Consistent blogging in 2017: Slumps, tips & goals

I’ve been in a right old blogging slump recently.

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When I first started blogging last year, the excitement and the discovery of having my own little slice of the internet pie took over my life for a while. I met people from all over the world who were interested in the same things as me, and wanted to talk about books as much as I did and still do. It’s the most incredibly inspiring feeling; finding people on the same wavelength as you (love you guys!). The first few months of blogging was like a revolution for me. Ideas were pouring out of my head left, right and centre and my fingers were constantly itching to put words on the screen and send them out into the world.

But what happens when you’ve established your blog, hit your stride with your writing style and then, BAM, life gets in the way? How do you stop your blog from becoming a chore, and ensure that it stays fresh, consistent and ultimately, fun?

The end of 2016 was full of lots of exciting happenings in my ‘real’ life, which I wouldn’t have changed for the world. I moved out of my family home and into a new house with my boyfriend and I got a new, much busier job, which I love. Both of these big things, and lots of other little things, mean that blogging took a backseat for me, at least much more of a backseat than I would have liked.

Now I’m settled, and 2017 is just getting started, I want to share some tips and goals with you guys for what I hope will spell more consistent, fun and engaging blogging for me this year. I know so many of you are incredible at balancing your day-to-day lives and your blogs, and I’d love to hear how you cope with blog-related stress, and what tricks and tips you use to keep everything ticking over!


Blogging goals for 2017

Post twice a week

I think twice a week is a pretty manageable goal for me, between work, socialising, sleeping and actually reading! My posts per week have fluctuated massively since I started last February – sometimes I’d post four or five times a week (how?!) and other weeks I’d post absolutely zip. Nada. I’ve never actually laid out an ideal number of posts per week, but I hope that this will help to keep me on track.

More original content

I love doing tags and reviews are essential for me, but I’m never more happy with the way my blog runs than when I’ve thought up something bonkers or new to write about. My posts on books and cocktails, Netflix and book recommendations and how to get over book hangovers were some of favourite pieces of writing from 2016, purely because they were so much fun to put together and talk to you guys about. Generating more original content and different posts is definitely something I’m aiming to do more of this year.

Engage with new bloggers and welcome them into the community

I’ve said it so many times, but the book blogging community really is so kind and just generally lovely. I felt really welcome almost immediately, and was really appreciative to the more established bloggers who brought me into the fold and helped me to get involved and find out what was what. I don’t necessarily consider myself established, but this year, I’d love to pay it forward. If you’re reading this and relatively new to blogging, please please drop me a line (either in the comments, or on bookshelvesandbiros@gmail.com) and we can collaborate on something fun! Likewise to those of you who I already know and love, let’s think up some snazzy stuff together.

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Get a logo

God, this has been on the list FOREVER. This has to be the year where I finally get it done. I get such logo envy and my design skills are pretty damn basic, so I’m gonna have to source some clever artsy person and put them to work for me. If y’all know anyone awesome, please nudge me in the right direction! ❀

WRITE GODDAMN NOTES WHEN YOU READ, SAMMIE

Yeah, I really need to master this one. Hence the shouty capitals.

Tips and tricks for more consistent blogging (hopefully)

Schedule, schedule, schedule

Self-explanatory. Whenever I schedule posts in advance, I feel so much more chilled and in control of my writing, but I’m so disorganised that I rarely utilise the tool. Basically, I need to write when I feel inspired and happy and chill and then fit the posts into a schedule, not force myself to write when I haven’t blogged for an AGE and then flash publish.

Make graphics in advance

Again, self-explanatory. I always think I should do this and I never do. One of the best things I did at the end of last year though was to create one generic header for all of my reviews. It not only makes the posts more easily identifiable and more ‘branded’ (lol), but it also means that I don’t spend 34 and a half hours swearing at both my phone and Canva because of poor picture quality and lack of aforementioned design skill.

Take breaks

When I went on holiday last year, I scheduled a few posts in advance for when I was away. Great, because it meant my blog was still ‘live’ while I was away, but also not so great, because it meant that while I was on holiday I was still making mini-edits to posts and replying to comments. As much as I love you guys, blogging can be mentally exhausting, so I’m definitely going to be better at self-care and giving myself sometime to recharge my batteries and my brain this year. It’s OK to have time to yourself, and no one will get angry or forget about your or your blog while you take advantage of a sunny weekend, a shopping trip or simply a few days snoozing on the sofa under a cozy blanket. Looking after your mental health = better, happier blogging.

Don’t get crazy with ARCs

All book bloggers know that ARCs can be one of the massive benefits of blogging. Book bloggers weirdly seem to be the only sort of bloggers that don’t get paid for posts in the same way that a beauty blogger or a gaming vlogger might do for promoting products in their content, so ARCs can go some way to compensating you for your time. As much as I love getting an unreleased book in the post from a publisher or being approved for an advance review copy on NetGalley, these deadline-fuelled reads can be one of the most stress-inducing aspects of blogging. Basically, the moral of the story is to read what you want, when you want, and only request the ARCs that you really, really want to read and have the time to commit to. Trying to speed read a book before the publication date and the the subsequent guilt when you don’t finish it or want to DNF it isn’t fun. Trust me.

Use notebooks

My name is Sammie and I am a notebook addict. I have many a beautiful notebook and diary just waiting to be filled, but I’m pretty sporadic when it comes to using them. When I first started Bookshelves & Biros, something that really helped me to come up with ideas was jotting down fun things that I’d seen, quotes that I’d loved or bits of book news that I’d come across. I haven’t done so much of that recently, but having a notebook and a pen handy for when inspiration strikes is so handy and super useful. Some of my favourite posts have come from one line or one word of messy scrawl in an old notepad.

Set aside time for blog hopping

I am always apologising for being rubbish at replying to comments and catching up with all of your seriously uh-mazing content and it is literally because I am both disorganised and quite easily distracted. One thing that I’ve always found helps me is to set aside an hour or two a week on a certain night to catch up with everything I’ve missed – it means I spend less time online overall, because I’m not distracted by other stuff.


What are your goals for better, happier blogging in 2017? Do you have any must-know tips or tricks for keeping blogging fun or consistent? Advice on how to stop blogging becoming a chore? Let me know all in the comments!

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50 thoughts on “Consistent blogging in 2017: Slumps, tips & goals

  1. Good luck with all these goals 🌸😊 I’m sure you’ll achieve every last one of them! I’ve also been so busy lately and can honestly tell you that having a plan and scheduling posts have been an absolute lifesaver 😊 I love the idea of doing more unique posts, they always grab people’s attention! I think if you do blogging for you then it will not feel like a chore and if that means that you only blog once or twice a week, then that’s also fine 😊 Just as long as you are happy πŸ’–

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  2. Hi! I wish you the very best with your goals and hope you achieve them! I always felt guilty when not posting reviews and I had quite a large gap between posting because of stress. I decided to take a different perspective to things: blogging about books is something that I love and that shouldn’t stress me out. It’s okay if I don’t read because life gets in the way – what’s important is my mental health. I now review once a week and have reviews planned ahead so I don’t get stressed. Thank you for this post!

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  3. I’m in a slump right now, too. Ever since my birthday, moving back into my dorm room, and doing work for each of my classes, it’s all gotten in the way. Everything you wrote, I’ve implemented, especially the tricks lol. Hope we both become more consistent from here on!

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  4. I wish you the absolute best of luck this year! My blog goals are pretty similar, actually. I just started book blogging at the end of the year last year and it was an almost immediate fail because of Life and Stuff. This year, I’m really hunkering down and trying to post twice a week, one post of original content on Tuesday and one review on Friday (so I also hit my reading goal this year– two birds, one stone). It’s crazy how life can really just mess up your intentions that way, and it’s just nice to know I’m not alone in that.

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    • Thank you very much! I’m so sorry for such a slow reply – this slipped into my spam comments without me realising! Haha trust me – I know the ‘Life and Stuff’ feeling veeeery well. That’s a really good idea – definitely something that would help me to stay a little bit more on track with posting original content, too. I know! It’s maddening but also very natural considering how busy life is for everyone in this day and age. You are most definitely not alone! ❀

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  5. Ohh I’m sorry to see you’ve been in a bit of a blogging slump recently Sammie, but it sounds like you’ve had a lot (of excitement) happening in your real life so I guess it was bound to happen maybe. I dread my first blogging slump but I’m sure one will happen eventually. Either way these are amazing goals and I will be bookmarking this post because even without a blogging slump they’re great pieces of advice for any blogger and definitely things I need to take into account as well. I definitely need a logo and I want to try more original content for 2017 and a redesign as well. Basically I have a lot of projects to try and improve my blog so bring on 2017 right?
    Good luck with keeping all of these! Also I hope you come out of your blogging slump soon if you’re not out of it already! πŸ˜€

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  6. This is a great post, and some really good ideas. I don’t schedule posts because they haven’t worked for me in the past. I post really randomly lol. I started my blog in September so I still feel like I am figuring things out, your ideas will help!

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  7. Great advice! I’m relatively new to blogging (started two blogs in earnest in December) and I need to really take advantage of being able to schedule posts ahead of time. I know I’m never a consistent writer, so I need to make sure to space the results out, even if the creation all happens at once!

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  8. I love this post!! I had to stop posting during January just to give me a chance to catch up on a few things and plan what I wanted to do with the blog, and it worked! I’m still really struggling with ARC’s just because I got carried away when I first started, but they’ll get there – and I’m making sure I am not requesting anything new until I’ve got caught up πŸ™‚ I hope all of this works for you and you don’t have to deal with a slump again! Happy blogging πŸ™‚

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  9. This is such a great post, Sammie! I’ve been in a terrible blogging slump lately too so I know exactly what you’re going through. I remember when I first started blogging that I was pushing out three to four posts a week now I’m lucky if I do one. So, hopefully we both find our ways out of our slumps. And we have some of the same goals. I definitely want to put out more original content. I rarely find myself doing discussion posts but when I do they are so much fun. Also, I love your tips. Taking breaks is definitely important and I’m in the same boat with finding time to blog hop. Anyway, I hope you achieve all of your goals for this year. πŸ˜πŸ’•

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    • Thank you so much! ❀ Ahhh I know that feeling so well – it's so frustrating when you want to write but don't have the time/don't feel inspired. I hope we both do too! Exactly – I'd love to do more discussion posts/features because they are super fun but they definitely take more time and energy than everything else. All about balance I guess! Yes breaks are suuuuper important – that's definitely something I'm going to employ when I go away on holiday this year. Thank you! ❀ I hope you do too – good luck! πŸ˜€ x

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      • You’re welcome!! πŸ’•
        It’s definitely all about balance and sometimes finding that balance is so hard, I feel. It can really be frustrating but worth it in the end. Just gotta remind yourself that it’s supposed to be fun and life gets busy at times. Good luck to you too! 😊

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  10. ah don’t worry we all get blocked sometimes and everyone has times when life gets in the way of blogging! I totally get what you mean about needing to set time aside to just reply to comments and do some blog hopping. But it sounds like you have an amazing (and very thorough!!) plan for tackling this!!

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    • For sure! I feel like it’s so much easier for me to reply to everyone/blog hop all in one go – I get much more done if I do it that way than when I have a spare five or ten minutes throughout the day. Thanks! I hope so! We’ll see if I can stick to it haha…!

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  11. These are all wonderful goals & solutions for blogging more consistently in 2017! At the end of the day, blogging should be fun and not feel like a chore. I am trying to be a bit more organized myself and work towards scheduling posts for the upcoming week so I can focus on writing content blog hopping during that week, but it really is easier said then done. I am going on vacation in 2 weeks and I do not have anything written yet for when I am gone. My feelings at this point are if I can schedule a post or two before I leave, awesome, if not then it won’t be the end of the world. I am trying to be more forgiving and not let blogging stress get to me.

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    • Thanks, Amanda! πŸ™‚ Exactly. It can be really hard to find that balance sometimes, especially if you’ve been blogging for a little while. Totally! I have so much respect for people who have that scheduling thing down, haha. That’s the best mindset! At the end of the day, you should enjoy your vacation – blog posts or nah. Blogger guilt/stress can be pretty anxiety inducing, and that’s something I’m trying to work on avoiding. Good luck with your 2017 goals and have an AMAZING vacation! ❀

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  12. These are all really great goals, and I share a lot of the same goals for 2017! One thing in particular that I really want to work on is blog-hopping. I’ve seriously been lacking at that lately, and I really miss interacting with everyone and reading all the amazing posts everyone comes up with! πŸ™‚

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  13. This is a fantastic post, Sammie! First, congrats on moving out and getting a new job that you love! That must be an awesome feeling πŸ˜€ And I always enjoy your posts, no matter when they’re posted!
    I relate to this so much. I say that I was in a reviewing slump, but I’m also kind of in a blogging slump myself. My posts are beginning to become few and far between and I’ve become HORRIBLE at blog-hopping. Life and school are definitely getting in the way. But I think these tips might definitely come in handy!! I think 2 posts a week is definitely a reasonable goal and scheduling is a life-saver! I’ve managed to do that a bit more this week, which makes me so happy. I hope all these tips have become really useful to you recently and I can’t wait to see what posts you publish this year πŸ˜€

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  14. Thank you so much for this post, there’s some great tips which I’m going to find very helpful!! I’m fairly new to blogging, my main goal at the moment is to upload frequently with fun and original posts, as this is something my blog is lacking, and at the moment I feel like it’s pretty boring. Do you have any advice or tips for coming up with ideas for posts? πŸ™‚

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    • Thank you so much for this post, there’s some great tips which I’m going to find very helpful!! I’m fairly new to blogging, my main goal at the moment is to upload frequently with fun and original posts, as this is something my blog is lacking, and at the moment I feel like it’s pretty boring. Do you have any advice or tips for coming up with ideas for posts? πŸ™‚

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