Very few things in life are sustained. Pretty much everything both inside and outside of ourselves, goes through periods of high stress and activity and moments of calm. For bloggers, this can mean seeing a dip in your page views and a marked slowdown in new followers. If you haven’t done anything obvious to cause the change (i.e. stopped posting or interacting), this can be very demotivating. How do you find the inspiration to keep on posting?

I do it for the Art! (found Yurio here)

For those that attach a lot of importance to their stats, a drop can be devastating. But even if you are only casually aware of them, it’s still a little depressing to see people lose interest in what you have to offer.

 One thing to keep in mind is that not everything is about you!

I don’t mean that to sound snippy. It’s just that most of us will have a tendency to immediately try to see how we can remedy the situation. What we can change to bring readers back or how we can replace those views with new ones. We’ll assume that we did something wrong. We may have written something that turned readers away from our blog or possibly the competition has gotten stiffer and better, and we no longer measure up.

However, there are numerous factors that can affect viewership that have absolutely nothing to do with you. Exams are more or less at the same time for people worldwide which means both students and teachers will have considerably less time to dedicate to browsing blogs during that period. Same can be said for holidays when people might choose to put away their laptops and phones for a week or two. 

that looks like fun… (Nuchia99)

Tax season is also sapping away time and energy from a lot of people right now, and frivolous anime articles may not be what’s on the forefront of their minds.

Moreover, for quite a few of us, readership consists mainly of other bloggers (kudos to those of you who managed to break out), and as such when people feel the need to set aside their blogs, they often stop visiting other blogs as well. When this happens, we all tend to feel it.

And you can’t blame yourself or your content for these types of slowdowns, these are issues completely out of your control.

Related image
some things you just can’t avoid…

And even when it is about you, that’s ok too.

Of course, sometimes life must take precedence. There will be times where you may not be able to, or feel like blogging quite as much. Taking a step back from publishing posts will almost certainly result in a drop in traffic for your site but that’s ok. I’ve noticed that people who are a little more reserved with their publishing tend to get much more attention on individual posts. That’s a nice plus.

The fact that you aren’t dedicating every spare minute to your blog means that you’re doing something else. How’s that for brilliant insight!!? But diversifying your interests and experiences means that you’re going to have more to write about. A richer perspective to share with your readers. Sometimes it’s about quality over quantity.

At this point you may be thinking to yourself: Thanks for the info capt’n obvious but none of this has anything to do with actually dealing with a lull. To which I say: it’s lieutenant but I’m hoping for a promotion!

Related image
fine, it’s private….

But once you take a deep breath and realize no one is breaking up with you, a lull can be a good thing. You can use this calmer time to try some new things out. You can form some deeper connections with your readers when you’re not bombarded with too many comments. You can even take some time to explore other blogs and maybe work on some more long-winded projects.

I have mentioned many times that focusing on views/likes shouldn’t be your primary objective. Of course I’m not talking about professional bloggers whose livelihood depends on those views/likes. 

The reason I keep repeating this is simple. Somehow, I have managed to trick a few people into believing I know what I’m doing here. As such, I do get asked for advice or blogging help now and then. I have seen a pattern emerge time and time again. A fellow blogger will ask how to make their blog “grow”. I will give him a few pieces of advice that have worked for me but warn them that ultimately it just takes time. They will often get impatient, consider completely upending their blogs, changing their formats, advertising everywhere or start investing a huge amount of time liking as many posts as possible and interacting ver actively with the community. 

 Sometimes this will work quickly enough for them and they’ll get an influx of new readers and be happy. Other times it won’t generate results and they’ll get discouraged and abandon their blogs all together. It should be noted that even when it does work out, it’s very difficult to keep up. Constantly upping the ante, reinventing yourself or visiting more and more blogs every day is really difficult to do and few of us have that type of time.

Image result for anime exhausted computer
must…catch up…on…posts…..

When I read those messages, I’m always a bit sad. The bloggers don’t seem to be having fun. They tend to be really hard on themselves. The worst part is that a lot of them started out because they just enjoyed writing and sharing their thoughts but somewhere down the line that got lost in the race to get more followers, more views, more points?

And I get it…

When I see my views dip, or my followers go down, I get an odd, slightly anxious feeling. I take it as a rejection. Despite some of my fellow bloggers’ gross exaggerations, I’m just not a cool kid who doesn’t need your approval. I do. I love it. But in those times, I try to remind myself not only why I started blogging but to go back to when I started.

Yes, I wanted to write. Yes, I wanted to discover other people who had similar interests and share a bit with them on some level. Those things are still true and important to me. I try to remind myself of them. It works more or less if I’m to be perfectly honest.

What does work for me is this: I remind myself that when I started blogging I had ZERO readers. Even just one is up from that! I started a blog with the very real expectation that maybe no one would want to read my thoughts. I was just trying it out, it was part diary really. Somewhere I could keep my own musing for myself and if somebody else got anything out of them, then that’s a bonus.

Related image
I’m not sure where I was going with this – I just like it

I try to remember the first time I got a comment. I didn’t even know how to read my stats yet or what the numbers meant in the grand scheme of things, but that comment was tangible. It was someone real, reaching out and starting a conversation. I remember my heart beating in my chest and my palms sweating just a little. I had never been that nervous about starting a conversation in real life. Why was this so special? It was an amazing feeling. And in the end, it’s really all I need.

That one comment to sustain me. To show me that on some level I’ve reached someone. As long as I have that, I’m ok if my latest post wasn’t groundbreaking. I’ll be fine if an essay I’ve poured my heart and mind into gets largely ignored in favor of a review that’s a copy/pasted My Anime List synopsis (I’m not throwing shade – I don’t know anyone that does this, I was just trying to find an example).

I take these slower times as a great excuse to sit back and watch the community around me or have long winded comment chats with anyone willing to put up with me. I go back to writing meandering essays, that might end up being just for me and remind myself of the particular joy I find in that. There’s a certain freedom there.

It’s not a bad thing at all. And I hope those of you who might feel a little discouraged during slow times don’t give up just because of that. As long as *you* find something fun in the blogging experience, some readers will enjoy reading it.

Related image
I love Nozaki-kun

78 thoughts

  1. I would like to be able to interact more about my own articles, to really know if they’ve ever hit the mark.

    I did a guide on the Smash DLC and honestly, just the one comment saying it helped meant loads to me. Same with other bloggers citing any of my articles.

    Unfortunately, I don’t see too many comments, making me wonder whether that ‘hit’ is an actual hit or not! I feel you though, it’s all about the enjoyment levels. I get great joy from writing as it is so I’ll keep going.

    To be fair I haven’t been doing it for long so I’ll see how I handle my first batch of fatigue whenever that inevitable arises!

    Love you emphasis on the individual by the way. You’re good at this stuff!

  2. And some times when youre away and you dont have people enquiring about you, you feel the same….

  3. Honestly, my inspiration which keeps me making blogs comes from seeing everybody else make their own based upon what they like and hope others will like., it just somehow keeps me motivated and allways bring a smile on my face when someone has a new anime related post.

  4. Spoke my mind here. Stats do not matter to me, really. As long as there’s one person out in the web who is willing to read what I write, I will write more. After all, it is a creator’s tendency to be happy when people enjoy their works…
    As always, you are doing a lovely job, Irina <3

  5. Great post. I’m very new to blogging myself and I am still kind of riding the high of finally blogging about something I really enjoy, but I’ve definitely noticed that I check my stats way more often than I told myself I would. It’s amazing, really, how easy it can be to forget about the reasons why I initially started. Thanks for this. It was a good reminder. 🙂

    1. I don’t know about you but a lifetime of video games has conditioned me to care about arbitrary numbers. I hope he high last a good long time!

  6. The way I’ve scheduled things means I often get lulls between posts and if I get too specific with a certain anime, I tend to cop a hit to the views as well. Regardless of that though, I’m probably parroting a lot of other people when I say “keep your need to care about stats on the down low” – after all, if you don’t do so well with one post, eventually there’ll be a day where the views go back up.

    1. Although I haven’t touched on it this time – I’ve mentioned often that my favorite posts tend to go largely unnoticed… Still my favourites though

  7. Ahhh, you pick great topics Rin-san.
    I’m also currently not posting anything (as you can see) so I am in a lull for the moment.
    Art-san spoke of something similar and I agree and understand both your points (similar?).

    That said, Nozaki-kun <3

    1. Chizu did as well…Somehow we got our subjects synched which I consider a great compliment!
      I did notice you were on a little break and I can’t wait to see you back!

  8. Just because it feels particularly relevant, the screenshot guessing game:

    K-on! — Yuri on Ice (Fanart) – (No idea) – Konosuba – Library Wars (?) – Rinne no Lagrange (?) – Owari no Seraph – Promo art for the mag that publishes Watamote and Nozaki kun (?)

    Why does it feel relevant? I always play the screenshot guessing game by myself, but you’ll only ever know if come out and do it in the comment section. I do it on every blog I visit, but I’m a cheater. I’m much more successful on your blog than anywhere else and I keep my abject failures elsewhere a secret.

    This has one side-effect: I might re-visit blogposts simply to stare at a picture some more because it bothers me that I don’t know where it is from. This happens less on your blog than elsewhere, because my success rate is higher. Fewer hits for you, but is that a bad thing? I attribute this to a high degree of taste (or interest) compatibility. (I haven’t seen all shows recognise, and I don’t even like them all, so interest perhaps a better measure than taste?)

    On the otherhand, before I typed this I’ve aborted two attempts at a reply, which went nowhere. After one of those attempts I left, so that’s one more hit. Basically, you get one more from me, because I think I wrote a sucky reply.

    Basically, hits might go down because people need to come back less as they get used to your rhythm and make more efficient use of the resources themselves (if I ever learn how to make replies that satisfy me, you’ll get a few less hits). Some of it is not a loss of popularity – it’s a reduction of noise. Of course, any sort of graph (say stockmarket development) always have up and down trends within bigger trends – the line’s always jagged.

    (I will never ever use a “like” system. It’s a source of social anxiety. I fret about leaving out people who don’t deserve it, or hypocritically liking stuff I don’t really like. It’s an inner conflict, nearly impossible to resolve. It’s also why I’m not on social media. They’re the place my sanity goes to die.)

    1. But the screen cap game is the best – now I feel bad for those poor bloggers that miss out on it. As usual you have a almost perfect score. The no idea pic is a Hetalia collage and the last pic is not exactly promo art. It’s an actual screencap from Watamote with a transparent background… That was a trick I guess.
      I guess I should work on some more challenging picture choices!
      The likes and views are pretty meaningless when it comes down to it (unless you’re a professional of course), but it’s still motivating to know someone is reading.
      This said I’ve always really appreciate when you take the time to write out such incisive and interesting comments. I always really look forward to them.

      1. Ah, Hetalia. I’ve seen a few episodes of the first season and thought it was rather fun, but being Austrian I tend to have a problem with how they portray Germany, Austria, Italy and Japan as lovable dorks. That’s… not what it was like, shall I say.

        Interesting that this is an actual screencap from the show. Highlights the not uncommon product placement.

        The problem with “more challenging picture choices” is that I would think Hetalia is – on the whole – easier to guess than Library Wars or Rinne no Lagrange. I swear I’m not as good at the game as I look here (though I have seen a lot).

          1. Would have been harder if the picture didn’t include a main character, I think. Pictures of things like flower pots or cross roads would make the game much, much harder, I think. That way, I might not even recognise my favourite shows, though (since often things look different in stills). Just imagine having to guess a show by a picture of a bare, snow covered branch, which just about every show that includes winter uses at one point…

            1. Well you still have to make the game winnable…
              I remember when I chose a gif of someone writing which was pretty but neither of us had any cue where it was from. That’s no fun…

  9. I’ll be honest, I stopped reading my stats completely after I found myself getting too attached and/or concerned about how they were doing. I still read those WordPress updates that tell me when I get another follower or when someone likes/comments on a post (primarily so that I can make sure to check out that person’s blog in exchange or reply to a comment), but essentially, I neither know nor care what my stats are anymore, and haven’t for about the past year. If that makes me somehow uncool or unengaged with blogging in the eyes of others, then so be it.

    1. Actually I’m pretty sure that’s exactly what makes you cool. I’m working on disengaging a bit, It’s about balance I figure

  10. I try not to pay too much attention to stats because that is a sure way to feel down, though the milestone notification from time to time was a nice surprise seeing proof that the blog is doing well (at times). But then we are our biggest critics so we can’t help but be conscious of our stuff.
    Ironically, it’s when I spend less time on wordpress and then be back later that I would be bombarded with notifs and interactions. Probably a late reaction to my comments or the time zone messing with me. But it could be tiring to respond at all times and I would sometimes wish for a bit of ‘lull’ to catch up on reading posts too.

  11. I don’t follow stats, I don’t even know how to interpret them (?) If it is more than 0 then it is pretty cool, right? 😉 But I have seen many bloggers worrying about their stats and I hope your wisdom reaches them and gives them motivation to keep going and care more about what is important 😉 (unless blogging is their job, then I bet stats are pretty important too, hehe).

    1. More than 0 does rock! I’m glad you don’t let it get to you, then again if I remember correctly you’ve been doing this for a while, even before you had your current blog so I figure you found something you enjoy about it

      1. this is my very first blog 😋 and the thing I enjoy the most is interacting with others, so a blog with hundreds, thousands of likes but no blogfriends would make me a sad panda. I luv your posts, did you know that? Now you do, and surely after the calm will come the storm flowing with views 😉

        1. Thank you – I love your posts too! Discovering new friends is definitely the best part of the experience.
          I’m almost sure you use to write reviews on several book review sites but I’ not familiar with how the interaction on those goes… Do you have comments on those too?

          1. naaah, I had 0 interaction. You can comment and send private messages and such, but i didn’t even had friends/contacts there hahaha so it was as lively as uploading reviews on Amazon

  12. I can definitely see where you’re coming from. There are times where life happens to everyone. It doesn’t help that I have my own busy life and creative projects that I’ve been working on.

      1. Yup. My big project right now is finally publishing and releasing my fiction works, so I haven’t had as much time to do reviews or my videography besides the Katauta videos.

          1. Thanks! I still have to publish them online, but I will definitely let everyone know when that happens. Stay tuned. I’ve been writing books for 4 years, but I never published any of them.

  13. Hey Irina! I AM that reader that views blogs more when I have a break from school but when I am very busy, I don’t have the time to browse through blogs as much. With that being said, what you wrote is spot-on. I agree 100% with everything else too. Great post!!

  14. A post filled with truth. Yes, I do feel low sometimes but I love my blogging experience. Connecting with other writers has been source of learning and sharing. Though, I regularly check my posts’ stats, I take pleasure in creating those posts even no one consults. I am really concerned when I do not get new views. But, overall, I love this community and what they have to offer!😊

    1. I hope you keep feeling this way. I know I have a lot of issues with my reader app which constantly makes me miss out on posts I would normally have read right away and loved…. That’s an issue I forgot to discuss here

      1. Oh! Hope you’ll it include in your next post. Hope to read more from you,

  15. I’ve had to slow down to about one post a week. Which makes me sad but this time of year it is hard to keep up on things and also my anime watching as slowed down. Also I’m rather a Twitter idiot and I’m learning it which makes me feel super old…

    Every time I stress, I have to remember I am doing this for fun and to enjoy the people I’ve met on here.

    1. It’s funny how important our blogs become without us realizing it. I know I’m happy with any amount of posting I can get from you!

  16. Reading this as a new blogger, it is comforting.

    I do love blogging, and I personally think I’m doing a fine job of plugging my blog and maintaining quality in my content.

    However, it’s hard for me to stop waiting for that “big break”, when my views and followers suddenly boom after a great post I make.

    I do push myself too hard.

  17. It seems great minds think alike Irina! Just posted this a few minutes before –
    I completely agree with everything you wrote basically, so excellent work and you were able to make me a little more happier! 🙂 I love with completely different ways of writing we just said the same thing! Do it because you love it, not because of the stats! Not gonna lie, it seems I went a little out of my own route and I’m coming back again to the path I want to take when it comes with blogging! Although I never lost the joy of writing and that is why I do in the first place, it is true that it’s discouraging when you see your stats going down which ends up making me think if I’m good enough! But, oh well, I just shameless gave you the link so if you feel interested go read it where I explain everything and I end up with a nice motivational speech… I hope >.< Dunno, most of the time I don't know what I'm doing xD

    1. Great minds really do think alike – I already sam and commented on your post ;P
      This is getting a little scary. I don’t think we’ve ever been in the same room together so we might be the same person…

      1. And yet again… Just replied to your comment on my side!
        I promise I’ll get a better look at myself when I run across a mirror next time. If i find any cat similarity we will know our answer!

  18. Wait…. You’re breaking up with me?? We didn’t even have our first collaboration! 😭😉👍 Lol! Great post. It’s always hard for anyone writing to have people stop following or reading. This passed month has been a little slower for me, but I’ve had a lot of my regular followers have life and health get in the way, and that happens. Like you say, we just have to remind ourselves why we started writing to begin with. We have to go back to the roots of why we enjoy it! We also have to remind ourselves that there are other bloggers out there as well, if you’re in a lull the reach out and meet some new bloggers! There are new people starting every day who would surely love for YOU to be THEIR first comment!! 💖💖 great post!! 🍻

    1. And then I meet new people like you who are obviously long lost tiwns of mine and kindred spirits and suddenly view count seems very secondary…

  19. This is a lovely post, though it made me realize that I have NO IDEA why anyone reads my blog, which might be a good thing after all, because then I can take ebbs and flows of readers in stride, you know? It all seems so random to me, and so when suddenly no one is reading, I can just shrug it off.

    This goes to my second point, which is that I have no idea why anyone would STOP reading your posts. I find your blog delightful and always worth checking in on.

    1. I wasn’t fishing for a compliment but man did you just make this the best Wednesday ever!
      I love that easy going devil may care attitude and I hate to ruin it with information but I’m pretty sure people read your post because of that very singular voice you have. Your writing is full of personality and your topics are usually unique. You pick Manga no one else is talking about. Which makes me realize that I haven’t seen you in my reader in a long time…I hope I’m not starting to lose blogs again…

      1. That’s the thing, right? I depend on my reader to keep track of everyone!

        (And thanks very much for the compliment. At least we both now know that the feeling is mutual!)

  20. I only post when I’m inspired. Often that’s a couple episodes into a rewatch of a show I really liked and think others need to know about.

    1. That’s a healthy way to go about it and your readers can probably tell. There’s a pretty striking difference between a post that’s written by someone who felt they had to write a post and one that’s written by someone who had something to share.

      1. My moments of inspiration tend to come in series, then long lulls of days with nothing to say. Unlike yourself, I am posting for free. I am writing post for my portfolio to help me gain employment as a librarian. So I can’t charge to access. It has to be free to read by patrons, and presumably hiring committees.

        1. I actually have no monetization on the blog in any way. My content is also completely free but I’m weirdly flattered you would think someone would pay for it…

          1. I must have confused you with someone else then. Still, quite a few promising bloggers on anime decided to monetize a few months ago and they’re pretty much gone, though they sometimes respond or favorite my posts. They are probably doing the same for you. The thing about blogging is don’t pay attention to the numbers. You’re documenting yourself, like a diary, and it will have value in the future, if only to yourself, to see how you’ve changed, or possibly how you HAVEN’T changed over time. That can be surprising too.

  21. My most important advice for dealing with this sort of situation is to simply remember why you’re writing in the first place. If you’re doing it for the hits or whatever, then sure, a lull is going to be disappointing. But if you’re writing because you enjoy writing — and most bloggers probably at least started here even if they became more cynical over time — even a drop in the stats doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things, so long as you’re having fun doing what you do.

    For most people, this isn’t a job; while some (including me) have generous Patrons throwing money our way for regular content or occasional one-off “tips” via Ko-Fi or equivalents, this is still a hobby for most of us. Or perhaps an aspect of a broader hobby such as anime appreciation or video games — I know in my case I’ve reached a stage where I feel writing about a game after I’ve played it is an important part of my overall appreciation of games and visual novels rather than its own separate thing.

    Either way, I feel it should be something you enjoy doing and find worthwhile, rather than feeling obligated to.

    1. I definetly share that and I hope most bloggers will see it that way too.
      I do miss some smaller blogs I use to visit a lot that just disappeared.

  22. Very good advice, and worth keeping in mind. I was initially discouraged by how slow things seemed the last month or so, but I’ve decided to (as you said) look at it as a time to diversify my interests and not obsess so much about numbers!

      1. No chance of that, regardless of the amount of likes or views or whatever, I have too much fun writing it to stop because of a lull. Besides, hearing that is all the inspiration I need!

Leave me a comment and make my day!