Book Blogging 101: How to Balance Blogging and Life

As I’ve mentioned in my September wrap-up post, the blog has hit 500 followers recently, for which I’m again deeply grateful. I couldn’t have done it without the support of this wonderful bookish community I’m proud to be a part of. As a thank you to all the wonderful people who support me, I wanted to do a blog post on any one aspect of book blogging that would be helpful for all book bloggers out there. I did a quick Twitter poll regarding this and the most wanted topic was how to grow your blog. While I was initially considering it, I don’t think I’m the best person to talk about this. I feel like there are other things I have better experience with and the first thing that popped into my mind was on how to maintain a balance between blogging and other things in life. I want to quickly mention that I will be tailoring my advice for book bloggers, but all bloggers who do it as a hobby can probably take away something from this. Also, if you find this to be helpful, please let me know in the comments if you want me to make this a recurring series, and if yes, what topics you’d like to see in the future. With that out of the way, let’s jump straight in!

Book Blogging 101 Blog-Life Balance

Tip #1 – Set Your Priorities Straight

The most crucial step to being organized is to figure out your priorities. There are always 101 things to be done, which becomes especially tough when you’re an adult. As a college student, I would easily find time for reading and blogging, but after starting work I’ve just been unable to catch up with my to-do list. Of course, this varies from person to person, but no matter what stage in life you are, there are probably some things that trump blogging in your list of priorities. Figuring out how much this means to you will allow you to carve time for it or let it go when some more important things come up.

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Tip #2 – Stick to a Timetable

Many people tend to post whenever they want and I feel like it’s going to work fine if you’re in the initial stages. If blogging is an aspect of you want to improve on, I highly recommend having a schedule. I myself post on three days a week – Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. I also know what kind of posts go up on each day, so I don’t struggle with ideas at the last moment. However, it might be hard for someone to keep this fixed like I do, which is completely understandable. I would encourage you to find a schedule that works for you. Maybe posting twice a week is doable but you don’t know exactly which days – that’s still an excellent starting point.

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Tip #3 – Schedule Posts in Advance

I think we all have a good enough idea about the amount of free time we’ll have at least a week in advance. One thing I do not recommend is posting sporadically. Let’s say you have a lot of free time at some point and have 10+ ideas you want to write. In my opinion, it works best if you spread them out over a few weeks rather post them all on 2 days and take a break for a month. This is where scheduling posts will save you a lot of unnecessary stress. When you know that you have a busy week/month ahead, try to plan your time in such a way that you have a posts up your sleeve for when you just don’t have the time for blogging.

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Tip #4 – Take Breaks

Sometimes, despite all your well-laid plans and forethought, life gets too hectic to be able to blog consistently. Or perhaps you’ve had a burnout and don’t know what to post anymore. Maybe you need to take a step back due to your mental health. I don’t think you should push yourself to blog even in the wake of such situations. It will only add to the pressure you’re already under. Always remember that this little corner of the internet is yours and yours alone, which means you always make the rules. If you think taking a hiatus is the best way forward, then go ahead and do it without feeling guilty. Most of the time I find that I come back with more energy and enthusiasm to start blogging again after a break.
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Tip #5 – Find Your Social Media Sweet Spot

These days it isn’t enough to post something and forget about it. Most of my book blogging friends also manage Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Tumblr and so on. Blog posts are promoted on any or all of a blogger’s social media. When you start blogging, start collecting data on which social media is driving traffic to your blog. Or try a few different ones to see what’s a good fit for you. Then pick three and invest all of your time on those. I personally like to limit myself to Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Of course, three is my comfort zone that I decided on after experimenting, but perhaps one or even five might be better for you. Maintaining 10+ profiles on different social media that are in different states of neglect isn’t going to help and you will probably lose a large chunk of time trying to keep up with them all.

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Tip #6 – Request Books That You Really Want

I find that mostly newbie bloggers make the mistake of requesting more books than they can finish in a lifetime. Let’s face it, no one likes to push through books they aren’t enjoying for the sake of a review. When you’re new to platforms like NetGalley, it’s tempting to hit the ‘Request’ for every book that catches your eye. However, I strongly advice against doing so. Of course, I get that it’s a privilege to get to read books before their release date and when you see the popular bloggers getting the opportunity, you feel like you want that too. I’ve been guilty of this myself. Now that I steadily get offered books for review, I’ve realized that I’ve taken on more than I can handle, which is affecting my reading and book blogging life. Don’t make the mistake of requesting 100+ books just to DNF them later and instead work on making your profile so irresistible that you get approved for the books you actually are excited for.

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Tip #7 – Don’t Give in to Peer Pressure

You’ve probably heard this as a teen quite a lot, but I think it applies to all stages of life equally. Don’t feel obligated to read YA just because you think your blog will have better chances of success if you do. Don’t request books you don’t care about just because everyone else is talking about it. Don’t give up on writing book reviews just because everyone says they don’t get good traffic. Always be true to yourself and only do things out of your interest. I guarantee this will make not only blogging less of a chore but also have a positive impact on your life. The most important thing to keep in mind is that you should blog and read only as long as you’re having fun with it.

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Comments

How do you balance your life and blogging? Do you have any more words of wisdom that I’ve missed out? Have you ever taken a blogging hiatus or adjusted your schedule to accommodate other things in life? Let me know in the comments section below.

 

56 thoughts on “Book Blogging 101: How to Balance Blogging and Life

  1. Great advice! I am focusing this year on only reading books I am REALLY excited about and now just reading whatever because it’s there. I’m also scaling back on the social media, that’s just not for me. I’d rather spend that time on blogs. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think requesting only books you really want to read is a big one. Obviously having a schedule and working ahead is important, but I think one of the biggest stresses people encounter is requesting five million books and then realizing they’re obligated to read them. Because you can skip posting on a Friday if you want/need to, but you’re going to feel really bad if you have 20 ARCs and have only read 5 of them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And I think knowing your reading speed is also important here and something I don’t think I’ve really seen anyone discuss. If you’re someone who reads about a book a week, so 4-5 books per month, you need to be realistic about requesting ARCs, even ones you “really want.” Getting 20 ARCs means it’s going to take you four to five MONTHS to read them all, assuming you’re not reading other books, too. Don’t do that to yourself.

      Sometimes I see bloggers hauling dozens of ARCs and other books they received in a single month, and it looks to me as if they would need a year to get through all those books. Yet the next month they’re hauling a couple dozen different books. I practically get secondhand stress. ๐Ÿ˜›

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      1. This is why I can’t read book haul posts. I usually see them on BookTube to see what books are coming out but I just can’t fathom hauling 30+ books only to never read them. I did accept more review requests than I could handle reasonably this year and I’m regretting that. I just couldn’t say no if it looked interesting at the moment but it’s become a major source of stress in my reading life. I really need to do something about that soon. I learnt that the hard way and just had to include that tip! ๐Ÿ˜… You make an excellent point about reading speed. It’s essential to factor that in too! Thank you so much for sharing your opinions, Briana. โ˜บ๏ธ

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  3. I wouldnโ€™t call mine a strict schedule, but I always make sure I write a post on Sunday. Additionally, I post book reviews as and when I finish a book. This was mostly because my previous job took up most of my time.

    Now that I wonโ€™t have the monstrous commute to work anymore, Iโ€™m hoping I get to make even more time for blogging.

    Awesome post, Nandini! I wouldnโ€™t mind more blogging advice from you. ๐Ÿ˜Š

    Like

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  5. This is such a great post, filled with amazing advice, thank you so much for writing this! Having a schedule and planning things out in advance really is a life saviour for me hahaha ๐Ÿ™‚ and I think it’s important to make time for it all, if we really want to, that’s what matters the most ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. Thank you, Marie! โ˜บ๏ธ As someone who has better authority on this, it means so much coming from you. โ™ฅ๏ธ I usually try to use my weekends to plan ahead a bit and schedule my posts because I never know how hectic my weekdays can get. I really hope this tip helps other bloggers. I completely agree with you about making time for it. โ˜บ๏ธ

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Really good advice! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Sometimes life gets in the way, or bloggers are just not in the mood to blog and it’s all right.
    I defo slowed down with the requests after i ended up not enjoying so many of the books :/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Norrie! โ˜บ๏ธ My problem this year has been that I’ve been bad at saying no to review requests. I really need to sort that out because it’s proving really stressful for me. I’m glad you took the decision that was best for you! โ™ฅ๏ธ

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Jheelam

    #Tip 7 is pretty awesome. I hopped on the bandwagon and read some really trashy YA fantasy novels, just to keep up with the Joneses. Never again. Thank you for listing down the important points so succinctly. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Jheelam! โ˜บ๏ธ Ugh, I’m glad you’re out of that phase now. I think it’s an important tip for beginners because it’s so easy to get caught up in the hype and, before you know it, get sucked into reading things you’re not really enjoying. ๐Ÿ™„

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  8. Youโ€™ve given out some excellent advice here! I completely agree with you on the scheduling and taking a break when necessary points โ€“ both very true if you want to enjoy the blogging experience without feeling too overwhelmed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! โ˜บ๏ธ I’m so glad you agree. I think it’s essential if you don’t want to feel stressed out by blogging. It’s not very practical to always have the time on posting day. I really hope this helps out some new bloggers. โ™ฅ๏ธ

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Scheduling ahead is my number one tip! I’m usually a couple months ahead and that means I can go weeks without writing new posts, if I want. Sometimes I use those weeks to read books I know I won’t review as they’re too specialized/scholarly for the blog.

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    1. You and Briana are always so on top of your blogging schedule! I wish I was that organised. ๐Ÿ˜… I think it’s a very important tip that people find hard to follow at first, but it makes life so much easier. Yeah, fitting in other reading material during that time is a great choice!

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  10. This is such a nice post, Nandini ๐Ÿ™‚ Loved it.
    It seems like this post is directed towards me, as I fail in most of these points. Despite my best efforts, I am never able to schedule posts in advance. I always right them sporadically.
    When I started blogging, I went all gaga over NetGalley and got so many books and I am still under that pressure of reading all those backlist arcs.
    And yes, taking blogging break is definitely important. I too used to post on certain days of the week and I believe this is the best structure ๐Ÿ™‚

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  11. I used to schedule my posts earlier but then I stopped but then it became kind of difficult for me so now I’m back to scheduling. I usually post on Monday and Thursday (or well I try to) but if I’m not able to, then I just shift the post to some other day (usually Tuesday or Saturday).

    School takes up my whole life but I’m able to find some time right now since exams just got over but I feel like I’m neglecting my studies. So that’s what I’m going to do. Try to figure this stuff out during my Dussehra break.

    Great post, Nandini โค

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Aditi! โ™ฅ๏ธ Managing school and blogging can be really tough, but I do love your posts whenever you post them! I really hope you’ll be able to figure out what’s best for your blog during the break. Happy Dussehra, BTW! โ™ฅ๏ธ

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  12. evelynreads1

    This for this useful post! I’m really struggling lately with finding the right balance between everything.
    I just started a new study and it takes way more time then I had expected.. Which means I have less time to read ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    (www.evelynreads.com)

    Liked by 1 person

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  14. Tip #2 the timetableeeeeeee. I always say I post on Tuesday and Friday but this rarely happens ^^; I struggle to keep a regular schedule because my ‘whole life’ schedule completely changes every few months (due to work, travel and grad school). I’ve finally come to accept that blogging is just a hobby for me, though, and I can’t keep maintain my blog like many other bloggers seem to.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s fine, Jenna! I think you have a lot more variables to account for and it makes sense that you can’t have a weekly timetable. I love your blog because whenever you do post, you put out such quality content! โ™ฅ๏ธโ™ฅ๏ธโ™ฅ๏ธ

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Gayathri Lakshminarayanan

    Your post is spot on. You may not believe the number of times I have had posts scheduled in my entire blogging life – none. I always end up running behind the time table and I somehow scramble up a post just on time. Frantically. Sigh I wish I were more proactive and stuf!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey don’t worry, it happens to the best of us! I think it’ll be helpful if somewhere down the line you get like 2-3 days (like a long weekend or so) off just to concentrate on blogging so at least you have 3 posts scheduled. I know life doesn’t always work that way, but you can try if you ever get the opportunity!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! โ˜บ๏ธ I love hearing feedback, especially the ones that tell me how helpful you’ve found a certain post. That’s my main aim with these anyway. Good luck with your new blog! ๐Ÿ’–

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  18. Wow, this post was so on point with what I needed right now, especially the part about setting my priorities. I’ve only been blogging for about two or three months now, but the pressure is really starting to set in. I’ve got to keep reminding myself that this is A HOBBY that I started to be FUN. And what’s really important is my mental health and my family. Anyways, this is such a great post and has so many good pointers! Thanks for writing it! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! โ˜บ๏ธ I’m so glad this helped. As you said, your mental health and family will come first. Take care of yourself! โ™ฅ๏ธ It’s a bit hard to find the perfect balance right at the start, but I’m sure you can do it. *hugs*

      Liked by 1 person

  19. RacheLeanne

    I really like this post! A couple of months ago when I finished University I managed to post every day, but now I have got a job I have come to terms with the fact that I am not going to be able to do that any more, that I need to find my balance. I now post a review whenever I finish an ARC, and I keep up with all my monthly posts, just not the daily book memes any more

    Liked by 1 person

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