting on random days, which just wasnโ€™t sustainable. Now my bloggingโ€™s much more spaced out, but itโ€™s consistent and reliable so (hopefully) fellow bloggers can look forward to new content now Iโ€™m keeping a much more regular timetable. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply to Britt @ still need grace Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s